Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: I like fresh air, pure air but sometimes people add to the air artificial smell to make the air more pleasant and destroy the purity of the air. In the same way, I like your voice in meditation, but when I bought a CD for meditation I was surprised to find out that somebody had added music to your voice. Please give us a chance to have your voice in meditation without additional music.
Sri Sri: Suggestion taken! We will request our Publications department for some CDs without music, but your comparison was very good!
Q: If everything is as God wants it and if everything is written then why do we need to put effort for anything?
Sri Sri: Even that is written. Your asking this question is written too, got it? But me giving an answer for it is not written!
Come on! Animals are governed by instincts. They have no choice, they are programmed. But the human system is programmed with a possibility of either / or. Human system has the choice also programmed. But animals have no program of choice. Do you get what I am saying? In the program it is fixed that human beings can have the choice. Intellect is present in the human system which can make the choices. That means there is freedom also. Got it?
Q: What could help me prioritize one thing against another in my life?
Sri Sri: Your broader vision!
Q: Guruji, it didn’t seem Sudarshan Kriya is indicated for a person with psychotic problems like schizophrenia. What can be done to help them reduce their suffering?
Sri Sri: You know, people with schizophrenia, you think they are suffering, they are enjoying themselves! Ask me how many people I have encountered who have this problem. Sometimes they stop taking their medication because they stop having fun with that. See, there is no charm, no energy, no fun, so they stop medication. We have this experience. Many times parents or spouse came and left them in the Ashram. So we have dealt with them all. I tell you, they are really not suffering! They are in their own world. They are here in the world for you to serve them. And be patient, they increase your patience. They make you well grounded to your own reality. It’s an experience to be with them. Because their mind is between two worlds -this world and another world, their realities fused and confused. They can invoke a lot of compassion from within you. And that is what you can do about it. Yes, they can do some physical yoga, dance, enjoy music and take a good walk. These are things you can engage them in.
Q: If God is in all, why do natural calamities like tsunamis or earthquakes exist?
Sri Sri: Suppose there is only a hero in a film and there is no villain! Whenthere are all kinds of thrill, only then the movie works. If it wouldhave been just a hero or heroin, they get married and live together,that’s it! How would the film be? This is all a play, a drama. So, allkinds of things keep happening.
Thesoul is eternal. This world is ever changing, different changes keep onhappening. Knowing this, just relax. Be of service. Where ever thereis a need, be ready to jump in that. Service is our very nature and wecannot live without it. Service should not be like a heavy weight, butjust like a flower petal – easy and natural.
Q: I feel sick, weak and tired. What’s happening?
Sri Sri: What you said is exactly what is happening! You have said it! It will pass, it will pass definitely. You know, if you are tired, either you have not taken enough water or too little sugar. Either too little energy or too much energy, or your system has some bugs or not any stress release. Any one of these can cause that. When you go deep in meditation, what happens? The stresses come out. When they come out, either you feel tired or feel like running away. All this is possible. If you take a few breaths or walk in the fresh snow, it will help. And take plenty of water, fluids, fruits, vegetables. All this would help.
Q: I didn’t feel anything after ‘Your throat is hollow and empty’ both the times. In that meditation does Guruji say something after that?
Sri Sri: Wait for the next year.
Q: I have been having so many different dreams. They are full of fear and anger. I even say I hate you to a person and I say that to a person I love. What is that? My heart is happy, then why is this so?
Sri Sri: Past impressions! You know, there are five types of dreams. Do you know about that? How many of you don’t know? One is your past impressions in the mind come to you as dreams. Second is your desires, ambitions, dreams come to you as dreams. Your unfulfilled desires come to you as dream. Like you wanted to have hot chocolate and you sleep, you have hot chocolate in your dream. Have you had this type of dreams? Third type of dream is premonition. What is going to happen in the future, you get it in your dream. Everyone gets once in a while such dreams, premonitions. Fourth type of dream has nothing to do with you but the place you are in. Suppose you go and sleep in France, you get a dream in which everybody is speaking French, French words and faces that you have never seen before or sometimes the people who were there in that area or the impressions in that space come to you as dream. The fifth type is a mix of all these – a hotchpotch. That is what mostly dreams are. Ninety percent dreams are of this category. You are riding a horse and suddenly the horse is inside a train. There is no logic to it and it all appears to be very perfect and really clear. Suddenly the train transforms into a boat and the boat turns into a train! All these things can happen. This is all possible in dreams. So many possibilities because it’s a mixture of all: your desires, past impressions, what may happen in the future and then the place. That’s why you don’t need to analyze too much. It’s another form of stress release. Wake up!
Q: Which is the way of being considerate in my society, neighborhood, my Art of Living group and my friends?
Sri Sri: Why are you asking this question? You think you are not considerate of others? If you are very stressed then you don’t care what other people think or what others are doing. You just do what you want to do. But sensitivity comes with serenity, sensitivity comes with calmness, sensitivity comes with culture. Your background, your culture, how you grow up, and what were the situations around you. You have that ability to be considerate. Do not doubt that. Compassion is in our very nature. Only when you are extremely stressed, compassion appears to have disappeared. It really doesn’t disappear, it stays somewhere deep inside.
Q: Guruji, can you tell us some story when you were a child.
Sri Sri: I continue to be one even today! I leave the story for others to say. Knowledge byte: Remember one thing. The centre core of your existence is all positivity. All imperfection is only on the circumference. So deep inside you are pure, you are innocent, you are beautiful, and you must have total conviction in this. That is it. I am totally pure hundred percent, two hundred percent positive. Deep inside you are simply a most adorable, most lovable person. You should have zero doubt about it. And whatever imperfections you may find in yourself or in others are only on the circumference. This conviction is most important in spiritual growth. Otherwise someone blames you, you take the blame and then you burn with it. When you have this conviction, if anybody says anything to you, you will not care and will simply smile at them. You will not be an emotional wreck anytime, because you are so solid and well founded in the self. And that is what the whole spiritual exercise is! Shudhohum, budhohum – You are pure, crystal clear and solid. That conviction makes you rest so peacefully. If you are made by nature, you are perfect. Everything in nature is perfect. There is one school of thought which says find imperfection. Another school of thought is to move from perfection to greater perfection. That is what we understand. Praising each other and praising oneself, uplift the spirit all the time. Give criticism and stand up to criticism. If someone criticizes you, welcome that, knowing too well that whatever is the criticism is part of their perception or your projection. Imperfection is nothing but a projection or perception. From your side you have projected like that to the other person or that person has perceived you like that. Imperfection is nothing but your inability to project the way you are to others or the perception of other person towards you. That’s it. Got it? All these practices you do are to get to this stage – Improving perception, observation and expression. And that is it. It can never be hundred percent. It is relative, this is the thing. There can always be a chance for improvement in perception and expression. But there is no chance for any improvement in the being.