Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: How much difference is there between science and spirituality? Why do some scientists not believe in spirituality?
Sri Sri: Evolved scientists surely believe in spirituality. Those who are not yet fully evolved may not believe in spirituality. Einstein was startled after reading Bhagwad Geeta. If you hear a quantum physicist talking, you will feel as if the text is being quoted from the scriptures only. ‘What is this?’ is science. ‘Who am I?’ is spirituality. Objective analysis is science and subjective understanding is spirituality. And they go hand in hand. In the East, they were never in conflict with each other. It is said in the Bhagvad Geeta –‘Gyan Vigyana Triptatma’. You will find fulfillment only when science and spirituality go together. We need both science and spirituality to bring contentment to our soul.
Q: Sometimes the best things happen when nature takes its course. At what point, when should people stop trying, giving, doing harder to achieve something and just let nature take its course?
Sri Sri: When you do your 100 percent, when you feel that you cannot do any more. That is exactly when you should meditate, instead of getting frustrated. You have put your 100 percent. When exactly do you know that you have had enough food? Do you know?
When exactly do you know you have had enough water? You burp! (laughter)
Usually you get frustrated when you feel: ‘I have done enough, I can’t do anymore. I just give up’. I tell you – you need not go to that extent of getting frustrated.
Q: What is the dharma of marriage?
Sri Sri: Ask your spouse! They will give you long lectures on what your dharma is and what you should be doing! (Audience laughs).Our ancient people spoke about saptapadi – the seven steps one takes in life. The knowledge was so scientific even 1,000s of years ago. A sense of commitment, co-operation, compassion, caring and less ego – these are the benefits that one finds.
Q: Is it wrong to give advice to teenaged children?
Sri Sri: Give advice – with lots of love. There is a proverb which says that after a child becomes a teenager, become a friend.
Prapte tu Shodhashe varshe, Putram mitram, Vada charet.
This is nothing new in this proverb– people have said this for thousands of years.
Q: How does one make a balance between the heart and mind?
Sri Sri: Yes. You do your business with your mind, and service with your heart. In both cases, there is a third component - intuition. Never be within the business with heart. With family, be with the heart, don't use your mind there. Do both with the gut feeling!
Q: How can I maintain happiness?
Sri Sri: Do not make such an effort. In order to save your happiness, you have to spread it. Share your happiness with everyone. Why worry in this short span of life when there is such beautiful knowledge.
Q: How important is knowledge on the spiritual path? One who does not know how to read/write, can they grow on the spiritual path?
Sri Sri: Yes, one can. There are many examples in this country. Kabirdas (a famous saint in India) never went to a university. Guru Nanakdevji (the Sikh prophet)…. there are lots of instances of famous people in this country.
Q: Dear Guruji, when you say in the past our ancestors gave various names and forms to God. Then are Devis and Devatas created in the minds of the Rishis or did they really exist from the very beginning of the creation?
Sri Sri: Nobody created the rainbow colors, they exist, they are there but when the white light passes through a prism you can say you created them. If someone asks you, are the colors created by you or no, what do you say? Yes and no together because the colors are already there but it was not visible, you made it visible when you made the light pass through a prism. In the same way, the Devis and Devatas have always been there but giving them a name and honoring them was the brilliance of the Rishis
Q: There are dilemmas in life, and I lack decision making power. What should be done?
Sri Sri: Wherever there is duality(dvait), there will be a dilemma. Whenever you are in daily activities (vyavahar), there will be dilemma. There is no choice, accept it.