Dear Gurudev, if consciousness is one, then are we as we think we are. Can one experience anyone else’s body, or experience? Can one transfer their soul or dislodge and lodge at will?
Sri Sri: Do you see how many bulbs are there in this room? Are these bulbs different? Yes, they are all different bulbs, but the electricity that runs through them, is it different? No.
So, on one level it is all different, and at another level, all are the same. Like that, there are many levels of understanding, and many levels of reality. There are as many levels of reality as there are levels of understanding. You should not mix them all up.
There is a story of Adi Shankara.
Once, Adi Shankara was sharing, ‘This whole world, that is everything, is nothing.’ So, he was saying, ‘This is all nothing.’ Like the modern day scientists say, ‘All this matter is nothing because it is all just waves.’
As he was saying, ‘Everything is nothing’, just then a mad elephant started running towards him. So Shankara ran to take cover.
Then someone said, ‘Oh, that elephant is nothing. Why are you running?’
Shankara then said, ‘The elephant is nothing and my running is also nothing.’
So don’t confuse the reality.
Someone dreamt of a tiger and in a half asleep state, he started looking for his gun to shoot the tiger. But next to him was his wife. She shook him and said, ‘I am your wife, not the tiger!’ He had to wake up and see.
To shoot a dream tiger, you need a dream gun. You can’t shoot the dream tiger with a real gun. Correct? So there are different levels of reality and we need to understand each of them, and that enriches life.
Dear Gurudev, sometimes I cry because of the inability to see who I am? This question has almost shut my life down. How can I be able to act from the place of knowing?
Sri Sri: You can’t make yourself an object of knowing. You are the knower.
A baby does not make the mother an object of knowledge, does he? As soon as a baby wakes up, it does not say, ‘Mummy, where did you come from? Which school did you go to? Who is your mother? Who is your father? What is your name?’
Does a baby ask anyone of these questions? No, baby just falls in love with the mother. He doesn’t care who the mother is, where she was born, or brought up, or what her name is. It does not make the mother an object of knowledge, or knowing.
A baby just falls in love with the mother. Same way you cannot make God an object of knowing. Or the Higher Self, an object of knowing. You can just be with that.
And you are in the right place for that. The meditation and these practices that you are doing, is really the answer to it. Just be at home.
Dear Gurudev, I am always afraid of displeasing God. I am unsure if my actions please God. How do I resolve this?
Sri Sri: No, don’t worry. I will advocate on your behalf. You relax. But don’t do anything that pricks your own conscience.
Many times, your own conscience pricks you. It tells you, ‘No, you should not do this’, or, ‘Why do you have to do that?’
Do only what you feel comfortable with.
Gurudev, is there any advice on how a woman should prepare herself spiritually before and after the conception of her child?
Sri Sri: No, you should simply remember that you are spiritual.
See, what are the qualities of God, or what is Divinity?
That which is there; that which is omnipresent. It is present everywhere. If it is not present in you, will it be God? What is the first characteristic of God? Omnipresence! So can God be present in some places, and not be present in some places? No!
Omnipresent means, present everywhere. And so it is present inside you; in you, yes!
One thing is settled, God is present in you.
The next quality is, He is eternal. He was there, he is there, and he will always be there. So, if God is present in the present moment, is He present now? Yes! He is present in you, and He is present now.
Then, He belongs to everyone. So does He belong to you? Yes, He belongs to you!
And He is capable.
Just taking these four points, and relaxing, that is what it is.
Many times, when we speak of God, we say He. But God is neither He nor She. So the ancient Rishis coined a word called Brahman. Brahman is neither He nor She, nor It, but everything.
You can call it He, She or It. That Brahman is present everywhere; ever so present in you, and present all the time. The Brahman belongs to everybody, belongs to you, and it is capable. This is good enough for you to think, and relax.
God is in me, God is present now, God belongs to me, and is capable.
Gurudev, at the Upanishads, you were talking about turning the intellect inwards in order to experience Brahman. Is this possible when there are desires? I still get tempted to choose what is nice, over what is right. What do I do? Love you.
Sri Sri: Well, I think you have too much time to examine yourself. Come on, get busy. Do some seva, do some good actions and be natural.
I am not one of those who say, ‘Oh you should put some bitter things into everything that you eat, and why do you want to taste good food?’ No. If you prefer good food, you should have good food. But hankering for it, thinking about it all the time, is not good.
Dear Gurudev, I read that one needs to experience all 5 bodies in order to go beyond, or to get enlightenment. Why is this a scary thought? When I imagine myself expanding or when I actually experience it, I get scared?
Sri Sri: Don’t worry, just relax. That is why you need a teacher in the spiritual realm, so that teacher is there, and says, ‘Don’t worry, I am here.’
When you hear that from the teacher, ‘Don’t worry I’m here’, you get the confidence to move on.
Gurudev, you said that there is life on other planets. When a soul is reborn, does it always go back to the same planet where its impressions are from, or can it get re-routed to another planet?
Sri Sri: All is possible. Re-routing is very much possible
We are all on the path towards enlightenment. If we do not achieve it this lifetime, do we pick up from where we left off?
Sri Sri: Yes, correct.
Dearest Sri Sri, I believe that we are eternal. But what does eternal mean?
Sri Sri: Listen, the Sun has been there since a long time, right? And it will continue to be there. So the Sun is eternal; Earth is eternal. Everything that surpasses time, is eternal.
Like, you are the same person yesterday, today, and tomorrow. You were the one who went to school, and you are the one who went to college. There is something in you that is continuing, but your body has changed. Body is not the same, every cell in your body is changing. Old cells go away, new cells get generated. But still there is something that is continuing inside, isn’t it?
Gurudev, please help me to figure out my calling.
Sri Sri: Why are you sitting and waiting for more calling? Don’t start searching for the Sun at noon. You are already in the right place. This is your calling!
A global phenomenon is happening, where millions of people are turning from the material mind to a spiritual level. A revolution is happening around the world.
You know, last September when I was in South America, I went to Argentina. There is a prison there where 5,200 Argentinian inmates have done the course. Same with Brazil.
When I went to Rio, in the prison there, I found a room that read, ‘The Art of Living Center.’ Inside the prison, they have put my picture, Art of Living books, and tapes. This is where people come every day, and find inner peace. When I went there, they were all sobbing. They were crying. They were saying, ‘Our lives are totally transformed.’
There are good people there.
Same in Argentina, there was not one person with dry eyes. The judges from the city, from the Supreme Court, said they wanted to come and see the big revolution that has happened. They came along with me to see, and hear the experience of the prisoners. The same prisoners who were fighting, hitting each other had changed.
It was so difficult for the jailers to keep peace in the prison. Now that has totally changed.
Now, they all wear a badge and pledge for non-violence. They say, ‘We won’t fight; we are for peace.’
There is so much work to be done. Don’t sit and wait for an imaginary calling, that one day somebody will call you from inside. Calling is loud and clear, just join in. There is so much work here. Take up any of the service projects.
Recently, I went to one of the (Art of Living) schools in India, in the remote tribal areas. The parents of the children in that school have never seen a school. The children are first generation school-goers. When I went there, they were sitting at a computer, in a remote village. It was so heartwarming to see that change.
So much work is happening. We need more hands.
Why don’t you come here, to this ashram and bring people from time to time. Make use of it. It is not only when Gurudev comes that we should come. Make a groups of 10-15 people and bring them here for a weekend. Even if they have not done the course, never mind, they can still come. We can easily accommodate 200 people.
Bring them in batches, sit, talk some wisdom, do a small guided meditation, have good food, and take them back. Tell the kitchen in advance, they will make you 4-5 items minimum. Some good food, some singing, dancing, and then take them around.
See, there are many things you can do. So many people are getting depressed, and unhappy. Just locking themselves up in their rooms and being in the virtual world, only on the internet and television. Get them out from there. Ask them to come live your life.
‘Let us create a wave of happiness’, tell them that. Bring them around. Bring such celebration into the lives of other people.