Preguntas & Respuestas con Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Dearest Gurudev, what should one do when one feels lonely despite being among people?
Sri Sri: I would say that is very good. If you feel lonely, just remember that everything is a dream. Then the next step you take is one where you find that everything is yours (meaning: everything belongs to you). This feeling of loneliness among people, is one step towards the expanded state of realization.
Q: Why do you have 2 Sris in your name? That’s a tricky one.
Sri Sri: Oh, I thought three is too much.
Actually, my name was getting confused with the sitar player. Even big media channels, when Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away, had put my photograph. And all were thinking and saying that I am no more on this planet. I am still here.
So at a point of time, Pandit Ravi Shankar’s name was getting confused with mine. And if you put just one Sri Ravi Shankar, that would be common. So Sri Sri could make it a little bit more specific and clear a lot of confusions which were arising, because many times people think that I am playing sitar and come to my program.
Many times, our famous Sitar player got calls to inquire when he was conducting meditation classes. So to save both of us from this problem, we both agreed that I should keep it in this way.
Q: Dear Gurudev, why is it that I find pleasure in misery, and an unwillingness in my mind to let go of it?
Sri Sri: This is my question to you. It is not normal to find pleasure in misery. It does not reflect a very normal state of mind, and it is not healthy. It is not difficult to overcome this. Do not think that it is difficult to get rid of this state.
Q: Dear Gurudev, could you please guide me on the path of what I need rather than the path of what I want?
Sri Sri: You should simply believe that whatever you need will surely be provided to you. And you should chase the laziness out of your life. These are two things that you need to do.
If you are lazy and say, 'What I need will be provided', that is not right. And if you are afraid of not getting what you need, that also is no good. So, you should not be lazy and you should have the faith that what you need will come to you.
Q: Sometimes, even after doing one’s Sadhana and practices, the chattering mind does not stop. How to make it stop? How to be at peace?
Sri Sri: Dispassion (Vairagya) is the only way to make the mind stop chattering. Just realize that everything is a dream. It will all soon come to an end.
You know, the chattering (of the mind) is always with regards to a subject, a topic, or with a want. Worries and wants are responsible for the chattering of the mind. Drop your worries and your wants, that is what is called Vairagya.
Q: Gurudev, in my life nowadays I feel that I have forgotten everything that happened to me in the past. Even if I try to remember certain events, I cannot remember them. My mind is at peace, and I feel as if all my past has been erased. Is it alright?
Sri Sri: It is very good actually. You should forget things after sometime (and not hold on to anything). Yes, do not forget your way back home; or your keys to the car, etc.
Q: People asked you so many questions. We’ve asked you so many questions here. Is there a question that you would like to ask us? And would you want to tweet that question to all of us?
Sri Sri: Just think what is that you would like to contribute to the society around you. How would you like to contribute to the world, to your nation? What would you like to do, or give back to the world? I would like you all to think on that and come up with some concrete programs and plans.
Q: Gurudev, if I am enlightened, would I still continue to do my work;?
Sri Sri: Yes, absolutely. You have to be very ordinary only. If you think that you are someone very special, then that is not enlightenment.
Q: Gurudev, there are two aspects to the present moment. One is that it is vast and infinite, as well as deep. There are so many things happening at the same instant. What is its other dimension or dimensions? Can you please explain?
Sri Sri: That is correct. The present moment is not linear, it is spherical. It is both vast and deep. There are infinite dimensions to the present moment. When you go deep in meditation, you experience this and realize that everything is in this moment only.
The depth of silence, the depth of visions, dreams, etc., is all here and now – in the present moment. Our consciousness is so vast and deep.
Yesterday, we sang this song in Satsang, 'Antaratmani Guruve'. It means, the Guru principle is very deep within us. Then it says, 'Atma-tamo hari', meaning it lifts the veil of ignorance from the Self.
The song says, 'O Guru! You are present deep within me as my spirit'.
And what does the Guru principle do? It removes the darkness of the soul. The song then says, 'There are so many feelings arising in me; this forest of feelings is so complex and complicated. Yet you somehow move through this dense forest of complicated feelings'.
See, when the poet would have written this, he must have had some very deep experience. It is not so simple to comprehend the depth of this verse, especially for an educated (logical) mind. For such a person, not just his mind, even his heart is also like that. Feelings are so confusing and chaotic. Yet the poet says, 'O Guru! You are moving through this complex forest. Just like a ray of light (of hope) moving through the dark dense forest of feelings in the mind'.
It is a very beautiful poem that the poet has written.
In the next verse, the poet says, 'Millions of lifetimes have passed, and there are countless samskaras (impressions) that have gathered; yet your impression is the strongest and deepest. O Guru! Your impression has become the ultimate impression upon my soul, because within this impression, every other impression is getting dissolved. So, this one impression of yours is the Parama-charama; the highest and the ultimate of all'.
It is the final impression of all. Just like how there can be many foot prints on the ground, but when the elephant walks, the foot prints it makes are the largest of all than any of the other animals, like the lion or the tiger. So every other footprint gets done away with. The elephant’s foot is round and large in size. No other animal has got such big footprints. So what the verse says is, that the ultimate impression – that of the Guru – has come on my mind.
In the next verse, the poet says, 'Life is full of positive and negative aspects; merits and sins. It is all a Leela (a play of the Divine)'.
The poet calls it Lalita-Rudra Leela, which means, it is a play of both the pleasant and the unpleasant or the terrible. Yet it is all a play; it is either a pleasant entertaining one or a tragic and terrible one. One experiences merits and demerits, good and bad experiences in life. But in the end, it is all a play. And in this play, you (Guru) are sometimes in the form and sometimes in the formless. So he says, 'O Guru! At times, you are with me as form and at other times you come as the formless presence . And at all times you are unveiling the darkness of the soul'.
Q: Gurudev, for the first time, scientists have been able to capture and record sounds from the depths of the Universe. Those sounds resemble that of the birds chirping at dawn, and they are mixed with the sounds from the Sun. It all seems very astonishing and fascinating. Please tell us what secret this is.
Sri Sri: Nature is a gold mine of such secrets. So many kinds of secrets lay hidden in the lap of Mother Nature.
A great scientist had visited the Ashram just day before yesterday. He brought a titanium radar along with him to measure the energy of the Ashram. He told me that the readings in the city were around 3.5 for the entropy (a scientific term signifying the degree of disorder or random movement of particles or objects in space).
When he came to the Ashram, the reading fell to 0.5 (indicating a peaceful and stable environment). He also found that at the time of Satsang and the Purnaahuti (the peak moment of final offering to the sacrificial fire of a ritual), the reading fell to zero for a few moments! A zero reading means coming into contact, or being completely in the presence of God!
He told me that he had never witnessed such a thing before in his whole life. He said that the radar showed Zero entropy at those times. He was very fascinated with this.
He conducted a thorough scientific study with the titanium radar for one whole hour. He said that the atmosphere of the Ashram is so peaceful and has such positive vibrations. He said that there is so much harmony here because the entropy readings are so low (higher entropy values correspond to more chaos and disorderly wave vibrations in the environment).
He said that where the entropy is less, there is more orderliness and harmony. He said that in the city, the entropy value is 3.5.
In the same way, scientists today are able to determine where there is a greater presence of Divinity (positive vibrations and harmony). We anyway experience this when we are here.
I have heard many people tell me that the moment they step foot in the Ashram, their entire state of mind becomes so positive. How many people have had this experience? (Many in the audience raise hands)
So, Nature is very mysterious.