Preguntas & Respuestas con Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: 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
Q: 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?
Q: Since I joined The Art of Living, you have taken care of all my worries. My only question is, why is it that whenever I see you, my eyes are always full of tears?
Sri Sri: That is correct. That is how it is.
In one of the Upanishads, they have spoken about, what happens when you have a sight of the beloved.
When you come in touch with wisdom, your heart opens, and when the heart opens, all the doubts in the mind disappear, tears come rolling down, and all karma vanish.
'Bidhyanti hridaya granthi’, the knots in the heart gets opened.
‘Chidyanthe sarva samshayaha’, all the doubts in the mind disappear.
‘Ksheenatechaasya karmani’, all the karmas get thinned down, and they vanish.
That is the sign of wisdom, knowledge, and enlightenment. When you have a glimpse of enlightenment, these all will happen.
I remember, once I was here, at the Montreal ashram, (it was not yet built then. We had just bought the land and I was staying in Florrabell) a journalist came and she wanted to interview me. As soon as she sat down with me, she said, ‘Oh my God! What is happening to me? I am forgetting everything! I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.’
Tears were rolling down her eyes and she said, ‘This has never happened to me before. I’m so sorry.’ She was so apologetic. She kept crying.
I said, ‘Never mind, don’t worry, this happens.’
She forgot all the questions she had wanted to ask, and this happens many times.
Q: 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.
Q: 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.
Q: 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.
Q: Gurudev, how does a spiritually oriented scientist survive in an ego filled discipline?
Sri Sri: Happily! If you are a scientist, be happy. Just say, ‘Hey, come on! This is all just wave functions.’
If someone is getting annoyed, just say, ‘Hey! Wave function! The frequency has changed.’ That is all.
Someone is happy, different frequency. If there is jealously, ‘Oh, they have changed to third frequency.’ Someone is upset, or depressed, ‘Frequency has changed again.’ It is all just frequencies, that’s it.
Would anyone be upset about the changing frequencies? No. So see everybody as nothing but frequencies. Then nothing will touch you, okay!
Enjoy the variety, enjoy the diversity. It is not worth losing your smile for anything out there.
If someone has ego, so what? They need compassion. They are ignorant.
What do you have for people who are in ignorance? Compassion, isn’t it? If someone is in ego, you must think, ‘Poor chap, he thinks he is somebody. Sooner or later he is going to go under the ground. He doesn’t know this. He does not know that he is just a rag doll of a huge wave of energy.’
So have compassion for egoistical people.
See, when you want recognition from others, it is then that you recognize the ego, and this is the problem.
If somebody has ego, how does it bother you? You should walk happily. They should feel ashamed looking at you. Look at this man, he is so happy! Egoistical people should feel jealous seeing you being happy. It depends on you.
If you recognize the ego of others, it will get into you, and you will walk like a mouse. Walk like a lion, and be happy. Don’t frown, or roar like a lion, just smile and feel like a lion inside.
Q: 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?
Q: 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.
Q: 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.