Preguntas & Respuestas con Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Guruji, I just completed the Yes Plus course. I am so grateful to you for this course. I want all my friends, whom I care for, to experience this joy that I am experiencing.
Sri Sri: Yes, many youths have benefited from the course. There are 43 universities in America where there are Yes Plus clubs, and students also get some credit in some universities if they do the course.
Q: What is the trademark of the ‘Art of Living’?
Sri Sri: Smile! If somebody says he/she has done the course but is not smiling, don’t believe them! They have not done the course truly.
Q: Please bless me for the new project.
Sri Sri: I give blessings in plenty, without restriction! It depends on you, how much you want to take.
There is plenty of water here, whatever is the capacity of your pot, that much only you can take.
Q: Guruji, so if someone slaps us, should we offer the other cheek also for the slap?
Sri Sri: If the person is sensitive, offer your other cheek, and he will not be able to do it. But if someone is insensitive like a buffalo, then you can give two three also!
Q: How do we protect our mind?
Sri Sri: That is a big job. In the Geeta it is said, even the most brilliant people are confused about what to do and what not to, and how to handle the mind. Protecting the mind is a very great task but we need knowledge to do it. Up to this moment, see all that has happened so far, it’s all gone! Finished.
When you are full of energy, prana, you suddenly see it’s all gone. Now! All that has happened is ok. Think about what to do now. Sometimes 100 percent of what you do will be successful, sometimes not. A farmer knows that not every seed, that he sows, will sprout. He takes the seeds and throws them in the field, and does not worry that this seed will sprout, this won't.
From now on, it’s a new chapter. Every day is a new chapter. Bring up this awareness again and again that the whole world is filled with my atma (soul) – it’s all Me. It’s one Consciousness. This one consciousness works through one person in one way, through another person in another way. It is one ocean with many waves.
If this vision comes to you even for just five seconds then there will be such a major transformation in your body and mind. Then a realization will spring in you ‘Aho!’
All worries are washed off. Just for a second, recognize that it’s only me in my enemy. I myself have started the Game. Understand this, but don't turn it into a mood making. Have this understanding only in the nivriti, not in the pravritti mode. If we bring advaita (non-duality) in vyavahar (behavior), we only create more delusion. In pravritti, see duality. Taking up of the human form is impossible without pravritti. How much pravritti and nivriti one should have is a very sensitive matter. When there is more pravritti, then one becomes too negative and one is asked to be in nivriti.
Q: In the ‘Art of living’, which yoga do we practice -hath yoga, raj yoga, karma yoga, or dhayan yoga?
Q: The other day you talked about the five elements. Can you throw some more light on the same?
Sri Sri: The whole world is made up of the five elements. We honor all the five elements.
There is a great tradition of honoring rivers. The river does not want you to offer flowers or fruits. This is not the way to worship. Also by putting sewage or garbage into rivers, how can you say that you are doing worship? Worship means honoring, and you can only fully honor once you stop dumping sewage, garbage, plastic into the rivers. A few years ago you could directly drink from a river. Today, no river is fit for drinking even from a hundred kilometers away from its source. Earlier even thousand kilometers away from its source, the river water was fit for drinking. In this country (India), people used only charcoal ashes, and not soap powder to clean vessels. They would use turmeric and many other herbal elements, which are bio-degradable. We are pouring so much industrial waste into the rivers. This is not honoring the jal tatva (water element).
Honoring the Earth element means we don't pollute the earth with plastic, poisonous fertilizers and chemicals. It means we are environment conscious.
Then there is the air element. We need to have clean energy. We have provided smokeless stoves in the villages of Maharashtra, which have been very successful. We need to honor air, and do whatever we can to have a clean air.
Then there is the space element. This is very abstract. You cannot catch space. When you save your mind from negativity, you are filling the space with joy. Then the air around becomes like that. You can create a space of mistrust, anger, greed, jealousy and selfishness. Or you could create a space of fun, joy, confidence, and coherence. You could create an accommodating space around you. If we always speak negatively about all mistakes, then there is nowhere on earth you can really survive. Everybody is imperfect. When we try to see perfection in others, then we forget to see our own imperfection. Protect the space, save the mind at any cost.
The five elements are part of the creation. You have to honor this beautiful creation and sustain it.
Q: Guruji, how much of Mahatma Gandhi’s principal of non violence should we apply in life?
Sri Sri: There is nothing new to follow the principal of non violence which is being applied since ancient time. One should follow and keep the principal of non violence in life. Sometimes if one has to slap someone for his good, but does it with a smile then it is not violence. See, one has to kick with a cane to make a buffalo move forward, where as a cow just moves with a sound. The gentle animals may not need the cane, but for animals like buffaloes and donkeys, cane is the only language they understand.
If we do any work with anger, hatred, jealousy, feeling of revenge etc. in mind –then that is an act of violence.
Q: I find a lot of things which are not OK. I don’t know how to go about correcting things which I find are not ok. Please guide.
Sri Sri: When you say, ‘It’s not ok, it’s not ok’, the seed of ‘not ok’ is not letting your mind to relax. When you are hanging on to the discomfort, how can you ever be comfortable? You have to accept things as they are. ‘It’s not ok, it’s not ok’ keeps you all outside. Those imperfections are there for a cause or purpose. It is going to be ok, it will take some time.
Things are ok the way they are now,
They will be ok in the future
Whatever happened in the past was ok.
When you understand this, you relax and in that relaxation you can meditate. When you want to retire, its nivriti but when you want to come out (of rest) its pravritti. Then you can act. When you are tired but you are hanging on to ‘what is not ok’, then you cannot retire. When you have to chill out, what do you say? ‘Everything is perfect,’ otherwise you can’t chill, you can’t act! It is neither pravritti, nor nivriti.
Dhyan yoga is nivriti, Karma yoga is pravritti. Most people are hanging onto the ‘not ok’ and are unable to relax, to enjoy life, to chill, to be creative. They are holding onto the seed of ‘not ok’. That person, this situation, the government, the administration - everything is not ok. Then it comes to you – ‘I am not ok’. Subtly, it reflects on you that you are not OK. Then you don't like that feeling, and to cover that up, you make up many justifications and the mind is all confused.
If tamogun is too much, you don't know the pravritti or the nivriti. When there is Satva, then we know what to act, when to act, whether to act or not.
When Rajogun prevails then its half way through - you regret and act. Many of us act and then we regret. Mother scolds her child, regrets it and then becomes nice.
In Satva, you don't regret, you retire and relax, there is clarity.
In Rajogun, there is confusion and chaos.
In Tamogun, there is total inertia and lethargy.
There is no strict border between the three gunas. It is very fluid, one flows into another.
Q: Sometimes people ask why you believe in Guru, and not just in God. My answer most of the times is Guru is my God. But is there any difference in God and Guru, please tell.
Sri Sri: It is fine. You don’t have to bother and justify so much to verify your statement. Just smile. There is no need to answer every question. You can say, ‘don’t you know that Soul, God, Guru –all are the same’. The whole universe is made up of one substance only. Like there is same electricity but flowing in different things-the bulb, the fan, the Air Conditioner etc. Likewise there may be different forms and norms, but we are made up of same thing (consciousness).