Q: What is the most simple act of service that one can do?
Sri Sri: Service can be anything. The world does not expect you to do what you cannot do. Doing what you can do without expecting anything in return is service. There are two ways. Either we expect joy out of what we do or we do it with an expression of joy. This is the difference between a job and service.
Q: My heart and mind are often in conflict. Which should I follow?
Sri Sri: Use each at different times. Do not do business with your heart. Do not do service with your mind.
Q: In trying times we find people are letting us down in government, business and religion. How do you think these leaders should be handled?
Sri Sri: Compassion. Mahatma Gandhi created a brand of politicians who were widely respected. I say spiritualize politics, globalize wisdom and secularize religion. Everyone should know a little bit about every religion in the world. If everyone could learn a little about Buddhism, Hinduism, Sectism, Janism, Christianity, then the whole mosaic of religion would be available. That’s the only way we can understand each other and move on to spirituality. If every child knows a little bit about each religion, they would grow up with an acceptance of all religions.
Q: What’s your secret for having so much energy, such a big heart and so much compassion?
Sri Sri: Simplicity. When you are not being yourself, you get exhausted. When you try to impress someone or expect something from someone, you become burdened.
Q: Any predictions when the world will be one?
Sri Sri: When you and I start working together. Technology has made the globe into a village.Spirituality will make it a family.
Sri Sri then invited people in the audience to visit India.
Q: How do you know when to forgive someone?
Sri Sri: When something starts to bother you too much.
Q: What do you think of religious scandals? How can you avoid such scandals?
Sri Sri: If somebody has made such a mistake, he/she should simply admit it. There are such people in every field who don’t speak the truth. Don’t blame the field for it. There are doctors who steal kidneys and sell it for a price. Some people are scared of being operated. But you cannot doubt all the doctors. Noble professions like medicine and education are becoming corrupt. There is a fine line between being cautious and being paranoid, and prejudice occurs when you cross the line.
Q: How does the ’Art of Living’ relate to a person’s beliefs and practices?
Sri Sri: You can have your own beliefs and practices because the ’Art of Living’ believes in diversity. One can follow one’s own religion and move on with spirituality.
Q: I’m very afraid of flying. The fear controls me. What can I do to control my fear?
Sri Sri: Observe the sensation. Fear is the opposite of love, yet fear can transform into love. You can also go through and move beyond all these cycles by taking the ‘Advance Meditation Course’ .
Q: You are like Mahatma Gandhi? Did he inspire you?
Sri Sri: While we were little children, we grew up listening to stories of Gandhi. We grew up with a pride of being non-violent. My teacher was a close associate of Gandhi. The stories of non-violence were a part of our upbringing. We could never think of hurting anyone. This value was a part of our life.