Preguntas & Respuestas con Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: What are your thoughts on the ‘Modern theory of evolution’? If it is true, then at what stage do souls come? What happened to souls before that?
Sri Sri: Modern theories are evolving. They think that things have to begin somewhere. I would call it as linear understanding. But there is a spherical thinking, that is lacking here. In the Orient, there is sperical thinking. In the Occident, there is only linear thinking. According to that , everybody had to be born, there had to be one Adam and Eve, and all are their children. That means everybody is sibling of each other. Then how could one be married to anybody? This is what is called the original sin. Because that way marriage itself is a sin. If God could create one Adam and one Eve, then why couldn’t he create ten such. And then why would God create such an apple, fruit of wisdom, if He was to ask them not to eat that? These things need to be understood. Our understanding is very limited. We need to think spherical. In spherical thinking, there was not only one being who was created in the beginning, but everything simultaneously came into existence. The whole world came into existence simultaneously. What would you say if I ask you about the beginning point of a tennis ball? Every point in the tennis ball is the first point, and the last point as well. Ancient people had this spherical thinking, and that is why they said, “The world is Anadi and Anant(Beginingless and endless )”. The souls are beginingless and endless. And the cause of the existence of the universe, that is the divinity, is beginingless and endless. All three are one. This is the theory of Advaita that everything is made up of one. This is the theory of relativity. This is what the String theory and the modern scientists say. Einstein was startled when he read Bhagwad Geeta.
All is made up of the same consciousness. In animal cookies, all animals like elephants, giraffes, Zebra, Cat are made up of the same size. Children think that they are eating different animals but the maker knows that all is made up of the same. Objects in the universe, living or non – living, moving or non – moving, are made up of the same. This is what is said in scriptures like Upanishads and ‘Guru Granth Sahib’(Sikh holi scripture). Sikhism has one of the best greetings in the world – Satsriakal. Sat is truth, Sri is wealth, and Akal is beyond time. So when you greet saying Satsriakal, it means, ‘May you understand the true wealth, the timeless spirit that you are. Everyday you greet each other and remind that you are the timeless eternity, infinity and true wealth. What are you looking for here and there? Isn’t that great?
Q: How can I safely detoxify my body?
Sri Sri: Pranayama, proper diet, raw food, juice, vegetables, and relaxation.
Q: I understand that everything is going to change. It gives me so much relief. But if everything is going to change, then why am I here? What is it that we need to do? I cannot continue without the answer to this question.
Sri Sri: The question or the idea that ‘everything is changing’ has done its job. It has created the spirit of enquiry. What am I here for? What is it that I am to do? What is the purpose of life? These questions are important to arise. These scratch the brain and opens a new avenue for you. Don’t be in a hurry to get the answer. Everything is impermanent that means everything is changing, and vice versa. For everything to be changing, there must be something that is not changing. Realizing it and living it is all life about. That is the reference point. So wonder about these questions. This will take away all the unnecesaary things like worrying about trivial issues. It helps you not to be jealous or greedy or angry.
Q: Dear Guruji, you talk about dispassion. Then what about passion? I think that people follow a career, business or profession just for money, and then money becomes their passion. Don’t you think that youth should follow their heart, passion and dreams?
Sri Sri: You should have a dream and passion. You should follow that, but not with the feverishness. If you want to go to Niagra falls, you go. Who said not to go? You make the necessary arrangements and visit the place. But if that deeply gets into your head , and you keep on thinking about it all the time, then you will end up landing somewhere else. With this feverishness, your mind loses clarity, and you don’t get right ideas or thoughts. Having passion and dispassion are complementary. Dispassion brings you centeredness, settles you down, and you become calm. When you have passion, and you are acting, it drives you to things that you want to have. Deep rest and dynamic activity are complementary. How can you be dynamically actice if you have not given deep rest to your mind and body? Someone who has never slept cannot feel energetic at all. Sameway, if you are not dispassionate, you cannot be passionate. You will only be feverish with desires and cravings in your mind, with no ability to act.
Q: How does the end of this pencil erases? (Laughter from audience)
Sri Sri: That is what every pencil is supposed to do. Life is that way. If every pencil i.e. every human being can erase whatever the mind writes, you become hollow and empty. If you can erase everything – Right-Wrong, good-bad, you become hollow and empty.
Q: Which decisions are to be taken from heart, and which are to be taken from head?
Sri Sri: When you are to do business, you do it with your head. When you are to do service, you do it from your heart.
More from the same knowledge session will be included in the next post.
Q: Can you please describe me what ego is? How can one resolve ego? How do ego and love go together, or don’t they?
Sri Sri: Ego is a sense of seperateness, a sense of identity. There are three ways to see ego.
1. Ego is identity. I am this. This is one ego.
2. Ego is also I am not this.
3. Ego is also I am seperate from others.
How to dissolve this ego?
Either you expand your ego. I am this, I am that, I am that too. For instance, one ego is that you think you are an officer. But if you are stuck with only being an officer, and you come home and be officer to your kids and wife, you create a problem. Suppose you are a major or colonel in the military, and if you behave with your family in the same role, then you are stuck in your ego of being an army officer. Your one identity is that you are a colonel, but you are a father/mother with your children, you are a husband/wife with your spouse, you are a son/daughter with your parents and so many. When you balance all these identities in your life giving equal importance to all these, that is the way you dissolve your ego. Ego is getting stuck with any one identity. From that limited identity to identify with the unlimited divinity is the path of expanding, or you can call it dissolving identity. So you move from me to Aham Brahaman, I am somebody to becoming I am nobody, and I am nobody to I am everybody. Now this looks very philosophical. You can’t go to your office and say that you are nobody, nor can you say at your home that you are everybody. It is not going to work. So, I would say that the simple way to counter your ego is to be natural. Ego makes you feel uncomfortable, unnatural and seperate. Egolessness,or expanded ego or transformed ego is being at home, being natural with everyone in every circumstances. Rather, it is being like a child. I would say just be like a child.
One last thing I would like to say about ego is that if you find you have any ego, then don’t try to dissolve it. You can keep it in your pocket. Don’t meddle with it, and don’t bother about it. Let it be there. Ok?
Q: You are amazing. Just a few minutes with you and all my worries are gone. Thank you for everything. How do you fit with Jesus and his message?
Sri Sri: His message was love. The ’Art of Living’ is also about the same. Jesus said to serve people, and the’Art of Living’ is about service. It fits in 100 percent. It may not fit with the methodology of the church, but it definitely fits with the ideals of Jesus. Jesus never said, ”you are a sinner”. In the old times, when people were crude, the church used guilt and fear in its methodology, which is perhaps not suitable for this age. For today’s age we are sophisticated and friendly, we do not have to carry guilt and sadness. We fit 100 percent with Jesus’ philosophy. The first priority is not to blame others or yourself. If you do, you will never be able to settle your mind, you will want to run away from people, and you’ll run away from yourself as well. Stop blaming yourself and others too.
Q: I am going through a hard time in life. My wife cheated on me but now wants to be back. What to do? I don’t have much trust anymore, but I find it hard to breakup. I am confused and worried about the future. Can the love develop again?
Sri Sri: Ya, certainly. Have a broad mindset. Suppose you were in that state. You made a mistake and you repented it, and you want your wife to forgive you. How would you feel if she doesn’t and hold on to it. How would you feel? Same way a mistake has happened through her. Some mistakes happen through you and some through her. Forget about it. Live in the present moment. Give her a chance. Move on to the future. But if it keeps happening too many times, then you can take a decision. If it is once or twice, you should give her a fair chance. If it happens more than three times, then you put your foot. I have no experience in this field. I can’t give any better advice on this. So, this could be a suggestion. I don’t know in what way has she cheated you, but it may not be so intentional. Our ‘Art of Living’s’ policy is not to see intention behind others’ mistakes. Once, twice, thrice as much as your capacity is there, you keep forgiving. But then when it comes upto your neck, you say, “No more”.
There was a king who was all the time hurling abuses at Lord Krishna, when Lord Krishna was here on the planet. This Jarasandha was insulting him, and spreading wrong rumours about him. Lord Krishna forgave him not once, twice but 100 times. His patience was 100 times. But then Lord Krishna said, “I have forgiven you 100 times. I am not going to stop now. I want to finish off you now. I have given you enough room, you didn’t change. The only way is you to be punished”. So, it depends upon our capabilities. Jesus also said to forgive. See how much patience you have. How much can you take to forgive? Not just your wife but everybody for that matter.
Q: Guruji, I often get confused. What should I do?
Sri Sri: ConFused – Fusion with the consciousness and cosmos. Everytime you get confused, know that you are growing.