Preguntas & Respuestas con Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: I don’t know what the aim of my life is? I lost my parents long ago, and I see them in dreams everyday. Sometimes I see you. What does that mean?
Sri Sri: That is ok. Dream is another dimension where all these things exist, all the experiences come. So, when you wake up, be fully in the waking state.
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: Any suggestions for people who suffer from allergies?
Sri Sri: Meditation, pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya will help. Also, there are two books all should pick up - Celebrating Silence and Celebrating Love. Last time I traveled to the U.S., I came through JFK. As I was passing through security, the man behind the X-ray machine in the next row came to me and showed me the book ‘Celebrating Silence’. He asked, “Are you this person?” I looked at it and said, “Looks like that”. He asked me to sign the book. I said that usually I only sign the customs form! I gave my signature and he told me, “Someone gave me this book on my birthday last December and since then my life has changed. I’ve just read one page here and there over time and it has made such a difference”. He has not done a meditation course or anything. So, it would be good if all read it. It is not any big philosophical text but just snippets of wisdom. ‘Celebrating Silence’ and ‘Celebrating Love’. Also you can put on a meditation CD to relax. After a while, you won’t need any extra support.
You have come now, so drop all your worries here. Give me all your worries, botherations and problems. I want you to go home knowing that you are not alone. You can heal and bless other people. I tell you, it’s not only Guruji who gives blessings and healing. Everyone has this power to heal and to bless. So, anyone of you who wants to do that, you have to do a little bit more meditation, pranayama, kriya and you will have the power to bless others. There are seven billion people on the planet. So, we each must come up with this ability to bless others.
Q: I am a restless soul. I always want to take up the next thing, whether it be new job, new country, new place, new things. I don’t know what is it that I am searching for? Do you have any suggestions for me?
Sri Sri: Your soul is restless! How do you know? Have you found your soul? (Jokingly) Your restlessness is because you want more. You want more joy, more and more. It is like Bulimia. You eat food but you are not satisfied. You take it out, and then you eat more food. Relax. You have to find peace. You need to hurry up till you are not on the spiritual path. Like you have to hurry up before catching the flight. But once you are on the plane, there is no fun if you run inside the plane with your baggage on your head! You are not going to reach any faster. Once you are on the path, you simply have to relax. It is also said in Bhagwad Geeta that ‘A yogi who is beginner has to work to earn karma’. But then you have to learn to relax. The more you relax, the faster you reach. If you take more time to relax, it takes long to reach. I know what are you searching for – your inner self - the source of all wealth, happiness and joy. And that is deep within you. Especially, when you meditate in a group of regular meditators, it has a different effect. Have you noticed that it had a different effect when you meditate today in the group, in this presence? (Affirmative yes from the audience). So it is much better to meditate in a group. You progress faster when you meditate with meditators. Then you realize that you have gained an ability to smile through and through, nothing really bothers you or touches you, nature loves you, and reverberates with you. I was having a discussion with one of the great scientists of the time. He was telling me about string theory. Every animal brings a particular type of energy, rythm or vibration on the planet Earth. Even if one animal is missing, the unverse will collapse. Suppose, if all the house flies gets extinguished from the planet, human beings will also dissappear. So, all the species of animals and birds are important for sustaining the universe. Ancient vedic people knew this. In ancient Indian methodologies, they have put different Gods and Goddesses on different animals. It is said that these angels or Gods/Goddesses ride on those animals, and come to the planet Earth. Mother Divine energy comes on lion. These are opposite values, but they bring in that type of energy to the ground. It is not that Mother Divine has to sit on lion and travel. But it means that cosmic consciousness brings that energy down to the planet Earth through that particular animal. Like crows are connected with ancestors and planet Saturn. Mars is connected with sheeps and goats. Each planet is connected with a particular animal, and each God/Goddess is connected with a particular energy. God/Goddess is nothing but a particular energy that descend to the Earth through that particular animal.
Q: What can I do to come out of the guilt and self judgement? I feel so bad when I do things even though I know in my heart that what I have done is the best for me?
Sri Sri: More advance courses.
Q: How can one experience true love in a relationship?
Sri Sri: I can give you three suggestions. One is for men, one for women and one for both. Women should never step on the ego of a man. Women should always boost the ego of a man. Even if the husband is a stupid, the wife should say, “You are the most brilliant man I have ever seen.” You should always praise him. He shouldn’t have to prove himself to you at home because the world requires him to prove himself. He should find peace at home. You should say, “You are the most brilliant man I have ever seen. Just the fact that you don’t use your brain doesn’t mean that you don’t have it. You are the most brilliant.” So, praise your man all the time.
Now there is one suggestion for men. Never step on the emotions of a woman. She may complain to you about her family but you should better not join the bandwagon. She may turn it around. She may take a U-Turn and say, “How dare you say such things about my family. What do you know about my family?” So if she is complaining, you just listen. She is paying lip service. If you say something and you hurt her, it is not worth it. When she wants to go for a religious service or a meditation program or retreat, don’t stop her. And when she wants to go for shopping, just give her your credit card. This will keep peace at home.
There is a suggestion for both men and women. The key to keeping peace at home is that you stop demanding love. You normally say, “Do you really love me? You don’t love me the same way. You have changed. You are different.” Asking people to prove their love for you is such a psychological burden. Just imagine yourself in their place. Imagine if someone demands from you to prove your love for them. What would you do? You’d say, “Oh my God, how long do I have to prove my love for this person?” One day, two days, three days, four days and then you feel like enough. This is what happens. There is a book called ‘Celebrating Love’ that you can read. There are many ideas about love in the book. We don’t know how to receive love unless we know how to give love. How can we express that love? Our expression is something that we keep looking for. So, don’t demand that others express their love. Instead, you should ask, “Why do you love me so much?” Especially on a day when you disagree or they are being nasty, you can say “why do you love me so much? I don’t deserve it!” Even for someone who is angry, you say, “you love me much more than I deserve”. Their attitude would change. Love would spring up in them. If you start demanding, you are destroying love.
Q: If everything is changing and transient, then what is the point in doing anything?
Sri Sri: What is the point in asking this question? What is the point of understanding? You do because you can’t but do something in this world. So, even that is the part of the change. ‘Everything is changing’ – this is for an understanding. You have to keep doing, and if you do things that brings you peace, and which will take you towards evolution, it is like swimming along the current. And if you do something against the evolution, it is like swimming against the current.
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: What’s the fastest and easiest way to avoid stress and depression?
Sri Sri: Inside every culprit there is a victim crying out for help. We need to heal the victim. We all have to try to do some work in this society. You know, we can create a violence-free society, disease-free body, confusion-free mind, inhibition-free intellect, trauma-free memory and sorrow-free soul. This should be our mission.
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?