Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Sometimes it seems all this is untruth, we running after things knowingly or unknowingly. Sometimes I feel I am compulsorily driven away with the flow and that distresses me. What is it that doesn’t change? What is the truth?
Sri Sri: Truth cannot be spoken. Only in Silence, in deep meditation you can experience the truth!
Q: Why aren’t you hitting the world just like that? Why so slow?
Sri Sri: You all need a job too!
Q: Is there such a thing life after death? If there is no life after death what is the meaning of our existence?
Sri Sri: It is good to have some suspense!
Q: How does God see the world?
Sri Sri: God cannot see two. For God there is no you and I! He can only see himself in everything and everyone!!
Q: Guruji, telling the truth causes problems outside and telling lie creates problems inside? What to do?
Sri Sri: Solve the problem. Problems are to be seen as challenges. Someone who is brave like challenges and you are brave, I tell you.
Q: Are there fixed number of souls? If yes, then how come so many people are getting reborn on the planet? Why is population increasing in the world?
Sri Sri: Hmm! There are so many animals getting extinct also!
Q: Can you talk a little about the Soul - the self or Atma?
Sri Sri: It is step by step experiential understanding. Before going to atma, the self, you have to know the five elements of creation. What are the tatvas? Prithvi, ap, tej, vayu, and akash - Earth, water, fire, air and ether. Then comes the mind, buddhi (intellect), memory, ego, and maha tattva (self).
Q: What advice would you give to a skeptical non-believer?
Sri Sri: A very good beginning point. See that you don’t become cynical and frustrated. Skepticism is perfectly alright, but not cynicism. That drains your energy. One can be skeptical to begin one’s journey and I would very much appreciate and welcome that. Because you would have gone through skepticism, the faith will be strongly built.
Q: Guruji what is Shanti(peace)?
Sri Sri: We must make you sit in a closed small room and play loudspeaker 24 hrs. And not some good music, some heavy music. Then after 24 hrs, when we switch it off you will come to know what is Shanti. (Laughter!!!)
Q: In the Isha Vasya Upanishad it is said, “tena tyaktena bhunjitha” enjoy the world by renouncing. How can we do this?
Sri Sri: This is a skill! If there is no feverishness, it happens. Have you seen how a child behaves when he sees chocolates? He eats a couple, then stuffs some in one pocket and tries stuffing more in the other. The child is in a frenzy. An adult does not have this feverishness. When such feverishness for the objects is missing, then only you actually enjoy the object of senses.
You experience, you enjoy, but without craving for it, knowing that the joy comes from within you. The object is only a reflection. When you realize that joy is within and not in the object outside then only you can enjoy.
This is little profound and it clicks to a mature mind.