Preguntas & Respuestas con Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: How can I concentrate on my workload? I get so upset and disturb at times with customers complaints, which are totally not true.
Sri Sri: what’s great is when you can smile at complaints. You have achieved something if you can smile at Complaints. Complaints are opinions. Listen to them carefully and if there is something good in it then you can take or if it’s an outcome of prejudiced or biased mind, smile at them. That’s my policy. You can take something on board. I say you should take criticism with open mind and also give criticism with open mind; you should never be shy about criticism.
Q: I’m confused as to who I am, how can I be more natural? How can I be myself and develop a strong sense of self? Is it ok to be very different than other people?
Sri Sri: Confusion is a very good temporary state. Do you know when do you get confused? When you grow! When a particular concept in your mind just falls apart, breaks apart. You thought you were somebody, and that concept breaks so then there is confusion. So, it is a sign of growth. Is it shocking? Good. If you want to know who you are, you are in the right place and it is all right to be confused. In fact, we are all different yet we try to imitate others. That is where there is a problem. Just recognize the difference and celebrate the differences. To be yourself, you are in the right place. It’s all right to be different, your difference need not conflict with that of other people. People who are rebellious want to be different to compete. You can be different, but you don’t need to exhibit yourself as different. Got it?
Q: What is the goal of spirituality? I enjoy the path but do not know the goal.
Sri Sri: The goal is to bring a smile on your face that doesn’t wither away.
A smile that no one can take away.
A peace that simply expands and spreads to others.
A love that never diminishes or distorts.
That’s the power that you grow into.
It’s better that you don’t worry about the goal. You be in the moment, you will see you are on a conveyor belt or escalator. The steps take you where you have to go. You have to do nothing.
Q: Man creates wealth for security or insecurity?
Sri Sri: wealth is the means but if it becomes a means in itself then it becomes insecurity. If it is used as means then it definitely will help people more.
Q: I see lots of people around me, I do not why they have come here. And for what? it goes beyond me, even I am sitting here I have no clue why I am here, Is it because of some hollowness within me
Sri Sri: This is more a wonder then a question, I leave that wonder with you, Life should be full of wonders and it’s good to wonder, why is there so much beauty. You know we often question in misery. We wonder at the beauty in the world. Every wonder is nothing but a question which is not looking for an answer. Life is a journey where you turn question into wonder.
Q: What is driving many people away from faith and religion, and why do faith and power to pull people from doing good towards the society exist? Can you please talk about the destruction and dimensioning in the world about Maris in NZ and aborigine in Australia, all the native loving traditions are getting destroyed.
Sri Sri: I am for preserving the natives around the world, and I always encourage them to preserve it. I have seen similarities between aborigine in Australia, Maori in NZ, Arunachal Pradesh in India and British Columbia in Canada. The way they welcome a guest is so loving. They all have similar traditions and cultures. In the past, there was some connection or similar culture all over the world. You know, we need to celebrate the diversity and not think that everybody should be like us. We should take good things from every culture and I feel that is the way we can overcome the terrorism in the world.
If every child knows a little bit about all the wisdom in the world then they grow up much wiser. They don’t become fanatics or fundamentalist or terrorist. You know, terrorists think that only they know the truth, only they will go to heaven and everybody else will go to hell but they create hell for everybody else. No sense of global wisdom and we have to take responsibility because we haven’t globalised wisdom. We have globalised everything else on the planet from Potato Chips to Coco cola but we haven’t given a comprehensive wisdom for youth of the world, don’t you think so?
Every child should know a little about all cultures and religions in the world and they will start to feel connecting with all the cultures. Every child should know little bit about Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, little bit about Hinduism, Shantoism... They will grow up with a broad mindset with the sense of belongingness to the whole world. I feel at home wherever I go in the world. I feel connected and everyone can do that because we all have that need of connection. In fact you don’t have to make an effort we are connected.
Once a child asked me a question, Guruji dogs can communicate with any other dog in the world, but why not human beings? I still remember, this is some 25 years ago, in Manchester, UK. A small girl came to me and asked me, “Guruji, Why not human beings connect with everyone else in the world”. This is because we are so stuck in our identities, we have to grow beyond that, it’s good to have identity but we have to grow beyond that. Don’t you think
Q: How to decide that enough is enough? I have a child and want to go for a divorce.
Sri Sri: Ask yourself if you have given 100 percent? If the mind says no, and you have given your 80 percent or even 95 percent, then wait till you give your 100 percent. Even better, give your 101 percent for the sake of the children. A little sacrifice for the children will take you a long way
Even after that if it does not work, then in a friendly manner tell your partner that your paths are different and it is better to part.
Q: What made God alive? When did you start believing in God, Have you seen God, what does God look like?
Sri Sri: This same question was asked 10000 years ago by a little boy to his dad.
He asked his father, “Dad, what is God, how is God, how does God Look like?” Dad takes him by hand, brings him out of his house and asks him, “What was here before this house was built?” The boy says Space.
Dad: Where the house is built?
He says in the space.
Dad: When this house will demolish what will exist, what will remain?
He says space.
Dad says that is God.
God is not a person sitting somewhere and showing little finger and as you try to catch him he runs away. It’s only so in some paintings. God is love, God is the space in which everything exists. God is from which everything has come and into which everything dissolves. And that is what is said in Upanishads, it says God is Brahman. God is like a space, joy and love that is all pervading. The space around you is not dead space, it is filled with energy, intelligence and that energy, that intelligence is divinity and it is inside you, outside you, and everywhere.
If you see the native cultures of all parts of the world, most of the countries in the world have this concept; they say God is in the mountain, in the river, in the flowers, in the trees, in the animals, in the human beings, God is everywhere all pervading. Love is god, you can feel it and not see it, but you can experience this enormous energy when you go deep in meditation.
Q: Bali culture is connected to India, would you throw a little more light onto this?
Sri Sri: If you go into the native cultures all over the world, you will find that they are all similar - in British Columbia, Australia, New Zealand, India etc. They all are similar to one another. They all honor the directions, the moon, the earth, the sun, the water, the mountains. They all honor creation. India and Bali are in Southeast Asia, and are of course connected. It’s good to find similarities, and celebrate differences.
Q: How do you distinguish between intuitive powers and ego driven power while making a decision?
Sri Sri: Intuitive power is like a gut feeling and to get clear intuitive power you must mediate. Without meditation, your intuition will go haywire; it won’t be intuition at all.