Preguntas & Respuestas con Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Guruji you arrive and the entire atmosphere changes. What can we do to achieve the same?
Sri Sri: It is your responsibility to transform the atmosphere wherever you go. You can do it too. By doing meditation and practices, our body produces such vibrations that everybody around us gets the benefit, not just us alone.
Q: What is the rule to be reborn? Who maintains records of all human beings? Why don’t we remember anything about our non-physical form?
Sri Sri: It is not very difficult to know. You can do the eternity process and you could know.
Q: My mind goes all over, even when I’m doing pooja/worship.
Sri Sri: It is Ok. See, it is not the best when the mind wanders in all directions. But you have got into the habit of sitting with yourself every day. That way sometime you will get into meditation and a samskara (impression) has been formed. With time, mind will also start to get centered.
What seems like a problem today will be OK, it has to be OK.
We sit for pooja, along with flowers even leaves and thorns are offered. So, it means that we accept life with balance, whether there are flowers, thorns, fruits, leaves and surrender everything.
Sri Sri: When the mind is at ease and centered, that is a glimpse into samadhi. The experience you have when you lie down after the Sudarshan Kriya. When you feel – I don't know where I am but that I am.
Q: Is the concept of anatma (no soul) true? Modern neuroscientists are in agreement with this idea. Please tell us what the truth is.
Sri Sri: Lord Buddha said, “I went in meditation, I searched and searched and searched for the soul, I could not find it. So there is no soul, there is no atma.” That become anatmavad. He said everything is hollow and empty. There is no soul, there is no person, no entity. It is all nothing, everything is nothing. This is what Lord Buddha propounded.
Then, after sometime Sri Adishankara came. He said Ok, You didn’t find anybody. Right? But who experienced that nothingness. Who experienced that there is no self? Who searched and found that there is no self?
Someone must have searched; someone said there is no self. That is the self. That is how using the same logic of Buddha, Sri Adishankara brought back the Vedic wisdom back into India.
From Kerela to Kashmir, from Gujrat to Orissa to Kamagya, he travelled to these areas and that became India. The Self is like the space. It is not an entity or an object. In fact, what lord Buddha said and what Adishankara said, there is not much difference, only one change, a flip in thinking - Buddha says it is all nothing, Adishankara says it is all fullness, everything is full, every single inch of space is filled with knowledge and information.
He says this entire universe is consciousness and consciousness is true infinity, wisdom and information. That is why great scientists like Albert Einstein appreciated this so much. Einstein said reading Bhagwad Geeta transformed his whole life. What the scientists are saying today about the black hole, dark matter, dark energy, all has been said long time back.
If you listen to a quantum physicist and also to Vedanta, you will feel they are talking the same thing.
Q: Sometimes I find many vikaras (flaws) in myself and think that I don't deserve to be on the path. What can I do?
Sri Sri: Get rid of guilt. Till now you were suffering from guilt and weren’t even aware of it. Now that you are aware, you can’t bear it. This makes you a seeker. So many have dropped their vikaras. Keep doing satsang, seva and get into the depth of meditation - it will rid you of the vikaras and the old impressions will be washed. If you were completely hopeless, you wouldn’t even have got a chance to come here, on the path of satsang. You have done something good and that is why you are here- direct your vision to the good as well.
Q: What is the secret behind the notion of ‘Judgment Day’ in Christianity?
Sri Sri: Christianity says a judgment day will come. At that time all those below the earth, the dead bodies will rise and be asked about their right and wrong deeds. According to which they will be sent to either heaven or hell.
The understanding changed from the original meaning due to time and various interpretations.
Today what is believed and discussed as 'Judgment Day' is not what it was originally. The place where Christianity and Islam were born had a scarcity of wood. The land there had only stones and mountains. At that place burying was a better alternative. It was not expensive.
In India there was a lot of wood, so the tradition of burning the dead bodies began. Whereas in the land of Islam and Christianity, burning the dead was not possible. So according to the country and time people would do certain practices.
The interpretation people have maintained is that, on the Judgment Day, the dead would get up from their samadhi, but it is not that. In the Bible, it is said "Judge not and ye shall not be judged". Christ asks not to judge (criticize) and leave the judgment only on God, and one day He will look into the judgment.
In India, we have faith in Karma, which means you will have to reap the result of all your acts. Good deeds will bring joy and bad will bring misery. Similarly, in Christianity they say not to judge and that everyone will have to bear their cross.
Q: How to attain the power of vision that Sanjay had in The Mahabharata?
Sri Sri: By being centered. When you experience the depth of meditation then naturally you get knowledge. There is no effort involved; no rotting of scriptures is required.
Q: How to increase intelligence and how to be more creative?
Sri Sri: To increase intelligence, you need to observe some silence. Silence is the mother of all invention. Silence is the basis of intelligence. Take out few moments and observe some silence. Time to time, silence will increase all our ability. Our senses will become sharp, mind becomes more alert. You become more intelligent, you are aware about what you are speaking, and your intuition becomes so much better.
Q: Is there a limit for tolerance?
Sri Sri: Sky is the limit. If someone is doing injustice, don’t tolerate yet don’t react. Respond to it. Reaction is when you just do it without being aware of it. When there is injustice, plan properly and counter it with awareness. I am not telling you to tolerate if somebody does any injustice.
With skill, see how you can educate them. Tolerating means giving others sometime to improve. Somebody’s behavior is creating pain for you and you want to give them some time to improve, this is tolerance.
Then educate them with this idea that what they are doing is going to harm them and so, they must be educated. And then ignore because you cannot correct everyone on the planet. Some people are that way. If you go on thinking about them, then you will be spoiling your own peace of mind. So tolerate, educate, ignore and don’t react but respond.