(Friday): Tonight, the Q§A session with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, as usual, had that mixture of depth and lightness that captured all the audience.
Questions & Answers
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Dearest Guruji, you spoke of the ant and the elephant in the video today. I would like to know how to be in Divine Love. Am I like the ant? What is the way of Divine Love? Is it to be an ant, or an elephant?
Sri Sri: When you realize you are an ant, you become an elephant. If you think you are like the elephant, you become the ant! (Laughter)
How can I strengthen my male energy blocked inside? I have very little male, and more feminine energy.
Sri Sri: You have both energies in balance, equal. One is being expressed more, the other is dormant. Just have an intention, and it will be expressed.
I am a wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, and am on the spiritual path. What is my dharma, especially in light of my husband who is also on the spiritual light?
Sri Sri: It is easier for you. So, all the roles are coming together. Just be at ease with it. The question comes: ‘Am I balancing all my roles?’ You are, and you will be. Especially if you are a mother, you feel you have not done enough for the child. All mothers feel like that. No mother feels she has done enough for the child. It is the same if you are a daughter. You feel you have not done enough for the father. With the husband, you feel you have done enough! (laughter) I can’t answer that. Just have an intention that you have that balance. If you open your eyes, you will see there is the balance.
A hundred years of a disease-free body, and stress-free mind seems like a theory. How is it possible in this age to live a hundred years, in a disease-free, and stress-free state?
Sri Sri: Have an intention. 100 years does not mean exact 99 years and 12 months, or 99 years 11 months 29 days. Rishis (a renunciate) used to say a 100 years. When people bless, they usually say ‘Live 1,000 years’. It does not mean that they want you to live 1,000 years. When you get tired of this life, you say you have stayed too long on this planet. But when you are connected to the Divine, the natural wish that comes is ‘Let me live to the maximum of human life. Let me work till the last breath. Let me live healthily.’ These are natural wishes.
When was the first human being born? (laughter)
Sri Sri: Tell me - where is the first point of a ball, of a tennis ball? This answer will follow. We keep thinking everything should have a beginning, and an end. But this universe has no beginning, no end. So, the Rishis used two words Anadi, and Ananta. Anadi means without beginning, and Ananta means without end.
If everything is impermanent, and life is moving at such a speed, how can everything be impermanent? How can the impermanent, and the absolute coexist?
Sri Sri: You cannot know impermanence unless there is something permanent. Change is there when there is non-change. To notice changes, there should be a reference point, and that is non-change.
Why do people stop behaving like normal people as soon as they think Sri Sri will turn up the next moment? (laughter)
Sri Sri: I have no idea. (laughter) There is a story. It is very famous in India. There was a king called Vikram Aditya. He was known for his righteousness, and piousness. He was a saint of a king. He had all the characters that were required of a king - wise man, saint, good human being, and very intelligent also. There are many good human beings, but they are not intelligent (laughter), and intelligent human beings who are not good. This king had all the aspects. He was very patient. After he died, there was nobody who could take his place. His seat was so powerful, nobody could get on the throne. After some time, the throne got buried. Many years passed. There was a garden, and in the garden, a small hillock. The gardener would go sit on the hillock, and have a big smile on his face. From there he would invite all the passer-bys he would see on the road. He would invite people to come, and have fruit from the garden - mangoes, coconuts. But when they came, he would take a stick, and chase them. He would fight with them. ‘How dare you come to my garden? How dare you trespass?’ People would not understand his behavior. Some thought he was mad. Others thought there must be something else. So, they decided to dig the hillock, and find out. They dug the hillock, and found the throne of the king. It had such an impact on the gardener, the vibrations. If you sit in negative company, you feel negative. If you sit where there are doubts, then this is what you will feel. That´s why Buddha said ‘Sangha’. The company of people who are positive, focused on the higher goals of life is important. If someone is always thinking of money, or of cheating, those vibrations will have an impact on you. If you sit in joyful company like here (in satsang), you will feel joyful.
Why are we here back on earth if we have to eat, breathe, sleep? What is the purpose of life?
Sri Sri: What is the purpose of life? Make a list. Your purpose is not to eat, breathe, sleep. (laughter) Your purpose is not to watch TV, die, fight. Your purpose is not to be selfish. If you go by elimination, you will find the purpose.
I spent a lot of my life chasing questions. How to be calmer and decisive, instead of being tensed?
Sri Sri: Make a drastic shift in your life from wanting everything from everybody to giving to everyone. Know you are here only to give instead of take. The strength for you is ‘I want nothing from anybody and if I can be useful to 10, 20 people in life that´s good enough, and my needs will be taken care of by nature. This body belongs to planet earth. It is made of the materials of the planet earth, and will go back to this earth.’ When you can’t lift your hands, nature will make arrangements to feed you. You will be taken care of, if you can’t see. It will put that compassion into someone to come, and feed you. So you must know that this body belongs to planet earth and it will take care of you. How can I be useful to the planet? Just having these thoughts gives better direction. The lack will disappear. How to draw abundance towards you is not to be greedy, self-centered.
Silence is not so cheerful. It brings a lot of sadness. What is the best way to deal with this?
Sri Sri: Something deep inside is coming out, so let it come out. It is like vacuuming the carpet, and removing the dust mites. So, never mind, let it come out. From meditation, the practices, it will come out.
If somebody does not like their name, is it OK to change it?
Sri Sri: Change. So what? (laughter) It´s like changing the clothes. Last question.
Is this life only to test my strength, and courage to love people around me, and not to be loved back?
Sri Sri: This life is not a test. Nobody is testing you. I do not subscribe to that idea of someone testing your life. No, it is not a test. Just relax. It’s learning, and unlearning. Just learn, and unlearn.
I am afraid of people and very tight when I speak to them. I often ask what they think of me. How can I be more open and communicative?
Sri Sri: Get onto the DSN course (laughter) and if that does not work, get onto the TTC (more laughter). Till you do that, now for an immediate remedy. Don’t be the football of other´s opinions.