‘Realising the self is our first aim, our first duty’ Bangalore ashram, March 28 (Saturday), 8:30 pm: Over 6,500 people from different parts of India sat in rapt attention as satsang with Sri Sri was held in the amphitheatre this evening.
Sri Sri: Are there any questions from participants in the advanced course?
Q: If we are spiritually connected to the Master, how does the physical presence affect us? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have no idea!
Q: How important is knowledge on the spiritual path? One who does not know how to read/write, can they grow on the spiritual path? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, one can. There are many examples in this country. Kabirdas (a famous saint in India) never went to a university. Guru Nanakdev (the Sikh prophet)…. there are lots of instances of famous people in this country.
Q: I have heard people talk about soul mates? Is it true? Are husband – wife truly soul mates? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Better be! Every husband and wife had better meet their souls. They meet everyone but not their souls. Realising the self is our first aim, our first duty. Ask the question: ‘Who am I?’
Q: Why has God created this illusion of space and time? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just for fun!
Q: Guruji, what gift shall I give u? After undergoing the advanced meditation programme, I am going back with such a rich experience. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Bring peace, knowledge and spirituality to more and more people around you. Recently, I was travelling from Canada to America. A security guy at the airport came running upto me and showed my book – ‘Celebrating Silence’. “Are you the author of this book?” he asked. I said, “Yes.” He shared his experience with me: “Someone gave this book to me six months ago. After reading this book, my life has changed. I carry this book all the time.” He has not even done the Sudarshan Kriya! Knowledge should be brought to everyone. You don’t know who needs the knowledge when and where.
Q: When we say let go, what does it mean? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Take a deep breath in and hold! You will know what it means to let go. (Audience starts to laugh and begins clapping). Hold the fist and keep holding it. You will know.
Q: I heard this statement in a religion that we have come on this planet earth so many times that the amount of our mothers' milk we have drunk is, as much as, water in the ocean. Is it not too much? Have we really come here that many times on this planet earth? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Never mind! Who keeps a count of how much you drink. There are better things to do. Every day you drink eight litres of water. The figure goes to 1,200 litres of water for a year. This is a conservative figure. If you’re forty years old – imagine how many gallons and gallons of water. And how many truckloads of food?
This lifetime itself is a lot to count. Why bother about other lifetimes?
Q: Is doing manas pooja to an idol/picture good enough, or should we actually perform it? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The word puja means that which is born out of fullness ( Pu – fullness, Ja –born out of). Just being grateful is also puja. Just offer a flower or even a smile. Seva is puja. Jana seve Janardhan seve. Service to mankind is puja.
Q: What is the dharma of marriage? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ask your spouse! They will give you long lectures on what your dharma is and what you should be doing. (Audience laughs)
Our ancient people spoke about saptapadi – the seven steps one takes in life. The knowledge was so scientific even 1,000s of years ago. A sense of commitment, co-operation, compassion, caring and less ego – these are the benefits that one finds.
Q: I went to an astrologer and he suggested some remedies to dispel negative forecasts. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Chant Om Namo Shivay. It’s the best remedy. A bit of pujas is alright. Don’t spend too much money on them. Do charity with all your heart. Some chanting and meditation will help.
Q: I have been on this path for many years. Many juniors have gone ahead. I have not been taking enough responsibility…. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is why. You’re hesitating to take responsibility – this is the problem. Just come out of procrastination. Take responsibility. Have courage, faith and self-confidence. Work will be done then.
Q: Why do good people suffer? Is it because of karma? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, yes! They also suffer because of their foolishness. It’s not enough to be good. It’s like putting your hand in the fire and saying, ‘Why did the fire burn me?’ You have to be smart, intelligent also. When there is knowledge, you will be happy and content in your life. Be centered in singing, meditation and knowledge.
Q: Is marriage important in life? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That you have to decide. What is important is that you are peaceful. Unmarried people also have lot of problems. Happiness and pleasantness is important in life: with or without marriage. Got it? (laughter)
(A 10-year old stands up and asks a question)
Q: What message do you want to convey to the next generation? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Study well and excel. Make one new friend every day.
Children from the ongoing Art Excel programme performed a skit. Over 1,400 yuvacharyas (youth leaders) from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh participated in the satsang. Some of them shared their experiences. The Urdu translation of Sri Sri’s book ‘Celebrating Silence’ was released. “Take this book to different places … Pakistan, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Lahore,” said Sri Sri. We need to give all our knowledge to India and Pakistan so that both countries can stay peacefully. With this knowledge we can eradicate terrorism.”