Q: How to have devotion? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You assume that you have devotion. Don’t strive to have devotion. We should assume that we have love and devotion in us. When you believe in this, the devotion in you enhances. When you think you don’t have devotion at all, it wouldn’t manifest.
Q: Where do you go when you meditate?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I do not go anywhere, I just be everywhere.
Q: When intellect and heart say different things, whom should we follow? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When it comes to work, follow your intellect. And follow your heart when it comes to service.
Q: How to give 100 percent. I often feel I don’t know how to give my 100 percent?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you want the answer? (Yes from the boy) Do you really want the answer? (Yes from the answer) Do you 100 percent want the answer? (Very Intense yes from the boy) Really? (Calm and Enthusiastic Yes from the boy) See, you already have it.
Q: Is it true that my previous and the coming generations also get the merit when I meditate. Are my parents also benefitted when I meditate?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, there is something like that also.
Q: I read books on knowledge. How do I know that knowledge is only at intellectual level or is actually realized by me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is very simple. You go to a restaurant and you read the menu card. By the time you have eaten it, you know you have eaten it. Experience is so irrefutable. Reading about back pain in a book and actually having back pain are different. So, it is very obvious. Your experience is what is most important.
Q: What is the relation between meditation, sleep and dream?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have used three different words; you first tell me what definition do you have for these three?
Meditation is when you are awake as well as relaxed.
You don’t know anything in deep sleep. Only after you wake up, you get to know that you were sleeping. And a dream is a dream. The experiences that you already have had, when those reflect again in your mind, your consciousness, that is dream.
Q: There are some blind faiths like not doing certain things on Tuesday or Thursday, or not crossing the path when a cat passes by. Do these carry any truth in them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Nothing in all this according to me.
Q: Which has a higher place – Devotion for the country or for the religion?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why to prioritize out of these two? You tell me which has higher value out of seeing and listening. Both have their own place and both go simultaneously.
Q: Is it love or surrender when I feel your presence in meditation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Surrender with love. And that which happens with surrender is love.
Q: When something great is accomplished, normally some sort of celebration is conducted. We were also expecting a huge ceremony after the completion of Ashtavakra Geeta, but nothing special of that sort happens?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is celebration here every day, it never ends. There is a lot left yet.
Q: What to do when love, devotion and faith gets shaken?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is very good. It goes deeper when it is challenged, true love and devotion gets deeper. Testing times comes in everybody’s life. You pray and sometimes your prayers don’t get answered. 10 times you get what you wanted, and when 11th time you don’t get, you start complaining. Is it the case? (The boy said, “Yes, one of my friends ditched me and I am feeling intense pain”). That is when you pull on yourself. Keep on your practices. God is in every heart, everywhere, all around you, and inside you. He knows what is best for you and he will give you the best.
That is why when you ask for something, ask this or something better.
Q: Why do negative feelings like regret and frustration exist? Has anything productive ever come out of them? And if not, what is the way to turn these emotions into productive one?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You should read ‘Celebrating Silence’. I have answered all these questions there.
Q: If we are not getting something even after putting in continuous effort, should we accept the reality as it is, or should we keep on praying to get it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If that is very much needed by you, you would not be able to go without praying. And have this faith that God will give you what you need.
Q: Does numerology have an effect? There is a number which I consider lucky for me, and there are certain numbers which are not so lucky. Is this just a notion in mind or the effect actually exists?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That has some effect but the power of chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaye’ mantra is much more. The power of mantras can nullify the effect of any unlucky numbers, and then all the numbers will be lucky for you.