09 January 2014 - QA 6

Gurudev, why is your photo everywhere? What about the ego?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

I in fact, don’t want my photo to be everywhere. I tell people, but they do the same things, they bring it.

Dr. Lawrence Carter also made a portrait of me in Atlanta (laughter). A huge big portrait and put it in the hall of fame there, in the university.

I want to tell you one incident. I was once travelling in a plane and there was a politician, a minister travelling in that same plane. When we got down, the politician was trying to come out, but there were about 200 people trying to give him a garland, and he was refusing. He was running around saying, 'No, no, don’t give me a garland. I am a simple man, don’t honor me'. And the whole drama happened for about half an hour. In his refusing the garland, he made it into a big scene.

I said, 'If they brought it with so much love, you should have just taken it and moved on!'
The whole thing would’ve finished in 2-3 minutes.

In Ashtavakra Gita it is said, your wanting something or refusing something, both are same.

You know, for almost 10 years we had no pamphlets, and no photo of mine was published anywhere; in magazines, newspapers, nowhere. For 10 years, we didn’t do any printing, it was all by word of mouth – if you benefit, tell your friend. And they tell their friends.
So everything was happening by word of mouth. But when it became larger, people said, 'No, we have to do this'. So to give information we started letters. Then printing, and the magazines, all these things started later to keep people informed.

Those days there was no twitter, not even cell phones. The only way was through magazines or newsletters.