9 Feb 2013 - QA1

Gurudev, please talk on the art of asking questions since, at times, I am not satisfied with an answer I get, or I get more confused with the answer.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Meditation!

When the mind is restless, no matter what the answer is, it does not get in. When your mind is quiet, just a sign is good enough and you will pick up the answer, for you are the source of all answers. When you are quiet, then, from within you the answers come up. That is why, a few moments of relaxation is essential.

Whatever you tell a restless person, he will say, ‘But’. You give them an answer, even then they will say, ‘Okay! But…’, and then they go on changing the topics. This is the sign of a mind which is so filled with ideas and concepts, that there is no place for new wisdom or knowledge to enter in.

The same thing happened with a Master and a disciple.

A disciple came to a Master, and he was asking some questions,(a very similar situation as you are in.) He was asking question after question, but was not satisfied with any answer that the master gave. So, the master said, ‘Okay, come! Let us have tea.’

The master asked, ‘You like tea?’

He said, ‘Yes.’

So the master started pouring tea in the cup of the disciple. The cup got full but still he kept pouring. The tea overflowed from the cup and spilled on the table, and the floor.

The student asked, ‘Master, why are you doing this? The cup is full. You can see the tea spilling all over the carpet!’

The Master smiled and said, ‘That is what the situation is. Your cup is so full that it has no more space to take anymore, but you are wanting more. First, empty your cup, drink what you have.’

The ancient Rishis in the Vedas have said, ‘Shravana’, first listen, and then ‘Manana’, i.e., contemplate about it, or think about it. You listen to an answer, and you think about it. Then make it your own. See if it is in your own experience? Don’t believe anything because someone says it. This is the basic thing that one has to remember.

My experience is my own and your experience is your own. Don’t take anything just because I am saying it. Simultaneously, don’t discard what anyone says; you should be a good listener. First, listen, and then contemplate on it. Then, make it your own experience. Then, that becomes wisdom. Knowledge turns, and becomes wisdom – Shravana, Manana, Nidhidhyasa.

After speaking all the 700 verses of Gita, Lord Krishna says, ‘Look Arjuna, I have said it all. You think about it. If you find it suitable, take it.’

That is what needs to be given, freedom of thought, freedom of opinion, freedom of belief and faith. You can’t force a thing on everybody’s head. Faith has to be developed from within one’s self.