Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: I have been introduced to two concepts which I find confusing. A. I am not the doer. Or B: I should take responsibility for little things even when I have little control. What's up?
Sri Sri: Life is a balance between these two things. Taking responsibility and letting go. It's both. That's a fine balance. For the present and future take responsibility, for the past know that it has to happen that way and move on. So often we do the reverse. We think that the past was free will and regret and we think the future is all destiny and we don’t do anything about it. But the wise one does you know what? The regard the future as free will, past as destiny and they are happy in the present. So you don’t regret about the past and you know what you want to do in the future and you are on it.
Sri Sri: When you say, I want nothing: that is happiness. When you are happy and are asked: 'Do you want anything?' you say ‘No, I want nothing.’
Q: Guruji, I am blessed to be here with you as I am now healing from breast cancer diagnosed last fall. Can you tell me and us how to learn from illness? With Love and gratitude.
Sri Sri: See, you don’t have to learn anything from illness. Just move on. It’s part of life. The body undergoes some illnesses. It could be many reasons. It could be due to karma, to past impressions, to the genes in the family. It could be due to violating laws of nature, eating too much when you should not eat, and it could be due to all this technology that we are having around which causes so much radiation. So it doesn’t pay us sitting and analyzing what I should learn from this.
Just keep moving with one faith, one knowledge, one sense of gratefulness. We are happy we are on this planet, as long as we are here, let's do good. One day, we'll all be gone. For sure, we'll all be gone.
Q: How did you know you were a Guru? Did you have aGuru? Sometimes I wonder if I’m a Guru, maybe just for myself. What would yousay to that?
Sri Sri: You can’t be a surgeon for yourself. You may be a surgeon but you can’t be yourown surgeon, right? So your mother is your first Guru. A mother teaches you. Ofcourse, a Guru is one who is unconditional in his attitude and approach towardsyou. You should play a role of a Guru unconditionally. You help others or carefor someone with wisdom. Then you are playing the role of a Guru to them too.
If youhelp somebody with an attitude of ‘I want nothing, I just want your progress’then you’re a Guru to them. Yet don’t demand them to accept you as Guru. No, areal Guru does not demand anything, not even gratitude from somebody.
Q: Change is constant. Will the knowledge of the Geeta change for this century? Will there is new knowledge?
Sri Sri: Yes, as your mind blossoms, new aspects of the knowledge will blossom in you. Knowledge is structured in consciousness.
(Turning back to explaining the 7th verse)
Where does your mind go? It goes towards, beauty, light, strength.. Lord Krishna says, ‘Wherever your mind goes, see Me in that. If something is beautiful, it is because it has life in it. It is the same consciousness. So the mind goes back to the source. Lord Krishna says: The light in the sun is Me. I am the liquid in water.
I am the smell in the earth. I am the fire in fire.
We are made up of the same substance as the sun. If there is no sun, there is no earth. If there is no earth, then there is no you.
If you talk to a quantum physicist today, he will say the same thing - everything is made up of one wave function.
The same thing Lord Krishna said: I am the life in everybody.
Turn our mind inward and look at the life force that we are.
In life, it is Me.
Life is god. God is not something outside the life. Life is Divine.
The life in this body is Divine. What is the mind craving for? This pleasure, that pleasure. Right now, attend to the life. Its not that only my life is God. Life everywhere is the same Atma.
The seventh chapter is very beautiful.
In the Bhagwad Gita, the chapters unfold, step by step.
In the chapter on Vishad yoga, Lord Arjuna is feeling so nervous, is trembling.
In Sakhya yoga, Lord Krishna tell Arjuna, awaken! Nothing has hap pened to your Atma.Happiness and sadness have come and go.
In Karma yoga, Lord Krishna says: Act! You cannot do anything without action. Even you want to stand and sit, action is required. So, do something.
After Karma yoga, its Gyan yoga: Understand what you’re doing.
After Gyan and karma, its Dhyan, where Lord Krishna says: before acting, meditate. After finishing work, meditate.
In that manner, the chapters unfold, step by step.
Q: I hear The Art of Living is involved in fighting corruptionin India? What can we do here in North America to fight corruption in oursociety?
Sri Sri: That you should think about. How should you tackle the situation? Corruption isat three levels. One is among people. People often accept corruption as a wayof life. Second the bureaucracy; and third, the politicians. There are goodpeople in every strata of life. And there are not so good people. We shouldbring them to The Art of Living course and teach them the breathing techniques.They'll become better.
Q: Dearest Guruji, Can you tell us more about whatis going to happen in 2012?
Sri Sri: Business as usual. Only people will become more spiritual.
Q: Dearest Guruji, What is a devotee? What does a devotee do? How does one become a devotee?
Sri Sri: Now don’t try hard to become a devotee. Love combined with commitment is devotion. Love with wisdom is devotion.
Love without wisdom can turn into negativities: Love today, hate tomorrow. Love today, jealousy tomorrow. Love today, possessiveness tomorrow.
Love combined with wisdom is bliss, and that is devotion. Devotion is a strong bond, a sense of belongingness. Everybody is born with it. It’s just like becoming a child again.
Q: How do we use this time to expedite our spiritualgrowth?
Sri Sri: Just exactly what you are doing now.
Q: Dear Guruji I doubt myself a lot, I doubt my skills, abilities and decisions. How do you deal with self-doubt?
Sri Sri: How does one deal with self-doubt? Understand doubt: doubt is always about something that is good. Someone tells you ‘I love you’, you ask them ‘Really?’, and they say ‘I hate you’, you never ask ‘Really?’ So, a doubt is always about something good. You doubt your abilities; you never doubt your weaknesses. You doubt happiness, you never doubt misery. Isn’t it? Nobody doubts their depression. ‘But well, I’m not sure if I’m happy or not, well I'm not sure'. So when you understand that the doubt is always about something that’s positive, your mind shifts to a level, a different level altogether.
Doubt is simply low prana. If you do more pranayams you will see that you have come about that.