Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Is someone’s destiny fixed orcan it change as well?
Sri Sri: A part of destiny is fixed, and certain things can change.
Q: Can knowledge exist without faith or they are correlated?
Sri Sri: Faith and knowledge are correlated. Because when there is knowledge, there is faith. And where there is faith, there is knowledge. So you have faith and that is why you are asking. You have faith that I will answer it and you will take my answer. So, knowledge and faith are all connected.
Q: I keep on asking the Divine for something or the other all the time. I don’t like this sometimes.
Sri Sri: When you get something after asking, your faith gets developed. And then even without asking you get what you need.
Q: It is difficult to control anger. What should one do so that I don’t get angry?
Sri Sri: First, anger is to be tamed. Know this: when the mind is so joyful and contented, when you arein meditation and leave room for imperfections and mistakes, you don’t get angry in the first place. Know that no mistake can be corrected with anger. Only with awareness can anything be corrected.
Q: Can you speak on the value of the Vedic tradition of Masters who have kept this knowledge alive for thousands of years?
Sri Sri: From thousands of years people have passed this technical knowledge. Usually, most Masters will test a student before even teaching meditation. They would give this knowledge only to someone who qualifies. They would wait for the right student to come to impart this knowledge. In the past, it used to be very tough, you had to please the Master before you could get anything from Him.
I took a very different stance, I opened the flood gates, gave it to everyone, let everybody progress as per one’s sincerity and capability.
Q: When we do seva (service), especially us youth, how do we balance seva, studies and family?
Sri Sri: How do you ride a bicycle? Do you allow yourself to fall on one side? When you are more towards one side, you just balance. But one strong conviction should be there – I will do seva, I will do studies, I will take care of my family and respect the elders as well. These are not opposites but complementary. When you do seva, you get power and achieve merit, and that gives you good fortune. So,spirituality brings strength. Through meditation, you will progress in the world.
This conviction, ‘I will be able to do all’, works miracles.
If you find any doubt, just know that it is temporary. The most important thing is to develop a strong personality. Going to college, stuffing your head with information and just passing the exam, no! How much strength and humility have you gained? Are you blossoming into a complete person? It is important to check this. Enthusiasm with awareness!Seva brings out the skill in you that will again make a difference in how you relate to all types of people.Softness and depth will come to you.With enthusiasm, there will be awareness. All can be threaded on a string.
Q: Self-effort is required for enlightenment. But then you said effortlessness is the key. There is a paradox. So, what is the way?
Sri Sri: Both. To get into your train, you need to put effort, you take your luggage and go to the right platform. But once you are on the train, you put your luggage aside and relax.
Q: How does one develop a sense of surrender?
Sri Sri: Just assume that it is there.Don’t put effort . Surrender is there – simply assume this and move on.
Q: It is said that God likes innocent people and luck supports the innocent. What should I to do to be innocent?
Sri Sri: To be innocent, drop cunningness. Innocence is naturally present in everyone. You just need to blossom it. And how do you do that? Just be in meditation. ‘I am nothing –Akinchan, I don’t want anything, and all are my very own; I accept all and all accept me.’ When you know that everybody is accepting you, you move ahead with naturalness. When you think people are not accepting you the way you are, then you think of doing something to gain acceptance and you start becoming unnatural.
Q: I have been told since childhood that eating non – vegetarian is like committing a sin because we are killing helpless animals. Is it so?
Sri Sri: Don’t think those who eat non – vegetarian are sinful. It is only thattamsictendencies are encouraged when one eats non – vegetarian. That won’t be good for them, for the world and for society. My dear, don’t make your stomach a graveyard.