Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: What does it mean to be superstitious? I am confused whether I behave according to superstitions sometimes. I am not superstitious but I believe in it.
Sri Sri: You are saying that you are not superstitious but believe in it. Ok, then tell me first what is superstition?
See, there may be many beliefs. For what one considers superstition, it may not be for another. But from a broader perspective, things which are illogical, which does not support human evolution and which harm intellectual, mental, spiritual, and physical well being is superstition, and that need to be eradicated. Superstition exists in many parts of the world.
Spirituality and superstition are opposites. They cannot go together. So, we need to bring more and more spirituality, more values in the society, and see that superstition diminishes.
Q: We have you as Guru in the ‘Art of Living’, but in family there are family Gurus and traditional rituals, different style of worshipping etc. Should these be followed also?
Sri Sri: See if there is a family tradition being followed from a long time, then what is the harm in continuing that? One must keep up the family traditions.
Q: I have finished my final year engineering exam. I want to study, I want to pursue higher studies, but I cannot concentrate when I sit to study. I want to study, what should I do?
Sri Sri: If you are not getting concentration in your studies, watch for these three things
(i) Your diet, watch what you are eating. Diet makes a big difference.
(ii) Do you do any physical exercises? If you just keep sitting on a couch watching TV, or keep sitting on computer with internet etc. then the circulation is less in your body. Then you tend to become lazy and will not feel like studying. So, it is necessary to do a little bit of physical exercise, yoga, pranayama, meditation and also participate a little in singing etc. Doing all these, whatever is the need for your system will be furnished, and then you can grasp more in studies. Also your learning and retaining capacity will increase, and you will be able to study as well as gain much more in shorter time.
Go for higher studies if you want to. Choice is yours, blessings are mine!
Q: The ‘Art of living’ is full of inspirational teachers. What does it require to be a good teacher? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, take a teachers training, and get well trained.
Q: First of all, thank you for being my master. Secondly, I am a sikh and in Sikhism our last Guru told that there is no other master now but only ‘Guru Granth Sahib’. So, my family members do not want me to follow you as a guru. How to convince them about you?
Sri Sri: It is alright. Say Wahe guru, Wahe guru. Let them follow whatever your tradition is, but they can do the course, can make friends with all!
Q: After the course, you came thrice in my dream. The second time you came in my dream, the dream was that you are no more in the world.
Sri Sri: It is ok, does not matter – there is still lot more time for that to happen!
Q: Guruji, how to deal with the failures?
Sri Sri: Knowing that it is the step to success in the future.
Q: In the continuation of the same thing, should we believe in the match- making of the birth chart etc. Should we believe in all that? Does match of mangalik-non mangalik matter?
Sri Sri: It is science but it depends on who does it. Many times in the name of astrology, people cheat others. There is something in chart matching, and you can do all that if you like. But Chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaye’ is best cure for all the short comings.
Q: Some volunteers from the ‘Art of living’ want to enter into politics with your blessings.
Sri Sri: Yes, it is alright, they should go into politics, clean up the politics like the ‘Art of Living’ volunteers cleaned up Yamuna!
Q: I start to do a lot of things, but I don’t get to complete. Can you tell me a way how can I improve the situation?
Sri Sri: If you want to do, you can do anything. It has to come from within. With the determination, ‘I will do this job, and I will see to it that it gets completed’. This commitment from within will help you, and get you through. Got it? Nobody can do the job other than you.
So, take up with small things and follow it through, and then you will get the confidence. That prepares you to take up big tasks. You know, why do you drop things? Because you think they are not important. But there is nothing important or unimportant in life, everything has importance. So, even if something looks unimportant, you say, “I want to finish it, and I will finish it”. Then you will be able to enhance your commitment.
Q: Guruji, they say the recipe for depression is to only think about oneself. But at the start of Mahabharata war, Arjuna was thinking about others, yet he was depressed. Please explain.
Sri Sri: Well, the mantra for depression is - “What about me, what about me”. And Arjuna was thinking how he could do the work which he was supposed to do, and what people would think of him. It was again about himself only. It is not just thinking about oneself, but your other different attachments and lack of understanding can also lead to depression. But one sure technique to get depressed is- Just sitting, doing nothing and thinking, ‘what about me, what about me, what will happen to me?’ You are sure to get depressed this way!