Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Sometimes the best things happen when nature takes its course. At what point, when should people stop trying, giving, doing harder to achieve something and just let nature take its course?
Sri Sri: When you do your 100 percent, when you feel that you cannot do any more. That is exactly when you should meditate, instead of getting frustrated. You have put your 100 percent. When exactly do you know that you have had enough food? Do you know?
When exactly do you know you have had enough water? You burp! (laughter)
Usually you get frustrated when you feel: ‘I have done enough, I can’t do anymore. I just give up’. I tell you – you need not go to that extent of getting frustrated.
Q: There are dilemmas in life, and I lack decision making power. What should be done?
Sri Sri: Wherever there is duality(dvait), there will be a dilemma. Whenever you are in daily activities (vyavahar), there will be dilemma. There is no choice, accept it.
Q: Is it possible to become like a child again and to rekindle that positive vibration around us?
Sri Sri: It is possible. The secret lies in our own breath. Through breathing exercises, certain breathing techniques and some practice of meditation, we can rekindle positive vibrations within and around us.
Are you aware that sometimes for no reasons you feel like talking to some people, and sometimes for no reason you want to avoid some people? I am sure everyone has this experience!
We convey more through our presence than through our words. If we are uptight, angry or stressed, then we become repulsive. Now, the question is how do these negative vibrations come in our aura? We are storing all these negative things that we have seen and heard in our aura.
Q: How much difference is there between science and spirituality? Why do some scientists not believe in spirituality?
Sri Sri: Evolved scientists surely believe in spirituality. Those who are not yet fully evolved may not believe in spirituality. Einstein was startled after reading Bhagwad Geeta. If you hear a quantum physicist talking, you will feel as if the text is being quoted from the scriptures only. ‘What is this?’ is science. ‘Who am I?’ is spirituality. Objective analysis is science and subjective understanding is spirituality. And they go hand in hand. In the East, they were never in conflict with each other. It is said in the Bhagvad Geeta –‘Gyan Vigyana Triptatma’. You will find fulfillment only when science and spirituality go together. We need both science and spirituality to bring contentment to our soul.
Q: Why does the divine answer and reward some while prayers of others go unanswered?
Sri Sri: Well, I don’t know why some prayers get answered and some are not. I have no idea. Perhaps it is good for you. Perhaps you may change your mind about what you want. People go to shopping, this often happens at least in India, and ask shopkeeper, “Can I come later and exchange it if I don’t like it”. They go home and don’t like it and get it exchanged next day. Most unreliable thing you have is your own mind because you don’t know what it likes and when it doesn’t like that. That is why bringing mind to its source is so important. Its centeredness is the most important thing in spiritual evolution. Understanding what is transient and what is permanent, what brings you permanent joy and what causes temporary convenience and long term misery, what causes temporary discomfort and permanent joy, and what causes long term discomfort. That is what is called viveka, sense of discretion, wisdom – knowing this from that.
Q: Is it wrong to give advice to teenaged children?
Sri Sri: Give advice – with lots of love. There is a proverb which says that after a child becomes a teenager, become a friend.
Prapte tu Shodhashe varshe, Putram mitram, Vada charet.
This is nothing new in this proverb– people have said this for thousands of years.
Q: Dear Guruji, when you say in the past our ancestors gave various names and forms to God. Then are Devis and Devatas created in the minds of the Rishis or did they really exist from the very beginning of the creation?
Sri Sri: Nobody created the rainbow colors, they exist, they are there but when the white light passes through a prism you can say you created them. If someone asks you, are the colors created by you or no, what do you say? Yes and no together because the colors are already there but it was not visible, you made it visible when you made the light pass through a prism. In the same way, the Devis and Devatas have always been there but giving them a name and honoring them was the brilliance of the Rishis
Q: What is the dharma of marriage?
Sri Sri: Ask your spouse! They will give you long lectures on what your dharma is and what you should be doing! (Audience laughs).Our ancient people spoke about saptapadi – the seven steps one takes in life. The knowledge was so scientific even 1,000s of years ago. A sense of commitment, co-operation, compassion, caring and less ego – these are the benefits that one finds.
Q: There are so many attractions and distractions but still the youth is so bored.
Sri Sri: Youth is bored and it’s their fortune. If they were satisfied then growth would have stopped. When they are bored then the quest comes in them. They are not satisfied with the things available around. And this is the stage when they can take a step to look within, a leap in their inner journey, a step towards spirituality. An interest in higher growth gets kindled when you are bored with things around. When you find source of joy within, then obviously everything around is also reflecting the same source of joy, then you find interest in everything. Continuous bombardment of senses by stimuli can cause inertia. Inertia is boredom, is a form of boredom. Again when prana level goes up, you move from inertia to enthusiasm.