Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: What advice would you give to a skepticalnon-believer?
Sri Sri: A very good beginning point. See that you don’t becomecynical and frustrated. Skepticism is perfectly alright, but not cynicism. Thatdrains your energy. One can be skeptical to begin one’s journey and I wouldvery much appreciate and welcome that. Because you would have gone throughskepticism, the faith will be strongly built.
Q: Please tell us what does ‘one word family’ mean to you and what should we do tomake this family happy?
Sri Sri: What family means to me? The whole world is one family for me.You know, I feel absolutely at home wherever I am. I never have a feeling ofbeing in a country or land that is not mine. I never felt strange anywhere. Myconcept is to see the whole world as one family; of course family is a veryimportant institution, it is the foundation of a society.
Q: You travel so much…
Ifeel at home with everyone and everywhere. I don’t find anyone a stranger. Ioften say that I am a child who refuses to grow up.
Q:I am running after a dream since long. How to get that fulfilled?
Sri Sri: Be practical in taking care of your daily needs and see whatthe reality is at that point. You have a dream and you want to achievesomething. But that dream or idea may not match the reality that is right now.So understand the present reality and match it with your dream. This is whateverybody has to do.
See,suppose you are teaching mathematics to a student. First you should know thepresent state of the child’s mind. If the child can’t count two plus two isfour, there is no point in teaching the multiplication table. Do you see thepracticality now?
Q: What is the visualization of God in ancient India?
Sri Sri: In ancient India, they described God as beauty. A discipleonce asked what God is. The Master replied – Truth, beauty and love. That isGod. Is God sitting in heaven giving a little finger? No, it is only in thepainting. God is truth, beauty and love. It is that field and energy present inthe entire creation. When can you appreciate beauty? And what doesn’t allow youto appreciate? When mind is bombarded with worry, anger, hate and tension, youcan’t even smile from your heart.
Thoughyou are sitting in a ballet, but you can’t appreciate if you are angry. You canonly appreciate when you are in the present moment.
Q: How do I feel more energetic repeating the same old routine everyday?
Sri Sri: First look into the mirror and give a big smile to yourself.Ok? Then do breathing technique, little bit of yoga and meditation. Give sometime to yourself everyday and you will be more energetic and beautiful.
Q: People around the world need these stress relieving techniques. How canwe contribute?
Sri Sri: That is why I keep traveling. So, we have to keep practicing,have to sit in groups and do some pranayamaand some meditation. We have to renew our energy time to time. When you eat,your stomach becomes empty again, it is quite natural. Like that when you arehappy and joyful, sometime when being so busy and engaged in so manyactivities, you seem to collect all that dust and your energy seems to go down.Then it is the time to recharge again. So we will meditate now for few minutes.
Q: What is the future of St. Petersburg?
Sri Sri: It is in your hands.
Q: Whatis the fastest way to feel belongingness and unity?
Sri Sri: When you are free fromstress, you have a sense of belongingness and understanding. This is whathappens when people undergo The Art of Living program. It happens so naturally.
Q: What do you say on the rumors of destruction of the world in the year 2012?
Sri Sri: I want to tell you a story. In 1999, when I was in NorthAmerica, there was a rumor that everything will shut down in 2000. People soldhomes and stored food for six months - Milk powder, dry vegetables etc. Oh myGod! Then also I told that there would be no disaster and everything would beas usual. Now again, I am assuring you that it is only in the movie. The worldwill continue. In fact, transformation will be there from greedy materialism tohumanism. Children will be more aware of spirituality. There is a bright futurefor the world. Don’t think of any disaster. A disaster is already happening.This is because we have exploited the planet. We have put so many dynamites totake minerals, and hence earthquakes have become dominant. The weather! Russianever had such hot temperatures. So we have to care for the planet Earth. Planttrees and do all that is needed to reduce human greed. What do you think?
Q: How to make someone dear to you understand that something is useful for themand they must go for it?
Sri Sri: Keep pursuing gently and have patience, they will allunderstand. First you should have the conviction that this is good for them,and they will get it. How to get a thought or a desire manifested is verysimple. First intention and keep attention on it and then manifestation willfollow.