Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Why are some forms of Devi so ferocious like that of Mahakali?
Sri Sri: Love and fear are two shores of the same consciousness. If you can love such a frightening form of Divinity, then you can love anyone. There is no fear left! When the acceptance level has increased manifold to accept both beautiful and ugly as your own forms, you come up stronger and solid. So to present beauty and ugliness as forms of the Divine is the intelligence of the ancient seers.
Fear and even ego also is all of that one Divinty. From serene to frightening, birth to death - when someone is awakened to such a level of consciousness that He sees divinity in all the forms, then only all this can be seen as maya. When the mind is calmed then the divinity is here only.
People decorate even with a cactus. So, recognizing beauty in everything – Flowers as well, and thorns as well. If you can accept such frightening aspect of divinity, it completely removes fear from the mind and the body. One who has undergone such states, their acceptance has become so strong. Beautiful and ugly both are your nature. Most beautiful and most ugly forms – everything is a part of one truth.
Q: How come people who harm Nature have sound sleep?
Sri Sri: Ya! That is a big concern. Not giving back to nature but taking too much from nature. Yes. Not planting trees or not preserving the planted trees, not preserving water bodies, wasting food, using plastic....! There is so much awareness since last 5-7 years than before.
Q: Does Birth and rebirth exist? If yes, then what does it mean to be a human?
Sri Sri: Why human birth? Human Life is there to know life.
Q: I am very naughty and do a lot of mischief and got badly scolded as well. I know you were also very naughty then how come you didn’t get any scolding anytime?
Sri Sri: Oh! I also used to be scolded, and that adulthood is not even worth which hasn’t undergone scolding in the childhood!
Q: How does one deal with people telling lie? Can’t one actually progress being truthful?
Sri Sri: We can make progress being ethical. One thing is you have to make them really understand that you can rise very high like satyam and fall down like astayam (laughter)! So many such cases! One who is truly honest lives like a King, one who walks on wrong path, his own consciousness doesn’t allow him to smile from heart. Such people can’t even sleep properly.
Okay! Does that mean living like Satya Harishchandra? 100 percent truth is also not workable. So, it is so beautifully said in our Shastras! A Brahmin or Sanyasi is not allowed to speak lie, not at all. A teacher cannot! But a king, an administrative can do a little if it is in favor of public in general! Then there is a little more possibility for businessmen. Bahut khush nahin ho jaana (laughter)! (It loses essence while translating but still “That doesn't mean you should take it for granted!”) Like there is salt in food only that much lie is allowed in business. Like in one – two cases, suppose you have to sell your product, you can say it is the best, even when you know it is not! You won’t accrue any sin that way. So as there is salt in the food! If more... will it still be eatable?
Philosophy of death:
Q: I get angry often and I don’t live knowledge up to the mark. But I feel I am very close to you. Is this an illusion or really it is so?
Sri Sri: Of course! Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Be natural. Ok? Don’t drain yourself thinking, “Oh I don’t live up to the knowledge”. If it happens sometimes it is ok. Move on. Life moves on. So many things fall into the river – leaves, flowers and the river takes everything forward. Time is carrying life forward. So, move forward. Actually what we are doing? We have turned our head backwards and are trying to moving forward. All that you need to do is to look ahead. You have done mistakes in the past, accept it and move on.
Q: What if Boss is so corrupt and he wants you to be part of it, how to handle such a boss? It is difficult to survive in such a case.
Sri Sri: I know I know (laughter, clapping)! I can understand your difficulty. You need a lot of skill for that. You have to somehow tell the boss, “Boss I am not good at it, if I do some mistake you will be in trouble. Better to give it to the other person (clapping). I’m not skilled at this”. You can tell this or you can suggest your idea and say, “This is better boss, maybe. You know better, you are the best judge”. If you throw this last sentence he may think of taking your suggestion. But if you tell him you are wrong and what I’m saying is right then this would be the wrong way to communicate. Not only with your boss even with your parents, sometimes even with your spouse.
Q: A baby is born in USA and the baby’s grandmother thinks that her husband has reincarnated as her grandson. My question is, is it possible for a soul to travel from Bombay to USA?
Sri Sri: Yes, yes! Definitely! In no time, without ticket and visa, and no immigration issues.
Q: What are the ingredients to be successful? How come Lord Krishna found Success in everything He does?
Sri Sri: For success in life you need yukti (skill) and shakti (strength), Bhakti (Devotion ) and Mukti (Freedom).
Freedom and love in personal life! Without freedom you will find no love and without love there is no joy. Freedom doesn’t mean doing anything. You follow some norms, a little discipline. And in social life you need shakti and yukti, strength and skill. And this is what Ramayana and Mahabharata tells you.
Though Duryodhana had all the power but he had no yukti, no bhakti. The skill was with Krishna and so he won.
Sri Sri: Maya means all which changes, which can be measured. Everything that comes in purview of the five senses is changing – is Maya.