Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Until 18 months ago I never believed in spirituality. Art of Living has changed my thinking and made an impact in my life. However there is something missing in my life and I don’t know what it is. The daily practices help keeping me smiling, but there is still unhappiness within me. Please tell me how to rejoice from within as well.
Q: An ‘Art of Living’ teacher once said that God created us and He is perfect. So, we are perfect. That’s believable. We are perfect, so shouldn’t an engineer’s work be perfect? How come it is not?
Sri Sri: The question is perfect and the answer is even more perfect. Everything in the universe is moving from one level of perfection to another level. Milk is perfect and when it turns into yogurt, yogurt is perfect. You take out cream from yogurt, and that is perfect, and then you make butter, and that is also perfect. This is one way of looking at it. The other side of looking at it is, the milk got spoil and you make cheese out of it. When yogurt got spoil, it became imperfect and you took butter out of it. This is another way to look at it. It all depends on how you look at it. It’s imperfection that gives value to perfection. Isn’t it so? How can you call something perfect? Because there is something which is not perfect. So, the existence of something which is not perfect is absolutely essential to understand something that is perfect. So, the imperfect makes the perfect, perfect!
Q: What is the relationship between seeker, guru and the Divine?
Sri Sri: The beginning, middle and end of a same line. It is the seed, the plant and the tree.
Q: Guruji, is there any particularly good direction to sit in to practice our spiritual practices, and also when you are sleeping?
Sri Sri: Any direction is OK. Usually, you face the sun if the sun is there, east and west during sunrise and sunset respectively. When sun has already set and it’s dark, usually we face the north.
But that is not so important.
Why do we face the sun in the morning or evening? This is because force of energy is from one direction. So, if you are sitting facing one side and force is from the other side that means there is no balance on the other side. Suppose, you have one light here, and no light there, then there is an imbalance between the right and the left. So, sitting accordingly balances the right and the left. You are to balance right and left for meditation. So, it is said that way. But it is secondary, not even secondary, it is tertiary. It is not that important.
Q: Dear Guruji, we have come here to appreciate silence more and more. I love it here but there are times when I would rather be alone and stay in silence. When I go to office or any social place like that, do you think too much silence is a bad thing?
Sri Sri: Balance! Balance in life. Anything too much is no good. Too much talking is no good; too much silence is not for you now.
Q: I know that destiny plays an important role in life. Our failures and success in life are connected to destiny. But what role are we playing in our lives?
Sri Sri: You make the destiny. What you did yesterday is a tomorrow’s destiny, and what you do now is destiny day after.
Q: Where do negative thoughts come from? If they come in me, does that mean I am negative or bad? I refocus on thoughts again and again, but they come back. I judge them, I don’t like them and I think about judgment, but I am not able to get rid of those? What should I do?
Sri Sri: Now, there is a problem. You chase them and they come to you multiplied. Just give them a tight hug and you will suddenly find they have disappeared. They are scared of your hug, but they are fond of you chasing them. So, they come back again for you to chase them again, again and again.
If too many negative thoughts are coming, reason is lack of circulation in you. Do a lot of exercises. I think you have too much free time to sit and think. If you keep yourself busy, less of negative thoughts will come. If you are constipated, for sure you will have negative thoughts. So, set your bowel movements correct. That will also help you. If vatta, pitta or kapha imbalance comes, then also you will have too many negative thoughts. Ayurveda herbs will help for that. You can take 2-3 triphla tablets in night, and something to soothe your nervous system, like shatavari. These herbs calms and soothes the system.
The company you are in can also affect the mind. Company of people who are negative, can also affect the mind.
One last thing that affect is time. Certain times, certain planetary positions and certain cosmic energies can all affect your mind. But all this will pass. Don’t be paranoid about anything. Just know that time moves on.
Q: Can you please talk about our connection of our solar plexus and the sun? How to strengthen the connection, strengthen our nervous system and increase our immunity?
Sri Sri: Pranayama and meditation. Simply know there is a connection. You are connected to the air all around. Whether or not you know, the connection is there. The center of gravity in the body is the solar plexus, and the center of the universe is the sun.
Q: A question from someone on ART Excel Course: When the cops or anyone in the military shoot or kill anyone in war does it count as their good or bad karma?
Sri Sri: Let us take the policeman. A policeman is doing his job to keep peace in society, so it is not a bad thing. In the military, one who is following orders, is only doing his job. The man who gives the orders, gets the karma.
Q: Beloved Guruji, I see you in my thoughts and my dreams. I am free and completely surrendered in my thoughts and dreams. But why is my experience different when I meet you here. Also why don’t I get to spend time with you in person?
Sri Sri: You are spending time with me here. You take up some project and you will definitely get to spend time with me.