Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Is peace a state of mind in which no desire or cravingetc. arise at all or they arise and subside very fast. How to attain peacepermanently?
Sri Sri: When you drop this wanting permanency,there will be peace.
Q: The soul takes staying forever and takes birth tillgetting moksha. Then, who lives in hell?
Sri Sri: Why do you want to explore hell now? Ihave never been there, so I can’t tell you what it is.
Q: How do you know the answers for all the questions?
Sri Sri: I don’t have one for this!
Q: Guruji, does choosing a Guru means one can’t follow theteachings of other masters? Can one have more than one Guru?
Sri Sri: Oh! It’s so hard to manage one Guru,how can you…! (laughs) It’s not easy. Respect everybody but follow one path.Honor everyone and you will see, all the masters have said the same thing.There is only one truth, so, they have said the same thing, but the methods aredifferent as per the needs of the time.
You don’t have conflict when you are on this path. Whicheverpath you were there, they have blessed you and that’s how you have come here.You have served those paths, those teachers, those masters and their blessinghas brought you here, with this conviction you move forward. Ok?
It’s just that if you keep trying everything, you get soconfused! So, I would say, see one in all and all in one as a principle.
Honor everyone and follow one path.
Q: Dear Guruji, I’m feeling so lost in this world. Youalways say, ‘Life must be juicy’. But there is no juice anywhere. In everywork, there seems to be complete emptiness. Don’t know what to do, where to go?Please guide.
Sri Sri: You are in the right place. Just behere. Is it not juicy here? Is it dry and empty? Of course, it’s hollow andempty when you sit and meditate. But now, you see it’s so celebratory and fun.No one can ever say its dry here.
Look at everyone and the smile on their face. Yes, when youwant to take something from the world, the world will appear to be completelydull and lack. But when you want to contribute, the picture changesdrastically!
Q: What to do if yourGuru or Mentor is displeased with you?
Sri Sri: You make fast progress! Guru isdispleased with your progress. So, now you gear up and progress more. Run fast!
Q: Guruji, is there any connection with the mood and thetiming of the day? Why do we feel different at different times, like one feelslow in night time.
Sri Sri: Ya, ya! Time and mind are connected.You should know this. Time and mind are synonymous. There are eight substances:Vaisheshika, Kanada…all these people have said, ‘Desha, Kala,
Manah.’ Desha is space, Kala is time and, Manah - the mind.They are all tatvas, principles. And all these principles are connected. Deshaand kala are connected. Space and time are connected. One day on this planetEarth is already many days on another…in the moon. In moon, it is different.So, if you are on Jupiter, one human year is only one month. In Jupiter if youhave to experience one year, that is 12 years of earthly time.
Jupiter takes 12 years to go around the sun. Similarly ifyou are on the planet Saturn, 30 years is one year!
Similarly, pitras, people who have died, our human one yearis one day for them. So our six months is only one night and six months is oneday. So, for a soul which has departed our whole year is one day. There aredifferent times and different space in different dimensions. So, time and spaceare connected. It’s called the time-space curve. The same with the thirddimension that is mind! The mindless, transcendental consciousness is calledMahakala, the Shiva, the fourth state of consciousness.
It’s called Mahakala, means great time, and the no-mind. Theno mind is great time.
So, morning from 4.30 to 6.30, just before sunrise, beforedawn, it’s called the most creative time.
Brahma muhurta! And then, every two hours it’s called alagna; which means, one unit of time. And this unit of time corresponds to thestate of mind. And again this is connected with the moon’s position, the sun’sposition. There are so many aspects! Ten different aspects influence the mind.So, not only the time or hour of the day affects the mind, also the quality ofthe days affects the mind. Every two and a half days, the mind changes! Themood of the mind! So, if you are upset, it can continue for two and a half daysat maximum; it doesn’t have to be two and a half day. It rises to a peak anddrops. But after two and a half days, you cannot have the same emotion with thesame intensity.
Impossible! It changes. Switches! It is a great, great science,how mind, mood and time are connected.
Jyotish shastra has a lot of insight into this. Youknow the astrologers, usually, all these weekly column astrologers say, ‘Oh,good for relationships, good for making money, this and that!’ They write thosethings (laughs!). They generalize those things, ‘If you are born on this timethen this is good for you and you do this.’ Of course, it’s too generic andit’s just a money-making thing that they do. But it is not hoax; there is aniota of truth in it. The underlying base has truth. The principle that the mindand time are connected is correct.
Mind means moods, thoughts, opinions, ideas, all thesethings that we collect. And, no mind is meditation
. Dawn and dusk areconsidered very good for mediation. So,whenever you meditate, or whenever the bad time is there, you meditate. Whenyou meditate you go off the influence of the mind and go into the self.
Theself is Shiva tatva. Shiva tatva means, always benevolent, caring, loving,uplifing. That consciousness deep within you which is caring, loving,uplifting and benevolent, will nullify the negative influences of the mind andthe time.
So, in India it is a very common belief, whenever there isbad time just say, Om Namah Shivaye, and it’s gone. All that bad time isgone. ‘Manah’, when read from the other side, it becomes Namah.Manah is when consciousness goes outside in the world, and Namah iswhen the consciousness goes inward. Shivaye, towards the Shivaprinciple, the fourth state of consciousness, the subtlest aspect of theexistence, the Shiva tatva! So, Namah, when the mind goes towards the basicsubstratum of creation, then it can change all that into more benevolentexperience.
Q: Sometimes the inability to plan in advance and the resultingchaos is passed on as divine chaos. How to tackle such chaotic people?
Sri Sri: The person who has created chaos wantsa cover and in the cover, he will always say to save his face and position. Hewill bring up many justifications. So, you understand that position
- may be you’d be doing the same thing when you are in that position.Don’t depend on what people say. Most of our problems begin when we lock on totheir words and not their feeling or where they stand. A mother says to thechild, get lost and she doesn’t really mean it but the words that come are verypowerful and if the children take on the words, then, the child gets into traumaunnecessarily. I would say you should see beyond words.
Your communication should be more than verbal – it should transcendthe verbal communication. Even if someone says all nasty things to you, can youjust be grounded and keep your mind at calm. Then, you have achieved something.You are able to connect to people beyond their words.
Don’t expect that they should also connect. It’s always oneway. I tell you communication is always one-sided. You have the skill, you cancommunicate and you can receive it in that sense. You do not worry about whattheir reactions are, what they blabber.
They usually say all these blame games are blabbering andyou get caught up in this blame game. Someone blames, you get caught up in thisblame game. You stand up and say - I have the master key and I know whichbutton to press and how people will react and how things would change. Youshould have this confidence – the soul, the spirit in you is the master key. Itcan turn around the situation, the way you want it. You should have that faith.It may not happen five times but sixth time it will happen. It all depends onyour conviction and persistence. And don’t bother about what they say.
Q: The country is so full of gurus. I don’t know whom to accept as a Guru. Kindly advice whether I choose a Guru or a Guru chooses me? If I choose then how do I select one?
Sri Sri: Well, I can’t give you any criteria. You choose. It’s up to you. It’s not something you choose intellectually.
Something in your heart guides. You feel at home, you feel cared for, you feel comfortable, right? Otherwise, you can keep asking this question wherever you go. There’s no point, right?
Q: Guruji, how do we handle situations where we feel we havebeen blamed unfairly?
Sri Sri: Just with a smile. In this world,there is place for ignorance also. If someone is blaming you, it is out oftheir ignorance. And if it is not ignorance, it is mal-intention or jealousyand I would club all these emotions as part of ignorance. So, the best is you moveon and don’t get stuck because you have no way to control other’s opinion andyou don’t need to - everyone can have their own opinion. The best formula is toeducate and ignore. You have to; if someone says, you are a thief, you can’tsay, let him have his opinion. You educate him. If they believe it or not it’sup to them. So, keep this as a formula in every relationship. Educate andignore. If you just ignore in the beginning, you will only exhibit arrogance.Educate is also a little strong word. You can say inform and ignore, which iseven better. In education, there is more effort. In anger, people say, I willteach him a lesson.