Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Dear Guruji, It’s very hard to see my father in negativity. The more we, my brother, sister and I go into spirituality, the harder and worse it becomes for him. He thinks we have not achieved much in life. None of us have married. He craves for grand children, which we understand. He suffers a lot and that makes it hard for me to see. God has given me all that I need and want. How can I help my parents?
Sri Sri: We can do whatever we can do in our capacity. Spend quality time with them, don’t teach them. When you are with them, don’t give them lessons, or tell them what they should be, what they should not do. Don't tell them, "You should be spiritual like me." Don’t give them such sermons. You know, elderly people just need your company. When you are with them, just sing, just play with them, crack jokes and bring them food or have food with them. Talk something which is of interest to them. They are not interested in listening to wisdom from you, or learning any new techniques from you. Don’t behave like a teacher with your elderly parents. Casually, you may give a few words of wisdom. Observe if they are absorbing it. Otherwise, just being with them is good enough.
Q: Guruji, tell us about pradosha.
Sri Sri: ‘Pradosha’ is the time when divine energy dawns on the planet and redeems all the spirits. There are so many spirits. For people who die and exist as spirits, the day of pradosha redeems them, frees them. Freedom not just for the spirits but also for human beings. Desires are fulfilled and mind gets cleared. Shivaratri that comes once a year, known as ‘Maha Shivaratri’, is very special, the great night of Lord Shiva.
Every month, there is a special day of Shivratri. When you find there is festival every month, you become busy with the festivity, then you have no time to worry or do anything else.
Q: Guruji, I want to be free. How can I be?
Sri Sri: (laughs), Freedom? How will I become free? You have to assume that you are free. Bondage is assumed, so freedom should also be assumed. Bondage is in the mind.
Today is a very special day. Every day is a special day, but today is ‘Shani pradosha’ i.e. Shivaratri on Saturday. Every month has one Shivaratri. On the 13th day after the full moon or two days before the new moon is Shivaratri. It is either on Monday or Saturday. If it falls on a Saturday, it is considered very auspicious. People chant and sing a lot of Shiva bhajans in the evening and meditate.
Q: Dear Guruji, it is easy for me to shut my mouth, but it is difficult for me to shut my thoughts. How can I do it? Please help me.
Sri Sri: You don’t need to do anything. Everything is done here for you. Hiren is giving all the courses, he will lead you at different times to different types of meditations and processes, and it’ll happen. That’s why you need to be here. If it’s your first Advanced Meditation Course, you may find it a little difficult but when you continue, you will definitely find it very useful.
Q: Where is the line between accepting things as they are, and action to change them?
Sri Sri: There is no line. These are two sides of the same coin.
Q: Dear Guruji, as my Guru, you are the only one for me. I love you so deeply and follow you wherever you go. As a person, I often feel, such a deep distance. I’m afraid sometimes. I don’t understand this. It’s not really a question, but could you say something about it?
Sri Sri: You know we go through different types of emotions. We like somebody and later we dislike the same person. We trust somebody, and doubt the same person later. These mixed emotions rise and fall in our minds. Don’t be scared. All these emotions make you strong somewhere, deep inside. Somewhere, you will emerge a very powerful human being. When you become aware that these transient emotions are just a temporary phase, and realize that you are much bigger than this, you become strong and centered. Don’t get stuck in any of these emotions and form a concept in the mind.
Q: Is genetically modified seed OK, or should we oppose it?
Sri Sri: I don’t think genetically modified food is good. But genetically, we can help people get rid of diseases and problems. I am very worried about modifying food grains.
Q: I want to understand about desires and how we are meant to deal with them. I feel that I shouldn’t be in desires, yet, I want to achieve things or find myself attracted to another person. If we don’t have desires, where do motivations in life come from? Thank you.
Sri Sri: Fine, have desires. Who said no? Have desires. But the desires should not have you, you should have desires. It is like the horse is in control of you, and you are not in control of the horse. If you are not, then it’s a difficulty.
There is a story of Mulla Nasruddin. He was on the horse. And the horse was going round in circles, on the same streets! So people asked him, “Mulla, where are you going?” He said, “I don’t know, ask the horse!”
Most of the time in our life, we are in similar situation. Our desires have us and they ruin us. Instead, you should have desires. You should be able to drop them any time you want to, and have them any time you want to! You should be able to get on to the horse when you want to, and get out of the horse when you don’t want! Rather than getting stuck in the horse, or allowing the horse to throw you down. That is more misery.
Q: Dear Guruji, what can I do if I see that someone’s working too much and her body and emotions become sick of that. She is much older than me, and I love and respect her too much. I become very sad if I see that I can’t do anything.
Sri Sri: You know, whether people work or not work, they can get sick. There are lazy people on this planet who get sick. In fact, they fall ill more often. Because their minds are idle. So you don’t have to connect these two things. Some people are so health conscious yet they get sick.
So, sickness is not due to one thing. There could be many factors. One of the factors is karma, some impressions of the past.
Second is violation of the laws of nature, and then third is that you catch from the environment. So, there are many factors.
Catch the rest in the coming post…
Q: Can you bring more sun here?
Sri Sri: Today there is enough sun. We will take it one day at a time.