Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: How do protect oneself from the negativity of others?
Sri Sri: Om Namah Shivaya chanting! Jai Gurudev will also do.
Q: What is the purpose of my life? Why have I taken birth on this planet?
Sri Sri: The way you are smiling right now, to bring that smile on the faces of others as well
Do you know the meaning of the month December? (Audience says No!) November? (No!). December – Dash + Ambar, Dash in Sanskrit means ten and ambar means sky. So December makes the tenth sky. Similarly November (Nav + ambar) makes ninth sky and so on. All these names have Sanskrit roots.
Once upon a time March was celebrated as the New year. March is the first month which means go ahead, to move on. And that is when Sun enters the first constellation – Aries. Even today in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey and in many parts of India, March is celebrated as the start of the New Year. So the real new year begins in march. January is the eleventh month and February – the last month.
Q: Could you talk about the sound OM and its significance?
Sri Sri: It is also called the sound of one-hand clapping. The sound which is generated in the universe, not out of friction! Om is universal sound, so when people went deep in meditation, they heard it and they’ve been using it for millions of years. Recently, scientists who mapped the sound on the computer said that it has the same frequency as earth’s rotation around its own axis.
In the sound Om, our Prana covers our whole body. Om has such a resonance with nature - if you stand by the ocean and listen to the waves rolling, you will hear the sound Om. You go on top of a mountain and just listen to the wind blowing, you will hear the sound Om.
Maharishi Patanjali - the profounder of yoga said to ward away all the obstacles in life, Om can be practiced. It is one of the methods that he enunciates. Before meditation, when we sit and chant Om three times, and then use our mantra – whatever mantra we have been given, then, meditation goes very deep.
In China there is a very famous doctor who was suffering from seven major illnesses and he shared his experience. He said that it was his experience that he used to have 500 grams of medication everyday to no avail. Then, he started singing Om for one to two hours every day and in two years he was relieved of all diseases that were thought to be incurable. And his colleagues were surprised. Now this gentleman is calling it the music therapy and he is teaching this to people in China on national television.
When he shared his experience, I thought it is exactly what Maharishi Patanjali has said in the yoga sutras - Ek tatva abhyasa (practice the one tatva, one principle that is Om). It’s called music therapy in China, singing Om. Sound is nothing but energy. It’s nothing but electricity. Our whole body is nothing but electricity. And it can make a big impact on the cells of our body.
Q: Please throw some light on the last shloka of the tenth chapter of the Bhagwad Geeta?
Sri Sri: Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, “Whatever you are seeing in this world, that is all a little part of Me. Wherever you see any merit, that comes from Me only. Any intelligence that you see in anyone, that is Me only. Any valor that you see in anyone, that is Me only. The whole world reflects in a little part of Me.
Q: Many people say that Lord Hanuman still exists in Himalayas? Is it true?
Sri Sri: You know, the Universe is all wave function. There is nothing solid here. If you see some quantum physicist, you will find that they say that whatever appears to be there is really not there. In the subtle, all energies are there. Lord Hanuman is not a person sitting somewhere. In life force itself, there is the consciousness of Hanuman.
Q: Is self-realization a journey or a goal? If we reach somewhere, do we come to know we have reached somewhere, or we have to continue walking.
Sri Sri: Yes, It is both. In one way it is a journey also and in another way it is the last destination. When you are so content that you feel you need nothing. There are no needs left, and we feel so complete.Such contentment dawns that you feel so complete! When you have such a smile that never fades and this happens so effortlessly.
Q: From the time, the Universe has been created, there have been souls. I wonder are they increasing or do they remain the same? I don’t understand the mathematics of souls.
Sri Sri: There are lot many species which are getting extinct too! Lots of snakes,scorpions, sparrows, butterflies… They could have come as humans.
Q: What is the difference between the mind and the soul?
Sri Sri: Mind is thoughts and soul is in which everything happens.
Q: Why does one marry? What is the secret of a successful marriage?
Sri Sri: A successful marriage is when both are happy. Then the children will also be happy. You choose! Choice is yours and blessings are mine. This is something that you don’t choose with your head. If something clicks in the future, make a choice.
Q: What is the description of knowledge?
Sri Sri: Knowledge is not information. That which is awareness is knowledge. The container that contains information is called wisdom, and not the content. That in which all information happens is knowledge. The consciousness – that is only the knowledge.
Satyam Gyanam Anantam Brahma – there are four designations of Brahma - Truth, infinity, wisdom and God. These are the four facets of knowledge. It is all one. Relative knowledge is information and pure knowledge is that which is absolute.