Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: You talked about the village. What changed them? What was done in that village practically?
Sri Sri: Meditation, breathing, just educating them and singing together. Everyone comes together in the evening and starts singing, everyday. Once a week they have this preeti bhoj when everybody eats together. An inspirational programme called Youth Leadership Training programme gave them the inspiration.
Q: How to improve memory and be more creative and imaginative?
Sri Sri: How to improve memory? I will tell you next year, let me see whether you remember the question!
You do have good memory; If you think you don’t have, little more pranayama, and there are some ayurvedic things for memory, you can take Brahmi and Shankapushpi, these herbs are good for memory.
Q: A lot of spirituality text talks about controlling our mind and channelising our thoughts. But practically for most of us that’s a difficult job to do. Request you to give us practical tips on this.
Sri Sri: Ya, that’s exactly what we are going to do now. Meditation. You will know then how we will deal with the thoughts.
Q: Can we try one in Gurgaon villages?
Sri Sri: We can, definitely.
Q: We have a small group of youth belonging to a church. We have social work going on. We find our youth group lacks leaders. We find we lack leaders among youth. Nobody is coming forward to take responsibility. So what is your idea about how a leader should be and what could be done to take the youth forward towards leadership?
Sri Sri: First of all, I feel that leaders should create leaders. And also leaders should not be imposing, they should be in the background, and they should be caring and compassionate. Why someone is not doing some service activity? Maybe they are stressed, they are tensed. So, if you are unhappy yourself, you won’t be motivated to do something for someone else. So, first you have to find the peace.
That’s why I would say smile and then serve. If there is no smile in your service, it will be short-lived. You may do it 2-3 days, 5 days and then you can’t do anymore because you don’t have energy. So, that inner peace and a sense of belonging in people. When that dawns in you then you can’t but serve. Service becomes your natural..your second nature.
Q: I want to go to India with my family members.
Sri Sri: Yeah you’re welcome to come. We will organize, I think in the stadium also many people wanted to come to India the other day. If it’s a long big group then it will be fun. Some good travel agent here, any travel agent here? Then we will make arrangements and sometime all must come, it’s just very close from here, just four hours.
Q: When two kids like to fight with each other, what should I do?
Sri Sri: Just join them! See that they don’t have sharp things in their hands. Children should fight, they fight and they come back again and they hug each other, they love each other, they can’t be without each other. But it is the adults, it takes them months, years and sometimes even lifetimes to shake hands. Kids are not like that, they fight a moment and next moment they are hand in hand with each other, better you don’t get involved in their matters. Children live in the moment, kids live in the moment, so they fight now and they forget now and this is the beauty.
Q: Can I be a part of that?
Sri Sri: Definitely. Most welcome.
Q: An India specific question - Can business and ethics in contemporary India be reconciled?
Sri Sri: You know, this notion that ‘only by doing wrong things you can prosper’ is wrong. It is not true. You see there are so many businesses in this country where they are flourishing doing ethical business. But they have to be highlighted. Many people don’t know.
The small businesses don’t understand that some of the big businesses are doing totally ethical work like the Tatas, Infosys or Wipro...they are all doing totally ethical business to the core. They are not cheating or doing things which are not ethical. We have to highlight this to the public. That work needs to be done. There are so many small business people who are so value based. Unfortunately they don’t make news. Only Satyam made news (laughter). It is so interesting to see that media captures those news more than the good ones.
Q: Will you sing with us today?
Sri Sri: Well, we will do meditation of course.