Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Guruji, you asked us to be dispassionate and you also say that dispassion is a happening. I really want to be dispassionate but I am confused how can I create a happening in my life? Please guide
Sri Sri: Dispassion is not a happening; I would say dispassion is what you invoke in yourself. When you widen your awareness, when you see everything is going to disappear and death is imminent, we are all going to die and everything is changing; when this knowledge comes - then dispassion is spontaneous. You need to understand and see life from a broader perspective and then automatically dispassion comes within you; but there is some effort. A little effort from you and then it will happen.
Q: Dear Guruji, generally one of these shaktis are predominant in us: either Brahma shakti, Vishnu shakti or Shiva shakti. How to use them and how to balance them?
Sri Sri: Simply do it! That’s it. Brahma shakti: you create but don’t just drop it. Vishnu shakti is to see that whatever you start, you continue.
Q: We always perform Tarpana on Amavas in reverence of the departed souls of the beloved ones, is it really something scientific or just a ritual?
Sri Sri: Well, Tarpana means ‘to satisfy.’ ‘Tarpa’ comes from ‘tripti’, which means fulfillment. Your ancestors had some wishes. Fulfilling them or taking them to be fulfilled, don’t crave for anything. That is exactly what Tarpana is: remembering the people who have departed once in a year.
In Christianity and in Islam also they do this for departed souls, particularly once in a year. So in India, in the ancient days, on amavas (moonless night) they kept remembering all the ancestors and they kept the full moon day to remember all the different manifestations of the Divinity. It is not only that every amavas you have to do something, but remembering them and doing some good work in their memory is good.
Q: How do I enjoy life if it is going to get finished one day? This thought doesn’t let me enjoy Guruji.
Sri Sri: It should make you appreciate life more. See, a flower is going to wither away but don’t you enjoy looking at the flower? You have a gulab jamun (an Indian sweet), ice creams, once you eat it’s going to finish but don’t you enjoy it? Now see, there is the beautiful full moon there and it is going to disappear one day but still we enjoy it today. Good!
Q: Guruji, some people say that you must not go to funerals and some people say you should go to funerals. Which is right?
Sri Sri: Yes, we can go for funerals; there is a social responsibility. There is no problem in going. Usually, once you return from a funeral, you take a bath because the energy changes.
Q: Guruji, my boss wants me to be diplomatic and feels it is very important for communication but I am a very straight forward person and cannot be diplomatic. What is the right thing to do?
Sri Sri: Why do you put a label in your head ‘I am a straight forward person’ and why should a straight forward person not be diplomatic also? A straight forward person need not be rude all the time. Now you hide your rudeness behind that fact that you are straight forward, no you cannot justify the rudeness that way. Straight forwardness is necessary and diplomacy is also necessary, you have to have both. When you meet someone who is blind, you cannot tell that person, ‘You are a blind person’. You may say I am just straight forward, I am just saying the right thing, but you shouldn’t do that. So diplomacy is part of life; that is a skill you need to have. Diplomacy need not be that one is not being straight forward because it is not the opposite of being straight forward, not at all. These two things should go together.
Q: Guruji, please talk on angels, what is their role and purpose. Does everyone have a guardian angel that looks after them?
Sri Sri: Yes, angels are just positive energy.
Q: What is Swara Yoga, could you please articulate on that?
Sri Sri: First do alternative nostril prayanama and then go more deep into pranayama then you will see how the breath in the nostrils change throughout the day.
Q: I feel that India’s socio-economic problems are a lot based on over population, do you agree?
Sri Sri: No, no. India’s problems are not based on over population, they are based on corruption. The problem is because of corruption. Population was thought to be a curse till a few years ago but today it’s the population that is the basis for improving the economy. Population means big market, why would other countries look at India? Because it’s a huge market.
Q: Guruji today is Buddha Purnima, so please tell us something about it.
Sri Sri: Buddha stood for meditation all his life, all the time. We will do a short meditation now.