Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Human beings will always be imperfect, then how does one see Godliness in a human?
Sri Sri: Who says human beings are always imperfect? Inside human beings, there is Godliness. Wake that Godliness up. Move from one perfection to another and not from imperfection to imperfection.
Either you can see fault with everything, like milk gets spoilt and becomes curd and then butter. You can see first milk gets spoilt and becomes curd, and then curd gets spoilt and becomes butter. You can talk about only imperfections, or you can see progress from perfection to perfection.
Q: What is the fastest way to feel belongingness and unity?
Sri Sri: When you are free from stress, you have a sense of belongingness and understanding. This is what happens when people undergo The Art of Living program. It happens so naturally.
Q: Is there a masculine and feminine side to everything? Then why do we categorize things as male or female?
Sri Sri: Yes! There is a neutral gender also. There are 3 genders. Some things fall under the neutral gender too. In fact, there is a whole scripture on the gender of stones as well as trees. The Shilpa Shastra or Book on Sculptures elaborates on this. Hawaiians also say that different stones have different genders! They can identify those. But it doesn’t matter. The Self, or the Spirit is beyond gender.
Q: Why is there a need for meditation in our modern society?
Sri Sri: What is the need of meditation in today’s society, in today’s life as such. You know if you look at the benefits that meditation brings into our life, you feel it is all the more relevant, all the more needed. In ancient times, meditation was used for enlightenment, to find the self. Also meditation is a way to get rid of misery, to overcome misery, to overcome problems. Meditation has been the way to improve one’s abilities; three things!
Today keeping aside enlightenment you see, with all the social ills of today, the stress, the tension calls for one to meditate. The more responsibility you have in your life the more is the need for meditation. If you have nothing to do, you may not need meditation. The busier you are, the less time you have, the more work you have, more desires and ambitions you have, the more you need to be meditating because meditation not only relieves you of stress and strain, it enhances your abilities to face the challenges. Meditation brings better health to us; meditation is food for the soul; it is an energizer for the mind; it is a life line for the body.
It keeps your body in shape, helps your nervous system, helps your mind, your alertness, improves you perception and helps you to express yourself properly, what more do you want, everything has come!
So the benefits of meditation are many. Basically you can say if you want to be happy you need to meditate. If you want to be happy and healthy you got to be meditating.
Q: What is the golden rule of a happy married life?
Sri Sri: Well, I am not qualified to say anything, but let me think. Why don’t you sit with those who are happily married? What I have heard is:
Before marriage: a couple is mad for each other!
During marriage: They are made for each other!
And then: They are mad at each other!
After while: They are mad because of each other.
Somebody here has formulated this!
One thing I know, marriage is an institution of patience, sacrifice, caring for each other and sharing. If one is upset, other should keep quiet and wait for his/her turn to get upset. If both together get upset at the same time, then there is a problem! But in front of kids, one should better be civilized.
Q: What shall we do to always be happy, because as I know your concept is to relax and attain happiness by that?
Sri Sri: What to do to always be happy? First, drop the feverishness to hold onto ALWAYS and you will find yourself happy. And then, if some moments of unpleasantness creep into life, accept that also.
Q: How do I feel more energetic repeating the same old routine every day?
Sri Sri: First look into the mirror and give a big smile to yourself. Ok? Then do some deep breathing, little bit of yoga and meditation. Give some time to yourself everyday and you will be more energetic and beautiful.
Sri Sri: What is faith? To understand faith, you must know doubt.
Q: Is it true that some places have negative and positive vibes? I have experienced that our group working in our suburb doesn’t get the success it does outside. What should we do to increase the sattva of a place?
Sri Sri: Keep working, keep doing. Everywhere it is possible to make a change. It’s just a matter of time.
Q: In spite of spiritual inclination, some melodramatic tragedies keep on happening. Why is this so?
Sri Sri: Tragedy is tragedy when you are affected. There is no explanation for some phenomenon. Why accidents happen, why do people die? It is these moments when you say “Why me?” You know, the ‘Why’ in the mind is associated with misery and the ‘How’ is associated with wonder and joy.
When the question, ‘Why this problem only with me?’ arises in mind or it arises in some other’s mind, better don’t say anything. Just be! No explanation, no reasoning of that will suffix. You simply have to leave those questions for those moments. Time will take you across. Time will make you sail from that situation. Our tendency is to answer them or console them, but smile or a moment of silence will be better. No explanation. No reasoning, no theories will ever do anything. That is what I feel.