Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Is peace a state of mind in which no desire or cravingetc. arise at all or they arise and subside very fast. How to attain peacepermanently?
Sri Sri: When you drop this wanting permanency,there will be peace.
Q: Guruji, there are so many schools of Yoga, so many teachers who advocate different forms of Yoga, what exactly is Yoga, for layman who knows nothing about Yoga, what is it exactly?
Sri Sri: Yoga is a study of life, study of your body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, and ego. Study of your inner faculties!
Q: So the courses you have introduced definitely help in depression?
Q: What is unconditional love and how can we love a personunconditionally, and when can we do that?
Sri Sri: When you don’t want anything inreturn, that is called unconditional love. Not even a thanks or a sense ofgratitude or gratefulness. A lot of times people help others but these littleexpectations are there and that is what bugs them and pulls them down. That is alsoa condition.
Unconditional love comes naturally as your consciousnessblossoms. You can’t force it on yourself or cultivate it. I don’t know how tocultivate it. It’s simply a phenomenon. When your consciousness expands, rises,then, what comes out of it is unconditional love. You say, I’m here for you andI want nothing from you. This comes to you and it has come to you with some peoplebut with many others, you have some expectations.
Q: The soul takes staying forever and takes birth tillgetting moksha. Then, who lives in hell?
Sri Sri: Why do you want to explore hell now? Ihave never been there, so I can’t tell you what it is.
Q: Dear Guruji, I believe in this: As we sow, so we reap.But many instances we see that a person is going through bad times, even if wedon’t see any major fault done by him or her. Why it happens?
Sri Sri: Karma! The ways of karma areunfathomable. Karma is like an ocean. This is not one lifetime. In manylifetimes, we have done so many actions and they all have repercussions. Whichkarma has sprouted from which seed and what fruit this karma will give is verydifficult to pin point. That is why it is said ‘gahana karmanogati’ . Unfathomableare the ways of karma. Because it is not just one lifetime, many lifetimes, wehave done many things and we don’t know which karma sprouts when. That’s whydon't worry about the karma, just be active and follow your conscience.
Act with conscience!
Q: Scientifically, Has it been seen? Can we write it in medical journals?
Sri Sri: Yeah! It has already been published by NIMHANS (National Institute of
Mental Health and Neuro Sciences) and IAMS, they have published a paper on it.
Q: How to take full responsibility for your actions withoutfeeling doership?
Sri Sri: When you are taking responsibility,just take the responsibility. Doership means brooding over the consequences.
Whatever has happened, the moment you take responsibility, youare empowered. You come to the present. You have already accepted theconsequences.
When you are in action, don’t get into this philosophy ofdoership or non-doership else the mind gets confused. When you act, you acthundred per cent. When you are acting hundred per cent, suddenly you willrealize I am not doing, it is all happening. Non- doership is an experience;it is not something you try to do or achieve.
Q: Could you please explain how consciousness is stronger thanmatter?
Sri Sri: Well, in the pressure cooker, when youare cooking, when there is more pressure – how is it built up? Water vapor! Andis that more powerful than water or not? So, subtler you go, the more powerfulthe things are. Now, this thing (Guruji shows the small silver cymbals in thehands) has silver molecules. When you break the silver molecules down, you getinto atomic particles, and, when you break them you get sub-atomic molecules,which is minuter than the minutest. Are they not powerful? Which is powerful –this cymbal is powerful or the atom is powerful? Atom is powerful.
The subtler we go, it becomes more and more powerful.Though, everything is made up of consciousness. This entire universe is made upof consciousness, when you become subtler and subtler, they become morepowerful.
Today I was watching a research done with water in Japan bya gentleman. He kept a little water in a bottle and took a photograph. Later hehas used the same water for prayer and then after prayer he has took aphotograph. You can see the impact of prayer - the subtle thought vibration hasgone into the water. It’s obviously visible.
He took a bottle of water and kept blaming it and then tooka microscopic picture of it. With another bottle, he said some pleasing wordsand you can see the difference.
In India, this process is called Abhimantra. You takea pot of water, place your hand on top and then chant mantras. The mantras aresupposed to be absorbed into the water. It is an old tradition in India. Whenyou go to any holy man or saint, you take a pot of water and ask them to blessthe water. Among the sindhi community, they do this a lot.
This Abhimantra - mantra chanting on the water - hasa huge impact on the water, because 70% of our body is water. In the Rudrabhisheka,water is made to fall on a crystal lingam while a particular chanting is beingdone and then it flows down. That water is very charged and it helps to upliftthe atmosphere.
Now it is visible in the microscopic images, the changesthat happen by these practices.
Similarly a gentleman from Russia came and conducted anexperiment in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu when they were doing the Aarti.He took the pictures and found that all the negative ions in the atmospheresuddenly disappeared; they turned into positive ions. It is the positive ionswhich bring changes. All these things are meant to create the positive ions; tobring the required changes. The same is the case with the use of fire. Duringfire ceremonies, when they put the mantra with the intention, there is aqualitative change that happens in the atmosphere.
Q: Guruji, how do we handle situations where we feel we havebeen blamed unfairly?
Sri Sri: Just with a smile. In this world,there is place for ignorance also. If someone is blaming you, it is out oftheir ignorance. And if it is not ignorance, it is mal-intention or jealousyand I would club all these emotions as part of ignorance. So, the best is you moveon and don’t get stuck because you have no way to control other’s opinion andyou don’t need to - everyone can have their own opinion. The best formula is toeducate and ignore. You have to; if someone says, you are a thief, you can’tsay, let him have his opinion. You educate him. If they believe it or not it’sup to them. So, keep this as a formula in every relationship. Educate andignore. If you just ignore in the beginning, you will only exhibit arrogance.Educate is also a little strong word. You can say inform and ignore, which iseven better. In education, there is more effort. In anger, people say, I willteach him a lesson.