Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: I do not know how to express my feelings and emotions. As I was trying to hide them, all the stress goes into myself. I do not know what to do with this. Is it very difficult to empty my mind even while meditating with your guidance?
Sri Sri: Hmm! If you get too many thoughts, there are certain reasons. One of the reasons, for getting too many thoughts, is when your bowel is not clear, when your stomach is upset, constipated. If your bowel movements are not ok then you get too many thoughts. If there is no proper blood circulation in the body, then also you get too many thoughts, yeah? So, yoga and pranayama will help. Proper food and diet will help. Show to Ayurvedic doctor, he will say if there is too much pitta in your system, then he will suggest the food, which will also help.
Q: Is it possible to love and stay strong? Is it possible to love and stay reasonable? Is it possible to be in love and stay dispassionate? Is it possible to be in love and be free from jealousy and possession?
Sri Sri: Definitely. It is possible to stay in such a state of love without any of these negative connotations with that – if there is wisdom. Love with wisdom is bliss. Love minus wisdom is what you have mentioned; all this jealousy, greed, all this paraphernalia.
Q: How to deal with and work with the people who have negative qualities like aggression, jealousy, instability and so on?
Sri Sri: Skillfully. See that you don’t react to them but with compassion, see how you can work with them. Yeah? One thing is it can improve your skills. Second is it can improve your patience. You can gain patience. Third is it will make you realize that the person is not constantly jealous or angry. They also change! You will see and wonder on how people change!
Q: I’m not strong enough to take a commitment for whole one year. What can I do?
Sri Sri: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Not strong enough? Take one day at a time. You are strong enough to take commitment for one day, and that is enough. And each day you can continue doing it. Don’t think of one long year, “oh my God! One year I’ve to do something! Today I do, that’s good. Tomorrow I do, that’s good”.
Q: I want to understand about desires and how we are meant to deal with them. I feel that I shouldn’t be in the desires, yet I still want to achieve things or find myself attracted to another person. If we don’t have desires, where do motivations in life come from? Thank you.
Sri Sri: Fine, have desires. Who said no? You should have desires, but the desires should not have you. It is like the horse is in control of you, and you are not in control of the horse. If you are, then it’s a difficulty.
There is a story of Mulla Nasruddin. He was on the horse. And the horse was going round the same circles, same streets! So people asked him, “Mulla, where are you going?” He said, “I don’t know, ask the horse!” So, we are in similar situation most of the time in our lives. Our desires have us and they ruin us. Instead you should have desires, but you should be able to drop them any time you want to, and have them any time you want to! You should be able to get onto the horse when you want to and get out of the horse when you don’t want! Rather than you getting stuck in the horse, or horse throwing you down. Correct? That is more misery.
Q: Can you please talk about prayers?
Sri Sri: Prayers happens when you feel utterly helpless or when you feel totally grateful. The third condition when prayer happens is when you are in wisdom. Then, you see that the quality of the consciousness has expanded beyond its limitations and has risen to another plane, another dimension which is so fulfilling, so intuitive and so full of wisdom and love.
Q: Dear Guruji, could you please give me an answer? Is the man I’m in love with since one year is the right one for me?
Sri Sri: Well! You are in deep love with somebody, so that person must be right for now. But whether he continues to be right in future, nobody can say. It depends on you! How you handle. You are in love with some body, but is he in love with you or not? First you find that out! If that man is also in love with you, then see how you both preserve your love with a dose of wisdom and how you carry on, how you conduct yourself – all these factors are there. Correct? It’s very easy to fall in love, but many of us don’t know how to maintain that. Someone falls in love with us and we don’t know how to receive and nurture that love. We lose other’s love for us too. So these skills, I have spoken about these skills in the knowledge facets, in Celebrating Love, you read it.
Q: What is the trademark of the ‘Art of Living’?
Sri Sri: Smile! If somebody says he/she has done the course but is not smiling, don’t believe them! They have not done the course truly.
Q: Why is it so that we don’t feel same for a person all the time? Sometimes we are angry with the same person whom we love.
Sri Sri: You know we go through all different types of emotions. We like somebody and the same person we dislike. We trust somebody and same person we start doubting and so all these mixed emotions keep rising and falling in our mind. Don’t be scared. All these emotions make you strong somewhere deep inside. Somewhere you will come out a very powerful human being. When you are aware that all these moving emotions are just a temporary phase, and that you are much bigger than this, you become strong and centered. Don’t get stuck in any of these emotions or make a concept in the mind.
Q: Dear Guruji, it is easy for me to shut my mouth but it is difficult for me to shut my thoughts. How can I do it? Please help me.
Sri Sri: You don’t need to do anything. Everything is done here for you. Hiren is giving all the courses, he will lead you at different times to different types of meditations and processes and it’ll happen! That’s why you need to be here, if it’s a first Hollow and Empty - your Advance Course, you may find it a little difficult to begin with but then you know when you continue, you will definitely find it very useful.