Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Why is my mind so restless during lunar eclipse?
Sri Sri: There is a remedy to all celestial phenomena! You know what? ‘Om Namah Shivaye’. The vibrations of the mantra create an armor around us and protect and energize the whole body – mind complex.
Q: If God is in all, why do natural calamities like tsunamis or earthquakes exist?
Sri Sri: Suppose there is only a hero in a film and there is no villain! Whenthere are all kinds of thrill, only then the movie works. If it wouldhave been just a hero or heroin, they get married and live together,that’s it! How would the film be? This is all a play, a drama. So, allkinds of things keep happening.
Thesoul is eternal. This world is ever changing, different changes keep onhappening. Knowing this, just relax. Be of service. Where ever thereis a need, be ready to jump in that. Service is our very nature and wecannot live without it. Service should not be like a heavy weight, butjust like a flower petal – easy and natural.
Q: The only mistake I make is that I keep on making mistakes. What should I do?
Sri Sri: It is alright to make a mistake. Making a mistake is a part of life.Sometimes a mistake happens; it happens. Fine! Accept it and moveahead. The pain of making the same mistake again and again itself isgood enough to take you out of the same mistake. The pain and pinch ofsuffering will make you come out of that. But never justify yourmistake.
Q: Whenever I see a good looking girl, I find myself in love. Is that love or infatuation?
Sri Sri: Well, time will tell you! First, find out whether they are in love withyou or not. If that matches, it is a different story. If it doesn’tmatch, that is a different story altogether. Either case, you willbecome mature. But don’t keep falling in love. Rise in love! In love,you don't expect anything in return. If you want something in return,don’t call it love. Then that’s need. In a relationship there is aneed, but there is no need in love. Love is your very nature. If itsounds too philosophical for now, just keep it in the background andrelax. One day you will understand, when your heart breaks or when yourealize you expected something too much, something will pop up from thebackground of the mind and try to save you.
Q: Life is so complex. How to stay simple like you?
Sri Sri: Don’t recognize complexity. Keep your sight on the One. In Sanskrit it is said, “Antarmukhi sada sukhi”.If your mind is turned inwards, it will always be happy. What iscomplex? People’s mind! They are bothered about their complexity, whyshould you be bothered about the same? People are complex, and theywill come down. Have patience and compassion.
Q: Can you tell us how the time of the day and night affect our body and mind?
Sri Sri: You have a mind and the mind passes through time. Why don’t you observeit! You have different moods in the morning, different moods in theafternoon, and different moods in the evening and night. Isn’t so?
Thereis alertness and wakefulness at sunrise. I don’t think anybody likes tolisten to romantic songs at dawn, dusk or afternoon. Unless you arenewly married or just fallen in love!
In the morning, the mind is in a state of knowledge, alertness and wakefulness.
It is action-oriented in the afternoon and in the evening, the mind is in a state of relaxation.
Onewho wants to be unhappy can be unhappy the whole time, and one whowants to be happy can be happy throughout the day. A fool will beunhappy all the time and the intelligent one will be happy in spite ofchanging moods. In the same way, seasons also affect the mind.
Definitely,the mind and time have a very unique relationship. If you havetranscended the mind, there is happiness throughout. An eternalcalmness and serenity dawns.
Q: Guruji, can you tell us some story when you were a child.
Sri Sri: I continue to be one even today! I leave the story for others to say. Knowledge byte: Remember one thing. The centre core of your existence is all positivity. All imperfection is only on the circumference. So deep inside you are pure, you are innocent, you are beautiful, and you must have total conviction in this. That is it. I am totally pure hundred percent, two hundred percent positive. Deep inside you are simply a most adorable, most lovable person. You should have zero doubt about it. And whatever imperfections you may find in yourself or in others are only on the circumference. This conviction is most important in spiritual growth. Otherwise someone blames you, you take the blame and then you burn with it. When you have this conviction, if anybody says anything to you, you will not care and will simply smile at them. You will not be an emotional wreck anytime, because you are so solid and well founded in the self. And that is what the whole spiritual exercise is! Shudhohum, budhohum – You are pure, crystal clear and solid. That conviction makes you rest so peacefully. If you are made by nature, you are perfect. Everything in nature is perfect. There is one school of thought which says find imperfection. Another school of thought is to move from perfection to greater perfection. That is what we understand. Praising each other and praising oneself, uplift the spirit all the time. Give criticism and stand up to criticism. If someone criticizes you, welcome that, knowing too well that whatever is the criticism is part of their perception or your projection. Imperfection is nothing but a projection or perception. From your side you have projected like that to the other person or that person has perceived you like that. Imperfection is nothing but your inability to project the way you are to others or the perception of other person towards you. That’s it. Got it? All these practices you do are to get to this stage – Improving perception, observation and expression. And that is it. It can never be hundred percent. It is relative, this is the thing. There can always be a chance for improvement in perception and expression. But there is no chance for any improvement in the being.
Q: Which is the way of being considerate in my society, neighborhood, my Art of Living group and my friends?
Sri Sri: Why are you asking this question? You think you are not considerate of others? If you are very stressed then you don’t care what other people think or what others are doing. You just do what you want to do. But sensitivity comes with serenity, sensitivity comes with calmness, sensitivity comes with culture. Your background, your culture, how you grow up, and what were the situations around you. You have that ability to be considerate. Do not doubt that. Compassion is in our very nature. Only when you are extremely stressed, compassion appears to have disappeared. It really doesn’t disappear, it stays somewhere deep inside.
Q: I have been having so many different dreams. They are full of fear and anger. I even say I hate you to a person and I say that to a person I love. What is that? My heart is happy, then why is this so?
Sri Sri: Past impressions! You know, there are five types of dreams. Do you know about that? How many of you don’t know? One is your past impressions in the mind come to you as dreams. Second is your desires, ambitions, dreams come to you as dreams. Your unfulfilled desires come to you as dream. Like you wanted to have hot chocolate and you sleep, you have hot chocolate in your dream. Have you had this type of dreams? Third type of dream is premonition. What is going to happen in the future, you get it in your dream. Everyone gets once in a while such dreams, premonitions. Fourth type of dream has nothing to do with you but the place you are in. Suppose you go and sleep in France, you get a dream in which everybody is speaking French, French words and faces that you have never seen before or sometimes the people who were there in that area or the impressions in that space come to you as dream. The fifth type is a mix of all these – a hotchpotch. That is what mostly dreams are. Ninety percent dreams are of this category. You are riding a horse and suddenly the horse is inside a train. There is no logic to it and it all appears to be very perfect and really clear. Suddenly the train transforms into a boat and the boat turns into a train! All these things can happen. This is all possible in dreams. So many possibilities because it’s a mixture of all: your desires, past impressions, what may happen in the future and then the place. That’s why you don’t need to analyze too much. It’s another form of stress release. Wake up!
Q: What could help me prioritize one thing against another in my life?
Sri Sri: Your broader vision!