Q: Guruji, please give us Gyaan (knowledge)? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: For that you have to ask questions. Knowledge means you have to pull it out.
Q: What happens after death? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What happens after death is the mind gets freed from the body, the spirit. The mind has memory and intelligence, so these two things become like a balloon. The karma, the deepest impressions form a balloon. It is like in sleep.
Death is nothing but a long sleep. Before going to sleep, see the last thought that you get, and as soon as you wake up, see what is the first thought that comes. Have you noticed? It will variably be the same though.
Love is indescribable. You
can’t describe it. And there
is not a creature on this
planet which doesn’t know
it. Wherever there is a force,
or there is energy, or a pull,
or attraction, you call it love.
And where there is repulsion
that is also love in the opposite
So the physical body decays and the pranic body with all the impressions forms a balloon and leaves the body and hangs around.
Don’t imagine a balloon hanging around! It is a light; an energy.
I will give you the best example. In a television station, they conduct a program and then they transmit it through the dish and the program remains in the atmosphere – it is the same way.
When you send an email from the computer, you type all the letters and then you press the send button. What happens? It goes into the space. Does your email remain in the space till it is downloaded? Even after several days you can download your email. Even one year later or ten years later you can download an email. There is no expiry date, isn’t that so. It is not like those greeting cards which sometimes people send you that expire in 24 hours.
The messages or letters you send don’t hang as letters in the space, it remains in the space as energy.
Like that every soul is a particular frequency and every thumb is different because a thumb is like a particular cell phone chip.
So after death, every individual energy stays, and the impressions it has taken, accordingly to that it experiences those stages there. But then after sometime that soul comes back.
The soul enters the body at three times – this is all a secret. It is called the birth secret and death secret.
So the soul enters at the moment of conception, or it enters in the fifth month, or at the time of birth. So the three sections are there, but there is no way to determine when it enters.
So if at conception time it comes then what one should do to care for that?
Keep yourself happy. Usually pregnant women are kept very happy in India. Whatever she wants is provided to her.
I would say, don’t watch all these violent movies, and scary songs, and scary things. Generally light flute music would be good because it is soothing. It is good to listen to music, knowledge and wisdom. All these things would be preferable.
The soul also chooses where to be born, the place to come. According to its wish it will just come there.
Q: What is love? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The basis of all existence.
All the cells in your body love each other, that is why they are together. The day they stop loving each other, it all disintegrates. Got it?
If there is one substances by which everything is held together and you want to give it a name, you can call it love. Love is not all wiggly wiggly and mushy mushy, ‘Oh I can’t live without you, I love you so much’, and so on. It is not that. That is just an emotional something. Love means (silence)… that is it.
Love is indescribable. You can’t describe it. And there is not a creature on this planet which doesn’t know it. Got it?
From the sea to the birds, from a chicken to an enlightened person, everybody has experienced love. Love for life is what we think it is, but life itself is love. So see through this knowledge that this whole universe is love.
Love is an existence not just an emotion. Emotion is also love, but the existence itself is love.
The Earth loves the Sun that is why it keeps going around the sun. The Moon loves Earth that is why the Moon goes around the Earth. Wherever there is a force or there is energy or a pull or attraction, you call it love. And where there is repulsion that is also love in the opposite direction. Got it?
You are drawn to somebody or something, why? Because you love it.
You see a cheese cake and you are drawn to it, why? There is a pull.
You see a beautiful girl or a girl sees a beautiful boy, there is a pull, and what do you call that? You call it love! Why? It is because there is a pull, there is an attraction, there is a force. And that force is what manages the whole universe.
Some places it is more obvious and some other places, it is not obvious.
The day the Earth stops loving you, you will start flying. The Earth loves you so much that the gravitational force keeps you glued to the earth. Did you get it?
So love is that force in human life. And all the negative emotions are also a distorted form of love only.
In anger there is love. Ask me how? You love perfection and that is why you get angry. Greed is love. Greed is when you love something much more than life. When you love objects more than life, it is called greed. Hatred is love upside down. Fear is love upside down.
On bad days don’t go down
and on good days don’t just
go off the roof. Maintain your
equanimity and your dignity.
This is what knowledge
Q: Guruji, my mother passed away on Christmas. Is there any special meaning to this? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, do you know around the world, many people die on Christmas day or New Year day. Death knows no dates. Got it?
So, you feel uncomfortable because she died on that day which you celebrate. But another way of looking at it is – on that day she became bigger. She got over here suffering, her sickness from being in the body. She got liberated. So that is a good thing for her. It is a Christmas gift to her from nature, from God. Think that way, then your mind will be at peace and you can celebrate Christmas.
She got liberated on Christmas day. And on Christmas day she ascended. Isn’t this a better way to see? So celebrate her liberation and her freedom.
Q: What to do if people around me are always very negative? I have a friend who is extremely negative about everything and with time he seems to be getting worse. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, if someone goes to that extent of being totally negative, it is not easy for a human being. It is almost inhuman to be that negative. And when he has gone so far, there is no way for him to go any further, he will have to come back because everything is cyclic. Got it?
When you go to the rock bottom, there is no way you can go further down. You have to come up. And that is what he said. He has gotten so bad that now he has to come back. And also to demonstrate that originally nobody is bad, it is only the action. The spirit is never bad. The spirit is always free and blissful.
Actions have a limited sphere and time. See if you do a bad act, you are not condemned forever. Even a punishment given to you is only for a few years or so. And even in those few years, you are treated well, isn’t it?
A prisoner, whatever crime he has committed, is he treated badly? No, he is treated with compassion. The same thing was said in the Puranas – even a person who has gone to the highest level of crime, when he comes in contact with someone who is pure, someone who is so brilliant, someone who is full of positive energy then the influence of that positive energy is so powerful that it can bring light even to darkness.
See, in the darkest place a candle is good enough to bring light.
Q: (A member of the audience spontaneously asked a question and it was inaudible in the recording) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, see human life is mixture of pleasant and unpleasant days. You take the life of anyone including Sri Ram, Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, Mahavir or Guru Nanak. Take anyone in the history they all had some bad days while some days were good.
What is important is on bad days don’t go down and on good days don’t just go off the roof. Maintain your equanimity and your dignity. This is what knowledge teaches you. Yes, there are some bad days but if you have wisdom you will just sail through them and get over them. It does not affect you so much.
The law of karma is very interesting and very strange. If it has to rain, it will rain. But it is your choice whether to get wet or not. If you walk in the rain with a raincoat you will not get so wet, just a few drops will fall on your face. But if you walk without an umbrella you will be fully drenched and you will have to come and change your clothes. All this – sadhana, meditation, satsang, singing, knowledge, all these are umbrellas and raincoats.
So people say, ‘Oh, if you are having a bad time now, do hollow and empty meditation, do some Om Namah Shivaya chanting and singing.’
You may feel some negativity in the mind but they just come and vanish. And when you go deeper into it, a time comes that they don’t touch you at all, and they don’t come anywhere close to you. That is enlightenment.
The law of karma is very
interesting and very strange.
If it has to rain, it will rain.
But it is your choice whether
to get wet or not. If you walk
in the rain with a raincoat you
will not get so wet. Sadhana, meditation, satsang, singing, knowledge, all these are umbrellas and raincoats.
Q: What do you think about astrology? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is why I am saying this is a sort of lost science. Astrology is a science but not the astrologers. They just make things up. You must follow your intuition. You don’t have to worry too much about these things.
A general idea of it is okay. Like on a new moon or full moon day, the moon has an impact on your mind. How many of you have had this experience?
How many of you can’t sleep on the new moon or full moon day? Moon is very much linked to the mind. So it happens.
Just be watchful that is all, don’t be paranoid. There is big difference between being paranoid and just having an idea. Be watchful about it.
Q: Guruji, I read and hear a lot of knowledge, but almost immediately forget what I heard. What do I do? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t worry; I will keep talking to you. So even if you forget a hundred times, never mind, I have enough patience. I keep telling the same things.
Those who are talking to you are also in the same boat. Many people here, they say, but they too live from the other side. Never mind!
Have you ever heard Ashtavakra Gita? Forgotten, right?!
Have you heard the saying in that, ’Blessed are those who have forgotten.’
So you must belong to that.
There is one talk in Ashtavakra Gita where Ashtavakra says, ’Those who can forget everything are the blessed ones.’
So you seem to fall in that category. But this at least you don’t forget that you are blessed. Just this one thing if you can remember, ‘I am blessed.’
Q: Guruji, I have lost my intuition. What do I do? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are in the right place, no problem.
See, yesterday we were having a meeting upstairs in Krishna hall and suddenly I said that I want to go and see the basement. I have not been to the basement for probably more than a year now.
So I said that I want to go to the basement and so we all went to the basement. In the basement, I suddenly went to this room and asked, ‘Who is staying in this room?’
They said, ‘We don’t know, somebody is staying.’
So I said, ‘Open the door’, and so we opened the door and we found a candle burning there. The candle was almost finished and the flame was about to catch on to the bed and the cot. We would have had a fire there because the flame of the candle was all over. If we had gone ten minutes later, perhaps the bed would have caught fire. Somebody lit the candle and forgot. There was no business for me to go there to that room.
That is intuition. I felt I should go there and I opened that room only.
I would never go and open somebody’s room. But now you know anything is possible. I may just barge into anybody’s room.
So I barged into that room and we found that nobody was there of course and the candle was burning.
So intuition is something that everybody is born with and everybody has it. The more hollow and empty, the more meditative you are, it is very obvious then. Isn’t it?
So, don’t light candles in your room and then disappear from there, okay!
Q: Where is the world of spirit? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is not somewhere, it is here only.