Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Gurudev, you have said that if one thinks too much about the people they hate, then they start to become like them. I am constantly thinking of people I dislike and taking on their qualities. How do I keep from doing this?
Sri Sri: Well, let me tell you that without dispassion there is no progress in life. If you want to progress in life, you must have dispassion.
Dispassion brings freedom to your mind. Dispassion keeps you in the present moment.
Dispassion brings that smile on your face; it brings that energy and enthusiasm in you.
What are you hanging on to? You hate somebody? What for?
The world will definitely have such people, all the time. Tell me one time on this planet, in history, where there were no wicked people? Or there were no people who troubled others? Such people have always been there, and the world will continue to have such people.
Now, if you want to keep them in your world, what can we do? It is you who is making this happen by keeping them in your head. An unfortunate incident happened, it happened, you should move on. Don’t sit and chew on it.
Dispassion is letting go of the past, and knowing that everything is going to end one day, everybody is going to die; them and you are going to die, so at least keep your mind free.
Know that these are all different roles being played. Sometimes, it is like a horror movie, what to do? That doesn’t mean you be inactive when there is horror happening. When there is a robbery happening, rape happening, or something bad happening in society, you should stand up to stop it.
When will you get the strength to do this? When you have dispassion in your mind. Then you can stand up, otherwise you will do such an act, by which you will start suffering. You will become a culprit yourself.
A culprit cannot be eliminated by another culprit. You try to eliminate the culprit and you become another culprit.
A victim cannot be eliminated by another victim. If you are a victim of your own rage, and anger, how can you help another victim? And if you become a culprit to eliminate culprits, you will find yourself in the prison.
This is what has happened to so many people. So many people who land up in prison, are so righteous. They say, ‘I did this because that person did this thing to me.’ No! An eye for eye, a tooth for tooth is not going to make anything better. It will make the whole world blind. We must wake up with dispassion and work towards a better society; work towards a society free from violence, and a society which is more spiritual.
Just like how you have made the entire society literate. Everybody knows how to read and write. They can read the sign boards. There is not a single person in Canada who does not know how to read the sign boards. Are there any? No.
At least they can read the sign boards, they may not be scholars in anything. They know how to read, and how to write. I want spirituality to become like that.
We should behave right, and be kind to people. We should work towards this direction. It may not happen 100%, all people will not become like that, but at least a major part of society will change for the good, and that is good enough.
Again I am saying, we can dream of such a society, but for it to become real, it will take time. A society where there is no crime at all is a far-fetched reality; it takes time, but we must at least move in that direction.
Q: Dear Gurudev, can we practice and follow other paths along with Sudarshan Kriya, like the Kriya Yoga of Parmahansa Yogananda?
Sri Sri: Just do one thing, it will be good enough.
When you do too many things, it becomes a big confusion. I have seen people who go and do too many things and their energy goes totally haywire. It is not necessary.
If you have been doing it in the past, well, after doing Sudarshan Kriya, you can sit for meditation. If something happens it happens, it is okay. If those mantras come, never mind, but if you put effort and do, or learn more, then it can create a lot of confusion.
Q: Gurudev, tell us about the New Year, is it a good year?
Sri Sri: Yes, it is a good year. This year is called The Year of Victory. Good will prevail over the bad. Wise will prevail over the wicked.
All those who are doing wrong things, cheating people, they will all go out. It is time for good to prevail now.
There is a cycle for everything. Different things happen at different times. So, this time, more sattva is coming.
Q: Dear Gurudev, I am finding it difficult to maintain a vegetarian diet for long periods of time. Even though I eat vegetarian protein, I find it is not enough. I still crave protein from meat, and when I eat it, I feel better. I would like to be a steadfast vegetarian because I’m firmly on the path of non-violence. Do you have any advice for me?
Sri Sri: It is only in your mind, that you need protein.
You know, horses have so much power, they have so much protein and they are vegetarian. Elephant are vegetarian. What power elephants have! You can’t even imagine. Bulls are vegetarian.
We say horse power. Power is always measured by horse. Horses just eats grass and green grams. Vegetarian food has a lot of protein. It is just in our mind, in our psyche, but nothing like that. Eat nuts and pulses, they all have protein. You don’t need to be vegan, you can eat dairy; it is okay. Cheese and milk, they have all the protein. You can have wheat grass juice, or Spirulina. Here in North America it is all very common.
A larger number of population in North America are becoming vegetarians. So take out from your head, that you need this. You don’t really need it. Your body is made for a vegetarian diet. You have a substance called Tallinn in your saliva. It is only present in the herbivorous animals. You don’t find that in lions, wolves, or tigers.
Herbivorous animals have long intestines, you too have a long intestine. Lions don’t have that, dogs don’t have that.
Your body shows that. Every sign of human physiology is made for a vegetarian diet. You don’t have the type of teeth which carnivorous animals have. You have the same type of teeth like monkeys, your immediate ancestors, cows, elephants. I am not talking about the tusk, the teeth inside the mouth of the elephant is like ours.
This is a wrong understanding in the mind, that because I stopped eating meat, I’m feeling weak, no! It is just a notion in the mind.
Q: Dear Gurudev, please share with us some of the secrets from the Upanishads.
Sri Sri: The secret to the Upanishad is, you are Om.
Your true name is Om. Whatever name you have, is given by your parents in this lifetime, but what were you before this lifetime? What was your name? Om. And what will be your name in the future, once you leave the body? Om.
So everything has come out of Om, that one universal sound that is resonating in the consciousness all the time, and you are all born out of that sound, and we remain in it. Even now, it is there all the time.
When you drop this body, don’t think you will carry your name with you. Your name will go with this form. But the light that you are, the consciousness you are, has only one name, and that is, Om.
That is what is said in the prayer, ‘Ek Onkar (God is One), Satnam (His name is True), Karta-Purakh (He is the Creator), Nirbhau (He is without fear), Nirvair (He is inimical to none), Akal-murat (He never dies), Ajuni Saibhang (He is beyond birth and death), Gurprasaad (He is realized by the kindness of the True Guru), Jap (Repeat his name), Aad Sach (He is True, even before anything was created), Jugaad Sach (He has ever been True), Hai Bhi Sach (He is True now), Nanak Hose Bhi Sach (He will be True in the future)’. There is only one Omkar, the doer, and that is the Creator from the ancient times, in which everything gets created.
Nirbhai means, it is without fear, without duality; there is no two there. It is unblemished, it is totally pure.
Aad Sach, Jugaad Sach, Hai Bhi Sach, it is all truth; it is the true thing. Our origin is from that truth. Adi means, your origin; from where everything has come, or everything has gathered.
Our source is true, our goal is true, and this is the true name, ‘Ek Onkar, Satnam…’
This is the essence of Upanishads, and this is what the Upanishad says.
‘Shivam shantam advaitum chatutrum manyante, sa atma, sa vigyayaha.’
(That reality which is Shivam, infinite silence; which is Shantam, infinite peace; which is Advaitam, the undivided, is said to be Chaturtham, the fourth. It is beyond the three states of consciousness; waking, dreaming and sleeping, The fourth is the Self, and that Self (sa Atma), is that to be known (sa vigyeyah))
What is worth knowing is the fourth state, which is neither the waking, nor dreaming, nor sleeping, but the fourth state, which is at the basis of the whole creation. That should be known; attended to.
Q: Gurudev, I have heard that cancer has been cured in our Ayurvedic Hospital.
Sri Sri: Yes, cancer has been cured by their medicine.
It is the same with our Shakti Drops, it has amazing results. They are doing lot of research now on Shakti drops. It is useful in so many things, swellings, aches, pains.
The research will take about a year to get back all that information.
Q: Gurudev, my daughter had a serious allergy to nuts. I came during Navratri to the ashram, and got her treated at our Ayurvedic hospital. Now, over 60 percent has been cured. Also, her eczema is going away.
Sri Sri: Allergies, eczema, all these can be cured very well. Many of the diseases that Allopath is unable to cure, our Ayurveda hospital doctors can cure, and Shakti drops also do the job well. A lot of people have experienced great changes.
Q: Dear Gurudev, my mother says that God is in our hearts, and if anything is wrong, all I have to do, is look inside and pray. But what about the thousands of children who pray and still don’t survive?
Sri Sri: Yes, that is part of nature. There are more secrets to it.
How a baby is born, and why it stays only for a short period of time, is a highly guarded secret. You will understand them one day.
Many times, after the baby is born, the love between the husband and wife disappears. Not all the time, but sometimes. This is because the soul attracts the two people. They may have no compatibility, but the soul has made such a compelling attraction that they come together, they get married and have a baby, and as soon as the baby is born, that is it, all the bonds between them vanish.
Have you seen this happening in the society? This is because that soul has brought those two people together. It got its work done, and that is it. This happens, and it is very interesting.
Q: Gurudev, can we teach at our Orissa University?
Sri Sri: Yes, you could write to the Vice Chancellor.
Do you know, we will be starting an Osteopathy College there? It has come up very nicely.
Even our Ayurveda College is doing very well. It has received six distinctions, out of ten.
Do you know, it is known as one of the best Ayurveda Hospitals there? It heals people of Varicose Veins and related problems, without any surgery.
Q: Dear Gurudev, what is the indication that we are moving towards the Self?
Sri Sri: You need not move towards the Self, the Self is already there, everywhere. There is something in you that is unfazed, that stays solid; that is the Self.