Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: In spite of doing Sudarshan Kriya daily , still some emotions keep bothering me, lust, greed and jealousy. How do I get free of them?
Sri Sri: Your desire to be free indicates that you’re already on the way out. It is already going away. Do not be too hard on yourself. Practices will help you a lot.
Q: The country is so full of gurus. I don’t know whom to accept as a Guru. Kindly advice whether I choose a Guru or a Guru chooses me? If I choose then how do I select one?
Sri Sri: Well, I can’t give you any criteria. You choose. It’s up to you. It’s not something you choose intellectually.
Something in your heart guides. You feel at home, you feel cared for, you feel comfortable, right? Otherwise, you can keep asking this question wherever you go. There’s no point, right?
Q: Having been given an instruction by someone we put faith in or a mentor, should I follow just the essence of it or word to word?
Sri Sri: See, you’re asking a very general question. And you will selectively use it the way you want, isn’t it? I’m not going to get caught up in this whole thing. (Laughs).
Q: How does one strengthen vairagya (dispassion) when desires arise in us?
Sri Sri: Know the impermanence of everything. Okay, you get a desire. It will be fulfilled. So what? Time will devour all. Time will change everything, so keep moving. When you know everything is impermanent and can still enjoy everything at the same time, that is vairagya or detachment.
Q: How do you know the answers for all the questions?
Sri Sri: I don’t have one for this!
Q: Guruji, does choosing a Guru means one can’t follow theteachings of other masters? Can one have more than one Guru?
Sri Sri: Oh! It’s so hard to manage one Guru,how can you…! (laughs) It’s not easy. Respect everybody but follow one path.Honor everyone and you will see, all the masters have said the same thing.There is only one truth, so, they have said the same thing, but the methods aredifferent as per the needs of the time.
You don’t have conflict when you are on this path. Whicheverpath you were there, they have blessed you and that’s how you have come here.You have served those paths, those teachers, those masters and their blessinghas brought you here, with this conviction you move forward. Ok?
It’s just that if you keep trying everything, you get soconfused! So, I would say, see one in all and all in one as a principle.
Honor everyone and follow one path.
Sri Sri: Life is a combination of both: dynamism and silence, chaos and quietness. You shouldn’t be afraid of either. Those who are used to chaos, are scared of silence. Many times, in my public talks I have observed that some people can't even close their eyes, they’re so scared. Sometimes politicians and even professors can’t sit for 10 minutes with eyes closed. They’re scared to do so. People are so scared of silence, of stillness, of closing their own eyes. Similarly people used to their silence, to their comfort zone are so scared of chaos and disturbance. Both are incomplete. You should feel as comfortable with silence as you are with chaos, and that is the art of living. We see dynamism in silence and silence in chaos. When you are at home with both of them you are able to contribute in both situations.
Sri Sri: It is essential. On the spiritual path you need to have that zeal and enthusiasm for sacrifice. Just today I met several swamis - all young people - computer engineers and highly qualified people. They’ve sacrificed their whole career, life, everything to bring education to poor people, to do service in society. They’re doing service day and night. They’re not wishing anything for themselves. They’re not thinking, “Oh, what will happen to me?” They have dedicated their lives to build schools and colleges and to bring education to millions. So, it is necessary for a bigger cause. Sacrifice brings a bigger joy! It doesn’t reduce your joy. When our needs are more, our responsibilities are less. When our needs are less we are able to take up bigger responsibilities. That is the happiest life!