Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Sri Sri: Maya means all which changes, which can be measured. Everything that comes in purview of the five senses is changing – is Maya.
Q: Does Birth and rebirth exist? If yes, then what does it mean to be a human?
Sri Sri: Why human birth? Human Life is there to know life.
Q: How to prepare for death?
Sri Sri: There is no need to prepare for death. You die for the past, when you let the past die then you are living for the present. Art of living, Art of dying are two sides of the same coin. You should die for all the past things that have happened. Live in the present! If you have to live in the present you have to discard all the past(clapping). Every second, discard the past. If you know the art of dying every second of life then life blossoms in its highest state. Mind dying each moment is death. Anyway there is no end to soul. What you think of as death is only separation of body and mind. Our body changes, mind changes, intellect changes, everything changes. That which doesn’t change, the very core inside us – the indestructible, if you can connect to that, that unchanging aspect in you, then that makes life fun! (Applaud!)
Handling corrupt boss
Q: What if Boss is so corrupt and he wants you to be part of it, how to handle such a boss? It is difficult to survive in such a case.
Sri Sri: I know I know (laughter, clapping)! I can understand your difficulty. You need a lot of skill for that. You have to somehow tell the boss, “Boss I am not good at it, if I do some mistake you will be in trouble. Better to give it to the other person (clapping). I’m not skilled at this”. You can tell this or you can suggest your idea and say, “This is better boss, maybe. You know better, you are the best judge”. If you throw this last sentence he may think of taking your suggestion. But if you tell him you are wrong and what I’m saying is right then this would be the wrong way to communicate. Not only with your boss even with your parents, sometimes even with your spouse.
Q: How do I come out of the victim consciousness, esp. when past memories refuse to leave?
Sri Sri: The fact that you have realized this itself means you have come out of it. This is where the karma comes into the picture. Something happened in the past, it was to happen and so it happened. Accept the past and don’t brood over it, move on. Suppose you have committed some mistake, you have insulted somebody and that person holds on to it for so long, even after you have asked for forgiveness from them a million times, what do you do if that person still doesn’t forgive you? Somebody has been wrong to you and you also have been wrong to someone. Don’t you seek forgiveness and move on? You don’t want someone to hold on to your mistakes for your whole life, isn't it? If the person forgives you, moves on, understands your position, how do you feel? See the other person in the same way.
Q: During the time of Buddha it is said 10000 people were enlightened. In your time how many will be?
Sri Sri: This time the number will be even greater! :)
Q: What are the ingredients to be successful? How come Lord Krishna found Success in everything He does?
Sri Sri: For success in life you need yukti (skill) and shakti (strength), Bhakti (Devotion ) and Mukti (Freedom).
Freedom and love in personal life! Without freedom you will find no love and without love there is no joy. Freedom doesn’t mean doing anything. You follow some norms, a little discipline. And in social life you need shakti and yukti, strength and skill. And this is what Ramayana and Mahabharata tells you.
Though Duryodhana had all the power but he had no yukti, no bhakti. The skill was with Krishna and so he won.
Q: How come people who harm Nature have sound sleep?
Sri Sri: Ya! That is a big concern. Not giving back to nature but taking too much from nature. Yes. Not planting trees or not preserving the planted trees, not preserving water bodies, wasting food, using plastic....! There is so much awareness since last 5-7 years than before.
Q: I get angry often and I don’t live knowledge up to the mark. But I feel I am very close to you. Is this an illusion or really it is so?
Sri Sri: Of course! Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Be natural. Ok? Don’t drain yourself thinking, “Oh I don’t live up to the knowledge”. If it happens sometimes it is ok. Move on. Life moves on. So many things fall into the river – leaves, flowers and the river takes everything forward. Time is carrying life forward. So, move forward. Actually what we are doing? We have turned our head backwards and are trying to moving forward. All that you need to do is to look ahead. You have done mistakes in the past, accept it and move on.
Q: Do thoughts happen by previous Karma or impressions in the mind?
Sri Sri: Karma is nothing but impressions in the mind and brings about similar thoughts. Ya, it is very much possible.