Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: I am very naughty and do a lot of mischief and got badly scolded as well. I know you were also very naughty then how come you didn’t get any scolding anytime?
Sri Sri: Oh! I also used to be scolded, and that adulthood is not even worth which hasn’t undergone scolding in the childhood!
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: How does memory survive when the body is dropped?
Sri Sri: Memory is not a physical phenomenon. Of course it is physical but it has its impression on the consciousness as well. You are speaking into the mike and those words have become electricity but again it becomes the sound again. How does it happen? That is the intelligence in the consciousness. Sound becoming electricity and then becoming the same sound! So the impressions are in the brain cells and it is carried on from life time to lifetime. That is why in the consciousness so many memories are there of the past. It is very obvious. So many things happening and some have been recorded as well.
Q: A baby is born in USA and the baby’s grandmother thinks that her husband has reincarnated as her grandson. My question is, is it possible for a soul to travel from Bombay to USA?
Sri Sri: Yes, yes! Definitely! In no time, without ticket and visa, and no immigration issues.
Q: If love is not an emotion but your very existence then how come love disappear one day and appear again some other day?
Sri Sri: See, the sun appears to have disappeared but in reality, it is not. It is just hiding or we have turned to another side. That’s it!
Q: If somebody is feeling guilty for the wrong done but may be because of ego He is not able to talk, what should one do?
Sri Sri: You being in victim consciousness and having rage and anger, does it help you any way to carry on your life? Absolutely not! Waste of time, waste of your potential and life. So we must forgive, forget and move on. You hurt someone in the past and somebody hurt you, that account is closed now. Finished! There was some problem that has to come, and that has come and our own foolishness made it happen. Now it is finished and move on. This is the line of thinking that you must adopt and that makes us feel better.
Q: Dear Guruji, Most of the religions have come into being when people started following some great person or soul. How did Hinduism come into being?
Sri Sri: Hinduism is not a religion; it is just a way of life. When thousands of seers, prophets were there and they all said something based on the Vedas - The first scripture in the world. And then people had particular norms and they followed the way of life. Our past president of India, Dr. Radha Krishna was asked who a Hindu is. He described a Hindu as 'He who does not put any sort of label on oneself, of being Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Parsi or Hindu is a Hindu, because Hinduism is just a way of life'. I think it was Dr. Radha Krishna who defined it that way. But I would say Hinduism means liberalism. Many ways to worship one truth, one reality. Hinduism has three characteristics. First is the freedom to worship the way you want, any form, any name. Second, the whole world is one family. And third, there is one divinity which expresses Himself in many forms. Only one God but many names and many forms and acknowledge this. God and its creations are not two different things. Like body and mind are not different – One is manifest and other is not manifest. You cannot see the mind, and body does not do anything without the mind. If mind is not there, body is a corpse. So, the spirit and the matter – Prakriti and Purusha - this is what the whole concept is. The whole world is the body of the Divinity. The Divine is in the water, in the mountain, in trees, in rivers, in you, in me, and in everybody. God is not sitting somewhere up in the heaven, but God is the substratum in which everything exists. God is like the space in which all the other elements exist. So, everything is made up of God and is God. This is the basic concept of Hinduism. And good and bad – right and wrong are only relative, they are not absolute. Liberalism – Liberalism means freedom. Freedom, equality are the main precepts of Hinduism.
Q: Tell us something more about prarabdha and sanchita karma.
Sri Sri: Sanchita karma can be reduced by devotion, whereas for prarabdha karma some of it will have to be undergone; you have to experience it.
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: What is Swara Yoga, could you please articulate on that?
Sri Sri: First do alternative nostril prayanama and then go more deep into pranayama then you will see how the breath in the nostrils change throughout the day.