Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: There is another thing Guruji, there is violence at individual level also and at national, international level also but how do we tackle this?
Sri Sri: You know violence is a result of fermented stress. When stress gets fermented and it is not rooted out in its infancy, it either turns into societal violence or depression or suicidal tendencies. These are two things that happen. Stress comes up and then either one gets suicidal on one hand or they swing towards becoming violent and agitated. So yoga brings that balance to the personality; balance of body, mind and spirit. Yoga brings that equanimity and balance; decency in one’s personality. That’s why we say ‘Yogyatha’ for one who is qualified. The qualification to be called a decent human being comes to you through Yoga because then you can balance your emotions, you have a say over your behavior. It’s not like your behavior goes out of your control.
Q: What should I do with this over active mind? Thoughts are painful, please guide!
Sri Sri: Too many thoughts come because you have so much free time. Too many thoughts is a sign of imbalance between the mind and the heart. When feeling is kindled thoughts will subside. Also it could be a result of improper digestion; take care of your digestion.
Q: Guruji, there are so many schools of Yoga, so many teachers who advocate different forms of Yoga, what exactly is Yoga, for layman who knows nothing about Yoga, what is it exactly?
Sri Sri: Yoga is a study of life, study of your body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, and ego. Study of your inner faculties!
Q: What is the importance of celibacy?
Sri Sri: Celibacy is something that happens spontaneously. When every cell of your body is happy, you don't need an act to be happy.
It is a phenomenon not an act. And abstinence, to some extent, is good as it saves energy.
Q: Guruji, I am an Art of Living volunteer. What makes me worthy of being an Art of Living ambassador?
Sri Sri: Just this fact, that you are grateful of being an ambassador, makes you worthy. The most important quality on this planet is humility.
Q: Even Siddhas have to take a few births to get enlightened. Why is it so difficult to get enlightened?
Sri Sri: It is not difficult. It is challenging!
Q: What is real and what is unreal?
Sri Sri: Things are changing. Everything that is changing is unreal!
Q: Are there different types of nirvana?
Sri Sri: Yes! Just as there are different flavors of ice-cream, there are various schools of thought. But the material is the same.
Q: Krishna lifted the Govardhan mountain on his little finger, is it true?
Sri Sri: Well, there are big weight lifters today. Everything is possible. There is no reason not to believe that Krishna lifted the Govardhan. (What they call Govardhan is a small hillock. You can go and see it.)
‘Go’ means knowledge.
‘Vardhan’ means enhancing the knowledge.
For Krishna it was so easy to lift the consciousness of 1000s of people by playing the flute. Indra stands for mob psychology or collective consciousness. So, Krishna with his group uplifted the entire society. This is what it means.
Q: Can you speak something about seen and the unseen? Like you said collective consciousness, the mind.
Sri Sri: You can’t see the mind, you can only feel it. The Self (atma) is energy. There is electricity everywhere. This body is like a wire, and the electricity in this body – that is the atma.
The form and the formless are both essential. The world is the form of the Divine but the Divine is formless. The world is made up of both; the seen universe and the unseen consciousness. Here in India both are acknowledged effortlessly!
*Karma simply means action.
Action has got 3 forms: one is latent, that which is going to become an action, the action itself and the consequence of the action.
The first is like the seed of a tree, the second a full grown tree and the third when the tree becomes a seed again.