Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: What are effects of Past life karma on the present life? I feel I have done sins in past.
Sri Sri: Don’t waste your energy thinking too much on past life karmas. Use your energy to come out of the present problems. ‘Om Namah Shivaye’ mantra, pranayama, Satsang.. – All these take care of your previous karmas. Surrender all your sins and move further in life.
Q: How does one handle fear of death?
Sri Sri: If you isolate and think only of yourself then you will have the fear of death. Once you are in service, there is no fear of death. Terrorists are committed to something so they are not afraid of life or death. If you want to do good for others, your commitment to it will take care of this fear.
Q: How does one stop the flow of negative thoughts?
Sri Sri: Negative thoughts are due to three reasons. If your blood circulation is not good, if the lymphatic system is not ok or if bowel movement is irregular. In all these cases negative thoughts are likely. You can go on a fruit diet and cleanse your intestines. Then, pranayama will help. Take Triphala (an ayurvedic supplement) for a few days. Do yoga, pranayama and meditation. You will definitely find a difference. Spiritual practices will also help.
Q: How do we know that our past karmas have been burnt?
Sri Sri: Just assume it. Just like assuming, 'I am free' makes one free. Believing that past karma has been burnt makes it so.
Q: Dear Guruji, I have never been a spiritual or a true religious person. How can I learn to let go and believe?
Sri Sri: You don’t have to label yourself- I am spiritual, religious person etc. No need for it. Just be natural, beautiful, good human being. That’s it!
Q: I would like to know about your views on this wonderful time on the planet when service is accelerated and technology is connecting the world, when we have the opportunity to make this world one world family, when teachings from the teachers like you are spreading all over the planet and we have a chance to evolve spiritually. At the same time, planet is facing dangers that the old ecological and political structures are not sustainable anymore. We are coming to a choice point where we are ending one paradigm and accelerating in a spiritual paradigm. Also so many souls are incarnated at this time. And wonderful events are happening like this to accelerate that. Would you please speak on that?
Sri Sri: I think I have said it all. All the lines between different disciplines are blurred now. I remember when I was in school there was a thick line of difference between physics and chemistry, and they were thought not to be connected. Today, whether it is astrophysics, physics, knowledge about the spirit or information technology, all have come together. Environment and spirituality are not two different things. Perhaps the ancient people of this country knew this. They worship the trees, mountains, rivers etc in nature. And it is true for all native civilizations in the world. They honored nature. They took care that they care for nature and progress and development was aligned with the sustainable conditions on planet Earth. The most needed thing today is – Globalizing wisdom. There are two types of calamities – one is natural calamities like earthquakes. And second is man - made calamities. Man - made calamities can be overcome by wisdom and a Cultural Revolution, and by spreading this knowledge of one world family. We are anyway one. There is no two. Natural calamities can be overcome by caring for the planet, planting more trees, preserving water, by spiritual energy and with the thought that you are one with the vishavatma(Universal soul). An intention or thought that you are one with the vishatma and a little attention manifests itself.
Q: Why do negative feelings like regret and frustration exist? Has anything productive ever come out of them? And if not, what is the way to turn these emotions into productive one?
Sri Sri: You should read ‘Celebrating Silence’. I have answered all these questions there.
Q: Why does a desire arise? Where does it come from? What is the purpose?
Sri Sri: All desires have got one goal, and that is happiness. If a desire brings unhappiness, it has not reached its goal. The goal of desires is to bring happiness. So, that is the purpose. Where does it come from? It comes when you are not aware of your Being, your Self. Desire is your wanting to stay in the moment. Desire is to experience joy. Joy is only in the moment. And when you are in the moment, there is no desire. When you are joyful, when you are satisfied, there is no burning desire at that time.
Q: Is genetically modified food really dangerous?
Sri Sri: The scientists, who are not employed by these companies, will tell you. The scientists who are not employee of these seed companies can give you the right opinion.
Sri Sri: First off, don’t make a big deal out of it. To get over it, there are four things that really help a lot 1. Do some creative stuff, lust will simply not bother you when you have a hobby, you do Seva, you cook a meal for someone, or you organize a picnic, whatever. 2. Physical exercise: go jogging, swimming; to the gym, do Suryanamaskars. Sweat it out! It is good for your body and mind, and definitely great to get over any obsession 3. Dancing - Dance to some devotional music, even some soft pop or rock is fine. Move your body with abandon. With eyes closed surrender to the music. 4. And finally Cold water baths!!