Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: I didn’t feel anything after ‘Your throat is hollow and empty’ both the times. In that meditation does Guruji say something after that?
Sri Sri: Wait for the next year.
Q: How can I reach my full potential? I have so many thoughts on business, seva, relationships. How do I know which one to pursue? Is it important to try to find my purpose in life?
Sri Sri: Yes, yes, yes! You can do that very comfortably (laughter from audience).
Q: I like fresh air, pure air but sometimes people add to the air artificial smell to make the air more pleasant and destroy the purity of the air. In the same way, I like your voice in meditation, but when I bought a CD for meditation I was surprised to find out that somebody had added music to your voice. Please give us a chance to have your voice in meditation without additional music.
Sri Sri: Suggestion taken! We will request our Publications department for some CDs without music, but your comparison was very good!
Q: When will you come to Russia again?
Sri Sri: I was just there this year!
Q: Which is the way of being considerate in my society, neighborhood, my Art of Living group and my friends?
Sri Sri: Why are you asking this question? You think you are not considerate of others? If you are very stressed then you don’t care what other people think or what others are doing. You just do what you want to do. But sensitivity comes with serenity, sensitivity comes with calmness, sensitivity comes with culture. Your background, your culture, how you grow up, and what were the situations around you. You have that ability to be considerate. Do not doubt that. Compassion is in our very nature. Only when you are extremely stressed, compassion appears to have disappeared. It really doesn’t disappear, it stays somewhere deep inside.
Q: I am very restless or I am very sleepy. How do I get a better balance for meditation?
Sri Sri: Again these experiences are so common for a beginner. If you are just beginning to meditate, restlessness comes up or you feel very sleepy. When stresses get released from your system, such a passage may be common. Farry will tell you more on this. When it comes from a scientist mouth, it has more flavors to it. He is doing a lot of research in Oslo University on Kriya. They found how the chromosomes of your body change! He just told me some very exciting news. So when stress release happens, the chemical or structural form in which stress was stored gets released, you get all these experiences. Your endocrine system readjusts itself, because we have violated our body in so many ways so many times. We have not kept the balance; we have not honored our own body, so jerks may happen. How many of you have found some jerks? Emotions may come up and you feel completely confused. All this may happen. It’s not that it should happen. Sometimes it doesn’t happen and you say am I not releasing any stress? That person is getting stress released and I am so quiet. Don’t compare your experience with anybody whatsoever. We all are so different. Everybody’s nervous system is so different. And at different times, different experiences come to different people. So at any time we should never compare our experiences with others and feel sorry or happy about it.
Q: If joy and peace are truly our nature, why is it so difficult to be happy and satisfied in our daily life?
Sri Sri: Is it so difficult? You know you should have one policy, ‘We will not do anything which is too difficult!’ Be easy going, a happy go lucky person. Why do you have to struggle? If being unhappy is easy, just go for it. If being miserable is the easiest thing and being happy is so difficult, why do you have to struggle to be happy! Got it? Go for the easiest, and the easiest is to be unhappy? NO! The simplest, the easiest thing is to be relaxed and happy. If you say why it is so difficult, we have to fix this a little bit. And that thing which fixes this is knowledge. Got it? (After a break of a few breaths) And I tell you, it’s easy!
Q: Guruji I wish I were you. Is it possible or not?
Sri Sri: Of course! You don’t have to wish, you are already! We are all one. I am you and you are me. See, the mind is like the space. The self is like the space inside and outside the body. The thoughts come and go, emotions come and go, but when you go inside there is only empty space. And our true nature is that. When we identify ourselves too much with thoughts, with feelings and emotions, that is when we feel we are stuck, we are small. But, the ‘Real, Magnanimous You’ are that space inside where you feel totally at peace. Those moments when you are totally in peace or fully in love, you feel an expansion, right? You feel boundless, you feel limitless, and that is our true nature. That is what the beauty is. We are all one in that, there is no two!I will give you an example. Suppose you keep here many different vessels with different sizes. They have different capacities: one can have two liters, one can have ten liters, and one can have five litres. But the space is the same. The capacity of each vessel may be different. So what! But it is the same space which is inside, outside and which is everywhere. Our ability to do different things, our energy to do different things is immaterial to what we are. And this ability, this energy doesn’t stay the same throughout life. See, when you were a baby your abilities were different, rather nothing. You could not help even yourself. Somebody had to care for you. And what happens when you get very old? Then also your abilities are different. So changing of our abilities, our thought is immaterial to the real you, to who you are. You are simply space, you are love, you are peace and this identification removes all other complexes in life. Otherwise you will always find somebody is more capable than you and somebody is less capable than you. You are better somewhere and you are not in some others. When you compare yourself with others in the world, either who are living or dead or may be being born in the future, there will always be a difference. This is part of the world, part of the Universe, okay?
Q: Guruji, it didn’t seem Sudarshan Kriya is indicated for a person with psychotic problems like schizophrenia. What can be done to help them reduce their suffering?
Sri Sri: You know, people with schizophrenia, you think they are suffering, they are enjoying themselves! Ask me how many people I have encountered who have this problem. Sometimes they stop taking their medication because they stop having fun with that. See, there is no charm, no energy, no fun, so they stop medication. We have this experience. Many times parents or spouse came and left them in the Ashram. So we have dealt with them all. I tell you, they are really not suffering! They are in their own world. They are here in the world for you to serve them. And be patient, they increase your patience. They make you well grounded to your own reality. It’s an experience to be with them. Because their mind is between two worlds -this world and another world, their realities fused and confused. They can invoke a lot of compassion from within you. And that is what you can do about it. Yes, they can do some physical yoga, dance, enjoy music and take a good walk. These are things you can engage them in.
Q: I feel sick, weak and tired. What’s happening?
Sri Sri: What you said is exactly what is happening! You have said it! It will pass, it will pass definitely. You know, if you are tired, either you have not taken enough water or too little sugar. Either too little energy or too much energy, or your system has some bugs or not any stress release. Any one of these can cause that. When you go deep in meditation, what happens? The stresses come out. When they come out, either you feel tired or feel like running away. All this is possible. If you take a few breaths or walk in the fresh snow, it will help. And take plenty of water, fluids, fruits, vegetables. All this would help.