Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: What does one do when knowledge becomes a barrier and turns to arrogance and jealousy? How does one free from this?
Sri Sri: Be like a child, unassuming, knowing the more you know there is so much more to be known. Knowing only leads to awareness that you do not know so much more. That brings humility. Do you see what I’m saying?
Q: When will you come to Russia again?
Sri Sri: I was just there this 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: If the core of our existence is full of love, innocence, perfection, how can a person be so mean and kill his or her whole family? It is hard for me to understand.
Sri Sri: You know you should go and talk to the people in the prison who have committed these heinous crimes. You’ll find these people are nice people. Why even talk about them, talk about yourself! You know sometimes you’ve been so nasty. Have you been nasty? Have you been angry? Have you been upset? Afterwards you see – ‘Oh, why did I do this?’ Do you regret? In the same way these people – they did a crime, they did commit something they were totally unaware of, and then they started realizing. That’s why spiritual education is so important, because this education doesn’t allow you to commit such heinous crimes! They never had an opportunity to have access to this knowledge, to meditation, to breathing. That is why they did all that.
Q: I want to thank you for everything you gave me, but most of all to the world. We’re blessed that you’re here for us!
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.
Q: Please give me some technique to lessen the ego.
Sri Sri: You’re asking about yourself or someone else? For God’s sake don’t do anything with your ego! Just let it be. If you find you have a big ego, don’t try to get it out of yourself. Let it be. You know, trying to meddle with your ego becomes a bigger problem. Then you say, “Look, I erased my ego!” “Nobody could do this!” Understand that? You know it’s so difficult to get rid of the ego. It’s like saying – ‘I’m the most humble person in the world! You can’t find anyone with more humility than me!’ Does it make any sense? So if you find there is any ego, let it be like that happily, huh? Don’t try to meddle or get rid of it. Just smile, yes! You know ego is stiffness. When you’re at home, you relax. When you feel ease, then ego is not there. The antidote for ego is just being natural. Or one day if you want to act crazy or foolish, it might help you a little bit, because your greatest fear is what others will think. Give everyone freedom to think whatever they want to think, right? Then you’ll find you’re so much at ease, at peace with yourself.
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: Dear Guruji, thanks to you to people are feeling better and the world is getting better. How can we make politicians understand that a peaceful world is better? Why is there so much hate, murders, drugs dealers, arms, wars? What can we do? What would you forbid if you were the world’s president?
Sri Sri: Thank God! I don’t intend to be, I don’t want to be. Why, you don’t like me having a big smile? You know these are the questions that u need to keep with you. You know an answer can be used only once, but the question which appears like a path can be tread on many a time. These questions you keep asking time and again you will get different answers and implement them at those times.
Q: What do you think of the muscular strength training? Is it possible to extend the breath by lengthening and holding time or by making the acceleration longer?
Sri Sri: Yes, long acceleration is always good, you know, but it takes a little time to train yourself. Muscle testing – I’ll tell you something about it tomorrow maybe. Ask me when you’re out of silence. I will show you something – how your muscles can tell you what you need, what you don’t need. They speak the truth. Do you know about it? How many of you know muscle testing here? Okay, okay, ah, you already learnt last time! Hmm, okay! Tomorrow or day after or one of these days I’ll tell you then you can test yourself – what suits you, what your body says. You know, every muscle in your body speaks the truth, amazing discovery! Wait for it tomorrow (Guruji whispers), tomorrow huh (with a twinkle in his eyes)?!