Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a couplet by Saint kabir:
karka manka chod kar,
Manka manka fer.
It is best to do meditation. But I don’t say one should completely abandon rituals. You perform some rituals on festivals. A little bit of rituals are good. But don’t be too much stuck with the rituals. E.g. if you had resolved to perform a ritual and due to some circumstances you were not able to fulfill that, then there is no need to think that God will be angry with you or you have acquired some sin. I give you guarantee. Maharishi Narada has also said ‘ God is total love’.
Devotion and surrender are greater than any ritual. A little bit ritual is necessary for two reasons. Children are introduced to religion and spirituality through the rituals. Secondly, performing rituals also purify the atmosphere at home. E.g. when all family members come together and do Pooja on Diwali, the atmosphere of our home changes. It is same when you offer Ardas in Gurudwara.
There is no need to be afraid of or feel guilty if you couldn’t keep up with the ritual due to any reason.
Q: Does past karmas affect our life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Both past and present karmas affect our life.
Q: How much difference is there between science and spirituality? Why do not scientists believe in spirituality?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Evolved scientists surely believe in spirituality. Those who are not yet fully evolved may not believe in spirituality. Scientists like Einstein had said that he had never seen or heard a book like Bhagwad Geeta. If you hear a quantum physicist talking, you will feel as if the text is being quoted from the scriptures only. ‘What is this?’ is science.’ Who am I?’ is spirituality. We need both science and spirituality to bring contentment to our soul.