Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have asked a very difficult question! But its answer is very simple. You keep on smiling irrespective of what happens around you. If noise is there, accept it. If somebody is shouting, let it be for some time. Try considering the whole atmosphere of your home as if you are watching any television serial. Do you get upset when you watch television? Some people were telling me that same arguments take place on television which happens at their homes also. Think as if some live show is going on at home. And only a camera is missing. When you remember this thing and see yourself as the director and not actor, then at least you will have peace in your heart. And up to what time others will play their role? They will be tired in sometime. All this trouble is in wake state, neither in dream nor in sleep. God has granted you few hours of sleep and some other routine activities like bathing etc. take some more time. So at least for these ten hours, you are at peace. (Jokingly)And enjoy the other 14 hours show. What else can you do? But if you want to enjoy, remember not to be the actor.
Q: How should be one’s relation with the Master? One is an ordinary person and other is a person with so many powers. Should it be like a friend or a beloved?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Let love be love. Don’t give it a name. Love is above all relations. Being in love with the master is like being in Love with the divine. Master, God and spirit are not different. These all are one. Only one exists – one non dual existence. Everything is divine.
Q: What is the meaning of Kumbh?
(The Kumbh Mela is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Hinduism. The word Kumbh means 'pot' or 'pitcher' and Mela means 'festival' that is why it is known as "the pitcher festival". It is a fair that energizes your mind and soul) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Wherever people come together and do satsang, that is kumbh.
Q: Do planets have any effect on us?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, planets do have an effect on us. But the effects are minimal on those who are on the path of sadhna, satsang and knowledge. For those, negative effects reduce and positive effects start to increase. It’s like when you take umbrella under the hot sun, you feel less heat on your head. Practices and mantras are the solutions.
Q: Should one believe in the horoscopes?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If your mind says you should do it, then you should. But that shouldn’t be given too much importance. Sometimes the recorded time or place of birth may not be accurate. There are many issues involved. So neither should we totally ignore it nor should we take it to be exactly right.
Q: Is it ok to be driven by emotions?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The difference between a human and a stone is that, humans have emotions. When feelings are combined with wisdom, then that is good. It’s like when water flows between two banks, we call it river. But if water is scattered all over the place, then that is flood. In life, along with intellect, feelings are also to be nourished. To maintain a balance between intellect and emotions is wisdom.
Q: What is liberation? Is it possible to be liberated in this birth?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is possible in this birth only. You should listen to Ashtavakra (A commentary by His Holiness ).
Q: How can I be contented? Lots of needs keep bombarding the mind.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Tell me one thing. Are you contented today?
(The gentleman said ‘No’)
What do you need?
(The gentleman continues ‘I need to have something after having what, all my desires are pacified)
It’s good if you are aware that lots of desires are disturbing you. This desire - I want to get rid of all desires, is called mumuksha.
Q: Can you please talk about our karma governing our future?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, your karma forms your future. I have talked about all these things in the book ‘An intimate note to the sincere seeker’. You should read that.
Q: What should we do when nothing is in our hands and we don’t understand what should be and what shouldn’t be done in a relationship or career?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You should meditate then. When you are so much deluded and confused, meditate for some time. You will find clarity dawning instantaneously.
Q: What question should I ask?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: My dear, you are asking me to tell you question also! Is it your New Year resolution not to use your brain come what may? You want to borrow even questions! No way. The questions have to be yours. It’s not school where they give you questions and you give answers. Here you have to come up with the question. And you don’t have to; if it comes up in you then that is your question. Nobody can tell you what question you should ask, what you should prayer for or what you should seek. It is a spontaneous outcome from within. Need is not to be dictated by somebody or anybody. Need is that which arises from within. In reality when you come in this energy all questions in you disappears.
Q: How to be in the present moment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: (Making a snapping sound with his fingers) Like this. Are you here now? (The lady nodded with a yes). Then be here now.