Monday, October 10, 2011
Repose in the self’
Anandautsav with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at Goa
September 21, 2011
Q: Guruji, if someone criticizes us, how should we deal with them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Give that person a surprise. Tell them, ‘wow, you said such wonderful things! How did you figure out these facts?’ Try this and see what happens. If someone criticizes you, you counter it with four criticisms of your own and the chain continues. Instead thank them for their kind words, and see what happens. The day you drop your defences that person will hang their head out of shame and embarrassment. They will not know how to respond. This is how we should confuse those who criticize. Have some fun in this situation. What is the fun in finding fault? Our life should not become a football of others’ opinions. Repose in the self!
Q: Guruji, when will inflation cease?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When corruption ends. Inflation is related to corruption. You would be surprised to know that we sell our sugar to the world for Rs.12 per kilo and in the domestic market for Rs.35 per kilo. Some employees of Air India came up to me in Frankfurt and shared that Air India used to operate a highly successful sector between Birmingham and New Delhi which was usually fully booked. This sector was responsible for bringing in considerable profits for Air India. But one day a minister came and terminated the flight services, why? So that he can allot this sector to another airline. The airline that was allotted this sector was unsuccessful in making this route profitable and went into a loss and now our national airline is also going into a loss. It is very unfortunate. Other countries are operating their flights within our country and turning in profits. Then why is our national airline incurring losses? We need to ask this question, don’t we? Our voices should be heard. This country has been ruined not because of bad people but because good people like us keep quiet.
Q: Can one begin the fight to curb corruption on one’s own effort?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The fight against corruption should begin on one’s own effort. First you stop giving bribes. Do you know when we started this drive against corruption and against terrorism? On 1 March 2009 in Delhi. Then we went to fourteen states and in all the satsangs we asked everyone to take an oath, ‘I will not give bribe’. So it starts with us, by our not giving bribes.
Q: Guruji, can you reveal the secret power by which you grant a fresh lease of life to someone, such as me, who has been suffering from a terminal illness and is reaching the very end of their life journey?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See there is will power and power behind a blessing. You can also do it. Those who have done the Blessings Course raise your hands. Are your blessings working for others? When we don’t want anything for ourselves, there is a power that can allow us to fulfil others’ desires. The main thing is one should not desire anything for oneself. One should be hollow and empty. The desire for moksha is enough, it will be attained.
Q: Guruji, how should one become an ideal (not idol!) husband or wife?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Idol husband and wife are Lord Ram and Sita and they are in the temple. I am inexperienced in answering this question. I can only provide an answer to a question in which I have experience. But on the basis of what I have heard from people, I can say that a wife should never hurt the ego of her husband. It may be that the husband is not using his intellect and the wife is thinking, ‘oh he is so stupid!’ Instead she should say, ‘the world might consider you stupid, but I know how intelligent you are. You are the most capable person in this world.’ This is how you should flatter your husband. This is what wives have to do. The moment the husband enters the home, shower him with praise, strengthen his ego. Now a secret for men never hurt the feelings of your wife. A wife is sentimental. It is possible that she may complain about her parents, but you should never join in. You should stay quiet. Who knows when she might switch sides, and you will be stuck in the middle. It can be very dangerous. You need to be safe. Never say anything about the in-laws. Your wife may complain, but you should never say anything. Secondly, if she needs to go for satsang, shopping or to the temple, never stop her. Don’t ask her why she goes to shop every day. Just give her your credit card. Then there will be peace at home.
Q: Guruji, what is the difference between atma (soul) and param-atma (God)? Can we see God?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: God is not an object who will appear in front of you and say, ‘My dear, I am very pleased with you, with your tapasya (penance)’. That will only happen in TV serials. God is that which is beyond the soul. First bring your awareness to your soul, ‘who am I’. Everything is driven by the power of God. Have faith and surrender, meditate. When we are in a state of restful awareness, our channel opens up.
Q: Guruji, forgiving someone’s mistake is a noble thing. But is it okay for someone to commit the same mistake again and again?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Twist their ears, and if the same mistake is repeated, give them a slap. Sama (equality), daan (concession), bheda (disagreement), dand (punishment) are the four types of solutions to consider if mistakes are repeated. If nothing works, then pray sincerely for wisdom to dawn on that person.
Q: They say the world will come to an end in 2012. What are your thoughts?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: In 2012 everything will come to an end - only in movies. No, no, everything will go on as usual. People will become more spiritual, more humane, things will be better, don’t worry!
Q: (A member of the audience asked a question and it was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is not even one person in this world who has not experienced joy. If there was only sorrow, one wouldn’t be aware of it. To experience sorrow there has to be an occasional experience of joy. You experienced a little bit of joy that is why you are able to experience sadness. But we tend to eternalize our difficulties; ‘I always have problems’, ‘I am always sick, everyone is sick.’ If ten or fifteen people around you fall sick, what do you say, ‘Oh everyone in Goa is sick.’ Everyone being sick is impossible! In the same way sometimes you say, ‘I always make mistakes’. I say, that is not true. Do not eternalize or generalize problems. Take a sankalpa (resolution) today that only good things will happen to me. As you sow so shall you reap; so have faith in yourself that you will be successful in whatever you do, okay!
Q: Guruji, how do you find an ideal Guru in the physical form?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have no idea! Ideal disciple I can say but I don’t know what an ideal Guru is. Ideal disciple is one who does sadhana, seva and satsang, and does not dig wells in several different places and does not engage in spiritual shopping. One who honours everyone, and stays in knowledge. Guru is one who does not want anything for himself, one who shows the path to anyone he meets.
Q: Guruji, so many people from around the world love you very much. What is the secret?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The secret is we are all humans. Won’t humans love humans? And when I go anywhere, I do not feel I am in a foreign land. All countries appear to be my very own and I feel a sense of belongingness with everyone.
Q: Guruji, is there an end to birth and death or does it go on infinitely? When will the present Kaliyug end?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, present Kaliyug is there only for five hundred years, and another twenty thousand years in the big cycle. But in the small cycle the good period has started. Now is the transition period and good period has started. Good people’s voice will be heard so don’t worry about having bad times. Kaliyug is not all that bad, you should remember. Even in Satyug there were four raakshasas (demons). They wouldn’t even allow you to do ‘Om Namo Narayana’ jaap at home. They would come with a ‘talvaar’ (sword) and cut your head. You have heard all that. So don’t glorify Satyug as though there was no crime then. I don’t think Kaliyug is so bad that all crime will be here now. So don’t sit down doing nothing but blaming the time. This is wrong, we shouldn’t blame the time.