February 23, 2014
Twitter Town Hall - Online Event
Over 65,000 Tweets with the hashtag #AskSriSri were generated around the live event. Below is the transcript of Q&A session.)
Wisdom doesn’t need time at all. You don’t need to become old to become mature. You simply need observation, of not just yourself but also of the lives of those around you.
My dear, I would like to tell you, there are a lot of good things also happening in the society. There is lot of service happening. There are a lot of good intended people around, and if you look into the eyes of these people, you will feel that there is compassion and love in most people’s hearts and minds. I agree there is hate, anger and greed. This is because we have not been able to educate them in human values.
We are made up of both matter and spirit. Our body is made up of Amino acids, carbohydrate, protein and all that stuff. Our spirit is made up of love, compassion, generosity, intelligence; all these values. So spirituality is not just sitting and doing something. It is something that invokes, that builds character in you.
If you children can’t even take any insult from someone else, or a harsh comment from someone outside, then that shows that you have not attended to your children. You have not given them the much needed vaccination, that dose of the stick. Sometimes that is necessary.
So no parent will be bad parent if they are normal, and if they don’t have stress and tension in them. So first of all, you have to relieve yourself from your tension and stress and give quality time to children.
You know, people who have built barriers around them are somewhere insecure inside. They have some prejudice and insecurity. And these are the two important things in society that we need to attend to: prejudice against culture, against gender, and against class.
Some people think a particular class of people are all bad. This sort of prejudice and stress and tension in the mindset of people must be attended to. And this we can do only with patience and perseverance.
I think you will see that you need some stability in life at some point of time. And marriage is a very sacred institution. We must have that. Growing in marriage is growing in responsibility. And love and responsibility go together.
So according to the Vedanta, it is: Asti (existence), Bhati (consciousness), Preeti (love). It is, it shines and it is love, and that’s what the whole world is.
This also could become one of the concepts that you have in your mind, unless and until you start feeling it as an authentic reality in your life; as true as a pain you feel in your feet, when you have one.
Corruption is a very serious issue all over the world. Create more awareness among people, and together you all unite, (not with violence, not by burning buses and trucks and cars on the streets, not by throwing stones at people), with a peaceful, resolute revolution.
If we are engaging ourselves into it, we are sure to get success. It may take some time. We need patience and perseverance to fight against corruption.
I feel that they should first study their own faith in depth; whatever faith they are born in.
Do not denigrate the faith you are born in when you convert. Conversion is your free choice. But do not insult the faith or denigrate the faith.
There are some pockets on our planet, in some countries where corruption is almost negligible. So, there are examples.
We can definitely make this country free from corruption, not just by some law, not just by passing a Jan Lokpal Bill, but it should come with the character of an individual, right from college and school days. We must infuse our kids, our youths with this idea of a corruption free, crime free society. It can only happen by social transformation.
I think our youths are becoming more intelligent and more mature. They won’t just fall prey. I at least hope they don’t fall prey.
They should not become the same party like all criminal elements who have joined them. So I feel, they are still young with good intentions. They should take their time and not just jump into capturing power. They should gain more experience before they come to center, before the nation can trust them fully.
They need to have more experience. So I feel they should go step by step. They should first get experience in any one of the states, or several states, do some solid work and manage all the challenges and not run away from challenges, and then come to the center. Otherwise it will be a khichdi in the center with everybody trying to pull things in different directions. We want a very strong government in the center.
It is a humongous issue but we should not lose hope. We should still keep hoping that one day we will be able to bring some peace there. However insignificant it is, we should keep putting our effort in that direction.
There are so many good people who are working for the betterment of the society today. So we should not create a prejudice within us. There are people who do not follow the code of conduct of the field they are in, we simply have to pity them, that’s all.
For the first ten years, it was just word of mouth. And then of course, we had many other books and printed material. Many people came up and they wanted to teach in their country, and so it happened.
The Divinity that loves diversity can appear in diverse forms as well. Do you see what I am saying?
The one who loves diversity in the creation can be adored in many different forms. So there is only one God but in many forms and with many names. That is the beauty of India. That is the beauty of Hinduism - all accommodating, all encompassing. There is freedom of worship, freedom of expression, and freedom of concepts. It is so diverse I tell you. But remember, it all adds up to one truth, one reality. One God in many forms.
But at other times there are a lot of people around me too. I don’t need to run away from people because I never do anything which is not in my nature.
Actually, my name was getting confused with the sitar player. Even big media channels, when Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away, had put my photograph. And all were thinking and saying that I am no more on this planet. I am still here.
So at a point of time, Pandit Ravi Shankar’s name was getting confused with mine. And if you put just one Sri Ravi Shankar, that would be common. So Sri Sri could make it a little bit more specific and clear a lot of confusions which were arising, because many times people think that I am playing sitar and come to my program.
Many times, our famous Sitar player got calls to inquire when he was conducting meditation classes. So to save both of us from this problem, we both agreed that I should keep it in this way.