Sri Sri Ravi Shankar lovingly called as Guruji, the founder of Art of Living Foundation through which He relieves the stress at individual levels, thus reducing violence, sufferings and conflicts and spreading the love, harmony, peace throughout the world in various societies.
My boss ridicules me in a sarcastic and a condescending manner in front of my colleagues. I can understand because of the tone and the words he uses, hence I feel stupid. How can I handle this situation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Handle it with humor. If he ridicules you, you stand up and smile. Thank him and laugh with him. If you are made an object of fun, be happy about it. Tell him, ‘You’re having a lot of fun at my expense!’
The friendly tone of your acceptance will change the whole environment. If he makes fun of you say, ‘Sir, you’re becoming very funny these days.’ Compliment those who try to ridicule you and see what happens.
You don’t have to keep a big red face and move away with a heavy heart. Humor is something which can grease any situation. This is what we must learn. Whether you are a manager or an assistant or an employee or an employer, you should know how to carry along tough situations with humor. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew died recently. Why do people die? It would be great if people who do good deeds have an option to live longer, then wouldn’t the world be a wonderful place? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Would you like to keep wearing the same dress, because it is nice, forever? You will have to change it. Life is all about change. Let him travel to the other side of existence. He has done so much for this country, be grateful for it. His mission is over. Now his journey is on another side. Of course, when you love somebody, you don’t want them to go, but nature has its own ways. It has its own time. But he has lived a full life, now we should bid him a good farewell. How to get the strength to raise two young kids after losing my husband in a foreign land? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You should know that there God is with you. There is a higher power that will hold your hand through the whole journey. You will be able to overcome the crisis and be successful in it. You know, I was in Kurdistan, in Iraq, and about 1.5 million refugees are living there. You should see the pathetic conditions they were in. When the ISIS came, they were made to run to the Sinjar mountain and they were there without food and water. They had nothing. The Art of Living volunteers collected 120 tons of food and air lifted it to them, otherwise 15,000 people would have vanished! In that desperate situation see how help came to them. You are not in a worse situation than them. You should have seen how people were living in the camps in Kurdistan. I was there last December to oversee our relief work. I tell you, the world has a lot of love and compassion and very less cruelty. You’re not in an abandoned world. You’re in a world with a lot of love and belongingness. Have confidence in the goodness of society and of people. If you see from my eyes, you will see goodness everywhere. Gurudev, how do I explain the concept of love to my young children? I found it very easy to relate to God, but the same doesn’t apply to my children. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: In the Upanishads there is a story, an 8 year old boy asks his father, ‘Daddy, what is God like?’ So the father took his child outside the house and asked him, ‘What was there before this house was built.’ The child said, ‘Empty space.’ The father asked, ‘Where does the house stand now?’ The child said, ‘In the space,’ ‘And if the house is not there anymore, what will remain there? The child said, ‘Empty space.’ Then the father said, ‘That is what God is.’ Young children may not understand that everything is made up of just one thing (referring to space). So, use your creativity and convince them or get convinced by whatever they say. If Jesus was enlightened, why did he not speak about karma and rebirth? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Those day there was no tape recorder, no video cameras, so what he spoke was written 70 years after his passing away (known as the Bible). He just shared what he knew with people around him. Even now there are some scrolls which says different things. You should always remember that the Bible was written 70 years after his demise and then it has been re-written and changed so many times over the ages. There are 72 versions of the Bible and 72 sects of Christianity today. Each one says only they are right and the other is not right. An Orthodox Christian will never go to a Catholic Church, a Catholic will never go to a Protestant Church and a Protestant will never go to a Born Again Congregation. These are man-made. Same way with Buddhism. There was just one Buddha but there are 32 sects of Buddhism. The same has happened with Islam. There was one Prophet Muhammad, but there are so many sects of Islam today and they keep fighting with each other. I would say, do not get into fights and narrow-minded interpretation of scriptures. People think only they have the key to heaven and everyone else is going to hell. In fact, they create hell for everyone else. Fanaticism is almost in every religion. Buddha always advocated non-violence but see what is happening today. Similarly, Upanishads always talked about bliss. You can’t even count the number of sects today! There are so many saints, so many philosophies and so many sects. We should honor everybody and look at the world as a bouquet of flowers. We should celebrate diversity, honor everyone and not be a fanatic. But, you should stick to one path, not shop around taking a little from here and a little from there and then make a hotch-potch of it all. That is not good. Stick to one but have mutual respect for everyone. Why can’t god appear face to face with me? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Wake up see, God is present everywhere. God is in all the forms: birds, trees, flowers and beautiful human beings. What form do you want him or her to come in? See him in every form. All the forms are of that one formless that you call God. Dear Sri Sri, how to overcome the pain of a marriage break-up and the grief of possibly not being able to meet the daughter ever again? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditation will give you the much needed strength. Have the faith that only the best will happen to you in the future and move on. Sudarshan kriya will help tremendously. What are the milestones on the spiritual journey? Are they the same for all? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: On the spiritual journey, there is no all. You don’t have to worry about others. You see what are your milestones. Are you being more confident? More calm? If you are confident then you will not lose your temper. Losing temper is the sign of weakness. You feel that the situation is overpowering you and you don’t know your strength, that is why you get angry.So, when you understand this and are able to watch and be aware of what is happening inside, you will not get upset. Even if you get upset never mind, just be aware that it is coming and it is going. And, for God’s sake, don’t try to evaluate yourself. Leave that to me or your family members will evaluate you!