Q: What is the importance of bathing in Ganges especially during mahakumbh?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: it is believed to be good to have a dip in the ganges. However, taking a dip in knowledge is even greater for it purifies the mind.
Q: If a person feels emptiness inside in spite of having material prosperity and a good family, what should he do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: He should consider himself to be very lucky to feel that there is something more in life besides eating, drinking and sleeping. When you feel that emptiness within, then only the quest for the truth arises.
Q: What is the difference between prayer-oriented and meditation-oriented religion?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Everything has its own place. Prayer is asking from God and meditation is listening to the God. Both are important.
Q: Does astrology and planets carry any importance? There are so many television channels which talk about stones and planetary effects. Should one believe in those?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Astrology has its importance. Astrology is a science but astrologers are not scientists. So any astrologer cannot be trusted like that. What is shown on television is very general and not specific to one person. Planets do have their effects but know that you have much greater power than that. ‘Om Namah Shiva’ – this mantra is like a shield and it takes care of all planetary effects.
Q: Can a person struggling for livelihood progress on the spiritual path?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Some people say that to walk on the spiritual path you have to abandon your professional life. But I say you can continue pursuing your profession or business, and progress on the spiritual path as well. In fact, they are complementary to each other. Pursuing the spiritual path makes it easy to accomplish tasks in your professional life as well. Only listening to this knowledge doesn’t help. Doing your practices along with it is equally important.
Q: What is difference between love and attachment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Attachment is that which gives you pain. Love is that without which you cannot live. If love becomes attachment, then the same love which was giving you joy, starts to inflict pain. Attachment is when you want something in return. If you love and do not want anything in return, then that love doesn’t turn into attachment. I have talked about love in the Narad Bhakti Sutras.
Q: If we have come from God, we are a part of God and to dissolve in God is our aim then why do we do stupidity of moving away from God?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sometimes you get bored of sitting at your home and you go for a walk. But then you come back. If you don’t come back home then people like us come to take you back home.
Q: Why is getting married so important in India?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: To live in a society, we have to follow the norms of the society. These norms are there to maintain orderliness.