December 29, 2011
Q: Dear Guruji, can you please explain this sentence, ‘Only when you see that nothing has a purpose, the real purpose begins.’
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You say a sentence and you want me to comment on that? Why don’t you yourself comment? I would say we shouldn’t cling on to words, we give meaning to words. The essence is important. The essence is what? You feeling free and feeling the connectivity to the cosmos.
Q: Dear Guruji, you said at the Satsang yesterday that we need to soak the knowledge and wisdom into our soul. But in everyday life it can sometimes be confusing which knowledge point to apply to which situation. Please help me with this.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just relax, they will all just pop up automatically on their own. Like how once you program the computer, the latest news from CNN pops up like a television channel on your i-pad. You open your i-pad and suddenly the latest news just pops up. In the same way, the knowledge will simply pop up in your consciousness, you simply have to relax.
There is no way to try and remember, and then apply at that moment. At that moment whatever comes to your memory that is what will be there. You can’t plan to get some memory at that particular time, memory is spontaneous.
Q: Intellectually I understand, conceptually I can visualize that all is one and one is all. But experientially I have had no luck yet. How can I improve my chances of experiencing all is one?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditation, meditation and meditation.
Q: Guruji, when there is a lot of knowledge existing around us, then why are the five points of the basic course chosen as the main principles of The Art of Living? What is their specialty?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The main basic five principles are essential. They are like the foundation stone.
The first is to see that opposite values are complimentary, then the mind becomes settled and equanimity is established.
The second is to accept other people as they are because our mind is disturbed by not accepting others, or the situation.
So these principles bring the basic needed calmness and stability to the mind. Once the mind is stable, it is able to absorb more knowledge, and is able to rise high.
When the foundation is strong, you can build a hundred storey building on top of it. So for the higher knowledge you need the basics, and these basics relieve your mind from being stuck in the outer world and to come back to itself.
Our consciousness and our mind is stuck in these different avenues, small little thing, insignificant little things. So you have to retrieve all that back. Collect back the scattered mind into its own identity, to its own source. And to that effect, these points are very meaningful.
Q: Dear Guruji, is it possible for a soul to work through two or more bodies at the same time, by incarnating in more than one body simultaneously?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Usually not, but the possibility cannot be ruled out. The possibility is there in an enlightened being, or a very powerful soul can have a portion of its act in another body. But normally it is not possible.
Q: Guruji, will you please introduce an Ayurveda course for allopathic doctors like me who are very much interested in holistic medicines. We need a certified course with theoretical and practical knowledge to practice Ayurveda.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Definitely! We have the best Ayurvedic College in India and last year the first five distinctions came to our college.
This year in 2011, we just inaugurated one of the best Ayurvedic hospitals.
Anybody here wanting to get your dental treatment done, you are welcome to come to the Bangalore Ashram. We have ancient techniques where the tooth is taken out without pain, anesthesia, and not a drop of blood will come. It is something startling. Similarly for piles, usually in allopathy the re-occurrence is 60%, but with Ksharasutra (an ancient Ayurvedic technique), the re-occurrence it is 0.1%. It is cured in 99.9% of the cases. So, there are many such startling techniques in the ancient Ayurveda, and we have one of the best hospitals. The best I can say.
Of course, we spent a lot of money in making it really nice. And we have very good doctors and an Ayurvedic college.
Today we also inaugurated the first building of the University we have opened up in Orissa. So we will have the University as well. My idea was to give the best of East and the best of West to the coming generations.
So if anyone wants to apply to serve at the University can apply or send your kids.
We are starting in India for the first time, Osteopathy. We don’t have Osteopathy in India. So if there are Osteopaths here, we welcome them to the University. They can come as a visiting professor for a few months, or anyone wants to work, they are welcome.
If there are any physiotherapists, they are also welcome.
So this University has got the approval from the Government, and it is a certified University. We will also have Yoga and Naturopathy as part of the Degrees and Diplomas. You can find out all these details from the website: http://srisriuniversity.edu.in/
Q: Guruji, what does this mean, ‘the best work comes out when we work without motive.’ But I like to work with passion.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, work with passion, go ahead!
Q: What is the difference between self-enquiry and judging ourselves?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Self-enquiry is, ‘Who am I? What do I want? Where am I going? What is life all about?’ This is self-enquiry.
Judgment puts you down but self-inquiry uplifts you. Self-inquiry is always uplifting; judgment makes you depressed.
Q: Jai Gurudev, how should I improve my math at school?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you watch too much television?
Just watch for only one hour a day. No too much television, and do you eat vegetables?
You must eat more veggies, okay!
Q: Jai Gurudev, what happens when you go to meet politicians or militants in war zones or conflict areas? Do you talk with them after their invitation or do you make the effort to speak with them. Do they want to hear what you want to tell them? How do you influence nasty and powerful people?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I tell you, it is easy to transform terrorists. It is easy to transform criminals but with politicians, I am not sure.
It is like, it is easy to wake up someone who is really sleeping, but someone who pretends to be sleeping, you cannot wake them up. But I don’t mean all politicians are bad, but a large chunk of them are insensitive, selfish and they don’t care about people. They don’t think that their sacred duty is to serve people. All that they want to do is to gain power and wealth and to remain in power is their only motive. ‘By hook or by crook, remain in power and don’t bother about what is happening to the people and the nation.’ This attitude is what is bothersome.
That is why I would say, young people, people who have the intention to serve the nation, serve the world, serve the people, should come forward and get into politics. People with ethics and spirituality should get into politics. Don’t hesitate about it. Children of future generations need a better world. They don’t deserve a world which has become a disaster. So you all have this sacred duty to go and vote.
Vote for the un-corrupt and educated. Educated, not in terms of just holding degrees, but one who is compassionate, caring and who has lots of human values. We need to choose such people and make them understand that they are given a position to serve and not to dominate or dictate.
Q: Dear Sri Sri, what is the purpose of ego? It seems like all the negative qualities that make us miserable can be ascribed to that layer of existence. Does it have positive aspects as well?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, ego has positive aspects. Who says it is all negative?
The positive aspect is that it can come with a challenge, a determination, and a will to act.
All actions that are challenging, that need determination and passion are done by ego.
There can be an ego which is all inclusive; ‘everyone belongs to me’ - that’s an ego too.
And, ‘only I am good’, is an ego too but that is not too good an ego.
So there are different ways to look at ego.
If you give the definition for ego as, ‘lack of naturalness’, or as, ‘a wall between you and the other’, then it is something that you need to get rid of. It is like the covering on the seed that is essential till the seed sprouts, and once the seed sprouts, the covering or the membrane around the seed gives way for the seed to sprout. Like that, the ego comes up by the age of three and stays till you become mature. You move on from adolescence to an adult, till then it protects you. Then it slowly gives way to being a more broad minded, broad hearted, large hearted, universal identity.
The other type of ego is just the identity. Then you need the identity.
All these identities, ‘I belong to one divinity’, ‘I belong to one human kind, one human race’, ‘I stand for righteousness’, is ego.
It is good that you stand against injustice and you fight against ignorance, and you say, ‘I am here so that nobody goes hungry or has any dearth.’ That dedication is part of ego as well. That ego is called sattvic ego.
In the Bhagavad Gita there are three types of ego described, the sattvic, the rajasic and the tamasic ego. It is very interesting; sometime you can read about it.
Q: Guruji, scientists have just found a planet like our Earth. How many planets with life like Earth, exist in our universe?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: As many hairs on your head, if you are not bald! Countless!
The ancient Vedic scriptures have said there are infinite planets; infinite worlds are there.
Q: Dear Guruji, I know I am extremely lucky to be with you in this life time. But I do also feel that I am not making the most of the opportunity you are here to provide all of us. Can you please advise me on how best to make the most of the opportunity you are providing us?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have no idea!
Come on, just relax, enjoy and celebrate. No need to be too greedy. Just relax and things will fall in your lap; at least when you are here in a silence course. I don’t say this when you go out, then you have to do something. But when you are here on a silence course, it is like you are on a train, just relax. You are going to reach when you have got to reach. No point in running inside the train with your luggage up and down, you are not going to reach any faster.
If in an airplane you get up from your seat and start running saying, ‘I want to go faster and faster’, you will be shown the toilet. That is the only place you can go, to the restroom. That too if it is occupied you will be asked to wait; but it is not going to take you to your destination any faster.
So once you are here, in the knowledge and ready to be here, attend all the sessions. Don’t bunk the sessions. The food is good and very nice, but don’t over eat. If you over eat, being here also you will fall asleep. You have got all these instructions already, isn’t it?!
Q: Guruji, how can I be a blessing to this planet? I mean, as humans, we are so destructive to this earth, even a tree is more useful than us. I feel that my duty is to save this earth, any idea?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are in the right gang. We are all in the same boat, so let us keep doing what we are doing. If we save the mind, then we save the planet earth.
First let us save our mind. Also, millions of people on this planet need this knowledge. Let us reach out to them.
Do you know that 40% of Europe is suffering from depression? 40% of the school teachers, and 30% of the population. 40% is what I read of the school teachers in Germany alone.
With this economic downfall, I am sure it has shot up by another 30% to 40%. People are so insecure and are using Prozac (an anti-depressant). We need to reach out to them with this beautiful knowledge that we have. I was also thinking if some of you can take some time off, we make groups of four and five and go to all these different cities, different towns and do some celebrations.
They did this program in Berlin, where our volunteers would invite their friends and family to their homes, just around twenty to thirty people and the teachers would go and give them a meditation and then walk away. The people felt so uplifted and so many requests started pouring in.
In just two months time, three hundred people learnt meditation in one city Berlin, just by four teachers. So many people came for Satsangs and they meditated and enjoyed.
Like that, many other teachers here did the same work. Swami Jyotirmaya went all over Europe and created a big wave. So I would like some of you, who can take two or three months off and we can tour all over Europe. Maybe we can start from January or February and bring a wave everywhere so that people can meditate. Those who cannot take time off, but who have resources, you can fund for that project. And those who cannot fund but who have time, you can spend your time.
We can create a wave. Go to small and big towns, put posters saying, ‘Come! Let us meditate.’ Meditation to uplift the spirit, get rid of depression and all sorts of things. What do you think? Is it a good idea?
As I was sitting here, the thought just came to my mind that I should sit with all the European countries and bring more teachers and send them everywhere in groups of two and three.
Sometimes when someone comes from outside they are more successful. Like the proverb, ‘Nobody is a prophet in their own town’, that proverb may work.
Similarly, teachers from Europe should go to the far East, Africa and some other countries. Teachers from Africa and America should come here. We should just swap or do something like that. It may also be a good idea so I am thinking how we can do that.
Alex from Netherlands went to Sri Lanka and India. In India they went to so many villages and had so many Satsangs and blessing programs, and lots of people joined in.
The world needs a healing touch.
No government can ever give this human touch or healing touch. No economic institution can bring that inner solace and peace. No economic institution can instill that confidence in the mind and make depression go away. It is only our effort, this spiritual effect. A human touch is needed, the wave of human concern, human care can uplift the people and bring the happiness factor. Don’t you think so?! That’s what we need to do.
Our aim, our job is to create waves of happiness, like what you see here. How many of you feel the mantra chanting makes you happy and uplifts you? The moment you come into this place, don’t you feel happy already? Some people say their energy completely shifted, and they feel uplifted.
You will not find a face that is not happy or not smiling or depressed. One has to be extremely unfortunate to be unhappy even in such an atmosphere. God only will have to help them if there is one such.
So let us do this and think of more ideas. We can go on Twitter and Facebook. How many of you are following me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/srisrispeaks) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/hhsrisriravishankar)