India (Art of Living International Center, Bangalore), July 27:
Q. Can you speak about prana (vital energy) and apana (down breath)?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Where the in-breath ends and where the out-breath begins is apana.
Where the out-breath ends and where the in-breath begins is prana.
By putting your attention on that turning point, the mind becomes quiet.
Q. Where is that point?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Are you breathing? You are aware of that? Find out then…
Q. What does Om Namah Shivaya mean?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Na mah shi va ya, these five symbolise the five elements in creation – earth, water, fire, air, and ether. The whole universe is made up of these five elements in different combinations and permutations.
Om represents the life force. It has many meanings - universal energy, love, peace, totality. The life energy in all elements is represented by this mantra - Om Namah Shivaya. It is so powerful! It builds the energy in your system and clears the environment.
Q. What does Vishalakshi mean?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : Vishala means broad, Akshi means vision. That which gives you broad vision is Vishalakshi.
Q. Can you speak about the significance of the solar eclipse?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : You know, everything affects everything else in the world. A small homeopathic tablet affects a human body of 80 or 90kg. Even a few seconds of exposure to x-rays on your body is enough to make a picture. Unseen rays can make an impact on your life and breath, on the body.
When the sun, moon and earth come in one line, then it has an impact on the cosmic energy, the gravitation and fluids especially. The moon has an impact on water. More than 70 percent of our body is made up of water. A cosmic phenomenon has an impact on the body as well.
Our ancient seers have studied this phenomenon very deeply. They describe how rays of a particular planet are connected to particular grains on the earth. Bengal gram (chickpea) and Mars have similar vibrations. Moong dal (split bean) and Mercury have similar vibrations. Sesame seeds and Saturn have similar vibrations.
Every planet has an influence on the grains, animals and particular parts of the human body. One cell multiplies into hair, nails, liver, kidneys, tissues…all are different parts of the body. One of the Rishis (saints) have said the body has 330 million types of gene patterns. In the system, it is inbuilt.
You are connected with nature.
In the Artic region, the sun doesn’t rise for six months! People get depressed with no sunrise. Similarly, people go crazy when there is no sunset for months on end. At 1’o’ clock in the night, the sun shines brightly like it is the afternoon. In Sweden, when I asked them, “What time the sun rise?”, they said, “January 20th” .
No sun for 2 months! It definitely has an impact on the mind and the body.
Where there is more sun, rice grows, where there is little sun, rice doesn’t grow. Rice is always connected to the sun. Objects in the universe appear to be different but they all are linked.
In our body, the eyes are connected to the sun. The nose is represented by Jupiter, forehead to Mercury, cheeks to Venus, and teeth to Saturn. Emotions are also similarly connected. Every part of the body is a part of the cosmos as well. It is an amazing science, there is amazing knowledge. The deeper you go into it, the more it unfolds.
Q. How should one choose a career?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : Choose a career which pays you well. Don’t think a career will give you job satisfaction. For job satisfaction, you must do seva (service). For earning money choose a career. If you are doing seva you will have no dearth. Whatever is needed will come to you when you need it.
Q. How do deal with someone who hurts me and makes the same mistake again and again?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: To forgive does not mean that you allow yourself to be made a fool again and again. Deal with the situation with compassion.
Q. How does the world look from your eyes?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : It looks like my own. However it is, it belongs to me.
In the Bhagvad Geeta, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, “This creation is permeated by the Divine consciousness. It belongs to Me. Crossing-over this cycle (of birth and death) is not so easy. It can be done only through Me.”
(From the Office of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar)
© The Art of Living Foundation