India, (Art of Living International Center, Bangalore), Aug. 17, 2009:
Q. What is the benefit of Mantra japa?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Mantra japa definitely benefits you. Mantra increases mental power and energy. The seed mantra 'Omkar' is common in all Indian religions- whether it is Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism or Sikhism. You may chant Om Namah Shivaye.
Q. Duty whether towards the parents or God is equal for everyone. But why do only Brahmans wear Janeyu*?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Janeyu was a symbol representing that one has three kinds of responsibility- towards one's parents, guru and the society. Janeyu was there to remind one of his duties. Then after marriage it would be doubled, symbolizing the duty towards the wife as well. This is how it was- it was meant for everyone whether Brahman or Kshatriyas. But somewhere down the line the practice got discontinued. One should keep alive the intention of taking responsibility in one's heart, wearing janeyu alone is not sufficient.
Q. Guruji you arrive and the entire atmosphere changes. What can we do to achieve the same?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is your responsibility to transform the atmosphere wherever you go. You can do it too. By doing meditation and practices, our body produces such vibrations that everybody around us gets the benefit, not just us alone.
Q. It must have taken Krishna three hours to give the knowledge of The Bhagwad Geeta to Arjuna. What were the others doing all this while?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is said that it took a lot of time to recite The Bhagwad Geeta but what Krishna told Arjuna while giving the knowledge of The Geeta, for that it did not take that long. He gave the knowledge through his vision (drishti) and it started manifesting within Arjuna. Time is unbounded. To recall what you did in the last five years, won't take you five years. It will take you less than half an hour.
Similarly, there is no time in consciousness.
The knowledge in our consciousness is beyond time. So to recall and remember that, does not require time.
Q. How to attain the power of vision that Sanjay had in The Mahabharata?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: By being centred. When you experience the depth of meditation then naturally you get knowledge. There is no effort involved, no roting of scriptures is required.
Q. How much should you trust a person? If someone breaks your trust what is to be done?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Educate them and forget about it.
Q. I made a promise to someone but now I know that it was not right. How do I get out of my promise?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If the promise you made gives peace to someone then you must fulfil it. If it causes pain both, to you and the other person then just move on. A promise made in ignorance has no importance.
Q When will India have a good government and when will we be free from terrorism?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: All of you take interest in that, usually people say that once you are in the spiritual world you should not get into politics at all, it is not like that. You should work towards providing justice to the society. Atheism and communism increased in our country because the spiritual people did not work against the injustice. They kept quiet.
Therefore, people lost their faith. In big states like Tamil Nadu, atheism spread because of the inaction on the part of the believers. There was a lot of injustice that happened against the dalits but the spiritual, religious people did not do anything.
Q. In Sanskrit, each word has the meaning hidden in itself. So what is the meaning of Akshar?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:Akshar means something that cannot be destroyed. Rice is also called Akshat because it cannot be destroyed. You eat rice and it transforms into the life energy and that leads to jeev (being) which again leads to life energy. It is always there in the body. That is why even a grain of rice is not destroyed.
In physics it is said that an atom can never be destroyed. Our ancestors brought this truth to light millions of years ago. Then they said that not even a grain is destroyed. It may lose its form but is never destroyed. Shar means destruction. Akshar means that which cannot be destroyed. Like a seed we sow is never destroyed, it takes different forms and exists in space. Its vibrations are never destroyed.
Q. How to be an instrument of the grace of the Guru (Gurukripa)?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: By being more grateful. The one who is always complaining gets a little away from the Grace. When we are grateful for whatever God has given us, then we never lack anything and the grace continues forever.
Q. Even after doing Seva, Sadhna and Satsang regularly why does doubt arise in the mind?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Our doubt is always about the good thing. We don't doubt someone's dishonesty but his honesty. If someone is honest we question if he is really honest. We don't ask is he really dishonest? We don't doubt a thief, we doubt a good man. Then we doubt the existence of God.
*White string worn around the body
(From the Office of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar)