What H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankarsaid today
‘Nothing else can bring you the satisfaction that seva brings’
India (Art of Living, International Center, Bangalore), September 11:
Q. We do everything for appreciation from people. How to get rid of the craving for appreciation from others?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : First start doubting the appreciation. Are they genuinely appreciating or trying to fish something out of you? When you doubt the appreciation then you will lose the craving for other’s appreciation.
Q. Whatever we see and experience in the past life regression process- Eternity - is it really our past lifetime or our desires or imaginations?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : Yes, it could be everything, hidden desires, impressions on the mind. So take it in a light way.
Q. Why do I cry so easily? Am I so weak?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Crying out of love, joy is very good. Such tears are very precious. It is a sign of your heart opening up. If you cry because you feel hurt, then invoke the valour inside. Many times you pity yourself. On the spiritual path, self pity and self blame have no place at all. Shun these two. If you blame yourself then you cannot go towards yourself.
Q. If the goal of every soul is moksha (liberation), can one be thankful towards the parents who were responsible for bringing one back into the circle of life and death?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have to thank your parents as they gave you an opportunity to come into this beautiful world. Moksha is possible only in this world.
Q. I detest my job which I loved so dearly once. What can I do?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Our likes and dislikes change so often! You like something and then dislike it and so on. Life should not be swayed away by likes and dislikes but well founded on commitment. You need some work to sustain your life. Any job that sustains your life, be committed to it and if you get something better, go for it.
There is nothing like job satisfaction. Every job has some drawbacks. Earn your livelihood and then do seva for satisfaction. That brings you maximum satisfaction. Nothing else can bring you the satisfaction that seva brings.
Q. I feel that prayers do not come from my heart. What to do to pray from the heart?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Nothing. Do not do anything about it, just be natural. You cannot force yourself to like anything or force love and devotion. The more effort you make, the longer it takes. Be clear about two things. First, never doubt someone’s love for you or your love for someone else. Second, don’t make an effort to love or insist that someone should love you. These are the impediments on the path of love.
Q. With regard to accepting people as they are, I find it very hard to accept the people who are insincere towards their work, especially those who report to me.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Very good. Don’t accept them as they are. Take strict action and handle them skillfully.
People don’t change overnight, yet people do change. Nobody will remain the same as far as imperfections are concerned. Perfection remains the same. Truth is always one, lies can be many.
Q. How to decide that enough is enough? I have a child and want to go for a divorce.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ask yourself, have you given 100 percent. If the mind says no, you have given your 80 percent or even 95 percent, then wait till you give your 100 percent. Even better, give your 101 percent for the sake of the children. A little sacrifice for the children will take you a long way
Even after that if it does not work, then in a friendly manner tell your partner that your paths are different and it is better to part.
Q. What is the difference between idea and thought?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First you tell me their meanings and I will tell you the difference. We attach meaning to words. You got it?
Q. Please tell us more about dispassion on the spiritual path.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Dispassion is centeredness. Dispassion is not disappointment or having a long face. It is being satisfied looking for something higher.
Q. How to balance studies, work and seva?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How do you balance a bicycle? Exactly the same way.
Q. What is the purpose of life?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is a golden question. One who knows the answer will not tell you. Anybody who attempts to answer you, do not listen to him. This question can kindle the quest within you.
Q. What is the place of spirituality in life?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you want to watch television what would you choose - to see or hear first? Both simultaneously. Similarly, the spiritual path brings energy, enthusiasm, creativity and calmness in your life. They are absolutely essential. That is like body and mind, both go together.
Life is a combination of ethereal and spiritual. Something not tangible and something very tangible, the body.
Q. In the present day, corporate world there is a pressure to commit fraudulent activities. How to handle these situations?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Skillfully. If your boss tells you to do fraud, avoid it skillfully. Finally, say that your consciousness does not allow you to commit fraud. If you do fraud then the boss will escape and you will be put behind bars. However hundred percent truth is also not workable, it is only an ideal.
There is an ancient Indian proverb that says that as much lies are allowed as there is salt in food. For example, if you want to sell your product, it may not be the best; still you can say that your product is the best. That much lies are permissible. Ancient people have said this, thousands of years back. It is fascinating how they handled the human mind.
Q. Are our sins forgiven by God or does the Sudarshan Kriya clean them off?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, all the past is washed off. Definitely if you do Sudarshan Kriya it releases all the past impressions and makes you fresh and lively.
Q. How would you describe the Art of Living organization? Is it philanthropic, spiritual or humanitarian?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: All in one. It is everything - philanthropy, social, and spiritual. We discuss knowledge, do service activities, sing together and do interfaith dialogue and feel that we are one world family.
Q. When we have a guru, is there a need for astrology?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Astrology is a science but astrologers are not so scientific.
Q. In the Bhagwad Geeta, there are two ways described for liberation. Bhakti Marg- the way of devotion and Gyan Marg- the way of knowledge. Which one is better?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: They are not two different paths. Suppose, you like rice pudding. How do you like rice pudding without knowing what is rice pudding. The knowledge of it will kindle a liking for it. Love and knowledge go hand in hand. Once you know about something, you go and buy it. Bhakti, Gyan and Karma are three legs of the same table.
Krishna tells Arjuna all those steps and finally says drop all and just relax. For you everything is done. Shama jali hai tere liye tujhko kuch nahi karna hai, the lamp is lit for you, you don’t have to do anything.
Q. If we are all God, then why do we have so many Gods and Goddesses?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The sun’s light is one, yet when it goes through a prism, seven colors come up. All gods and goddesses are part of one truth. One Supreme Self is referred to as Devi, Shiva, Ganesh, Kartikaya. Lord Krishna says rudranam shankaraschasmi, of rudras, I am Shankara. I am the moon, the sun, I am Shiva, I am the Ganges river, I am everything.
(From the Office of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar)