Q: If a person has two spiritual Gurus, whom should one follow?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : If you are confused, why are you involving me in this confusion?! (Laughter). No matter what I say, your mind will still be in conflict. If I say follow the other Guru, you would say I have rejected you. If I say follow me, even then you would ask why have I asked you to leave the other. See one in all and all in one (applause). The Guru you had before has prepared you to be here. You decide. Are you satisfied being here? Are you centered? Are you established in your Self? Respect all paths but be committed to one path. That way you don’t get confused. You have come to this path, stick to it. Be playful, be happy; see if your smile increases. If it does not, even I will tell you to go somewhere else. (applause).
Q: Vairaghya(Dispassion), Moksha (Liberation) & Siddhi ( - Is this escapism or the path to enlightenment?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The path of enlightenment is freedom/liberation. Wanting freedom is not escapism. Freedom will allow you to complete your duty sincerely.
Q: What is my duty as a human being?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why are you asking this question? Next you will ask me if you are a human being or a mouse! (Laughter). Duty is that which pinches you, which calls for action. When you don't do it you feel unsatisfied. Your feelings, Society will tell you what your duty is.
Q: If being vegetarian is prescribed in Spirituality, according to the Bible, Jesus was not vegetarian! How do I reconcile the two?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I can’t really comment on that. There is one complete book in Christianity, The Gospel of Thomas, in favor of vegetarianism. The Gospel of Thomas also talks about Pranayama. The bible was written decades after Jesus, so what should be taken as authentic is itself in question. Take good things from the scriptures. There is no mention of TV or aeroplanes in the Bible. One doesn’t ask why I should use these. There are certain things not mentioned in Bible but if it is good for you, you take it. Knowledge is both ancient & modern. Respect ancient knowledge and accept modern knowledge. Modern Science says vegetarianism is the best food practice. So turn vegetarian. In more than one way it is good- both for you & the planet. So accept & acknowledge this wisdom.
Q: Guruji, my brother started writing a book but has passed away 10 years ago. Please give me blessings to complete the book.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Guruji gave blessings and said every human being is a book in himself or herself- a novel. If they are on the spiritual path it’s a happy ending. If not, it’s a tragedy. In a library we get all books- the whole world is a library. Human race is part of this library. There is only one author for all these books and HE is flooding the market and there are no takers! Only a few, who are awake, see that these are all stories. A few Bhaktas(devotees) recognize this & rejoice. And you are one of those few. If you think you are not, become one right away. You have a lifelong membership for the library.
Q: How do I know I am progressing on the spiritual path?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Your doubt itself proves that you are progressing on the path. If there would have been no progress you would have said this with conviction- I have made no progress at all.
Q: This time you have come after 5000 years. Will you take me with you or I would have to wait for another 5000 years?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What is the question? It’s more a wonder, isn’t it? So you have plans to come back? (Laughter).Ok, we will see, we will adjust our times (Laughter again). One life time is not enough? It’s not enough to just come back at the same time. You must be aware also of the Master.
Q: Is it rightly said that if you have Guru in one life, you will have same Guru in all the lifetimes?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You want to leave the work of the Guru incomplete in this life time? You want to be stuck in this lifetime & leave the remaining knowledge to the next life? Then you don’t need a Guru in this lifetime!
Q: Why is the truth tested every time?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Because lies cannot withstand a test. One who has not studied will not go for the exam. One who has prepared for IAS will go to take the exam. When you have the confidence that you will pass, you will succeed, then you will be ready to take the test. That which emerges successful after going through the tests and trials is the truth.
Q: We relate ego to I. Is it not ego when Krishna, Jesus or other masters asked people to surrender to them only?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ego wants others to think high of you, to worship you. If someone says something, see where the words are coming from. Look for the space from which those words are coming. Their speech does not originate from the small mind but from some other space. Jesus said- I am the only way. These words are from a different space- an Inner voice, Divine voice. The way a mother tells her child, “Do as I say!”- that is not ego but belongingness. The way a teacher tells a student,” Do what I tell you!”- That is not ego. Ego is being unnatural. Ego is when you want to hide your mistake. If the way you are an open book, you can interact with people with an open mind/heart. In case, while working together, you feel that you have become egoistic, then don’t try to get rid of the ego. To say ‘I am removing my ego’ makes for a bigger ego. Don’t try to maintain it even. Being natural is the only way.
Sri Sri Tells a story…..
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Once we meet we never get separated. Long time back, some 30 years back, I was travelling from Dharwad to Delhi- a 24 hr journey. In our compartment one boy was there. We talked to each other. Then 20 years later he met me in Vrindavan Gardens. He was Muslim and by now he had got married and had kids also. He came to me & said “I met you in a train 30 years ago. After that day my whole life has changed. I remember you every day and was waiting to meet you again. Please bless my wife & children”. Connection is there in mind every day. You know there are people from Iran, Iraq, Mongolia whom I have never even met but they would say how close Guruji is to them. If there is a distance in the mind then there is distance even if you live in the same house. Else even a distance of 1000 miles doesn’t matter.
Q: Sometimes questions come in my mind and are answered when I sit in meditation. However, sometimes, I get no answers. Is that because there is no connection?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No connection?! You mean you don’t get the range? (Huge Laughter). It only happens sometimes, so it’s ok. Maybe it’s a difficult question and I don’t have an answer! Maybe that’s why the connection gets broken! (Big laughter)
Q: Isn’t it important to control population and inflation in this country”? How can we do that?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:To control inflation, there should be no wastage. More people need to take interest in agriculture. You should not waste food. Keep only that much amount in home that you need. Drop the habit of keeping vegetables for next few days. Earlier people used to eat fresh food. But now because of refrigerators people have started to store food in it. You know this refrigerator has caused inflation (Laughter). Change this refrigerator habit and go for fresh, fresh.
For population, it has a positive side. It’s due to the size of our population that our culture, heritage has survived. The large number of population in India is a blessing. At other places like Australia, England where there is less population the culture is getting wiped out. The regional population is negligible there. Even 200 years of British rule can’t destroy our culture. The main reason for this is population.
Q: You always say we should surrender our sorrow to you but I feel guilty to give all my worries & problems to you.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know whatever waste is given to Dharti ma (Mother earth) is returned back to us as manure and flowers! So, if Mother Earth takes your rubbish, am I any less? (Roaring laughter and applause). We carry the power of transforming all your sorrows to happiness and joy. No matter how much darkness there is, it does not affect the Light. When you come to the ashram, don’t you already feel good? (a resounding YES!).
Devotee: We know you are the Light Guruji!
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