After many years I have come here, after 6-7 years, Dresden is not the same place. So much transformation has taken place. So have we all, the human race, everyone changes. You are not the same person you were yesterday. What you were 10 months ago, you are not same today. We all progress on the steps of evolution. Our body changes, mind changes, feelings change, thoughts change, - (looking into the crowd) Alice changes! But there is one thing that does not change. Knowing it, recognizing it, holding on to it is what spirituality is. To recognize change you need something that does not change. Only that is eternal, stable. To feel stable in life you need to hook on to something that does not change. Because only that which is eternal, which is stable can bring relief, peace. No one is interested in temporary peace. Ok! You tell me are you interested in 10 days peace? No. We want permanent, stable peace. That knowledge which gives such peace, such love that uplifts your spirit, I call it spirituality.
Momentarily some clouds may come. Your feelings may change but you gain some stability. Isn’t it? For that stability see life from a broader perspective. Learn to relax, meditate a few moments every day.
Are you all here?
Now you are here. Now when I ask this question, suddenly the mind comes here? Isn’t it? You know we do not learn about our breath. Breath has so much healing potential and meditation has even more.
Q: What do you think about time? Modern physicists say time is evolutionary. What is your experience about time?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know Vedanta philosophy has said this long time back. Time and mind are connected. It is amazing to see the correlation between time and mind. We have a small booklet on time. If you are interested you can read that.
Q: How to handle fear?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Pranayama will help. Sudarshan Kriya will help. Meditation will help. Give it to me if you have any fear. You go back home with a smile.
Q: Where do you get power and ideas for so many widely spread projects? What do you do when you are not feeling well?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know all the power comes from only one source. Everything comes when you are connected to the highest source.
Q: What is really essential as human beings?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What is really essential for human beings' is love, and it is your very nature. You only need to relax a little. If you are tensed you are unable to realize your true nature. When you are at rest then you realize the purpose of human life.
Q: Can you please talk about farmer suicide and genetically transformed food?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Farmer suicide is a very big problem in developing countries. Some of the companies, which are producing genetically transformed food are buying original seeds from poor farmers and burning them. Some people out of greed join in hands with them. What is most needed today is educating the illiterate farmers. Art of Living has worked in 520 villages where farmers are given proper education. Now all these villages where volunteers have worked, and educated people, suicide has completely stopped. But there is still a lot more to be done. We need to work a lot more.
Q: How far can a violent person go until we decide to defend ourselves? How do we draw the line between tolerance or love or acceptance or understanding and self-defiance?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Tolerance doesn’t mean allowing anybody to do any violent act, but violence can’t quell violence. Through wisdom, without getting upset, tensed, the way a doctor treats patients you must shut the violence. You know what we do is to react to violence. Reaction to violence is no good but action to violence is essential.
Q: Dear Guruji I don’t know if I made a right decision. I had a relationship. I walked out of it then re-started it. Then my boy friend did the same. Is it a new beginning? Have I made the right decision?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, time will tell you. You know when we are upset it is an opportunity for us to know how much have we grown in knowledge. When we hold the responsibility – I have done something wrong to some one then 50% sorrow is diminished. The rest of the 50% is done when you know everything will change in the future. Once a gentleman was very angry with his wife. When he was asked why he is angry with his wife, he said, “Because of her, because I love her I am angry with her. If there wouldn’t have been any care why would I fight with her?” You fight because you have a sense of ownership, belongingness. Because of the sense of belongingness you fight and because of that sense of belongingness you come together. Isn’t it? But there are other people whom you should contact, I am not experienced in this.
Q: Why is it different with you and other people?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I don’t find any difference. If you find something you tell me. Perhaps I am always at home with everyone, wherever I go, all the time. I have no worries of my own. I don’t think what about me. May be you would also have thought like that. May be not. I am not afraid of anybody. I feel every single person whether they know me or not belong to me. You may also be feeling like that. It is up to you to know. Don’t you think so?
Q: How can I be stronger and committed to path like you?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are already committed. Don’t doubt yourself. You have all the virtues. In seed form you have all. Now look, a bud has everything that it needs to be a flower. Only it will take a little time. All the petals will open and it will be a fully blossomed flower. Though it is a bud but is has everything. In the same way every individual is full. You need little nourishment, little water. So know that you have all the virtues inside you. It takes some time. Do some pranayama, meditation and in some good company you will see it happens faster.
Q: I see a lot of people smoking and drinking. What do I do?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I too have the same question! Education, Education! These people need to experience some higher joy. See with Sudarshan kriya how fast do they drop the habit and come out of it. We’ll do a program for that. We have done it in some countries and it has been successful. 65% of people stay without smoking. 30-35% come back to smoking but the quantity has reduced. Earlier they would take 10 packets, now they take 2 packets.
Q: Should I quit the membership of Church? (I belong to a Catholic Church).
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know that is your choice. You can continue to be a member or if you do not feel like it you can quit. It is your own choice. Whether you are a member or you are not is not a big issue. What is more important is are you a good human being? Are you full of love and compassion? Are you interested in helping others? Are you interested in connecting with others? Do you think so?
Q: How to overcome fear of real unconditional love?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Oh -meditation. When you go deep in yourself all types of fear disappear.
Q: How do you feel to have the energetic field and wisdom?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Good! It is a very difficult question. You know wherever I go I feel I carry my own energetic field.
Q: Can you please tell us the translation of Mantras that we sing?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Mantras are just the sounds, vibrations. “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” addresses the five elements earth, fire, air, water and space of which we are made of.
Q: Can you please tell us something about the next transformation in the world by 2012?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Good times. People will be more spiritual, more kind, less greedy, less hateful, and more understanding. All is good. All is real good.
Q: What about new Art of Living centers in Berlin, and other places.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Good Good. You all come together and make any center anywhere. The more and more people come to the center they benefit. That is all I want, everyone to be happy. We need to have these centers of happiness where people go in and come out happy and jumping. Where they can drop all their mental stress, tension and small mindedness.
Q: Why is it so difficult for people to understand each other?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Because they don’t understand themselves first. You do not understand your own mind and you try to understand others’. It becomes very difficult.
Q: Is homosexuality a disease? Can you please talk about it?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First of all if you think it is a disease, you have already made a mindset. All is a physiological inclination in the mind. These tendencies can always change because everything changes. Some people I meet turn to be homosexual after 40-50 years and there are some people who in the beginning are homosexual but later on they have a family and children. All types of tendencies are there in the world. We shouldn’t discriminate anybody because of this tendency. We should love everyone help others to move ahead towards their goal, whatever goal they have set for themselves. You know all needs of body are very little, small. If you are stuck in the needs of body we forget we are something great, something, for which we are born, the need of the spirit, the need of the soul. The spiritual need of everyone needs to be fulfilled. Unfortunately people are stuck in the small needs. Food, entertainment, companionship is what their concern is throughout their life and they forget the real purpose of our life – To connect with the universal self. The real purpose of our life is to connect with the universe.
The above is an unedited transcript taken at the event and may be updated.
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