Q: How can we strengthen our Sankalpa (intention)?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : With devotion. If there is devotion, Sankalpa is strong. If you are hollow and empty,
Sankalpa is strong.
Q: Guruji, how can we get the best out of ourselves? How can we help to make the world better?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You can get the best out of yourself when you are aware of your lethargy, your laziness, and you get over it; then it will automatically happen. The only enemy to talent is
laziness, nothing else.
Two things: patience and getting out of laziness.
Q: In difficult situations, sometimes it’s hard to know if I am running away, or retreating strategically. How to resolve this conflict?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : When you see your strength is less, you cannot face the fight, that’s when you want to run away. So, when you see that, you have to bring more strength to yourself. You should take time. When you are clear about this; “OK, I should do more, I should meditate, I should strengthen myself, and at the right time I will strike, I will tackle the problem.” That is one way.
Second one is prayer. Your worries dominate you if your emotions are dry. When you have pain, you have no worry. When you have worry, you are stuck in the head. There are no emotions. If you are in emotion, you laugh, cry, pray, and you get over it. Worry is wanting to win and having no strength to win. When you realize, “I don’t have any strength and I can’t do anything about it,” then you pray. Prayer is with emotions, feelings.
Q: Guruji, what is the purpose of creation?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well… I don’t know the purpose of creation, but before asking the purpose of creation, you should ask: “What is the purpose of your life, human life?” We don’t know why so many galaxies are created, I have no idea! (Audience laughing)
Some galaxies, planets, have life. I don’t know why they are all in round shape, why there were no cubes! (Audience laughing) What is the purpose of keeping everything round? I have no idea!
But what is the purpose of your life? You will have to find that out. You can find that out. Your purpose of life is to enjoy the creation. What is the purpose of creation? Is it to bring joy to you? I have no idea! (Audience laughing)
The purpose of your life is to bring joy and happiness to the maximum number of people around you. Isn’t it?
Q: Can you say something about how to make a relationship last?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are various ways but the best is intuitive, your intuition. If in the relationship, both come from the point of giving then there will be no problem, but if both want to take, there will be fights. I am here to contribute, what I can do for you? Then your relationship will last longer.
Q: When there is a problem in life and you don’t see a solution to this problem and time is running out, what one should do?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A problem can be in different dimensions. If it is financial, you have to take action. It is not good to simply sit and wait for money to come from somewhere or run to an astrologer. You have to take alternative precautions. Don’t be too choosy about your job. Take whatever job is available and move on. This is very important. You should have positive thinking and attention and then move ahead.
Similarly, where a relationship is concerned, you don’t sit and wait, not doing anything. In Sanskrit there is a saying “One who puts effort, one who is industrial, and who is courageous, towards such a one, the wealth runs.” So, Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) goes to him, who is putting effort and who is like a lion- brave and courageous.
But when we are concerned with enlightenment, we cannot just do, do, and do. Relax. Do nothing. Pray. Then knowledge comes.
Q: To change a habit I take 40 days to do something to change it, but I don’t even see it through.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Then again you start 40 days, you keep going. It’s good if after 38 days it breaks. (Audience laughing) Then you can do it again for 40 days.
Q: How are we able to get rid of very old patterns?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have to make an effort and change it. Serve, serve and serve. In serving you are giving, when you are in the trip of only getting, then you cannot get over your patterns. But if you say: “I don’t want to be like that, I only want to give, I want to serve,” when you make that big shift, everything changes.
Why are you going to Satsang, for example? Are you there to get joy for yourself or are you going there so you can help, contribute. You go to Satsang and give some juice and cookies to everybody or do you just go and enjoy your meditation and kriya and walk out? These delicate, small things make the difference.
Q: I know you have a vision how in big corporations there can be spirituality. The corporate culture and spirituality conference is happening in only two weeks. I work for one such a big corporation and I struggle from the inside because when the times are tough, those values don’t seem to matter.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t get frustrated, at least you be strong. Have hope. Things will change.
Yesterday night I was watching on CNN about a problem on how young girls and children are being sold in Nepal and India and all these places. Why don’t we all do something? We already freed 600 girls from going to Bombay for prostitution - teaching them and making them economically strong. I think we can duplicate that in all these places. We can raise more funds in that irection and help so many women and save them from financial crises.
We should all focus on doing something about that problem.
Q: What went wrong that so many people lack self-esteem and what can we do to lessen this effect?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ‘Yes!+’ and ‘Yes We Can’ programs are good for that. We have ‘Yes We Can’ program in Europe. 140 youths from all over Europe participated. You should see how they came, and how they are after the program, how much self-esteem they gained.
You know, in companies the big difficulty is the middle people, someone in between the supervisors. They want to gain the favor of the top management, so they complain about people below them. Then people below them complain about the boss and everything becomes messier. Many companies broke down because of that; because of lack of skillful, honest communication. There is no honest and skillful communication. You have to tell your boss your honest opinion and he will appreciate you because of that. First, he may not like it, but later on he will appreciate you. If you tell him lies and one day he discovers that you misled him, then he will be unhappy with you also. So, a skillful presentation of facts, honest, even if it is bitter, and put in nice manners, is needed. These skills come when you become a yogi, skillful in action. Yoga means skill in action. When does this come? It comes when you unite with your Self in meditation.
© The Art of Living Foundation