Bangalore ashram, Nov. 15, 2009:
Q. Guruji, why is it that sometimes you answer certain questions and sometimes you don’t?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a right time and place for every answer. If questions are asked at the wrong time, then silence is the answer.
Q. What kind of siddhis (powers) are required to be able to know what is happening in other places?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: An ordinary person through spirituality can know what is happening all over. Mansik shakti (strength of mind) is enough. When you put your attention somewhere, you can know what is happening there. Practice and you will see it is easy.
Q. When we sit for meditation sometimes we are disturbed by other people. If we are humble, then they take advantage of it. How do deal with this situation?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just leave it; you will see it will settle on its own. If it goes beyond a limit, then you can also roar. A lion simply sits, doesn’t roar all the time. Inside you must be pleasant, outside you can roar. To roar you need inner strength.
Q. How do you recognize that somebody is your real guru and for you? How do you know if someone is a true disciple?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I don’t test anybody nor do I let anyone test me. If anyone will ask me, I will say, “No!” and move on! Divine really doesn’t test anybody. We think we are very good people and when difficulties arise we assume that the Divine is testing us. We don’t get into trouble because of our goodness: it is because of our foolishness. Some things are your karma. Some difficulties teach you lessons. Look back and see all those problems you have come out of. You will see that you have become stronger. This is what you should recognize.
Q. What is a sign of the dawning of wisdom?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Prasanna chitta (pleasant state of mind) is a sign. Friendliness, foresight, intuition, a mind in the present moment – these are signs of wisdom.
Q. What is the truth behind this Universe? Is everything an illusion?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This universe has come from one unchanging principle. Vedanta also says the same. Everything you see in creation is Maya- like dolls in a laser show, what you see is not the truth. The wave is not the truth, the water is the truth. The form and name are not the truth, the Tattva (the principle) is the truth. The pot is not true but the mud is the truth.
The same brahma tattva (Infinite, Supreme, eternal principle) is the tree, grass, stone and everything else in creation. Brahmatatvamasi bhavayatmane - All has come from that Brahman. This is the ultimate truth. Knowledge of the truth, that this creation has come from Brahman, comes through meditation - Sarvam kalvidam Brahma.
Q. How can one attain Siddhis (power)? How does it affect a person to strive for Siddhis?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A Sadhak or seeker will get many Siddhis on the path. However if you misuse them or start running behind them, you will be lost. Only when you are established, you can receive the true knowledge. One who knows never loses his equanimity.
The tradition of the Masters (parampara) is very important. If anyone moves away from the parampara, it may seem good for some time, but then it brings lot of misery. A sadhak should toe the line of the parampara. The sign of a devotee and seeker is to pick up the best and not try to find all the negative things about others. But if someone cheats, misuses the powers, they undergo the consequences. This should not deter from the path. You move on the path of knowledge.
Q. What is the ultimate goal of meditation?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A pleasant equanimous state of mind. A blissful life without sorrow.
“That which you cannot express is Love.
That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.
That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”
~ H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
© The Art of Living Foundation for Globalizing Spirituality