Bangalore ashram, Jan. 21:
Q: What is significance of time when everything is happening in the present moment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: (After a pause of a minute) It (the past minute) is past now. Present is ever present. Past and future are also present. This whole creation has no significance, nor does the time and nor does the space.
Q: What is the connection between the thought and the action?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You should never do thoughtless action or you will be in trouble. There are two dimensions of our life. Sometimes you act without thinking and sometimes you only think and don’t act. Source of both - thought and action - is you. Knowing who you are, your thoughts get streamlined and actions become perfect. Your thoughts and actions are aligned.
Q: Freedom comes from knowledge of the material world yet ‘Advaita’ says there are no two, all is one. Which to follow?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Both are correct. They all have their place. When you understand one single substance, you are liberated. The substance tells you that there are no two substances. A great scientist of our times, Dr. Hans Peter Durr is 81 at present and said ‘I have been studying matter for the past 70 years; matter which never existed.” This is higher physics. It is very interesting.
Q: How to learn from experience? Often we keep doing the same thing but don’t learn.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you keep doing the same thing again and again, knowing that it brings you misery, you really don’t understand it brings you misery or you think it brings you some pleasure. Craving for pleasure and non-awareness that it is going to cause you misery are two things which makes you commit the same mistake again and again. That’s why they’re called habit. Habits don’t give you pleasure but they inflict pain by not following them.
Q: Guruji, yesterday you talked about prana level. You said for human beings it is between 7 and 16. How do one find out?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: All that you have to do is increase your prana level and you are doing it. Pranayama, meditation - all this increases your prana level.
Q: Adi Shankara says, ‘Kasya sukham na karoti viraga’ (What pleasure can dispassion not give!) It is also said, tivra samvega nam asannah (When you have a great desire, intense longing – everything becomes easy). How to be in that state of mind and yet be dispassionate?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Truth is contradictory. Completely opposite values together form the truth. This is also true and that is also true. Intense longing will take you to the goal and at the same time dispassion also takes you there. Dispassion gives you happiness.
Q: Why are dreams there if they don’t turn to be true?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Because those are dreams.
Q: Guruji how come you have so many disciples?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Somebody asked me, ‘How come you have so many followers?’, I replied, ‘I keep on running ahead of everybody.’(Laughter) People continue to come behind me. Then he asked, ‘How do you do it?’ to which I replied, ‘It’s very easy. You keep running ahead.’(Huge laughter)
Q: Turiya avastha (state of Samadhi) of chetna (consciousness) is shiv tattva. How to achieve shiv tattva?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Nirvikar (without any blemish)and prayatna rahit (without any effort). Dropping all efforts and all vikar in the mind, you relax.
Q: How do we ensure that a good soul is born? Do we need to follow some rules?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just be happy and keep your heart clean and soft. When you doubt, when you are angry or frustrated, your heart and feelings get hardened. With the knowledge and wisdom, your heart remains soft and supple. Otherwise you say everybody else is wrong and only you are right. You don’t see how wrong you are. You do so many mistakes you don’t look at that but when somebody else does mistakes, your heart gets hard. Isn’t it so? There is a saying in India of saint Kabir which says ‘Bura dekhan main chala, bura na milya koi’ which means ‘I wanted to search a bad man but I couldn’t find one but when I looked at myself I couldn’t find anybody worse than me.’ This is coming from a saint. So seeing mistakes in others hardens your feelings. I don’t agree so much with the other line. If you keep on looking at your own mistakes, that will also not make your feelings soft and brings guilt. So I only use the first line of this.
Q: If we do something wrong with somebody and that person does good to us, do we have to bear fruit of that karma (action)?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t do so much of analysis. The karma that you need to go through, you will. And the karma which you don’t need to go through, you won’t. That karma which is to be finished with sadhna, pranayama will be finished. By surrendering to God, we get new life all the time. Don’t think too much. Live in surrender, surrender leads to Samadhi.
Q: I can’t think of more questions. Please tell me some question to ask?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That’s good. My job is not to tell you or give you questions but to take away your questions.“That which you cannot express is Love.
That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.
That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”
~ Sri Sri Ravishankar
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