‘Let the limited ego dissolve in the Universal ego’
Rishikesh (India), Feb 28:
Q: Guruji, it is said that God is in all. Then how are the avatars different?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Avatar means one who has come down. Those who want nothing, they come for the wellbeing of all. They haven’t come for themselves - either to enjoy or burn karmas. They have come for jankalyan (welfare of all).
Q: How do we save ourselves from bad thoughts?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar We become what we think. Especially for a devotee what he thinks comes true. But this power of thought is with the devotees only. When you become a devotee then you do not get bad thoughts. With devotion, all vikalpas go away.
Q: Is it important to take bath in Haridwar during Kumbh or will bathing in Rishikesh suffice?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar It’s perfectly ok to bathe in Rishikesh. You can take a dip wherever the Ganges flow.
When such parva comes, Ganga comes to every home. In South India, during Diwali the Ganga snan (bath) is done. The usual greeting is, “Have you done Ganga snan?” If you take a cold water bath in the morning, it means you have done Ganga snan.
On the banks of the Ganges, many sadhus do penance and they transfer all the merit in the waters of the Ganga. Teerth ko Sant Puneet banate hai – Teerthani pounaynti sataha!
Jaise teerth sabko puneet karte hai, sadhu ganga ko puneet karte hai. (Just as the Ganges purifies all, the saints purify the Ganges.)
The Ganges is chaitanyamayi (enlivened) hai, brahma roop hai.
As soon as you bathe you feel fresh and new. All the impurities of the mind are washed away. The mind becomes healthy.
I wouldn’t say the same for the Ganges at Kanpur and beyond. The Ganges water should be kept pure. If the Ganges is polluted then its benefit won’t be to the extent of its fame.
Q: Can you please speak to us about ego?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Some say drop the ego, some say destroy it. I say, let the ego stay in your pocket. If you say you have dropped the ego, it becomes a very big ego. Let the limited ego dissolve in the Universal ego. Bhagwad Geeta has elaborated on this in great detail. There are three types of ego - tamasic, rajasic and sattvic. From tamsic and rajasic come to the sattvic ego. The sattvic ego automatically dissolves into Brahman in the state of samadhi.
Q. A marriage has two - wife and husband. I love satsangs, but my wife is against sadhana and satsang, how will our marriage move on?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Use yukti (skill). It’s a test of how good a sadhak you are. You stay put, she will gradually come around and she will also become happy. If you drop your practices and go behind her even you won’t be happy.
Q: How to get rid of laziness?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar If there is greed, laziness will go away. If there is fear, laziness goes away. When you are in love, there is no sign of laziness.
Q: How to get rid of lust?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar It has come from birth. If you keep thinking about it, it will become stronger.
The same vasana is transformed into joy and love. When there is contentment and masti, the lust automatically fades away. When the sun is shining, you don’t need a torchlight.
Atma rati - atma me rati lag jaye, ishwar me man lag jaye. (Mind settles into consciousness).
Q: Guruji, what is the difference between laziness and rest?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Sharir ko aaram, man ko vishram to ban gaye tum atmaram. (When the body is at rest, mind relaxed, then you are one with Consciousness).
With the rise in tamoguna, laziness develops in the body. When there is no tamoguna, then you get vishram.
In laziness, you don’t gain energy and strength.
If you rest well, you get energy and strength. If you sleep for seven-eight hours, you feel fresh.
If you are simply lying around, there is no enthusiasm, no strength, no freshness. The body is tired, the mind struggles with desires. When body gets rest, and the mind has no feverishness, that is happiness. It brings you strength. Sankalp siddh hone lagta hai. (Intentions start getting fulfilled).
When the mind is ridden with thoughts, then sankalpas don’t come true. When you are happy, sankalpas come true.
When you have desires, you become unhappy and it becomes a vicious cycle.
Try giving your desires to someone at least for sometime. Desires exhibit your tendency to want more. Keep it aside for sometime. See, everything fills up.
At least for sometime, akinchan aur achaha hokar vishram karke dekho. (Become nothing and desireless and experience the relaxed state.)
Q: I don’t seem to have changed much after the Sudarshan Kriya.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar See, there are two things: we think I haven’t changed. Ask any old man whether he is old. He will get angry. He says, “I am only 70, I am not old.” Within himself, he doesn’t think he has become old. There is something inside us that doesn’t change, it remains the same.
That's why we think we haven’t changed. Think about it.
From another angle, there are so many changes in you, you are not the same as you were two months ago. Wherever your eye falls, you see I am not the same. I don’t think as before, feel as before. Then you think you are progressing in life. Some walk slowly, some take a big leap.
He, who takes a leap feels it’s a big change. Even if one does not experience a dramatic change, gradually the change happens.
When you look back in life see how much you have changed.
Q: I feel hurt with people talking negative things.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar We give rise to others with our perceptions. If you look upon someone as a friend, that would be beneficial for you. If you take them to be your enemy, then that will happen.
Q: What is seva for a student who has lots to study?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar You must study and keep doing little seva. It doesn’t matter how much seva you do. Do according to your capacity, with your heart in it. That would be equal to doing seva like anyone with great capabilities.
Q: Guruji I feel I lack self confidence and intelligence. What to do?