The center of gravity in the body is the solar plexus, and the center of the solar system is the sun.

July 15, 2010
Montreal Ashram, St. Mathieu du Parc, QC

Q. A question from someone on ART Excel Course: When the cops or anyone in the military shoot or kill anyone in war does it count as their good or bad karma?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Let us take the policeman. A policeman is doing his job to keep peace in society, so it is not a bad thing. In the military, one who is following orders, is only doing his job. The man who gives the orders, gets the karma.

Q. Can you please talk about our connection of our solar plexus and the sun? How to strengthen the connection, strengthen our nervous system and increase our immunity?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Pranayama and meditation. Simply know there is a connection. You are connected to the air all around. Whether or not you know, the connection is there. The center of gravity in the body is the solar plexus, and the center of the universe is the sun.

Q. Until 18 months ago I never believed in spirituality. Art of Living has changed my thinking and made an impact in my life. However there is something missing in my life and I don’t know what it is. The daily practices help keeping me smiling, but there is still unhappiness within me. Please tell me how to rejoice from within as well.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A couple of advanced courses, (a couple of hollow and empty meditations). And listen to Ashtavakra Gita.

Q. Does your mission of lifting up the world get heavy at times? If so, what helps?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: All your work helps. When you write and talk about it. Prejudice in the world needs to be overcome.  It’s much less but that hurdle needs to be overcome. And all of you can help. Everyone can help in reducing the prejudice.

Q. The Bhagavad Gita is very close to my heart. And yet there is a passage in it that confuses me. It is when Arjuna wishes to flee the battle and renounce the world. But Krishna urges him to fulfill his duty by staying put and fighting.How is this advice understood with the principle of non-violence, a concept also central to the Gita? Is it similar to the notion of a just war in Christian and Islamic theology?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The whole essence of the Gita is to act without being attached to the action. It's all about yoga, not about war but your attitude. When you are faced with a situation like war, how do you manage yourself? The worst situation in life is when you have to face a war and when you have to fight not with an enemy, but with some of your own people. When you have to fight with your own brothers and sisters, how do you handle the situation? It's easy to fight a war with an enemy, someone you don’t like. But fighting with someone who is part of your own family is the worst thing.

If you can manage your mind in the worst scenario, then you can manage yourself in any situation. Given the extreme example of how you can manage the mind, the consciousness, yourself, that’s the whole essence of the Gita, not the war. Skill in action is yoga.

A similar knowledge was taught by Ashtavakra, in the palace. When your spirit is very high and you want liberation, that was Ashtavakra's state. And when your spirit is so low, totally desperate, completely broken and depressed, that was Arjuna’s state. At that time the same knowledge of the Self was given to him in the Bhagavad Gita.

Q. I have a question about karma. Can we wipe out past karma, can a Guru wipe out our karma? Can we start afresh?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes.

Q. Is it humanly possible to love the Divine as much as the Divine loves me? I want to love the Divine more and more but this stupid ego, mind and body get in the way. How to stop it from coming in the way?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The nature of love is such that it always feels it is not enough, not sufficient. In love, you will never feel that’s it, enough is enough. When you are in love you think you should do more, give more and love more. That sense of wanting more, that sense of in-completion. That’s why love is infinite. Infinite has no end, no boundary - more and more, never bored. Boredom means boundary.

Q. I heard you say this and I also strongly believe God is everywhere. How important is it to do Puja, or go to a pilgrimage place like Rishikesh, or take a bath in sacred places?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It's like you have food at home and sometimes you go to a restaurant also. You don’t go to a restaurant because you don’t have food at home. Everything is everywhere and you enjoy the flavors equally.

Q. Can you explain the meaning of accidents and illness in our life? What does it mean when they keep happening to us, even when we do actions to take care of ourselves, like coming to this course?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, whether you come to the course or go shopping, it is the same. If you don’t stop at a red light or stop at a green light, someone will hit you. They don’t see you. When you falter with the traffic rules, or someone else falters, then you are in trouble. You are not in isolation; you are in connection with many other factors in life.

Q. Can you say something about angels, do they exist?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes they exist. Angels are so filled with good intention, they are very benevolent. They do exist, not just in the physical bodies sitting here, but there are others in the ethereal bodies too.

Q. I have a strong tendency to be future-oriented. Always planning, imagining and having expectations from the future, clearly this doesn’t serve me. Despite my best efforts, I have not been able to free myself of this tendency. Please advice.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: More knowledge and meditation.

Q. As a young person I look forward to growing old. Yet one of my greatest fears is some of the mental illnesses which afflict the elderly. Is it possible for the human condition to transcend such illnesses? If so, what are the steps one should take to master them?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are doing the right thing already - This knowledge, this path, yoga. As you keep growing older, keep practicing yoga, take proper food, proper rest, proper attitude in life and yoga.

Q. Is there life on any other planet in the universe?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes there is.

Q. Can you please say something about Sri Aurobindo and what his message and life were about?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, when you are asking about Sri Aurobindo, you already know. He wished more and more people would meditate. So the seed he had sown meant greater access to the collective consciousness. It's happening now. Those days it was very dull, although a few French people really caught on to it.

“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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