Meditation and Pranayama enhances your skill of expressing yourself rightly

Bangalore Ashram, India

Q: I start to do a lot of things, but I don’t get to complete. Can you tell me a way how can I improve the situation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
If you want to do, you can do anything. It has to come from within. With the determination, ‘I will do this job, and I will see to it that it gets completed’. This commitment from within will help you, and get you through. Got it? Nobody can do the job other than you.

So, take up with small things and follow it through, and then you will get the confidence. That prepares you to take up big tasks. You know, why do you drop things? Because you think they are not important. But there is nothing important or unimportant in life, everything has importance. So, even if something looks unimportant, you say, “I want to finish it, and I will finish it”. Then you will be able to enhance your commitment.

Q: Guruji, they say the recipe for depression is to only think about oneself. But at the start of Mahabharata war, Arjuna was thinking about others, yet he was depressed. Please explain.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Well, the mantra for depression is - “What about me, what about me”. And Arjuna was thinking how he could do the work which he was supposed to do, and what people would think of him. It was again about himself only. It is not just thinking about oneself, but your other different attachments and lack of understanding can also lead to depression. But one sure technique to get depressed is- Just sitting, doing nothing and thinking, ‘what about me, what about me, what will happen to me?’ You are sure to get depressed this way!

Q: What does it mean to be superstitious? I am confused whether I behave according to superstitions sometimes. I am not superstitious but I believe in it.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You are saying that you are not superstitious but believe in it. Ok, then tell me first what is superstition?

See, there may be many beliefs. For what one considers superstition, it may not be for another. But from a broader perspective, things which are illogical, which does not support human evolution and which harm intellectual, mental, spiritual, and physical well being is superstition, and that need to be eradicated. Superstition exists in many parts of the world.

Spirituality and superstition are opposites. They cannot go together. So, we need to bring more and more spirituality, more values in the society, and see that superstition diminishes.

Q: What did Jesus mean by saying- ‘I am the bread that you eat.’
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
I have spoken about it in the book- ‘Jesus - the embodiment of love’.

Q: Spiritual path involves many sacrifices of material things and worldly pleasures, all which seem to take away the joy from life. Is it so?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
No, in fact it gives you the joy.

Q: Guruji, it is said ‘Advaita’ (Non Duality). Why it is not expressed as ‘only one’ but as ‘not two’?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Because you need two to count one.

Q: Of the five elements, Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space, Earth and Water are said to be female; Fire and air are male, then what is space? Why is this differentiation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
There are various concepts and understanding of this. So, people start attributing male and female genders to everything. But that is how human mind can comprehend things; it cannot comprehend anything which is beyond.

Q: Guruji, what is ‘moksha’*, and how to attain it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
How do you feel the day you have a holiday? That is a small glimpse of moksha. You also get this feeling when your exams are over, and you cast away your books and give a big relief sigh of’ Ha’! After travelling a long distance in the bus, when you get down at your destination and loosen up yourself, that is a sign of relief. Like this when you get full relief in life, when the mind is happy and contented, that is called ‘moksha’.

Q: I can give my hundred percent, when it is to do service in the ‘Art of Living’, but when it comes to studies, I cannot do.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
I know it is tough, but you have to do. The mind goes easily and naturally towards the things we like. If the things you like are juicy, there you don’t have to make efforts, it is natural. But when something which is not of your liking, is not juicy, it is dry and boring, but is good for you in the long run, then you have to put an effort and do it. There is no other option for it.

Q: I have benefited a lot after doing the YES+ course but a problem has emerged in life too. Previously, I used to ask my parents for every small thing, but I started taking some decisions of my own after doing YES+. Now my mother feels insecure about our relationship, she thinks her daughter is going away from her. But it is not the case in reality, and I also respect her more than before. How to get the situation where she does not feel insecure, and I can also do things with my decisions?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
The most difficult thing to do is to express our feelings correctly, and to understand others’ feelings correctly. Lacking this skill is the biggest issue faced by the society today, and this has to be developed. It is never perfect, some ups and downs do happen in this matter. Like, what we feel, we cannot express fully, and cannot understand correctly what others feel. This keeps happening in life but when we become more calm and happy, we are able to understand other’s mind more and more. That’s why it is very necessary to do meditation, pranayama etc. That gives more inner clarity, and then we feel that others can understand us better, and also we can express our views better.

Q: Suppose we want something, or want something to happen, then there are two things one can do–one is to drop the desire and let it happen, and the other is wanting it is so much that it happens. What is it that we should do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Take it as it comes. Sometimes you really pray for something and it comes. Sometimes you just have a gentle thought and it manifests. Right? So, there is no definite criteria for it, all is possible!

Q: We read in some mythological stories that the yogis curse. Why do the yogis curse? On one hand they ask everybody to be happy, do meditation etc. then why curse?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
When a yogi curses, even it helps one in some way. The anger of a learned one is also useful, and the love of an ignorant is harmful. For example, in a village when the children cry and say they don’t want to go to school, the mothers ignorantly tells them, instead of sending the child to school , to stay back and play at home, or take the herd to jungle. This may be harmful for the children in the long run. Likewise a yogi’s anger may be inspirational and may do good to others.

Q: Have you ever cursed anyone?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
No, never happened a chance to do that. When you are full, the need to give curse never arises; it may happen in those who feel some lack.

Q: Does the soul leave the body after death immediately? What happens in case of unnatural deaths and accidents etc?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
It is a wonderful relation of body and soul. This is a profound topic. We shall discuss it sometimes later.

Q: I become so over possessive for something, or for some person. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Ooh! , Never mind, you understood that you are over possessive then it has already started loosening up.

Q: How do we get rid of expectations or get free of worry? Also how not to get bothered by the expectation that passes again and again?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Never mind, let it be there. Why do you want to get rid of all the expectations? When it is troubling you, then you want to get rid of it. Right? You know, when you have nothing much to do, then you worry, then you sit and expect, or day dream. When you are busy, it is a different story all together.

Q: I get confused sometimes, and cannot make out what to do and what not to do. Like while studying, I get lost and don’t remember to study anything –what to do in such situations?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Keeping yourself engaged in Sadhna (Practices), Satsang and Service gives you focus in life. Are you all getting that focus?

Next part of the conversation in the next post..

“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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