Q: Can you tell us how the time of the day and night affect our body and mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have a mind and the mind passes through time. Why don’t you observe it! You have different moods in the morning, different moods in the afternoon, and different moods in the evening and night. Isn’t so?
There is alertness and wakefulness at sunrise. I don’t think anybody likes to listen to romantic songs at dawn, dusk or afternoon. Unless you are newly married or just fallen in love!
In the morning, the mind is in a state of knowledge, alertness and wakefulness.
It is action-oriented in the afternoon and in the evening, the mind is in a state of relaxation.
One who wants to be unhappy can be unhappy the whole time, and one who wants to be happy can be happy throughout the day. A fool will be unhappy all the time and the intelligent one will be happy in spite of changing moods. In the same way, seasons also affect the mind.
Definitely, the mind and time have a very unique relationship. If you have transcended the mind, there is happiness throughout. An eternal calmness and serenity dawns.
Q: Why should we deepen our roots if in the next life time we are going to be born in a different religion or culture?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is for now! Deepening your roots means getting well grounded. That’s it. It is not about any particular religion or culture. Deepen your roots means - be grounded and stable.
Q: The only mistake I make is that I keep on making mistakes. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is alright to make a mistake. Making a mistake is a part of life. Sometimes a mistake happens; it happens. Fine! Accept it and move ahead. The pain of making the same mistake again and again itself is good enough to take you out of the same mistake. The pain and pinch of suffering will make you come out of that. But never justify your mistake.
Q: Life is so complex. How to stay simple like you?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t recognize complexity. Keep your sight on the One. In Sanskrit it is said, “Antarmukhi sada sukhi”. If your mind is turned inwards, it will always be happy. What is complex? People’s mind! They are bothered about their complexity, why should you be bothered about the same? People are complex, and they will come down. Have patience and compassion.
Q: Why is my mind so restless during lunar eclipse?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a remedy to all celestial phenomena! You know what? ‘Om Namah Shivaye’. The vibrations of the mantra create an armor around us and protect and energize the whole body – mind complex.
Q: Whenever I see a good looking girl, I find myself in love. Is that love or infatuation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, time will tell you! First, find out whether they are in love with you or not. If that matches, it is a different story. If it doesn’t match, that is a different story altogether. Either case, you will become mature. But don’t keep falling in love. Rise in love! In love, you don't expect anything in return. If you want something in return, don’t call it love. Then that’s need. In a relationship there is a need, but there is no need in love. Love is your very nature. If it sounds too philosophical for now, just keep it in the background and relax. One day you will understand, when your heart breaks or when you realize you expected something too much, something will pop up from the background of the mind and try to save you.
Q: If God is in all, why do natural calamities like tsunamis or earthquakes exist?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Suppose there is only a hero in a film and there is no villain! When there are all kinds of thrill, only then the movie works. If it would have been just a hero or heroin, they get married and live together, that’s it! How would the film be? This is all a play, a drama. So, all kinds of things keep happening.
The soul is eternal. This world is ever changing, different changes keep on happening. Knowing this, just relax. Be of service. Where ever there is a need, be ready to jump in that. Service is our very nature and we cannot live without it. Service should not be like a heavy weight, but just like a flower petal – easy and natural.
Q: In spite of spiritual inclination, some melodramatic tragedies keep on happening. Why is this so?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Tragedy is tragedy when you are affected. There is no explanation for some phenomenon. Why accidents happen, why do people die? It is these moments when you say “Why me?” You know, the ‘Why’ in the mind is associated with misery and the ‘How’ is associated with wonder and joy.
When the question, ‘Why this problem only with me?’ arises in mind or it arises in some other’s mind, better don’t say anything. Just be! No explanation, no reasoning of that will suffix. You simply have to leave those questions for those moments. Time will take you across. Time will make you sail from that situation. Our tendency is to answer them or console them, but smile or a moment of silence will be better. No explanation. No reasoning, no theories will ever do anything. That is what I feel.
Q: Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus. But why is there so much violence where Jesus himself was born?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is something very interesting. The place had violence before Jesus and it has violence after Jesus as well. This is something to be wondered about. This place has continuously seen bloodshed violence. Why? There is no answer. At least, I don’t know any answer. But if you see history, even before Moses and after Moses, the whole region of the middle East and Egypt suffered a lot, and have been suffering continuously. Knowledge is most needed in that region.
Q: There have been trend of ear piercing and nose piercing. But nowadays people have been into piercing all over the body. Is it alright?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ear piercing appears to be scientific, because all the nerves that create awareness in the brain end in the ear lobe. So, ancient people used to do so to create more attention. But I don’t know about the other piercings!
Q: What is the golden rule of a happy married life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, I am not qualified to say anything, but let me think. Why don’t you sit with those who are happily married? What I have heard is:
Before marriage: a couple is mad for each other.
During marriage: They are made for each other.
And then: They are mad at each other.
After while: They are mad because of each other.
Somebody has formulated this!
One thing I know, marriage is an institution of patience, sacrifice, caring for each other and sharing. If one is upset, other should keep quiet and wait for his/her turn to get upset. If both together get upset at the same time, then there is a problem! But in front of kids, one should better be civilized.
Q: Human beings will always be imperfect, then how does one see Godliness in a human?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Who says human beings are always imperfect? Inside human beings, there is Godliness. Wake that Godliness up. Move from one perfection to another and not from imperfection to imperfection.
Either you can see fault with everything, like milk gets spoilt and becomes curd and then butter. You can see first milk gets spoilt and becomes curd, and then curd gets spoilt and becomes butter. You can talk about only imperfections, or you can see progress from perfection to perfection.
© The Art of Living Foundation
© The Art of Living Foundation