Jan 25, 2011, Bangalore Ashram, India
Q. The more and more my love blossoms for the Divine – the harder I find it to give away my pains and worries. How can we give garbage to the most precious ones?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Never mind. Divine will take it. He’ll snatch it from you if you don’t want to give it. As long as there is connection, there is attention - there is always give and take. You will always receive blessings. You will always receive bliss and unwanted things will just drop off.
And it is nice of you to think that way - it also shows the level of consciousness. In this level of consciousness, drop this identity of garbage as part of you or yours. You find something pricking the mind, just see it as garbage, not yours or someone else’s.
Q. Dear Guruji, I’m feeling so lost in this world. You always say, ‘Life must be juicy’. But there is no juice anywhere. In every work, there seems to be complete emptiness. Don’t know what to do, where to go? Please guide.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are in the right place. Just be here. Is it not juicy here? Is it dry and empty? Of course, it’s hollow and empty when you sit and meditate. But now, you see it’s so celebratory and fun. No one can ever say its dry here.
Look at everyone and the smile on their face. Yes, when you want to take something from the world, the world will appear to be completely dull and lack. But when you want to contribute, the picture changes drastically!
Q.Is peace a state of mind in which no desire or craving etc. arise at all or they arise and subside very fast. How to attain peace permanently?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you drop this wanting permanency, there will be peace.
Q. The soul takes staying forever and takes birth till getting moksha. Then, who lives in hell?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why do you want to explore hell now? I have never been there, so I can’t tell you what it is.
Q. What is unconditional love and how can we love a person unconditionally, and when can we do that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you don’t want anything in return, that is called unconditional love. Not even a thanks or a sense of gratitude or gratefulness. A lot of times people help others but these little expectations are there and that is what bugs them and pulls them down. That is also a condition.
Unconditional love comes naturally as your consciousness blossoms. You can’t force it on yourself or cultivate it. I don’t know how to cultivate it. It’s simply a phenomenon. When your consciousness expands, rises, then, what comes out of it is unconditional love. You say, I’m here for you and I want nothing from you. This comes to you and it has come to you with some people but with many others, you have some expectations.
Q. Guruji, how do we handle situations where we feel we have been blamed unfairly?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just with a smile. In this world, there is place for ignorance also. If someone is blaming you, it is out of their ignorance. And if it is not ignorance, it is mal-intention or jealousy and I would club all these emotions as part of ignorance. So, the best is you move on and don’t get stuck because you have no way to control other’s opinion and you don’t need to - everyone can have their own opinion. The best formula is to educate and ignore. You have to; if someone says, you are a thief, you can’t say, let him have his opinion. You educate him. If they believe it or not it’s up to them. So, keep this as a formula in every relationship. Educate and ignore. If you just ignore in the beginning, you will only exhibit arrogance. Educate is also a little strong word. You can say inform and ignore, which is even better. In education, there is more effort. In anger, people say, I will teach him a lesson.
Q. Sometimes the inability to plan in advance and the resulting chaos is passed on as divine chaos. How to tackle such chaotic people?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The person who has created chaos wants a cover and in the cover, he will always say to save his face and position. He will bring up many justifications. So, you understand that position
- may be you’d be doing the same thing when you are in that position. Don’t depend on what people say. Most of our problems begin when we lock on to their words and not their feeling or where they stand. A mother says to the child, get lost and she doesn’t really mean it but the words that come are very powerful and if the children take on the words, then, the child gets into trauma unnecessarily. I would say you should see beyond words.
Your communication should be more than verbal – it should transcend the verbal communication. Even if someone says all nasty things to you, can you just be grounded and keep your mind at calm. Then, you have achieved something. You are able to connect to people beyond their words.
Don’t expect that they should also connect. It’s always one way. I tell you communication is always one-sided. You have the skill, you can communicate and you can receive it in that sense. You do not worry about what their reactions are, what they blabber.
They usually say all these blame games are blabbering and you get caught up in this blame game. Someone blames, you get caught up in this blame game. You stand up and say - I have the master key and I know which button to press and how people will react and how things would change. You should have this confidence – the soul, the spirit in you is the master key. It can turn around the situation, the way you want it. You should have that faith. It may not happen five times but sixth time it will happen. It all depends on your conviction and persistence. And don’t bother about what they say.
Q: Could you please explain how consciousness is stronger than matter?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, in the pressure cooker, when you are cooking, when there is more pressure – how is it built up? Water vapor! And is that more powerful than water or not? So, subtler you go, the more powerful the things are. Now, this thing (Guruji shows the small silver cymbals in the hands) has silver molecules. When you break the silver molecules down, you get into atomic particles, and, when you break them you get sub-atomic molecules, which is minuter than the minutest. Are they not powerful? Which is powerful – this cymbal is powerful or the atom is powerful? Atom is powerful.
The subtler we go, it becomes more and more powerful. Though, everything is made up of consciousness. This entire universe is made up of consciousness, when you become subtler and subtler, they become more powerful.
Today I was watching a research done with water in Japan by a gentleman. He kept a little water in a bottle and took a photograph. Later he has used the same water for prayer and then after prayer he has took a photograph. You can see the impact of prayer - the subtle thought vibration has gone into the water. It’s obviously visible.
He took a bottle of water and kept blaming it and then took a microscopic picture of it. With another bottle, he said some pleasing words and you can see the difference.
In India, this process is called Abhimantra. You take a pot of water, place your hand on top and then chant mantras. The mantras are supposed to be absorbed into the water. It is an old tradition in India. When you go to any holy man or saint, you take a pot of water and ask them to bless the water. Among the sindhi community, they do this a lot.
This Abhimantra - mantra chanting on the water - has a huge impact on the water, because 70% of our body is water. In the Rudrabhisheka, water is made to fall on a crystal lingam while a particular chanting is being done and then it flows down. That water is very charged and it helps to uplift the atmosphere.
Now it is visible in the microscopic images, the changes that happen by these practices.
Similarly a gentleman from Russia came and conducted an experiment in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu when they were doing the Aarti. He took the pictures and found that all the negative ions in the atmosphere suddenly disappeared; they turned into positive ions. It is the positive ions which bring changes. All these things are meant to create the positive ions; to bring the required changes. The same is the case with the use of fire. During fire ceremonies, when they put the mantra with the intention, there is a qualitative change that happens in the atmosphere.
Q: Dear Guruji, I believe in this: As we sow, so we reap. But many instances we see that a person is going through bad times, even if we don’t see any major fault done by him or her. Why it happens?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Karma! The ways of karma are unfathomable. Karma is like an ocean. This is not one lifetime. In many lifetimes, we have done so many actions and they all have repercussions. Which karma has sprouted from which seed and what fruit this karma will give is very difficult to pin point. That is why it is said ‘gahana karmanogati’ . Unfathomable are the ways of karma. Because it is not just one lifetime, many lifetimes, we have done many things and we don’t know which karma sprouts when. That’s why don't worry about the karma, just be active and follow your conscience.
Act with conscience!
Q: How to take full responsibility for your actions without feeling doership?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you are taking responsibility, just take the responsibility. Doership means brooding over the consequences.
Whatever has happened, the moment you take responsibility, you are empowered. You come to the present. You have already accepted the consequences.
When you are in action, don’t get into this philosophy of doership or non-doership else the mind gets confused. When you act, you act hundred per cent. When you are acting hundred per cent, suddenly you will realize I am not doing, it is all happening. Non- doership is an experience; it is not something you try to do or achieve.