Montreal Center, Canada, April 21:
Q: When a loved one dies, are they reincarnated? Will we know them again? In the case of a parent, are we still connected to them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: All possible...It's possible to know them if they incarnate now and you can feel that? Haven't you felt that you go somewhere and suddenly you feel someone is very close to somebody? Your gut feeling comes. It's all possible. You know, we’re all connected in some time or another. In the past, we've all been connected. Now we are connected. Whether we acknowledge or not, we are all connected.
Q: What is happiness?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you say, I want nothing: that is happiness. When you are happy and are asked: 'Do you want anything?' you say ‘No, I want nothing.’
Q: Dear Guruji I doubt myself a lot, I doubt my skills, abilities and decisions. How do you deal with self-doubt?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How does one deal with self-doubt? Understand doubt: doubt is always about something that is good. Someone tells you ‘I love you’, you ask them ‘Really?’, and they say ‘I hate you’, you never ask ‘Really?’ So, a doubt is always about something good. You doubt your abilities; you never doubt your weaknesses. You doubt happiness, you never doubt misery. Isn’t it? Nobody doubts their depression. ‘But well, I’m not sure if I’m happy or not, well I'm not sure'. So when you understand that the doubt is always about something that’s positive, your mind shifts to a level, a different level altogether.
Doubt is simply low prana. If you do more pranayams you will see that you have come about that.
Q: Dearest Guruji, What is a devotee? What does a devotee do? How does one become a devotee?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Now don’t try hard to become a devotee. Love combined with commitment is devotion. Love with wisdom is devotion.
Love without wisdom can turn into negativities: Love today, hate tomorrow. Love today, jealousy tomorrow. Love today, possessiveness tomorrow.
Love combined with wisdom is bliss, and that is devotion. Devotion is a strong bond, a sense of belongingness. Everybody is born with it. It’s just like becoming a child again.
Q: Guruji, I am blessed to be here with you as I am now healing from breast cancer diagnosed last fall. Can you tell me and us how to learn from illness? With Love and gratitude.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, you don’t have to learn anything from illness. Just move on. It’s part of life. The body undergoes some illnesses. It could be many reasons. It could be due to karma, to past impressions, to the genes in the family. It could be due to violating laws of nature, eating too much when you should not eat, and it could be due to all this technology that we are having around which causes so much radiation. So it doesn’t pay us sitting and analyzing what I should learn from this.
Just keep moving with one faith, one knowledge, one sense of gratefulness. We are happy we are on this planet, as long as we are here, let's do good. One day, we'll all be gone. For sure, we'll all be gone.
Q: I have been introduced to two concepts which I find confusing. A: I am not the doer. Or B: I should take responsibility for little things even when I have little control. What's up?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Life is a balance between these two things. Taking responsibility and letting go. It's both. That's a fine balance. For the present and future take responsibility, for the past know that it has to happen that way and move on. So often we do the reverse. We think that the past was free will and regret and we think the future is all destiny and we don’t do anything about it. But the wise one does you know what? The regard the future as free will, past as destiny and they are happy in the present. So you don’t regret about the past and you know what you want to do in the future and you are on it.
© The Art of Living Foundation