Bangalore, May 22:
Q: Jai Gurudev, Guruji, I know the world through the mind, intellect, memory, ego, etc., but only after leaving these six levels can I know my true self. So my question is when we leave these six levels, how do we establish our self in the seventh level?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: We don’t have to leave the six levels; we cannot leave the body, mind, intellect. We have to be with this and know the Self. The body, mind, memory, intellect, ego is there and let it be there. Start meditating and relaxing for a few minutes every day, before starting your work, after your work. See, when you meditate and your mind becomes quiet, that peaceful mind is the house of God. That is why you cannot know God but you can be one with God. You are feeling peaceful, you are feeling happy, going deeper and deeper. In this, you will start to experience that 'I am everybody, it is all only me'.
Q: Jai Gurudev. Gurudev. I have read a lot of your books and I have read books by Sathya Sai Baba and Osho. I found no difference in them, they all talk about love and I just feel they are different physical manifestations. One thing I am greatly influenced by Osho is his concept of Zorba The Buddha. I wanted your perceptions on that. I really like the way he talked about material and spiritual together. Just want to hear what you feel.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, he was a great orator and he spoke really well. He had a deep intellectual insight which is fine but one thing that was missing there was the knowledge of the mantras; knowledge of the tradition of the mantras. Buddha said it is all nothing, everything is nothing and he also said I searched for the ultimate, I searched for the Self but I found there is no Self, there is no atma. I searched and searched and finally found there is not atma.
But in the Sanatana Dharma, Adi Shankara said, ‘Who searched? Who is it that did not find? That is atma.’ So, it is like two sides of the same coin. He talks about the emptiness and on the other side the Vedanta speaks about the fullness. So it is one step, from somebody to nobody is one step. Buddha stops at that, from somebody to nobody, and Vedanta takes you from nobody to everybody.
Q: Dear Guruji, our souls are recycled through rebirth it is said, the population on the planet yet is increasing. Is it that souls from other planets are coming and joining us on planet earth or other creatures are taking human birth?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Other creatures. Both are possible, both things are happening.
Q: Guruji, Dr. Stephen Hawking has a very strong belief about our present human life. He says that there is nothing beyond this life, there is nothing beyond this existence. I don’t know how much he has studied religion but I know that you have studied physics. So how would you like to reply to him?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No scientist would ever say, ‘I know everything and whatever is here that is all and there is nothing beyond’. Not at all, Stephen Hawking has not said what is here is the ultimate. He said there are many levels and many dimensions. Our brain is a frequency analyzer; it can only analyze certain frequencies. Right here there are so many other frequencies. So no scientist ever refuses the possibility of many layers of existence, many worlds right here, because there are many waves. What you see is just a wave function and in wave function there are infinite layers, one inside the other, one inside the other. So microcosm to macrocosm, there are so many worlds and so many levels of time.
Q: Jai Gurudev. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was a great sadhak, he did sadhana for his entire life but still at the end he suffered, why?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sometimes, masters take the karmas of the disciples. Because of the disciple’s karma, he has to go through those physical illnesses. It is not necessary everybody has to go through that, some masters choose to do that, that’s it!
Q: Sometimes I am exhausted with my work and then I lose my self control. How can I control myself because the result of this is very harmful for me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, that is why when you are exhausted, sit and meditate. Do pranayama and meditation that will remove the exhaustion.
Q: Dear Guruji, I have noticed that when anyone puts a garland on your photo it falls away, why is it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No need to put garlands, I am returning it back to you.
Q: Guruji, it is said that at the time of death the last though or memory in the mind is what influences the future birth that one takes. In this mind of mine, there is a big influence of this material world. What to do for me to remember and have only you on my mind at the last moment of my life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You don’t have to wait for the last moment of your life. Live every moment with happiness and joy and do seva, sadhana and satsang.
Q: Respected Guruji, I am very concerned about our country’s economy which is getting affected mostly by the international crude prices. At the same time nuclear energy has also proved very fatal by the example from Japan. How can our country move forward in this regard?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: By raising concerns like what you have done with the masses. Everyone should be concerned about environment, for people, for the whole country. When everyone feels this concern, things will change.
Q: Jai Gurudev. Is there God, how to believe it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The cars are moving, do you see cars going in the street? Yes, but is somebody driving inside or are they moving on their own? There is a driver right, but you don’t see the driver all the time when the cars are moving, right?
Q: Guruji, everyone seems to be running behind Moksha. What is this moksha please tell me as well?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why are you also running behind moksha? If you are not running behind it then what is the problem. Those who are running I will tell them, you don’t worry about it.
Q: Guruji I have a 30 acre of agricultural land with one small temple of Lord Gurudev Datta and Sai Baba together towards the end, near the west side of the land flowing north to south direction and a slope flowing east to west. My Vastu consultant says it is very dangerous to have such a land and gives me opinion to take it out. Guruji what should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, such land exists on the planet. In every land something good happens and something not so good happens, doesn’t matter. You chant ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ or ‘Guru Om’ and all the negative influences and effects will simply disappear.
Q: Dear Guruji, my husband always shots and screams at me and talks in a loud voice even though I talk normally. Towards others he talks softly, what should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That means he loves you more than anybody else. He has made a difference right there. So far you have managed; you know how to manage, so manage. Don’t expect him to speak very nice words, at least you speak nice words and let him be harsh. It can be one way, doesn’t matter, there will be harmony.
Q: Guruji, the path of knowledge is very tough; through devotion can one attain knowledge?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, definitely.
Q: Dear Guruji, how do I stop comparing myself with the whole world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have so much time to sit and compare yourself with everybody. My goodness, I have no time. Too much time on your hands, you better do something more creative. You are sitting and comparing yourself with the whole world, what a waste of time.
Q: Guruji, the four do’s of our scriptures is Dharma, Arth, Kama and Moksha and the four don’ts are Kama, Krodh, Moha, Lobha and Ahankara. So why is kama a paradox which finds itself in both do’s and don’ts?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes because excess of it is very bad and in the right dose it is good. Like salt in the food, the right amount of salt is good and too much salt is no good.
Q: In astrology many astrologers recommend wearing certain gem stones and rings. Do you recommend wearing those things and if you are on the spiritual path do you need to wear those things?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No you don’t need to, of course everything little thing has some influence on you but you know you are much more powerful than a piece of stone. So if you like you can do it. Otherwise chant ‘Om Namah Shivaya’, that is most powerful mantra which takes care of all the bad effects of any planets.
© The Art of Living Foundation