26th May 2011, Bangalore Ashram
When Lord Krishna sat in Samadhi that is when he recited the Gita. After the war, once Arjuna asks him that I have forgotten the beautiful knowledge that you gave me, at that time there was a lot of crowd and so much commotion on the war field and I didn’t listen to you properly. Please tell me again what you said. Then Krishna replied," No, I can’t tell you now, at that time I was in samadhi , so I made you sit and whatever came to me I told you at that time, now I cannot again tell you again".
So whatever Lord Krishna said was not a person saying this knowledge but the universe speaking. These messages came from the Shiva tattva, the atma tattva.
He said, ’I am the sun, I am the rain, truth and untruth, everything is me.’ This is very deep knowledge.
If you see everything is made from one tattva, from atoms. What is your mother made of, father made of? Everyone’s body is made from the same thing, from food grains. Food grains are consumed and the body is developed, whoever eats, they all grow and the body is made from that. So everyone is made from one substance, one power and one energy. So, he is saying the whole world is made from that one consciousness, one energy, one substance.
Now if you see the fan, mike and light are all working with one current, with electricity, isn’t it? But it seems like the mike is different, the light is different and the fan is something else. They all look different but they are all made up of the same thing. In the same way, if the sun was not there then the earth cannot exist. If the earth was not there, how could there be plants or trees or human beings? So what is our source? First from the physical aspect our source is the earth; more subtle than that it is the sun. What is the source of the sun? The universal energy - and so Lord Krishna says that universal energy is ME.
That is the atma that is you and that is me and everything is made of this universal energy and this is what today’s scientist also say. Those who study quantum physics this is what they say - that the whole world is made up of one energy. Earlier it was said that there were different protons, electrons functioning and making things work but now they say it is all one energy, everything is a wave functions. What we consider physical things are not there in reality, it is all just energy and this is what Lord Krishna has said many years ago in the Bhagavad Gita.
‘Avajananti mam mudham manusim tanumasritam, Param bhavam ajananto mama bhuta- mahesvaram’, these people do not see my true nature as that one universal energy, consciousness and they are thinking I am a human being. I am in a human body but the consciousness inside me is that supreme consciousness. I am not a human being. I am a power.
Q: In the beginning days when we take the japa mantra it feels special. It doesn’t feel the same later. How to maintain the same feeling, how to make our mantra more effective?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t try to make anything. Whenever you remember just know it’s very sacred, very special, take it that way. You know usually when you get into the cold water, when you go to the Ganga the first time, you take a dip. The water is very cold but once you are in the water it is not that cold, so your body gets used to it. In the same way, in-between, you have to come out and go in and then you feel cold again. So you don’t need to worry about it and again and again whenever you feel grateful you feel it as special. Gratefulness always comes in waves.
Q: Dear Guruji, there are so many mantras. Can you speak about the different effects of specific mantras specially Vishnu Sahasranamam, Lalitha Sahasranaman and Srividya mantra.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t have to go into too much detail. It is said in Vishu Sahasranamam ‘Sohamékena shlokena stuta evana sumshayaha’, in one Soham everything has come. One thousand names of Vishnu are written in one word ‘Ram’ and that is also written in ‘Soham’. Okay sometimes you can put on Vishnu Sahasranamam, listen to it and meditate, that is fine.
All mantras have an effect but the most important is meditation. Going beyond the mantras is also necessary, letting go of that as well, your mind remains calm and peaceful.
Q: Guruji, why are all mantras in Sanskrit? What is so special about Sanskrit?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, Sanskrit was derived later. Mantras were already there. The words of the mantra were already there; later on the languages was created. Not only in Sanskrit, but when you go deeper into all languages, you will find all these mantras.
Q: Guruji, what is the relation between Mantra and Yantra?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: One is mantra is for one yantra. Mantra means word, yantra means picture. Mantra has a sound and yantra has a form.
Q: Guruji, there are so many mantras. How do we know which mantra is right for me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do Sahaj and whatever mantra your teacher gives you will be appropriate for you.
Q: What are the qualities of a good disciple?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why don’t you take it as your homework exercise? You write down the qualities and then tell me. Tomorrow we will put a sheet and everybody write one quality on that. For two days we will write down all the qualities. If someone else has already mentioned a quality, don’t write that again, you write something else. Whatever you feel like go and write and let’s see. And those of you who are watching on the internet you also send your own ideas, what should be the qualities of an ideal devotee or disciple.
Q: What is the best form of prayer? Something that leaves god with no choice but to answer immediately, what is that prayer?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Being silent and knowing that the divinity is taking care of everything - that is the best form of prayer; the best prayer is meditation.
Q: Dear Guruji, could you talk about spirits and ghosts, do they exist? How to get rid of them if they start liking you too much?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, it’s like getting into a muddy pond and trying to jump out of it. The more you try to jump out of it you sink into it. So the best thing is just do your sadhana and worry about people around you. Do some service project and get into some service activity. Do your bhajans, singing, all this will take care of everything. Don’t focus your attention on the spirits at all now.
Q: Dear Guruji, I want to know if I bless another person does their negativity pass on to me? If so then what is the solution.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, don’t worry. Just say Jai Gurudev and that’s it.
Q: Guruji, there are criminals among the cabinet ministers, where are we heading, where is this country going?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It needs a major stir; to stir the ministers we need a major stir. Every one of you will have to work and take a sankalpa to eradicate corruption. Everything will definitely change, situations will change.
Q: Gurudev, at one time the farmers in this country were rich and dignified. Those farmers who feed the country are now sleeping empty stomach, what have they done wrong and how to we improve this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The minister, who is sitting on the farmers needs to either get some intelligence or needs to be removed from his position, even I have been thinking about this. Since he has taken the position of the minister he has done useless work which resulted in drought and scarcity; drought not because of nature. Either they have no heart or no brains or something is wrong with both. They are not bothered, no matter what happens, they are only concerned about their money. They have sent millions out of the country and have set up relations with terrorists; they have plundered this country. It’s very essential for us to stand up and speak against it.
Q: Guruji, after passing 10th standard I have also passed 12th standard. How many tests do I have to pass to prove my intelligence to this world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Those who do not have certain things think that others do not have it too. Even I have been giving proof all along so you too keep giving proof for some more time. what else? Think of your examinations also as play so that you do not feel pressured by them. Of course you must study and do well in your exams. But what to do if the staircase is twisted? You also have to twist yourself a little bit, anyhow you have to climb. If you try to straighten the staircase while climbing then you will get stuck. So, even if the stairs are twisted you hold on to the railing and move forward. Once you have moved forward then later on you can work towards fixing the staircase.
Q: Guruji, which desires need to be surrendered and left to God and which desires need to be fulfilled through self-effort? How do we know?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, effort and surrender go hand in hand. So put your effort and surrender. That is why we take a sankalpa and then leave it. In pooja what do we do? We take rice, water, flowers in our hand and take a sankalpa, then we don’t hold on to the flowers. We drop it. When you to the cinema, you first buy a ticket and then you give the ticket back when you are going inside the hall. You have to give it right? 30 to 40 years ago you had to give the ticket, now also you have to give it, right? So, in this way we must take a sankalpa and then surrender. We give our 100 percent and then leave it to God’s will.
Q: In terms of moral values, what is stand of a spiritual leader in it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A full stand should be there, total stand should be there. Only telling others of the values is not enough but also what should be done to instill these values in our lives needs to be taught. How to live these values should also be said with understanding. If one slips, then also with understanding they need to be motivated to move forward. This is the skill.
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