SriSriSpeaks: When you happen to be on the top, be totally humble. The more you go up, the more humble you become. Humility is the sign of success. And when there is humility then there are no obstacles. Everything keeps on happening naturally.
Q: Guruji, masters have declared that enlightenment is here and now, this very moment. Then what is the role of techniques, yoga and meditation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: So that it becomes here and now really. Just by reading a menu card your stomach does not get full. If fire is written on a paper it does not burn your hands. The difference between fire written on paper and fire in reality, that is the difference here, okay? You have intellectually understood that enlightenment is here and now but to experience it, it happens only in meditation. The techniques take the mind away from the cravings, aversions and all the obstructions that has come to be in the here and now.
Q: I am an astrologer. Is it okay to listen to the problems of people and would that affect me in any way?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, you are astrologer and the work of an astrologer is very good. You can give people some direction, this will be beneficial. Sometimes people have Ashtama Guru, Ashtama Shani. Make them aware that they have Ashtama Guru, and they need to be a little careful. Those who have Ashtama Shani, this brings trouble to the mind. So advise people to be cautious. Like this give advice to people. You must do that. That is how people will understand why sometimes too many thoughts arise in the mind or so many doubts come and one does not have any interest in doing anything. Then when an astrologer explains that this is reason why the mind is disturbed and it will get okay and these are the remedies, it will help.
Everyone should chant ‘Om Namah Shivaya’, all the negative effects due to planetary positions will be neutralized with chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaya’. Negative effects become very less, as good as gone. That is why one field of astrology is remedies. There is a saying that an arrow was coming which was supposed to hit the head, just blew a few strands of hair and went away.
Q: Guruji, can Demi-gods or Pitra Devtas or you get angry with us?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, I cannot comment about Devis and Devatas but I do not get angry with you. Am I so stupid that if you do something wrong I will get angry for that and get upset? No, not at all. But yes, I do feel compassion when you keep on making mistakes again and again and waste such a beautiful life that you have. This does hurt me but I don’t get angry. But if you feel that I should not do this wrong thing because Guruji will become angry then definitely think that I will get angry if you do wrong.
Q: Could you talk about the sound OM and its significance?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is also called the sound of one-hand clapping. The sound which is generated in the universe, not out of friction! Om is universal sound, so when people went deep in meditation, they heard it and they’ve been using it for millions of years. Recently, scientists who mapped the sound on the computer said that it has the same frequency as earth’s rotation around its own axis.
In the sound Om, our Prana covers our whole body. Om has such a resonance with nature – if you stand by the ocean and listen to the waves rolling, you will hear the sound Om. Before meditation, when we sit and chant Om three times, and then use our mantra – whatever mantra we have been given, then, meditation goes very deep.
In China there is a very famous doctor who was suffering from seven major illnesses and he shared his experience. He said that it was his experience that he used to have 500 grams of medication every day to no avail. Then, he started singing Om for one to two hours every day and in two years he was relieved of all diseases that were thought to be incurable. And his colleagues were surprised. Now this gentleman is calling it the music therapy and he is teaching this to people in China on national television.
Maharishi Patanjali has said in the yoga sutras – Ek tatva abhyasa (practice the one tatva, one principle that is Om).
SriSriSpeaks: Bhajan means sharing – sharing from the deepest level of our existence.