We need to see how we can be in knowledge and perform our duties at the same time. Some people just hold on to knowledge and don’t do any karma. Some people keep on doing karmas without any knowledge. Both are incomplete. So, take whatever actions you have to take but don’t leave knowledge – Sri Sri
Q: How to overcome fear of the future?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What is there to fear. I am with you.
When you are acting know and feel nothing is right and when you have to go within, know that everything is alright, Divinity will take care of everything. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, when will the corruption which is spread in every street of Delhi end?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you and I stand up against it, then it will remain neither on the streets nor in Delhi. I am already standing against it, now you too have to raise your voice.
If your saying “no” is beneficial for that person, then you may. If your saying “no” is hurting others for no reason that is a different question. You should use your brain there – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, all the scriptures proclaim that the appearance of this world is the handiwork of Maya. But Vedanta says it is of ignorance. How can the two statements be reconciled?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are two meaning for Maya.
First of all, Maya means that which you cannot catch. There is another meaning for Maya – that which could be measured. The English word ‘measure’ comes from ‘miyate’. ‘Miya’ means to measure. So this entire creation can be measured. That is why it is called Maya. What cannot be measured is truth, love, beauty. You can’t say I have three kilos of love or two ounces of beauty or ten kilos of truth. You can’t measure them. So this is the immeasurable, i.e., Non-Maya.
The Divine is that which cannot be measured. The Self cannot be measured. Consciousness cannot be measured. But what could be measured is matter and that is what is Maya.
Now, ignorance is in the perception. You thinking that the Sun is setting is ignorance, because the Sun is not setting. It is the Earth that is rotating. Earth is rotating – this is knowledge. The perception that Sun is setting and Earth is not rotating is ignorance. Different people think differently and so it seems that they are all different people. This is one level of understanding. But the ultimate truth is – it is one consciousness which is in everybody. This is knowledge.
If you turn back and see most of your judgments, you will find they were all erroneous.
How many of you have had this experience? You had a judgment and a little later you thought, ‘Oh no, that is not the case.’ You thought something else than what it was. This is what ‘agyan’ (ignorance) is. Most of the times what you think will happen doesn’t happen at all.
If you tape all these election exit poll forecasts, with all these people and all that they say. Two days later, after counting, when you rewind and watch it all again, you will feel, ‘My God! So many man hours are wasted in ignorance.’ Someone with any intuition would say – it is this person who is going to win. But all the speculation which goes on in all the channels between the election and the results and the hours and hours of discussion, you will find it to be utter ignorance.
Because you really don’t know that is why you are just speculating, guessing and giving your own theories. It is so funny!
When you strongly desire something, simply believe it is going to happen. Simply know that the giver is so compassionate, and you will get what you desire if it is best for you. This faith, ‘The giver is going to grant me what is the best for me’, does the job! – Sri Sri
Q: What is your advice for including openness in Sufism?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Openness is the way forward.
When you are meditating, you don’t need to show aggression. Things will happen without need of aggression for the one who meditates – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, you ask us to live in the present moment, then what is the importance of the past and the future in a seekers’ sadhana?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, live in the present. Past and future are inherent in the present. Everything is available in the present only. Lessons from Past will be effortlessly available to you and whatever we need to do in future, that intuition will happen spontaneously as well.
Be like the flower pot in front of the house. The flowers in front of the house bring fragrance into the house. And it also prevents any foul smell from the house going into the street – Sri Sri
Q: Why are you partial to YES+?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sometimes you take things for granted. They are more wise. It is the YES+ group which is in troubled times, so they need more pumping.
You all know that without air, you can not live. But during summer, you feel as though you are suffocating and there is no air at all. On the other hand you feel the air when you sit near the fan. Similarly in sadhana and satsang you can experience and feel the Divine (That is called Sanidhya) though divine is always with you. Nothing is or can be away from divinity – Sri Sri
Q: Please tell us a way to achieve Moksha.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is what we have been discussing.
Love with wisdom is bliss. Love without knowledge or wisdom is pain. Why is there pain in love? That is what you are wondering or questioning about! It is not love which is giving you pain. If it is just purely love, that means you just care for someone, you want the best for them, and then there is no pain. But when you want something in return from them or you have demands from them, then there is pain – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, I am obsessed with sex and such kind of activities for a long period. I am not able to focus on anything. I want to come out of it but cannot. If I stop myself, I really feel suffocated and suppressed.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you engage yourself in some creative work, then sex will not bother you so much. If you have nothing to do, you are not focused on achieving something, or doing some creative work, or having a goal or some dedication in life, then naturally the only other outlet for your energy is sex. That will bother you day and night. You will go and see all the pornographic websites and lose your sleep. One youth was telling me that he keeps watching such things and he doesn’t get sleep at all. He has lost sleep. This is what will happen. The best way to channel your energy is to engage yourself.
Just remember your school or college days during the exam period, your sex urge was the least because you had something to achieve. Day and night you are just memorizing or reading the books and you had no time for anything else. In the exam period sex did not cross your mind. But when you are so free, what will happen? You are in your youth! There are four options:
First, engage yourself in some creative work. Second, watch your food. If you are eating too much and all that food has become energy, then it needs an outlet, and if you are not doing any exercise, or yoga, or pranayama, then definitely sex urge will come. Third, if there is hormone imbalance, then obsessions can come up because of too much of hormones. Fourth, it is just a matter of age. Wait for some years and it will all disappear. You are bothered by sex between the age of 15 years to around 40 or 45 years. But if you are bothered even beyond that, if you are 60 and you say, ‘I am obsessed with sex’, then there is something seriously wrong. You need medical care. So, take care of all of these. If you are just in your teens, or twenties or thirties, may be this is just a passing phase, and just the age factor.
With knowledge, satsang, and good intellect you can progress on the path to vairagya (dispassion) at express speed. Vairagya gives you all kinds of happiness on its own. With Vairagya and practice, the mind becomes still – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, In this social life everyday with lots of boundaries, limitations and problems, I am unable to concentrate. Can you please advise me on how to concentrate and be focused towards the goal of my life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: So, you have the desire to concentrate. This itself is good, you are already focused. You are aware that you want to be focused and you are aware you are getting distracted, that means you are focused. Don’t doubt that, okay?!
And to increase that focus, what you are doing is the perfect thing – meditation, pranayama and satsang. Already the focus keeps coming. Also observe what is distracting you too much. You are watching too many movies, isn’t it?! That’s what you do, right? (Ans – Yes)
When you watch too many movies the mind is bombarded with so many impressions and so the mind feels so confused. It becomes like a habit to watch movies. So cut down on movies for one per week.
When you come back so tired from work, take a good sleep.
We think money is the goal, politics is the goal, entertainment is the goal; No! All this is only geared towards happiness. In fact happiness is unconditional. In spite of having this one can miss the goal or even not having these means one can still have the goal – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, today I have come here to seek peace of mind, but I am also feeling guilty for running away from the problems. So what exactly is peace of mind? Is it running away from problems or facing the problem?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, even to solve problems, first you need to have peace of mind. So, when you have come here to have peace of mind don’t feel guilty that you are running away from the problems.
If you have to face a problem, there will be no choice. You will have to face it. Got it?
But when you are so tired and incapable of handling the problems, then there is no point in just facing it. First you have to equip yourself.
So peace is the first step to equip yourself to face problems. Once you find the peace and the inner strength, then you can face any problem. It won’t even appear as a problem.
Q: Guruji, we keep asking you many things. What can we do for you?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Spread this knowledge to more and more all around.