If you keep doing your practices, meditation, satsang and service, you can make yourself feel comfortable in any place. We should not have aversion or craving towards anything. That is real Yoga. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, I want to stay at the Ashram. I feel I have taken care of my responsibilities and now I want to do sadhana, satsang and seva at the ashram. My relatives and in-laws are opposing my decision to join the ashram.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you know the whole world is my ashram! Wherever you stay will be an ashram. Moreover, I dont stay in one place, I keep traveling. I have come here after two months and I will be here for two weeks only. I keep going and coming and going again.
You win over your relatives and in-laws with love. Do your sadhana and seva there and make your home an ashram. Keep coming here once or twice a year.
If you tell them that you will go away to the ashram, they will become worried. They will feel, She is our daughter-in-law but she wants to leave the house and go. Dont do this, okay!
Excessive expression makes you lose depth, lustre and serenity. Meditation by erasing the impressions improves the expression. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, why are there different customs in different religions?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen! Why should there not be? Why should everything be the same? God loves variety. He doesn’t want you to eat only potatoes. Otherwise he would have made only one vegetable in the world – potatoes. Variety is nature.
If your difficulties appear to be very big, lift your eyes because you are only focused on yourself. If you lift your eyes up and look at those who are in a worse condition than you, you will suddenly feel that your burden is not as bad as you thought it was. – Sri Sri
Q: How did God originate?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First you tell me, where is the starting point of a tennis ball? Is there any beginning point? No! Similarly God is Anadi (without a beginning) and Ananta (endless).
Have awareness in the mind, love in the heart and righteousness in action to go ahead in the spiritual path. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, is life easy or difficult? In Buddhism, they say, The first truth is that life is difficult, and you say that life is joy. Which one is true? Dont tell me that both are right.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why? I will say that only! Both statements are true. When a sad person feels that life is sorrow, if you tell him that life is joy, he will not be able to understand. He will only be able to understand that there is sorrow in life.
However, as he progress in knowledge, then he starts to realize, Where is sorrow? Sorrow disappears as he progresses on the path of knowledge. The benefit of yoga and meditation is that it removes sorrow from your life. Then you realize the truth, that life is joy and you were unnecessarily worried. Whenever you have been worried in the past, wake up and see, you will realize that you were worried unnecessarily. How many of you have felt like this? Before you get your exam results, you worry so much. After the results are out, dont you feel that you unnecessarily wasted your time being worried? Everything came out well.
By worrying, time is wasted and the mind gets disturbed. That is why it is said that when the event is over, only then we realize that worrying was unnecessary. Therefore, joy is the reality. Joy has always been a part of us, it is our nature. Worries just came like a cloud and then disappeared. Only that which remains unchanged can be called as the truth, just like how the sky is the truth and the clouds just come and go.
There is nothing in life that is more worthy than your laughter. Never lose it for anything, whatsoever. Events come and go. Some are a little pleasant, some are a little pleasant, some are unpleasant, but whatever happens, they all leave you untouched. There is some area deep in you that is left untouched. Hold on to that something is untouched. Then you will be able to keep laughing. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, Please tell us about the significance of ‘Janmashtami’.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. Ashtami is significant as it indicates a perfect balance between the seen and the unseen aspects of reality; the visible material world and the invisible spiritual realm. Krishna’s birth on Ashtami signifies his mastery of both the spiritual and material worlds. He is a great teacher and a spiritual inspiration as well as the consummate politician. On one hand, he is Yogeshwara (the Lord of Yogas — the state to which every yogi aspires) while on the other, he is a mischievous thief.
The unique quality of Krishna is that he is at once more pious than the saints and yet a thorough mischief-monger! His behaviour is a perfect balance of the extremes — perhaps this is why the personality of Krishna is so difficult to fathom. The avdhoot is oblivious to the world outside and a materialistic person, a politician or a king is oblivious to the spiritual world. But Krishna is both Dwarkadheesh and Yogeshwar.
Krishna’s teachings are most relevant to our times in the sense that they neither let you get lost in material pursuits nor make you completely withdrawn. They rekindle your life, from being a burnt-out and stressed personality to a more centred and dynamic one. Krishna teaches us devotion with skill. To celebrate Gokulashtami is to imbibe extremely opposite yet compatible qualities and manifest them in your own life.
Hence the most authentic way of celebrating Janamashtami is knowing that you have to play a dual role — of being a responsible human being on the planet and at the same time to realize that you are above all events, the untouched Brahman. Imbibing a bit of avadhoot and a bit of activism in your life is the real significance of celebrating Janmashtami.
The Divine dwells in every heart and no one should torture oneself in order to please the Divine. – Sri Sri
Q: Is there life after death? They say there are seven births. Are the seven births clubbed with the human birth or after human birth?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is life after death. We will have to come back. We shall keep coming back. There is nothing like seven, it can be any number.
We think we are holding the roof. Things happen by themselves. This is a little revolutionary. May be it may raise many questions in your head, but thoroughly examine this in your life. All the events that have happened just fell into place for you to be where you are just now. You see the entire phenomenal world is happening on its own. You only have to watch. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, what should a sadhak do to keep away from conflict?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do sadhana, seva, meditation and pranayama. All of these practices are for that only. The more you do it the more it will help you to maintain your balance in times of conflict.
How many years are you going to live? One day you have to leave everything on this planet. You have to leave your good company, bad company, everybody and everything. When this is the truth you should come out of the ashes of the slumber that you are in and wake up! – Sri Sri