Can you measure water with a stick made of salt? The moment it touches the water, it dissolves. You can never measure with it. So also you and god, in true nature, you are God. Free of guilt, full of surrender, you are God. This is the ultimate goal of this life. – Sri Sri
Q: It says, ‘when some one slaps on your left cheek, turn to him your right cheek too’. what do you say about it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I tell you, when some one slaps on your left cheek, slap them on both cheeks and if needed, third time also! But with awareness, compassion and beloningness to bring a positive change in them.
Ice is solid, water is fluid and water vapor is even more subtle. But they are all made up of the same substance. So there is no two. There is no me and there is no you. Your little mind puts a barrier, this is me and that is you. The little mind judges and discriminates. Just let go and relax and you will see that there is only one; one vibration. – Sri Sri
Q: What is meant by ‘Deena Bandhu’?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ‘Deena’ means weak, meek, powerless and helpless. ‘Bandu’ means friend. The Divine is the friend , relative or reddemer of the meek.
See that there is no inside and no outside. If you think something is inside then something is outside also. If you think something is outside, that is inside also. So real blossoming is when there is no inside and no outside. Everything is same, in and out is same. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, what is the relationship of dharma (righteousness) with God?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: With what does God not have a relationship, tell me this? God has a relationship with righteousness (dharma) as well as unrighteousness (adharma). To destroy adharma and to uplift dharma is also Gods responsibility. So God is related to everything.
In the same way, in the ritual of pooja it is said, Dharmaye namaha, Adharmaye namaha. We say namah to both. This world is a mixture of righteousness and unrighteousness, and God has a relationship with both to destroy unrighteousness, and establish righteousness.
You cannot understand love through intellect. It needs to be felt. And anything that needs to be felt needs synthesis, not analysis. You have to become one with it to know it. Whatever you know through the head is at a distance. The subject-object relation will always remain. But love is not like that. The taste of the pudding is in tasting, music is in hearing it. In the same way, feeling. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, it is said on this path one should drop everything and be free of purpose or goals. I am a busy executive, without a purpose how can I take responsibility?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See there are two things Pravittri and Nivritti. Do not mix the two. There are two attitudes that we have to pay attention to. One is, when you go inward (Nivritti) you think that everything is fine and I dont want anything. That is called Meditation.
When you have to come out and work (Pravritti), then seek perfection in even small details. Put your full attention and take responsibility. The message of Lord Rama and Lord Krishnas life is this only. When you have to come out and work (Pravritti), then seek perfection even in small details. Whenever you see imperfection, you have to pay attention on how you can correct it. And when you have to retire then say, Everything is fine. This attitude will help you go deep in meditation. This is the path of Nivritti. That is why one who knows the difference between Pravritti and Nivritti is said to have a sattvic intellect. He is called intelligent.
What is the other sign of an intelligent person? He is the one who is able to see good even in a bad person; one who sees the good in everyone. You go to a prison and you find something good in the biggest culprit. To find good in the guilty is the sign of intelligence. So an intelligent person finds something good in the worst people, but a foolish person will dig out something bad from ever the best people, and there are people who do this.
Goddess Kali‘s picture is dreadful. Anybody would be frightened looking at all the skulls and huge staring eyes. She holds a head in one hand and she has hands hanging all around the waist. If someone could love that fearful picture, then fear disappears from mind. The fear gets transformed into love. Because it is only energy which manifests as fear or love. It happens in the heart region, when you are in love, there is no fear. When there is fear, there can’t be love. – Sri Sri
Q: What is health?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The harmony between the rhythms of the body, breath, intellect and memory is called health. The body is healthy when all these rhythms are in harmony.
Surrender has happened when you know that your life is insignificant in the span of time and space. When you know there are millions and millions of stars, how big the solar system is, where the Earth is – then what is one’s life? When you see this, surrender has happened. – Sri Sri
Q: Dear Guruji, I don’t have any questions. All I want to say is that I love you and thank you for everything. But tell me Guruji, do you want to say anything to me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen, I have been saying it all the time! What I want to say, I keep saying, right?
Through spirituality, life attains its richest form. Without it, life becomes very shallow and we become unhappy, dependent and depressed. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, There are so many definitions of Saints. In reality, whom do we call a saint or a Yogi?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Saint is one whose consciousness is complete. Manifestation follows their words. When such a person speaks, it is not only on the level of mind. Those words have depth. It is more beneficial to directly listen to masters words because He is speaking lifes experiences only. Experience kindles experience.
We communicate more through our presence. If our presence doesnt have that love, then the words spoken carry no effect. And there is no need of words where presence carries love. Whatever we convey, it is through our whole existence. It is like when a child cries or laughs, it is coming from every cell of his/her body. This is indication of a yogi He/She speaks through existence.
Truth cannot be conveyed on the level of brain.
The candle is burning for you; you don’t have to do anything. The sun is shining for you, there is nothing to do. You have to be grateful, sit below it and enjoy and serve and be in love. It’s simple as that. – Sri Sri
Q: Gurudev, you have so many disciples. How do you keep track of each disciple’s spiritual progress?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is my trade secret! (Guruji says laughing!)
Know that there is somebody who cares for you and who is taking care of you, and you will be all right. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, what is the significance of netra daan (eye donation)?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The significance of eye donation is that even after you, your eyes will be of use to someone.
If you are unhappy go out and serve. You will become happy. Do some service. Unhappiness comes when you sit and think about yourself and worry about yourself. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, I just started a new anti-psychotic drug for the condition I have. I would like to hear from you some message of inspiration or hope. I love you and I feel so much a part of you but I am feeling like a failure right now, and I worry that I wont regain my talents. I keep fighting, but some words from you will be very helpful.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, dont fight. The body needs medicines, just take them, relax and be happy. If you have taken a step into spirituality, what you need to remember is in any condition let me be happy, wherever I am, however I am, I want to be happy. I will be happy, I will keep smiling, and even if I have to go through a tough time, I will go through it with a smile this one thought, this one determination you should have.
What is surrender? It simply means that when a desire comes to you just offer it up and say to yourself: “If it is good, let it happen to me.” But surrender doesn’t mean the absence of action. Don’t just make an affirmation and say “Okay, I shall have a good job” and let go of it and do nothing about it. You need to do whatever is necessary to be done. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, I want to know if Gurus also feel helpless before their devotees.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Absolutely! They are the servants of their devotees.
Every cell of your body is made up of God. Your eyes are made up of God; your ears are made up of God; your bones; your blood; your hair; your nails -everything in you is made up of one substance, one truth, one reality, one infinity. There is nothing in you that is not God. Because nothing else exists! – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, we are trying to establish a gaushala (cow shed) but we are not achieving much success.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Anything you start, you will face some difficulty initially. In agriculture also, after doing so much farming, there is no profit, isn’t it? A little bit of difficulty will be there.
For short periods of time, meditate, stay in silence. Then your inner strength is enhanced, your health remains good, you remain in a happy frame of mind, the intellect remains sharp, and joy arises in life. Then whatever you desire gets done easily. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, ‘string theory’ talks about ‘parallel universes’. Can you say something on this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, parallel universes are talked about. There are 14 worlds and they are parallel, one inside the other. Right here there could be many universes. That is why our senses only analyze a few things tanmatras. The Pitra Loka is not somewhere else, it is right here.
There is a little bit of all the five elements present in our senses and because of their presence we are able to see and experience this. Like our tanmatra of light is different from the tanmatra of an owl. So if it is very dark outside, you cant see, but an owl can see.
Tanmatras of bats is even different. Where you cannot see anything, bats can see. Its ability to perceive is different. You will need a torch to move around in your room when everything is dark, but a cat doesnt need it, it will find its way. So, all our five sensory perceptions are based on something called tanmatras our frequency.
We are tuned to a particular frequency, but the universe is of infinite frequencies.
Who is learned? Not one who has only read books, but a learned person is one who has applied this knowledge to his life. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, I had my Upanayanam (Thread ceremony to initiate) many years ago but I never quite understood the significance of the ceremony, the thread and Sandhyavandanam. Can you please explain? Isnt Kriya enough, why Sandhyavandanam?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you do Kriya, that is good enough and afterwards if you are being initiated, do the Gayatri Japa. Gayatri Japa means Let my intellect be inspired by the Divine. It is our intellect which blocks the vast Divinity from expressing itself fully in life. So, the prayer is, May the Divine inspire my intellect. May the Supreme Energy manifest in my life and in my intellect.
And in Upanayanam, they usually put a thread on you and the thread is to signify that you have a responsibility towards the knowledge, towards your parents and towards society. So it signifies carrying your responsibilities on the shoulders. A young boy, before he goes to study, they make him realize that, ‘You have the responsibility. And then the child studies and comes back.
When you have finished all your responsibilities, in Sanyasa, then they remove the thread and throw it. If you are a recluse, then you dont have the thread. This is a system that has been followed from a long time.
If you love someone, know that nothing is lacking. Trust that they also love you very much. If you doubt someone’s love, your doubt grows no matter what you receive from them. If you want to be close to someone, first begin to feel that person is already close to you. When you ask people, “Do you trust me?” you are doubting their trust. When you are in doubt about a trust, you grow in doubt and there is no limit to it. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, if a boy and a girl are getting married, should horoscopes be matched or not?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You can match horoscopes, it is fine. If there is a match it is really good, but if the horoscopes don’t match, it is okay. Just pray! Everything is acceptable.
Events are like stones. They just stay there. You be light. You let go. – Sri Sri
Q: Guruji, When I think about other peoples faults, I get arrogant; and when I see my faults, my ego gets bruised. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Look at your shortcomings and understand that at least someone is there to remove them. Have faith that there is someone who will remove your shortcomings. Just by having this faith things can move forward. Look at your shortcomings and surrender them with faith, These are my shortcomings, I am offering them to you.
If you have difficulty in surrendering, then just know that there is someone who will rid me of these shortcomings. Just like when a school-going student realizes that he doesnt know how to count numbers, but he has the faith that the teacher will teach him. When he opens the first page and he is unable to understand what is written, he still has the confidence that he will be able to understand the book because the teacher is there for him.
Without faith, the vehicle of life cannot proceed. Faith is the petrol of the vehicle of life. Even the petrol called faith has started becoming too expensive! If you dont let it become expensive, the vehicle of life will move further and reach its destination.