Posts filed under ‘Questions and Answers’
In response to one of the questions asked in a satsang few months back, Gurudev said “There are two days in a year on which you can review your progress on the spiritual path – they are on the day of Makar Sankranti/Lohri (usually Jan 14th/ 15th) & Guru Purnima”. Grab the opportunity to review your progress (like sadhana, seva, satsang, being & implementing the knowledge etc) on this path for the last year & take sankalpa on this holy day for your journey on this beautiful path for the coming year”
Wishing us all a very happy sankranti / pongal
Thanks to Shiv ( Bangalore, India) for sharing this with all of us
Q : Would you please encourage our husbands wash utensils and cut vegetables even at home just as they did here during the advance course? (Followed by loud cheering from all the women in the course).
Guruji : yes yes definitely. But then it would be nice if you too maintained silence at home just the way you did in the advance course. (Followed by loud cheering by all the men in the course)
Question : I get very guilty over my mistakes.
Sri Sri : Who knows what has happened in the past lifetimes. The wise man sees the past as desinty and the future as free will. The fool sees it the other way around – you decide what you want to be! Mistakes only happen when there is lack of awareness. Work on increasing your awareness.
Question :: How to know when the Big Mind is in action and when the small mind is in action?
Sri Sri: When things are working well – the Big Mind is in action, when the small mind is in action there is mess – but the line is very delicate between the two.
Question : How do I organize my priorities?
Sri Sri: Priorities change depending on the situation. If someone is sick, then some travel may have to be canceled. When a baby is sick – the parents have to stay home – so in that way the priorities keep changing. But the highest priority is to bring people to knowledge. That is the highest priority.
Keep some time in the calender for silence. Once a year, twice a year, take time off like this to be in silence, in meditation. The mind has so many impressions – it needs to be cleaned. You watch TV, you watch movies – if you are of the type who watches at least three movies in a month – then take time
off three times in the year – to get some rest, to clean the impressions.
(Guruji asked how many people wanted to sing or talk – then he asked to check which of our nostrils were active – “If your right nostril is active then you can understand me very well right now.” He continued – “You can tell so much from the breath – if the left nostril is active – it means you are thirsty – if Right nostril is active then digestion is happening – if both are active – then
you are ready for meditation)
Question : What is the difference between ego and self-confidence?
Sri Sri: Ego can also be used as a motivator. Specially in young people it can be used to invoke valor. When a young person is not ready to do something – then when you say – “be a lion, not a pussycat!” – it can have an effect. There is a fine line between ego and self-confidence. Ego requires the other.
Self-confidence is just knowing that I am vast, infinite.
Question : Is self-realization sudden or gradual?
Sri Sri : It can be very gradual – even you don’t know but you find yourself smiling more. This gentleman from America was telling me – Guruji, I don’t get bothered anmore – even bad situations – the worst situations, he is smiling. It’s quite funny.
It can also happen suddenly – you wake up one day and you know you are too big for the mind-body complex. You are infinity. Both are possible.
Question : Is prayer required if Divine takes care of everything?
Sri Sri: You can do this experiment. Put your head in water and hold it there – when there is no breath then prayer just happens, isn’t it? Prayers happens when you are helpless and when you are grateful. Don’t think too much about it – it’s okay to pray. If you have faith that everything will be okay – that’s fine too.
Question : How do we bring people of different religions to this knowledge?
Sri Sri : See, the essence of every religion is peace, is tranquility. In Islam – it’s noor, rouniyat, in Christianity – it’s inner light, in Judaism, in Hinduism advaita – it’s the same – the essence is same. The basis of all religions is silence. Buddha never spoke about God. But here words are less important. If you are centered, calm, you exuberate knowledge. It will catch on. So people may say some things on the surface but deep inside their soul is longing for this. Meditation is food for the soul.
Someone had gifted Guruji a neat gadget – it was a small electric fan with lights. Sitting out in the darkness of night, the effect was wonderful – the lights changing from red to blue to green. Guruji was clearly having fun playing with it.
Question : I used to have a Guru for four years but now for me you are my Guru. But I feel conflicted about leaving my old Guru.
Sri Sri: (Smiles) Just relax. You know, whichever window you look from – it’s still the same sky. Guru is just a window. It’s still the same sky. So relax. Okay?
Question : How many lifetimes will it take me to reach your state? And then what?
Sri Sri: Guruji looked down at the stationary fan and clicked the switch to get it going again. “Then you can play with the fan!”
Question : About the importance of love v/s knowledge
Sri Sri: Knowledge is the preservative of love. Without knowledge love can change to hatred.
Question : My husband doesn’t listen to me. I keep telling him but he doesn’t get it.
Sri Sri: Okay, then you can do this. For three months, let him make all the decisions and then for three months you make all the decisions. When he makes a decision and it turns out to be the wrong one – then he will learn. Failure will teach him where success won’t. And the same applies to you! There’s a story – a husband was having problems as his wife was very stubborn. Whatever the husband said – the wife would do the opposite. The husband was very frustrated and he went to a saint. So the saint gave him some advice. Then a few months later the husband returned and he was smiling – he told the saint – “Your advice worked – whenever I wanted my wife to do something – I would tell her to do the opposite and then she did what I wanted. I would say – “I don’t think we should go out” and she would say – “no, no, we must go out.” So we would go out, which is what I wanted!
It doesn’t matter, husband or wife – the same principle can work!
Question : You are sacred, Guruji. You have seen everything. Can you tell us what are other worlds like? What is heaven like? What is hell?
Sri Sri : This world is good enough! And don’t think I am sacred and you are not – no, no, what I am – you are!
Question : Do you take care of us? When we are in trouble are you there to take responsibility for us?
Sri Sri : What am I here for then? (applause) But they say you should help yourself. You give your 100% and I then I am there.
Thanks to Sushil for sharing this with us.
Q: How can one be spiritually connected on all levels of consciousness at all times without any doubt?
Guruji : Whatever is there is all spirit. Spirit is nothing but energy. So, if you understand in that perspective, everything is made up of energy. You are always connected with God. There is not a single moment when you are separate from God or spirit. Even if you don’t want, you can’t be unconnected. Even if you want to be disconnected, you can’t. That’s God that is spirit.
So, spiritual plane is not a moral plane pr a mental plane. It’s beyond those. It is ever existent and there all the time, all the time. Trying to connect to it, we accumulate pressure. We feel we are not connected. And all spiritual practices are to bring home this awareness, “Yes, I am connected”. Recognition, you are that already. Now, what is the doubt and when does the doubt arise? Your doubt strengthens your faith. You never seem to doubt your dreams. Only in waking state of consciousness your doubt arises. Have you observe this? In a dream you are on horseback and the horse is flying in the sky. You don’t ever doubt whether it is possible or not. You never doubt it. In dream there is no doubt, everything seems to be okay.
Doubt is the sign of intellect. Whenever intellect pokes in, it gives rise to a doubt. Only,we have to understand this phenomenon. And your doubt cannot be answered by some one else by questioning. Impossible.Every effort to clear a doubt will give rise to so many such doubts. Doubt is a big question mark. This question mark is also so closely connected to the point where sorrow also arises in life. Have you watched or observed or asked why you are so happy? Have you asked why there are beautiful things around? Why there are so many colors and such wonderful things in creation? But when there is a pinprick and pain you ask why. Of all people, this happens to you? Why this difficulty? Why this pain or suffering? You can drop every question, you can drop every doubt. That’s a step of the enlightenment.
A Master or teacher never answers all your questions. He just sees that you could drop your doubt. Every question can be transformed into a wonder. See, what is the difference between a question and a wonder? Think on this. “Oh, See! How colorful this is !?” You are questioning there but does not expect an answer.That’s a wonder. Question that arises in joy is wonder. Wonder always comes out of joy because it is your nature. You are joy. Question comes out stress, tension, sorrow, and an answer is given. See, many people go to ask different questions and then they are not really satisfied with the answers. That will produce more questions in the mind. So, it’s a multiplication of questions over a period of time. ANUTTAROBAVA, the answerless. The answerless is a state of joy. That is the spiritual plane where you wonder every moment, wonder what is there? What is this? Wonder brings joy in life. When you have nothing to wonder and you are intellectualizing everything and you have understood everything, there is no joy in life; it is as good as death.
Children when they are so enthusiastic, they keep asking questions, they keep wondering. They are not particular about what answer you give. Whatever is said, they are happy with it, they are satisfied. In fact, they are wondering. They are wondering at everything. A child wonders looking at its own hands and fingers. A professor, who thinks he knows everything, doesn’t wonder about anything; see his face, see his life-it’s so dull. He knows everything there is to life; there is no energy, no enthusiasm.
One who knows and knows not, is wise. This is a saying in India. One who knows not and knows that he knows is a philosopher. It’s like a psychologist. Psychologist has never studied his own psyche, his own mind function, never meditated and never gone into the depth of mind. Simply studying about it in books will not help. A true psychologist should go within and see every level of consciousness and experience them. Then, he has really studied psychology. Everywhere in the world they simply study but not practice psychology, experience what consciousness is. So, drop this idea that you want to be connected.
Every spiritual experience cannot come with intellectual analysis. It can only come out of feeling it. You feel in the depth of your heart that you are connected. And if you feel in the depth of your heart you are not connected, do some deep meditation, do some breathing, Kriya and the experience will tell you, “Yes, I am connected.”
Q: Guruji, how to always keep up with enthusiasm and joy?
Sri Sri: Leave always. If you think of always, then craving comes. If it is always there then you would not even know that it was ever there!! Like you take a dip in a river, you feel cold and when you come out you feel warm, and again do dip in water, you feel cold, and so you experience cold because you experience the warmth.
Leave it to the divine. Our nature is joy and enthusiasm. However sometimes it gets clouded but it can never go. Our consciousness is ‘nitya-nutan’ (Ever fresh) this is with us forever.
Q: Guruji, they say that if you are with Narayana then Laxmi follows. So should we not follow Lakshmi?
Sri Sri: Some people don’t understand this. I would say pray to lakshmi. If you don’t pray to either but just do some show off with some rituals, then that is of no use. Then you land up being nowhere!! I would say, do ‘upasana’ (prayer). If you do upasana, then how do you get corrupt and dishonest? Don’t blame wealth, pray to wealth. In Sanskrit it is said everything is wealth. That doesn’t mean only the note of money.
Health is wealth, Victory is wealth, Courage is wealth, you know the Ashta Lakshmi do Upasana and you will get the benefit. Just to fulfill our financial desires, you run behind lakshmi. Use skill; pray with devotion, lakshmi will come. It will never come with foolishness.
Q: Guruji, why do we want to spend time more with the person, we are in love with?
Sri Sri: It would be unusual if you don’t want to spend time with the one you are in love with (laughter)!! Similarly when you love yourself, you spend time with yourself. When you do that, it becomes meditation. Then it is wonderful.
We like everything else, but ourself. The one who is resting inside, love that, know that!! Some people say oh ! I am bored with myself, cannot spend two hours alone. If you are bored with your self, how much boring will you be to others!! If you are not able to spend time with yourself, how will you manage to spend time with others? If you get to spend time with yourself, then I tell you are lucky. You will be contended. When this feeling comes, then no power in the world can make you shake and cry. Then Bhakti (devotion) comes, mukti (freedom) comes and then moksha (liberation) happens. Two hours you cant spend alone!! You start sending sms to your friends; you start calling them, talking, restless.
Know yourself by yourself. “Khudi khud mein khud ko pao.”
Q: Guruji, my mind wanders everywhere how do I meditate?
Sri Sri: Take a stick and start chasing your mind. See where it goes. If it goes to Goa chase it to Goa, if it is going to Bhavnagar, chase it there, if it is going to bhelpuri, chase it to bhelpuri, if it is going to Bhagdad, chase it to Bhagdad¦.. Chase, keep chasing and you see your mind is so tired that it will come and fall at your feet. That’s why Maharshi Patanjali says meditate on everything, meditate on elements, on Rishis, who are out of craving, even if you meditate on Rishis who are out of craving, you get into meditation. And when you sit for satsang, you get into meditation. But sometimes if you sit for satsang, and you are not there 100%, you count the ceiling, you look here and there. You have to bring interest by yourself, You have to bring the juice (ras/ necter) yourself. It is already there, you have to see the one behind. The one who put the juice. Don’t think I have to do, I tell you need not do anything its all burning for you, you don’t have to lit it at all. When you are in Ganga, you don’t need a shower, when you are taking a dip in the Ganges, why do you need to have a tap and a shower? Become effortless. Just know that I am nothing and I don’t want anything. But don’t start thinking about it continuously, this is also a Maya.
That’s why Adi Shankaracharya says it is foolish to even think that I am Zero.
Q: Guruji, I enjoyed my silence, I really found peace. So if I become dumb, will I get moksha?
Sri Sri: (Laughter!!! ) Oh ! God, if you find something good you will go on doing it!??!?! There are so many dumb people in the world, is everybody enlightened. Extremity is a problem in our country. There are some people who keep silence for 12 years. And after that their voice box don’t function, looks like almost rusted. They cannot speak God has given an instrument, use it. Otherwise it would get rusted. But don’t speak too much, and don’t speak less as well. It your words are able to bring happiness, solace, definitely you should speak. Silence is also important. At least two to three times a year. Silence helps us to become more competent, become more courageous and efficient. So do both, keep silence and also speak. If you speak for 24 hours, then you loose your creativity.
Q : What is more important- knowledge or devotion?
Sri Sri: They go in hand. Its like this, if you pull one leg the other will also come! Knowledge brings devotion and devotion brings knowledge
Q: How can you incorporate spirituality in daily life?
Sri Sri: The first step is not to think that spirituality is not for daily life. It is not different from daily life. So you don’t have to make an effort and try to incorporate it in your life. Your life can never be away from spirituality, it is only a matter of awareness.
Q: If there is Shiva inside us, then why do we do bad things?
Sri Sri: When you do bad things, your Shiva is sleeping. When your Shiva wakes up, He says, “It doesn’t matter. Go ahead and everything will be alright.” He brings back the power, the enthusiasm and the energy to move on and on.”
Q: In business or commerce, we only think about taking or getting, but on spiritual path, it is all about giving. How can we shift from one to the other? How can we remove the feeling of guilt?
Sri Sri: Being on the spiritual path is also about you getting so much joy just by seeing the joy in others. So, you do not have to feel guilty. Business is done with the head you take more and give less. Spirituality comes from the heart you give more and take only little. So never do business with your heart and spirituality with your head.
Q: We all say that if we are more spiritual, we can be better human beings. How can I be more spiritual?
Sri Sri: Just this question is good enough! From time to time, it will give you many ideas. How can I be more useful? How can I be more spiritual? That very question, that very inquisitiveness, is enough.
Q: What is the greatest responsibility of a human being?
Sri Sri: Every responsibility, whether small or big, is important at different times. Even the smallest task can be done with perfection. You do not have to be a genius, just be simple .
Q: How can I maintain happiness?
Sri Sri: Do not make such an effort. In order to save your happiness, you have to spread it. Share your happiness with everyone. Why worry in this short span of life when there is such beautiful knowledge.