Q: How do I know if I am making the correct decision?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you make a decision, somewhere you get the gut feeling that says, ‘Yes, this is correct.'
Even if you take a wrong decision, it always leads you to growth. You become stronger; you learn a lesson somewhere deep inside.
Q: Please speak about compassion.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: In life there are three things, which are essential:
Passion is like breathing in, and Dispassion is like breathing out. No one can say, ‘I want to only breathe in, I don’t want to breathe out.' Impossible! So breathing in is essential, and that is Passion for things in life. Then, there is also a need for Dispassion. Dispassion means the ability to just let go of everything. Dispassion brings you relief and then Compassion becomes your nature. So you must have Passion when you do work, Dispassion when you want to rest, and Compassion as your very nature. That is it!
Q: Please talk about Reciprocity.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Reciprocity is very natural.
At a higher state of mind, reciprocity is instantaneous. Only when someone is not sensitive there is no reciprocity.
Often people reciprocate the bad things. If you blame somebody, they are ready to blame you immediately. If you insult somebody, they insult you immediately, but it is not the same for the good.
If you do something good, not everybody think they should reciprocate the goodness. That happens only when the mind is at a higher state.
Q: I am going through a separation. My wife and I have chosen different paths and live different lives. We both want our child to be with each of us. In this situation, what is the wisest thing to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The child should be exposed to both paths and allowed to choose.
If there is no understanding between the couple, it is definitely a strain on the child.
What both parents should keep in mind is that they should not go on blaming each other in front of the child. Putting the child against one of the parents is no good. That is a very narrow minded approach.
Q: Gurudev, sometimes what make me happy conflicts with the expectations of my family and friends? In that case what do I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you need to balance both. Balance between your search for happiness and the expectation of others from you. It is a little delicate but you should definitely make an effort.
Q: What is the need for meditation and relaxation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you relax, the mind expands.
Have you noticed when you are happy what happens? Something inside you starts expanding.
And when you are unhappy what happens? Something inside you starts shrinking.
So when you relax the body, then the mind starts blossoming.
Q: Please tell us what is death?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is no need to define death. It is an obvious phenomenon. We are born and we are going to die one day.
When we came to this world, the first thing we did was we took a deep breath in, and then we started crying. And the last thing we will do in this life is breathe out, and then others will cry.
If we don’t make others cry, then we have not lived a good life.
When the soul leaves the body with full contentment, with a lot of love and wisdom, then it is not compelled to come back. It can come back on its own will.
Q: Please let us know what is the biggest limitation for human beings?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Body has limitation, mind has limitation, but the spirit has no limitation.
When you think you are the body then you have limitation. Then you can do only that much.
When you think you are the mind, mind also has some limitation. But your love has no limitation. Your consciousness has no limitation.
See, how with one small cell phone, you can reach the whole world. You can reach any number of phone numbers with one call phone, isn’t it?
Similarly our mind, which invented the cell phone is much more powerful than the cell phone itself. You only need to make it available.
Q: What should I do if the stress factor is coming from outside. If it is something I do not control or it is beyond me. How do I transmit peace?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is why we need to educate people on how to handle their stress. If one person is not well in the family, does it not affect the whole family? Yes, it does affect. Similarly, if a few are mentally unwell in the society, crime increases in society.
There are people who are in prisons who say, 'Oh, now we don't want to be in violence', but there are so many more outside who are causing problems to society and that is why we need to give this spiritual education to people.
We need to educate people on how to be calm, how to handle their negative emotions and how to handle their mind, because neither at home, nor at school did anyone teach us how to handle our mind. So then there is anger, jealousy and hatred, and when you live with these emotions then you act on them. You don't know how to get rid of it. You hold on to it and then you act from that and then you regret. This is the problem.
These practices and this knowledge here is the solution.