Conversation between shivam and Ravi Shankar

1

Ravi Shankar is an Indian spiritual leader. He is frequently referred to as "Sri Sri", Guru ji, or Gurudev. He founded the Art of Living Foundation in 1981, a volunteer-based NGO providing social support to the people.

6 min read

Published: 26 Jul 2020

PUBLIC
s
shivam
Why do people call you Gurudev?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think they want to call me God, but don't have the courage to say it, so they say it indirectly.
s
shivam
Why do you think they want to call you God?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
They want to get the blessings of God, and they think I can give them those blessings.
s
shivam
Interesting. I wonder why they think you can give them those blessings.
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
It's just a belief.
s
shivam
Hmm. Makes sense. Do you agree with their belief?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I'm happy that they believe it. I'm happy that they get whatever it is that they are getting out of it. I don't agree with it.
s
shivam
Why don't you agree with it?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
Because I don't believe that I am God.
s
shivam
Ok. Do you believe there is God?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I believe there is a power that is far greater than what we are.
s
shivam
If such a power exists, what implication does it have for us mere humans?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it is our duty to serve that power, and not claim to be that power.
s
shivam
Amazing. Are there people who claim to be that power?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
There are people who claim to be God, and who claim that they can give people the blessings of God.
s
shivam
If we have to serve that power - how can we do it?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think we have to serve that power by serving other people. I think we have to serve that power by serving the world around us.
s
shivam
If chooses to not serve the greater power, what will happen?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think we have to accept the consequences of our own action.
s
shivam
What could be those consequences?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
We will have to suffer the consequences of our own action.
s
shivam
What can a person who is not powerful or rich enough do to serve other people?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think we can start with ourselves, with our family, with our neighborhood. We can start small, and we can grow.
s
shivam
Yeah, true. Where do you think meditation falls into all this?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
Meditation is a powerful tool to make us aware of our own existence, and to understand the power that exists in us.
s
shivam
Why is it important to understand the power within us?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it's important to understand that power because we are responsible for what we do.
s
shivam
What if one chooses to not understand the power within?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think we have to accept the consequences of our own action.
s
shivam
Makes sense. Tell me more about meditation.
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think meditation is a powerful tool to be aware of our own existence.
s
shivam
Ok
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it is a powerful tool to make us aware of the power that exists within us.
s
shivam
And
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it is a powerful tool to understand what we do, why we do it, and what is the consequence of what we do.
s
shivam
Ok. Tell me more
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think meditation is a powerful tool to make us aware of our own existence, and to understand the power that exists in us.
s
shivam
What is spirituality?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think spirituality is a sense of oneness with each other, with all living beings, with the universe.
s
shivam
Why is this sense of oneness important?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it's important because we need to live together on this planet.
s
shivam
Some people lie, cheat, murder, destroy. How can we achieve oneness with such people?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think we have to live together, and try to help each other to become better human beings.
s
shivam
True. But if we become better people and the person we are dealing with is an evil person, how can we protect ourselves?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think we have to protect ourselves by serving God.
s
shivam
Will God save us?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think we have to protect ourselves by serving God.
s
shivam
How will serving God protect us?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think serving God will give us the strength to deal with the evil that exists in the world.
s
shivam
Ok. Makes sense.
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it is the only way to deal with the evil that exists in the world.
s
shivam
What is the secret to happiness?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think happiness is a state of mind.
s
shivam
What does state of mind depend on?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it depends on how you look at the world.
s
shivam
Help me understand, how is happiness state of mind
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it is a state of mind, because I can look at the same thing in two ways.
s
shivam
Ok
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I can look at it in a way that it is going to make me happy, or I can look at it in a way that it is going to make me unhappy.
s
shivam
Hmm
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it's my choice to look at it in a way that makes me happy, or in a way that makes me unhappy.
s
shivam
Ok
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it is my choice to look at it in a way that makes me happy, or in a way that makes me unhappy.
s
shivam
How can I choose to look at things which makes me happy?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think we have to do something that makes us happy, or do something that we like to do.
s
shivam
Ok
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think we have to be around people that we like, or do something that we like.
s
shivam
You often say, mind keeps moving in past and future. Can you tell me something about it?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it is the nature of the mind. It is the nature of the mind to keep moving in the past, and keep moving in the future.
s
shivam
Is that good thing or a bad thing?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it's good, because it is always learning from the past, and it is always planning for the future.
s
shivam
Ok
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it's good, because it is always learning from the past, and it is always planning for the future.
s
shivam
Can it have some negative effects as well?
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think it can. I think if we don't plan for the future, we will not do anything in the future.
s
shivam
And
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think if we don't learn from the past, we will not do anything in the future.
s
shivam
But sometimes people get lost in time, and ignore the present.
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think we have to learn from the past, and plan for the future, and we have to be present in the present.
s
shivam
Ok
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
I think we have to learn from the past, and plan for the future, and we have to be present in the present.
s
shivam
Why is being present in the present important

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