Question and answer session with Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji

Q: Dear Guruji, apart from being friendly to everyone, what kind of friends I need to have in my life? And what to do when my friends don't stand up to me or don't trust me in times of need?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen, don't analyze anybody. This is another conclusion. Stop analyzing anyone. Where is the time to analyze somebody, and don't analyze yourself also. Just relax, know there is a power that is taking care of everything and the power loves you. Know this and just relax. Yeah? Best idea? You are at peace, and you will be helped that way. It is not someone who is going to help us; we have to do our thing. And nature is with us, there is a power with us which nobody can understand, nobody can understand, even we cannot understand. So, just trust in that power and relax.

Q: Dear Guruji, you know that I want to do seva and do part 2 courses at an interval of at least three months to come out of some bad impressions. But I am not able to do just because of my family members.What to do Guruji?please help.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Never mind, you are seeing the webcast; you sit in meditation wherever you are. Hmmm. Yes. This should not be the cause of your disturbance for you. Okay? So much knowledge is there, so many meditation CDs are there, do it every day. Do your practice; nobody can take away your right to do meditation. Find time and do your meditation. And keep this knowledge in your awareness. That is good enough. Opportunity will definitely come, and you don't have to say, 'Every three months, every six months,' like that. Hmmmm? Whenever possible come, and if it doesn't happen even once in a whole years' time, then you put a little more effort. At least once every year you must do an advance course.

Q: Guruji, how do you help someone release their anger if they're stubborn and don't want to try the spiritual path
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, I would tell you, give everyone freedom. You cannot control somebody. This person is like that, what can you do with them? By our telling something to somebody, they don't change and you should not control anybody. This is what my conclusion is, what? Don't control anybody. Let them go the way they want. Gently guide them if they listen to you. If they don't listen to you, well, it is their problem. What can you do?

Are you getting what I'm saying? You try to control them - your kids, spouse, and friends - without any intention; your trying to control them has no bad intention at all. But well, what can you do when they get so angry? You know, your anger is because of trying to control. The moment you stop trying to control somebody, your anger also vanishes, got it? Hmmm? You get irritable when somebody doesn't listen, right? You tell them ten times still they don't listen, and then what do you get? Irritated. Then your knowledge should come "Well this is the way that person is suppose to be. What can you do? Jai Guru Dev!" So immediately what happens? At least your brain gets relaxation, you don't get irritated.

So, what did I say? Stop trying to control any situation, any person. You are at peace; our wanting to control is the problem. Do you get it? In any situation things will happen, this way or that way. Do your best and leave the rest. Finished. Got it?

Now, this should not be mistaken for lethargy, lack of leadership, lack of initiative, or orderliness. Are you getting what I'm saying? This is a very, very fine balance. A wise person understands to lead without control, got it? Gently lead without trying to control. And then don't lose patience to tell not once, but ten times. You should not say it in the very first time "Oh, I said it anyway and that person didn't listen." No, you should have the patience to say it ten times and if they still don't do it, then don't get upset.

This is wisdom, having the patience to say ten times. How will you say it ten times if they don't do it once, twice, thrice, and you say, "Well, they don't do it, that's how they are" then that indicates you are lethargic, you lack initiative, you lack commitment. I'm telling you something very, very, very fine, are you listening? When you have commitment, what do you do— you keep doing it... correct?

Suppose when you have to cut wood, you cut once, if the wood is soft, it breaks immediately. But if the wood is hard, what do you keep doing? Keep hitting. How many times? Until it breaks. So you keep hitting it. What we do is, we have in our mind the same benchmark for everybody. We think, "Oh see all this wood cuts once this hardwood should also cut once." Then we get angry. No. Some are hard and some are soft. It all takes its own time to cut them. And if it doesn't cut and it is not wood, then you call someone else.

You are at peace. This is my conclusion. What? Don't control, let them go the way they have. But keep guiding them; if they don't listen they are putting mud on their own head. You know, it takes four-five people to bathe an elephant. Sometimes, they make the elephant lie down and pour buckets and buckets of water, so much water is poured on the elephant. Have you seen an elephant taking a bath? No? Oh when you come to Bangalore ashram you have not one, but two elephants too. It takes two hours to scrub, they get like a spa bath! And every day they get scrubbed, and then good temperature water poured onto them. So, they stand up shiny, ten minutes you leave them and they take the mud and throw it all over. They have no sense that,'Just now I had a bath and I'm throwing mud on myself again'. The moment they find mud and dust, they pick it up and throw it right onto their own head and look all dirty again. (laughter)What to do? Hmm.

Jai gurudev!