This New Year we'll devote to our youth and children. We'll share the excerpts from Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji's talks on topics related to youth, children and their upbringing by parents. We'll also share our own experiences from working with youth for past few years. Below are some cool Q&A with Sri Sri on December 24, 2011 in an all youth gathering.
Innocence with Intelligence is the right formula
The whole world is one family, so it is necessary that we live with naturalness and simplicity; only then life blossoms.
The second thing is, the wall that we erect between ourselves and others needs to be demolished. Drop all inhibitions between you and others. From your side you drop inhibitions. Go on and shake hands.
This is what kids do. However, as we grow up, we tend to lose that. We create a wall between us. We bring formalities between us and forget our naturalness.
All those who are grown up physically, but want to be a child again, or think you are one, just go for it! Don't worry about what others think about you. If the world calls us crazy, let them say, but you be happy. Be in the present and be natural.
What is most important in the world is innocence along with intelligence. The innocence of an ignorant person has no value. Similarly the crookedness of an intelligent person has no value. What is most valuable is innocence and intelligence. Innocence and intelligence should go together.
Tomorrow is Christmas. In the Bible, Jesus said, 'Unless you become like a child, you cannot get into the kingdom of heaven.'
In Hindi, they say 'Bhole bhaav mile raghurayi' - one who lacks innocence can never find Ram. So, maintain your innocence. How to maintain innocence? Know that God is One for everyone and be natural with everyone.
Q: Guruji, were you mischievous during your childhood days?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, very much! I was very mischievous.
When I was a kid, I emptied my father's brief case and stuffed all the toys into it. When he went to office and opened the briefcase during the board meeting, all the toys popped up. He was very embarrassed. But I did it only once.
Q: Guruji, my best friend fell in love with my girlfriend. Now they both are together. I am feeling lost. Can you help me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Remember, there is a proverb, 'whatever is yours will always come back to you.’
If it is not yours, you just move on and look for something which is yours.
Q: Guruji, I feel lazy to study. How can I quickly get out of this laziness?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you feel lazy when you want to go to play? No!
So when you feel lazy, play a little game and then come back and study.
Q: Guruji, when somebody blames me, they take away my negative energy. If this is true, why is it that I feel low or I feel very bad at the moment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, somebody is talking negative about you, they are dumping garbage. You should not hold your gunny bag and catch it. When somebody is dumping garbage, you simply move away from there. Don't take it in.
If they say something negative about you, there are two reasons: one is, either they are doing it out of jealousy, or they are doing it because they love you very much. They are good friends with you and want the best for you, so they show your negative points or your weak points.
So if they say something negative, either you thank them because they took the guts and said it, which others normally don't want to say to you.
If someone criticizes you, they gathered the courage to do so, and they put their friendship at risk to criticize you. So thank them. And if they are just saying it out of jealousy, just forget about them and move on with a smile.
Q: Guruji, I am in the ninth standard. Many of my friends are into smoking and drinking and they force me to do so too, but I know it is not correct. But if I don't do it, I feel left out.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, never mind being left out in those things which they all will regret later on! You stand out with principles.
I had the same challenge when I was in college. Everybody around me was smoking and some really macho guys surrounded me one day and asked me, 'you must smoke.'
I just stared at them and said, 'no!'
I was the youngest in my class. Everyone else was older than me. I said, 'I will not do it!' They just looked at me baffled and then left.
So you will become a hero if you say in front of them, 'no way! I won't do it.'
They started liking my company very much later on.
'Yes, here is somebody who has strong resolve.' Show your strong resolve for something that you believe in. These are the things which we must believe and acknowledge.
'I am not going to do anything which is bad, which is injurious to my life and to the society.'
Will you all take the promise now, today? 'We will not touch any of those drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.' Can you promise me?
Q: Guruji, I want to know whether I should become a drummer, singer or a scientist. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know you can do all three. You can practice your drum as an extra-curricular activity and as a hobby you can sing. You can become a scientist too.
All three can go together. There is no either-or.
At this age, there is no choice. As kids you should not choose. Develop as many talents as you can.
Q: Guruji, will meditation help in studies?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditation will definitely help in studies, because it calms your mind, improves circulation and energizes your whole system. Concentration is a byproduct of meditation.
You can't directly achieve concentration, but if you meditate for a few minutes, your mind will be very focused, concentration happens to you.
Q: Guruji, please speak a little about natural and organic food and how it is important for kids.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Someone just brought corn grown organically, with two cobs on a stalk. Usually there is only one corn on each stalk. This corn has been grown by organic, natural farming. The crops are also good and organic food is very good for you.
It is a benefit to the farmers and is good for our health. Otherwise, they use so many chemicals to raise the crops and then we complain of stomach ache and back ache. How many people suffer from lower and upper back pain and knee pain? Do you know why it is so? It is because of excess urea used in the production of food.
The food that is produced using inorganic chemical fertilizers, causes pain in the joints, back, head, stomach; from head to toe.
Q: Guruji, sometimes parents don't agree on something which is correct. How should we convince them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have all the tricks. When you have to go on a school trip and your parents say no, how do you gauge your father's mood and tell him, 'Oh, I don't want to go, but all my friends won't go, if I don't.'
Talking in this manner, you manage to convince him. Do you not get your way by gauging their mood? You know many tricks!
Q: Guruji, I always worry what others will say about me and that is why I can't concentrate on my studies. What can I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Look, you should give them freedom to say whatever they want to say. Stand up with courage and say, 'come on, you think whatever you want to think about me.’
If they think you are a donkey or a dog, tell them, 'Yes! That is what I am.'
Come on my dear, be bold! If they think you are a fool, so what?
(For more transcriptions of satsang with Sri Sri, visit http://www.artofliving.org/what-sri-sri-said-today)
Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,The Art of Living Foundation is a not-for-profit, educational and humanitarian NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. The Art of Living Foundation has spread peace across communities through diverse humanitarian projects, including conflict resolution, disaster relief, sustainable rural development, empowerment of women, prisoner rehabilitation,education for all, and environmental sustainability.