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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The Way of Grace

Questions and Answers

Awakening to higher knowledge with simplicity and humor.

Evening time with the Master often includes wonderful talks sparked by questions that people have placed in
the "Question Basket" (on Advanced Courses ).

Q. What is the true meaning of life?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ah...this you better find out for yourself. Don't ask the meaning from me. It's like asking me to chew your candy for you. It is not possible.

And it is useless to find a meaning. See -- a flower blooms; what is the purpose of beauty? What is the purpose of joy? There is no purpose to joy; it is the end in itself. You may say it's strange. Life when lived in its totality is the end in itself and beginning in itself. Love, joy, beauty -- all that is precious and valuable in life is really beyond value, beyond meaning, beyond purpose.

Be with this question. I can tell you one thing: you are very fortunate that this question arises in your mind. One in a million people will sincerely get this question. It means that you have started your journey toward the light.

Be with this question, and don't be in a hurry to get a ready-made answer from somebody. Go deep into yourself and you will find out.

Q. Would you please speak more to us about love?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you love somebody, don't express it too much in words. Love is like a seed. If you express it too much in words, it can't sprout in the air outside.

There is a problem both in East and West with love. In the East they don't express love at all. They have love, but expression is lacking. In the West it is expressed too much in words. In either way it doesn't grow deep and powerful and strong.

If a seed is buried very deep under the ground, it cannot sprout. If it is above ground it also doesn't sprout. It needs to be somewhere in between.

When you tell somebody, "Oh, I love you so much, I love you so much!" -- then all that you have spent is just words. Instead, just be. Don't even tell the person you love them. You will see that love flows in your action, in your look, in your life. Your love becomes very active.

A person who is fully aware -- one you may call an enlightened person -- will never say, "Oh, Larry, I love you so much!" This they will never say. But in their very look, Larry can feel that love. In their very breath, in their very presence, love simply permeates. Do you see what I mean?

Use less words as far as love is concerned. When you hug someone or bring them a flower, when you shake hands or you look at them, or even speak a few words, that person can feel that authentic love in you. You don't have to say, "Oh, I love you!" so much. See that?

Q. Is Enlightenment really possible for the average person?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, a big yes!

Actually, Enlightenment is easier for an ordinary person than for someone who thinks that they are special. You see, when someone thinks they are special, their ego becomes involved. They think, "I am a great teacher." "I am a great writer." This is ego.

Enlightenment is dropping the ego. Whenever someone is ordinary, simple, innocent and natural, that itself is Enlightenment. Your very nature is Enlightenment. It is in you already in seed form. When you drop all the tensions and become natural, then it is right in your hand. We simply need to let go of the old patterns that are in the mind. Then you see that something beautiful in you dawns and flowers.

Enlightenment is the very core of your Being. Go into the core of your-self and live your life from there.

We all came into this world gifted with innocence, but gradually, as we became more intelligent, we lost our innocence. We were all born with silence, but as we grew up, we lost the silence and were filled with words. We once lived in our hearts, and as time passed, we moved into our heads.

Now, the reversal of this journey is Enlightenment. It is the journey from the head back to the heart, from words back to silence -- getting back to our innocence in spite of our intelligence. Although very simple, this is a great achievement.

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