Absolutely comfortable with true Communists: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's best answers at IISc

Break up ke baad? Meditation, of course. All this and more from our compilation of Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's answers to students at IISc
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at J N Tata Auditorium
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at J N Tata Auditorium

From dealing with break-ups to giving advice on how to balance science and spiritualism, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had answers to every question thrown his way during his talk at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru recently. These are some of the choicest ones from the interactive session with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at J N Tata Auditorium.

Incidentally, Ravi Shankar's talk had run into a bit of controversy the day before it was scheduled as a section of the students and alumni floated a petition and asked for the talk to be cancelled as they found him to be unscientific. However, the talk went ahead and was packed to the brim. Ravi Shankar even addresses the concerns and allegations levelled against him and managed to look rational and poised in the process without attacking his detractors.

Do communism and spirituality stand apart?  Do you feel comfortable with communists?
Absolutely. A true communist is one who is against any sort of superstition, prejudice and narrow mindedness. That is the real communist. If the communist says that he doesn't like to interact with a particular set of people then they are narrow-minded, old-fashioned unintelligent people.
How do we support students who go through depression and other mental health issues without sharing with anyone? This is the toughest phase as students assume that everything is good with them and they don't share with anyone. You must have interactive sessions with students to help them open up about themselves. They would have blocked their emotions and feelings and think no one can understand them. I also suggest my therapy of Sudarshan Kriya for such students. It will help come out of depression and anxiety.

How does one manage emotions after a break-up?
Open your eyes and see. There are around seven billion people on the planet. Out of that, deduct one billion people as old people and another one billion as kids. In the remaining five billion people, you have 2.5 billion people to choose from. If one person walks out from your life, why do you have a heart break? Think that you are the luckiest and move on. Similarly one should not lose life on scoring fewer marks. Meditation is also the best way to repair hearts.   
Can an atheist meditate?
Yes, an atheist can meditate really well. You don't have to have believe in God to meditate. Jainism and Buddhism did not really preach about God. They taught meditation. When you meditate, you have a happy mind, disease-free body, compassionate heart.

How can we help the tribal population from turning into Naxalites?
Give them pride and comfort in their own tribal culture.  We have started 720 free schools in tribal areas. Proper education and job opportunities will help them get out of Naxalism.

How do we nurture a sense of belonging in students, faculty and management in academic institutions like IISc?
This question has many answers and I leave it open to you all. Implement all the ideas that you people have on mind and see which works the best. Tell me also. I feel group meditation can bring this sense of belonging and create positive energy.

How to make life simple?
Wake up and see the world, it is already simple. We think our life is complicated. Look back and see how you crossed those barriers and came. Your life is your teacher.

Why don't we have spiritual institutions like we have science institutions?
I think every individual is a spiritual institute. Some students are low grade in this subject and they need to improve.

How do we practically blend equation and logic to do great research?
Logic and music are essential factors in life. Usually, I suggest to scientists and engineers that they take out time to listen to some music so that there is a balance in the activities of the left and right side brain. Similarly, I suggest to musicians and others to solve puzzles, crossword etc to improve their left-brain activity.  

Why (do you call it) Art of Living and not Science of Living?
You can call whatever you want to. The fact is it is what it is.

What is the role of intellect in logic and experimental matters?
Intellect has a bigger role to play and whatever you learn on this journey of logic, right or wrong is understood by intellect.

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