QUESTIONS FROM YOUNG PEOPLE



What kind of duties are good for youth to bring to community?

Duty itself is a great quality. We are responsible for the family, friends, community, and country. In a community we have to think about the whole community first. Any duty which is given to individuals should be done honestly and enthusiastically. Duties can be any but motive behind the duty should be “to serve.”



The spiritual path is a positive one but may also be used to hide behind or blind development. How can one recognize when this happens and prevent it?

That is why reflection is important. Mostly people hide by creating a false belief. One should use pure intellect to find out the truthfulness of the path they follow. Spiritual path is like climbing up the mountain. One can fall by creating false beliefs.



Reflect upon what you learn or remember?

That, too. Listening, Reflection, Concentration go together. We don't listen. We hear the sound and by reflex action we answer it. Nothing penetrates deep in the mind up to the heart. You can reflect upon what you honestly listen.



If there is a difficult decision in life to make, how does one do so with reflection? Is it any different with worldly aims?

The rules are the same. Ego, attachment, desire is our life. When we use those energies for the world, we feel pleasure or pain. When we use those same energies for self development, we feel peace. For worldly aims in which ego, attachment and desires are the prime energies, we cannot reflect honestly as long as we don't make our mind stable. Stable mind is capable to find out the reality of anything.



Can one understand spirituality intellectually without practicing?

Spirituality means leading a virtuous life. It doesn't mean you have to accept God or worship a deity. An atheist can be spiritual. Practice is needed to make the mind placid and virtuous. But if a person has accepted virtuous life with no resistance of the ego, then no physical practices are needed.



How do we cultivate faith and eliminate doubt?

Faith develops by experience. Doubt comes by not knowing. As long as truth is not experienced one can pretend faith and in that kind of faith, doubt will arise. But one who has experienced the truth, then question of doubt doesn't arise.



Why do doubts come if the aim is God?

God is unknown, unseen, unexperienced, so doubts always come. When I was young, a 90-year- old sadhu came to my ashram. I asked him if all his doubts are resolved. He said, 'right now, I will say yes. Next moment, I may doubt.'



How does one develop confidence without playing into the ego?

We feel doubts because we don't know how it will come out. We cannot do anything without ego's involvement. Confidence is an expression of the ego. Losing confidence is also an expression of the ego. If the mind is strengthened by doing positive things it develops confidence in the ego.



Often I place myself above or below others. How do I remain equal?

When you see fear in front of someone you put yourself below. When you are not afraid of someone you put yourself above. For example, you are sitting on a beach by yourself and a man comes towards you walking fast. Your first thought will be “he may hurt me.” If a young boy comes toward you, you will not think that way. In the first case you put yourself below in strength and in the second case you put yourself higher in strength. Human mind always compares oneself in all situations.



Is fear from lack of knowledge or misunderstanding?

Ignorance is cause of fear, not knowing. Misunderstanding is also ignorance.



I have had anger inside for years but I don't want it anymore. How do I get rid of it?

Anger and fear are two sides of the same coin. You are afraid so you use anger as defense mechanism. If you remove your fear, then anger will subside.



How is fear removed?

Face, Fight, Finish. When we don't face it, we magnify it. We hide from our own self-created ghost.



What if you can't see it clearly?

Mental perception should be clear to see the self-created ghost. As long as the mind is possessed by selfishness, its perception will be deluded by anger, fear, greed, etc.



What is liberation?

We have conditioned our mind that we are in bondage. So all our actions, thoughts, and feelings are only binding. When the mind is conditioned to think 'I am not liberated,' and if we simply say 'I am liberated' that will not uncondition our mind. 1) Spiritual practice, 2) reflection, 3) meditation removes all mental conditionings which are coming from our past lives and also those we developed in the present life. A mind free from all conditionings is liberation.



Is there a point where poverty affects our path towards liberation?

Who tries for liberation? 1) One who is in pain, 2) one who seeks to power, 3) one who is curious to know higher power, 4) one who has wisdom. Buddha felt pain. He was a prince. Everything was available. But he was poor. Worldly wealth was nothing for him. So he left his wife and son and started wandering. Poverty can affect the path either in a positive way or in a negative way. A person can develop dispassion for the world or a person may become a thief.



We learn about many paths. How do we find ours, by experience or reflection?

The main path is to live a virtuous life. When the mind is set on this path, then it finds one particular path. Without reflection we can't see the real path.



What virtues should we develop?

Honesty, truthfulness, love, compassion, non-violence, etc.



How do desires and memory relate when someone dreams of an event and it comes true?

Desire = present, imagination = future, memory = past. The mind knows but it is veiled by worldly thoughts. In dream the mind is only in the dream. In awakened state the mind is scattered everywhere. In a desire if the mind is scattered then you can't dream. When the mind is in one object, it knows more about it. Sometimes in a dream when the mind is in a pure state, it sees the future.



What if we see suffering but cannot help?

Sufferings are always in life. We learn from suffering. We are limited in our powers. Anything that is beyond our powers, we become helpless. If something is within our power and capability we should try to help.



© 1997 Sri Rama Publishing           
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