Q: What is the best way to handle religious conflicts?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Every child should know a little about all cultures and religions in the world. They will start to feel connection with all the cultures. Every child should know a little bit about all religions like Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism. They will grow up with a broad mindset.
I feel at home wherever I go in the world. I feel connected, and everyone can do that because we all have that need to be connected. In fact you donâ€™t have to make an effort, we are anyway connected.
I still remember an incident some 25 years ago, in Manchester, UK. A small girl came to me and asked: â€˜Why cannot human beings connect with everyone else in the world?â€™ I told her this is because we are so stuck in our identities. Itâ€™s good to have identity but we have to grow beyond that.
Q: It is quoted in every spiritual book that everything happens according to Godâ€™s wish. Then where does doing good or bad come from? If everything is decided by God only then what are we doing here, and what are our duties?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Everything has been decided for animals. But humans have been given the sense of discrimination. God gave the human beings freedom to chose, to chose between right and wrong. Right is something that gives you long term happiness, may be at the cost of short term sufferings. The wrong is something that gives you short term joy and long term sufferings.
Q: I find it difficult to like my wife. How can I make myself love her to have a fulfilling life together?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I cannot speak on that because I have no experience. But I have a suggestion for you.
Tip for women: Never step on the ego of your man. You should always pump the ego of a man. You should not put him under pressure to prove his love for you. The whole world demands a man to prove himself. At home he should come and simply relax. At many times men cannot express their love the way women may wish. You should ask him why he loves you so much even if he doesnâ€™t, and then he will start loving you really. Donâ€™t put him under pressure to prove his love for you. This is very important.
For men: Never step on the emotions of your wife. She may complain to you about her family, but if you join her, she will spin around. It is a very delicate area. Be politically correct. Donâ€™t say a word about her family because itâ€™s very dear to her. Also donâ€™t stop her if she wants to go on pilgrimage, temple, meditation or a spiritual program. If she wants to go for shopping just give her your credit card. Then you will have peace at home.