May 6

Asking Questions

I have seen many, many people ask Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, our Guruji extremely indeterminate questions and then get very disappointed when He chooses to ignore them or answer them vaguely.

Over the years, i have noticed Guruji taking special interest in some people and their queries… and have begun to see a pattern. It’s almost impossible to predict and Enlightened Being, but 8 times out of 10 i have seen Him give attention and answers when people have followed what i write below:

The very first thing you need to do is to have utmostΒ sincerityΒ for your question. Many people ask stuff quiteΒ flippantly, or to “test” Him and then get upset that He didn’t take them seriously. Sincerity is a big key.

Guruji at the LA Center

Guruji at the LA Center

Secondly, write out your question.Β Most people go completely blank when they are near Him and end up asking very foolish questions, not the one they wanted to ask at all…

Thirdly, don’t ask Him questions like, Guruji what should i do in my life? or What should i study? or Should i get married/divorced? etc … He will never live your life for you. Those are decisions you have to make. The stock answer for all these questions is usually Choice is yours, Blessings are mine πŸ™‚

The way to ask these questions is to tell Him what it is you want to do, list choices, and tell Him whats your preference. Be ready to tell Him the pros and cons of every choice you have talked about, but don’t tell Him about these unless you are asked.Β Give Him all the relevant data that you have about what you are asking. When He knows you have put a lot of thought into the question, then He normally will spend time with you to bring you to whats best in your life for you. It is only then that you may get a straight answer.

For example, if you want to study further, you could ask Him, Guruji, i want to study further, i have finished my M.Sc. I can do an MBA either in India or in the US or i can do a P.hd. from IIT, could be tough to get in on a P.Hd program outside the country. I have a job offer, but i am not too keen on working. Later i either want to do a job in HR, though i am not too excited about that… i could also take up teaching in some nice college, i would love to do that. We don’t have any financial problems in the family, but my parents want me to do an MBA really, i would like to doΒ theΒ P.Hd, and later even become an Art of Living teacher. So what should i do?

Fourth, be ready to listen to what He says. Sometimes, He may tell you to do something that you simply don’t want to do. When you ask Him a question, be ready to listen to His answer. Quite a few want His stamp of approval on what they want to do and so disguise that as a question. You may not get the answer you want, and you need to be ready to listen and implement the answer you do get, however much you don’t like it. In the long run, you will find that doing exactly what He said is how to get the best deal for yourself in this lifetime πŸ™‚

Even when everything is in place, He may not answer. Thats just the way it is. Wait for some more time and ask again, or mostly you will see that the situation you were bothered about has already resolved itself.

Finally, remember that He almost never will say no. In my 19 years with Him, He has told me to do something directly only 5 times, and said a no only thrice. When He says no, it really closes all possibilities in that direction, so unless you will get really harmed doing something, He will never say no… He will say stuff like we will see… This should be interpreted as no πŸ™‚

Writing Him mail, or giving Him some question written on a piece of paper will guarantee a response from Him. Though almost never in the way you think He will respond πŸ™‚

Let me end this part with this little quote i made up:

“In materialism, you may get what you want, but you almost never want what you get. In Spirituality, you will almost never get what you want, but you will ALWAYS want what you get!!”

Jai Gurudeva!



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95 Responses to “Asking Questions”

  1. Vishu says:

    Beautiful Bau…Solved many of my questions…thanku…love u πŸ™‚

  2. Guru says:

    Dear Sri.Bawa

    Completely agree with this post of yours…

    Just to add one more point (out of our experience with Gurudev)…

    Whenever one is completely bereft of choices and doesnt know the options lying in front or in desperation, if he/she surrenders completely in front of HIM, then also Gurudev gives a direct answer/guides him/her to completion…This is our personal experience (Dinesh Bhaiyya would vouch for this since he has seen us go through this from close quarters)!!

    Jai Gurudev


  3. Manchit says:

    Jgd Bau,
    Thanks for this wondeful diclosure:))


  4. Mamta says:


  5. Manchit says:

    Bau, but how do we be sure that once we have written off the problem to Guruji, then the decision taken by us on that regard is in the right direction? Because, we expect a reply from him thriugh some visible root and if we don’t get it through that, a dilemma stays that was it the right decision that we took. How to handle that stage then?

    • Bawa says:

      When you have a Guru, you simply know you are going in the right direction … i have found that even if i have chosen something “wrong” … i have learned very valuable lessons from it and it turns out to be “right” after all πŸ™‚

  6. Siddharth says:

    bawa this has to be your best ever post. I am commenting on your blog after ages, even though i am a regular reader.

    This post compelled me to type it out…
    Fantastic.. Have mailed Him so many times, but have never got the reply back on mail. But your post made me aware of all those questions that i had asked Him on mail. He has His own style of replying. Today, all those questions remain answered, ummm.. even if they are unanswered they have stopped bothering me. I am just so grateful that a person like Him is in my life πŸ™‚ And i am also super grateful to Guruji for sending you in our life, as a FANTASTIC TEACHER and a guide.

    In the end faith and sincerity is what we need in everything.
    love you loads πŸ™‚
    love your blog πŸ™‚
    love your words πŸ™‚
    love you πŸ™‚

  7. VIhal says:

    yay!!..yesterday only I wrote Him a mail…telling all my situation…just as you mentioned…moreover i asked Him things to help me..and take care of us..I also ended up asking a question..but I think He resolved it already by giving me certain hints…I need to work upon them…as you said…He will respond..but not in mails….[:)]…love Him mosst…

    P.S.-I have asked Him to do some things..but also as you say have asked to do them or better…or what He finds best…[:)]

  8. KK says:

    Wonderful post !! I loved the interpretation of the ” we will see”. πŸ˜€ & your quote too…


    JGD πŸ™‚

  9. Priya Ravi says:

    Thats really true Bawa.. .There are days when I actually think why should people actually ask about their choice to Guruji when they only one Choice… And sometimes I also wonder.. why should people ask such questions when there are millions of people just waiting to meet him and talk about much more important things rather than answering to questions like “Can I marry him”!!


  10. Prathibha Nandakumar says:

    I have read the knowledge sheet of Guruji since last 12 years and many times asked questions to him. All i can say is he is quite predictable in his answers. Most answers are stereotypical. The best thing is to rely on your own judgement and intuition. Guruji can go wrong many times. So Bawa stop this bullshit about making people dependent on someone else’s judgement. Better to take your own decisions than relying on someone elese’s Koolaid.

  11. Vikki says:

    thnx bawa! it was awesome reading “asking questions”….most of them being our direct experiences with Guruji (but didn’t know how to handle it!)….



  12. sameer says:

    Okkkkkk…..achha hua bata diya :)…but i think you are amazing….you are superb… compiling this post.bahot sahi pehchana hai guruji ko πŸ˜‰ kya analysis hai bhidu…..I am feeling very high after reading this post and looking to gurujis photo…..Very nice bau…Love you…next post can be what we should or should not ask to bauuuuuu as questions or should we ask him questions through mail or on course?? πŸ™‚ and who is going to do that analysis …. i guess only dinesh bhaiya can do that πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  13. ashutosh says:

    Thanks bau…….

  14. Manasi says:

    JGD Bau!!!!!!!!

    AWESOME!!!! Love you!

    The Quote is ‘THE BEST’!!!! BANG on the target… Ekdam Chamkaaa!!!!


  15. Raj says:

    The last quote should be on the twitter stream πŸ™‚

  16. Pragya says:

    Wow!! Even I was noticing this about Guruji for a while and I am so happy, I was going on the right path!! πŸ™‚ But now I have all the details… πŸ™‚ This is one of my favorite articles till date…

  17. WOW!!! What an amazing quote Bau!! Lovveedd ittt! πŸ™‚ So true! πŸ™‚

    I have wondered the same,people would ask for blessings for shopping, to find their slippers and what not?!

    I have written an e-mail to him only once and all the botherations/doubts are taken care off and some are not that bothersome anymore! πŸ™‚

    But it would be nice to crack a joke with him (or with you for that mattter!). How come I don’t remember anything then and if I do I am constantly judging is it the right time or place to say it.!!! πŸ™‚ I should write all my jokes n funny 1 liners too, in advance, hmm! πŸ™‚

  18. Monika says:

    Thank you Bawa for sharing such useful information..:-)

  19. Vijay says:

    Jai guru dev Bau, Thanks for this beautiful post and the finishing lines were just top draw.

    Something I needed so much right now. I was planning to meet Guruji in a couple of weeks and ask him something about life choices which I am not very clear as to what to do. I will definitely do my groundwork so that I get a clear answer so that I don’t confuse myself further.

    Ever since all the marriage talk happened during DSN with you and Kavi in Chennai, my folks have been eating my head over it. So just waiting to meet him to clear my confusion and just do what he says.

    Love you loads,

  20. Varun says:

    Mind blowing Bau!!!

  21. Sriram says:

    Sincerety is the key!!!

    My personal experience has been the same. He has answered one question of mine directly (it also features in a satsang series tape) so far of may be the 100 questions I have asked Him. And I think (looking back), I was really sincerely looking for an answer only for that one question.

    Other times, I have asked questions to others (like yourself, Swami Pragyapad, Rishi Nitypragya, Anandji etc.) very sincerely and have gotten really good answers (almost exactly what I needed at that point in my life)

    Great post!!! Struck a chord here … very much like many other posts … πŸ™‚


  22. Niyati says:


    I am certainly the type that goes blank. But then I dont even ask questions so I guess its OK πŸ™‚ You know, I also feel that he doesnt answer the question if he feels the audience isnt right (in a public talk setting). For instance, he does not answer a question on the intricacies of Hindu philosophy if there are too many non-Indians, non-AOL people in the crowd, just to make them feel more at home.

    On a completely different note, Bawa I was wondering if you’ve got a chance to watch the ‘Satsang Series’ DVDs from the German Ashram? They’re simply awesome and pretty recent (2007ish – 2008ish).

  23. Himani says:

    πŸ™‚ Its nice to have these tips from you Bau!!

  24. Maxime says:

    That’s exactly what I was looking for Bau πŸ™‚
    Many thanks! A good start to understand how our Guru works πŸ˜›

  25. Hamsa says:

    Jgd, one (silly perhaps) q – is it okay to keep the question ;neath His picture sometimes ? Thx ! love

  26. Vinod says:

    Very good idea to put things down in a paper, since I almost always go completely blank when HE is around. Always used to wonder how people talked to HIM:-D

  27. satwik says:

    simply superb and i more thing guruji always asks are you happy this is something i have been asked quite a few times

  28. Pothi says:

    Thanks for the hints. πŸ˜‰

  29. srividya says:

    so simple yet so meaningful:) thank u bawa

  30. Abhiram says:

    With all of you leaving for Arosa, was missing you all a lot. But after reading this post, started laughing at myself… Unbelievable post Bauuuuuu.. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  31. Muthu says:

    great bau! thanks for sharing this i am sure it will help lot of people as it did for me as I have wondered about it so much. love jai gurudeva!!

  32. Monica Tiwari says:

    Wow, Lovely post πŸ™‚
    you finally wrote πŸ™‚

  33. divya says:

    the BESTEST post till date………..
    THANX A TON Bau….. i hope u can imagine that u have cleared the blocks of soooooo many souls…… πŸ™‚

  34. sridhar says:

    WOW, IS that not the photo from LA Center during upanishads? How did you Manage it? Everybody should listen to Kena Upanishad, there is a flavor, humor, depth to it.

    • sridhar says:

      WOW is for the article, I do know intuitively most of what you said, but now I UNDERSTAND it. Also generally there is a flow in his answers, he will be answering different questions, somehow they will “gel” together and flow in one direction. Generally I blabber in front of him, I do not remember any question that I have asked him, I stopped planning to ask him questions. I am too “excited” “energy” or “tears” in front of him.

  35. David Emerson says:

    I knew I would only have his attention for a moment at the airport, and that I would only have the time for one quick question.

    But… I had two questions.

    What to do? I put a lot of thought into it– this is a good thing to do! Really think about what you are going to ask him: not only the content, but how you are going to phrase the question.

    I ended up asking him, “when should I come to Bangalore?”

    This may seem like a simple enough question, but the it conceals the question of “which Ashram do you want me to come to?”

    I ran the risk of losing both questions, if my unverified assumption that he wanted me to come to Bangalore turned out to be incorrect. As things were, my heart was right on the matter, and he answered simply, “January or February” — not December, as a number of friends were pressuring me, or Montreal, as a couple others were pushing.

    Really thinking about that question has the benefit of helping one not to forget in his presence.

    On the other hand, sometimes it is best to forget about questions in his presence and simply receive darshan, without activating the feverish intellect. The answers will come easily later on, after the darshan has been integrated.

    Jai Guru Dev,

    • Bawa says:

      yes david, thats the best… the answers to whatever has been bothering you simply dawns in His presence (or sometime after)

  36. Anurag says:

    I love u, esp. the quote. Keep up the good work.

  37. srini says:

    Bawaji… you should have put Guruji’s email address. I know it is somehwere in your blog. But putting it in the post would have been very relevant. Btw, what is it?

  38. Kruti says:

    Dearest Bau,

    We just spent almost a week running behind Gurudev from Cleveland to DC and believe me everyone has gone nuts figuring out why would he answer someone’s seemingly unimportant question, and yet, ignore/ hardly answer the most serious queries’.

    I too wanted to ask him that, ”Gurudev, I am about to get a MS in Physical Therapy, I teach Yoga, I Sing and Dance professionally too… How do you want me to serve u?! [I have been devising crazy schemes to fuse all of the above, so very badly wanted his opinion] Every time I would go near him , before I could even comprehend anything, he would look straight into my eye and give me that knowing look[ He gives that look to most of my questions, eventually things turn out to be miraculously amazing!!!]

    Here is a sample, He had answered my query of going to study Physical therapy in the same way, and I got into the #1 Med School[he only knows how! ;-)], the finances were taken care of just suddenly, my Visa was done against all odds! You know, even my seat got upgraded to Business class without my knowledge!! [Thanks to an AOLF teacher’s Hubby] πŸ™‚

    An AOLF teacher suggested that I either write stuff down or get more clarity about what I wish to do… I have brainstormed quite a bit.. should I just take it as a yes this time or still wait and write to him?!

    Jai Gurudeva! πŸ™‚
    Lots of love,

  39. Aditya Dhole Patil says:

    Awesome Bau !!!!

    Love you and Dinesh dada a Tons !
    njoy the Europe Trip….


  40. Chirag Bhanushali says:

    Thank You Bau πŸ™‚
    Really needed some advice on this!

  41. gopi says:

    ya very true ….

  42. Vikrant says:

    Wow Bawa,
    You answered so many questions without asking…

  43. bawa says:

    ya very true ….i totally agree with u

  44. santhosh says:

    Thanks for the suggestions Bau πŸ™‚

  45. Kumar Simha says:

    wah ! wah!!
    what a quote.sums it up fittingly…..kudos bawu!! πŸ™‚


  46. deepa says:

    Thanks Bau.

  47. Manasi Joshi says:

    Awesome…..!!!! Guruji is soo mysterious..& yet soo loving….he’s a total enigma…n very charming…love u guruji….n thanx Bawa…4 throwing some light on this subject..cooll…!! jai gurudev…

  48. Oma Ram says:

    Jgd bhaiya. Its extremely useful guideline for me as i was planning for long to ask Guruji & you a ques pertaining to my future plans.

  49. Sharmila says:

    Thanks Bau……
    This is so true..I allways go blank and forget whal all I want to ask….I am meeting him on 13th and will keep this in my mind πŸ™‚
    Jai Gurudev

  50. Chirag says:

    You mentioned that writing an email to him will guarantee a response from him, which email id should we mail him to?

  51. sathya says:

    Amazing Bawa..
    Great tip to folks on how to talk to GOD πŸ™‚ I have had instaces where I approached him with issues i face with the deep intention he clears the doubt for me.. and as u rightly said.. he does clear it. There are also times when I go with a question but after seeing him and being in his presence the problem dosnt seem a problem anymore.. just the presence of our MASTER gives you the strength!.

    Super Quote to finish the post πŸ™‚ WE could collect all these under a title ” BAWA-isms”
    like punch lines from NAvjot Singh Sidhu πŸ™‚

    the only difference is urs are always miles apart fantastic !!

    Cheers Gurudeva

  52. Vinay Subrahmanya says:

    Superb post bawa!! enjoyed reading this.. Will surely implement this advice when i next meet guruji….

  53. tanu says:

    thank you bawa πŸ™‚

    this post has been like a prayer answered πŸ™‚

    love you loads

  54. Aparna says:


    Best Said.

    [i could relate it to a lot of Keys for better communicatio :)]


  55. Sudhir Nair says:

    Loved the quote..So true πŸ™‚

  56. Baus Biggest Fan says:

    Very nice post Bau!!!!
    Perhaps this was the thing I used to think about daily….almost daily……I swear… made things easy for me………..Thank U Bau!!!

    and the last quote u posted….it fits perfectly for me…..

    “In Spirituality, you will almost never get what you want, but you will ALWAYS want what you get!!”

    Now i crave what I have ..!!!….

    Jai Gurudeva!

  57. Vibhor says:

    Pls can u provide email i.d of Sri Sri
    jai gurudev

  58. Venkatesh says:

    I always feel the greatness of Gurudev looking at people like you..Inspired with your undercurrent love in writing this. Love u Bawa.

  59. Darshan says:

    I think again the listening skills come into play here as always after asking a question.
    “Listen to what is being said and not what is convenient to you” πŸ˜€
    Jai Gurudev!!

  60. Praveen Pachisiya says:


    there are some question that i want to ask guruji, is there any e-mail id of guruji so that i can mail the questions to him…

  61. Mihir says:

    Lovely ! Will have to keep all of this in mind

  62. apurva says:

    thanks bau πŸ™‚
    wanted to know abt this since long πŸ™‚

  63. prasanna says:


    Awesome post bao, wish people had the guts to follow the last line….


  64. Vinod B S says:

    Bawa, U missed out one more possibility when He answers…
    I asked Him a question, but did not tell Him the actual one that was bothering me at that moment….
    Answer: “A look n a moment of silence n then turns away”… πŸ™‚

  65. VIshal says:

    Bau ur mail is soooooo true ..

    I had once got the opportunity of asking him anything .. shiv ratri, 2009 it was .. and well .. i did not get any answer …

    but then .. as i returned back to hyd .. within a few weeks .. i was flooded with answers in mails/gurujis blog/YOUR BLOG .. πŸ™‚

    there have infact been time when i have put away a question in my mind .. which i thot i have to ask .. i get answers for them too .. πŸ™‚

    Its just sooooooo awesome!!

    Jai Gurudev!

  66. gauri says:

    is there really need to ask Him a question cuz 100% of the times after talking to you i do not have any left to ask Him. although i use the botheration basket a lot during the advance courses πŸ˜‰ love you Bau and yes the last sentence is so so so so so true πŸ™‚

  67. gauri says:

    oh and i forgot to add…. lovely Pic. please write about Arosa. i am longing to hear from you about your trip there!

  68. Anupam says:

    Dear Bawa,
    I have never asked a question directly to Guruji, but whenever i have asked him in my heart, I have always got the reply by someone else or in his knowledge sheets. That answer always led me into the right direction.

  69. srikanth says:

    wow. All the while I was wondering why he has not answered my question even when I asked him thrice directly and countless times by thought. πŸ™‚
    Bawa, Does Guruji really has a email address? Does he also spend time reading emails? Please let me know his email address. Though he may not reply by email, he will surely answer.

  70. kavya says:

    Dear Bawa, The quote you made up is really nice πŸ™‚

  71. siddarth says:

    This is the coolest post on the blog!!!!! (okay one of the coolest posts… πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ )

    You have so very beautifully explained something which was so impossible for me to figure out!!!

    Thank you
    Jai gurudeva

  72. Bharath says:

    Thanks bau for the gyan..even i have always found that my questions were answered if it is a really sincere one.. i usually write mails and get an answer in a totally different form even before i could realize that my questions are being answered..really blessed!!!


  73. Deepti says:

    Thanks bhaiya..

    this note was a great help.

    One more thing which I experienced about your letter writing suggestion is……..generally its really tough to talk to Him and explain Him your question as He is always surrounded with lot many people. But whenever you have a letter or a greeting or an invitation card for Him, He will first of all collect it from you and then go for something else.

    Love u both.

    Jai Gurudeva.

  74. Shikhar Mehta says:

    jai gurudeva.

  75. punith says:

    Wonderful tips. Thanks a lot. Will never forget them.

  76. Anshika says:

    This has been an answer in itself to numerous questions bothering me for so long.
    Bau! You are phenomenal!
    I am grateful for you to penning this down πŸ™‚
    Jai Gurudeva!

  77. Aroon says:

    Dear Bawa and Dinesh

    Jai Guru Dev

    The Asking question seciton is so superb. Already my mind started analysing the responses He has given to me with nervousness, wondering if i interpreted correctly;)

    The video in the college is so so good. The technology of spirituality. Very inspiring and direct to heart. will use it for intro talks.

    Lots of Love

    Jai Guru Dev

  78. Minnie says:

    Splendid πŸ™‚

  79. Sneha says:

    Jai Gurudev

    Dear Bawa

    I often ask questions to Guruji through mail. However, many a times rather than asking a question, i feel like telling Guruji about my thoughts, my feelings, my situation. I feel only he’s the one to whom i can express myself with complete honesty. But on second thoughts, i feel that its just a process of catharsis and if i write such mails to Guruji then it’s as if i am throwing out my mind’s garbage on Guruji. Then, i feel bad about it. Should we write such mails to Guruji?

  80. hetal says:

    such a needed one bau!
    its fantasic!
    ty so much!

  81. Kulmohan says:

    Thank you bhau. This was something which was required to be understood since a long time by me.

  82. Priyar says:

    Awesome blog. Really can empathise with it so very much, dear bhau.

    I firmly believe that there is a deeper meaning to all that Guruji says.

    When he met me in the darshan queue, he said ” Very good, very good” and asked me where I live.

    When I gave him a picture of the person I love, he asked me ‘who is this’ and to my utter surprise, I found myself saying-‘He got me to Art of living’.He gave me a biiiiiig & cute smile and walked on.Logically, I should have told Guruji that I love this person and want to marry him.

    Ever since I have been wondering about the answer HE gave through my mouth and need your help to understand what it means!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    I just feel, I was GUIDED to this blog of yours, to help me understand better HIS answer.
    love & hugs

    • Bawa says:

      Really no idea… Maybe you should come and show Him the photo again … and this time tell Him that this is the photo of the one you want to marry … preferably both of you come

  83. Priyar says:

    The first time, I met Guruji-I wanted to seek his blessings for starting ‘a’ school but when I got up in the Q& A session in VM after the satsang bhajans, I found myself saying – “Guruji, I want to start schools across the world, I need your blessings especially for the first one” And HE said, “Good. Make Sanskrit compulsory as research proves that…..”

    So what does this mean/signify, bhau?

    love & hugs

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