Interview of Acharya Shree Shankar - 10th September 2014

Acharya Shree Shankar - Padmasana


You are travelling the world, teaching meditation and delivering a message of peace. Where have you been so far outside India?

Yes, Its been many years that my journey outside India started. It all happened when people from Western countries visited me in India and urged me to go abroad to spread my teachings. Then, I started to travel where ever people invited me with love. I started my journey to Europe in 2011 covering to Greece, Italy, France, Hungary, Slovenia, Denmark spread teachings on Yoga, Meditation, Tantra and Vedic teachings. 

Why is it so important to remind us about meditation, love ?

Meditation leads to Meditativeness, a spontaneous state of awareness, being in this moment and always in presence of Divinity. This is what I call as Meditation. This is our true nature and that is how we are without the influence of mind. This state of awareness of our being is what we call as Love. Love is nothing but the blossoming of Meditation. In other words they both are one. I am just trying to make people aware of their true state which has become very difficult in this competitive 21st century life. In this world, Meditativeness is only way towards rediscovering their nature

What is Samadhi and why should the world bother  ? Are you experiencing Samadhi ? How do you know ? Was there a before and after ?

Samadhi is a eternal state in which one is completely absorbed in the Divinity where there is no more difference between the Atman and the Brahman. This union happens when mind dissolves and spirit realizes its true nature. Its not someone who will attain samadhi as there is no one to achieve it or experience it but just coming to the natural state as we are so now "I am" experiencing that not "I". Its not knowing because knowing is the state of mind but this is realization and fear of death will disappear, thoughts will disappear, lust for anything will disappear and then you are living the life as a spirit of truth. I was born conscious but was not there yet to experience that bliss, there was some mind influence which got killed as the complete union with wholeness. Everyone should realize and ask themselves why they are here ? What are they doing here ? Why someone is diseased and someone is healthy ? Someone is Rich and someone is poor ? Then the answer comes - Karma. One can stop this Karma by being Spiritual and after that no one will have any rebirth again and they will go back to the place where they have come from, else they keep coming here again and again and suffer. To end suffering they should contemplate on Spirituality to attain Enlightenment. 

What does it take to reach that state of consciousness ?
- Do you have to give up all you have : Job, family ?
- Do you have to go through exotic practices ?
- Is there anything close to the notion of "Samadhi" in our western tradition ?
- On a very material and practical ground, what are your standards about electricity power, water supply, sewage, transportation..? 

There are many misconceptions among people with Spirituality in this world. I have been asked similar questions many a times in various countries. First of all, I do not believe in renunciation because no one can renunciate anything unless it comes naturally. Renunciation is not the first and foremost point in Spirituality, it happens naturally as a end effect at the right time and when they have acquired that much maturity else it leads to repressions which can spoil and sabotage their spiritual as well as material growth. Such people will be neither in this world nor in any other world but will suffer a lot. Sometimes in the history we have seen it happening and even now in some monasteries of various religion we hear of people committing many crimes which is due to the same problem.

In India, We have seen in the History that all the great Saints, Sages and also the Godman's were all married, had children and were leading the same life like today's man but still they were equally spiritual. We cannot leave everything in this world so easily as we need money for food, house, medical and traveling and various other expenses but the point is that we do not want the basic things in life but the mind tells "Keep going, this is a competitive world, you need to have more and more" - This "wants" create a problem not the "needs" for which we do not need to struggle so much and easily attainable. I myself after returning from Himalayas where I was practicing meditation had to work for sometime including lot of International Company's to raise money for buying my ashram land and that's how it happened else how could money come ? At the same time my bliss was never lost because that is always there inside and permanent.

One needs to give up their ego and nothing else. For this to happen there is a necessity of a Spiritual Master who has seen the truth and walked the life in the same way like the truth seeker. This is where a Spiritual Master will come to help because he has led the same type of life and he can see others too going on same way and they can follow his words which can lead them to same truth. One can find and accept a Spiritual Master only when they have given up their ego and submit their will and devotion to the Master, now Guru can give them advice, practices based on their way of life because for everyone its not the same approach as different people needs different approach for moving towards the truth. It doesn't need exotic practices but the selected practices which is good for every soul. There are some practices which is good for all but as they keep transforming they will need some higher practices too which depends from person to person.

Honestly, There is no such notion in the west which is equal to Samadhi but there are certain references in Bible which speaks of Enlightenment or Samadhi. Its often referred as "Descending of Holy Spirit" which is nothing but the same as in East we call Holy Spirit as Brahman or Shakti or Universal Soul or Supreme Soul. Jesus says several things about Enlightenment like "Until Son of a man is Dead, Son of the God can't be Born" which means Mind should die, ego should die for the Spirit to become Conscious. Some people have misunderstood Trance with Samadhi but Trance can be equal to Satori which is nothing but an experience of Samadhi for a small time so its a mini Samadhi. They have tried to stay in this state through usage of Drugs which is in my opinion is not the way to reach the peak of Spirituality as Enlightenment is a Grace and no such Grace can be reduced to Drugs else all the Drug addicts in the world would have been Enlightened. Usage of drugs through some plants was mentioned in Vedas but that was for advanced seekers of truth and not for beginners.

My views on Electricity Power, Water Supply, Sewage & Transportation is very practical, spiritual and pro-humanity.

These are the basic needs of Human beings and should be made as free and fair. Government should encourage everyone to rely on Green Energy. I have read in the magazines which tells that US Spends 11% of their GDP on Defense, well do we really need to spend so much on wars ? I do not think so. We can spend same money on Solar panels, wind energy which can produce electricity without any extra costs. This will give everyone get electricity at the lowest tariff possible and also government should provide these facility to set up at everyone's place for very less or no cost by making every home self - reliant.

Some countries have technology and some doesn't, some country is poor and some is rich, we do not need borders and can live as one family. There are many countries including India where sewage system is sometimes let into oceans creating lot of sea life pollution. This is much worse in some African countries so for the solution we should work as one family, one earth, one globe and one country, only then Golden Age of Satya Yuga can be born once again here on earth where sufferings will go away and only love will live.

Ashram in India

You are building an ashram in Bangalore / South India according to ecological principles :
- What is an Ashram ?
- Why is ecology so important for you in the scope of a spiritual life ? 

The word "Ashram" comes from the Sanskrit root word "Srama" which means "Giving the meaning of making an effort towards Liberation". So, This is the place where people come to know who they are and what is their true purpose. After all everyone are here to liberate themselves from these cycles of Birth & Death. This is the place where we  assemble every day according to the schedule to practice spirituality including Prayer, Rituals, Meditation, Yoga, Tantra, Bhajan's etc etc. 

Ecology is very important in Spiritual Life because this is nothing but being disciplined into Spiritual Practices. Nothing can be achieved without being Disciplined. In ashram's, Master gives the guidance through his teachings which will be the way towards enlightenment for all the disciples. The word disciples comes from the same word discipline. Everyone of us have an alter at home where some deities are placed according to their own faith, religion and beliefs but still why they visit temple ? Because at home there is only place where you worship and pray and there are several things that happen at home like cooking, sleeping, bathing etc etc but at a temple the only purpose, activity is to pray so its a kind of exclusive praying place. In the same way is ashram where the sole intention is to get transformed. In this place there will be rules for everyone regarding food, habits etc etc. Everyone should wake up in the morning and they will have a spiritual schedule to follow for the day which makes them be only in divinity by forgetting all their material life. So ashram is a mandatory place for all the truth seekers. 

Ashram in Portugal

Portugal and Hungary are countries where you have many followers, and there is a very special ashram project on a Portuguese island in the atlantic ocean, far off the shores of Portugal….

Yes, This project on Azores Islands is very special to me. This will be my present to people of Europe. This Ashram is very different and done never before on earth. This will be "Shree Yantra" based ashram where we will build it according to the Shree Yantra design and energy structures. This will be as if we are living under the energy cloud of Shree Yantra's energy. We should follow many rules while building this structure and upon successful construction, this place will become a natural healing place, meditation will be very easy and this can happen just by sitting in ashram. We are planning to have our own organic plantation inside the ashram and use of green energy so this project is very divine in every aspect. We will be having residential arrangements for those who wish to live always in ashram as volunteers and visitors are always allowed to come and practice in our sessions. There will be many healers & people from different traditions coming to share their wisdom in every part of spirituality. My vision is to make this as an real temple. Its in the beginning stage so other things will be revealed soon.

Yes, I come from the same family tree of Sri Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya. The teachings of him was the greatest and truest of all as he taught to the humanity the concept of "non-duality". My teachings are inspired by his teachings of Non-Duality because it was my own experience too. There is only one truth.

BKS Iyengar is one the greatest soul who incarnated in this century. His teachings were deep and many could not understand his teachings because to understand him they should have been of his consciousness. His death comes as a shock to all the seekers of truth. Yoga is a way of life towards Self-Realization. Everything has an cause and effect. In this case yoga is the cause and the effect is Enlightenment. Anything that leads to Enlightenment is Yoga. Spirituality is Yoga. We can say that we are doing this, that, asanas, pranayama, dhyana, mantra, tantra etc etc but all these are yoga's itself. Yoga is one big word and under the bracket of Yoga every spiritual practices in the world will come. Yoga cannot be restricted to just Asanas or Pranayamas or Kriyas, by doing this they are just tasting a part of yoga and not complete yoga. One can be yogic when they follow all the rules of Patanjali which he clearly says in his Asthanga Sutras popularly known as "8 Commandments of Patanjali". Yoga is both internal and external transformation, its a process where man slowly leaves the human existence behind and transforms to spirit. I mean to say that they will get rid of ego which makes everyone identify to something and cause suffering but a spirit doesn't identify with anything and the true identity of everyone is that. This is what Yoga can do and what ever can do this is nothing but Yoga.

What do you wish for humanity ?

I only wish that entire humanity gets interested in Spirituality. My teachings are very diverse from Prayers to Rituals, Mantra's to Tantra's, Yoga to Vedic Wisdom. This is only because to get everyone to spirituality in their own school of faith. In this way my message of truth can be conveyed and my only wish is that people start to turn towards spirituality to know who they are and start to question their existence. I want to see a world free from suffering and for this only thing that needs to be done is infecting yoga into their life. In this way my mission will be complete to see love and peace everywhere.