Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spirit of Inquiry

This is the map of the roads around my home.

In spite of the road blocks in place, people drive or ride their vehicles up to the point marked X. Then they think that they can take the road to the right to reach another road. The workers and other people on the road tell these riders/drivers that this is a "dead end road", to no avail. People go to the end of the road, see that there is no way out and then turn around with great difficulty and then go back. This has been happening for days now.

It amazes me that people want to find out the truth for themselves.

I also wish that they display the same spirit of inquiry to other matters. Apparently many do not.

Recently in a newspaper published readers' questions and the answers given by dual Sri Ravi Shankar. 

The Question: Why do we get angry.

2XSri RS: Because we are perfectionists and we get angry when we do not get perfection in actions. Actions can never be 100% perfect. They can only be 95% perfect. 100% perfection can be achieved in only thought and speech.

I have tried to reproduce the above Q&A as accurately as possible. I tried to get the original but failed. 

My wish is that the readers ask some simple questions of themselves.

  • What is the measure of this perfection?
  • Why is only 95% perfection is possible. Is 2XSri grabbing the number out of thin air as another guru used to grab branded watches out of the same source? Or is there a basis for that number?
  • What IS perfection in speech? And thought?
  • How does one measure it? 
  • Have we ever encountered an instance of perfect speech or perfect thought?
  • Is that the only or even the true cause of our anger?
  • Does the above theory help one overcome anger?

I wish the readers of his Q&A exhibit the same spirit of inquiry that many exhibit with the blocked road and the dead end road!


  1. I think it is a very Indian thing not to trust anyone in authority. I think you are bigging up the aam janta about their spirit when they are just being silly.
    About Sri squared R's answer - amazingly precise calculations for an outcome as fluffy as perfection! A scientific reply to this would be to insist on definition of perfection. For example, what is a perfect cover drive?
    SriSri is being quasi scientific about the figure of 95 - 95 being the percentage of the population which would include mean +/- 2 Standard deviations of observations when the distribution is Gaussian or normal. Well.... maybe!
    I guess what he was trying to say was this - You can think/dream about being perfect. When you don't achieve it (happens all the time, believe me), you get angry. (And when you are angry, come to me, I will get you anger free, which is actually fun. I will do this for you for a very small sum of money. Oh, go on, I will throw in some meditation for free!)

  2. Ha! Good one Ravi. Thanks

    There is a more mocking article in NYT. Here:

    The writer has been blasted by others - not necessarily his followers, I think.

  3. Anonymous12:57 am

    There is no perfection per se....because, we don't know what it is. Everything is relative, constantly changing....
    Similarly, the notion of 'randomness'. This notion is relative too....for example, if 'random' events occur in predictable (?) fashion, can we consider them 'random' anymore? Predictable randomness...that's a good one....have fun.

  4. I just read this post :) LOVE how you refer to him as 2XSri RS :)

  5. Dear Anonymous, sorry for the delayed response. In some ways your question is a product of - let us call it "either this or that" thinking. If so called random events occur in predictable fashion, they should not be called random - at one level. Still random events occur in statistically predictable fashion and they remain random because individual occurrences (at what time, where or to whom) can not be predicted and so on.

    Thanks @Sushma U N