NEW POST INDIA
Awakening Spirituality Can Prevent Suicides: Sri Sri
Friday 28th of March 2008
The recent spate of suicides by poverty struck farmers and students afraid of academic failure can be prevented by awakening spirituality in people through collective prayers, music and meditation, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar believes.
‘India has been through so much. The British ruled the country, history abounds in stories of how the country was plundered by aliens – no one committed suicides then. How come now? It is because we have become so selfish that we refuse to help our neighbours. We are short on spirituality,’ the Art of Living Foundation guru said here Thursday evening at the inauguration of a three-day mahasatsang.
The March 28-30 religious gathering is being organised as a tribute to his spiritual mentor Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who died in February.
‘My guru Mahesh Yogi said collective prayers and meditation can awaken the dormant spirituality and virtues in man. Our duty is to make it happen through a three-fold path of music, spirituality and pranayama,’ Sri Sri said.
The sprawling DDA Swarna Jayanti Park in Rohini is playing host to more than 5,000 devotees who will practise collective pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, listen to discourses by the guru and relieve stress through devotional music. It is one of the biggest-ever Art of Living spiritual retreats in the capital in recent times.
Thursday’s inauguration was a spectacular show attended by the several politicians, including L.K. Advani, V.P. Singh, Buta Singh and Delhi Mayor Aarti Mehra. An entourage of Carnatic musicians comprising more than 60 percussion and veena players and flautists entertained the packed house.
People sat scattered across the carpeted venue in a semi-circle while the seer and the guests shared dais on an impressive podium erected nearly 40 feet above the ground. Two giant screens beamed the proceedings for those at the rear.
The discourse began with meditation, followed by the mayor’s inaugural address. Mehta introduced the foundation to the participants of the camp – many of whom were first-timers – and listed its activity and objectives.
It was followed by a short speech by Advani, who kept his address ‘apolitical and succinct’ as advised by his ‘guru’. Buta Singh cited an anecdote from the life of Sikh guru Sant Ravidas in paying his homage to the Art of Living founder. A commemorative volume on Sri Sri was also released on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, the spiritual guru said the country must do something for millions of its children who deserve a better future.
‘If you look into the eyes of every child, there is god. You shower me with so much love, why not give some of it to the children of the country,’ he said.
According to the seer, India, which is steeped in tradition of bonding and belonging, ‘should learn to bear with all for a society free of tension for our children to flourish.’
Taking a leaf out of Mahesh Yogi’s philosophy, he said: ‘Our sages have handed us rich legacy of Vedic knowledge like Ayurveda, Gandharv Veda and the ancient sciences. We must ensure that it reaches every home.’
Sri Sri said a calm and happy mind, which only meditation and pranayama can ensure, is the only way to redeem humanity, clean up the polluted environment- both physical and mental – and end violence across the world.
Ravi Shankar told IANS that art was very relevant in life.
‘It is a way of life, it enriches life and is part of man’s spiritual growth. Life has to be colourful. Actually, it is full of colours. You have to recognise them and interpret them,’ he said.
Sri Sri said colour, spiritual balance and social service are the essence of life.