Humanitarian Leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Upholds Message of Non-violence after Gunman Fires at his Convoy
Calls Upon All to Fight Terrorism and Work for World Peace
Commenting on the attack on his convoy, spiritual leader, humanitarian and founder of the Art of Living, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said: “We have to raise the voice of non-violence. Violence has been increasing all over the country and in the world. We have to work towards a more spiritual and peaceful society.”
The probe into the attack, which occurred on May 30, continued with the visit of the Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa to the Art of Living’s International Headquarters in Bangalore.
The Chief Minister promised to extend their full support to aid the investigations. He discussed the incident in detail with Sri Sri. “We are committed to give all possible protection to him. There will be an inquiry and the culprit will be punished. I am happy to see Sri Sri’s determination. He remains undeterred even after the attack.”
Investigations revealed that a gunman fired at Sri Sri’s convoy as he was leaving a public satsang attended by thousands of people on Sunday evening.
Addressing the media at the Art of Living International Center today, Sri Sri said, “We heard a noise in the car. Only later I learnt that a devotee had received a surface injury in his thigh.”
He further added, “I invite people who have violent tendencies to the Center. I am sure after they sit in the satsang for a few days, they will be reformed. I have no enemies. I have already forgiven the gunman. I invite him to learn meditation and the Sudarshan Kriya (a stress-elimination breathing techniques introduced by Sri Sri).”
Asked about enhancing security measures around him, Sri Sri said, “I am here for the people and am not in favor of any measures that will prevent this.”
He urged people not to worry and called upon them to work towards a more inclusive, peaceful and spiritual society.
In the meantime, religious leaders across faiths spoke in support of Sri Sri. Deepak Chopra, the Stress Management expert, also condemned the incident while appreciating Sri Sri’s calm response on this unfortunate episode.
Father Babu Joseph, spokesperson of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and Swami Agnivesh, well-known social activist, strongly condemned the act of violence against ‘a man of peace and prayer’.
Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev said, “He is a non-controversial figure. It is surprising that such an incident has occurred. Such a spiritual leader must be given all security.” All-India Muslim Personal Law Board Working Committee member Kamal Farooqui said, “Gurus have a lot of relevance in our lives. The culprit should be punished.”
Named one of the five most powerful people in India by Forbes Magazine in 2009, Sri Sri has inspired a global phenomenon of compassion and service through his campaign to create a Violence-Free, Stress-Free world. He founded the of Art of Living Foundation (AOLF), and the International Association for Human Values (IAHV), both of which are UN chartered non-profit organizations, which provide aid and relief in many of the world’s most difficult regions including quake-stricken Haiti. Sri Sri’s teachings and programs have touched the lives of over millions from all cultures and religions worldwide. His initiatives include conflict resolution, disaster relief, business and social responsibility, prisoner rehabilitation programs, youth leadership, women’s empowerment, education and campaigns against female feticide and child labor.
About the Art of Living Foundation and the International Association for Human Values: The Art of Living Foundation and International Association for Human Values are international non-profit educational and humanitarian organizations, in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. To date, Art of Living programs have benefited more than 25 million people in over 154 countries.
An unidentified assailant shot at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s convoy as he was leaving from a public Satsang at around 6:00 pm on Sunday in Bangalore. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was unhurt. The bullet missed Sri Sri but struck an Art of Living member’s thigh causing minor injury.
After this incident Sri Sri attended three previously scheduled public gatherings in Bangalore. In response to various questions from the media, Sri Sri urged people not to worry and called upon them to work towards a more inclusive, peaceful and spiritual society.
Sri Sri said, “Many people are suffering due to violence. We need to convey the message of peace and non-violence to every household by reinforcing the human values of compassion, friendliness and service.” Asked about enhancing security measures around him, Sri Sri said, “I am here for the people and am not in favor of any measures that will prevent this.”