He planted a plant in the Press Club’s lawn, and moved to the podium. A minor stampede occurred during this short moment, of photographers grappling to get a good shot of this much revered person, mixed with his entourage of willing volunteers.
This was spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s first event in the city after three years. Prior to the series of satsangs that will be held in the city for the next three days, he had been invited by the Press Club to address the topic, ‘From a stress-free mind to a scam-free nation’, which saw a turnout of journalists across media
Sri Sri began by bringing to light how the percentage of depression cases globally has risen. “In Europe, this figure is 30% alone,” he said. “People find it difficult to get up in the morning and move on to the next day,” he pointed out.
“Germany could be producing great cars, but what’s the point of this prosperity if the people are unhappy? We need to concentrate on developing our Gross Domestic Happiness,” he said. “Corruption begins where a sense of belonging ends,” he concluded.
‘Spirituality is spirit with all good values’
I have come to Mumbai after three years; I came here last after the 26/11 terror attacks and I have observed more crowd and more traffic. Its individuals are growing unhappier. But alongside, our school (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir) in the Dharavi slum is progressing wonderfully.
It’s a sign that along with academic and creative learning, spiritual teachings are of paramount importance, and should be mandatory in the school curriculum.
It’s our eroding value system that has led to this kind of spiritual degeneration. Since we introduced the Art of Living course in 1982, to keep up with the current demands of the digital age, we have changed the strategy and presentation in which we approach people of different age groups; but the core values stay as they are. Corporate organisations approach us to imbibe spirituality in employees, to make employees understand that it is possible to make profit without resorting to unethical measures.
Simply put, it is nothing but a spirit filled with compassion, kindness, honesty and all the other good values. Some people say, ‘We will do yoga, but we won’t chant ‘Om’. That’s like saying, ‘You’ll use Microsoft but will not use ‘Windows’.
As told to Bhairavi Jhaveri