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Sri Sri tours Far East

The spiritual guru was honoured in Taiwan with an award for spreading ideas on healthy living.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2006 15:15 IST

Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar drew huge crowds during his recent tour of Southeast and East Asia and was also honoured in Taiwan with an award for spreading his ideas on healthy living.

Ravi Shankar was on an 11-day tour of Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

He was welcomed by top dignitaries in each of the countries he visited, apart from drawing huge crowds in his public appearances, said a press release issued here by his Art of Living Foundation.

In Taiwan, he was awarded the "Fervent Global Love of Life 2006" award by the Cultural and Education Foundation of Human Life. While honouring him, Chou Ta-Kuan, founder of the organisation said: "Over 30 million people in over 151 countries have been blessed with love and health from Guruji. Through his own actions, Sri Sri has shown us a way of life that brings out human values in all of us, which is beyond religion."

Taiwanese Vice-president Annette Lu Hsiu-Lien later received him in the Presidential Palace.

Addressing a large gathering in Hong Kong, Ravi Shankar expressed concern over the alarming level of domestic violence in the country. According to him, the city's rampant pursuit of material wealth had taken its toll on happiness levels.

He said: "I see a high stress level. There is social pressure, competition and to cope with this, people need to find inner strength. Material gain is okay, but not at the cost of your happiness. You need to find a balance, inner peace and happiness. I want to make people realise that life can be fun."

During his visit to Indonesia, Ravi Shankar was accorded a warm welcome in the Presidential Palace by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. While discussing concerns over the rising level of unemployment, he offered to train batches of youths from Indonesia at the Art of Living International Centre in Bangalore.

At this, Yudhoyono suggested that the centre develop villages in Merauke in Papua province, as youth there need immediate attention following the recent incident of 32 Indonesians seeking political asylum in Australia.

The guru said the Art of Living Foundation, started by him, could work with the Indonesian authorities in the areas of organic farming as well since 75 percent of the population of both Indonesia and India are farmers.

He also stressed on the synergy between India and Indonesia in the field of herbal medicine, given the latter's richness in a variety of herbs.

Several ministers including Jero Wacik, state minister of culture and tourism, and Meutia Hatta Swasono, state minister of women empowerment also called on Ravi Shankar.

First Published: Apr 27, 2006 18:04 IST