13 Aug 2011 QA 1

I do not follow Hinduism so I cannot understand and appreciate the rituals. Can I still grow in AOL?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Definitely! You know, some of the rituals are very ancient. On Monday all the ashrams do the pooja, you simply sit with your eyes closed in deep meditation. You feel the vibrations of the sound - that is all that needs to be done. Actually Hinduism is not a religion at all; it is just a way of life, the ancient way of life. Like Yoga is part of it, pranayama is part of it, meditation, chanting - these are all to enhance the life-force, life-energy and it is universal in its spirit. So you can follow your religion, no problem. You can be a Christian, you can be a Muslim, you can be Jewish or Parsi. Doesn’t matter whatever religion you follow. Religion is the rituals that are associated with your birth, your wedding, your cremation or that which people do after you are gone. But the spiritual practices are different, they are there to enliven the consciousness. That is so vital. It is important that people of the world, everywhere, become spiritual and grow spiritually and honor all the religions. You honor Christianity, honor Islam, honor Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Hindisum, honor everyone. And take good things, if there are good practices anywhere, that we should take into our life.