29 July 2011 QA 10

(A member of the audience asked this question. It was inaudible.)

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Okay now, you are both matter and spirit right? Are you only matter? No! You are matter and you are also spirit. Our body is matter, our mind, intellect, emotions, they are part of the spirit. So anything that nurtures the mind, that keeps you sane, that keep you intelligent, that keeps you good hearted, kind-hearted, loving, creative is all spiritual. That which uplifts the spirit is spirituality. What can uplift the spirit? Meditation, knowledge! Knowledge about what is true, what is not true; what is real, what is not real. And then service activities, sharing yourself with others, those who are in need. Contributing to the poor, having compassion, all this is part of spirit. And anything that uplifts the spirit is spirituality. So in spirituality, meditation is the first thing. 60% of spirituality is meditation, going in and cleansing your heart and mind and then 20% is service and then 20% is knowledge, wisdom and that makes spirituality. Is that not useful? This is very much essential for you to be a good human being. Spirituality is essential. It is because of spirituality that there is honesty, there is creativity, there is compassion, there is service to society, dynamism and most of all, energy. If people are getting depressed in the world today it is because of the lack of spirituality.
You know, there has been a study in Europe stating that the rate of suicide is high and depression is very high. 30% of Europe is suffering from depression. So some communists from this country went abroad and they convened with the World Health Organization and came up with a report that more than 30% of India is depressed. A recent report, 38%, I don’t know what specimen, and where they took! They went to some place in UP and they took some samples and they said this country is depressed. But you don’t find that! You see after the factory, the workers are dancing. They go home with a smile. You go to any slum, they have television and they are dancing. People are laughing in the slums, haven’t you see this? (Many say ‘YES’). You go to any slum in this country, irrespective of their religion, Hindu, Muslims, Christians, everybody gets together and they dance, they sing, they celebrate life. Some fool somewhere got this idea to declare India as depressed. He has no idea; depression is not there in this country. Bangladesh, you see depression is very low, they are much poorer than India. We need to reintroduce spirituality in the society. Only that can check the depression - depression and corruption, both.