Violence Lingers, Yet Love Conquers

Day 15 in Assam. Trauma continues, here and there, in bits, pieces and chunks. Miscreants loaded in trucks, jeeps and bikes, men, women and children, with torches in hand, chasing the villagers, looting their houses and then charring them to ashes. Missing police and security, all adding up to a loss of sensibilities. But, hope still prevails. In the midst of unheard screams and trauma, love—persistent, devoid of the general mood—continues to heal and uplift the spirits of the traumatized.

Soldiers of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji are working tirelessly. Armed with love, belonging, patriotism, unflinching focus, the power of meditation, and the grace of their Guru, they are sowing seeds that will take root in the deepest of the soils of consciousness. Once in bloom, the love will shine through the smiles, lifestyles and actions of the people, proving again, that how much ever bad exists, good always reigns, it is always is victorious.

Swami Divyanand of The Art of Living, teachers, volunteers and yuvacharyas are going village to village and are interacting with the victims. They are gathering the villagers for satsangs, meditation and trauma relief. They are blessing the traumatized. How would satsangs, meditation and blessings work in the midst of so much violence? One might wonder. Well, it does. The physics of satsang, meditation and blessing, is quite different from the physics of physical relief. While physical relief such as, food, clothes, shelter, medicines are immediate necessities; satsang, meditation and blessings provide relief to the mind and the soul. They get you out of the bubble of fear. They’re like a balm with soothing effects, which has a direct effect on the body too, and with the grace of the Guru it works wonders. “Hundreds of villagers are proactively coming for blessings,” says Swamiji. “They come and talk to us, with tears rolling down their eyes. We listen to them without judgment. Just by talking to us and opening up they feel relieved. They feel relieved being listened to. Those few minutes of meditation takes them away from the pain and trauma they are experiencing. And when they come back, they feel different. It works in wonderful ways. Inexplicable, but it does.”

Swamiji and the Art of Living team pick the villagers in the morning, and bring them to the camps, where they have satsangs. Music is a universal healer. They engage the children in games. Children are sensitive; they can’t express the way adults do. It doesn’t mean they aren’t affected. These little games fill them with laughter and distract them from the immediate violence they’ve been exposed to. When they see their parents singing bhajans and their eyes closed in peace, it has a positive effect on them. In the night the team drops them back to their homes; if burnt, they are brought back to the camp where they are taken care of.

The people of Assam need an intervention. They need it now, more than ever. Trauma and fear are deadly diseases. They can only be demolished with love, blessings and grace. Hundreds of Art of Living teachers and volunteers are working to create an atmosphere of peace and hope. They are establishing centers for long term growth and development. Undying, selfless love is what they need. Through his volunteers, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji is doing just that. Don’t you want to be a part of this selfless gesture and expression?

Write in to webteam.india@artofliving.org with your ideas and thoughts on what more we can do to bring back smiles to the people of assam.

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Writer: Eben Felix, Graphics: Niladri Dutta