Welcome to Argentina
|Fifth visit of Gurudev to the thriving Argentina.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar landed in Buenos Aires the capital of Argentina on september 4 coming from a 5 day tour of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Montevideo in Uruguay. As never seen before or only with Rock stars Gurudev was received by a throng of journalists, photgraphers and reporters from the national and the internacional press who had waited in the cold winter weather for more than two hours together with 2000 devotees in the Aeroparque airport, the military seccion where the Presidential plane lands. "I am very honoured of being in this country, with so happy and vibrant people. We are here to generate waves of peace and harmony in the society”. He was also welcomed by a magnificent choir of 300 voices singing the Ode to Joy in his honor.
For 4.5 years the devotees had waited for him. Some to see him for the first time, some to have another encounter. It was the 5th time that Gurudev was visiting the most vibrant country in Latin American. Argentina offers courses to approximatly 4000 people every week.
On the following day of his visit he travelled to the City of the Cordoba some 800 kilometers away, invited by the Siglo XXI University to received yet another HC (Honoris Causa) doctorate in recognition for the work The Art of Living Foundation is carring out in the University Campus. The massive event organized by the Siglo XXI University to receive Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and celebrate his appointment as HC Doctor was impressive. Some 12.000 people sat under the rain for over 2 hours and when he said we cannot maditate under the rain the crowd shouted yes yes let us meditate. Gurudev said, "We are making history, this is the first time that we meditate under heavy rain". Even the Stage was rained in. University authorities and Gurudev recieved the rain with patience and love.
University Dean and President Cristina Schwander signed an agreement of cooperation between Sri Sri University in Orisa and Siglo XXI to exchange professors students and Knowledge.
Prior to the event, Jose Manuel de la Sota, the Governor of the province of Cordoba, invited Gurudev for a meeting where he gave the award Honorary Citizen of Cordoba, saying that it was an honor to have such a prestigious visit to his province. Beside the diploma the governor offer him as a gesture a pure silver Mate tea set.
During the conference Sri Sri underlined that he had hope in the youth and also added "I hope to take to the East the good from the West, take the good from the East to the West and make a better world together."
Under rain coats and umbrellas and others just happy under the rain some 10.000 listen and cheared his visit. They accomodate themselves and enjoy the awaited meditation. After the meditation Sri Sri asked the audience: "Was it nice, did you relax?" After the general affirmative response he added: "It the first time that people meditate under the rain with a smile, continue smiling, continue serving to Humanity".
Also in the City of Cordoba the Consul General of India Dr Sergio Lais Suarez on behalf of the indian Community handed Sri Sri the recognition of Custodian of World Peace for all of the generations to come.
On the third day of his visit already in Buenos Aires some 1000 people gathered at the Aula Magna (auditorium) of the public UBA University, faculty of medicine. The university filled with posters and protesting students for the new university authorities for a while had the silence of meditation and the Knowledge of Gurudev. Sri Sri was awarded with another recognition (Diploma of Honor) from the University. The room was so full that people had to stand in corridors and meditate outside. The conference was attended by authorites from the University and The Art of Living Foundation together with professors and educators from all over the country as well students. Sri Sri said “We need to include wisdom and human values in the programs; it is the way to fight against violence and depression”. He also underlined the importance of meditating as a way to enhance consciousness.
Continuing with his agenda of conferences, Sri Sri also inaugurated an spiritual encounter organized by a group of companies and with the support of the municipality of Buenos Aires first during the conference as main speaker he said: "The voice of good people should be heard; corruption arises from a few bad people and the silence of good people. When there is lack of spirituality and sense of belonging corruption arises and this begins to revert when common people take responsibility”.
Meanwhile in largest trade show grounds of Buenos Aires La Rural, the Art of Living courses kicked off with extravaganza of 12 000 participants, a true fiesta of devotion and deapth, many were left out because of lack of space. Satsang with 12.000 people, 5000 in the Art of Silence advance course, over 3000 in the Art of Linving Course, 800 for Art of Meditation course plus Yes courses, Art Excell and even Sri Sri Tango. In the same Venue Dr Professor PH.D. Fahri Saatcioglu from Oslo, inaugurated a conference for MD a
Hundreds of prisoners in the prison in San Martín, Province of Buenos Aires, together with authorities from the Ministry of Justice and the lawyers leading the Prison Smart Program.
Some 5200 prisoners have taken the Art of Living Program for rehabilitation which reduces violence and aggressiveness.
Inmates in the Art of Living pavilion said: "Thank you for what you do for us”, “Still in here we feel free”, “Thank you. You gave us back the desire to live.”
In the Art of Living pavilion, prisoners who do not practice the breathing techniques and mediatation exercises every day have to go back to the regular pavilion.
Sri Sri was also welcomed by some 2000 business leaders, CEOs, directors and presidents of the most renown Corporations in Argentina for the Ethic in Business Conference. He shared the talk with Luis Moreno Ocampo, former prosecutor of the International Court, in Le Hague. They talked on ethics and business and Guruji answered a series of questions to the permanent applauses. The event was sponsored by a leading international bank.
To end the day Gurudev has literally cheered by 12000 admirers in a private satsang. People jumped clapped, cried and lough just to see the face of the Master for whom they had waited so long. When asked about how he would see the world in 10 years he replied: "Why waiting such a long time to see a better world if that can happen today?" GRATITUD was the main expression. I am so thankfull to have him here but also to have taken the Art of Living course, said Melina Tirado one of the participants.The course has changed my life...
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar walked the streets of Buenos Aires ending in the slum Villa 31 in the neighborhood of Retiro, to talk to school teachers, ex addicts, alcoholics and compulsive players, and children who had taken the Art of Living programs and in tears thank him for the changes in their lifes. He promised them collaboration between The Art of Living and the schools in the slum. The work in the slums has been carried out by the foundation for the past 15 years recovering many youths from the streets and crime. The endangered area of Bajo Flores will also have its first Art of Living center.
Finally the day came for which all of the Latin world had waited for. September the 9th had been reserved by thousands for The Planet Meditates. 300 cities the world over had said they would also join hands and meditate at the same time.
150.000 jammed the beutifull lawns of Palermo Park. It was the most sunny winter day of September, people meditated with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in "The Planet Meditates" in Buenos Aires.
It was the largest meditation in occident and in fact it was the day that most controversy and attention attracted in the world . Hundreds of thousands watched the event on TV and Sri Sri was the main person looked for in Twitter. All of the main TV channels carried the event life and it was transmited all over Latin America.
On the following day Sri Sri and some 1200 people flew and drove to the Iguazu waterfalls in the bush area of Misiones bordering Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina and the home to the World 8th Wonder the Iguazu Waterfall, Gurudev walked the passarell with devotees taking photos and stopping ever second to allow tourists to take photos of him. A TRM with over 500 teachers from Latin America ended the trip and took him to Paraguay and Peru where devotees where waiting for the first time.