Sri Sri Ravi Shankar inspires the masses with the largest and longest Google+ Hangout
One-of a kind worldwide video-conference called upon action to create a violence-free stress-free society
It was an exceptional online-event that took center stage on January 26th, 2013. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of the Art of Living and according to Forbes the 5th most influential Indian, hosted what is said to be the largest Google+ Hangout ever.
Millions of viewers from more than hundred countries witnessed this mega-event that aimed to create awareness and look for substantial actions in order to create a better society.
It was an eclectic congregation of civil society members, artists, sportsmen, journalists, policy makers from across all continents including countries like Oman, Taiwan, Paraguay, Zimbabwe, Slovenia, USA, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Argentina, Israel, India and Pakistan coming together to participate in this first-of-its-kind historic event on 'What we can do for a violence-free, stress-free society'.
The Google+ Hangout was joined by leading personalities from all over the world and included Jamaican Grammy Award winner Shaggy, German Member of European Parliament Jo Leinen, The World Bank’s Vice President Dr. Sanajy Pradhan and spiritual thinker Deepak Chopra.
Further personalities who participated were Bothaina Kamel, first woman Egyptian Presidential candidate; Arnab Goswami, TV Anchor; Dr. Myron Scholes, Nobel Laureate in Economics; Deylan Slachev, Youth Icon, Bulgaria, Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara and Bollywood director Rajkumar Hirani among others.
Following a question from Slovenia on what can be done do strengthen the sense of belongingness in a country that is characterized by a young democracy, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar emphasized on the need to encourage exchange and discussions by involving all different sectors of society in order to bring about a change. A ‘think tank’, that includes also the young generation, could be taken into consideration.
Throwing light on the mechanics of violence, Sri Sri said, “Violence has three components - alcohol/drugs, stress and lack of understanding. If we can get rid of these three, we can be happy.”
A wide range of questions poured in from Bastar to Bulgaria on topics as diverse as conflict resolution to corruption to addictions and to stress. Two good friends, an Arab and Jewish girl from Israel, were keen to know how the two communities could live peacefully together.
Grammy award winner from Jamaica, Shaggy sang an inspirational song on love and announced that he would take music and meditation to the prisons of Jamaica. At a time when every corner of the world has been deeply affected by violence in one form or the other, be it school shoot-outs, national agitations, religious conflicts, crimes against women, the event held significant value as people got together to deliberate on solutions to address this situation.
Sri Sri became the first spiritual leader to address a wide-global audience through the Google+ social media. The Hangout garnered unprecedented viewership especially among the youth. The event also went down in history as the biggest online meditation ever conducted.
Listening and answering to questions for almost 3 hours without break, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar concluded this worldwide online happening with a call for volunteering for a better society, “Let us give one hour of our day for a social cause to make the world a better place. If we can get rid of the stress and anxiety then the dream of a one world family is not far away.”
Moving ahead on his call for a violence-free and stress-free society, Sri Sri will launch the Volunteer For A Better India movement on Feb 3, 2013, at The Ram Lila Maidan in Delhi.
About Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a universally revered spiritual and humanitarian peace ambassador.
His vision of a violence- free, stress-free society through the reawakening of human values has inspired millions of people globally to broaden their spheres of responsibility and work towards the betterment of the world.
For three decades, Sri Sri has been engaged in
• Promoting human values
• Building communal unity'
• Encouraging social responsibility
• Fostering interfaith harmony
• Spearheading humanitarian causes
Sri Sri‘s work sees him addressing audiences of diverse nationalities and backgrounds, including the United Nations, prison inmates, corporate management teams, ailing farmers and school children. It is also not an uncommon sight to see people from warring nations sitting side-by-side in one of Sri Sri’s programmes or addresses.
As an ambassador of peace, Sri Sri plays a key role in conflict resolution and spreads his vision of nonviolence at public forums and gatherings world-wide.
Regarded as a neutral figure with the principle agenda of peace, he represents hope to people in conflict.
A global humanitarian leader, Sri Sri’s programs have provided assistance to people from a wide range of backgrounds – victims of natural disasters, survivors of terror attacks and war, children from marginalized populations and communities in conflict, among others.
The strength of his message has inspired a wave of service based on spirituality through a huge network of volunteers, who are driving these projects forward in critical areas around the globe.
About the Art of Living Foundation
The Art of Living Foundation (AOLF) was founded in 1981 by HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and operates in over 150 countries. It is one of the largest independent, humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the world. The AOLF holds a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN), and is active in numerous other international bodies and committees in the areas of health, education and sustainable development. The priorities include aid projects in developing countries, trauma and stress management in crisis areas and rehabilitation programs for victims of violence and prison inmates. In addition, yoga and meditation classes are offered. A key component is the Sudarshan Kriya ™, a health-promoting breathing technique. For more information please visit www.artofliving.org