H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Talk at the One World Family Event in Tokyo, 15th October 2009
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti, Arigatougozaimasu, Hai
As Reverend Uchida and other dignitaries here already mentioned, we need to look at the world today from a different angle. We learn a lot from the past and there is a lot that we can plan for the future. If we see the world culture from the past, there are 10 major religions in the world. Four from the Middle East, six from the East and the Far East. You know, the 6 religions from the Far East never had any conflicts because the emphasis has always been on individual
development, personal development, family and peace.
I heard a story of an incident that once happened with President Nixon, He was in Japan and was sitting with a Buddhist monk and a Shinto priest. He asked the Shinto priest what is the percentage of Shintoism in Japan and the Shinto priest replied 80%. He then turned to the Buddhist monk and asked what the percentage of Buddhism was in Japan was, again he was told 80%. President Nixon got thoroughly confused. He said how is it possible that both of them had the same answer? There is no hard line between Buddhists and Hindus, and Buddhism and Shintoism. We mix and have a sense of belonging for all.
In India, there is no such hard line between Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism because there is a harmonious coexistence. The world needs to learn this. Don’t you think so?
If the world learns a little of what’s happening in Japan and India, then we don’t have to remove our shoes in the airport, and the problem of terrorism will be over. Terrorism rises when a person says that their way is the only way. My way is the only way to God. Isn’t that so?
We need to know more about Shintoism. Of course it is known in Japan but it is not so well known in India and other parts of the world. I have offered to open an institution in India to study Shintoism and Hinduism, a comparative understanding.
This is all about what is happening right now. The future is the language of science. And today’s science and spirituality have come together. One of the greatest scientists of our time, Einstein, when he read the Bhagavad-Gita, he said that it is the most transformative knowledge that he received. Whatever science is today, if you listen to a scientist speaking, you feel that you are listening to Buddhism; you feel that you are listening to Vedanta.
Whilst in Germany, I was saying that our bodies do not exist as we understand. It’s all just energy. If we analyze our body, every atom in our body is energy and it’s changing all the time. That is exactly what Vedanta says, that we are just like bubbles in an ocean, one energy. We are all are part of one energy.
This reference to spirituality is needed. Due to lack of this reference stress and tension fills our lives. When you are so stressed two things can happen you either become depressed and suicidal or aggressive and violent, that’s why crime happens in society and people commit suicide or go into a depression. These two things happen. You know it is so painful to hear that
every day, hundreds of people are committing suicide in Japan. Every time I hear such news I feel that I could have done something because this knowledge of breath, mind, and meditation helps people get over suicidal tendencies, get over depression and also get over violent tendencies.
The secret is in the breath, the secret is in a few minutes of meditation, and meditation helps one to raise the energy level. When the mental energy rises, the tendencies of depression and suicide simply disappear.
You ask me, what is the benefit? First it is a violence-free society. We have taught nearly 200,000 people around the world in the prisons. They have all had transformative experiences. I don’t think we’ve started it in Japan yet; we would like to start with the prisoners in Japan. They would completely come out of anger and hatred.
So for a violence-free society be it domestic violence, violence on women or between parents and their children, all of this can be put to rest, if we teach them to attend to their negative emotions by attending to their breath.
Yeah. Are you all still here?
So, violence-free society, second, is disease-free body. Scientists today have researched that if you do the breathing technique, Sudarshan Kriya, your resistance to disease goes up by 3 times. It can prevent heart attacks, blood pressure, diabetes, and many physical and mental illnesses.
So, disease-free body, quiver-free breath, confusion-free mind, inhibition-free intellect. People used to have prejudice in the past. That prejudice is going away today, much lesser in the world, but it has to become much less. Racial prejudice, gender prejudice, age prejudice, religion prejudice, language, nationality, all these types of prejudices, - and this happens, when you start meditating, naturally, because you start feeling connected to everyone in the world.
You know, I always felt at home where ever I went, whether it is the South Pole or North Pole.
So prejudice free and an all-encompassing attitude, and a sorrow-free soul.
- Violence free society
- Disease free body
- Quiver free breath
- Confusion free mind
- Inhibition free intellect
- All encompassing ego
- Sorrowful free soul