(Sri Sri visits Pakistan after seven years. Sri Sri reinstates his message of 'One World Family' and embraces the people of Pakistan, 'I feel so nice here; the people are so beautiful and so nice.'
He added, 'We need to create a new image for the country, that this country is also tolerant, we honor diversity, we acknowledge people from everywhere. This type of message should go out loud and clear.'
Read further on Guruji’s interactions with the people of Pakistan.)
It is wonderful being with you all!
First of all let me congratulate all the teachers and volunteers for making this happen.
I would also like give my best wishes and compliments to all those people who worked hard. The YLTP youth who went and reached out to the people of Sindh who were affected by the floods a couple of years ago. I had the chance to speak to them over the phone while the work was happening, but now I would really like to congratulate them. Over a hundred thousand people were reached out to and trauma relief workshops were given, necessary amenities were given and houses were built.
The Art of Living family from around the globe also came forward to help and there was support from all over the world.
So we really demonstrated here that we are not alone, the whole world is our family. I am very glad and happy to see that being practically executed here.
My wish is more and more people become teachers here and see that every tear turns into a smile.
Today, the rate at which depression is rising cancer is increasing, heart problems are increasing, blood pressure is increasing.
Physical illnesses, social conflict, corruption, terrorism, all these ills are indication that somewhere we are missing the spiritual content. Somewhere we are missing that sense of belongingness. So Art of Living is committed to bringing that sense of belongingness into the society and well-being in the physical body, happiness in the mind and the heart and love for all in the soul.
Usually I say violence-free society, disease-free body, stress-free mind, inhibition-free intellect, trauma-free memory and sorrow-free soul. This is the birth right of every individual.
You know our intellect is inhibited. Usually people get so many ideas and they inhibit themselves. So we need to free ourselves from inhibitions. And we need to have an ego which encompasses all. Not just ‘I’ but ‘We, the people of this world.’
So, with this vision of a violence-free society and a disease free body, Art of Living on one hand is very happy with whatever work it has done and at the same time it has a huge responsibility to bring peace and happiness to millions more. I am sure you will all do the job.
See, our life becomes worth living when we are of use to somebody. Help in kind and through substances is one thing, but that is not long lasting. Helping others with knowledge or wisdom so that they can know how to manage their mind and emotions and their inner being is greater.
It is like giving someone fishes when we can instead teach them how to fish.
There is a saying, ‘There is no point in distributing fish to somebody, but instead teach them how to fish!’
This is exactly what Art of Living is doing - teaching people how to manage their own minds, their own emotions, their own concepts, their own limitations and how to come out of these limitations. Accept people as they are and accept the situations and change them for the better.
In all of South Asia, in America and even in Europe, one of the biggest problems we are facing today is corruption.
In India the Art of Living volunteers have done some wonderful work.
They have worked on three levels:
They have organized big satsangs. In satsangs I make the people take an oath not to give bribe or accept bribe. The second thing our volunteers have done is, they take a sticker saying, ‘I don’t take bribe’, and put it on all the officers’ desks. So our youths take this sticker and go and put it on their table. Nobody says, ‘No I can’t have this sticker on my desk.’
And when the sticker is there nobody gives them bribe.
So this is something we can do. Otherwise for a death certificate, for a birth certificate, for everything you have to give bribe. To get an electrical connection you have to pay so much money. So this is creating a revolution.
The third thing we are doing is asking the legislatures to have a very strong bill that would chuck the corruption and punish the guilty.
So here in Pakistan, I know there is a big wave coming up here also against corruption, because it is needed. Similar programs are being done in Russia and the same problem is there in Africa. A Civil society should rise up to the occasion and say ‘NO’ to corruption. And just by laws and legislations alone, this problem will not get solved. It can happen when there is spiritual transformation and people have a sense of belongingness. Corruption begins where belongingness ends. That is something that we all can focus on.
Then inter-faith harmony; allowing the diversities to be there. This education we have to give to people. There are so many sects of Islam, there are Sunnis, there are Shias and similarly there must be some Christians also, and some Hindus, some Sikhs. A bouquet of inter-faith wisdom and dialogue – this is what Art of Living stands for and we should encourage that.
Most important is you should keep smiling. Come what may, keep a smile!