Address at the Indian Institute of Science
24th May 2009, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was the key note speaker at the centenary celebrations of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore on May 25.
His talk spanned a wide range of subjects: from ancient Indian scriptures to the theory of relativity. In response to a question on scientific research,
Sri Sri said: “When love for science is intense, it is already moving the world. The ultimate aim of a researcher is not to earn a livelihood.
If the main aim of a researcher is to earn a livelihood it is not best quality research. It has to lead to a soul-search. Research is to know. The joy of knowing is itself the goal. Getting recognition is immaterial.”
Bangalore University Confers Doctorate to Sri Sri
18th May 2009, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
“Every graduation, you are reminded of your duty. May the world become more prosperous, violence-free, and peaceful,” said H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as he was conferred with a doctorate from the Bangalore University at the Art of Living International Center this evening.
As the Vice-Chancellor of the university read out the citation, he highlighted Sri Sri’s work as a peace negotiator, and counselor, as well as all the work done as a social activist.
“I accept this doctorate with all humility,” said Sri Sri. “Vidyaa dadaati vinayam – Knowledge brings humility. I would urge all to remember what you need to do for society - social responsibilities, as well as personal responsibilities.”
A Multi-Cultural Outlook Would Bring in more Tolerance, and Learning
24th Apr 2009 - 27th Apr 2009, , Bulgaria
When disembarking from the flight to Sofia, H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was asked: What made you commit your life to building a world without violence? He said: “I do this work because of my love for humanity.”
On his first visit to the country, H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was asked his guidance on many critical issues facing the world, including the role of religion in conflicts, and the Easter violence in Bulgaria.
“A multi-cultural outlook would bring in more tolerance, and learning. We all need to create a stress-free, and violence-free society,” H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said. He emphasized the need to teach children how to control their minds through the breath.
“There is violence in the youth today because they have emotions trapped inside, and they are not taught how to handle their own minds.”
To deliberate on solutions, H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar met with the Ministers of Health, Justice, Social Affairs as well as the Vice-Minister of External Affairs.
H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shared his vision of a One World Family, stressed the need for religious tolerance, and dialog for resolving conflicts at a seminar in the Palace of Culture on April 26.
Over 4,000 people from Bulgaria, and other Balkan countries gathered to learn breath techniques, and meditation at a Health & Happiness workshop personally conducted by H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
He also met the Head of the Orthodox Church.
You Will Soon Return to your homes in peace,Peace Mission
19th Apr 2009 - 21st Apr 2009, , Sri Lanka
Concerned about the conflict in Sri Lanka and the plight of the civilians, H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar went on a 3-day peace mission to Sri Lanka.
He closely interacted with refugees in the Manik camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP) as well as a camp in Vavuniya.
“Whatever you need for a good and dignified life, we are there to support you,” H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told the troubled people.
“The Art of Living Foundation and I are right with you in your hour of need,” he assured them. “All your children will study and have a good future. This is my guarantee.”
While H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar distributed the relief material, many refugees shared their plight with H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. An engineer in one of the camps said, “We will lose our mind, we are going crazy as we are here for four months.”
H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar conveyed the desire of the Tamils to the President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse. “The untold suffering of the Tamils will make any heart bleed.
A place that has never seen beggars has to beg for water, food, clothes, and for life itself,” H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told the President during their interaction.
The Venerable Bellanwilla Wimalaratana Thero, chancellor of Sri Jayawardhanapura University expressed his happiness on H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar`s visit, and said that this augurs well for the people of Sri Lanka.
As part of his peace mission, H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also met up with several dignitaries including Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, American Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake, Ministers in the Sri Lankan cabinet, and Parliamentarians with a notable exception being the Indian Ambassador to Sri Lanka.
Spiritual Solutions to Global Issues
2nd Apr 2009, Sydney, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Over 1,600 people waited to see the man ‘Who is changing the world’ at the Majestic Theatre in Sydney on April 2, 2009.
This marked H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s first public talk in the country after five years. What followed was an informal interaction – Q&As with the audience – dominant with H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s characteristic wit, and simplicity.
“Today we live our lives on a treadmill – running, and getting nowhere! And, we have to keep on running just to stay stable. This is the reason for frustration. It is the reason for frustration in our individual lives.
We ask ourselves, “What is the value on spirituality in this society?” Know that it is as relevant as medicine to the sick, rest to the tired, and wealth to the poor.
A violence- free society, disease free body, quiver free breath is the right of every individual. Just observe your breath – It indicates your state of mind.”
Simple Tools for Peace
1st Apr 2009 - 5th Apr 2009, Sydney, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
An advanced meditation programme, the first ever Health & Happiness workshop in Australia, a public talk at the Majestic Theatre, and a keynote address at the 2nd International Ayurveda and Yoga Conference in Sydney.
H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s days in Australia were filled.Meditation for world peace was the dominant flavour of every event - a cruise along the Sydney Harbour, evening satsangs or afternoon sessions with participants of the Health & Happiness workshop.
Diverse backgrounds from different parts of the world, opposing ideologies, and beliefs were erased as H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar interacted with the audiences. The ensuing question & answer sessions gave the solutions to many of the current global concerns.
Giving Youth a Vision of a Peaceful World
9th Mar 2009, Bad Antogast, Brandenburg, Germany
“It is up to us to create a time without wars,” said H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar when speaking with 122 youth at a special Q&A session at the Art of Living Ashram in Germany.
Amidst the continuous snowfall, was the warmth of laughter, and cheer as these youth, from 31 countries, had a heart-to-heart chat with H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. When asked about leadership, H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said: “A leader has 12 qualities
- sets an example
- cares for those who follow him
- a good leader creates leaders
- does not depend on authority
- does not worry about position
- alert, and undisturbed by challenges
- stretches himself beyond comfort zone
- does not mix head, and heart
- is multidimensional, appreciates other point of views
- evaluates both sides of the situation before a decision
- directly approachable
- does not judge himself.”
This session is part of the ongoing Yes! We can workshop which envisions the creation of a peaceful society.
H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar encouraged the group to lead society, citing the challenges of modern living: “In Europe 28 percent of the population are under depression. More and more people are becoming unhappy day by day. We have to change this.”
Guiding the Media - Globalizing Yoga & Meditation
2nd Mar 2009, Aurangabad, India
“A spiritual guru, and journalist, both, are respected in society. So, both should be impartial,” said H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar when he met members of a media house on March 3.
“If we get carried away by emotions, and take somebody’s side, how can we point out his/her mistakes later? By siding with people, we end up committing injustice against others.A journalist should bring reality to light, and write to ignite hope rather than creating pessimism.”As a humanitarian, H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was also asked his views on education, the voting system, and terrorism.
H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was in Aurangabad to teach people the techniques of yoga, and meditation for better living. After undergoing H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Health & Happiness workshop, many participants shared healing experiences.Corporates interacted with H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with questions on the role of moral ethics, and spirituality in business.
Technology And Spirituality
26th Feb 2009, Bangalore , Karnataka, India
Innovation, technology, and spirituality were given a new dimension when H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressed the annual Strategy & Action Planning meet (STRAP 2009) at Infosys Technologies’ in Bangalore (India)
An excerpt : “Notice the difference between inspiration, and motivation. Motivation is material-oriented. Inspiration is goal-oriented, value-oriented, and stays for a long time.You see these highly motivated Maoists? You will be surprised. In the prime of their life they go through the forest. They don't live a comfortable life. They are inspired by Karl Marx, or Mao. Can't we use the same inspiration in a creative manner? They should know that what they do will contribute to a larger cause of humanity.
Mahatma Gandhi inspired people, and so the entire nation united. This inspiration has been used politically, religiously - what makes a young boy of 22 put his life in suicide missions? If he puts this into science, technology - what couldn’t be achieved?”
Read full talk
Globalizing Spirituality at Shivratri
22nd Feb 2009, India
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar led the 500,000 people present in Kollam (Kerala) in a special meditation for world peace. He explained the significance of the Shivaratri festival to the gathering which comprised people of different nationalities, and walks of life.
Quoting the Naasadiya Sukta, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said: “A true devotee, a true atheist, and a true scientist have one thing in common, and that is uncertainty. Anything which is inert can be certain but anything which is alive can only be uncertain.
The highest truth declared here (in the mantra) says that you can only say ‘perhaps’ to that realm of the unthinkable, incomprehensible reality, and that is meditation. That is Shivaratri.”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also said, "Shivaratri is uniting with the shiva tattva (the essence), which is not in the Kailash Parbat (the mountains where Lord Shiva lived). Look for the shiva tattva right here, and right now in your atma (soul). Wherever you cognize the shiva tattva, that becomes Kailash. Shiva tattva is where there is only bliss, or celebration.”
Urging Naxalites to engage in community welfare
16th Feb 2009, Jharkhand, India
On the morning of Feb. 17, H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar reached Patamda, a town in the heart of a Naxalite belt in Jharkhand. Transformed Naxalites, who have given up the path of violence, build an Art of Living center there to give an impetus to the developmental activities in the region.
Since Feb. 14, there was a curfew in the area. Naxalites lifted the curfew, on learning about H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's visit. Their welcome was evident in the messages written across the mud walls of the houses there : "Welcome Guruji."
H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressed a crowd of 3,500 people comprising Naxal leaders, villagers, and panchayat leaders. He called upon all Naxalites to work for social development : "Naxalite youth are our children. They have taken to this path (of violence) because they are tired of poverty, discrimination, and corruption.
We need such strong children in our country who are willing to give their lives. We want people like you to give up the bullet, and take to the ballot. Don't kill policemen. They are servants who are doing a job. I welcome you all to come forward. We will be behind you, and support you. We need compassionate, strong, and responsible leadership."
H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also addressed developmental issues of the village: "India is a country of villages. If villages don't prosper, the country will not move forward.
The focus has to shift to villages. We need to focus on chemical-free farming. Disease, and body ache are due to the chemicals put in the food. We need to go back to the old systems of nutrition. Pranayama, yoga and satsang are a must."
Emphasizing education, he said : "Are all the women sending their children to school? Not a single child must be illiterate. Every child must be well educated, and have a bright future." H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar asked the people to abstain from alcohol.
"This should be an alcohol-free village. Alcohol destroys man, village, city, and nation. Stop this river of alcohol, and move into the river of love. Once we let go of our quarrels, our village will prosper."
"Let us take a vow : not to harbor hatred, to vote, and to plant five trees each."
H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been driving community developmental measures in villages like Patamda with the aim of making them self-sufficient and reliant.