Broaden your vision, deepen your roots

The act which is only destructive and inflicts suffering both on oneself and others is terrorism. In such an act, human values are lost in the process of achieving a goal. Some of the factors that lead to terrorism are:

  • Frustration and desperation to achieve a goal
  • Confused emotion
  • Short sightedness and Impulsive action

Belief in a non-verifiable concept of heaven and merit; a childish concept of God favouring some and angry at others, thereby undermining the omniscience and omnipotence of the Divine. Terrorism induces fear psychosis in all, increases poverty, suffering and loss of life with no apparent gains. Instead of solutions the terrorist looks for destruction as an answer.

If you simply criticize without giving a solution, know that this criticism comes from the same seed as terrorism! Although there are certain qualities you can appreciate in a terrorist such as:

  • Fearlessness
  • Commitment to a goal
  • Sacrifice

You will have to learn from them things that you should never do:

  • Valuing some ideas and concepts more than life.
  • Having a narrow perspective of life and dishonouring its diversity.

The Remedy for terrorism is:

  • Inculcate a broader perspective of life -- value life more than race, religion and nationality.
  • Educate people in human values, friendliness, compassion, cooperation and upliftment.
  • Teach methods to release stress and tension.
  • Cultivate confidence in achieving noble aims by peaceful and nonviolent means.
  • Create spiritual upliftment which can weed out destructive tendencies.

Question: Can it be that terrorism need not be only physical violence, but also cultural or economical?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes. Solution for economic violence: "Think globally, buy locally." Solution for cultural violence "Broaden your vision, deepen your roots."

Question: How does one cope with the aftermath of terrorism?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Faith and prayer. When disaster happens, anger is inevitable. We should respond, but not react with emotional outbursts. Wisdom is needed to make this discretion. One mistake cannot be corrected by another mistake. Strive for multi-cultural and multi-religious education and spiritual upliftment to reach every part of the globe. For the world will not be safe, even if a small pocket of people are left ignorant.

A record crowd, the likes of which have never before seen in the state, listened in rapt attention to Guruji at the satsang in Tripura, a state in the remote north eastern region of India. Our school was opened in Agartala - the symbol of the rich cultural heritage of the state. The Governor of the state and many dignitaries attended the inauguration ceremony. Leaders of various communities as well as government and non-governmental organizations came to pay their respects to Guruji. Guruji promised them that more schools would be started in the remote regions of the state.