“A complete human being is the one who adopts teamwork from Japanese, precision from Germans, marketing techniques from Americans and human values from Indians,” said renowned spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, while delivering a special lecture, titled ‘Human Values: A Necessity for Sustainable Development.’
The lecture, held at the IGNOU Convention Centre on December 1, underlined the significance of human values in Indian society.
“Go to any small village in India and you will find human values embedded deep inside every nerve of the rural country,” he said.
The spiritual leader, fondly called as ‘Guruji’, began the lecture by emphasising on the needs and responsibilities of human beings. While differentiating it from animals, he said that animals have needs sans responsibility. “Your quality of life depends upon the proportion maintained between your responsibility and needs. You lead a good life if your needs are less than your responsibilities,” he said.
Recapturing the period from the Gandhian era, he said that our needs have multiplied manifold since then, which has resulted into scams and slums.
“In either case, the responsibility factor is missing. Those involved in scams shoulder nil responsibility, while those living in slums play the blame game. The attitude, ‘I am poor because you are rich’ prevails throughout due to which India can be summarised into scam India and slum India,” he added.
While explaining the meaning of needs and responsibility, he said, “Human values can take you from a state of dependency to total responsibility and carve out a responsible citizen in you. When you shoulder responsibility, your needs will automatically be met. It is our vision which needs to be broadened for any development to take place.”
Motivating everyone towards a more humane system, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar emphasised upon the need to uphold a strong set of values, consisting of love, passion and dignity, which is the need of the hour. “It is necessary to preserve these values which are slowly evaporating from urban India. We have diluted our own system due to anger and greediness. There can be no development until and unless certain values are restored,” he added.
Concluding the lecture, he said, “If we do not stand up for the cause, how can the change happen? There shouldn’t be any mismatch between the values which govern an individual and society. It is thus necessary to increase accountability for a sustainable development of human values.”
The lecture was presided over by Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekhran Pillai, Pro-VCs Prof Latha Pillai and Prof K.R. Srivathsan and Prof A.K. Agarwal from School of Health Sciences, IGNOU.