Q: Gurudev, so many blessed souls came from India like Lord Mahavira, Lord Buddha and Lord Krishna. And still India suffers so much. There is so much crime and corruption. Why?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you mean that these people were ineffective? No, it is not so at all. Just imagine what would have happened if India was devoid of spirituality. What would have been the fate of this country? You just can’t imagine. Have you noticed that wherever there is a lack of spirituality, there is so much violence? For example, wherever there are Naxalites present, they do not believe in religion; they do not believe in God and spirituality. The communists are so averse to the word spirituality. Till recently they were even discarding Swami Vivekananda. But now they have somehow started putting pictures of Swami Vivekananda in their homes since the last 5-6 years, this has happened not more than a decade ago. Communists have started adoring spirituality, accepting it out of inevitability Do you see what what they have created in all this time? Only a culture of violence, nothing else. Isn’t it?
So spirituality is essential for the growth of the country. Without this India would have been like the Balkan states long ago. Just see what is happening in Andhra Pradesh. Everything was alright until one lady for own benefits or vote bank politics or whatever took a decision to divide Andhra Pradesh. Now there is fire everywhere. There was public unrest for a whole month and Andhra Pradesh has come to a standstill condition. It is spirituality that is still keeping India sane. It is the spiritual nature of India because of which we embraced everyone. We embraced all the religions of the world. We gave place to everyone, from every community. India is the only country where Jews were never ever prosecuted. In every other country of the world they had problems. The Parsis came from Iran and they blended into the people of this country. Every religion is here and there is harmony. There is a sincere welcome for all people to come and be here. This is only because of spirituality.
Spirituality unites people of all religions. If it was only a religious country without spirituality, then it would not have been so. Just see what happened in Rome, in Constantinople. The Church was there but then it was destroyed and mosques were built. Or the mosque was destroyed and church was built. This sort of thing kept happening and millions of people were killed in this process. It is Spirituality that is needed to bind everybody’s heart and mind. It does not matter what religion or what religious sect people follow. What is most important is to be a good human being, and be connected with the Divinity. This is the most important thing. Do you know what is happening in Egypt, and what happened in Syria last night? It is unbelievable (referring to public unrest and civil violence in these countries). So many people are being killed and prosecuted every day.