QA with Sri Sri
Q: You have mentioned that the ABC of life is awareness, belongingness and commitment. What is the ABC for our management students? As a graduate of Vedic Literature and Science, you may be aware of the holistic approach to education. Please tell us something about it.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ABC, i.e., Awareness, Belongingness and Commitment are universal. I think you can apply this in any field, not just spirituality, business or politics; it cuts across different fields of human relevance. These three aspects can be applied anywhere.
Without commitment nothing works in the world. If it works, then it is just God’s grace. It is just God who is working through you.
Once somebody said, ‘God is in control but He should make it more obvious to us.’ It is not very obvious when we think we are in control. A sense of belongingness makes a big difference in the way we function, and in the way we perceive our atmosphere. We need to take responsibility for the atmosphere that we are in. So, that empowerment, that attitude of taking responsibility for our own environment makes all the difference. It can make you very happy, and motivate you to take up more work. But if you lack the attitude, then you simply slip into a corner and get more depressed.
We have started Sri Sri University in Orrisa with the idea of bringing the East and the West together. The best of the East and the best of the West will be married there. The idea is to give the best form of education in all the different fields - in the traditional field of Ayurveda (herbal medicines) and in the field of business.
We have already started one business school in Goa, and it is running for the last five years. The objective is to give an idea of how the ancient and the modern can be married and brought together, and the best of each world can be provided to our new generation.
Along with this, I have this dream of creating a stress-free and violence free society; a just society where everyone smiles more. Today, you must have already heard about the focus moving away from GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness); it is very important. About 30% of the European population is in depression. There is no point in having a higher GDP and having no smiles on the faces of people. We need to have people appreciate GDH, i.e., become happier.
Happiness has nothing to do with the prosperity of the country, and this is another theory that we have seen in the recent years. Countries like Bhutan and Bangladesh are much happier than countries like India or China, or the USA. What is in these countries that we are missing? We need to explore that now, and bring this wave of happiness in society, to see not just a prosperous but a happier society.