Q: Gurudev, many people’s religions do not believe in reincarnation. Do such people attain liberation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Whether one believes or does not believe, does that ever change the Truth? The Truth is always as it is. If someone does not believe, then that is it! They just don’t believe it. That does not diminish the Truth in any way.
The scientists today have proved that reincarnation exists. What else remains to be said then? In some religions, it used to be believed that the Earth is not round but a square. Some religions believed that the Earth is stationary and it is the Sun that revolves around the Earth. When scientists stood up against this (religious) belief, they were hunted down and burnt alive. Some were hanged to death. This happened in what is called as the Spanish Inquisition. In Spain, at the time of the Middle Ages, each and every scientist was hunted down and was considered to be a form or messenger of the Devil, and they were murdered. It is not too long ago, it happened some 100-200 years ago. Today those same religions have become more scientific in outlook.
India always maintained a scientific and practical outlook from the very beginning. No scientist or researcher was ever killed here. In fact, even an atheist school of thought like Charvaka was honoured in our country. Its followers were allowed to follow and propagate their principles and philosophy here. The ancient Indians would think that if the limited intellect of the Charvaka school of thought is only this much, then that too was alright and accepted by them. They would often say, ‘if this is what your limited intellect can grasp and understand about God and the Creation, then that is fine as well. As your intellect matures, you will gain more knowledge and understanding in time’. India is the only country in the world that has never attacked another country. It has never plundered or conquered any other country in history. Yet India was looted and plundered so many times in history by foreign invaders. It was attacked many times in history, and we remained slaves (to foreign rule) for 1000 years. Despite all this, we have continued to rise higher and progress.
However, our country is currently in a very dangerous situation. Product prices are rising, and the Dollar is rising against the Indian Rupee, which is falling every day. There is such rampant corruption everywhere. People today are shamelessly indulging in corruption. It is so shocking. In the earlier days, if some place was found to be corrupt, people would resign and leave that organization or post. But today so many malpractices are happening in our country. During the organization of the Commonwealth Games in India, a few ministers were charged with bribe and corruption and were put behind bars. But after some time, they were released on bail and allowed to sit in Parliament. In the 2G scam that happened recently, a few government officers were jailed on charges of corruption. But they were let go after a few days and they went back to the Parliament. Though they were put in jail, they became healthier during their stay before leaving. Probably they went there to digest whatever (money) they had consumed earlier (Laughter). After that they were freed to go out once again. Files of these accused people get ‘mysteriously’ burnt in natural disasters in Maharashtra (meaning that actual evidence is destroyed on false accounts of natural disasters). A government office where such files and evidence is stored catches fire and is burnt completely. The people’s hearts are burning on seeing such incidents. You know, some files are kept in an area where there is actually no chance of fire at all. Yet files go missing or get burnt in such places. Close to 175 files related to the Coal-gate scam suddenly went missing one fine day. This is shocking indeed. Such incidents never used to happen at all in our country. Nowadays people freely steal and then destroy all evidence that can prove them guilty of crime. It is finished. This is truly a downfall in our country and is a serious cause of concern. Whenever such downfall happens, people of the country unite and rise together against corruption. The time for that has come. Is it not so? What do you all say?