Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
We all know these issues are very big. As you rightly said, there is not any specific reason for many types of conflict, because there is conflict between religions, within the religion, within the country; all types of conflicts are there.
If you analyze, what we can see is, stress is the main cause of all these problems. Stress creates aggression and violence, or it creates depression or suicidal tendencies. And this is all because we have not been taught by anyone how to handle our mind.
Education is not just collecting information, it is learning to know who you are, and what is your capacity. It is learning to know the 7 different layers of your existence, i.e., the body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, ego, and Self. We are totally ignorant of these layers of existence, so we do not know how to handle rage or anger when it comes up within us.
As I said, neither at home nor at school does anyone teach us how to handle our minds and our emotions, so it remains with people and either turns into depression or into aggression.
Today 40% of school teachers are depressed. When teachers are depressed, what would they communicate to the students? They transfer only depression! A happy person will communicate happiness to others, a depressed person only transfers depression.
So we need to teach our kids non-aggression, i.e., how to have non-violent communication, and how to broaden their vision and have patience. This is where spirituality comes.
You know, I feel that spirituality is different from religion. See, there was only one Buddha yet there are 32 sets of Buddhism. There was only one Jesus, yet there are 72 sets of Christianity. There was only one Prophet Muhammad, and there are five different sets of Islamic sects. And in Hinduism it is countless, you cannot even count, there are so many sects.
So I am not touching religion at all. We should give our kids little information on religion and educate them, but mainly we need to tell them, ‘See, who are you? What is inside of you? What is happening to you?’
When a compliment is given to you, have you noticed that something in you starts expanding? And when you are given a derogative remark, when you have to face an insult, what happens? Something in you shrinks. Are you aware of this something in you that is expanding and shrinking? Just become aware and experience this.
Now through breath you can become calmer and collect yourself, you can be centered. When you experience this, then you can understand the whole mechanism of mind, you will understand the whole mechanism of stress. This is what The Art of Living is promoting. We have people from all different religious backgrounds who take to The Art of Living course and they find their inner peace. Because peace of mind is connected with stress, and once the stress level is reduced, then you are peaceful.