Largest and Longest Google Hangout with Sri Sri

Karnataka, India
26th January 2013

Bengaluru, January 26, 2013: At the biggest online gathering, The Art of Living founder, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar called to volunteer for a better society. “Let us give one hour of our day for a social cause to make the world a better place. If we can get rid of the stress and anxiety, then the dream of a one-world family is not far away.”

It was an eclectic congregation of civil society members, artists, sportsmen, journalists and policy-makers from all continents such as Oman, Taiwan, Paraguay, Zimbabwe, Slovenia, USA, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Argentina, Israel, India and Pakistan. They all came together to participate in this first-of-its-kind historic event on 'What we can do for a violence-free, stress-free society'.

In response to questions on corruption from Paraguay and other South American countries, Gurudev strongly felt that we need to make apolitical pressure groups to check corruption at various levels in the society. He also emphasized, "If governments spent one percent of the defence budget on peace initiatives and social welfare, this world would be a better place."

Throwing light on the mechanics of violence, Gurudev said, “Violence has three components - alcohol/drugs, stress and lack of understanding. If we can get rid of these three, we can be happy.”

A wide range of questions poured in from Bastar to Bulgaria on topics as diverse as conflict-resolution to corruption to addictions and stress. Two good friends, an Arab and a Jewish girl from Israel, were keen to know how the two communities could live peacefully together. At a time when every corner of the world is deeply affected by violence in some form or the other - school shootouts, national agitation, religious conflicts and crime against women - the event held significant value. People came together to deliberate on solutions to address this situation.

Gurudev became the first spiritual leader to address a wide global audience through the Google+ social media. The Hangout garnered unprecedented viewership, especially among the youth. The event also went down in history as the biggest online meditation ever conducted.

Intriguing questions were asked by spiritual thinker Deepak Chopra, Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara and Bollywood director Rajkumar Hirani, among others.

Some other people who participated in the Hangout were Bothaina Kamel, the first woman Egyptian presidential candidate; Arnab Goswami, TV anchor; Dr. Myron Scholes, Nobel Laureate in Economics; Deylan Slachev, youth icon, Bulgaria; and Jo Leinen, Member of European Parliament, Germany; among others.

Moving ahead on his call for a violence-free and stress-free society, Gurudev will launch the Volunteer For A Better India movement on Feb 3, 2013, at The Ram Lila Maidan in Delhi.

Kumar SangakkaraDeepak ChopraFilm Director Raj kumar Hirani


Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi ShankarJo Leinen, Member European Parliament