(Over 1 million people have been affected by the worst flood in the history of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Albania between May 14-17, 2014. More than 100,000 houses and other buildings in Bosnia are no longer fit to use. Over a million people have been cut off from clean water supplies.
The Art of Living Family in Europe has been working on relief efforts in different parts of the Balkans.
A special peace meditation for the affected families with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was conducted on 2 June 2014, where thousands from across the globe came together to meditate and pray for peace and restoration of life. Below is the transcript of Gurudev's message)
While we express our solidarity with the people of Balkans, we are also taking a pledge to protect the environment.
What's happening today is that somewhere there is famine; somewhere there is drought; somewhere there are floods. The nature's fury that mankind is facing in this decade is an indication that we need to care for nature.
Right now, as I am speaking, there is torrential rain here. Such heavy rains, we have not had in many years. All the meteorological departments predicted there will be very little rain this year and it will affect the crops in India. But what we are seeing today, seems to have proved the predictions wrong. We are having such heavy rains now.
In this country, there is severe water shortage. I was travelling through some villages just a couple of days ago, and I saw that there were lakes that were dry for four years. There was no water for cattle. No water for drinking. No water for agriculture.
I think today's rain is an answer for that prayer. Now, all these villages will have plenty of water.
Now, in the Balkan states, we need to build an infrastructure better so that we have a system where we can control the floods.
Sometimes, when it is not possible to control the floods, the Meteorological department will have to alert the people so that they can find themselves a safer place.
I am sure that Art of Living volunteers are putting their 100% in providing relief work: trauma relief and meditation sessions. This is very important.
Meditation helps to pacify nature. Meditation helps us face challenging situations. It also gives us the much needed confidence and intuitive ability to foresee what action will give us the desired and beneficial results.
Meditation also creates a sense of team spirit among people, at the time of crisis. So, I would say, do not lose heart. The crisis will be over. And in this crisis, we are all there with you.
Together we will share all the crisis, all the sorrow, and all the joy as well.
This also is an opportunity for people to wake up and see beyond their selfish motives. There are higher goals in life for which we all need to work in unison. We must care for each other, and progress forward.
Crisis brings people together. And in this crisis, people have united. They have forgotten their animosity, differences, and hatred. I know there have been ethnic and religious violence in Bosnia and other places. And this is the time when we forget all our differences, whether we are Slovanians, Croatians, or Bosnians. We should forget all our differences and as one humanity, we should unite in serving people and restoring normalcy in Balkans.