Sri Sri Ravi Shankar lovingly called as Guruji, the founder of Art of Living Foundation through which He relieves the stress at individual levels, thus reducing violence, sufferings and conflicts and spreading the love, harmony, peace throughout the world in various societies.
Gurudev, could you give us a concrete five point agenda that each citizen can do to create a divine society.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
1) Be stress free - keep your body, mind and spirit free from stress. It is not a one-time job; it is something that has to be done over and over again, like keeping your teeth clean; like dental hygiene.
2) Do something for society - do whatever little you can, and be committed towards it.
3) Keep prejudice away - drop prejudice from your mind and intellect; whether it is against another religion, caste, or gender.
4) Keep balance in your family-society and work-life - some people do so much social work and ignore the family. While some are so stuck with their family that their world does not go beyond the four walls of their home; both are not utilizing their full potential. Those who are confined to the four walls of their homes need to go out, make more friends and do some work for society. Those who are out all the time and not very nice to people at home, consider being more kind at home also. Thus, keep the work-life balance.
5) Have a vision, for yourself and a vision for society and hold on to it. It may be anything but keep it away from your profession, like writing a book, poetry, painting, singing, writing short stories. Be innovative in whatever way you can. Just keep that idea, and it will come up within you. So, keep one vision for yourself, and one for society - inspire people around you! There are a hundred reasons to be miserable, upset, and unhappy in life and in society. Coming out of it is a challenge. You should take up this challenge, "Come what may, I will move through all those negative clouds that surround me; like the planes that take off even in bad weather". You need to have that radar within you, which enables you to move through any negative cloud and create enthusiasm around you.
Gurudev, it is legal to stone people to death? If some people bring up this point here, it is called intolerance. How come this difference?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Remember one thing - there are many people with many ideas, and many opinions, not all are correct and neither can you correct everyone’s opinions. And people have a right to express their ignorance!
Before Mr. Modi became the Prime Minister, there was such a storm in this country! How many people, even high intellectuals said that they would leave India if he became the Prime Minister. These are short-sighted opinions and understandings. I wish our high intellectuals had a little bit of intuition also, it would make them happier, and bring more sense to what they say. For posterity, and intuitive ability should be developed, not just intellectual blabbering. When there is intuition, what you say carries weight.
Some people are questioning as to why Gurudev said that the US Dollar will become Rs. 40. It is not what I said, it is what banks were saying at that time. Citibank said this, and I said that if a financial analyst is saying this, it is good for the country. Of course, these things cannot happen overnight. But we are going in the right direction, although this country has a long way to go. The intellectuals of this nation should put politics aside, come together and give concrete suggestions to improve the country.
What we need is a corruption-free society, development of every region, and of neglected parts of society. This should happen not only in India, but in every part of the world. Things are definitely improving; but there is still a long way to go.
All that is happening in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, is a matter of concern for everyone. We need to bring more tolerance in these parts of the world. All those who are talking about tolerance in this country, those who want to leave India, it is a good place to go, talk to people, and preach tolerance in these areas! We can make arrangements for them to stay, for food; let them spread their message of peace, oneness and tolerance that is needed today.
It is easy to create and to get into conflicts, it takes no time. In fact, just a few unintentional words will create permanent enemies. You may not even have the intention, just blabber something, and you could make enemies. But to make friends is altogether a different thing, you know what it needs!
Gurudev, it is said that when Ramakrishna Paramahamsa kept one of his legs on Swami Vivekananda, he suddenly had an experience of samadhi. You have kept your hand on my head many a times; when are you going to keep your leg on my head?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
My dear, I have given you one of the most beautiful techniques, Sudarshan Kriya. You have already experienced what Swami Vivekananda experienced; a sense of current and a sense of nothingness. Has it not changed your whole outlook? You have two lives - the one before you did Sudarshan Kriya, and the one after. How many of you vouch for it? (Everyone in the audience raises their hands)
See, everyone is raising their hands. You cannot even relate to that person who you were before you did the kriya. You cannot say that it is the same person! This is why I said that you are born again.
When you are initiated into meditation, you start a new life. In some places, they even give you a new name because you are not the same person anymore, you are totally transformed. Your vision has become much broader, your approach is much more intelligent, your perception is much sharper and your heart is much softer and stronger; isn’t that so? There you have it! I don’t have to keep my leg or hand on your head.
You have been given the tools by which you can uplift yourself, and not just one! You have Shakti Kriya, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation. From time to time, different ways are given so that you do not get bored of doing just one thing. I know your mind, how you get bored doing pranayama again and again. The mind runs for new things all the time, and the heart, longs for the old, it takes pride in the old. Here, you have both, the old and the new! I have spoken about the old scriptures, their knowledge and given you new techniques.