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.
I don't expect an answer from you. Some questions are there just to connect, and some questions are to disconnect. If you want to disconnect from the whole world, then you ask, "Who am I?" "What am I doing here?" "What is this all about?" These questions disconnect you from everything else, and sometimes this is necessary.
Sometimes it's necessary to connect with everybody, and really care for everyone. Caring means asking ‘What can I do for you? How can I help you? How are you doing? Are you happy?’ These questions connect you to others.
Then there are a different set of questions that can make you miserable? “Why do I have to go through so much trouble?” “Why is this happening to me?” “Why does no one care about me?” These questions bring misery.
Then there are other questions for which you are seriously looking for some answers.
I was once at the metro station and I saw two people fighting. I was not afraid, I just went and stood in the middle of them and they stopped.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
That is it! I think we can all do this. In patanjali Yoga Sutra it is said, “If you are established in non-violence, in your company and in your presence, people also drop their violence. But this is a long-drawn out process. You have to practice for a long time and then you exuberate those vibrations.
Whatever we are doing here, by sitting and mediating, discussing knowledge, we are definitely creating positive vibrations and these vibrations spread into the city of Paris. When you enter into the center, do you feel positive vibrations? How many feel like that? (Many in the audience raise their hands). Everybody! That is very good. Maybe you should even ask the neighbors, they may be feeling very good. That's why almost in every area we should have a center which can be like a lighthouse of peace.
When you were mediating for Peace in Columbia, initially the FARC were resisting, and then something happened? What brought about this transformation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
That is meditation. We led them into short meditations for three days, and you know what they said, "We have heard of saints, but for the first time we are actually seeing a real one".
They also said, "You are the first one who understood us", and by the end of our visit, on the last day, they came with some stone and said, "Please touch this. Keep it in your room, put your energy and then give it to us”.
I said, “Once I touch it, it's enough, I don't need to keep it with me, you take it”. Then they said, “Please don't abandon us, consider us part of your movement. And please come back”.
Then they came to the press conference and said, “Yes, we adopt non-violence”.
See, it's easy for an atheist to get to know spirituality. The believers think they know spirituality, many times they don't. And, some people become very fanatic believers, who are not very open-minded.
I'll tell you about a bed-time story about Buddha. Lord Buddha never spoke about God because India was the land where everybody knew so much about spirituality, but mostly it was all in the head. So Lord Buddha used to announce the eleven questions that he would not answer. Eleven questions should not be asked, and even if someone asked him, he would not answer. God was one of the eleven questions.
He simply said that there is misery in life, but it is possible to get rid of misery because there is a cause for misery.
One guy came he said, "I believe in God, what do you say?" So Buddha said, "You believe in God, okay, good".
Another person said, "I don't believe in God, there is no God", and Buddha said, "Okay, good".
A third person came and he said, "Some people say there is God and some people say there is no God. I don't know but I want to know".
Then Buddha said, "Oh okay, you come be here and we will discover".
So other disciples who were there got so confused because Buddha agreed with everybody. When they asked him, he said, "You know, the first two people who came had a fixed idea in their mind, they were not open. But the last one was open to knowing and he can reach enlightenment. It's hard for people with fixed ideas to get enlightened". So that's the story.