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.
Today, I am launching a project in Brazil – ‘Volunteer for better Brazil’. If we all can give one hour each day, for just the coming year 2017, then we can make our society better.
Look at the children from the largest slum in the world. How beautifully they are singing and how their lives have been transformed! I appreciate our teachers who are doing such wonderful work. We need more of you to become teachers. And if we all can put in seven hours a week (an hour a day), we can make Brazil free from crime.
Crime is more because of lack of love rather than poverty. And you know what, we are all made of love.
Brazil has these tags – some areas are safe and some areas are not safe. Almost in all big cities today, it is said that these areas are safe and these areas are not safe. We should not have that. The whole of Rio, every area should be safe. To make this happen, let us all take a pledge to give one hour each day, or seven hours a week, or a weekend to do something for the society.
The latest research from UK shows that crime in society because of poverty is only 5%. 20% or more is because of lack of love. Crime is more because of lack of love rather than poverty. And you know what, we are all made of love.
How much do you love your family members? How much do you love your friends? How much do you love me? Can't we share 1% of this with other people around? If we do this, then in some time our society will be free from crime and corruption.
One of the biggest issues of all in this country and many countries is corruption. You know, corruption begins where a sense of belongingness ends. Just by rules and regulations, corruption cannot be stopped. It's only through a wave of spirituality, love and sense of belongingness that we can change from corruption to commitment, and crime to compassion. This is what we need today.
If we keep the joy that we experience in life only to ourselves, it will start dwindling. How to keep our joy, our happiness, our love? The only way to increase our joy, love and happiness to spread it with others. And that is what we need to do.
Your life is like a Christmas tree which has many gifts to give. A Christmas tree doesn't keep the gift for itself. It is there to give it to everybody. You all are gifted, and you have many gifts to give society. Don't our children deserve a better world? They do. And that can only happen when we live in wisdom and spread wisdom around. We should put a smile on everybody's face.
The basic principle in Art of Living is ‘Clarity in mind, purity in heart and sincerity in action’. So as a volunteer for better Brazil, what do you need to do? On the weekend, visit your nearest slum and talk to the young boy and girls. Sit with them, talk to them, meditate with them, sing and dance with them, and create a sense of belongingness.
We should have several happiness centers in Rio. When you walk along Copacabana beach, you will find so many places where people come and play soccer, basketball and other games. There are restaurants and clinics everywhere, but there is no place where people can go and sit and become happy. Isn't it? We must have several centers, at least 4-5 centers in Rio, a hall or building where people can go when they are upset and sit and do some breathing, meditation, or listen to some wisdom, become happy and come out with a big smile.
Depression is not prevailing amongst the poor people. In these areas, aggression is the issue. It is the middle class and the upper-class people who get into depression.
World Health Organization is saying in next five years, the biggest challenge which the world is going to face is depression. Depression is not prevailing in the area where very poor people are there. In these areas, aggression is the issue. But it is the middle class and the upper-class people who get into depression. To get out of aggression and depression, meditation is the only way. We need to teach meditation to everybody. So, the happiness centers will teach some yoga, some meditation, some wisdom and do some counseling. How many of you would be interested in making such centers? (Everyone in the audience raised their hands) Oh my God! Everyone is interested in doing this. So, get together and find out where can you get a place and make it happen? Who will take the lead and how many of you will take the lead? I want six people to take the lead.
Brazil is such a beautiful place. It should also become blissful. Let us all work for this. let us make at least four centers.
2016 was a challenging year for many, but you have come out of those challenges. So, hope for a better 2017. Tough times make you stronger. And if you’ve been smiling through tough times, that smile is really true and original. A smile that comes from the space of strength is far more valuable than the smile that comes out of comfort. And I see that good smile on everyone's face.