‘Pilgrimage is a journey into oneself ‘- Sri Sri Ravishankar Tells Priests
by Adolf Washington
VELANKANNI, Tamil Nadu, Feb 12: “It’s a joy to talk to the lovers of God,” said Sri Sri Ravishankar, founder of the Art of Living organisation, at the Indian Priests Congress held at Velankanni, one of world’s most popular Christian pilgrim centres, February 9.
Ravishankar who received a State VIP escort to the Shrine was Addressing over 900 priests from across India. He said: “It is time to look deep within and connect the mind with the inner self and rekindle the faith. Mind is vascilliting between the past and the future we got to bring it to the present.” To a question from the audience as to what was Sri Ravishankar’s concept of a pilgrimage, he said “To me, pilgrimage is an inward journey. It is a journey into oneself. It is a search for a communiion between God and oneself”
Ravishankar told the priests: “We are made up of the substance called love. We are God’s image, God is love, but then why hatred, jealousy among people? How to handle them is a huge challenge. Spiritual wisdom helps to overcome them. Breathing exercises helps to remove all negative emotions.”
There are so many things common between Hindus and Christians like the rosary, the prayer bell, which is unique to Christianity and not inherited from Judaism.
Answering queries posed by priests such as why Christians are attacked by the Hindu groups, Ravishankar said, “It is because some Pentecostal people indulge in asking people to throw Hindu pictures out from their homes, which causes misunderstanding. People also don’t know the difference between sects. People need education to broaden their vision.”
Responding to Journalist Anto Akara’s question “Why have you so far not openly condemned hindu fundamentalist groups that indulge in attacks on the Church”, Ravishankar said “I have openly denounced any form of violence from any quarter. Your Churches were attacked, temples to were attacked. I have denounced any kind of religious violence”. To another question from the audience “Why have you not spoken openly against the caste system?”, the Guruji replied “I have certainly denounced any kind of injustice or discrimination. I have said many times and in many places that we are all children of one God. We are all in Him and He is in all”
“I dont discard religion.Religions are essential because they gives us the connectivity to God. Religion is an external aspect, whereas spirituality is interiorisation,” he concluded.
Cardinal Claudio Cardinal Hummes, Prefect, Congregation for Clergy, Vatican, Archbishops,and Bishops were among those present for the talk.