The Candid Eye

February 18, 2010

‘Pilgrimage is a journey into oneself ‘- Sri Sri Ravishankar Tells Priests

Filed under: Art of Living,Christianity,Hinduism — Abhay @ 6:00 AM
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‘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.

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Sri Sri takes the shovel to create environment awareness

Kolkata had a surprise garbage picker this week – the revered Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation. Sri Sri, who was in the city on a three-day visit extended his concept of community service to direct hands-on garbage cleaning.

Sri Sri cleaning the lily pool

The project titled, ‘Clean Inside, Green Outside’, saw him along with 175 young volunteers of the Art of Living Foundation embarking on shovelling garbage from the once-famed Lily Pool in the Rabindra Sarobar area.

Emphasising on the need to bring about environment awareness Sri Sri said, “No one single agency or authority can undertake this mission. We need all to join hands so that together we make a difference.”

The Art of Living Foundation will incorporate a number of environment-sensitive priorities in the restoration. Collaborating with the Kolkata Improvement Trust, as well as a reputed landscapist, The Art of Living will deploy their volunteers to restore Lily Pool to the splendour that it once had.

Sri Sri led thousands at the Mahashivratri celebrations which were held on February 12 at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium. The evening commenced with a cultural presentation showcasing ancient Bengali art and culture. This was followed by the Maharudrabhishekam performed by Sri Sri followed by a satsang and a discourse.

Sri Sri during the Shivratri Celebrations in Kolkata

He also felicitated Pt Buddho Dev Dasgupta, sarod player; Chunni Goswami, football player; Subhash Dutta, environmentalist and social activist; Subhra Chatterjee, educationist, and Mahasweta Devi, novelist. Thousands of devotees from all over India and from over dozens of countries including the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Russia and Hong Kong were part of the festivities.

During the visit, Shri Shri was felicitated by Kolkata’s Sikh community and he also inaugurated an exhibition on “Sikhism as the Defender of Indian Dharma” by FACT India, an NGO of the famous Indophile and journalist Francois Gautier, in conjunction with Behala Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee. The exhibition showcased the bravery, fearlessness and sacrifices of the Sikhs during the Mughal, British and post independence periods.

He also inaugurated the Medicasynergie Super Specialty Hospital, a 500-bed super specialty hospital, one of its kinds in eastern India, earlier on the same day.From Kolkata, he left for a week long tour to the North East.

Source: Kolkata Mirror

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