The Candid Eye

March 14, 2012

Sri Sri in Pakistan: I’m ready to hold talks with Taliban

Filed under: Art of Living,Hinduism,India,Islam,Pakistan,Spirituality,Yoga — Abhay @ 10:48 PM
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From Rediff.

Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Tuesday offered to hold talks with the Taliban to usher in peace in the region, saying it would help foster understanding among people with divergent views.

“I am ready to go and talk to the Taliban. I want to talk to them, understand them and give them my opinion. So we can definitely make a difference. We should try it again and again even if we have to try it 100 times,” Ravi Shankar said during an interaction with the public and media in Islamabad.

Responding to a question on what leaders could do to usher in peace in the region, the spiritual guru said, “Most of the trouble is created by rhetoric” and people should instead work for a future filled with hope.

“People find importance in creating such dangerous situations. They should stop and give more hope to people,” he said.

Ravi Shankar, currently on a three-day private visit to Pakistan, inaugurated a centre for his Art of Living movement at Bani Gala on the outskirts of Islamabad.

He also met with a group of Muslim clerics and some political leaders.

Answering questions from the media and the public, Ravi Shankar said decision-makers should be “calm and collective” while tackling serious issues.

Life becomes worth living, he said, when people are able to be of help to others.

“When decision-makers are in high tension or angry, they will project the same thing in their decisions. They should do some meditation and relax, especially when they have to make a serious decision that will impact a lot of people,” he said.

He said he was happy to see the enthusiasm with which the Pakistani people had welcomed him.

Highlighting the transformation in Pakistan, Ravi Shankar said, “On my last visit, I was surrounded by security personnel and holed up in the hotel. On this visit, I interacted more with people and met the youth at Forman Christian College (in Lahore)”.

“It was amazing to see the enthusiasm, inquisitiveness and willingness to know,” he said.

Though some “government people” in India had asked him not to visit Pakistan, he had decided to go ahead with his trip, he added.

Ravi Shankar identified corruption as one of the biggest problems confronting countries around the world, including Pakistan.

“The civil society should rise up and say no to corruption. Law and legislation alone won’t solve the problem, it can happen only if there is spiritual transformation,” he remarked.

He also called for inter-faith harmony and “allowing diversity to exist”.

Pakistan could earn revenues by promoting and developing tourist sites like Taxila that could attract Buddhist and Hindu visitors, he said.

“Love, peace, tolerance” is what Pakistani students shouted for when asked by visiting spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar what he should speak about. Ravi Shankar regaled the audience at the famous Forman Christian College in Lahore as he spoke about love, religion and answered number of questions.

“You better find another one from about seven billion living souls in the world. Move ahead,” was Ravi Shankar’s advice to a Pakistani student who sought his view on him being unable to forget his ex-girlfriend.

The answer led to a round of thunderous applause from the audience in Lahore.

Hundreds of students accorded a warm welcome to Ravi Shankar, who began a three-day private visit to Pakistan with an address at the college in Lahore.

The hall was jam-packed an hour before the arrival of Shankar as both students and teachers were eager to listen to him.

“I am glad to see your enthusiasm. You can do wonders in life with this energy. Do not lose this enthusiasm,” Shankar said after walking onto the stage.

He asked the students what they wanted him to speak about and the hall echoed with shouts of “Love, peace, tolerance”.

Shankar involved the students in demonstrations to make them understand the power of truth. “You tell a lie and lose power over yourself,” he said.

He told them how to control anger and mood swings and to concentrate on studies.

A student asked Shankar to comment on the “worshipping of idols”, as it is a common belief in Pakistan that Hindus worship hundreds of gods.

“Like Allah has 99 names, there are over 1,000 idols but God is not in them. God is one. Hindus also worship one God,” Ravi Shankar explained, drawing applause from senior members of the faculty.

Ravi Shankar asked the audience to make space in their lives for meditation, yoga and breathing techniques and see how this would bring about a change.Referring to India-Pakistan relations, Ravi Shankar cited the example of France, Germany and Britain living in peace after centuries of enmity and questioned why the South Asian neighbours could not do the same.

“Both countries can make progress and overcome poverty if we are united. We need to wipe away every tear…I have a dream in my life and that is about a world free of violence, anxiety and corruption,” he said.

In response to a question, he said no religion is responsible for terrorism. “What we need to do is teach a child about 10 religions. He would develop understanding about them, leading towards tolerance”.

He added, “A person who thinks he will go to heaven and the rest to hell, in fact creates hell for the rest”.After he concluded his speech, students rushed up to the spiritual leader to take photographs with him.Shankar arrived in Lahore on Monday via the Wagah land border crossing. He visited the historic Badshahi Mosque and held some private meetings with followers of his Art of Living movement.

He will travel to Islamabad tomorrow and open a new Art of Living centre.From the federal capital, he will travel to the southern port city of Karachi, from where he will leave for India on March 14.

 

July 12, 2011

The World Culture Festival

Filed under: Art of Living,Europe,Festivals,India,Music,Spirituality,Yoga — Abhay @ 12:41 PM
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    smile …its free

 



































 

November 14, 2010

Sri Sri addresses thousands on both sides of Wagah border

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / PRURGENT

Bangalore, (India) November 12. 2010. “We are committed to follow the path of non-violence and peace. Standing here at the border, I can feel the wave of love and peace from across. I urge the citizens of both the countries to recognize the voice of peace within and create a violence-free world,” said spiritual leader and Art of Living founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Wagah border in Amritsar today, addressing 5000 people from Punjab. Hundreds of followers had also gathered at the Pakistan side waving and carrying The Art of Living and Youth Leadership Training Program placards to listen to Sri Sri. Many were disappointed as he was denied the visa to cross the border.

The spiritual leader, who was a state guest, visited the Indo-Pak border during his five-day tour to the state and also witnessed the official retreat ceremony held in the evening.

As part of his peace campaign, he inaugurated ‘Saanjh’, a musical concert in Amritsar. The concert, based on the Indo-Pak peace mission, saw artists from both countries showcase their talents on a shared platform.

On Thursday, November 11, the performance of Bhangra, organised by the Art of Living in Ludhiana, was considered for the Guinness World Book of Records for an unprecedented number of Bhangra dancers on one stage. This is in continuance of Art of Living’s endeavor to promote Indian culture. Sri Sri witnessed 2,100 dancers performing the Bhangra at the event titled ‘Mehran De Rang’. Thousands took an oath to make Punjab an addiction-free state.

Also present at the event was Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu, Member of Parliament and former cricketer. Welcoming the spiritual leader, he said, “In our culture a Guru holds the highest place. Today, if the youth are shown the right direction then they cannot only change Punjab but the face of the whole country.”

On Thurdsay morning, Sri Sri addressed more than 5000 young participants at the ‘Exam Special – Youth Empowerment Seminar’ (YES) organized by The Art of Living at Punjab Agricultural University grounds in Ludhiana. After answering questions ranging from peer pressure, parent-child issues, career conflicts and relationship woes, Sri Sri spoke on the rising drug and alcohol menace and urged the participants to shun drugs. “You cannot be enthusiastic or creative if you fall into the trap of drugs. You will lose your smile. Life is enthusiasm, love and joy. Make a friend everyday and ask yourself ‘What can I do for others?’ and see how life blossoms,” he said.
Carrying forward his mission of making Punjab an addiction-free state, he led a Drug De-addiction ‘Maha Sammelan’ in Jhakkar village on November 10. “While Kashmir is the crown of India, Punjab is the face. If the face has blemishes, it does not reflect well. That is why de-addiction is very important. We should raise our voice against this in every temple and gurudwara,” he said.

The event was attended by 25,000 beneficiaries of The Art of Living Drug De-Addiction Program. One such beneficiary Sukhvir Singh from Barnala shared, “I had been taking drugs for over 14 years and had even left my family. After practicing the Sudarshan Kriya regularly I was able to drop my addiction. The youth in Punjab have drowned themselves in this vice. I would now like to work to bring a positive difference in their lives.”

The Art of Living constructed the biggest meditation hall in Ludhiana. The three–storeyed ‘Gyan Mandir’ with a seating of 3,000 people was inaugurated by Sri Sri. This hall is a replica of the tourist-wonder Vishalakshi Mantap (meditation hall) at The Art of Living’s Bangalore headquarters.

During his eventful Punjab tour, Sri Sri visited Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Amritsar. Over a series of satsangs and public interactions he urged the people to drop all addictions, stop female foeticide, practice organic farming and preserve and protect desi cow and desi seeds.

Sri Sri’s tour of Punjab will culminate with prayers at the Golden temple and the Durgiana temple in Amritsar on November 13, 2010.

October 28, 2010

Parents learn to know their kids at Art of Living session

KOLKATA(Jul 19, 2009): More than a hundred parents came with the intention to get some ideas about transforming their errant kids. But at the end of the Art of Living workshop called Know your child’, they returned with the conviction that they had never looked at the world as a child looks at it and have been wrong in handling their child.

“The most important thing is allowing a child to be comfortable with himself or herself in a child-friendly environment so that he or she can develop into a happy adulthood with a sense of belonging,” said Muralidhar Koteshwar, one of the trustees of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidyamandir (SSRSV) Trust.

The workshop helps worried parents see things from a child’s perspective and it makes all the difference. For instance, fighting between two siblings is actually good for training the child to be a warrior in life. “A child lives in the present, never in the past or the future. So give the child attention when he or she needs it, not when your time permits. It creates magic,” said Murali (as he is better known in the circle). His simple tips enthralled parents who hitherto thought parenting means a lot of disciplining and whipping. “Punishment robs a child of confidence,” he said.

The workshop actually gives a glimpse into how the Trust sensitizes the teachers of the Trust-run schools across the country on child-friendliness. “In fact, the training of teachers enables them to get a deep insight into the mind of a child. The focus is always on encouraging children to excel without compromising on human values. Children will excel when they are in a stress-free environment. Our curriculum includes daily yoga, asana and breathing exercises, which enable a calm and focused mind. This helps discover the inner potential of every child,” said Murali.

The Trust’s first school in Kolkata is coming up in Alipore. “The academy aims to provide value education in a friendly and stress-free environment. Innovative teaching-learning facilities have been provided to bring out the best in each child and give him or her wings to fly high while remaining rooted in Indian values. The admission will start from September,” said Suvina Shunglu, educational coordinator and junior school headmistress of the academy.

The philosophy of the school is to bring about development of every child in all the three aspects body, mind and spirit. It lays great emphasis on sports, performing and visual arts. Varied interests of the child will be nurtured through activities like creative writing, quizzing, debating, computer programming, out-of-the box arts, martial arts, said Shunglu.

Provision has been made in infrastructure facilities for indoor and outdoor games with a mini gym for toddlers, table tennis, a unique outdoor play station, fields for soccer, cricket and hockey, basketball and badminton courts with experienced coaches. The U-shaped building has been designed to avoid excess heat. Airy corridors and moderate temperature-controlled classrooms are being provided .The latest digital touch screen with overhead projector is being provided in each classroom, said Manish Poddar, the man behind the project.

From: Parents learn to know their kids at Art of Living session – The Times of India

October 23, 2010

Kanakapura to China

Forget the kung fu hustle, it’s now time for China to learn some disciplines in yoga. Yes, the Art Of Living is going to China and founder Sri Sri Ravishankar will open its first ashram in the country this Sunday during his maiden visit.

The Beijing ashram, constructed on a 165–acre land, will have rooms and dormitories that can accommodate up to 150 people. It also houses a three-storey meditation centre.

HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

China will be the fifth country in the world to have an ashram set up by the AOL International Centre (AOLIC). Germany, Canada, Russia, Poland and USA have ashrams, the biggest one being in Canada.

Why an ashram in China? AOLIC spokesperson Karthik Krishna gives the answer: Hundreds of foreigners visit the AOL ashram on Kanakapura Road in Bangalore every year— many of them are Chinese who felt a need for a similar ashram in their country.

There are also plans to open a therapy centre in the Beijing ashram in due course.

Sunday’s inauguration will be followed by a satsang which will be co-organised by the state-run Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

AoL teachers from Bangalore provided yoga training to over two dozen Chinese teachers from Shanghai and Beijing for the Beijing ashram.

Source : DNA

October 15, 2010

His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar invited by China!!

Godless China has invited Art of Living (AOL) founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, for a religious leaders’ meeting and a satsang near Beijing later this month. This would be the spiritual leader’s first China visit.

Sources said state-run China Overseas Friendship Association (COFA) is organising the event on October 24 and 25 and around 400 people from across the country are expected to attend the satsang. They said Beijing gave its go ahead for the event to promote bilateral ties with India and that the invitation is the first of its kind to any Indian religious figure.

HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

“We expect senior businessmen, show business celebrities, medical, educational experts and even psychiatrists to attend the event,” said Tang Qiyu, who would host the event at his ashram-like resort for yoga and meditation on the outskirts of the capital. Sources said Tang’s efforts made the invitation for the spiritual leader possible.

Tang, a businessman, has invested over $15 million in the resort that offers yoga training facilities. The businessman developed the resort and dedicated it to Sri Sri after meeting him in Bangalore last year.

“There is some change in the Chinese government’s attitude towards spirituality. Swami Amolji, a teacher from AOL’s Bangalore ashram, recently attended a government-sponsored yoga conference in Beijing,” Tang said.

During his Beijing visit, Amolji said he found a strong inclination among the Chinese towards spiritualism. Apart from Amolji, several AOL teachers from Bangalore have visited and trained over two dozen Chinese spiritual teachers in Shanghai and Beijing in the last two years.

From TOI

August 15, 2010

Happy Independence !!

Filed under: Art of Living,Bharat Gyan,India,Yoga — Abhay @ 1:01 PM
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Happy Independence to all Indians and all good wishers of India!! :)

Enjoy the freedom and breathe easy. And recall all those who breathed their last for this moment.

Don’t celebrate only this day today, but every moment of freedom in this country.

May this be the moment of freedom for the entire mankind too, from misery, poverty, ignorance and illness, as India is the stronghold of spirituality and epitome of harmony in diversity.

May all those be free, who want to be.
Bharat Mata ki Jay !!
Vande Mataram!
Vande Mataram!
Sujalam suphalam,
malayaja shitalam,
Shasyashyamalam, Mataram!
Shubhrajyotsna pulakitayaminim,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim, sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam, varadam, Mataram!
Saptakotikantha kalakala ninada karale
Dvisaptakoti bhujair dhrita-khara karavale
Abala kena ma eta bale
Bahubala dharinim, namami tarinim,
Ripudalavarinim Mataram!
Tumi vidya, tumi dharma,
Tumi hridi, tumi marma,
Tvam hi pranah sharire!
Bahute tumi ma shakti,
Hridaye tumi ma bhakti,
Tomarayipratima gari mandire mandire!
Tvam hi Durga dashapraharana dharini,
Kamala, Kamaladalaviharini,
Vani,
vidyadayini namami tvam,

Namami Kamalam, amalam, atulam,
Sujalam, suphalam, Mataram,
Vande Mataram!
Shyamalam, saralam, susmitam, bhushitam,
Dharanim, bharanim, Mataram!
Vande Mataram!
***************************
Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Dark fields waving Mother of might,
Mother free.
Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow.
Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands
When the sword flesh out in the seventy million hands
And seventy million voices roar
Thy dreadful name from shore to shore?
With many strengths who art mighty and stored,
To thee I call Mother and Lord!
Though who savest, arise and save!
To her I cry who ever her foeman drove
Back from plain and Sea
And shook herself free.
Thou art wisdom, thou art law,
Thou art heart, our soul, our breath
Though art love divine, the awe
In our hearts that conquers death.
Thine the strength that nerves the arm,
Thine the beauty, thine the charm.
Every image made divine
In our temples is but thine.
Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen,
With her hands that strike and her
swords of sheen,
Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned,
And the Muse a hundred-toned,
Pure and perfect without peer,
Mother lend thine ear,
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
Bright with thy orchard gleems,
Dark of hue O candid-fair
In thy soul, with jewelled hair
And thy glorious smile divine,
Lovilest of all earthly lands,
Showering wealth from well-stored hands!
Mother, mother mine!
Mother sweet, I bow to thee,
Mother great and free
Translation by Shree Aurobindo
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