Lakhs connect online with Sri Sri
By Express News Service | Published: 27th June 2013 08:23 AM |
When renowned humanitarian and founder of Art of Living Sri Sri Ravi Shankar took to Facebook with a live event recently, the modern social network turned into a lively global platform for seeking solace, guidance and action from the ancient Indian spiritual wisdom. Lakhs of people also participated in a meditation led by Sri Sri.
The interaction focused on issues ranging from love, relationships, maintaining faith in times of calamities, addictions, depression, success, and societal violence.
Live stream reported that 148 countries logged in for a face to face chat with Sri Sri.
In his pragmatic style, Sri Sri offered solutions that were universal. To a question from a civil society group in Pakistan on how to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan, he emphasised on the need for educating the masses about the oneness of creation. “We are a one world family. Our
first and foremost identity is that we are part of life. The rest of our identities are secondary,” he said.
On a question from a group of Art of Living volunteers engaged in relief missions in Uttarakhand, on how to instill faith in people who have lost everything while on a pilgrimage, he advised them to see the calamities in a holistic way and keep faith.
“God and Nature are always impartial. God is not only in Kedarnath; he is everywhere.” Sri Sri regretted that pilgrim centres in India have been neglected for long and emphasised on having a better infrastructure. He also voiced his concern on the negligence towards the environment at these places.
He shared how Art of Living volunteers have spontaneously responded to the situation, by providing all possible aids. “These are the times that test us. We must extend our hand to those who need us.” He also lauded the efforts of defence personnels and volunteers of other NGOs who are doing a tremendous work for providing relief and solace to stranded people.
Talking about social uprisings in different parts of the world, Sri Sri called for making non-violence as the guiding principle for any agitation and movement. “We need to see that the demonstrations are peaceful, because they are against a cause, not a person.” he said responding to a question from Marcelo Freixo, Congressman from Brazil.
Questions poured in from various parts of the globe from eminent people such as Monika Griefahn, Former Member of the German Parliament and co-founder of Greenpeace Germany; Ricardo E Harvey, Coordinator of the program of Security, Corraentes, Argentina; Shirin Ibrihem Fattah Amedi, secretary-general of Iraq, Kurdish Women’s Union and civil society members from countries like Korea, Turkey and Iran. In several cities, people also hosted local events to watch the programme in groups. “We have always seen Facebook as casual medium for fun and time pass. Today’s event made me realise it could well be a powerful tool for social transformation,” said Shweta Vyas, a viewer from Mumbai.