"What you cannot win with guns, you can win through love. The most powerful thing in the world is love," says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living and the first Indian spiritual leader to visit Pakistan.
The Art of Living is celebrating 30 years. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder, is a humanitarian, spiritual leader and an ambassador of peace. He 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 We should try it again and again even if we have to try it 100 times. So I want to talk to them, understand them and give them my opinion; we can definitely make a difference,” Ravi Shankar said during an interaction with the public and media in the Pakistani capital.
Someone was asked what he thought was the most important outcome of Sri Sri visiting Pakistan.
He said it was that it would bring Pakistan closer to India, not close to US.
Sri Sri was warmly welcomed by the Pakistani media and people. He met key decision makers, politicians and business people at a luncheon in Lahore.
Sri Sri received a rousing reception at Pakistani border. Peace doves and balloons were released and he was showered with rose petals on arrival. The science of Ayurveda and Yoga was born in Takshashila which is in Pakistan, said Sri Sri in Lahore.
Affectionately called Guruji by his devotees, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was born on May 13, 1956, at Papanasam in Tamil Nadu and was given the name Ravi Shankar Ratnam. (His birthday is being celebrated this Sunday, May 13, at the Mount Roskill Intermediate School from 6pm to 9pm).
He founded the Art of Living 30 years ago.
“My vision is a violence-free, stress-free world,” says Sri Sri. Art of Living is an international, non-profit, educational and humanitarian organisation which has its headquarters in Bangalore, India.
Apart from the humanitarian work it does, it has its courses to improve health which are offered in many countries including New Zealand. I have personally benefited from these courses and know of others who have benefited in different ways also.
The sudarsankriya is a powerful breathing technique for eliminating stress. It became the centre piece of the art of living course. One could even say that the art of living course is in fact the art of breathing as one learns to breathe out all the negative things from the system leaving only the positive energy inside leaving us with no stress.
Appealing not only to a specific population, these practices have proven effective globally and at all levels of society Art of Living also has programmes for the youth.
On New Zealand TV they showed the programme “World’s Strictest Parents”. In it there were these two young people whom the parents found difficult to manage and sent them to India. The couple with whom they were to spend their time in India took them to Guruji’s ashram and they spent some time there which they enjoyed and came back reformed. This was shown on NZTV a few weeks ago.