Monday, October 31, 2011

Opposing corruption is religion in itself: Sri Sri

VADODARA: Religious people's opposition to corruption is also a religion in itself. These were the words of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who is camping in Vadodara to attend Deepotsav celebrations.

An advance meditation course has begun in his presence. He stressed that if all selfless individuals agree to work for the nation then that will be very beneficial for the society.

"Our country needs sincere and honest people to serve the nation," he said on Saturday evening, while addressing more than 2,500 participants who are attending the course which will end on October 31.  Read More

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Modi, Sri Sri discuss rural, literacy schemes

VADODARA: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi met spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday. "It was a courtesy visit. He (Modi) had come for meditation," trustee of The Art of Living Ved Vignan Mahavidyapeeth Mehul Parikh told mediapersons after Modi held a closed door meeting with Sri Sri at The Art of Living Gujarat Ashram at Anklavwadi near Vasad in Anand district.

"Whenever Guruji is in Gujarat, Modi visits him. Guruji does meditation in the morning and Modi also joined him," Parikh said.

Addressing mediapersons on Saturday evening in Vadodara, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, "Modi came and discussed ways to strengthen rural infrastructure. He apprised me of the ongoing projects of Gujarat government. We also discussed means to achieve 100 per cent literacy among women in rural areas."

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Law alone not sufficient to curb corruption: Ravi Shankar

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has said law alone is not sufficient to curb corruption and a moral and spiritual wave has to be created to tackle the menace.
“A law is necessary (to tackle graft). However, a law alone cannot bring down corruption.
A moral and spiritual wave has to be created (to deal with the issue),” the Art of Living founder said in a statement last night. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said he will continue to fight against corruption.
Two days back, he had administered an oath to nearly one lakh people, asking them not to give or accept bribe. Read More

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sam Johnson to receive Humanitarian Award from Art of Living Foundation

Art of Living Foundation New Zealand has chosen Sam Johnson as the recipient of its inaugural Humanitarian Award. Sam was chosen for his contribution to the Christchurch community in setting up the Student Volunteer Army after the 4 September 2010 and 22 February 2011 earthquakes.

AOL NZ president Mrs Rashmi Bhatia will present the award at a public ceremony open to all. A short DVD showcasing the work of the Foundation will follow, and the opportunity to chat with Sam over refreshments.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Essence of charity

India for long had a tradition of charity. Several hospitals, rest-houses, ponds and temples were built by business houses for the benefit of the poor. We need to bring back that sense of social responsibility, says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Money gives us a sense of freedom and ownership. The general feeling is that with money, we can own anything or put a price tag to other people’s services. Ownership of something means total control of its existence. When we pay for a piece of land, we feel that we own it, although the land continues to exist even after the owner is long gone. How can you own something that outlives you? Money also gives the idea that you are powerful and independent, blinding you to the fact that we live in a world of interdependence. We depend on farmers, cooks, drivers and the services of so many other people around us. Even a surgeon cannot operate on himself; he depends on others. Why are most rich people arrogant? It is because of the feeling of independence that money brings. The awareness of dependence, on the other hand, makes one humble.
These days, we go to a great extent of measuring people in terms of their net worth on the money scale. Can money reflect the worth of a person? Calling someone a millionaire or a billionaire is not a compliment. You cannot assign a monetary value to human life. When people lack faith in divinity, in their own abilities and in the goodness of society, they suffer from a deep sense of insecurity. Then all that appears to provide security is money. In other words, money can provide an illusory sense of security. It is due to these notions that money is considered a part of maya. The truth is that human values erode when you put a price tag on all that cannot be measured, like love, truth, wisdom and life itself.
On the other extreme, there are those who criticise money and blame it for all ills in society. There are others who even consider it evil. Not only does possessing money bring arrogance, rejecting it does, too. People who renounce money take pride in their poverty, just to draw attention and sympathy. However, the ancient sages never denigrated money or maya. In fact, they honoured it as a part of the divine and thereby transcended the grip of its illusion. They knew the secret that when you reject or hate something, you can never transcend it. They honoured wealth as Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Narayan. She is born out of yoga. It is yoga that transforms the bad karma and brings out latent skills and talent. It also brings up ashtasiddhis — the eight perfections, and nava nidhis — the nine gems. It is this wisdom of yoga that helps one transform arrogance into humility, the burden of dependence into the realisation of interdependence, craving for freedom into recognition of unboundedness, a limited ownership into oneness with the whole.
In the 11th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says, “Win the war with enemies and enjoy a prosperous empire.” Krishna’s advice was not for a recluse but a prince. The entireBhagavad Gita is focussed on the prince who had to shoulder a huge responsibility, encounter complex situations and deal with complicated human relations to make the country prosperous. Any business empire has to perform all these functions. The Dharmashastras advise a man to divide wealth into five portions: One portion for spiritual and religious purposes; the second for charity and society; the third portion for the growth of the wealth; the fourth for oneself and one’s own comforts; and, finally, the fifth portion should be kept for one’s family.
The most intelligent thing would be to undertake all the charitable works during one’s lifetime. However, when you write a will, you must give a substantial portion for charitable work. Certainly, you can’t conduct business with a charitable mindset, but when it comes to enjoying the fruits of your business, you should have a charitable mind. The charity, however, should be self-sustainable. It should create more wealth instead of perpetuating the cycle of poverty and dependence. Governments alone cannot do this; it is a social partnership with NGOs and business organisations. If every business undertakes corporate social responsibility of investing 10 per cent of its profit in developing rural areas, this planet will have no hunger, disease and illiteracy.
It is said that the GDP of a country should be now measured with GDH, Gross Domestic Happiness factor. So whether it is economy or politics, social entrepreneurship or any other activity, everything is centred around one fact: Welfare of the society. Ethics form one of the backbones of wellness and business forms its wings. India for long had a tradition of charity by business houses. Most hospitals, dharamshalas (rest-houses for pilgrims), talaabs (ponds) and temples were built by the moneyed classes. We need to bring back that sense of contributing and taking pride in giving.
Spirituality is recognising the truth that a divine power is managing creation and your life. Integrity, charity and compassion are all virtues that are essential by-products of spirituality. The extent of calm and dynamism, compassion and shrewdness indicates the depth of your spirituality. Instead of thinking – “what can I gain from this world?” — think “what can I do for the world?” When everyone will think about contributing to society, we will have a divine society.
So, we have to educate and culture our individual consciousness to expand in that direction. There should be spirituality in politics, corporate social responsibility in business and secularism in religion. This value shift has to happen.  (Message Courtesy)

Sri Sri inaugurates Ayurveda hospital

BANGALORE: Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar inaugurated a new campus for the Sri Sri College of Ayurveda Science and Research Hospital located inside the Art Of Living campus on Kanakpura road on Friday.
The hospital offers free consultation and a variety of Ayurveda treatments including surgery and dentistry. “We shall aim to promote well being and not just treat diseases,” said Dr Seema, Head of Department. Discussing the dentistry treatments being offered, she explained that the treatments are carried out without anesthesia. “There is a particular way of turning the face which acts as a natural anesthesia, this results in anesthesia free dental operations,” she explained. “We shall also aim at treating the rural population at these premises, people who are well off can pay or else we won’t charge them,” said Sri Sri Ravishankar while speaking at the launch.
Medical Education minister S A Ramdas also announced that the college will soon get permission to conduct PG courses.  Read More

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar releases book of Nitin Gadkari's speeches

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Saturday released a book containing the speeches of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari with a call to "spiritualise politics and guide every political action" by ethics.
The book in Hindi, titled Vikas Ke Path (Road to Development), was released in the presence of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and BJP leaders including LK Advani.
Sri Sri said there was a need to "spiritualise politics, socialise business and secularise reliegion". Read More