Sunday, February 17, 2013
Give Everything You Have
"You’ll either win or make others win!" says Art of Living founder SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR in a ‘Google Hangout’ event streamed live recently at speakingtree.in on the theme, ‘For a violence-free, stress-free society’
When the media talks about injustice, especially crimes against women, it reflects the anger in society, but the media is often accused of provoking negative sentiments. Do you think so too?
—Arnab Goswami, TV anchor
Sri Sri: We need to look at life holistically; it’s not one thing that could cure the ills of society. Spirituality also has its components; it needs to be combined with social work, creating public awareness and a proactive attitude towards justice and peace. All this and the injustice being perpetrated, need media exposure. But sometimes, when we overdo anything, it can cause nausea among people. There is a limit that you have to find for yourself; nobody else can find that limit for you. There is a limit to our exposing the negative tendencies that are there in society, and at the same time, give positive solutions as well. It’s easy to be part of a problem, but to be part of a solution, it needs some effort, and that effort needs to be put together. And if every individual takes the responsibility to turn negative sentiments or events into a more positive happening, then we will be able to build a better society.
Sports and games are supposed to be stress busters, but they have become so big and competitive that they themselves have become stressful. What can be done about that?
—Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lankan cricketer
Sri Sri: Sports is meant to be enjoyed, whether you win or lose. It’s how you play the game. When you give your 100 per cent, there is only one option left with you — either you win or make others win, there is no losing at all. And making others win should also be considered a great thing. Today, war has become a game, and game has become war; we have to reverse this. Games should bring joy from beginning to end. In the same way, the attitude of both spectators and players needs to be free of stress. For sportspersons, I would recommend a bit of meditation and some breathing (exercises) everyday; that would help you keep your enthusiasm alive, energise you and bring a smile to your face.
Europe faces economic crisis. You can see aggression in a lot of countries; people are desperate; it’s growing, and the response of governments is very often hopeless and they’re helpless. What can be done at the global level?
—Jo Leinen, European Parliament member representing Germany
Sri Sri: We need to create peace ambassadors, peace healers in society, and counsellors. When we see people’s energies going down due to economic or social reasons, they can come and enthuse them, bring a sense of community living, bring back festivities; help people to reduce tension and depression. I know depression is a big issue in Europe, especially in economic crisis; but when people understand that they are not alone and there is a whole group there with a good heart, and they are going to support them, then there is strength. You need to create this awareness and one has to learn how to go deep inside so that anxiety and frustration disappear and intuitive awareness or abilities dawn. When we are more intuitive, we know what is going to happen and know to manage any crisis; confidence and strength come naturally. Spiritual practices would help.
How would you advise the people of the Caribbean to become stress-free and more peaceful?
—Shaggy, Grammy award winner from Jamaica
Sri Sri: You teach someone how to ride a bicycle once; it is not forgotten for life. Like you teach someone alphabets once — in the same way, we need to teach people how to manage their aggression, jealousies, anger — these negative emotions, which are natural, anyway, will come up. Like cell phones have reached every home; we also need to bring them this technique, that through their own breath, they can transform negative emotions into positive ones. Along with this, inspire them to do some social work together, (provide help) to the more needy and poor; because serving opens hearts, it helps us to come out of our little cocoons and see the world from a larger perspective.
How to make youth realise that they are the future of this world?
—Strings, Music group from Pakistan
Sri Sri: Youth love music and they listen to you. You can instil the dream in them to work for a better society, and to take responsibility. Youth are intelligent; they are open to words of wisdom. As musicians, you can inspire them to take responsibility, to create a violence-free, stress-free, better world. When youth take responsibility, there can be some ups and downs; they need constant reminder of their dream and encouragement to walk on the path despite obstacles that they may face.
Bastar, which was once famous for environmental beauty, peace and simplicity, is today grappling with violence, drugs and alcohol addictions. How to be free of this?
—Group from Bastar, Chhattisgarh
Sri Sri: Youngsters like you, who want freedom, can work towards this. Once we start taking the right step in the right direction, and work with the intention that we need peace and we need to get out of addictions, we will be able to do so.
Unconditional love is the key to creativity; but why do most scientists believe that spirituality plays an insignificant role in scientific discovery?
—Myron Scholes, winner, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
Sri Sri: It’s all between the right and left brain. Many scientists are realising today that there is an emotional quotient and a spiritual quotient which definitely work, and can’t be ignored. Recent research indicates that meditation, singing and chanting have tremendous impact on the system and even at the DNA level. We need to avoid getting blocked by prejudice of any sort, because it is unscientific. Unfortunately, even some scientists today get clogged by or calcified by prejudice. They need to keep themselves young, always update themselves with the latest scientific data, and keep that window of possibility open where the spirit or spirituality plays a definite role.
Growing up, we never heard of ‘stress’. Now it’s such a common word. I wonder what has caused this in the last 20 years. How do we get rid of it? Is there a mantra?
—Rajkumar Hirani, Filmmaker
Sri Sri: Too much to do, too little time and no energy; this is the formula for stress. You can’t be in stress for too long; you need to get rid of it. So, usually people go, drink a bit, take some drugs to get rid of it. But it doesn’t really go away from the system; it stays within. That’s where meditation, breathing exercises, and all spiritual practices come in handy; they help you to release them. So, today, you can increase your energy level; then you find that your needs are fulfilled much more easily and effortlessly, so there’s no stress. When you make an effort to share what you already have, that doesn’t bring you stress because you are so happy and joyful when you give joy to others. You have done a great movie and you want to share that with everybody; day and night you work for it, it doesn’t bother you so much. From somewhere, you find that energy because you are doing something not for yourself, but for the sake of everyone else.