Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Speaks on What Keeps India Together

Recently Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar from Art of Living, shared his thoughts in ‘Manthan’, a virtual conference on “an Idea Of India”. Here is an excerpt from Gurudev’s speech. 

The vedas say, ‘Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma’ – Here, everything is filled with divinity. In India, we have immensely diverse cultures, languages, races, religions, cuisine and art forms that change every few kilometers. India has continued to move ahead and prosper taking along this diversity, while many other erstwhile nations were not able to sustain such diversity and they disintegrated. What holds India together? 

There is a bond underlying this diversity that ties India into one consciousness. This idea is what is unique and special about India – Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam (‘the world is one family’). When everyone is made from the light of that one Creator, there is no ‘other’. This idea defines spirituality and it is such an expanded perspective that can bring a sense of belongingness to everyone. We need to rekindle this feeling of love and oneness again and again. Saints and faqirs have repeatedly been pointing towards the oneness of God throughout the ages. 

Why is it so important to remember and be aware of this? We cannot afford to forget this art of taking everyone along. If we remember this, that we have so much belongingness, then how can hate and discontentment persist, in the name of religion and caste? If someone spreads hate, then such minds need healing. 

People who stoke fear and apprehension are few but their voice is prominent. Such people create anxiety and doubt in others. It is easy to consider someone as an enemy under such influence. But we need to stay away from that path of hatred and separation, and keep alive the Indian values of belongingness and unity. With the ongoing pandemic, the whole world is undergoing fear and uncertainty about the future, economy, livelihoods and then we are seeing violence, protests and tension in different places. There is no better time to spread positivity in the world than now, to give an assurance to the world that there are enough and more people who have goodness and peace in their hearts. People who create disturbance may be few but their actions are loud. The voice of peace must get louder. People who are peace-loving, who want to contribute positively, who want to embrace everyone, such people must now come forward. 

(Excerpt from Gurudev’s talk at ‘Manthan’, an Idea Of India conference)

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