In my last trip to India, I was strolling for window shopping, in one of my favourite spots in New Delhi, when I heard some loud speaker announcements nearby.
I saw a Yogi on a big screen, speaking with utmost tranquility. Some of the words I could recall are:
“Want is always hanging on to the I. When the I itself is dissolving, want also dissolves, disappears.”
“How far to heaven? Just open your eyes and look. You are in heaven.”
There were a few other things he spoke. At the first instance all I could think was, ‘Had Kabir been alive, he would have said the same thing.’
As I attempted to take a picture from my mobile phone, a boy intercepted. Wondering if photography was not allowed, I told him “Okay I won’t.”
But he said, “No Didi, there are so many people in the way, I’ll have you take it from a better angle.”
I was quite surprised at his generosity.
While returning, I collected some leaflets from the Art of Living ( Sri Sri’Ravi Shanker’s Organisation) stall, one of which said:
To love someone whom you like is insignificant.
To love someone because they love you is of no consequence.
To love someone whom you do not like means you have learned a lesson in life.
To love someone who blames you for no reason shows that you have learned the Art of Living.
Back home, talking to an old college friend who still lives in Delhi, I mentioned the incident.
She said, “Yes it’s nice, but this is business. Pay fees and attend the classes. What you saw was their marketing section.”
When I heard of his trip to Pakistan and the news about his offer to teach peace to Taleban, I was intrigued, wondering:
‘How would it be taken as an offer by the ilk of Zaid Hamid, Gen Hamid Gul, or the Taleban themselves? Would they again rant of the Hindu agenda or the greater Zionist agenda.’
Instead of the Hindu agenda rant, I saw a couple of positive FB statuses and some tweets on the issue. A tweet worth the mention is:
“Sri Sri has already had a Positive Effect on Taliban! Mullah Omar is now calling himself Mullah Mullah Omar.”
Thankfully, instead of an offence, it was taken in lighter vain
Incidentally I happened to chat with the same friend on Facebook , and told her of his trip to Pakistan, and the Taliban offer story.
She said: “Oh come on, he is there to promote his AOL centres, one of which I know is located in the capital city. And again this is the marketing department at work.”
I again muttered to myself, ‘Well nothing wrong with it. One could consider this a social enterprise. We do have an epidemic of hatred in the world and he has provided a therapy for it, but at a price, which will work if it is cost effective.’
He did tour the AOL offices and camps in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. But to my utter dismay, before I could start to keep track of his Pakistan trip, and his talks with Taleban, I heard that he was back in India.
Wonder is he wasn’t allowed to approach Taleban, or was it not on the agenda?
I have no clue.
Anyways he did repeat his offer after coming back “There is a lot of violence in Pakistan and people are fed up, they want to live peacefully. If I could be of any help in bringing an end to the vicious cycle of violence, I am ready to talk to the Taliban,”
And that “We are all sufferers of stress, tension, violence and hatred – and small ways of easing out are all that you need,”
There is no doubt that the techniques which he uses for de-stressing are scientifically based.
The primary exercise, which they call Sudarshan Kriya is basically a deep breathing exercise which any psychologist you visit asks you to begin with, on de-stressing. There is a proper technique for it.
I can’t help being amused by the mere visual imagination of Mullah Mullah Omar sitting in a Padma Asana (lotus pose), with hands stretched over the knees, and breathing-in through nose and breathing-out through mouth.
How I wish that my friend is still proven wrong and some miracle asana (yoga position) comes up which exhales all hatred out of the heads of these radicals.
If that so happens, then I would also secretly whisper in Sri Sri’s ears to develop some Yoga position (asana) in which our politicians extend their arms in service of the masses, who vote them in, instead of flexing them, with hands reaching their own pockets.
And so will I also pray to Sri Sri to apply some tilak ( teeka) on the foreheads of our uniformed (on both the sides), so that they start seeing each other as friends and not enemies, and start piling books and medicines for the masses on both sides, instead of arsenals.
I would also beg Sri Sri with folded hands to ‘please please’ make some vibhuti ( spiritual ash) for our diplomats ( on both sides) which when touches their tongues gets them addicted to the taste of peace and makes them feel nauseated just at the sight of visa, passports, police verification etc etc.
Be it a profitable business or social enterprise, there’s no offence, if it is all intended to bring real peace, beyond just a marketing tool.