RENOWNED spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar used World Environment Day to remind people to take care of the planet as it is closely linked to our physical and mental health.
“We need to keep the environment happy for us to be happy.
“Just like the planet, our minds are polluted, stressed and unhappy.
“When we are stressed and unhappy, we tend to pollute the environment much more,” he told thousands of people who had gathered at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre to hear his talk, “Are You Happy? Uncover Your Inner Joy Through Meditation and Knowledge”.
Ravi pointed out that the environment does not only encompass plants, trees and mountains.
“We are also part of the environment. Caring for each other and seeing that we are all happy is part of the environment, don’t you agree?” he asked the audience who had come from all over Malaysia as well as Singapore.
Ravi said humans not only physically pollute the environment but mentally, emotionally and spiritually, too.
He emphasised that happiness is an inborn quality but people lose it over time due to stress, wrong indoctrination and ignorance of human values.
This leads to anger and depression and the key to restoring happiness is through meditating, celebrating life by taking part in art and cultural activities as well as serving those in need, said the Art of Living (AOL) founder.
“If you sit with a person who is angry, upset and negative for 10 minutes, how do you feel when you walk away from them?
“Will you not carry a little bit of their frustration with you?
“Alternatively, when you spend time with those who are happy, like little children, don’t you feel overwhelmed with joy?” asked Ravi, who founded AOL in 1981 after devising a powerful breathing technique called sudarshan kriya, which is said to harmonise the mind and body, relieve stress as well as increase energy levels.
Ravi said we should return to our true nature.
“We need to get rid of stress and mistrust of each other and start bringing a sense of celebration in our life.
“Do you feel the celebration of being with 5,000 people with many more around the world online?” he asked the audience before telling them to greet the person sitting next to or behind them.
“I can see your faces brightening up with warmth and love all around,” he said amidst shouts of woh aini (“I love you” in Chinese) from the audience.
“You can see how we convey more through our vibrations than our words,” said Ravi, adding the path to purity is through positive vibrations.
“Our mind is so sensitive it can catch other thought waves and vibrations. Happiness is the unpolluted vibrations that come from within you.”
Ravi said meditation purifies our environment through vibrations as it can transform negative vibes to positive ones, hatred to love, frustration to confidence, despair to hope and ignorance to intuition.
During his interactive two-hour session, Ravi also fielded questions from the audience ranging from tackling procrastination to overcoming grief and dealing with teenage children.
Also present were Health Ministry deputy director-general (medical) Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai and his wife, Datin Sunita Rajakumar, Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam, Klang MP Charles Santiago and MCA Public Services and Complaints Department chief Datuk Seri Michael Chong.
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