Recently, Patna gasped in the spiritual glow that the
architect of the famous Art of Living programme reverentially
referred to as "Sri Sri Ravishankar" spread
in Bihar capital. The popular religious guru organised
a camp in the city's sprawling Gandhi Maidan that drew
people from across the state, as well from the neighbouring
Like many others, I noticed that Ravishankar is immensely
popular among young doctors, engineers, officials and
other professionals mainly from the middle class. Many
of them probably suffer from work-related stress.
Ravishankar's lessons and meditation techniques help ease
the tension and stress, helping one to be more at ease
and fit, too. I personally know many professors, engineers
and babus in Patna and Ranchi, who are ardent followers
of Ravishankar and religiously exercise the sudarshan
kriya (a breathing exercise) that was "revealed"
to the guru during his 10 days of penance by a quiet river
in Karnataka. And among his devotees, he has followers
of other religions, too.
I have so far not attended any of his camps. But his popularity
aroused in me enough curiosity to inspire me to read about
him and watch his programmes on television. Personally,
I can't claim to possess much knowledge of yoga or the
different stages of meditation. But then, the subject
is not absolutely new to me, either. I had once stayed
in the company of a very kind-hearted sage Ramanuj Ojha,
hailing from central Bihar, who supported me emotionally
and in my education during my struggling days in Patna
University through the 1980s.
on the basis of whatever knowledge I have gathered by
reading about the yoga of Patanjali, Sankhya philosophy
of Kapil and the sayings of Ramakrishna, I can say that
apart from the concept of sudarshan kriya, Ravishankar
doesn't say anything new.
interpretation of Patanjali's yoga on a TV channel these
days bears a striking resemblance to what Vivekananda
said in his Raj Yoga, Karma Yoga, Gyan Yoga and Bhakti
Yoga. Ravishankar deserves an acclamation as he bears
a striking resemblance to the great Indian sages like
Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Vivekananda, Nanak and Chaitanya,
who loved and treated equally Christianity, Buddhism and
all other faiths.
find it heartening to learn that the real sages of our
country have always taught love for other faiths and not
the communalism that the RSS variety bigots spread.
I fully support the stressed out modern generation if
they go to Ravishankar or Ramdeo. For they will at least
learn what the Indian philosophy and yoga are all about.
(Courtesy The Telegraph)
solution for all problem that is Law and order, creating
jobs, economic progress lies in the mind of people. You
can give them education and memory from books. but it only
goes in the mind and they forget next day. You have to work
at the root from where the public behaviour originates then
only they/society can change.
So spiritual sadhana like meditation/reflections which works
on the deeper level ( heart) and create goodness, work,
Vipassana meditation is one of them. Maharashtra govt give
paid leave to its officers who can do this course. Similarly
a lot of guru and seminar leaders should be invited to Bihar
regularly. Training institute (On attitude and goodness)
should be promoted by celebrity like movie star so people
can come. This can only change the map of Bihar. This way
you are working at the root from where all the problems
originates. We should learn from rich and developed nations.
They focus on how to download as much goodness in the heart/mind
of people. I am glad bihar govt has put Budha's photo on
web site. Its inspiring that says we want to change for
really wonder the hoity-toity yoga guru Sri x 2 Ravi Shankar
and his ardent supporter author really have anything to
do with the hoi-polloi of the country... teaching spiritualism
and Indian philosophy is fine but at an astronomical price
as fee??... at a state guest honour??...with all the modish
kind of ladies and suave pretending mens deliberately [irritentingly]
chanting Jai Gurudeo???...
Can the enlightend author specify how many poor people who
really need Sri x2 Ravi Shankar's spiritual gyan attended
his three-four days camp in Patna... How many of them could
even meet him?....can the illuminated author tell us does
Sri x2 Ravi Shankar pays taxes to the country for the payment
he takes as fee from the common citizens[ I'm told he doesn't]
.... and above all, can the author enlighten us has spiritualism
been confined only to the middle class who just mesmerised
with any sort of Babas... snakes refusing to unwind at a
temple stature... dieties drinking milk...god impressions
appearing on walls... trees and what not!!!!...Aren't they
the same middle class who follows the trademark Sudarshan
Kriya of Sri x 3,4,... My gradfather and his wife both died
at the age of approaching eighty-five and they did it without
any of Sri x2 Ravi Shankar's kriyas or gyans....
Spiritualism at the cost of all the paraphernalias with
which these colourful so called gurus and Babas move around
in the country, i think, could be anything but not gyan
of Indian Yoga or philosphy[as the author has written]...Patna
is not a sick city, neither a place where people just overeat
and be a walking class... chatting class citizen... its
still has a large chunk of people who earns enough to feed
their mouth daily... it still has only 2 persons --that
is below than even Andaman & Nicobar, who gets emplyement
in a year through state employement exchange.. and it still
has largest lowest per capita income, literacy level, helath
hygiene and for that matter, everything that is below on
the development index...
So, the Sri x 4,5,6.. i think should not move around drapped
in silken fabric with gold-border, with common tit-bits
of gyan... ever-ready smile [could smile comes naturally
at anyone's face all the time???] and in siren-fitten cars
with fleets of them following on the congested roads of
a city like Patna... he along with his supporter author
should do something on concrete level for the overall social,
economic, intellectual development of the state instead
of reiterating same things of yoga.. spiritualism, philosophy,
gyan, at different times and different places...
They should be confined only to the TV where they look more
glowing and mesmerising... or, perhaps their acting make
them so... Pls bear with us let us live our life without
all your personal feelings of gyan and dhyan... Let us Work,
as my grandfather the one who died at eightyfive used to
say, work is the only worship and worship of dieties, babas
and gurus cannot be work....
Amarnath Tewary, Patna
Author is the Ranchi based special correspondent of the Telegraph