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German Ambassador observes his 65th Birthday with a difference


stiener2Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at German Ambassador’s Residence for Satsangh

By TN Ashok     Diplomatic Editor

New Delhi, Nov 28 : India’s renowned spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gave a religious discourse on  “ universal brotherhood” as the panacea for all the conflicts in the world including  Iraq as the German Ambassador Michael Steiner observed his 65th birthday with a difference in the capital at his residence with the guruji.

Dressed in sparkling white kurta- pyjama topped with the Nehru jacket, Steiner welcomed the guru before a distinguished gathering of diplomatic corps, academics, scholars, politicians, students and media at the satsangh with the message that guruji’s teachings were very relevant in today’s world of fast changing political and economic events.

Even as the German Ambassador’s satsangh was considered a lobbying effort by some in the political circles in the wake of the Sanskrit for German language in the curricula of kendriya vidyalayas controversy continued to brew, Steiner was at ease at the function describing it as an non-political event. The religious leader is considered close to the Centre.

The German ambassador had already told a press conference here Tuesday announcing the event it was  wrong to link it to a controversy. “The invitation to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was sent even before we had the new government. By the chronology of events and his acceptance you should have proof that the two are not connected. Six months ago I knew when my birthday was but could not foresee the (political) events. The invitation and acceptance of the invitation happened in spring. ” Steiner said.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar fresh from his visit to Iraq observed that the need of the hour was to have an attitudinal change in the mindsets of people in conflict zones in the world. The priority for all communities in the world was first to have the attitude that we are all human beings first, then citizens of the world, then of citizens of countries and then of the different religious faiths. “If this was understood clearly, there would be no conflict in this world”, he said recalling the hindu philosophy of Vasudeiva Kutumbakam ( the world is one family). .

Universal brotherhood is the panacea for all problems in the world, he said and regretted that in the conflict zones of the world these attitudes seemed to have reversed. .

Painting a grim picture of the war torn zones of Iraq, he said the common people had suffered a great deal. He said that in a particular area some 10,000 people had been either pushed or fled to the hills  where they had been living without food or water for days in pathetic living conditions.

The guruji said his mission to Iraq was to reach food supplies to the stranded and devastated population in Iraq. While his endeavour was to collect 10 tonnes of foodgrains he ended up collecting 110 tonnes of foodgrains due to the overwhelming response of humanitarian organisations and people which were airlifted and dropped to the affected communities in the west Asian nation.


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said one of the biggest socio economic problems of the world today was depression sweeping across the younger generation across several nations. Lack of connectivity was the main reason for this malaise. People tend to remain in their own shells. “The only remedy is to come out of the shell and reach out to others across communities and countries. The goal is to make a new friend every day and enlarge your circle for a larger family, he said.

Quoting an study of the American Psychiatric Society , he said it had made a startling discovery that the level of anxiety among school students today across the world was higher than the anxiety levels of the people in the asylums in the forties.

Behind every social problem one can easily trace an identity crisis of individuals in society as the main cause, he said adding that this again resulted from lack of connectivity among the people.

The guruji said if one were to go back in history and see , then you will find that only 268 years were spent in peaceful times or atmosphere by human beings in the world. This is just 8% of the total time spent by human species in the world. Rest of the time has seen only conflicts between different people in this world.

The atmosphere in schools too had become vicious leading to uncalled for violence, he said apparently referring to the gun culture in the united states and sporadic incidents of shoot outs in school campuses by armed students in united states as also some isolated incidents in india too.

This sort of atmosphere makes parents nervous to send their children to schools  fearing their safety and puts teachers  in a depressing state. The teachers go there to teach and build personalities of the students in the right mould to be ready for nation building activities, he said suggesting that violence in schools derailed all this.

The satsangh ended with a 10 minute meditation with the gathering praying for peace.