Buenos Aires, Sep 9 Hundreds of youth packed the circular hall in Buenos Aires University to listen to Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living (AoL) Foundation and seek peace through his teachings and breathing exercises.
“About 1,200 students reading science and medicine courses in the university registered for entry into the Le Aula Maema hall as they are also in search of peace and happiness with the help of an Indian master,” AoL national coordinator, Beatriz Goyoaga, told an IANS correspondent who is part of a journalist group brought here by the Art of Living Foundation.
As it was a conference for educators, faculty members including secretary Catalaono Nunez and a host of public representatives were present to interact with Ravi Shankar and award him with an honorary degree and certificate as a citizen of Buenos Aires.
Even as late-comers and gate-crashers hustled into the crowded historic hall with an imposing central dome, walled paintings, ornate fittings and wooden chairs, youth cheered, screamed and waved hands as the bearded guru, clad in cream coloured flowing robes stepped on to the stage for an over hour-long programme.
While the faculty and public representatives interacted with the guru in the ante room before his address on ‘Educating is Inspiring’, the excited audience was treated to a couple of compositions of Mozart, the 18th century German classical musician.
“The conference has been organised by the university’s faculty of medicine to lay a foundation for comprehensive education with human values, knowledge and personality development,” Goyoaga said on the margins of the event in the city centre.
Accepting the warm greetings and hospitality extended to him, the smiling AoL founder told the euphoric youth that their large presence, invitation and honour were a recognition for the philosophy of life.
“Student life is an important aspect of one’s life. If it makes an impression, then the rest of your life would be based on solid foundation. Student life never ends, as it continues throughout life to evolve from inhibition to intellect. If intellect is inhibited, then growth gets stunted. Hence, get rid of inhibition,” the guru said, amid thunderous applause.
Sharing his observations and experiences during his world tours over the past decade, Ravi Shankar told the undergraduates to learn the best from fellow beings in other countries and imbibe their work culture, values and skills for improving their welfare and quality of life.
“As a global citizen, everyone has something to offer. For instance, Japanese are best known for team work, Germans for precision-making technology, Americans for multiple skills, British for etiquette and Indians for human values. If you go to even an Indian village, you will find the spirit of sharing and caring,” he recalled.
Ravi Shankar said Argentina was known the world over for tango (a ballroom dance that originated in Buenos Aires and marked by rhythms, postures and abrupt pauses) and Brazil for samba dance.
“Latin America is a vibrant continent with rich natural resources and hardworking people, especially women. As each country has specific skills, they should share them for leading a better life with peace and happiness,” the spiritual leader observed.
The Indian spiritual leader, who has following around the world, said as the world had shrunk into a global village, the younger generation should take advantage of digital technologies to access information, knowledge and wisdom from across the world.
“We need to accept wisdom from everyone and everywhere. It is petty to think only as Latin, American, Asian, African and Europeans and limit to our soil, country, race, culture and tradition. We should be open to wisdom from East to West and North to South to be connected intellectually, morally, culturally and spiritually.”
Expressing anguish over increasing stress levels, violence and drug addiction affecting lives of thousands of Latin youth, Ravi Shankar said the only way to combat the social menace was to adopt proper means of living by inculcating right values in schools, colleges and local communities.
“One way to prevent a miserable life is to inculcate human values in school and college curriculum and impart wisdom to make youth think positive and give up suicidal tendencies, depression, revenge and hatred. Prayer and meditation will help in orienting and regulating the mind towards noble things and ideals in life,” he added.
Headquartered in India’s tech hub Bangalore, the three-decades-old non-profit AoL works for the cause of humanity and offers yoga courses for stress management and welfare measures for the common good of people across the globe.
Spread across 151 countries the world over, it works for world peace with a universal society free from stress and violence.