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Malta TV Presenter and Producer Clare Agius interviewed H.H. Sri Sri Ravi shankar in an exclusive programme filmed in Germany in the European Centre of the Art of Living.
The program starts with the chanting of Om Namah Shivaya.
Clare Agius starts the interview by thanking Guruji for his time despite the very busy schedule for which she is very grateful to him and is very appreciative.
Clare: I would like to start the interview by asking a few questions which I prepared with the people of Malta and my first question would be to introduce Art of Living. Would you kindly tell me how you were inspired to set up Art of Living and take it to the world?
Guruji: Whe I came up with the course in 1981 thought it very useful as it brings joy and smile in every one's life, relieves stress, unites family, the society and community. Hatred disappears from life and want it to go to every corner of the planet.
Clare: Now you are in Malta as well!
Clare: Malta is a very Catholic country and people are very devoted. How can you integrate what you teach into our belief system?
Guruji: You deserve basic way to relief your stress. And it does not interfere in one's faith or religion. Like Yoga or Meditation they boost one's immune system, brings certain softness in mind and heart and helps one to pray deeply in whatever faith or religion they are following. It is in fact complimentary to the faith one is following rather than contradictory.
Clare: If I had to ask you who were the people that inspired you in your life and how you became a spiritual leader?
Guruji: In fact when I was a young boy my teacher was one who studied with Mahatma Gandhi. He used to tell us stories and how he was teaching Gandhi the Bhagawat Geetha and all the incidents that took place at that time. In fact my mother is also my very great source of inspiration and in India we all grow up with stories of saints and heroes.
Clare: How does one become a spiritual leader?
Guruji: It is the society which makes the leader and not the leader himself. I kept sharing with people what I know and talking what I know and then people get inspired and start teaching others. So it is a chain reaction that goes on.
Clare: But what you know is so simple and yet deep it is knowledge, it belongs to everyone, but how did it come to you?
Guruji: If I ask you a poet how did a poem come to you, what do they say? So they just sat with a pen and it started flowing out of it. In the same way it started flowing, the whole knowledge, started happening. I took a 10 day of silence and later on started teaching Some of the practices of course are there from 5000 years. Ancient tradition where there it kept it very secret to themselves. In India generally people do not give very high knowledge to everybody. They say only a worthy person will come and teach. I said this is not correct because this is is very precious and valuable knowledge. It will of use to the whole humanity. You cant hold it to just yourself, your community, your people. Anything is useful to the whole humanity should be thrown to the whole world and that step of course I tool it. Initially some people were not so happy about it but now everybody appreciates it.
Clare: Did your message change from first what you had started to now through the years depending on what people wanted to hear at tht time?
Guruji: No, the message is the same. The presentations are a little dinnerent from place to place, culture and communities, educational standards of people. That is different of course for business poeple it is presented differently with business jargons. And for student community with more games. But the principles are the same, to see a violence and stress free society and to have a healthy body mind complex.
Transcribed By Lakshmi Ravishankar