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`Spirituality in politics can keep corruption at bay`

Last Updated: Sunday, April 24, 2011 - 10:15

New Delhi: Integration of spirituality
into politics will create "a sense of responsibility and
belongingness" in people which is essential to ward off
corruption, spiritual gurus have suggested.

"Spirituality will have to be brought into politics as
it will provide a new direction to the country. We all have to
work towards it," the Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar said in an e-mail interview.

"Corruption begins where a sense of belonging ends.
Nobody tries to cheat their own family. Such crisis can be
resolved by adopting spirituality which extends
belongingness," he said.

Mentioning Mahatma Gandhi who coalesced spirituality
with politics and cultivated a spiritual outlook among people
during the freedom struggle, Ravi Shankar said, "It was this
power that M K Gandhi used to secure us freedom..."

Echoing similar sentiments was Brahma Kumari Shivani,
an international spiritual organisation speaker, who said
cultivating spiritual values makes one responsible.

"Responsibility means the ability to respond to
various situations. Once, we have the right set of values, our
response will be ethical," the renowned motivational speaker

Anna Hazare`s peaceful anti-corruption campaign can be
seen in this context as a case study illustrating the power of
peace and non-violence which are the tenets of spirituality.

The possibility of such integration in politics is probable as
people today are ready to change unlike olden days owing to
high level of stress, they said.

"The biggest fear and challenge that humanity faces
today, I feel, is stress. There is fear among the poor to make
their ends meet, among the rich as they are occupied by greed,
jealousies and insecurities," Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said.

However, he has no intentions to enter into politics
as reform and administration are two different streams.

While Shivani attributes the increasing corruption to
the erosion of basic values leading to the degeneration of
mankind, Ravi Shankar says it flourishes "because of the
corrupt and those who feed the corrupt".

Spirituality, Shivani explained, is a "holistic
concept" encompassing all religions. "Every religion`s core
values are love, harmony, brotherhood, and peace. It tells us
to implement this religion of peace religiously".

Ravi Shankar, similarly calls "religion the banana
skin and spirituality the banana itself. The misery in the
world is, we throw away the banana and hold on to the skin."

Reaching out to fundamentalists, he said, "There is
only one God in many forms. When you accept the variety of
Divinity, you cease to be a fanatic and fundamentalist."

They lack understanding of other religions, prophets
and their books and confining themselves to a limited
identity, he added.


First Published: Sunday, April 24, 2011 - 10:15
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