Nation first priority: Art of Living founder

Posted on: Thursday, February 28, 2013

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“IHAD been a drug addict for long when I took a seven-day Art of Living course. The Sudarshan Kriya gave me new life. I am now completely cured of my substance habit,” said Manoj Bhattarai, a teenager from Nawalparasi. Bhattarai shared his experiences at a programme launching the Volunteers For A Prosperous Nepal (VFAPN) campaign, amid the presence of spiritual guru Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living (AOL) organisation, at the Police Academy in Maharajgunj on Wednesday. 
At the programme, Sri Sri commented on Nepal’s transitional political state. “Our first priority must be the nation, second can be the party and only third can be I. This way of thinking can bring peace, prosperity and real happiness,” he said. “We have been involved in cutting and fragmenting things. Now it is time to sew things together with the rope of humanity.” Addressing a packed crowd of businesspersons, intellectuals, civil servants, political leaders and students, Sri Sri also lauded Nepal’s natural beauty. “Nepal is a beautiful country. Three very special things are here—it is the birthplace of the Buddha, the tallest peak in the world, Mount Everest, lies here and it has a history of Sanatan Dharma.” 
With the AOL, Sri Sri has long been offering stress elimination programmes, which include breathing techniques, meditation and yoga. AOL is a non-profit educational and humanitarian organisation that has been operating in 152 countries since its establishment in 1981. 
In his speech, Sri Sri blamed drug and alcohol addiction for being the root causes of poverty. “Many spend over sixty percent of their earnings on alcohol. If only this trend is avoided, poverty can be alleviated,” he said. Sri Sri went on to conduct a 10-minute meditation session for those present and urged people to take part in social work and poverty alleviation. He also announced the donation of solar power lines for over 1,000 poor households in the country. Like Bhattarai, many AOL volunteers shared their experiences of living a happy, stress-free life after taking AOL courses. 
AOL activities focus on social transformation, education, women and youth empowerment along with various philanthropic causes. 

Source: Kathmandu Post

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