Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is on a 20-day peace mission to South and Central America from 29th November to 19th December. “Peace is relevant only in times of strife,” said Sri Sri on his tour. “Everyone can be peaceful during times of peace.”
Keeping up with this bold and determined approach, his tour includes countries with a history of violence where Gurudev’s volunteers have been working for many years to bring about a change and are succeeding pretty well.
Mexico-Gurudev met with United Nation resident coordinator Miss Rebecca Arias
While interacting with the Senators at the Mexican Senate, Gurudev urged the government, media, NGOs and businesses to work together and free the society from violence. “Violence arises out of lack of belongingness and stress. It’s important to attend to stress so that human values of peace, sense of belongingness and commitment can flourish in society,” he said.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addresses the Mexican Senate.
During the three-day Mexico tour, Sri Sri visited two of country’s largest prisons, where incidences of violence have reduced drastically after the introduction of Art of Living’s prisoner rehabilitation program. He visited a drug rehabilitation home, where he addressed 200 Mexican youth undergoing the Art of Living deaddiction program to become free from the destructive dependency on drugs.
At the Santa Marta Acatitla prison, one of the largest prisons in Mexico, the officials expressed their gratitude to Gurudev Sri Sri for introducing the Prison Smart Program which has led to zero prison crimes in the last one year. During their meeting, many prisoners shared how the Art of Living program changed their life completely.
Gurudev addresses inmates of the second largest prison in Mexico City, Reclusorio Varonil Norte.
One of the inmates said, “My life after meditation has been a whole new world for me. I have experienced true joy. Earlier I used to be so stressed but now even though I am behind bars my mind is so free.”
At the Reclusorio Varonil Norte, the second largest prison in Mexico, Secretary of the Penitentiary System Hazael Ruiz Ortega said that the transformation in this prison had been very impressive since the Art of Living teachers started visiting and taking sessions for the inmates. He asked for similar program to be introduced in the Reclusorio Varonil Oriente, the largest jail of Mexico.
Over 16,000 prison inmates, many of whom have been involved in drug trade and gang wars, have been introduced to the Art of Living workshops in Mexico. The programs have given them extraordinary relief from the violent and traumatic past and a new perspective on life.
Audiences listen intently to Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar during a public meeting at The World trade Center in Mexico City.
During his three-day visit to Mexico, Sri Sri interacted with people from all strata including political leaders, faith leaders, businessmen, prisoners, youth, government officials, social workers and the general public and pushed for holistic ways for tackling the widespread violence in the country, arising from drug wars and gang fights.
Taking his mission of violence-free society forward, Sri Sri presided over a large peace conference at the World Trade Centre. The conference saw enthusiastic participation by over 4,000 people including academicians, youth and political leaders. Karen Berg, the well-known spiritual director of the US-based Kabbalah Centre, also joined the peace conference.
Some of the religious leaders present- Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Maestro Arjan Singh Dhillon(Sikh Community), Sensei Pablo Estrade(Buddhist teacher), Maestra Maria Laurdas Gutierrez(Lutheran Church), Revendo Efren Gut
Gurudev also addressed leaders from Sikh, Buddhist, Lutheran, Anglican, Mormon and Catholic communities at an interfaith meet. The meet concluded with all the religious leaders committing to work together with the common vision of unity and peace and respecting the diversity of all faiths.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with the Governor of Guerrero, Rogelio Ortega Martinez
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) December 6, 2016
At Guerrero, one of the Mexico’s most violent states, Gurudev was welcomed with a massive public reception by Governor Hector Antonio Astudillo Flores. The Governor of Guerrera also conferred the Ambassador of Peace recognition on Gurudev, an honour given to only three people so far.
Gurudev being introduced at the World Forum for Ethics in Business, Mexico City
Gurudev’s visit to Mexico culminated with an address at the World Forum for Ethics in Business where he emphasized on the need for businesses to give back to society in which they are growing and flourishing.
He is now slated to visit Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Ecuador, Brazil, Panamas and Costa Rica