Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar interacted with eminent sports personalities. They spoke about several themes including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, inspiring others to pursue their passion in sports, breaking barriers, and building a resilient mindset.
Some excerpts below:
Sports is something that can unite the whole world. It can spread peace and joy. In Indian culture, sport is elevated to a very high level. It is considered a very respectable and sacred thing in this country.
Sometimes we hear people say, “Don’t play games”, where “game” is used in a derogatory sense. In India, khel or game is referred to as leela, an expression of joy. Play is considered an expression of happiness in India, and the whole universe is considered to be a play and display of creation.
Khelo India khelo
We, in this country, still have to rise to the level where other countries are. Sports are not a big priority in families. Icons who have broken barriers and come forward to make sports a career will have to encourage many more youth to do the same. The Indian Olympians can help bring about a change in this mindset. Sometimes children get snubbed when they want to take up sports as a career with parents not supporting their dreams. However, those who are aware and wise will allow children to take up sports as their career.
Keeping sports sportive
A baby first starts playing then starts speaking or even recognizing people. Sports is the first and foremost expression of life. It is the purest expression of life. In this sense, honoring sports is honoring our source, our life. Sports should be kept sportive.
In the Olympics and other competitions, participate with full spirit and be a person of difference. Carry a vibe that is not seen in anyone else. Even in this let us be victorious. You either win or make others win. Either way, there is a reason to celebrate and be happy.
Many times sports persons appear anxious and in a state of uncertainty. This should change. A sportsperson should exuberate positive energy, happiness, and joy. It is evident when they win or lose. That type of mindset needs to be trained.
Believing that 60 percent of sports is a mental game, Mr. Sandeep Singh, the sports minister of Haryana, the former captain of the Indian hockey team, and a world record holder in hockey says: “While sportspersons train their bodies, training the mind is important. Effectiveness in sports has a lot to do with how one can keep their focus. I encourage all sport persons to participate in the Art of Living program as I think it will be very fruitful in training the mind to play sports.”
Ankita Raina, who will represent India in tennis at the Olympics says, “The Sudarshan Kriya helped me to feel calmer and more focused on the things inside. It has shown me that it is possible to be positive. Not to stress or worry about things that are not in our control, and to be patient.”