March for the Peace Prize
File under: The Siddhi of PR
This year's march to obtain the Nobel Peace Prize for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is in full swing, on point and apparently on fire in Southeast Asia:
Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar drew huge crowds during his recent tour of Southeast and East Asia and was also honoured in Taiwan with an award for spreading his ideas on healthy living...That's huge crowds. Twice. That can only mean he finds an adoring public wherever he goes. What more could you want in a Nobel Peace Prize nominee?
He was welcomed by top dignitaries in each of the countries he visited, apart from drawing huge crowds in his public appearances, said a press release issued here by his Art of Living Foundation.
Awards. Sri Sri is quite the collector of those:
In Taiwan, he was awarded the "Fervent Global Love of Life 2006" award by the Cultural and Education Foundation of Human Life. While honouring him, Chou Ta-Kuan, founder of the organisation said: "Over 30 million people in over 151 countries have been blessed with love and health from Guruji. Through his own actions, Sri Sri has shown us a way of life that brings out human values in all of us, which is beyond religion."And the clouds broke, the birds flew and the sun of wisdom shone on them all.
But once he got to Hong Kong, Sri Sri had to get serious:
Addressing a large gathering in Hong Kong, Ravi Shankar expressed concern over the alarming level of domestic violence in the country. According to him, the city's rampant pursuit of material wealth had taken its toll on happiness levels.And all it will take to have some of that "fun" is a bit of that material gain, the more the better... for you of course.
He said: "I see a high stress level. There is social pressure, competition and to cope with this, people need to find inner strength. Material gain is okay, but not at the cost of your happiness. You need to find a balance, inner peace and happiness. I want to make people realise that life can be fun."
We expect a lot more of this sort of thing, Sri Sri being made out as a saintly promoter of peace by his PR flacks while he shills his product in new markets. There's a lot of ground to cover between now and when they announce the Peace Prize winner. Even if he loses again, he'll still have the exposure and perhaps a better chance next year. At the very least, he'll have acquired a few more customers for that pranayama retread he calls the Sudarshan Kriya.