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Wellness guru’s lifestyle lesson in Davos boardroom

The wellness guru said the world needs to be practical towards its needs and should not take any drastic action.

Shantanu Guha Ray

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New Delhi: Big buck corporate honchos who assembled at Davos to discuss ways to inflate their purse got a unique lesson they all desired but did not know who to ask: How to improve lifestyle for environment.

Indian spiritual and wellness leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s interesting conversation with Niti Aayog CEO Parameswaran Aiyer is doing the rounds at Europe’s highest town.

The chat was watched live by hundreds, many across the world watched it online.

“The fact that we have to care for the environment has to flash in the minds of people. And if people are stressed, so self-centred or in crisis themselves they do not care about anything. It’s not about the environment, they do not care about themselves, their families,” the wellness guru said in the interview.

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“Make them sensitive to the issue,” said the wellness guru who heads the Bengaluru-based Art of Living. “In the long term if we are continuing the way we are continuing there is no future. There is no hope for the planet to exist. Our perception towards the environment needs to change.”

The wellness guru said to understand the importance of the environment it is important to push in lifestyle changes. “A healthy body, healthy mind and healthy spirit is absolutely essential for sustained development. In  fact, it is the building bridge of sustainability. People who do not have this vision only think of short term goals. They only look for shortcuts.”

The Indian government, along with Art of Living, has launched a special wellness programme titled Har Ghar Dhyan that focuses on lifestyle change.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar highlighted the enormous amount of cash spent across the world on mental health, it currently stands at a whopping $2.7 trillion. In the US alone, $200 billion is being spent on mental health. In Germany, 200 million hours are being wasted because of mental health.

During the discussion, the spiritual and wellness guru dwelt upon India’s G-20 goals of One Earth, One Family, One Future, and said India needs to educate Western nations on lifestyle changes. “First of all, we need to create awareness about the environment. We should also focus on green energy, and thirdly in the case of mental health, people need to be sensitive to others’ needs.”

The wellness guru said those living in the cities in India need to visit tribal villages and see for themselves how people have adapted themselves to nature. “They live a pollution-free life, they do not need plastics. Cleanliness is a way of their lives.”

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said honouring nature is of supreme importance. “Tribals follow nature closely, they follow the five elements of nature – called Pancha Bhoota in Indian vedas – and they have reverence towards these elements. The world needs to follow such principles and benefit.”

The wellness guru said India is explaining to the West to change its eating habits. “Look at the millet that India is talking about. For generations, we have talked about the benefits of jackfruit, which has now been declared as a superfood by the West. Look at the way the West is now embracing ayurveda. In Stanford University, it is now proved that ayurvedic formulations can cure covid cent per cent. They are starting clinical trials now. So the West is now realising what ayurveda can do to cure diseases.”

“My most favourite things are yoga and meditation. When I started yoga and meditation was a taboo in the West. That was some 42 years ago. Today, 2.5 billion people around the world practice yoga.”

The wellness guru said the world needs to be practical towards its needs and should not take any drastic action. “Look at this issue of plastic, you cannot ban it overnight but you can surely minimise its usage. There are many start-ups in India which are developing biodegradable products that can replace plastic. They need to be encouraged.”

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