SPIRITUAL INDIA: People ask me how can India have so much spirituality and yet be so poor. I have my own explanation to this. India has one-third the land of America and thrice its population. It has six major religions, many dialects and over a thousand years of foreign rule.
That India is still existing as a country is a miracle. We could have gone the Yugoslavia way a long ago. Yet, it’s because of spirituality that India still exists.
Tell me, today there are more hospitals, how come there are more diseases? The health of society has gone down in the last 40 years. Are the hospitals responsible for this? No, it is because of the lifestyle. You still feel the villages in this country have lots of ethics, human values are greater there. Do you know 27% of the European population suffers from depression? In another eight years they expect the figure to reach 48%. Do you know 50% of the students in Washington DC drop out of school? The crime rate in the US is unbelievable. 33% of college students there have gone to jail or done some crime one time or the other. In face of these statistics India seems a much better place. It could be much better I agree. But there is an air of spirituality in India. Even in the freedom movement Mahatma Gandhi could do what he did because he was such a spiritual person. There were many more intelligent people than him around. Motilal Nehru and others were more well-read people. I agree moral degradation is happening, but it is because of no spirituality. Nobody taught us in school how to manage our mind when we are upset. Nobody taught us that your breath and your emotions are connected. That we are surviving is a miracle, let’s accept that. Then we are progressing economically - it’s only you people who tell us this, that GDP is growing. On the happiness front I would say we can do better. If we do better in the moral plane we could do even better.
SUPERSTITION: There’s nothing wrong in chaos. Many times creativity, bliss comes out of chaos. We need to learn to live with chaos. You should not dismiss something as superstition without probing into it. We should accept that there are many things in the world we do not know, have no explanation for. Whether a phenomenon is valid, whetherit could be explained, we need to probe into it before we can pronounce judgement on it.
You should accept the possibility of something you don’t understand. We can’t view everything with a communal prism, something like sea water tasting sweet. As for me there are many things which have no logical explanation. So you have to accept there are things beyond logical explanation. You go to Kulu, Manali and there are these devtas (deities) who answer people’s questions. You think about something and they’ll come and touch you on the left or right. In Karnataka there’s this devi’s panchloha statue that bends down and writes on a table that is covered in flour. A Japanese came and thedevi wrote in Japanese for him - a multilingual devi! Instead of brushing away such incidents as superstition a scientific mind should probe into them. You should keep your mind open.
This is an excerpt from his address to Indian Express reporters