(In light of the recent Las Vegas shootings, extracts from Huffington Post article written by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on 29.03.13 following the Newton, Conn. USA shootings)⠀

I have this crazy idea… a world without violence. This might appear to be utopian thinking, but we need to dream and we will get there! If we instill pride in being non-violent, in being compassionate, in being helpful to others, our lives will take a new direction. And that should be our unwavering commitment.⠀

It is saddening to see the impact of gun violence on our families and society. An ABC news report indicates that there are more gun retail stores than grocery stores in the U.S. When we have not provided education in non-violence, or equipped people with tools to control their aggressive tendencies, we cannot afford to have so many gun stores making it easy to pursue deadly acts of violence.⠀

Aggressive tendencies can occur in anybody; it is quite natural. But one should be taught how to handle that aggressive tendency in a healthy way. When conflict arises in the mind of an individual, perception, observation and expression are impacted. This in turn impacts communication with the other party. In a conflict zone, the first thing that is needed for resolution is an improvement in the communication between the parties. This can happen only when the mind is calm and is able to respond, rather than react. In order for the mind to be calm, mental traumas need to be relieved. The rhythmic breathing and meditation techniques that the volunteers of The Art of Living use have been quite effective with relieving mental and emotional distress.⠀

The ignorant are fanatically religious, the so called intelligentsia are fashionably atheist, and the wise are genuinely spiritual. It is time that we encourage our young people, our children, to see beyond limited identities and to associate with the common humanity that we are all part of. It is time to tear down the walls between cultures and celebrate diversity. It is time to connect at the heart to heart level and let go of the negative emotions. This is how we can create a violence-free, stress-free society.