Interview of Paramahamsa Nithyananda on the World Culture Festival
Interviewer: Did you receive the invitation to the World Culture Festival? What do you think about the event?
Paramahamsa Nithyananda: I support the event as it will bring about more interaction between the world cultures. I didn’t receive the invitation but I support the event as it will be good for the world.
Interviewer: What do you feel would be the benefits of such an event?
Paramahamsa Nithyananda: In today’s times where conflicts at various levels and in various places is widely prevalent, it is important to address the issues from the very grassroots level. For that, an important step is for all the leaders to come together with the purpose of understanding each other and charting the way forward for the world, discussing the means to end the conflicts amongst nations, religions and cultures, thinking through the steps to be taken for the world to enter an era of peace and prosperity.
Interviewer: Do you feel it is justified to spend so much for the World Culture Festival?
Paramahamsa Nithyananda: For the organizing of any big event, the appropriate arrangements have to be done, the required protocol and respects have to be taken care of for hosting the leaders from around the world, all the attendees have to be taken care of and arrangements for their comfortable stay and participation have to be made. All this involves financial costs; so I think and hope the required expenses would have been judiciously planned and made.
Interviewer: What is your opinion on inter-faith harmony? In today’s increasingly multipolar world is it possible?
Paramahamsa Nithyananda: Yes, today’s world is multipolar in various respects – political, social, cultural, religious, and many other dimensions. So it is all the more important to seek for, understand and live the ultimate Truths on which the common thread of life is based. The truth of Advaita or non-duality is not just a spiritual truth any more, but it has become a living necessity. Broadening our scope, raising ourselves to the higher consciousness, have become the mandatory need of today’s world for peaceful co-existence. And this is not the first of its kind happening either. This was the cornerstone of the Vedic tradition centuries back; so we know it is also time-tested successfully. Inter-faith harmony is thus an essential part of today’s life. Leaders worldwide need to understand each other, their traditions, the genesis and history of their traditions; then it will naturally evolve to inter-faith harmony as they guide their followers to the highest universal Truths, peace and well-being of one and all.
Interviewer: What do you feel is the critical and immediate role of world leaders today?
Paramahamsa Nithyananda: I believe in addressing any issue, big or small, from first principles, from the roots. If you want to remove weeds, you need to remove them from the roots. Similarly, if you want to nurture a tree, you need to nourish the roots. In the same way, world leaders need to address the problems and conflicts facing humanity today from the very roots. We need to understand and make others understand the answers to the fundamental questions of life – What is life and its meaning? What is the purpose of human existence? What are the ways to realize and experience who we really are? You may ask how are these lofty questions going to answer my daily issues of food and shelter? I tell you, only when these questions are looked into, you can get the context and direction of your life. Otherwise it is like directing a powerful ship (individual) at full speed in the ocean (life), but without the small but important tool called compass (context of life). Without direction, where do you think the ship is headed? The probability it will reach the shores to its destination is very less, almost zero. In the same way in life also, it is very important to be aligned to where we want to be, then you will see there are thousands of ways to get there. This critical role of guiding the people in the basics and fundamentals of life needs to be fulfilled by the world leaders today. Then our energies can become focused towards better and higher living.
Interviewer: How do you see spirituality and meditation being the answers to globally prevalent issues like war, poverty and crime?
Paramahamsa Nithyananda: Please understand, each human being is a tremendous powerhouse unto himself or herself. We are the embodiment of the highest energy in the universe, whether you call It God or Divine or Supreme Intelligence. What stops us from experiencing ourselves as powerful with innate power is our own self-doubt, self-hatred and self-denial. I call it SDHD! On an individual level this SDHD is what destroys us by robbing us of our inherent bliss, self-confidence, fulfilment and inner peace. The collective manifestation of the SDHD housed in many individuals is what we see as conflicts, wars, hatred, poverty, terrorism, and all other social ills and crimes. Spirituality and meditation put us in direct touch with the core of our very being which is infinite and eternal bliss, powerfulness, fulfilment, happiness. Naturally, on a collective scale, this translates to world peace, prosperity, happy co-existence of one and all.
Interviewer: Thank you Swamiji for your enlightening words and guidance.
Paramahamsa Nithyananda: Thank you to you and all the readers. Be Blissful!