Did Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Really Say Homosexuality Is A Crime?
“Love transcends gender. Love is beyond gender. And attraction is only a reflection of love, it is a shadow of love, and love is divine,” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said.
File photo of Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. (Reuters)
New Delhi: When Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was asked how one should deal with the ill-treatment by his friends and family over his sexual orientation at an event in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), he reportedly said, “You treat yourself better, doesn’t matter how others treat you. You don’t think you are sick or something’s wrong with you. If you stand up, nobody can insult you… But if you feel weak and meek, and if you feel bad about yourself, nobody can make you feel better.”
He then said that homosexuality is a ‘tendency’. “This tendency is not a permanent thing. It may change.”
In 2013, immediately after Supreme Court judgment that recriminalised homosexuality, Sri Sri posted a status on Facebook. Homosexuality has never been considered a crime in Hindu culture,” he wrote.
What many politicians and god-men refused to do, Sri Sri did. He took a stand in support of homosexuality. Sri Sri pointed out that Lord Ayyappa was born of Hari-Hara (Vishnu & Shiva). “It is not a crime in any Smriti. Everyone has male & female elements. According to their dominance, tendencies show up & may change. Nobody should face discrimination because of their sexual preferences. To be branded a criminal for this is absurd,” he added.
Earlier, in an interview, when he was asked about the loneliness often felt by people who experience same-sex attractions, Sri Sri said that loneliness is not the consequence of same-sex desire in particular.
“Love transcends gender. Love is beyond gender. And attraction is only a reflection of love, it is a shadow of love, and love is divine,” he said.
He said one should allow emotions to come and go, neither encouraging nor repressing them, while holding on steadfastly to the spirit.
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