Chairman & Managing
Director of Srei Infrastructure
It is a pleasure to have all of you attending this particular programme. As my father mentioned, this is tenth year and every year we see more and more people participating in the World Confluence. What started as a concept or thought has become a movement and I would like to thank each one of us, each one of you from the bottom of our hearts and also from the family and from our foundation. This year we have also created a foundation which is Universal Spirituality and Humanity Foundation specifically to take these thoughts forward to various people across the world. My father started the movement. We want to see how it can be continued through generations and the structure has been put in place for it.
Earlier, this was sponsored and promoted by the Srei Foundation and Kanoria Foundation but now under the Universal Spirituality and Humanity Foundation, this movement will have a proper structure.
I must confess that I am not a religious leader and not well-placed to speak on the topic, which is ‘Spirituality Unfolds Humanity’. As a very simple person I can suggest how I look at spirituality. It is similar to a lotus The lotus blooms when the sun rises and then closes when the sun sets. In between, it internalises the sun’s energy. Similarly, spirituality takes us closer to our own self. It helps us to introspect, to think and to look within and internalise life’s purpose. If we look within we will find volumes of words which will be spoken to ourselves by ourselves. It may seem ironical but that is how I look at spirituality. As soon as we start to look within ourselves, we are bound to find humanity. We need to look within and introspect. Just like the lotus flower which often grows in the mud, we will often find ourselves in confusing and complicated situations. But if we can open ourselves to our inner-self through spirituality we become better human beings. This is the very reason why the topic ‘Spirituality Unfolds Humanity’ has been taken.
Sri Mani Shankar Aiyar has mentioned aspects of metaphysical democracy, which is very interesting and the Hon’ble Governor of Tripura has mentioned the Sanatana Dharma, which is basically an umbrella and captures everything in the world. Sanatana is eternal. So it is the eternal duty of human beings. So it is simple to look at it.
It reminds me a story about Alexander and a saint. When Alexander came to India, he met many people. He met a saint and he was mesmerised and overwhelmed with the spiritual power of the saint and that is the power that we are talking about. That power is beyond the power of politics, of business, and of having military might. So when Alexander met the saint he had spiritual power. He requested the saint to come with him to his country as the saint did not get the respect he deserves. Alexander tried multiple times to persuade the saint to go with him. But the saint said, “I am omnipresent, so whether I am here or whether I am in your country it does not make any difference to me. I am happy and whatever power I have and whatever I am doing, I am very happy with it and I am absolutely within myself. So I don’t need to travel anywhere because I am omnipresent, I am the soul.” This made Alexander angry and he threatened to destroy the saint if he didn’t come witg him. Then the saint said, “It does not make any difference to me because I am like the sand. You see children who sit on the sand and make castles with it and various other things and then they break it. I am also like that. It does not make any difference. If you destroy me, nothing is going to happen.”
Then Alexander thought that this is a man who is very different from others. He was indifferent to Alexander’s military and political power. It struck him that the saint’s power waa greater than his and he realised that the power of the saint came from spirituality. That is the reason why my father has thought about the concepts of humanity, power, and spirituality because they are all inter-connected and cannot be separated.