Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar has hit back at his detractors at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru by calling them “prejudiced”. Referring to a section of students who had petitioned the IISc director to intervene and denounce the event as they felt endorsing Sri Sri’s “unscientific” methods will hurt the reputation of the premier institute, he said that prejudice was detrimental to science.
He was addressing a talk titled ‘Excellence Through Inner Peace’ on Thursday afternoon at the JN Tata Auditorium on the IISc campus.
According to Edex Live, to a room full of applause, he said, "I heard some people opposed my talk at IISc today. People who opposed me don't know me. Even to oppose something or someone, one needs to study and know it in detail. You study something properly and then you discard it."
"In this mode of scientific temperament and learning, a factor called prejudice is detrimental to science. If you have prejudice towards anything then you can't call yourself a scientist. Because it won't allow you to perceive things properly. One's mind should be full of spirit, enthusiasm, energy and interest to learn from anyone in any part of the world,” he added.
TNM had earlier reported how some students and professors said that if such an event is organised by a group of students and/or faculty members — it should be clearly mentioned that the event has not organised been by IISc, and the names of the organisers should be clearly mentioned (as opposed to the ambiguous ‘a group of IISc faculty across all disciplines’).
Opposing students asked that the administration organise lectures by practitioners and researchers from NIMHANS to discuss ways to achieve a relatively stress-free academic life as opposed to Sri Sri’s “unscientific therapeutic” solutions.
In their petition, they claimed, “Our campus is currently struggling with widespread and varied issues of mental health. His organisation offers a blanket therapeutic solution to multiple mental health ailments. Such a blanket solution is medically baseless, and can be dangerous.”