Art of Living issues clarification on Sri Sri sharing stage with Zakir Naik

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Bengaluru, July 8: After Digvijay Singh pulled Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of Art of Living into Zakir Naik row, Ravi Shankar's foundation now came up with statements clarifying its stand.

Digvijay Singh became eye of the storm after a video of him sharing stage with Zakir Naik went viral. In retaliation, Singh tweeted that even Ravishankar too shared stage with Naik and how BJP reckon Sri Sri as a nationalist.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Reacting to his tweet, Art of Living on behalf of Sri Sri issued a statement to media. The statement read, Congress MLA Roshan Baig invited Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for a public discussion on 'The concept of God in Hinduism and Islam in the light of Sacred Scriptures' in 2006. Sri Sri was to talk about the Hinduism aspect whereas Zakir Naik on Islam.

At the event, Zakir Naik quoted verses from the Vedas out of context and tried to insult Hinduism and other idol-worshiping religions. His talk was misguiding and inciting people, art of living alleged.

Naik frequently referred to a book written by Sri Sri called 'Hinduism and Islam', and distorted Sri Sri's message in the book. The book highlighted the shared values between the two religions and sought to bring them together. It had influenced many youth who were skeptical about Hinduism. This was not finding favour with Zakir Naik's philosophy of denigrating other religions, the statement said

A couple of Muslim men, who seemed to have been asked by Zakir Naik to come on the mike, shared that they were pandits earlier and had now had become Muslims. The situation was charged with tension. To diffuse the situation, Sri Sri did not press any arguments but simply quoted a verse from Kabir: "Pothi padh padh jag mua, pandit bhayo na koye, Dhai akshar prem ka, padhe so pandit hoye."

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