Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, the founder of the Isha Foundation, stated on Sunday that gun violence in the United States was linked to juvenile mental health.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, he said that the violent culture in the US is rising because of the content of television shows, movies and video games. “Mental health and violence are very connected. I am asking — have we not made violence a very popular thing? A five-year-old is playing a video game. What do you think, he is doing? You think he is playing badminton; he is shooting somebody. Most of the time he is shooting something. From the age of five till 18, if I am that child, if I go on shooting on the screen when I become 18, would I like not to graduate to something more real?” said the spiritual Guru.
An 18-year-old opened fire in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 21 people, including 19 children and two instructors.
Sadhguru then related an instance, emphasising the growth of mental health issues following the COVID-19 epidemic.
“I met a lady psychiatrist; she said in my 20 years of practicing psychiatry, nobody ever came and asked this, but, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak, many young girls came and asked her ‘can you suggest where we can learn yoga and bring some balance to our ourselves’. That search for inner balance has kind of touched people. A few people have hung on with it, others have just forgotten it, thinking that they can settle it with a glass of beer,” he said.
The founder of the Isha Foundation was recently in the United States as part of his ‘Save Soil Movement,’ a global campaign to raise awareness about decreasing soil health and encourage people to take action.
Sadhguru began the movement in March 2022, when he set out on a 100-day motorbike ride that took him through 27 nations. On June 5, the 100-day trip reaches its 75th day.
He stated there is a mismatch between millennials and their happiness and well-being, based on his experience riding a motorcycle throughout the United States and filming the culture there.
He also flagged the violence being promoted on various platforms. “Look at all the movies that you make, the television stuff that you make. If you and I have an argument, the only way is that I pick up something and crash it on your head or bash up your face or shoot you on the head. Isn’t this the way every disagreement is settled in most movies, television serials, and everything? We are setting up that example, this is the way of settling every argument, every disagreement, while the whole process of civilization is even if we fundamentally disagree with the basic aspect of the life — we can still sit down and talk it out, debate and if we cannot, we can move little away,” he said, adding “this is civilization, but, are we not reversing that in our television screen, cinema screen, and video games screen? Are we not seriously trying to reverse the basic process of civilization where instead of bashing your face, I can talk to you.”
Regarding gun violence in India, Sadhguru said, “It’s not on a large scale because only urban children in India get to do those things. Even in that, only a percentage of well-to-do children get to do those things. It’s not as widespread as in the US.”
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