Interview - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

In ancient times Maharishi Dadhichi donated his bones for the cause of Devatas. In today’s context how do you view body organ donation?

Sri Sri- Donating one’s body parts has long been a part of our tradition. In South India even today it’s a tradition to offer one’s part of body, like eyes or a leg to God. People donate body parts made of silver to God. So the sentiment of donating body parts is a part of Indian psyche.

It’s believed sometimes that by donating body one’s soul won’t get salvation or Moksha.

Sri Sri - It is completely wrong to think that if one donates his body organs that he won’t be getting Mukti. It’s a misconception. How could donating body organs be an obstacle in Moksha?

There are many rituals that are performed on a dead body after death. What about these rituals if one donates his body?

Sri Sri - There are a lot of rituals like agni-sanskar, burial and even jal-samandhi in India; but they are not at all an obstacle in body organ donation. If one donates a part of body or even if complete body is donated still there are many other alternative ways by which last rites can be performed. When a soul leaves a body it’s like one is leaving his clothes. Once the clothes are left behind whether they are burned or donated it hardly affects the person.

An assumption prevails in the masses that if one will donate his eyes then in the next life he’ll be born blind. Can you please tell us about eye-donation’s religious importance?

Sri Sri - This is sheer superstition to think so that by donating his eyes in the next life the person will be born blind. Rishi Kanappa offered his eyes to Shiva. So we have to get out of this body-centric mentality and think in a broader context.

Do you promote angdaan and dehdaan through ‘art of living’?

Sri Sri - Yes, indded. We conduct many eye donation camps to spread such awareness.

Guruji please give your blessings to ‘Dadhichi Deh Daan Samiti’.

Sri Sri – My all shubhashish to ‘Dhadhichi Deh Daan Samiti’ as you people are doing a very noble job by spreading awareness and motivating people for body donation and organ donation. Society needs to understand that angdaan and dehdaan are not a sin; we must leave the superstition behind that soul won’t get Mukti due to body organ donation. The soul will be left unaffected even after one donates his body.
The relation of body and soul is for this life only. So we need to leave this body-centered Deh-buddhi and think from a soul-centered Aatma-buddhi. Donating one’s body is indeed a punya, avery righteous deed.