Art of Living founder and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Monday told a student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) that homosexuality is a "tendency" that may change in later life and that it's not permanent.
"This is your tendency now. Just acknowledge it and accept it, and know that this tendency is not a permanent thing. It may change. I've seen many men who were gay, later on turn into heterosexuals, and there are those who are normal — what are called straight people — end up being gay later in life," he was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Delivered the annual Nehru Memorial Lecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. pic.twitter.com/XYYxIrZ98h— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) November 13, 2017
The Art of Living guru was invited to JNU to deliver the 13th Nehru Memorial Lecture.
Incidentally, a few years ago, Sri Sri had said homosexuality has never been considered a crime in Hindu culture. In fact he minced no words when he said that "nobody should face discrimination because of their sexual preferences."
Homosexuality has never been considered a crime in Hindu culture. In fact, Lord Ayyappa was born of Hari-Hara (Vishnu & Shiva). #Sec377— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) December 11, 2013
Homosexuality-not a crime in any Smriti. Everyone has male & female elements. According to their dominance,tendencies show up & may change.— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) December 11, 2013
Nobody should face discrimination because of their sexual preferences. To be branded a criminal for this is absurd.— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) December 11, 2013
Whenever spiritual leaders have spoken up about homosexuality, they have stirred up strong emotions in the community. For example, Ramdev, a yoga guru followed by the masses vowed to "cure" homosexuals of their gayness, indicating that it's a disease, triggering a backlash from a community already persecuted for their sexual preference.
"Homosexuality is not genetic. If our parents were homosexuals, then we would not have been born. So it's unnatural," Ramdev had said.