4th International Festival On Yoga, Culture & Spirituality Unfolds

Day 1 - 2nd Oct 2014

Haridwar | Marking the Glory of a Very Special Day of Gandhi & Shastri Jayanti, the 4th International Festival on Yog, Culture & Spirituality was inaugurated in Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya with nearly 200 delegates from 24 countries including the US, Korea and Israel participating in the five-day extravaganza. In the fourth edition of this event that is held every year by the University, 20 spiritual luminaries and 30 yogic experts from across the country and abroad are taking part. Located close to the banks of the Ganga in the Himalayan foothills, Our Dev Sanskriti is a university which holds the event every year to familiarize participants with the benefits of yoga in their spiritual growth and the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Spiritual Luminaries from across the globe were welcomed with a Tilak by the volunteer students dressed in the costumes of different states of India. The Special Guests & Staff were made to be seated in the Mrityunjay Auditorium with a pleasant background music of the song, “Vaishnava jan to tene kahiye je peer parayi jaane re”, presented by the music team of Shantikunj, Haridwar.

Dignitaries from different boxes of life were invited as chief guest to share the Stage with Honorable chancellor, DSVV Dr. Pranav Pandya, Vice Chancellor Shri Sharad Pardhi Ji Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr. Chinmay Pandya Ji & Registrar Prof. Sandeep Kumar. Amongst the dignitaries from the fields of Literature, Science, Religion & Spirituality were Yogini Kali Ji, Dr. D R Kartikeyan, Ajay Bobade, Ven. Rev. Pattrick Mccollum, Meera Sharma Ji, C M Bhandari Ji, Carsten Ohrmann, Forest Landry, Jagat Guru Suryanand Maharaj Ji & Emy Blesio Gayatri Devi Ji.

Brightening up the occasion, each Guest of Honor lighted up a Diya & offered their prayers to the Almighty.  Welcoming the Guests on the pious occasion of Navratri, Nine little girls representing the nine avatars of goddess Durga garlanded them & applied holy tilak on their forehead also giving them the Gayatri Mantra Dupatta as a token of Respect. The guests agreed that they arrived here as their Mother Divine guided them to come here & when Mother calls a child has to come. KulGeet of Dev Sanskriti, “Manviye Utthan ka jo anvarat aadhar hai.”

Vice chancellor DSVV, Shri Sharad Pardhi Ji, addressed the audience first & said that the galaxy of learned leaders from Yoga, Culture & Spirituality if Bless & Blend together the Humanity in the Mankind the result will be extreme satisfaction and happiness amongst the humans.

Spiritual Psychiatrist & Pro Vice-Chancellor, DSVV Dr. Chinmay Pandya set the theme to the event by addressing the audience showing path of wisdom & intellect in the subtle presence of founder Gayatri Pariwar, Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya & Vandaniya Mata Bhagwati Devi Sharma. Dr. Chinmay Proudly called Gayatri Pariwar & DSVV a family & home to all.  Inviting the world in the changing time to decide between Right & Wrong, Content & Confinement and Visible Lies-Hidden Truth, Dr. Chinmay Pandya denied to accept that Science has no contribution towards the betterment of society. He said, “Science is our base. Spirituality exists in balance with science to keep this world united & balanced”.  We humans provide more emphasis on comfort then contentment but the Life is actually moving from mortality to Immortality.  And this journey from Mortality to Immortality & Self Refinement is the Yoga. Summing up his words, Dr.Chinmay invited the delegates as guests to their home & to return only after becoming a family member of Gayatri Pariwar.

National Human Rights Commission Director General D R Kartikeyan said religion basically is a concept which connects one individual to another and yoga is an important offshoot of it. We being good or bad doesn’t really matters, but what is visible is the humanity & our behavior towards the other creations of God. As they say cleanliness is Godliness, Kartikeyan Ji also appreciated honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi’s mission of Clean India & invited each citizen of India to begin a change from with their Lives & homes. Also sharing his views on the importance of Vedas, he said that the only thing which gives total healing is the Vedas & we all must follow the same. This fact is also accepted by the Science. Eminent Member of All World Gayatri Pariwar Kartikeyan Ji, said that that DSVV is now a global preference in various fields of science & knowledge. And the mission of instilling scientific & yogic discipline amongst humans is indeed worth learning.  DSVV instills courtesy, culture & care amongst humans & in future it can export theology, yoga & spiritual teachers all over the world to make it a better place to live in. Sharing his birthday with the prominent personalities of our Nation, he felt blessed in the pious aura of DSVV and declared to donate all organs after his soul leaves the body.  Summing up his views, Kartikeyan Ji left the Dias with these Words:

Change Lifestyle, Think Simple & Be a Veggy “Be Positive & Be Compassionate”

Next on the dias was Yogini Kaali who addressed the esteemed audience with an Indian tradition greeting to one & all, “Namaste”. Sharing her vast knowledge of about 1000 & more mudras of Yoga, Kaali Ji related the 24 syllables of Gayatri Mantra with the 24 Mudras of Yoga she has been practicing.  5th January 1980, a miraculous day in her life that turned it downside up is what she shared as her experience with the audience & how the divine mudras itself came to her on the quest to know who she really was. Since the day of self-realization yogini Kaali Ji has been a keen learner & observer of the yogic mudras and believes that the Indian Sanatana Dharm is the purest language of one’s heart that can spiritually connect one with the Creator. Yogini Kaali Ji credited Pt. ShriRam Sharma Acharya Ji’s lifestyle & fatigue-less work for the society with the Divine cosmic energy he kept connected to through his spiritualistic practices. The Cosmic Energy, Yoga Practices & Ahimsa are the three keepers of true human life gifted to us by the Creator, Yogini Kaali Ji believes.

Addressing the inaugural session of the festival, noted spiritual leader from the US and Mahatma Gandhi award winner for his contribution to world peace, Patrick McCulum said India’s spiritual richness of which yoga is an integral part, sets it apart from other countries of the world. Humble McCulum invited the youth to instigate the sparks within themselves to spread Harmony amongst the Souls as only the Balanced Mind, Body & Soul together can save our Planet in its original being. “If ever there is a cultural and spiritual reawakening in the world, it will definitely begin from India,” he said.Pattrick McCulum feels that the discord amongst the humans of this world is Pitiable & only Faith & cultural values can keep the humanity alive. Looking for a story to tell the world full of people with different faith & culture or with no faith & culture living together, McCulum was guided by Divine Mother to create a Violin of Peace. The Divine Mother Guided his ways to design the violin by making him work for peace amongst various communities & their personal wars. Their token of Thanks given to McCulum formed the initial parts of the violin & finally resulted in the perfect peace messenger. But a fear of this violin’s imperfect sound kept him restless, when the Divine Mother asked him to dip the violin in the Ganges, the Holy River of India. It took almost 3 months for this violin to dry up and sound the most melodious tune to bring peace & harmony amongst the humans. McCulum has been using the same for years across the globe as a messenger of peace & looks forward to connect the world some day with compassion & harmony.

Honorable Chancellor of DSVV Dr. Pranav Pandya shared that yoga, culture and spirituality don’t only enrich an individual’s life but also contribute to the building of a nation with togetherness. Its importance is that it determines the direction in which a nation moves. Collective character of a country is at the root of its overall growth. Yoga is the only source that can cleanse the Inner souls & calm the hatred amongst humans. He believes that Meditation is a cleanser of mental garbage & will cleanse the inner souls creating a world of love, compassion & empathy.

Event rested for the first day with the Felicitation Ceremony in which the Dignitaries were gifted the Literature of Acharya Pt. ShriRam Sharma & a Memento of Respect. Also took place the unveiling of two very special books authored by the faculty of DSVV, “Oasis-Elixir of Yoga” & “Antarjagat Ke Jharokhe”. With the charismatic music of the Violin of Peace, the event rested for the day with the Shanti-path-a regular ritual of Gayatri Pariwar Thanking Lord for the Day. Essence of the Day could be summarized as: “Let the Peace Prevail Amongst One & All.”

Day 2 - 3rd Oct 2014

Sprinkling up the very auspicious occasion of Vijaya-Dashmi, with drops of spiritual & scientific Knowledge in the vast ocean of Scientific Spirituality, Yoga & Culture, the dignities from across the globe lightened up DSVV’s 4th International Festival. On the 2nd consecutive day of the remarkable fest, honorable guests graced the Anusandhan Session with a deep discussion about Yogic Sciences, Spirituality, Side-effects of drugs & realistic yoga practices.

Inaugurating the 2nd day session, lighting up of Diya’s before the Idol of Pt. ShriRam Sharma Acharya & Param-Vandaniye Mata Bhagwati Devi Sharma. Head of the session, Dr. Chinmay Pandya, Pro Vice-Chancellor DSVV; applied Chandan-Tilak on the forehead of the chief Guests as a regular custom to welcome them. The other speakers who joined Dr. Pandya on the stage were Meera Sharma Ji, C M Bhandari Ji, Ajay Bobade Ji, Manuel Rivera & the Vice Chancellor of Dev Sanskriti University Shree Sharad Pardhi Ji.

Session leaped forward with the Enchanting of Gayatri Mantra & Guru Vandana. The first speaker of the day, Meera Sharma Ji presented her views on yogic sciences. To begin with Meera Ji spoke on how she feels psychology & spirituality should be seen as one single entity. She states her views further as,” It is when we are more human, we get more access to our spiritual self. Psychology is incomplete in true sense if not included with spirituality in full volumes”. She also shared her views on Transpersonal Psychology that is somewhere connected to the experiences of one’s personal life. Knowledge of such level needs ‘Bodha’ & ‘Budhi’ that comes only with an urge to understand and ethically discipline one’s Life. The mind that controls us is the purest essence of spiritual knowledge. Meera Ji claimed her beliefs on psychology having not a fulfilling role in serving the humanity in the true sense. Only a selfless & humble step towards focusing on reality & rejection of ego can let psychology serve the mankind in real scenario. According to her,” Vasudeva Kutumbkam” is what she felt immensely in DSVV & looks forward to the upcoming events & visits.

C.M. Bhandari Ji, next graced the Dias sharing his views on Spirituality as per his experience in Life. Bhandari Ji related the spirituality with the occasion celebrated,” Vijaya-Dashmi” as both are the victory of good over evil in the real sense. The Divine Power, Spirituality can, according to Bhandari Ji, empower even the power of knowledge. Speaking about yoga & his personal account of experiences with the practices, he said, “We all want a good Car, but how many of us think about a good driver? Driving is the Spirituality while Driver is the Knowledge.” Without the real knowledge of Spirituality we cannot enjoy our lives the way it is framed for us by the almighty. Mentioning about Gurudev’s statement years back, about a major change that would take place in May 2014, Bhandari Ji credited ‘Amazing Victory of Global Tiger of Asia-Narendra Modi’ with full majority votes for the prestigious position of Prime Minister Of India. Narendra Modi is the person who is being looked forward to bring a major turn-back revolution in the society of evil, ego & unethical enchantments.

Bhandari Ji congratulated Shantikunj & DSVV of being the only purest center for spiritual growth in the much distracted youth. He also mentioned the warm welcome & homely attitude shared with them in the institution.

Third in the row of spilling knowledge over guests, students & staff at DSVV, Sir Manuel Rivera, addressed the audience with his special message on depression & its freakiest result Dementia. Mr. Rivera initially discussed about the Psychiatrist Dilemma he underwent, understanding the real essence of life & humanity. He practices Yoga Asanas, Mudras & the Vegan Diet, as they say is important to gain the real spiritual wisdom. He also shared that he strongly believes in the statement,” First Do No Harm”. Neither Dr. Rivera suggests his patients with life-taking Drugs nor does he motivate them to take any kind of medicine that weakens their immunity system. Instead he prefers his patients to practice Yoga, Dance, Music, Meditation & Relaxation to cure severest of diseases. He believes Ahimsa, Vegan Diet, Yoga & Meditation if practiced daily can liberate the humans from useless materialistic pleasures. He also mentioned that the way we swallow medicines, expecting them to effect our body, we don’t remember that our diet also affects us internally. It is Medication Vs Meditation that enroots every fight of life & its solution. Adrenaline & its effects result in stress that shortens our moments of happiness. When God, Mr. Rivera feels, has designed us exceptionally well, we must enjoy being his creation & should try to balance our life better than last time. If we don’t feel good, it’s a sign that we are entertaining the negative thoughts to wander in our minds. Matras, Meditation & behavioral therapy can make us more relaxed & calmed down. Summing up his views on Depression & dementia, he said, “Change starts within”.

Concentrating on the recent trends in yoga practices across the globe, the fourth speaker on the Dias was Mr. Ajay Bobade. He spoke of how yoga was part of ancient lifestyle and in present scenario is left as a mere business. With the time he has felt changes in the definitions of yoga too. In the era of 60’s when yoga got popularized and started its journey across the globe, it returned as a pure business, encashed by the knowledge keepers of yogic practices. This popularity not only added to new aspects of yogic mudras but also declined the real Yoga as it was formed. Now yoga is more of an exercise. The present yoga industry is worth approximately 500 billion dollars which is being cashed upon. He said that a mistake done by single person is called a mistake but when done in a group is accepted as reality & this is what is happening with yoga. Mr. Ajay seemed concerned about the need of changing the yogic mudras.   Although new age yoga is attracting people but it is not the correct yoga and hence will not result in what is expected of it. Questions raised by him as to why be shy to follow ancient yogic practices and when our perfect personality cannot be dual, how can yoga be of dual personality, were much thought about by the dignitaries present in the auditorium. Reason stated by him was the belief system. People accept what is told to them instead of asking questions & understanding the meaning behind it. One needs to differentiate between what is told & what the reality is. And to do so questioning & gaining knowledge is very essential. Summing up his views Mr. Bobade also shared a new age mudra which was derived from the ancient yogic practice of yogic mudra ‘Namaskaram’. In this gesture we join our hands together before Deities, our elderly’s & respectful people as a humble approach towards them. This means that our capacity to do something in life has finished and now we need your guidance.

Resting the event for the day, Dr. Chinmay Pandya was invited to the Dias to sum up the event with his own thoughts. Dr. Chinmay said that it’s high time we should start investigating the knowledge outside, i.e. Gyaan & internal knowledge i.e. Aadhyatm. Yoga is the excellence of all these dimensions. Thanking the Guests from various fields of knowledge for pouring in precious knowledge about the Yogic practices, culture & spirituality, Dr. Chinmay shared few of his experiences of his educational life & career abroad. He summed up the event saying unless we have contentment, peace & satisfaction no success in the world can make us happy. And if our focus is right & set towards the final target we wish to achieve nothing in the world can divert us, resulting in pure satisfaction. Illuminating our intellect & inspiring our path, Dr.Chinmay & the Dignities rested the event for the day.

Day 3 - 4th Oct 2014

Third day of the international festival on Yog, Culture & Spirituality at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, marked some new achievements with different sessions arranged for the foreign delegates regarding the theme. One such session was the Anusandhan-2 arranged in the mrityunjay auditorium at the university campus.

Inaugurating the event for the day in the traditional style lighting of Diyas & applying Chandan Tilak took place. The chief guest & speakers of the day, Carsten Ohramann from Germany & Prof. Valdis Pirags from Latvia were welcomed with bouquets & Kulchadar of GayatriPariwar.

Giving start to the event with Gayatri Mantra, Dr.Chinmay Pandya,Pro Vice-Chancellor DSVV introduced the speakers for the day with their achievements & qualifications. Up next he shared with the audience, some instances worth learning from.  A story from Upnishads & other remarkable words gave an insight to the theme. Dr. Chinmay told that Divinity is all around us. To feel it we have to experience it. Divine consciousness is inseparable & is far beyond cast, creed, gender & other discrimination. Yoga is all about this consciousness of similarity between one & all. Our Life is Gifted Consciousness from the creator. All we have to do is realize the true essence of Divinity & treat all as one. Yoga teaches us about this providing us with an ultimate satisfaction. Message of Yoga, as per Dr. Chinmay, is having harmony with oneself. Learning from elderly’s & maintaining harmony inside can easily help us achieve the divinity. Welcoming Carsten Ohramann to the Dias, Dr.Chinmay took a leave from his words by inviting people to the world of Yoga & Divinity.

Carlsten Ohramann from Germany taking control of the Mic at the Dias, congratulated everyone present in the auditorium of being an Astronaut of the Spaceship called Earth, which is the most beautiful planet of our Galaxy. Through a PowerPoint presentation,Ohramann shared his thoughts about how he feels that Spirituality can strengthen the world leaders for future. Lover of Wisdom,Carlsten Ohramann depicted though his presentation of how Science, spirituality & business can be connected in the world business to attain a common language of understanding amongst world leaders. Oneness & simplicity can help to connect with the leaders. Differentiating between four types of people, Spiritual,Scientists  Idealistic & materialistic; Carlsten kept his point on the importance of world leaders to be of idealistic type that are all, spiritual,scientist & a bit of materialistic to excel in their field of expertise. What makes difference is the educational background, experiance& social conditioning of a person that can make possible a massive revolution. It’s the values & beliefs of a person that effects his/her behaviour as all are seperate identities. But the oneness amongst all can reflect who we are and this oneness can help us choose a better life”. An idealistic world view creates better Life, a better business & a better World”. This presentation on scientific spirituality for business left everyone jaw-dropped over the magnificient ideas of instilling the spirituality in the future leaders for a better tomorrow.

Prof. Valdis Pirags from Latvia the final speaker of the session taking charge of the dias, shared his views about the integration science of body, mind & Soul. Through the pyramid of Wellness & other pictorial representations, Prof. Pirags explained his point of how he thinks that western conventional medicines if combined with ayurveda can perfectly balance the mind, body & soul. Integrative medicines in ayurveda, yoga & nature care can do wonders in creating a balanced life for humans. He also proposed a book on ayurveda for the world medical practitioners to consult and treat their patients with no side-effects. The proposed book on ayurveda, he said can do wonders helping the integrated medicines across the globe to cure patients better & give them a healthy & immune Life.

To rest the event for the day, Shree SharadPardhi, Vice chancellor DSVV, then took charge of the dias&summarised the session in his own words & understanding. He told how Carlsten wishes to encorporate spirituality in the business world. Human Heart & mind are different & to combine both for a scientific approach can make us better humans. Also that we are known by the values we accept and the humanity in our acts defines who we are. We have to become a magnet for the world leaders to develop our world with oneness. Pardhi ji also shared about how Prof. Pirags has been practicing modern medicnes for long but the limitations in same have been a cause of worry for him. Indian Ayurveda as per Prof. Pirags is believed to be better than the modern medicines as the age old practice of ayurveda has refined its purity which cannot be doubted. Pardhi ji said, “ultimately the patient has to be cured, so no matter its medicine or ayurveda; the mind,body& soul must be cured altogether. Speaking about the proposed book on ayurveda, Pardhi jisaid that there are sciences & practices. It won’t be difficult to design a book for the world to benefit from. Ending his share of words, he said, “gyaan+vigyan=pragyaan” &pragyaan will build a better Nation & a better world.