I came into Art of Living very late in my life when I shifted to Pune from Delhi in 2009. I was staying alone in a Flat in Pune and had no job to give me a sense of belonging. However, through God’s grace I came into Art of Living, which gave me a big family. More than that I got Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the world renowned spiritual leader as a Master in my life and my perspective to the life started changing slowly.
Then the Antarnaad happened in 2010 in Pune. I was a witness to the endless seva efforts put by the volunteers to make it happen. I came to know the true meaning of what Seva is. Since I had finished part I of Madhyama exam in Music, I got an entry to participate in the big Event which was scheduled to happen with Guruji on 12th January, which is incidentally Swami Vivekanand’s birthday also.
Around 4000 vocalists had participated in the event. Right from the rehearsals to the actual event performed in front of around one lakh audience, I had enjoyed every moment of it. There was a big stage, and the moving camera was trying to capture the faces of the all the participants who were overjoyed when their relatives and friends could recognize them on Television.
The mega event Antarnaad was not only a grand celebration of Indian classic music which was the main aim behind organizing it, but also a celebration of team work, event management and breaking the barriers of age, caste, profession and sex. Vocalists from all walks of life, from 6 years old children to 60 years of men and women had participated in the event. Apart from Art of Living’s lead singers, the event was graced by famous singer Shankar Mahadevan, Rajan and Sajan Mishra.
The joy and divine experience that I had during Antarnaad cannot be described in words. Antarnaad means the voice within or the joy inside. The inside joy that I was experiencing throughout the singing had turned into outward excitement when we saw more than half of audience dancing to the soulful tunes of Bhajans. I am sure that almost everyone present there had experienced the zenith of happiness.
Like Anatarnaad, Art of Living under the visionary guidance of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had organized other Mega events like Brahmanaad (where 1,200 sitarists performed together on one platform, in a first-of-its-kind concert in Delhi), Venunaad, Naad Vaibhavam, etc. spreading the joy and happiness in life of more and more people.
Besides these mega events that were organized in India, Art of Living had celebrated its Silver Jubilee as the World Cultural Festival 2006 at Berlin, Germany. Apart from the cultural programs from across the world, the most astonishing feature of the program was a group meditation by a total of 2.5 million people together which had come to join the global celebration from the world over and it was described in the media as ‘Spiritual Olympiad’ of one of its kind. You can imagine how powerful that yagna would have been for the world peace.
Gurudev’s vision of ‘one world one family’ is again going to be realized soon in another World Cultural Festival which will be held in March, 2016 in Delhi, India to mark the 35 years of service to humanity by the Art of Living. The main aim of organizing this festival is another step in the direction of world peace. Musicians from all over the world will be performing music symphonies representing their culture at their best and will also be listening to the music and dance performances from other countries.
From India a music symphony comprising all the musical instruments has been composed to be presented. This symphony is symbolic of ‘unity in diversity’ the motto WCF wants to promote.
I feel that anyone who stands by the world peace should not miss the global extravaganza. Any human being who has respect for the efforts put up by thousands and thousands of Art of Living volunteers all over the world would definitely not like to miss such a wonderful global show. Where else you can get in 3 days such a wide exposure to different and vibrant cultures of the world.
The people coming from far-away places may not know the languages of each other but they are going to perform in great enthusiasm for their love of culture and world peace and watch & enjoy the performances of others!
To put it in another way I will say:
The vast sea of Humanity
where people like waves
will rise in love and dance in bliss
giving a true meaning to
Unity in Diversity
and holding hands will say
it is not ‘me’ but ‘we’
Will you not like to be a part of such waves of happiness!
Why should everyone attend the festival?
I feel that more and more youngster today are getting hooked to the culture of cell phones and spending most of their time in sharing various forms of videos. But in doing so they are drifting away from their ancient culture which binds them to their roots. I feel that more and more youngsters should not miss the golden opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful event if they know how to play any musical instrument. I think they should attend the festival in large numbers to show their solidarity to a good cause.
I have also noticed that social media these days have increasingly being used to criticize how the other people live, eat food, even attacking the religion they follow. This is reflective of the intolerance they have towards other people’s values.
But when a festival like this happens, it automatically promotes the cross-cultural meets. The event provides an opportunity for people from different sections of the society and religions to meet at one platform and interact with other in the environment of great enthusiasm and love. In the atmosphere of festivity and joy, they are surely bound to develop a respect for each other’s culture and have lasting relationships with people from other religions and country.
Along with the cultural exchange programs the festival will have eminent political and spiritual personalities talking on the subject. All the performers will get a chance to listen to the views and when they go back to their home they will take back the message of tolerance with them. The festival in this way is going to promote cross cultural tolerance.
As a responsible citizen who wants to do something good to the society, stands by a good cause should not miss the important global event.
See you in Delhi at World Culture Festival 2016, from 11-March-2016 to 13-March-2016!
Jai Gurudev !