When I think about my time at the World Culture Festival in Delhi, and savor the memories, the feeling that stands out, is the feeling of AWE and WONDER and PEACE. What I experienced was nothing less than magic!
The magic, which drew millions from all over the world, from all religions, from all strata, from all walks of life. The magic of the magnificently huge, beautiful 7 acre stage that stood just on plates. It was the magic of commitment and tireless work of the volunteer organizers who made an event on the scale of Olympics possible in India. It was the magic of over 36000 musicians, dancers, singers happily performing on the grand stage, rain or shine!
It was delightful to be in the ocean of beautiful people. I’ve never been in large crowds without witnessing tension & tempers, except for Art of Living events. I’ve been to dozens of Art Of Living events over the last 4 years or so, and without exception they showcase best human behaviour. World Culture Festival was the largest event I ever attended in my life, and I felt like I was out on a picnic with my family, more than ever before.
Now, imagine this scene where we put together millions of people, add some cold rain and long but slow walks through little mud & slush, and you might expect little impatience, elbowing, maybe a bit of stress, temper or frayed nerves. However, what I actually witnessed was the polar opposite, where people were gliding along like swans with poise as if they were in the lap of luxury and enjoy the whole show!
If you are watching something on TV keenly, and people keep popping up in your view continuously for 4 hours, you’re likely to lose your temper isn’t it? Not so at the World Culture Festival! There was so much positive energy. The viewers were politely asking the obstructors and that too without losing patience! There was a divine hand guiding and guarding this event for sure. On the inaugural day, just as the event began, we had rainfall as well as little winds.
Most of us did not carry umbrellas, so we were drenched but then, I saw many people dancing, and some meditating and some even said what an auspicious blessing to have “Amrut Varsha”. Within sometime of cold shower, the sun broke out of the clouds, rain stopped, and there was a beautiful rainbow across the stage! May be it was Nature’s contribution to decorate the stage!!!
It was a moving and beautiful moment, and I was grateful.
And in the midst of it all, I was moved to see a young couple from abroad, carrying a baby girl, who was probably no more than 2 months old. The baby is certainly blessed to be in the middle of overflowing divine grace!
There must have been thousands of volunteers working hard behind the scenes to make this grand event possible. I thank them for this wonderful experience. The ones I had a direct interaction with were those who organized the stay and transportation for many of us. I salute them for that. I truly felt as a member of one big family, they made special arrangement to ensure our breakfast and dinner was available without fail, and took care to contact each one of us to ensure that no one was left behind.
Behind everything that happened, behind every volunteer, behind every experience, behind all the magic, behind all the goodwill is the unmistakable hand and Grace of Divine.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been constantly teaching and inspiring the world to make everyday a celebration. The World Culture Festival was just a way to show us an example of celebration, and he specially showed us that challenges will be part of life and despite that, we can still joyfully celebrate together as one humanity.