Sometime ago I was reading the 14th Chapter of the Mahabharata, the Ashvamedhika Parva. After the war at Kurukshetra,Yudhishtira, on the advice of Krishna and Maharishi Vyas decided to perform the sacred Asvamedha Yagya. The aim of this yagya was to spread peace and happiness after the brutal war and bind
all the small kingdoms into one big country — “Bharat”. Lord Krishna had advised Yudhishtira to start the Yagya from the kingdom of Indraprastha as it had been the residing place of deities for thousands of years. Now, over 5100 years after the Ashvamedha Yagya, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar, Founder of the Art of Living Art of Living Foundation, is organizing
again with the vision of “Vasudev Kutumbakam”, or one world family, in the same land of Indraprastha now known to the world as Delhi .Different countries celebrate different festivals with a lot of zeal. Christians, Hindus, Muslims celebrate age old events that have defined their values. But there is not a
single festival in which the whole world comes together to celebrate as one big family. In fact the heads of the states from around the world come together only to discuss issues plaguing the world through forums like the United Nations or through global summits. For the first time the heads of all these states will be coming
together to celebrate humanity, a celebration in which over 10000 musicians will be performing on stage, creating a Guinness World Record. Over 3.5 million people from 155 countries will be coming to Delhi to be part of an event that will go down as a landmark in history. This will be the biggest event hosted by Delhi after the infamous commonwealth games.
The WCF is an opportunity; it is an opportunity for volunteers to break out of their comfort zones and contribute in organizing this Mahayagya and an opportunity for India to position itself right in the center of the world. We have the opportunity to showcase how the largest democracy is also the land of opportunities. India is now the fastest growing economy, with China and other emerging economies showing signs of slowdown. Few other countries can claim to have so many untapped natural resources and such a huge demographic dividend. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been touring different countries and selling the “Make in India “ programme, the WCF will be instrumental in complementing our government’s
initiatives. Our tourism Industry is worth US$ 44.2 billion, if the government is supportive enough, the WCF can be instrumental in increasing the vast potential of this industry. People from more than 155 countries will be coming for this mega festival and taking back with them the perception of a new India.
India’s rich tradition of yoga has been recognized around the world, even more so after the International Yoga Day. I see the World Culture Festival taking yoga and meditation to each and every living room. The festival will not only provide an economic boost to Delhi but will also increase the spiritual quotient of the planet. After all, 35 lakh people meditating together is a rare sight. The event will also see corporate leaders from all around the world discussing and deliberating upon the role of ethics in business. After all, in the race to improve the top and bottom line, a lot of businessmen have forgotten that real success is much more than numbers on the balance sheet.
Our beloved Guruji, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, has said that WCF is going to be an event which has never happened in the past and will never happen in the future. Now it is up to each of us to make a choice- whether we want to be a witness to history or make history by being part of humanity’s largest cultural gathering.
Credits: Anmol Narang