On behalf of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, Brahmaviharidas Swami represented BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha at the National Inter-Religious Conference on the topic of ‘Global Challenges to Communal Harmony and the Role of India’ held on the 50th anniversary of the Lokmat Group in Nagpur.
Lokmat is the leading Marathi newspaper in Maharashtra and Goa, with over 2 crore readers, . Shri Vijay Darda, chairman of the Lokmat Media Group and a veteran parliamentarian, invited BAPS to participate at the conference after viewing the BAPS Hindu Mandir exhibit at Expo 2020 in Abu Dhabi.
Alongside internationally renowned spiritual leaders including Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Ramdev, and Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Brahmaviharidas Swami addressed the conference on the topic of global harmony and the role of India. He drew on incidents from the life of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, such as Swamishri's peaceful response to the terrorist attack on Akshardham in Gandhinagar, his deep friendship with President Abdul Kalam, and his prayers at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Brahmaviharidas Swami also highlighted the teachings of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj for universal harmony, as well as his own experiences in leading the creation of the first traditional Hindu temple in the UAE.
The audience appreciated the observations and practical guidance of the distinguished speakers to spread global harmony.
Guests at the event included:
Shri Vijay Darda – Chairman of Lokmat media group
Shri Nitin Gadkari – Union surface transport and highways minister
Shri Dayashankar Tiwari – Mayor of Nagpur
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – Founder of the Art of Living
Swami Ramdev – Founder of Patanjali Yogpeeth
Cardinal Oswald Gracias – Archbishop of Mumbai
Acharya Dr Lokesh Muni – Founder of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti
Haji Syed Salman Chishty – Gaddi Nashin of Dargah Ajmer Sharif
Pralhad Wamanrao Pai – Founder of Jeevanvidya Mission
Bhikkhu Sanghsena – Founder of Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Leh Ladakh
Brahmaviharidas Swami – BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
Rajendra Darda – Lokmat's Editor-in-Chief
Devendra Darda – Managing Director of Lokmat Media
Rishi Darda – Joint Managing Director and Editorial Director of Lokmat
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Diversity is the uniqueness of India.
Religion keeps people together. But some people plot to create hatred in the name of religion. Intellectuals become happy because of diversity and fools fight with each other. Sarvadharma Samabhav and diversity are unique qualities of India. It is the duty of the religion to solve various disputes and enmity.
Swami Ramdev: The world has danger from religious, financial, and political terrorism
The world is facing the biggest threat from religious, economic, and political terrorism. The name should be Sarva Panth and not Sarva Dharma. Instead of saying that all will be Hindus, Muslims, or Christians, we should say that all should be made human beings. The country works as per the Constitution, while society is based on spirituality.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias: Focus on similarities, not contradictions, in religion
As the hatred is being spread in the name of religion, the world needs to create an attitude of acceptance along with mutual dialogue. The concept of God and some thoughts are different in every religion. But there are many similarities too. Instead of paying attention to contradictions, we should focus on the similarities.
Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni: The world should become non-sectarian, not secular
We should acknowledge the existence of others as much as our own. Religion is humanity and we all are extensions of opinions. This country is not secular, but non-sectarian. Today, a positive feeling is required. The lifestyle based on Ayurveda, yoga-pranayam, and restraint should be accepted once again.
Haji Syed Salman Chishty: 'Destiny' is a basic foundation of all religions
What feeling you are worshipping your God with is important. If any person offers namaz and commits any act which is a blot on humanity, his namaz is of no use. Damage to the faith of any religion is the greatest crime.
Prahlad Wamanrao Pai: Humanity is soul of all religions
Equality, civility, harmony, tolerance, gratitude and moral values are all values of life. These values will have to be inculcated and social harmony will be established. Humanity is very important in life and it is the soul of all religions.
Bhikkhu Sanghasena: Valuable role of India for non-violence, peace
Whatever is going on in the world is very disturbing and worrisome. In such a situation, the role of India is very important to make the world understand the impedance of non-violence, peace, and compassion. The time has come for us to be unified and find solutions to the problems of the world.
Brahmaviharidas Swami: Unified efforts required
Once upon a time, landing on the moon or space travel were like dreams.
But now they are a reality now. Many feel that prevailing social harmony in the world is a dream. But it is my belief that this dream will be fulfilled. If the entire society makes collective efforts to spread love, follow rules, and develop a good life, global social harmony can be established. Mahant Swami Maharaj often teaches that instead of expecting social harmony from others, we must strive to observe and foster harmony ourselves.