Silver Jubilee Celebrations, Art of LivingPerhaps a few lucky ones had been able to conceive the event before it took place, perhaps a few others had been working towards it from long before, my confession is that I had no idea and it had me completely bowled over. Never in my seven years of association with the organization and its founder, even in conducting workshops or working for the seva projects, or even while working for the event itself, had I been able to even catch a glimpse of his vision, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
The event was just the tip of the iceberg. The sea of more than the expected figure of 2.5 million people, the nadaswarams, thavils, veenas, tablas, violins and mridangams from 3800 musicians resounding from the three acre stage into the Jakkur airfields, the sheer effort that went behind the scene, the speeches from eminent dignitaries and spiritual and religious leaders and the one person who made it all happen, His beauty, His presence, His graceful walk, His smile as he took in everything, not missing a single detail, was by itself, an experience difficult to take in through just the five senses, in just three days. The initial feeling was an immense sense of pride, that somewhere, somehow I am a part of all this. But once the initial feeling passed away and I took in the magnificence of the event, I was able to see, to feel that the event, the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Art of Living Foundation was just a tip of the iceberg, a single dimensional view of the greatness, the abundance, the expanse, the depth of the Master which is multi dimensional.
For, one cannot miss the fact that each person who was associated in any way with the event, had a story to share. A story that touched each one of us deep within; if each one of us wrote a biography, we would write about how Silver Jubilee changed us, how it touched our lives, how through the three day event we discovered beautiful things about our own selves, how wishes got fulfilled, how all obstacles got overcome. The theme was love and peace and the event was a forum where all issues in the world that related to world peace got addressed, dealing with terrorism, politics, the role of wisdom, learning, religion and spirituality and how they relate to world peace, how music, dance and art plays a role, different forms of communication that bridges every gap to form one family. And in addressing the issues of the world, the most important factor, its people were not forgotten. The message of love and peace permeated every heart, every soul present there. Misery was kept aside, pain was kept aside, every single desire in every heart was taken care of. Each one felt an immense sense of belongingness, of security, each one felt ready for one world family. It was evident in every face…one could actually see, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam as a reality.
We have conducted workshops on stress relief, we have done service projects in villages, we have done disaster relief, worked in prisons, worked for drug and alcohol victims. We have conducted programs for the youth, for the elderly, for children, for women. We have reached out to over 144 countries. Seven years ago, I must have had a reason, however trivial it may be, to have joined the Art of Living workshop. Ever since, me and all my colleagues from the foundation have approached people from all arenas with some pertinent reason, to come and join in. The reasons have been true, people have gone back with what they wanted and more. After Silver Jubilee I realize, that all have been different routes to reach home. For the message is universal, the world IS one family and the love that connects all of us a reality. Not even a soul, can be away from this. Even enlightenment cannot be an excuse…there is one love that binds us all, and I am grateful to all those who have made it possible for me to experience this.