Celebrations of the UN International Day of Non Violence 2013
by Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council and Yoga in Daily Life
On the 2nd of October each year we celebrate Gandhi Jayanti, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, which has been declared by the United Nations as International Day of Non-Violence.
On this occasion H. H. Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwaranandaji, author of the scientific system Yoga in Daily Life and founder and president of Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council (SMWPC), has called on all societies and centers of Yoga in Daily Life throughout the world and all members of Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council to observe this day with special attention and events.
Swamiji himself – with hundreds of disciples and delegates of SMWPC and Yoga in Daily Life – took part in two functions.
Bratislava, Slovak Republic
On 1st of October an international peace gathering attended by more than one hundred people from Slovakia and neighbouring countries was held at the Peace Trees in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, at the Kuchajda Resort. Together with Swamiji, numerous representatives from the city authority, as well as political, cultural and social representatives took part in this peace event.
The second event which Swamiji attended as a special guest was on 2nd of October: an Intercultural Evening in Eisenstadt, Austria, in the new Culture and Convention Center. It started with addresses by representatives from district authorities on Mahatma Gandhi and the importance of this memorial day for the whole world; followed by lively Hungarian folk dances from the Nagycent Folk Dance Group, and a colourful Bharat Natyam dance performance by Bhakti Devi. The highlight of the evening was the lecture by H. H. Vishwaguruji.
- Excerpt from the speech of Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwaranandaji at the Intercultural event on the UN Day of Non-Violence and birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, Eisenstadt, Austria, 2 October 2013
Throughout the world the International Day of Non-Violence is observed and celebrated today, which the UN has proclaimed on 2 October – the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. The Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council and Yoga in Daily Life traditionally celebrate this day with joint programs and ceremonies.
Inter-cultural celebrations and meetings like this one are particularly important, because they promote mutual understanding, communication and unity, and thus pave the way for a world without violence and wars.
Mahatma Gandhi said: There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.
Mahatma Gandhi not only preached - he himself lived what he spoke and taught. Unfortunately, this is usually not followed today. Not even in India. Everywhere we look in the world, there is violence. Violence is not only to be understood as physical; also mentally, by words or power, violation takes place. Anger, revenge, greed, and jealousy are forms of violence.
What does it mean to be human? We human beings carry within us the light of knowledge. Therefore, we also have a responsibility. Which qualities are human and which are inhuman?
In the Vedas it is said - and this was also Gandhiji's principle: Ahimsa paramo dharma
- non-violence and non-killing is the highest dharma (principle, task).
Ahimsa applies not only to people, but equally to the animals and to nature. In the Christian commandments it is written: Thou shalt not kill - it is not: Thou shall not kill people, but animals you may. To cause suffering is the greatest crime! The karma, or to put it here with the common term: the sin, not only affects those who hunt or kill animals for consumption, but also those who breed and keep the animals; and most affected are those who buy and eat meat!
Gandhi said: The earth has enough for our needs, but not enough for our greed!
Today only money counts. Unfortunately there is no competition for who is the kindest and holiest. Where is the mistake? With the parents – in the upbringing of their children. The best education is provided within the family system.
In a recent meeting of the United Nations, it has been found that women, yes women, can change the world. How? The education of children begins with the mother. Already in her womb the child is being influenced by her thoughts and feelings. With the proper upbringing and education of their children, mothers and fathers can change our world for the better.
To achieve spiritual and ethical principles in life is to live with ahimsa. Live with understanding, kindness, forgiveness and mercy towards all living beings. Make a sankalpa, here and now firmly resolve that:
Through my body, through my words and thoughts, and through my deeds I will not cause pain to any living beings.