International Conference "World peace and the Message of Mahatma Gandhi"
The Conference on World Peace and the Message of Mahatma Gandhi in Vienna/Austria was initiated by Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda with dedication to deliver a positive input to the current world situation that is a concern of all citizens of the globe. Conference also marked the 133th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhiji's birthday and the 30th anniversary of Swamiji's system 'Yoga in Daily Life' in Europe. The main goal of the Conference was directed towards issues on human freedom, progress, prosperity and security. Many respected guests (representatives of different world religions, ambassadors, social workers, philosophers and scientists) were addressing issues like respect and understanding among religions, nations and cultures; dialog for world peace; compassion towards all creatures; non-violent solving of problems; human rights, ethics and values; physical, mental, social and spiritual health; sustainable development.
Impressions from the Conference
Two thousand participants from 40 different countries attended in support at a 10 hours long conference, including Ambassadors from 25 countries and representatives of 8 world religions.
Prayer for peace
Representatives of 8 world religions held common prayer for world peace:
- Rabbi Awaraham Soetendorp from Netherland for Judaism
- Mag. Werner Horn, Superintendent of Protestant Church in Vienna, for Protestantism
- Mufti Osman Djogic, Muslim Community Slovenia, for Islam
- Monsignor David Cappo , Vicar General of the Archdiocese Adelaide, Australia, for Catholic Church
- Pater Elmar Kahofer, Parish of Kaisermuehlen, Vienna, for Catholic Church
- Bishop-vicar Dr. Emanuel Aydin for Syrian Orthodox Church
- Banthe Dr. Seelawansa Thero, Theravada Buddhism, Vienna, for Buddhism
- Mrs. Ottilie Kaefer, Baha'i, Vienna, for Baha'i
- Mrs. Jelka Lah, Baha'i, Slovenia, for Baha'i
- Mahamandaleshwar Swami Niranjanananda, India, for Hinduism
- Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, Vienna, for Hinduism
The prayer was started by Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda with the Peace Mantra in Sanskrit. Swamiji lit a candle and than each representative followed with a short prayer in their own language and lit candle for peace. Audience was overwhelmed with feelings of joy and peace and greeted each prayer with warm applause of appreciation. At the end of the Conference candles were symbolically distributed to different countries and continents of the world: Australia, New Zealand, USA & Canada, India, Netherland, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Yugoslavia.
Reception at the Vienna Town hall
After Conference's successful conclusion Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda and many respected guests, speakers and organizers were invited to Vienna's Town Hall, where they were welcomed by a representative of the Mayor's office.