International Day of Peace observed worldwide by Yoga in Daily Life
One of the main goals of Yoga in Daily Life as an international NGO, is to create inner peace through practicing yoga, which is a path to world peace. YIDL centres across five continents organized various programs – peace prayers at World Peace Trees, free indoor/outdoor yoga classes, group meditations, public lectures, cultural programs – to commemorate the International Day of Peace, 21 September 2018.
Here are a few glimpses of the Yoga in Daily Life® worldwide events on the occasion of the International Day of Peace.
On 21 September, the International Day of Peace was celebrated with a prayer for world peace at the World Peace Tree in the Swiss Garden, Vienna near Guruji Ashram. Vishwaguruji planted this tree together with District Mayor Mr Erich Hohenberg, as the first World Peace Tree in Vienna, in 2005.
The International Day of Peace was also remembered by YIDL communities in other cities of Austria, such as Villach, Linz and Salzburg, where further trees have been planted as symbols of World Peace by Vishwaguruji.
In the city park of Villach, the program was launched with a fire ceremony Agni Hotra for world peace, at the World Peace Tree on the evening of 21 September. The Peace Day observance was continued by chanting mantras and singing a prayer for peace.
In Linz, a Meditation for World Peace was held on the morning of 21 September. The Peace Day program was closed with a prayer at the World Peace Tree planted by Vishwaguruji in 2009.
The YIDL community in Salzburg celebrated the International Day of Peace in the park of Hellbrunn Palace, where the World Peace Festival took place near the World Peace Tree on 21 September.
In Hainan, China, members of the YIDL community invited the public to two free yoga classes in celebration of the International Day of Peace on 21 September, where participants could experience inner peace through Yoga in Daily Life. At end of the celebration, fruits and snacks were provided to participants. The Chinese characters in the photographs translate as: "Remembering World Peace Day".
The International Day of Peace was celebrated by Croatian YIDL associations with a program titled “Inner Peace for World Peace 2018”, which included peace mediations in regular yoga classes during a whole week plus lighting of candles and singing of peace prayers at World Peace Trees in Zagreb, Varazdin, Karlovac, Rijeka, Labin, Duga Uvala (Pula), Umag, Split and Vukovar.
The World Peace Tree in Zagreb was planted by Vishwaguruji in 2005, to commemorate the first peace summit ever held in the Republic of Croatia. Since then, many people have visited this tree, and many beautiful words, prayers, wishes and hopes for peace have been proclaimed there. In the same manner, YIDL community commemorated the International Day of Peace this year.
YIDL community gathered around the World Peace Tree, near the Golden Gate of Diocletian's Palace in Split, to celebrate the International Day of Peace. With prayers for peace and lighting of candles, they listened to the relaxing melodies of the Rhythm Heart Music group. The whole event attracted the attention of the public passing by.
The International Day of Peace in Rijeka was marked under the slogan "5 Minutes for Peace" near the World Peace Tree, which was planted two years ago in Delta Park, under the Monument of Liberation. All the guests were welcomed by representatives of the Croatian-Indian, Croatian-Chinese and Croatian-Russian Friendship Societies, as well as representatives of the Jewish Municipality of Rijeka, the Anti-Fascist Association and the Youth Association of Roma Community in Rijeka. At the end of the program, the participants lit candles and together sang the Sanskrit Peace Mantra and John Lennon's song "Give Peace a Chance".
For the first time in Labin, the International Day of Peace was celebrated at the Peace Tree, which was planted by Indian Ambassador Mr Sandeep Kumar, Mayor of the City of Labin Mr Valter Glavičić and Mahamandaleshwar Swami Vivek Puri in 2018. The president of the Labin Association of Yoga in Daily Life, Loreno Miletić, addressed the guests with a speech on the meaning of the World Peace Day and the role of the yoga in it. After the Peace Mantra and lighting candles for world peace, a meditation for peace was held in the association hall, and the event ended with a vegetarian meal.
The program in Duga Uvala started with lighting candles around the World Peace Tree and a prayer for world peace, which was followed by a guided meditation on "Inner Peace for World Peace".
In Vukovar, the International Day of Peace was marked in a good mood and company with practitioners and random passers-by.
In Umag, a city that opened its doors to yoga long ago, the World Peace (olive) Tree has been a reminder of peace for local citizens, as well as visitors to the main city square in front of the city hall, for 8 years. A group of YIDL practitioners, assisted by friends from Labin, also visited the tree this year and held the program “Inner Peace for World Peace”. The city of Umag traditionally makes oil from the fruits of this and other trees in the city.
In order to celebrate the International Day of Peace on 21 September, the YIDL community organized a Satsang evening at the main YIDL centre in Prague.
The YIDL centre in Žďár nad Sázavou organized two events – a free yoga class for the general public and a meditation for world peace – to observe the International Day of Peace on 21 September.
On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, a yoga class for inner peace and a meditation for peace were held at the International Sri Deep Madhavananda Ashram in Hamburg.
On 21 September, a program of “Peace Day Prayer and Meditation” was held at the Hungarian Guru Ashram in Budapest. After the meditation and peace prayer, a vegetarian bhandara (celebratory feast) and a report on the Himalaya pilgrimage led by Vishwaguruji were held.
On 22 September, the YIDL Youth Club in Budapest organized lectures and discussions about vegan and vegetarian lifestyle, together with food samples. The slogan of the program was: “Live in peace with the animals and let humanity be vegetarian.”
The YIDL association of Szeged organized a public lecture titled “Stress management with yoga” held by President of YIDL Szeged, Cetanpuri, in Hódmezővásárhely on 20 September and in Szeged on 21 September.
A peace prayer was held at the World Peace Tree in Kecskemét.
On 21 September, a satsang and meditation for world peace were held at the Ashram in Győr.
In Jadan, India, the International Day of Peace was remembered with a prayer for world peace around a banyan tree near the Mataji Temple.
On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, members of the YIDL community gathered at the sculpture of Non-Violence in Luxembourg and chanted Vedic mantras for world peace. During the weekly class, Khatu Pranam was also practised with peace mantras.
Each of the three YIDL ashrams in New Zealand - Auckland, Wellington and Kapiti Coast - offered free yoga classes on Friday 21 September, to mark the International Day of Peace.
Also on 21 September, a lunchtime musical recital was given by Swami Madhuram Puri at St. Paul’s Cathedral in the capital city of Wellington. The audience was deeply moved by ragas played on Indian bamboo flute, bansuri and the improvisations on the Japanese bamboo flute, shakuhachi, as well as chanting of the Vedic peace mantras.
On Sunday 23 September, Swami Madhuram represented Yoga in Daily Life and led a peace meditation at an Interfaith Peace Gathering to acknowledge International Day of Peace, at the Kapiti Uniting Parish Church in Raumati Beach. Along with members of different Christian denominations, there were people attending from various other faiths, including: Jewish, Buddhist, Sufi, Hindu, Moslem, and Quakers.
For the occasion of the International Day of Peace, on Friday 21 September, in most of the Slovenian cities, YIDL ashrams and yoga centres (Ljubljana, Domzale, Kranj, Celje, Nova Gorica, Ribnica, etc.) organized free yoga programs for beginners and advanced participants, where the Yoga in Daily Life System was presented.
In the capital city, Ljubljana, a prayer was held at the World Peace Tree planted by Vishwaguruji in the Park of the Council of Europe in 2006. Prayers were also performed at the other Slovenian World Peace Trees.
The YIDL centre in Ribnica, in cooperation with the Municipality, Public Fund for Cultural Activities, Primary School, Music School, Kindergarten, Parish Office, Retirement Home, and Recreation Club, organized a beautiful program, with around 300 pupils, children from the kindergarten, seniors, members of the public, visitors, and other guests. The mayor, the headmistress, the president of YIDL centre in Ribnica and the assistant director of the retirement home, gave speeches and the priest blessed the planted apple tree. A beautiful cultural event was part of the program, including: an exhibition of schoolchildren, a musical program of elderly and children, performances, presentations of nice thoughts on maintaining peace and nature, symbolic giving of paper pigeons, paintings on the ground, merrymaking around the planted apple tree, a banquet, among other cultural and artistic programs.
In Durbanville, the International Day of Peace was remembered with reciting of the Peace Mantra on 21 September.
SPAIN – CANARY ISLANDS – CUBA
On Sunday 23 September, the YIDL community in Barcelona organized a “Walk for Peace” program to visit Peace Trees planted in Sant Cugat. During the celebration of the International Day of Peace, the peace mantra was chanted and yoga asanas and pranayama were practiced in the forest of Sant Cugat.
In the municipality of Guía in the Canary Islands, members of the YIDL community gathered around the World Peace Tree on 23 September to water the tree planted by Vishwaguruji in 2015, and practice yoga asanas and pranayama.
In Cuba, there was a three-day program on the occasion of the International Day of Peace:
- 21 September: a drawing contest was organized in Holguín, for junior and senior students aged between 6 and 11, in commemoration of the International Day of Peace. Drawings created a “Peace Forest” zone at the Art School of Holguín.
- 22 September: on the coast of Guardalavaca, yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation were practised. Participants walked to the World Peace Tree, planted by Vishwaguruji in 2017, to ceremoniously walk around it in circles and water the tree.
- 23 September: invited practitioners could meditate and practice pranayama at the YIDL centre in Holguín. A dialogue about the culture of peace and an exercise program of Sarva Hitta asanas were organized for children.
On the International Day of Peace, 21 September, the YIDL community in Cherkasy chanted the Peace Mantras for the well-being of all living creatures beside the World Peace Tree, planted by Vishwaguruji in 2009. At the Sri Alakhpuriji Ashram, there were also free yoga classes all day long.
On the International Day of Peace, members of the YIDL community in London gathered together around the World Peace Tree in Queen’s Park, close to the Sri Swami Madhavanandaji Ashram, to light candles and dedicate prayers for peace and harmony for the whole universe.
In Scotland, the morning and evening classes on Friday 21 September at Mahaprabhu Deep Ashram in Edinburgh were dedicated to peace, and the evening meditation session included chanting of the traditional Vedic Peace Mantras. After class, participants shared a light supper of vegan soup and then walked together to the World Peace Tree in nearby London Road Gardens, planted by Vishwaguruji and Revd. Andrew Anderson in 2010. With lighted candles, the group made wishes for peace whilst circling the tree, and chanted the peace mantras together again, for the benefit of all living beings.
On 21 September, representatives of YIDL and the Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council (SSMWPC) joined with the International Day of Yoga Committee at the United Nations, in the Tillman Chapel, New York City, in commemoration of the International Day of Peace. The program, inspired by the 2018 UN theme 'The Right to Peace - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70', reflected on history, and resonated with the call for action and inspired personal commitment, with spirited music and meditation.