The International Day of Non-Violence in Bratislava, 2012
On October 2, 2012, more than 140 people gathered around the peace tree in Bratislava, Slovakia to commemorate the International Day of Non-Violence. The designation was established by the United Nations on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi in order to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. This year, the event also fell on the 5th anniversary of the World Peace Summit in Bratislava (October 5-7, 2007).
Peace Tree Meeting
The festive peace tree meeting at the Kuchajda recreational area (Bratislava Nové Město) was honoured by the presence of H.H. Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, the initiator of the World Peace Summit and author of the holistic system Yoga in Daily Life, as well as other significant guests, including honourable representatives of Bratislava - Nove Mesto.
Following the meeting at the peace tree, guests were invited to participate in a planting of three additional trees at Kuchajda. The event served to launch a new tree planting project organized by Yoga in Daily Life in Slovak Republic. The aim of the proposed project is to contribute to the health of the local environment and fulfil the voluntary commitment made by YiDL at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio de Janeiro, 2012). The three trees, symbolically called “Trinity”, were affectionately named Shanti (Peace), Prem (Love), and Daya (Mercy) by Swamiji.
Public Lecture with Swamiji
In the evening, residents of Bratislava and guests from Slovakia and abroad had the opportunity to attend a public lecture by Swamiji. The theme of the lecture focused on one form of non-violence: that towards the self. Swamiji spoke of the importance of taking care of the physical body, and how the daily practise of yoga, including asanas and pranayama, can improve our health, vitality, and wellbeing.