Yoga in Daily Life World Peace Summit and the Message of Mahatma Gandhi
In commemoration of the 1st anniversary of the Mahasamadhi of His Holiness Dharmsamrat Paramhans Swami Madhavanandaji and reaffirming the Message of Mahatma Gandhi, the Yoga in Daily Life World Peace Summit took place on the 31st of October 2004 in Brno, Czech Republic. Under the patronage of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic, Mr. Cyril Svoboda, the World Peace Summit was inaugurated by the Indian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, His Excellency Shree P.S. Raghavan. Moreover, this World Peace Summit was privileged to receive the Peace Messages of the President of the Republic of Croatia and the President of the Republic of Slovenia, which were presented by the Ambassadors of these countries.
In the presence of three thousand participants from all over the world, the Summit commenced with a prayer for peace, in which World Peace Summit Flames were lit by spiritual leaders and representatives of all major world religions:
- His Holiness Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, India, Hinduism
- Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Earth Charter Commisioner, The Netherlands, Judaism
- Th. Dr. Jan, Schwartz, Patriarch of the Protesant Church of Chech Republic
- The most Reverend Lama Shenpen Rinpoche, Slovenia, Buddhism
- Shree Jasvinder Singh, Germany, Nam Dhari Sikh Religion
- Dr, Buneshwar Muni, India, Sanatana Dharma Jain
- Rev. Mgr. Jarmily Plotena, Czech Republic, Uniting Church
- Mgr. Zuzana Kolarova, Czech Republic, Baha´i Society
All conference speakers expressed the need to take a more active responsibility in establishing the peaceful coexistence of all religions and cultures through tolerance, respect and understanding.
In his opening speech, the Indian Ambassador to Czech Republic, H.E. Shree P.S. Raghavan, praised "Yoga in Daily Life" as an invaluable support system for the human being in his complex daily existence. He emphasised the Message of Mahatma Gandhi and its universal relevance as well as the importance of strengthening the four vital pillars on which a strong and stable world order has to rest – peace, security, sustainable development, and ethical values. Recognising that the impulse for far-reaching changes always comes primarily from the grassroots – through religious and spiritual leaders, social activists and other non-governmental organisations – His Excellency acknowledged the importance of such a gathering.
Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp from the Earth Charter Commission and World Union of Progressive Judaism, expressed his firm belief in compassion and the essential goodness of human nature, which is based on his personal experience, having been born into a Jewish family during the 2nd World War and rescued by a Christian family. He placed a special emphasis on the UN Development Goals and described such gatherings as the engine of peace movements.
The Initiator of the Yoga in Daily Life World Peace Summit, His Holiness Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwaranandaji, defined Yoga as the foundation of all religions and spoke about the principles of Yoga as a powerful instrument for achieving lasting World Peace. Swamiji highlighted the importance of religious tolerance and multicultural respect by setting an example of how to “be the change we want to see” (Gandhi). Reflecting upon the UN Millenniums Goals, he explained that the sustainable development does not happen primarily through money or buildings, but through the establishing of a sustainable relationship between Humanity and Nature.
Letters of support came from many respected personalities who were not able to attend the Summit, among them the Muslim leader Mufti Osman Djogic from Slovenia and Monsignor David Cappo, Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide, South Australia.
The World Peace Summit was beautifully enriched through multi-cultural artistic performances of Classical South Indian Bharatnatyam Dance, Jewish spiritual songs and Czech Folk Music.
As a tribute to His Holiness Dharmsamrat Paramhans Swami Madhavanandaji, a 20-minute video was shown, presenting his exemplary and saintly life, his mission and inevitable departure – that was victorious for His Holiness Guruji, but on the other hand presents an immeasurable loss for bhaktas and the whole of mankind.
"Unity in Diversity is the aim of this Summit", said Swamiji in his concluding speech. "We have learned many things and now we shall put them into practice. There should be more and more such conferences so that the consciousness will awaken to bring about Peace. We shall spread this message from door to door and from shore to shore. This Summit is a seed that must be grown into a large tree with branches of Spirituality, Peace, Justice, Understanding, Forgiveness, Tolerance and Love.
Rabbi Soetendorp read the final Statement of Resolution of the Summit, which was signed by all main participants and heartily accepted by everyone present, aiming, among others, to promote the UN Millennium Development Goals. "Indeed we have planted a tree," said Rabbi afterwards, "a fruit tree for future generations. And this Statement is the water and the soil in which the tree will grow."