By Life Positive May 2013 The first World Parliament on Spirituality, which took place in Hyderabad, made history with its aim to bring spirituality into the forefront of consciousness The gala opening ceremony of the first World Parliamenton Spirituality in Hyderabad Our Parliaments have failed to deliver, the United Nations has become a pawn of the powerful; in such troubled times can a World Parliament on Spirituality provide the answer? Probably yes. With this in mind the World United Forum organised the world’s first World Parliament on Spirituality from December 17 to 21, 2012, in Hyderabad. Not only that, with changing times, spirituality too has undergone paradigm shifts in its approaches to human life and evolution. To celebrate, and welcome its new modern avatar and to step back, assess and evaluate the strides made in evolution by human civilization, a gala event was organised, marked by lots of deliberations, observations, fanfare and hoopla. Envisioned by Dr Yugandhar GR, Secretary to the World United Foundation, the event’s schedule was divided into two segments; pure and applied spirituality. It was held in four halls simultaneously for five days with 208 presentations, 3000 participants, 60 plenaries, 45 workshops, 25 panel discussions, 24 musical interludes, with 56 nations participating. There were videos and text messages from many leaders who could not come such as Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, HH Dalai Lama, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Mata Amritanandamayi, and Dr Karan Singh. Day one started with a rendition from the Divine Peace Band comprising 200 people from 10 countries, majority of whom were from Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China. A colorful march lasting 45 minutes, with musicians playing 16 types of instruments was carried out, escorting the speakers and VIPs from the main gate to the entrance of the auditorium. This was followed by the inaugural session with a lamp being lighted by all the spiritual masters together. The welcome note was delivered by Padma Shri DR Kaarthikeyan, Chairman of the Parliament and President of Life Positive. Four luminaries were given lifetime achievement award which included Dadi Janki of the Brahma Kumaris, Dada JP Vaswani, head of the Sadhu Vaswani mission, Dr AK Chatterjee, head of Yogiraj Shyamacharan Sanathan Mission, and revered SN Goenka, teacher of Vipassana Meditation, all of who have served to spiritualise the world for more than five decades. The end of the inauguration witnessed a peace oath taken by all the participants, speakers, performers and volunteers together which began with: ‘I love this life. I love this world. I believe that Earth is One, Truth is One, We are One.’ This was followed by plenary sessions on various themes related to pure and applied spirituality in the four halls named as Babaji Hall, Lao Tzu Hall, Buddha Hall and the Socrates Hall. The speakers came from all the continents of the world showcasing their country’s native spiritual wisdom apart from many New Age concept presentations. The topics included, Shifting from perceptual reality to Reality, Individual awakening for a global spiritual awakening, Importance of women as an icon of sustainability, Can spirituality and profitability go hand in hand? Energy Medicine and its implications in the establishment of holistic health model, Transformation of arts for spiritual awakening, among many others. These were interspersed by many musical interludes which showcased various music and dance forms of many countries. The signature song was sung by Estha Divine from Cameroon, Eli Ho from Austria, and Shaun Parry, a Broadway performer from New York. Each day was brought to a close by releasing helium balloons, flying lanterns, lots of fireworks and candle lamp shows. The main events of this watershed event were: 20 keynote addresses by sages and masters, around 45 workshops, 14 themes of applied spirituality, group discussions and networking, spiritual and holistic health Expo, official launching of the Signature Tune by Estha Divine, showcasing of Himalayan, Mayan, Aboriginal, Maori, African and Egyptian traditional spiritual wisdom apart from many New Age spiritual trends, presentation of Omkara and advanced yoga performance by Portuguese Yoga Federation, documentary movie made by Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, 10 million people meditating from 5pm to 6pm across the world in different time zones, and the establishment of The World United Spiritual Council. Some of the main figures participating in the event were: Dada JP Vaswani, Spiritual Head of The Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Dr AK Chatterjee head of Yogiraj Shyamacharan Sanathan Mission, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha President of American Indian Association, Swami Chidanand Saraswati Head of Paramarth Niketan, BK Shivani, Spiritual Personality, Brandon Bays Founder of Journey, Sunyogi Umashankar, Jacqueline Maria Longstaff, Founder of the Singing Heart Ashram, Sadhvi Bhagavati Spiritual Teacher, Paramarth Niketan, Padmabhushan Dr BM Hegde Eminent Medical Expert, Dr NK Sharma Founder of Reiki Healing Foundation, Prem Nirmal Founder, Enlightenment Education Societies, and many others. Said Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudeva in a televised message to the Parliament, “For the first time, as a generation, we have the necessary resources, capability and technology to address and solve every problem on the planet, but still, an inclusive consciousness is missing…In the name of religious, national and other identities, we have fragmented humanity into many piece… Let us make a new, blissful and loving world. For a shift in consciousness, we do not need galactic help; it is in our hands. If human beings are willing, we can create a new world – a world that is inclusive. Let us make it happen.” Amen to that!
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