By Anshuman Singh Guleria March 2003 Wesak festival, falling on the full moon day in May, gets a new definition by Shyama Raj, head of the Maitreya Preksha Seva Mission, who sees it as an effort to bring out the consciousness of oneness among all races and mankind The importance of an almost forgotten festival is brought to light, and its spiritual significance explained by Shyama Raj, head of the Maitreya Preksha Seva Mission, New Delhi, who is actively involved in promoting and popularizing it. Wesak festival, on the full moon day of Taurus, and Buddha Poornima fall on the same auspicious date and their cosmic meaning is believed to be more or less synonymous—earth being flooded with cosmic energies and celestial rays, offering an opportunity for the spiritual growth of all of us. The mission has been active for the past few years. It strives to create opportunities for the holistic healing of the body, mind and soul. Shyama Raj, who believes she has been spiritually guided since her childhood and that ‘God had chosen her for this kind of job‘, initiated this mission. She attends to people suffering from all kind of ailments: depression to schizophrenia, and neurosis to mental retardation. ‘‘These people suffer more because they feel isolated in society. Such distressed people really appreciate it when there is someone with whom they can share their problems,‘‘ she says, adding: ‘‘Problems arise mainly because of lack of love. The people who are suffering have so much love inside their own hearts, and yet they are unaware of it. We help them rediscover themselves. It helps them to expand and the world changes for them.‘‘ How many actually get healed? She asserts: ‘‘Practically everyone recovers provided she has belief in love, the Almighty, and above all, belief in oneself that she can recover.‘‘ The mission has also been instrumental in redefining the importance of Wesak as a festival. For the last two years, they have been organizing the festival. It is scheduled for May 16-17 this year. Wesak, celebrated the world over, is considered the holiest day in a year. It is believed that celestial rays and spiritual energies are showered down on to earth by divine entities and enlightened masters from all epochs. As for Shyama Raj, the festival is: ‘‘An humble effort to bring out the consciousness of oneness among all races and all forms of life. It aims at creating more space in our hearts for all.‘‘ As for the need of people to join this festival, she says: ‘‘Every religion is waiting for the last incarnation of their God to appear on earth. The Hindus have Kalki, Christians are waiting for the reappearance of Christ, Muslims have Iman Mehdi and Buddhists, Maitreya. It is highly unlikely that so many divine beings would converge on earth. God is one and it will appear in one form only. And that too, when we act in unison.‘‘ She believes that there is all the more need to celebrate this festival in our country on a large scale, since we are wracked by communal divides. Shyama Raj‘s mission is also doing philanthropic work. It distributes free rations to the leper colonies and also teaches them how to meditate and heal themselves. All the expenses of the Wesak festival are also borne by its members. So the mission appeals to concerned citizen groups, media, and leaders to help in making this festival a success for the sake of humanity. Contact: Maitreya Preksha Seva Mission Ph: (011) 26416920
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