December 2015 With yoga taking the world by storm, can yoga festivals be far behind? In recent times, we have seen a plethora of yoga festivals holding sway in the world, but of course some of the most authoritative continue to come from India. Take, for instance, the International Festival on Yoga, Culture and Spirituality organised by Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya annually since 2010. By now the festival has earned a great reputation for its authentic, sincere and committed approach to yoga, rooted unfalteringly in tradition. This year’s festival drew a congregation of global intelligentsia, spiritual gurus, academics, scientists, researchers, management gurus, world leaders, corporate bigwigs, writers, and film-makers from the world over. The triumvirate of yoga, culture and spirituality was celebrated in the university for a week in an earnest endeavour to find ways of bringing peace, prosperity and harmony to mankind, and to make this world a better place. Specially designed sessions were organized to help seekers find solutions and answers. Research-based scientific plenary sessions accompanied by panel discussions and question-answer sessions opened up new perspectives for the seeker. Experiential sessions of complementary and alternative systems of medicine (yoga therapy, acupressure, naturopathy, panchkarma, ayurveda, psychotherapy, pragya pranic healing, mantra therapy, mirror therapy) gave hands-on experience to the participants. Sessions on yagya, pragya yog, naad yog, yog nidra, sankeertan, morning meditation on the rising sun at the banks of Mother Ganga, rejuvenated the attendees. Evenings were devoted to cultural sessions showcasing diverse culture by national and international participants. Tours to nearby ashrams and temples gave an exposure to the matchless spiritual ambience of Haridwar. There was even a spiritual bazaar to enable participants to pick up crystals, rudrakshas, and other bric-a-brac. Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, part of the Gayatri Parivar, one of India’s largest spiritual organizations, has also done tremendous work in the area of providing science-based quality education and training. Their work has been acknowledged at both national and international levels. Providing a wide range of courses (certificate, diploma, graduation, post-graduation and distance programmes), the university boasts of the largest faculty in the field of yoga. Thanks to this achievement the festival shares research, developments, and findings by experienced academics of the university not only in the area of yoga but also culture, and spirituality, blending it with disciplines of psychology, philosophy, history, tourism, Veda, Sanskrit, computer science, and journalism. Envisioned by Yugrishi Vedmoorti Taponishth Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya, to sow the seeds of high ideals, lofty thoughts and noble deeds in society, Dev Sankriti Vishwavidyalaya, situated in Haridwar, and flanked by the holy Ganges, renders matchless service to the nation.
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