Unique festival on Gandhi held in America

July 27th, 2008 - 10:53 pm ICT by ANI  

Nevada, July 27 (ANI): A unique and first of its kind eco-friendly festival celebrating Mahatma Gandhi’’s life was held in Nevada (USA) on Sunday. Drummers, fire spinners, healthy and organic food advocates, yoga teachers, DJs, and sustainable living proponents joined hands to celebrate peace, love, freedom, non-violence, self-power and conscious living as promoted by Gandhi on the banks of Truckee River in Reno. Rajan Zed, acclaimed Indo-American leader, was the keynote speaker who talked about Gandhi’’s life, philosophy, and experiments, and answered questions of the participants during this festival. The festival included folk dancing, musical performances, sustainable goods displays, nature tours, bhajan chanting, fire spinning, yoga shows and organic food demonstrations.
According to coordinators Tom Stille and Doug Keeney, this Gandhi Fest will be an annual feature. Meanwhile, October has been designated as “Gandhi Month” by a team of Nevadans who want to celebrate his 139th birth-month to highlight his message regarding human and spiritual rights. Lead by Right Reverend Gene Savoy Junior, bishop of International Community of Christ, and Rajan Zed, this team will culminate the “Gandhi Month” celebrations with prayers from major world faiths by religious leaders of Nevada on a 5,000 foot high hilltop at Red Rock Consecrated Sanctuary north of Reno in Nevada at sunset on October 12. At this distinctive first-of- its-kind celebration, the recitations at the sunset to honour the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi will include Christian prayers in English, Muslim prayers in Arabic, Hindu shalokas in Sanskrit, Buddhist prayers in Pali, Jewish prayers in Hebrew, a Baha”i prayer in Persian, and a Native American chant in the Sioux tradition.
All attendees will do mass recitation of one of the Gandhi’’s favourite bhajan, “Raghupati raghav rajaram,” on the occasion. A ringing of bells ritual, with bells collected worldwide will be held exactly at sunset during this ceremony in memory of Gandhi as a promoter of global peace.
Representatives of different faiths will garland a picture of Gandhi, and tributes will be paid to him in an interfaith dance.
According to Zed and Savoy, they would like to make “Gandhi Month” an annual feature in Nevada.
The two are also pushing for Gandhi monument around the state capital in Carson City and Gandhi statues in Las Vegas and Reno.
A Nevada-wide essay competition will be held in October on the topics of non-violence, peace, conflict resolution to promote Gandhi’’s teachings. This special sunset service is being held in recognition that every member of human family, equally and without distinction, is invested in God with a spiritual nature. Gandhi acknowledged this and was a champion of religious freedom as a fundamental human right, Reverend Savoy said. There is a renewed interest world over in Mahatma Gandhi and his ideas, who is universally venerated as one of the paramount moral, political, and social leaders of the recent history, Rajan Zed adds. (ANI)

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