DIVINE BLESSING CEREMONY
5TH OCT 2018
The session started with a Warkaris playing their instruments and the dignitaries making their way to the dais. There were religious heads from all various religions and sects within the religions accompanying Prof Dr V D Karad on stage chief among them was Shri Shri Vishvesh Teerth Swami, Head Acharya of the Pejawar Math in Udipi Karnataka, Hazrat Sayeed Mustapha, Bishop Thomas Dabre, Buddhacharan Das, Acharya Ratanlal, Mata Bedi, Dame Doctor Meher Master Moos and Mr Don R Clarke. Then all participated in the traditional lighting of the lamp ceremony. After that everyone got up and saluted a rendition of the World Peace Prayer that was sung for everyone's benefit.
Rev. Prof. Dr. Vishwanath Karad
Prof. Dr. Karad took to the stage and stressed again the need for finding the true messages which all religions preach, namely of peace and harmony, especially in these trying times when chaos and darkness seem to be on the rise. He stressed that the first Stanza of the World Peace Prayer as written by Sant Dnyaneshwara stresses that this discourse is not for Hindus exclusively, but for people from all religions and sects. Prof Karad felt humbled to share the dais with so many eminent theologians and was keen to speak about the Ayodhya issue and its peaceful resolution for the betterment of all mankind. He wished to see if there was a way to ensure that the issue disappears and is not at all left to the fundamentalists and extremists.
Dr. Vijay P Bhatkar
Dr Bhatkar took to the stage and spoke to everyone about the complex way in which life has evolved in the last 4 billion years t finally create us Humans who now are themselves standing on the brink of either great peace and prosperity or complete annihilation. He spoke of the need to propagate the message of peace again and again and spoke of how the central tenets of all major World Religions spoke of the same thing. He further states that while the diversity of life is so complete that even each individual hair on our heads is unique, there is still an underlying unifying factor to it all which cannot be ignored. It is by understanding this complex between between our differences and similarities that we can move forward.
Shri Shri Vishvesh
The aged Swami was stressing only on the similarities of what essentially even seemingly different religions preach at the core of their ideology. He gave anecdotes of how 800 years ago the leader of his math met with a Sultan and they had a lengthy discourse on religion which resulted in both understanding that as different as the attributes may be perceived, there is truly one Gold for us all. He quoted the practice started by his predecessor which was of providing Iftaar meals to devout Muslims during the month of Ramzan, something form which people can understand religious harmony and coexistence. He says that as different as the facets are, the underlying theory is the same. Ultimately the Kuran and the Puranas speak of the same truth.
Hazrat Saeed Mustapha
The learned hazrat started by reading a Sura from the Holy Kuran that dealt with peace and its impact. He then related anecdotes from the life of Prophet Mohammed in which he stated his struggle initially and his reasons for persevering with his message, namely peace for all creatures. He stated that peace is the only way to guarantee security and he wishes to see the World so secure that his daughter can travel in the middle of the night to whichever destination she chooses without any threat. He further stated how close he felt to the learned Swami since they both belong to the same state and that truly the mission of peace on Earth is one that can be easily achieved. He wished for the present people to read from the Quaran and be inspired by the like of Prophet Muhammed before looking around the entire gathering of scholars from different religions before stating that this is India, the way he would like the world to understand.
Bishop Thomas Dabre
The Bishop took to the stage and read a verse from the Book of Matthews that talked about how it is the faith in God that ensures that God provides from all our basic needs, namely food, clothing and shelter. Similarly, today Peace is also a basic need and it was Jesus who would greet every person, from any faith and nationality, with the intonation, 'Peace be upon thee'. This forms the backbone of the philosophy and teachings of Jesus Christ himself. He further congratulated Prof Dr V D Karad for living up to his name and creating this brilliant monument to World Peace. The Bishop noted that Peace and Prosperity and both essential and the right of each individual Human. Compassion cannot be centered on a particular religion, ethnicity or nation.
Buddhacharan Das started by reciting a very melodious hymn. He then spoke of his own personal journey and understood that while he is a Buddhist at heart, the Vedas are in his mind and Christ and Rama are seated atop his mind. He spoke of how he looked many times at the rising sun and wondered to its reason and purpose. Whenever he was to ask the sun this the sun would reply that it was everything, in every direction and vector. And that it is through the Sun's grace that everything in existence exists. He then says that as thought in Eastern religious thought, God is not merely within us but rather we are all God. This is not to say that God is reflected through us, rather that we are reflected through God and that the underlying truth of religions are that they simply are ways of life to help us navigate through this realm. He then claimed the connection between being God and the name Vishwanath with Vishwa meaning the World and Nath meaning Lord.
The Acharya claimed that the similarity between Buddhism and Jainism lies in the fact that they wish to pursue the God within and to understand the world in a harmonious and peaceful context. To explain this he says that when God was sick of being accosted by man a learned sage and him conferred. God said that wherever he was to go, be in heaven, hell or Earth humans find him and he is getting quite tired of it. Then where is he to go? The learned sage postulated that if God were to reside within the hearts of men that no one would think of looking for it there! And that was the essence of the Acharya's story.
There was a brief interlude as the Governor of the state of Maharashtra, Shri C Vidyasagar Rao came to the dome and was quickly felicitated by Prof Dr V D Karad and then lit the ceremonial lamp before being escorted out with Shri Rahul Karad.
Mata Bedi and the Sikh contingent
They all spoke of first how Guru Nanak understood worship to be a personal thing and that helping others to be the most superior and the greatest of the tasks anyone has. They also used the example of the Community kitchen and of professing the equality of all humans in front of God, whatever its name. Further they stated that the names of God can be different, but the purpose is the same and if anyone believes in God then they should adhere by the rules and rituals of their God and religion.
Dame Meher Master Moos
The learned Doctor took the entire congregation through many couplets of worship from Zoroastrianism which explained in depth the deep connection of the religion with the attainment of World Peace and Global harmony.
Mr. Don R Clarke
Don R Clarke reiterated the brilliant reception he had received in India along with the laudable vision of Prof Karad which stated that Peace in the World is to become a reality. He then reiterated the commitment of the Mormon Church to tie up with organizations to further the prospect of World Peace and prosperity.