East Meets West at Major Interfaith Gathering at Parmarth
The world came together for a major, high-profile interfaith gathering in which faith leaders from the West came to learn from faith leaders from the East. Attending were dignitaries and audience members from over 20 nations.
The esteemed leaders joined forces in focusing on how to globally expand values of respect between religions as well as an appreciation for the diversity and dignity of all people. In so doing, the event highlighted the values of respect between religions and appreciation for diversity and dignity of all people.
In addition, the event took a careful look at environmental issues, with revered faith leaders determining clear steps as to how religious bodies can combine forces to play crucial roles in creating a clean and sustainable world.
During the proceedings, the leaders highlighted the need for inter-religious cooperation, including the need to promote a universal consciousness regarding environmental responsibilities. Said HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji, Founder/Chair of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance India and President of Parmarth Niketan, “Today signifies a great day in which the tremendous forces of faith came together and joined hands for a sustainable and peaceful world. The need for this gathering couldn’t be greater in these changing times, as the world heats up and our natural resources, such as water, are at risk. Such pressing issues call for historic measures that can only be taken if the world comes together and stays together in fellowship and mutual-understanding.”
Said Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee: “In Judiasm, there is the concept of Tikkun Olam, which means the repairing of what is broken in our world. For this, we must embrace one another as brothers and sisters under the same sheltering sky, appreciate our similarities and differences and come together to solve the issues that impact us all. Today symbolizes a wonderful step forward.”
Said Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, “the focus of fellowship and universal consciousness for our environment is founded upon teachings inherent in our Indian culture. The very tenant of Vasudeva Kutumbakam, for example, says we are all members of the same global family, interwoven like silken threads of a beautiful fabric. Today, this beautiful gathering brought forth great and poignant messages for peace, which comes from thoughtful dialogue, peaceful fellowship, and working together to ensure all people may benefit from a clean, healthy and sustainable world.”
Among the dignitaries at the event were: Rabbi Noam E. Marans, Director AJC of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, Maulana Syed Arshad Madaniji, President, JamiatUlama-i- Hind, HH His Holiness the 37th Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoche Ladakh Visit 2016, Diwan Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, Religious Head and SajjadaNasheen of the Ajmer Sharif Shrine, Lama Lobzang, Global Buddhist Congress Convener and Founder of International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), Paramjit Singh Chandhokji, Chairman of DSGMC (Delhi Shiromani Gurudwara Management Committee), Bhaisahib Satpalji, Ambassador of Sikh Religion-Western Hemisphere, Maulana Luqman Tarapuri, National President, Global Imam Council (Sunni Leader), Sufi Shah Peer Mushahid uz zaman khan Chishti, Founder and President of International Islamic Sufi Foundation, Ven Bhikkhu Sanghasenaji, Founder of Mahabodhi Meditation Centre, B.A. Paramadvaiti Swamiji, Founder of World Consciousness Pact, South America, Vrindavan, and many others. Participants and audience members came from over 20 nations including: Brazil, the United States, Ecuador, Columbia, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, India and many others.