By OUR STAFF REPORTER
RISHIKESH, 6 Dec: Sri Sathya Sai Vrinda Group of more than six hundred devotees from 40 countries joined hundreds of pilgrims during Parmarth Niketan’s Ganga Aarti on the banks of the Ganga in a pledge led by Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President of Parmarth Niketan, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary General, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, and Mudhusudan Rao Naidu on working together.
Devotees donned orange clothes, shawls and stoles to commemorate the United Nations’ 16 day campaign, completing on 10 December, to end domestic violence against women.
Sadhvi Bhagawati said, “It is time that faith communities and faith based organisations come forth and lead the way for a violence free world. It is time when education is saturated with human values. It is such a coincidence recently when I was speaking at the United Nations that I was first introduced to the campaign and I was so glad to know that the colour of the campaign was orange and the hashtag was #orangetheworld and so, today, as we sit here on the banks of Mother Ganga, draped in orange, let us remember that orange symbolises the Sun, which like Mother Ganga gives, gives and gives with no hesitation, no expectation, no discrimination and no vacation and that is the emphasis given in Indian spiritual culture. Orange also symbolises the colour of sacrifice and complete surrender and that women embody these very values. As a mother, daughter, wife, sister or any of their various roles they are the manifestation of divinity therefore to hurt them is to hurt Divinity itself and when we have this awareness of our innate Divinity we cannot even think to harm and this is the world that we must together create.”
The event coincided with a special Paint My City campaign coming to a conclusion today in Prayag Raj, as part of the Kumbh Art Fest, where hundreds of artists for many days and weeks have been transforming the walls, flyovers, buildings, etc., with their art celebrating the heritage of the city.
A special groupie was taken with all devotees and the official Kumbh logo with an invitation to the world to come to the largest spiritual gathering of humanity and experience the true essence of India.
During the special ceremony, Swam Chidanand said, “The Kumbh Mela will be a platform where the world is going to converge and it is then that we get to advocate and raise awareness on protecting the divine feminine, in the form of our mothers and sisters or Mother Earth and Mother Ganga.”
Madhusudan provided words of benediction from Sathya Sai Baba, declaring, “Today we have the confluence of Sathya Sai Sansthan with Parmarth Niketan but they were never really separate they were one- working for the cause of preserving, protecting and propogating the Sanatana Dharma.”