report by Monk Mukesh Anand
We organized a peace prayer ceremony at Santram Temple in Nadiad on 10th May, 2015. Over a thousand people—children, youth, adult devotees and monks—were part of the events on this occasion. Drawing from last year’s success, the entire day was again filled with activities to inspire different groups of people and spread the message of peace.
School children and teachers: Children represent the future—of our country, the world, and society at large. And so, a large part of the day was spent with the next generation—boys and girls from various schools in Nadiad. Our interaction with children focused on the importance of praying, the significance of the event, and on spreading peace. It was heartening to see children sitting together without the usual distractions, observing silence and praying, totally oblivious to their surroundings.
Youth: Amongst the activities included was reading verses from the Bhagwad Gita, a sacred text of the Hindus. Literally meaning “Song of the God,” the Bhagwad Gita is a 700-verse scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
Adult devotees: We recited shlokas (verses in Sankrit) and sang bhajans (prayers) in groups, followed by silent meditation and peace prayers.
Monks: In the evening, different monks from the Ashram delivered spiritual speeches on world peace, prayed and observed silence.
It was extremely heartening and inspiring to see a wide range of people—boys, girls, men, women, and senior citizens—all coming together for this noble cause. Almost every corner of the ashram premises was hosting a small gathering, in some ways similar to how so many groups across the world were observing this occasion. The atmosphere was positively charged, yet calm and serene.
This was our second time observing the SOPP in Nadiad. We look forward to conducting the event next year, and to continuing our journey as partners in this endeavour.