International Yoga Festival, March 1-7, 2020, Day 5
Day 5 of the International Yoga Festival started its incredibly-successful run with early morning practices, performances and power-talks designed to inspire, motivate and uplift both participants and presenters. On this day, Dr. Ron Malka, the Ambassador of Israel to India and Sri Lanka, made a special visit to the International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan, to participate in the day’s yoga offerings. Joined by his lovely wife, Lea, and friend, Dr Ron Malka had a fruitful meeting with Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji before joining a yoga class in Parmarth’s Yoga Village.
His meeting with HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji dealt with the wonderful work that Israel is doing to conserve water and how it’s a leading example of exemplary water management. HE Dr Ron Malkaji shared, “Water brings unity. It is essential for us to start with water and empower people to conserve water. We need to protect the water given to us by Nature and ensure we don’t pollute and defile it. Israel and India can work together for water.”
Pujya Swamiji responded by saying, “Water belongs to all. Given the scarcity of water in many parts of India there will be not only State Wars but Street Wars for clean water. I believe that if we cannot create water at least we can work to conserve water.”
The day’s power-packed Spiritual Lecture Series, Moving from “Breakdown to Breakthrough” took attendees on a journey of inner personal healing that, as panelists Dr. Bruce Lipton, Rev. Michael Beck with, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati and Tommy Rosen all agreed, could end-up collectively healing our planet.
Some of the inspirational comments by the panelists included those of Dr. Bruce Lipton, who shared, “You cannot be in growth and in protection at the same time, they are mutually exclusive. And, when stress hormones are released into the body, the body is prepared to run – fight or flight. If you look at governments and corporations around the world, they sell themselves on fear: Be afraid, the immigrants are coming. Be afraid, the coronavirus. But if you look at the actual situation people are always dying. But, they scare you, they put you in fear. And, when you feel that you are a victim, you will give up your power to somebody else. And, the more fear they throw at you the weaker you become. Don’t buy fear, because you give up your life. Realise and live your power.”
Rev. Michael Beckwith mentioned the changing movement that is happening around the world how we have to shift our interest to the possibility that’s being born right now.
“We have to be aware that every great movement on the planet, every great leap that’s happened has not had anything to with any governments or politicians. It has something to do with the rising of people, people that carry mthe visionary possibility, whether it’s urban shaman, whether it’s artists, whether it’s individuals who have had individual breakthroughs – governments have done nothing for progress, historically. It’s always come from an urgency that has arisen through individuals who have called a possibility,” he added.
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatijji addressed the gathering by saying, “Every one of us has the power today and tomorrow and every single day to actually save those lives. But, that requires us to stand up and consciously, excitedly and willingly be part of a new system. It’s not enough to simply sign petitions online, it’s not enough to like and share things on social media. Those things are great, but let’s not be deluded enough to think that we’ve done something. If we want to live in a different world – create it. As Gandhiji said, ‘Be the change that you want to see in the world.’”
Tommy Rosen said, “The mechanisms of personal inventory at the level of society, at the level of government, at the level of corporation – there has to be a shift from ‘this is how we do business, this is how we benefit our shareholders and our stakeholders’…there has to be a shift immediately to ‘we are now doing business in a different way.’ We’re going to come to this place very soon where this focus on appearance is going to be less important than our survival. The government has to return to an ethic of service – service to the collective, service to humanity. It’s so desperately missing.”
The lecture series was followed by an Eco-Friendly Waterless Holi Celebrations in which participants and presenters from across the world celebrated with beautiful flower petals being showered and eco-friendly colours applied by the respected saints and teachers present on the occasion accompanied by the divine sound of the drums of world famous percussionist Sivamani and the gorgeous singing of his wife Runa Rizvi. The saints pledged to protect and preserve water, and to tread on the planet with reduced carbon and water footprint.
The afternoon sessions also included music and dance offerings, as well as the premier screening of a documentary film, followed by an in-depth Q&A with the subject of the film. Musically, Arindam Chakravarty presented Tablā: A Journey into Indian Rhythm, while Nrityavali offered their brilliant Indian Classical Dance Workshop. The film, Agniyogana meanwhile, was a meditative inquiry into the lost art of classical Hatha Yoga. Offering an experiential collage of action and stillness, light and darkness, sound and silence, AGNIYOGANA explores the richness of traditional Hatha Yoga teachings, and was a crowd-favorite on this event-filled day. The day concluded with another round of the hugely-popular Kīrtan Family. This was followed by the UPLIFT Celebration and Hafla Music Night with Gil Ron Shama, Soul’s Diet & Special Guests.
As an amazing lead-in to thehighly-anticipated Kailash Kher and his soulful band Kailasa’s Live Concert as the evening closing ceremony, last night’s incredible Hafla Music concert with Gil RonSharma and Soul’s Diet became a beautiful expression of interfaith harmony andoneness. With spiritually-inspiring songs from the Hindu, Sikh andIslamic traditions and sacred intonations of the masters and culture of allspiritual traditions blending together, performers and participants alikeexperienced a beautiful coming-together of Yoga and inspired upliftment for theworld. The World Peace Concert offered the mantra of “We are one heart – We areone source – Waking up. Om Shalom Salaam Amen!” – as participants andpresenters alike joined their hands waving to the rhythm of the music as thesymbol of their collective intention of being agents of love and peace in theworld. Percussionist extraordinaire Sivamani and his wife, classical and Sufisinger Runa Rizvi Sivamani, stayed back another day in order to join the concert which also saw guest performancesby Padma Shri Kailash Kher.
Kailashji shared some very touching words with the participants –
“These seven days of the International Yoga Festival is an experience and an invitation to be one with God. I see myself as a proud part of the Parmarth Family. Coming to Parmarth is like coming home. Just like my breath is natural to me and unconditionally flowing so is my intention and commitment to be at the International Yoga Festival year after year.” The elaborate ensemble of a number of instruments and vocal styles played to the delight of the crowd well into the night, added a spectacular finish to an even more sensational day of the International Yoga Festival.
Highlights of the day
Yoga For All – Sukshma Yoga by Ganga Nandini
Mandala Flow by Rohini Manohar’s
Sufi Love by Mert Güler
Meditation and continuing through Accessing the Command Center with Kia Miller,
Patanjali Yoga for Health with Dr. Radhika Nagrath
Sunrise Nada Yoga on the Ghat with Anandra George
Akhanda Yoga by Yogrishi Vishvketu
Discourse on Look Health & Be Pain-Free with Super Foods by Dr. G S Gupta
Detoxification in the Modern Toxic World class by Dr. Alejandro Junger
Digeridoo Sound Healing workshop by Yusuke Hoshido
Healing with Words and Thoughts by Maa Gyaan Suveera
Creating Enlightened Alliances discourse by Janet Attwood,
Mind & Soul Through Pulse Reading with Dr. Smita Naram,