Swami Chidanand Saraswati, founder and spiritual head of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, was the main speaker at two conferences held in Brazil recently. The first was the International Congress on Yoga and Ayurveda held in Sao Paolo from August 12-14, and the second was the Yoga for Peace Conference also in Sao Paolo. He gave a beautiful lecture at the International Congress on Yoga and Ayurveda on Sanatan Dharma, its messages for the world and how its wisdom and teachings are timeless and applicable to all.
Addressing a massive gathering Swami Chidanand Saraswati said the D in Dharma stands for Duty. As Lord Krishna told Arjuna in the Bhagvad Gita, we must never shun our duty, regardless of how difficult it may be. ?H stands for harmony, living in harmony with ourselves with other people, and with all creatures and beings on the earth. A stands for Amity, being loving and peaceful towards all and spreading love and peace wherever we go. R stands for righteousness, doing the right thing, having integrity even in the face of temptation. M stands for Morality, and A for Austerity?or sadhana, tapas. All of these aspects make up Dharma. Dharma could be summed up, in short, by saying, ?love all, hate none, serve all, heal all, hurt none,? he said.
He said religion is not just something we practice once a week when we go to the temple or church or synagogue. Rather it is how we live, minute-to-minute and moment-to-moment. Sanatan Dharma does not tell us just to perform yajnas or pujas. Yes, these are important because they purify our minds and focus our attention on God. But, they are means to an end, rather than the end in and of themselves. They are means to an end of being spiritual, of being with God all the time, and of living spirituality.
After Swamiji'sspeech there was a special musical concert by Krishna Das. It was amazing to see the devotion and bhaav of the Brazilian people. Swamiji was so impressed to see that in a country which is more than 99 per cent Christian, so many thousands of people came to participate in the Yoga for Peace programme, to learn meditation and yoga and to sing bhajans and kirtan with Krishna Das. In the hot, hot sun with no shade or cover, 15,000 people stayed for hours, singing and dancing?mesmerised?to Lord Krishna, Durga and Hanuman.
By Ravindra Saini