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The Harmony Festival

Dec 29 2018

The Harmony Festival

The Harmony Festival, celebrating 100 years of The Yoga Institute​*, was inaugurated in a beautiful event at the MMRDA Grounds, BKC in Mumbai yesterday by the Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovindji, Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra Shri Vidyasagar Raoji, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis​, Hon’ble Union Minister of AYUSH Shri Shripad Naikji, Hon’ble Mayor of Mumbai Shri Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, Director of TYI Dr Hansaji J Yogendra, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji​, Gaur Gopal Dasji, Padma Shri Swami Bharat Bhushanji, Acharya Dr Lokesh Muniji and many other yoga experts and dignitaries.

The opening panel immediately after the inaugural ceremony was led by Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati​ and joined on stage by Smt Hansa Jayadeva Yogendraji (Pujya Maa). The theme of this panel was Dharma- a Duty Driven Life.

Their panel began with a special incidence when Pujya Swamiji felt that the participants were to far away, due mainly to the screens and safety measures taken for the programme with the President. However as a beautiful expression of Yoga in action, Pujya Swamiji and Sadhvi Bhagawatiji called everyone who was able to move in the front and sit in sukhasana (crossed legged posture) closer and nearer to them.

Pujya Maa commented, “This simple action is a beautiful illustration of the Yoga, the flexibility that Pujya Swamiji and Sadhvi Bhagawatiji live. Their hearts are so big that they have called everyone to sit closer to the wisdom and the truth. This is true Yoga.”

Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawatiji said so beautifully, “Dharma is the foundation of Yoga. Without a foundation no building is possible or if it is built it is not sustainable. Dharma is knowing of what you need to do when you realise who you really are. Mostly people go on defining who they are by what they do but actually when you live in the truth of who you are then what you need to do is inherent. Our dharma may often not seem glorious or glamorous to us but it allows us to manifest our divinity.”

She further added, “Living a life without dharma is like driving a car without a steering wheel. No matter how beautiful, how shiny, slick or fantastic that car might be without a steering wheel we wont be able to get anywhere. Therefore, dharma guides and directs us and it allows us to live in the world with courage, with an open heart and with love.”

Pujya Swamiji spoke beautifully sharing that Dharma is that which makes us human. He made everyone laugh and inspired everyone with His simple analogies and examples sharing, “Dharma teaches us first and foremost how to be good human beings. It teaches us how to be kind and compassionate to one another. Living a life saturated in Dharma allows us to think not what for me but rather what through me. When we think only of what for me then Mahabharat manifests in our lives but when we think of what through me then Ramayan manifests in our lives.”

He concluded by leading everyone in a grand pledge for planting trees and preserving water stating that the rising water crisis in our world is a call for all yogis to be the change they wish to see in the world.

He gave the divine sutra- Yog Karo, Roj Karo aur Mauj Karo (Be Yoga, Do Yoga, Learn Yoga, Love Yoga and Live Yoga).

The free and open-to-all Harmony Fest will offer a banquet of health and wellness for thought, mind, body and soul, delivered through a music, entertainment and good food festival, a marketplace for sustainable goods and art plus, of course, 20 hours of Yoga, panel discussions, workshops, mentorship and guidance talks, higher and novice learning programmes and much more.

A special harmony stage featured performances by Symphony Stage & Musical bands, with illustrious names like Shankar Mahadevan​, Sukhwinder Singh​, Rekha Bhardwaj​ and bands and musical acts like Dharavi Rocks, Indian Ocean, Prem Joshua, Flamenco Kathaa and Kabir Café.

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