Day-2: When thousands showered by ‘Art of Living’

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) Thousands of followers of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had their lessons in art of living amid thundering showers at Yamuna flood plains here on Saturday.

Musical groups and dance troupes from countries like Ghana, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the Netherlands performed before a huge gathering on a windy evening.

The entertainment was mixed with religious teachings from a plethora of spiritual leaders including Swami Avdheshanand Giri of Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Juna Akhara, Philipose Mar Chrysostom of Malankara Syrian Marthoma Church, Venerable Master Ben Ru, head of South Shaolin monastery in China.

Tribal dances were also a big attraction with groups from Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, as well as Sri Lanka and South Africa a treat to watch. Classical and folk dances including Bharatnatyam and Bhangra choreographed by renown professionas also enthralled the audience.

Bollywood celebrities like actor Juhi Chawla, choregrapher Terence Lewis, sporting icons like German national football manager Christoph Paul Daum, artist Francisco Moreno Ocampo also interacted with the people during the cultural carnival.

Others speakers on the occasion included Satpal Maharaj of Manav Utthan Seva Samiti, Gaini Gurbachan Singh of Akal Takht, Nritya Gopal Das of Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, Sadhvi Rithambara of the Param Shakti Peeth and Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo of Pontifical Academy of the Vatican.

Amid continuous drizzling and slushy event ground, prominent politicians including Aam Aadmi Party’s Kumar Vishwas, Kapil Mishra and Manish Sisodia along with a host of chief ministers of BJP ruled states like Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Devendra Fadnavis (Maharashtra) also spoke on the occasion.

Other speakers sharing their experiences and thoughts with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s followers included Ram Bhadracharya of Tulsi Peeth, Venerable Master Kong Xing from Buddhist Association of China, Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, Shankaracharya Vasudevanand Saraswati of Jyotirmath Badrika Peeth, and Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of United Nations Alliance of Civilisation.

Bringing a better use of technology, the organisers managed to webcast the event to more than 161 countries.

However, parking and traffic remained a concern for the second consecutive day. As the dusty Yamuna floodplain turned to slush, it made walking virtually impossible and vehicles got stuck.

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