Swahilya Sambhavi28th of April, 2009
The concept of a spiritual fair, showcasing the services rendered to society by Hindu organisations sprang with a need to know what each one was doing. Many organisations were working silently - teaching yoga and meditation, planting trees, conducting medical camps, educating tribal children, running schools - but there was no information about them all in a single platform.
The first Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair conducted at the Jaigopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyalaya School in Anna Nagar, Chennai filled just this gap. People got together for the first time to show what they were doing to the world and in the process learn from what others did too. This according to Swami Mitrananda, director of the Chinmaya Yuva Kendra and whose brainchild this fair was, organised in the auspices of the Global Foundation for Civilisational Harmony, was the key stone of the whole fair. Learning strengthens knowledge and improved knowledge on their field of service would only help the organisations serve the country better.
Visitors poured in to check out the books on Hatha Yoga, Pranayama, Complete Education, information about courses on yoga and meditation and opportunities to choose a spiritual path in life were thrown open to the public.
The entertaiment programmes for all the three days had groups of children mostly singing bhajans, chanting shlokas and performing Yogasana movements to the tune of Vande Mataram. This not only was an opportunity for the children to express themselves before such a large gathering - but the performances basically kindled the national spirit of serving together.
There were illuminating plays - one on Death by members of the Chinmaya Yuva Kendra and another on Chatrapathi Shivaji that had the crowds in rapt attention through the evening. Next time, some visitors felt, such fairs should also organise satsangs and discourses - the primary feature of any spiritual activity.
On a personal note, it was an enlightening experience for me to have an opportunity to listen to so many masters on the same platform - talking on the most important topic - the need to get together.