By Acharya S.P.Dwivedi
International Interfaith Harmony Week was celebrated on Feb19, 2012 at Mahalaxmi Temple in Vancouver. Global Clergy Association of Canada, a unique association of its kind in the world, organized this event with the support of the management of Temple. Pundit Prameya ji, Head Priest of the Temple and past President of Global Clergy Association of Canada welcomed the houseful gathering and explained the significance of this international celebration. “The concept of universal brotherhood and respect for other faiths and belief systems is the foundation of Hindu Dharma and I practice and promote it religiously. We believe in building bridges and spiritual partnerships”, said Prameya ji.
The Jain spiritual leader Gyan Chand Singhai emphasized on the need of practicing religion in the true sense. He stated, “The cardinal value systems of all religions focus on love, compassion, and service to others but the followers of religions don’t follow it passionately and fight for trivial things which create enormous social, political and religious problems”.
Acharya Dwivedi has been actively involved in Interfaith Movement in Canada for more than thirty years. He found that Interfaith Movement is a symbol of unending spirit of humanity which inspires us to attain just, peaceful and sustainable world. We all have to cooperate and pursue the path of inclusiveness and foster understanding and respect for diverse religions and cultures.
Gian Singh Kotli, who is a leading scholar and spiritual leader of the Sikh community, said, “Sikh religion is actually based upon interfaith principle of respect and love for all and hatred for none. Our holy scripture, ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ contains holy hymns of Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh saint poets which convey the universal message of love, equality, harmony and rendering service to entire mankind. In our daily prayer Sikhs pray for the well being of entire human race.”
The celebration was woven with devotional singing, chanting and recitations that created serene and spiritual vibrations. More than two hundred people took part in the function and enjoyed inner happiness. It was also a good gesture on the part of Temple authorities that they honored spiritual leaders Gyan Chand Singhai, Acharya Dwivedi and Gian Singh Kotli for their community services. It was also to be appreciated that the younger people enthusiastically attended the celebration in large numbers and performed all sorts of service in the Temple.