Word For Peace Special
By Shabda Kahn and Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi
Our “Water for All” Conference concluded at the Golden Temple in Amritsar (meaning: the Nectar’s shore) in Punjab, India on 22nd evening of March, 2023. Below is a press release that gives a few glimpses of the Conference.
Highlights of the Conference:
The conference began on Monday, March 20th eve at the Nishkam International Centre, Amritsar. ‘Nishkam’ means: selfless service.
Pir Shabda Kahn was asked to open the Conference with a Raga Offering, as pictured below.
Brigitte van Baren, the conference’s co-chair, welcomed the guests and dignitaries. She beautifully stated that we must bridge the ‘gap between our heads and our hearts’ in order to hasten transformation.
“Our hearts experience things more holistically than our heads and minds, which reason logically and pragmatically, she said.
Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia the co-chair of the conference exhibited amazing hospitality. We were hosted in an impeccable and gracious way by Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, an extraordinary Sikh leader and his community.
“We must raise good people by instilling virtues and values in them. Virtues such as compassion, responsibility, contentment, humility, optimism and an abundance of love. We need both scientific knowledge and religious wisdom to accelerate change and make an impact”, Bhai Sahib avered.
Jonathan Granoff spoke from the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. “The sacred vision of unity of humanity given by various religious scriptures has now become a practical necessity to be implemented to deal with global climate and water problems”, he said.
Devi Mohan, spiritual diplomat, multifaceted humanitarian, proponent of Traditional Yoga and Director, Himalayan School of Traditional Yoga (HSTY) mesmerised the audience with her highly significant remarks on thetopic. She spoke from her deeply moving personal experience.
“Water is of crucial importance, not only in terms of our health, but also in terms of one’s dignity. It was during the war in Former Yugoslavia (when I became a refugee), that I experienced an actual lack of water and basic sanitation in the midst of a winter”, she said. Devi Mohan is Global Ambassador of Mohanji Foundation, and Global President of ACT Foundation, an internationally active charity, besides being Faculty and Director of Himalayan School of Traditional Yoga.
Devi added: “The moment when I was bullied and ridiculed at school because my neck was dirty, was the moment when I stopped taking water for granted. Water truly is essential for a dignified human existence”.
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi and Mila Mohan presented their perspectives on “Water Harvesting and Water Education” in a Panel Discussion moderated by Shazia Ilmi and Salman Chishty. Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, Founder Editor, Word For Peace shed light on Sustainable Water Resources and their significance in the World Scriptures including the Vedas, Holy Qur’an, Bible and Guru Granth Sahib ji.
Mila Mohan went on to speak at length on the topic of implementing the “Living Water For All” in educational systems, shoulder-to-shoulder with faith leaders and amazing, selfless people from around the world.
They reiterated the first All India Yearly State Ministers’ Conference on Water, the UN’s perspective on water, first-hand descriptions of the regional difficulties Punjab faces, and suggested remedies for water stress and routes for water education and water harvesting.
The spiritual leaders presented around the theme of Loving Kindness, Compassion, shared Universal Responsibility on our care of the planet, fellow humans beings and naturally WATER. Then the scientists and engineers talked about all the challenges and current programs and projects, especially focused on the locale we were in – the Punjab – which literally means five rivers.
The cornerstone of the Golden Temple was placed centuries ago by the illustrious Sufi Master, Sai Mian Mir. When our Murshid Sam visited the shrine of Mian Mir, buried in Lahore, he received the first guidance for the Dances of Universal Peace.
We had a memorable visit with the whole group to the inner sanctum of the Golden Temple with Bhai Sahib ji, who was able to take us through passing the two hour line that is a constant from very early morning to night. We walked through the Langar Hall (free food) and kitchens. It brought tears of gratitude to the heart and is completely unprecedented that 150,000 people every day receive free food!
The Punjab is the main “bread basket” for Mother India We learned about the effects of the farming, the use of water from rain collection, reservoirs, canals and groundwater and the methods of repair and resilience in caring for the water and the land.
On the last day the work on the “Living Cycles” building project was reported on. Our Dutch scientists, engineers and architects have developed a building which provides pure water, sanitation and recycling. The first building is half complete at the children’s school at Sherab Ling Monastery, under the guidance of my Tibetan teacher, the 12th Tai Situ Rinpoche and will provide a teaching experience to al the students as well as a source for water, with the purified water also being used in vegetable gardening. It will give feedback to improve the 1st model, with the next likely to be placed for pilgrims to the Golden Temple.