The South Asian Times

18 August 2019 23:33 PM

Peace prayers mark Gandhiji's 71st punya tithi

Volunteers of Shanti Fund with Long Island Multi Faith Forum(LIMFF) organized peace prayer services to observe 71st Gandhi punya tithi (death anniversary) on January 30 at the HLD Building in Hauppauge, a Suffolk County Govt. seat. Representatives of various faiths were present including different denominations of Christianity & Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism, Bahai, Sikhism, Unitarian Universalists, Gathering of Light and Zoroastrian. Mistress of ceremonies for the event was Mrs. Sangeeta Kulkarni, a founder member of LIMFF & volunteer of Shanti Fund since its inception.

One of the highlights was a special skit presented, in honor of Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, by young students of Shrimad Rajchandra Divine Touch and a silent play by members of SRMD. Gandhi considered John Ruskin, Shrimad Rajchandra, Leo Tolstoy, and Henry David Thorough as his spiritual guides. Gandhi had communicated with Shrimad Rajchandra by letters from South Africa and personal visit in Mumbai upon his return from England. Shrimad Rajchandra had a significant and personal impact on Gandhi’s outlook. Gandhi had written 27 questions focused on religion to Shrimad Rajchandra when he was based in South Africa, and these questions served to remove many of his doubts about various religions and beliefs.

The play by youth was acted without words and initially showed the impact that Shrimad Rajchandra, John Ruskin, and Leo Tolstoy had on Gandhi in a teacher-student session with the youth. This was followed by focusing on Gandhi’s focus on secularism, and a ‘silent play’ to embody Gandhi’s message.

The Consulate General of India was represented by Shri Nair, Consul of Community Affairs. He emphasized the need of the hour as practiced by Gandhi of secularism, nonviolence and inter-faith harmony. He expressed that we Indians are proud to state that we are from Mahatma Gandhi’s secular nation. Referring to recent Republic Day celebrations held on January 30th he stated that the Indian constitution is one of the most explicitly secular constitutions in the world.

He invited volunteers and honored Shanti Fund by presenting a plaque and a citation for its creative and unique events.

The event had 15 items from different faiths incorporating music, dance, skit, and prayers. It ended with a vegetarian dinner consisting of Indian and American food.

Update: 08 Feb, 2019