Gandhi Jayanthi Celebrations, October 2nd 2010, Chicago
Mahatma Gandhi Jayanthi was celebrated in the divine presence of His Holiness Bhagwan Sri Sri Sri Viswayogi Viswamjee Maharaj, in the Naperville Public Library, Naperville, IL on October 2nd 2010.
The important guests of honor were Mr. Jesse White, Secretary of State of Illinois, Mr. George Pradel, Mayor, City of Naperville, Mr. Ed Smith, Alderman, 28th ward, city of Chicago, Mr. Raja Krishnamoorthy former Comptroller, Illinois, Dr. Sriram Sonty, founder of Sri Annamacharya project for North America, Mr. Ifthekar Shareef of Federation of Indian Association (FIA).
Opening prayer was sung by Mrs. Swarna Kota. During the cultural program children sang Gandhiji’s favorite song “Raghupathi Raghava Raja Ram ….”, and Ms. Sindura Pisipati performed a classical dance piece.
The function was inaugurated by Mr. George Pradel, Mayor of Naperville. Speaking on the occasion Mr. Pradel spoke about need for peace and also appreciated the work of the Indian community in Naperville and surrounding suburbs. Honoring Mr. Pradel Swamiji said that he was honouring the whole city of Naperville.
Mr. Jesse White released the brochure on Divine Vision 2020, for Universal Integration & Peace, declared by Swamiji during the Birthday celebrations in March 2010. Speaking on the occasion Mr. White said that Mahatma Gandhi was a man of peace and an inspiration for Martin Luther King II, and the civil rights movement.
Mr. Srinivas Burra spoke about life and principles of Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. Sriram Sonty presented a power point on the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. Mr. Ed Smith, Alderman who has served in Andhra Pradesh spoke a few sentences about His love for India and its people. He spoke a few sentences in telugu also, to the delight of the audiences. Mr. Ifthekar Shareef speaking on the occasion said that he can see the vision of Swamiji taking shape in the judgment of the Allahabad High court on the Ayodhya issue.
Mr. Raja Krishnamoorthy former comptroller also spoke about his association with Swamiji and how He is at peace in presence of Swamiji.
Later Swamiji gave his message on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanthi and said that Mahatma Gandhi did not just belong to India but to the whole world. Swamiji added that there is no doubt that the world will be an abode of peace by 2020. Swamiji said that USA was the head of the world, and India the heart, if the earth is compared to the human body. Swamiji said that it is our duty to make the head powerful and peaceful, because unless USA is peaceful, world peace will be a dream. Swamiji has said that the peace has to begin from individual and family. Swamiji said that all the problems were because of the fact that we are ignoring the Mother Earth which is basis for all existence. Swamiji said that it is our duty to give the five essentials namely food, clothing, shelter, education and health to all the people on the earth. Swamiji added that we should all gain five strengths namely physical strength, mental strength, financial strength, social strength and spiritual strength.
Swamiji said that the whole human race belongs to one family and this is the echo of Mother Earth. Swamiji added that if anything happens in the USA it is reflected in the whole world, so it is necessary to make USA peaceful. Swamiji said that the need for the day is to attack violence with non-violence and love. Swamiji made the audience repeat the Unity pledge after Him.
Later in the evening Swamiji visited and blessed a Gandhi exhibition organized by Mrs. Revati Natesan of Think Global arts an organization promoting peace through arts, at Hindu temple of Greater Chicago, and spoke about the life and role of Mahatma Gandhi.