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Public Gatherings

Art of Living launches youth NGO, WAYE,

Hands swaying to the rhythm of music set the pace for Christmas eve celebrations. Amidst colorful fireworks, Sri Sri lit the lamp and said, "Each of you is like a lamp. Where 1000 candles light, that is yuvaratri." He called the youth leaders working in the villages on stage and encouraged them to continue the good work. "Sound stretched is music, movement stretched is dance, mind stretched is meditation and life stretched is celebration." He further said, "Those who run after happiness, get misery while seva and sadhana make life a fountain of celebration. Be happy and make others happy." "Let each lamp light another," said Sri Sri, as thousands of candles were held up in the air after lighting candle from the person sitting next to him. Quoting the Ishavasya Upanishad, "God is in every atom of this world. Know this and realize this. Do not hate anyone, embrace all." Speaking on the occasion, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, "Youth has the potential to lead society. I urge every youngster to take responsibility and participate in service projects. Believe in your potential, serve people and make a difference." He also said, "Bring the rural and urban youth in one spirit of nationhood." In his message to the youth, "Respect women, give up alcohol and drugs and save the country from casteism. Drop violence. Only the youth can move forward with an ideal, a dream."

As the crowd rocked to the unique rendition of bhajans by Vikram Hazra and Seema Ramchandani, several youth icons conveyed their messages for the youth. Speaking on the relevance of WAYE, actress Lara Dutta said, "When I won Ms India and Ms Universe, I had so much power in my hands to make a difference but did not know what to do, which direction to go to."

Commenting on the fact that it was Christmas Eve, she said, "To me the greatest gift is being alive, here today, and in the grace of Guruji." Giving his Christmas message to the youth, Leander Paes, said, "Sport is a fantastic vehicle to educate, make friends and create a livelihood for oneself. The Sudarshan Kriya in relation to sport enhances one's peak performance and state of mind. "

Politician and fashion designer Shaina NC exhorted the youth to take power in their hands by executing the right to vote instead of passively complaining of bad roads and corruption. Prominent personalities who spoke at the function were actor Dia Mirza and Chunky Pandey. Along with youth from Benaras, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata who came for he event, were reformed Kashimiri militants and Naxalites.

Even as musician Sanjay Maroo performed with his brothers, 13-year-old Anjali painted on stage. The young artist remained on stage for much of the evening, painting as the music and messages continued to regale the audience.

Comic performance by Navin Prabhakar, a skit by the director of the Chanakyashastra group and musical acts by Udit Narayan, Ai from Cairo, Suneeta Rao, singer and brand ambassador for the NGO Laadli, regaled the audience. Suneeta Rao conveyed her message on the evils of sex selection and also sang songs celebrating the girl child with her numbers, 'Nahini' and 'Paari Hoon Mein'. Youngsters from the Art of Living rendered garba, classical and free-style dance performances.

After guiding the crowd through a meditation, he said, "Amidst noise learn to experience the silence. One who can know silence, can truly be happy. Amidst words become wordless. You are what I am." His final lines were, "Think of everyone. Don't just think about yourself. Think of the nation."


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