At AoL fest, Modi says be proud of our culture

At AoL fest, Modi says be proud of our culture

At AoL fest, Modi says be proud of our culture
Putting controversies behind, the World Culture Festival of the Art of Living Foundation began here on Friday on Yamuna floodplains with a grand spectacle.

Vedic chanting, Bharatnatyam by 1,700 artistes, performance by Argentina’s music icon Patricia Sosa’s with a 500-odd troupe of dancers and singers marked the occasion.
Delivering the inaugural address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Sri Sri Ravi Shakar for organising the mega event and hailed him for taking India’s “cultural legacy” to the people across the world through his Art of Living Foundation (AoL).

He described the AoL’s activities as a “great mission” apparently referring to imparting of spiritual teachings to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s devotees, saying the “great cultural legacy” that India has is something which the world has been searching for.

“We can fulfil the need of the world in some or other way. But this is possible only when we take pride in our great cultural legacy. Why would the world look at us when we keep cursing ourselves and criticising everything that we have? We are the people who have travelled from Upanishad (a Sanskrit scripture) to satellites,” Modi said. Addressing the gathering, Ravi Shankar said life is a struggle and its transformation into celebration is an art.   
“Life is a struggle and its transformation into celebration is an art. When we want to do something many obstacles come. It only indicates that we have undertaken something which is very important,” he added in a veiled reference to the controversy over holding of the world culture festival.

He also said the event was indeed a private affair as the whole world was his family. In a veiled remark, Modi also said, the ‘Art of Living’ was required to take on problems coming on way to realisation of dreams. “The Art of Living is required when one has to go ahead with determination, dreams, take on problems, live for others. We have got inherited this art from our saints and seers,” he said.

The prime minister, who shared the dais with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and other dignitaries and watched the performances by artistes staying at the venue for about three hours, described the cultural extravaganza as “Kumbh Mela of art."

The event was also addressed by many world leaders including Crown Prince of UAE Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Speaker of Sri Lanka Parliament Karu Jayasuriya read out the message sent by President Maithripala Sirisena. Culture Minister of Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party Kapil Mishra hailed the AoLF for organising the cultural festival, saying it has brought the issue of pollution of Yamuna in focus and will help strengthen efforts to clean the river.

Addressing the event, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha P J Kurian described Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as “embodiment of culture”, saying the event organised by the AoLF was an effort to bringing together people of the world on a common cultural platform.
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