ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – An international interfaith conference ‘Peace and Harmony through Interfaith Dialogue’ was organized on the occasion of International Yoga Day in the leadership of Jain Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni, founder president of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti (AVB), at Vaikunth-Hindu Jain Temple in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The mega event was held in the presence of several other dignitaries, including, Baba Ramdev, founder of Patanjali Group of Institutes, Ambassador of Sikhism in USA Bhai Satpal Singh, Sadhvi Bhagwati from Parmarth Niketan, Roman Catholics Father Jon Thomas, Kiran Bali, Chairperson United Religious Initiative and Mayor of Gallaway, Jon Purdy.
The event was a historical congregation of faith luminaries and attended by more than 1000 distinguished guests from the Indian community.
Basant Gupta, Event Chairman, welcomed the guests on the occasion. The program was organized to celebrate AVB’s 10 years completion; 3rd International Yoga Day and the launching of Jain Channel Arihant.
Baba Ramdev appreciating the historical beginning by Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti said that the subject of the seminar is very contemporary and relevant. He said that yoga is symbol of unity and strength.
“Yoga brings internal and external Peace. Yoga also brings personal and social development. Yoga is relevant to people of all religions. Today Gurus of different faiths have given the message of interfaith harmony from one platform this will send a special message to the world,” he said.
Lokesh Muni said that peace is necessary for development of society; interfaith dialogue can establish world peace.
“Violence and terrorism cannot solve any problem. Violence gives rise to counter violence. Ideological pollution is more harmful than environmental pollution. All problems can be solved through dialogue. When people of different religions, faiths and castes will work together for development people of the whole world will surely get the benefits,” he said.
Satpal Singh said that in social life peace, brotherhood, love, non-violence leads to development of all sections of the society. Inter Religion harmony is the key to development.
Father Jon Thomas said difference in opinion is natural in society; problem arises when difference of opinion becomes difference in hearts. He said that all religious leaders are constantly making efforts to give the message of peace and harmony in the society.
Purdy said that leaders of US and India can together establish world peace.
Sadhvi Bhagwati lauded Lokesh Muni for spreading Indian culture globally.
Last year, he had addressed prestigious platforms like International Yoga Day celebration at UN Headquarters, and Parliament of World’s Religions at Salt Lake City.
“I am pleased to address him as Ambassador of Peace and International Saint,” she said, adding that Lokesh Muni associated religion with social welfare to remove social evils from the society.
Acharyaji and Swamiji honored some NRIs with ahimsa Award. The awardees were: Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman and founder, Parikh Worldwide Media; Padma Shri H R Shah, Mafat Patel, Piyush Patel, Anil Monga, Kamal Arora, Basant Gupta, Kamlesh Mehta, Rajeev Bhambri, Bhavya Shrivastava, Bipin Sagankar, Praveen Khatiwal, Kiran Bali, Dr. Maveen Mehta, and Dr. Raj Bhyani.