India Post News Service
CHICAGO: Global spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar led the convergence of a large gathering ‘I Stand for Peace’ – a Peace Festival in Chicago last week The gathering included ranking US Congressmen, Local, County and State elected officials and a great host of business and community leaders at the University of Illinois Forum Auditorium.
The Peace Festival “I Stand for Peace” elicited inspiring remarks from the ranking elected officials in the backdrop of growing unrest, violence, crime in Chicago and all across the globe and the compelling imperative to usher peace, harmony, love and brotherhood. The Peace Meet attracted the attendance of Ranking Congressman Danny Davis 9D, IL-7th Dist.), Ranking Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D, IL-8th District), Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Representative Jim Durkin (R, 82nd District), Adarsh Shastri, Grandson of former PM of India Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, Hoffman Estates Police Chief Kasia Cawley and a host of State Senators, State Representatives, Suburban Mayors and other prominent faith leaders.
Amidst the series of remarks, State Representative Jim Durkin (R,82nd District) said that he would table a resolution on the floor of the Illinois General Assembly to declare June 26th as the World Peace Day and celebrate its observance in the State of Illinois every year – which elicited sustained applause. Mayor Lori Lightfoot also sent a proclamation to the event, which was read by Alderman David Moore in which she declared June 26 each year to be “I Stand for Peace” Day.
Dr. Sreenivas Reddy, Chair of the event & Chair of the Illinois Medical Board welcomed the large gathering and emphasized on the significance of meditation as a proven effective tool by which we can purify and quieten our minds, thus rejuvenating the body.” Dr. Reddy said, as a Physician, I can attest to this medical reality as to the compelling correlation between peaceful mind and healthy body. Dr. Sreenivas Reddy said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has come to Chicago at this critical juncture in time to reflect and address ways we can advance peace, harmony and love in the city, nation and indeed across the globe teeming in unrest.
Ajeet Singh, President, Indian American Business Council in a statement – said this Peace Meet fostered a robust interaction to advance peace, harmony, happiness, amity and goodwill and added “I Stand for Peace” campaign endeavors to strengthen and channel individuals’ commitment to peace holistically during these turbulent times. Ajeet Singh profusely thanked Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for paying a visit and described his visit as historic.
Vinesh Virani of the Art of Living in Illinois – in his statement – said the worldwide sense of helplessness and hopelessness caused by the pandemic, war, and inflation has weighed heavily on the human psyche and therefore took a toll on mental health. He added Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s visit represents hope in these turbulent times.
Adarsh Shastri, grandson of former PM of India Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri and a former minister in Delhi government addressing the audience said, “SriSri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian and spiritual leader, an ambassador of peace and of human values and added that he provides techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life.
Taking the stage SriSri Ravi Shankar addressed “In this polarized society, we need more people who can bring peace, who can bridge the gap from conflict to proper communication and celebration; and outlined advancing peace and goodwill through the World Culture Festival next year and bring people together of all backgrounds and all ideologies. We want to give the message, ‘Wake up, We are one family,'” said Sri Sri.
Later, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar led the participants in a half-hour guided meditation and spoke about what he has experienced while on this worldwide tour and how it can help Chicagoans achieve meaningful peace and amity. “Meditation makes you emotionally strong, mentally sharp intuitively more alert, and mindful in your work, whatever you are doing. It has incredible list of benefits, including physical health benefits. It can help with hypertension, depression, digestive issues and many others it can help with,” Sri Sri added. He further said, “When you share your misery, it will not diminish. When you fail to share your joy, it diminishes. Share your problems only with the Divine, not with anyone else, but share your joy with everyone.
Indian Americans Physicians held another exclusive event on June 27, 2022 at the Double Tree Hotel in Oakbrook where Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressed the Physicians and held a half-hour meditation. The event brought a host of Indian American physicians to engage in an interactive session with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Several prominent physicians spoke in admiration of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s exemplary contribution in advancing peace amidst the growing turmoil in contemporary human life.
At the event, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar honored Dr. Bharat Barai, Chair of Indiana Medical Board, Dr. Sreenivas Reddy, Chair of Illinois Medical Board, Dr. Suresh Reddy, Trustee of Oakbrook Village, Ravi Kolli, AAPI President, Dr. Vishnu Chandy and Adarsh Shastri.
Earlier, Dr. Sreenivas Reddy, Chair of the event welcomed the physicians, acknowledged several key organizers of the event, and thanked them for their tireless efforts in hosting such a mega event for peace and subsequently invited Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who honored Ajeet Singh, President of Indian American Business Council, VineshVirani of the Art of Living for their tireless hard work and able leadership in putting together an event of this magnitude. Dr. Radhika Chimata and Trisha served as the moderators of this event.