Wednesday 18 September 2019 | Bhadarva Vad 4, Samvat 2075

Wed 18 Sep 2019

The inaugural session of the International Peace Research Association’s Peace Conference 2018 - Innovation for Sustainable Global Peace was held on Saturday 24 November 2018 in the grounds of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Smruti Mandir, World Peace Centre.

The inaugural session of the International Peace Research Association’s Peace Conference 2018 - Innovation for Sustainable Global Peace was held on Saturday 24 November 2018 in the grounds of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Smruti Mandir, World Peace Centre.

This was the first conference of its kind, at that scale, to be held in the whole of India. Over 120 peace scholars, researchers, activists and campaigners from 33 nations gathered at this historical opening ceremony, together with hundreds of Sants and disciples.

Chief Guests at the event were the Co-Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association, Dr Katsuya Kodama from Japan, Prof. Dr. Ursula Oswald Spring from Mexico, Shri Mukeshbhai M. Patel – President of the Indo-Japan Friendship Association, Dr. Hans Günter Brauch from Germany, Prof Dr Matt Meyer from USA, Dr Prem Anand Mishra – Dean at the Peace Research Centre - Gujarat Vidyapith, Shri KH Patel - Former Ambassador of India and Director of Ministry of External Affairs, Dr Mukund Patel, Ms Diana de la Rúa Eugenio - President of the IPRA Foundation (Argentina), Rajyogini Dr Sunita Didi Chandak, Dr Mithun Khandwala, Mr Bijoy Anand Shivram, Prof Sanjay Raja, Mr Rashmin Rathod, Mr Pradeep Dhakal, and Mr Adi Jain, amongst many other eminent peace workers.

Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band Maninagar and London saluted Acharya Swamishree Maharaj and the chief guests as they were escorted inside Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Smruti Mandir, and then to the event stage.

After welcoming speeches by the main guests, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj blessed the event during which he taught the way to find peace. He said, “The internal is the real battle ground between good and evil, light and dark, peace and unrest. The internal enemies are negative characteristics, such as greed, anger, arrogance and prejudice. Imagine if we could overcome these within ourselves? We would defeat greed with generosity; anger with calm; arrogance with humility; and prejudice with tolerance. Inner peace is inextricably linked levels of outer peace and calm; achieving peace is not like other achievements, such as earning a degree – it needs to be a life-long process for it to be sustainable.”

On behalf of IPRA, the international society’s secretary generals, Dr. Katsuya Kodama and Prof. Dr. Úrsula Oswald Spring, gave official recognition to Acharya Swamishree Maharaj for his spiritual, cultural, social and humanitarian projects, which have promoted cohesion, understanding and appreciation of the rich tapestry of cultures across the world - initiatives that are essential for the advancement of humanity to a peaceful world. They gave special commendations to him for supporting IPRA and Foundation for Peaceful Change in its mission of supporting efforts in peace research, and awarded Acharya Swamishree Maharaj with the honorary title, World Peace Ambassador. This Lifelong Achievement Recognition Award was given by the International Peace Research Association in collaboration with the Africa Peace Research and Education Association, the Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association, the Latin America Peace Research Association, the European Peace Research Association and the North America Peace Research Association.

Under the direction of Shri Kirtibhai Varsani, a group of singers and musicians performed a newly composed rendition of a religious hymn written by 15th century poet Narsinh Mehta. It is said that this was Mahatma Gandhiji’s favourite prayer.

Sants and young disciples of Shree Muktajeevan Kala Academy performed a wonderful devotional dance. To end the evening, Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band performed a finale piece, which left the audience spellbound.

Before dinner for all the attendees, they were given a guided tour of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Smruti Mandir, World Peace Centre, during which its significance was eloquently explained by young hosts, disciples from the Gujarat region.

During the event, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj gave awards to Chief Peace Researchers and Eminent Global Citizens.

The title, Ambassador for Peace was awarded to:
•    Prof. Dr. Úrsula Oswald Spring, Mexico
•    IPRA Dr. Katsuya Kodama, Japan
•    Dr. Hans Günter Brauch, Germany
•    MS Diana de la Rúa Eugenio, Argentina
•    Prof. Dr. Matt Meyer, USA
•    Shri Mukesh M. Patel, India
•    Rajyogini BK Dr. Sunita Didi Chandak
•    Dr Prem Anand Mishra, Gujarat Vidyapith
•    Shri KH Patel, India

The title, Messenger of Peace was awarded to:
•    Dr. Mithun Khandwala
•    Mr. BijoyAnand Shivram
•    Mr. SandipVaria
•    Prof. Sanjay Raja
•    Mr. Rashmin Rathod
•    Mr. Pradeep Dhakal, Kathmandu
•    Mr. Adi Jain

Opening Ceremony - IPRA Peace Conference 2018 at Smruti Mandir