A Jain, Hindu and Gandhi symposium explores the practice of inner peace in a turbulent world
The MK Gandhi Centre: Inner Peace and Sarvodayawith the Jain and Hindu Dharma initiative, presents “HighWay to Healing: Understanding the Ocean of Unity.“The symposium with keynote speaker Nipun Mehta, founder of ServiceSpace.orgwill be held on October 3 and 4 in the University Business Center in coordination with additional events on the Fresno State campus.
The symposium explores practical pathways to inner and outer peace and harmony through the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and the Jain and Hindu dharma traditions. Presenters examine the interconnectedness of all living beings and how contemplative practices such as yoga, meditation, shared creativity and acts of service have the power to cultivate joy, harmony and good health in times turbulent.
Mehta will share the stories of yesterday’s giants of social change, today’s everyday heroes and tomorrow’s leaders to rekindle our ability to respond to suffering with acts of compassion. He will also lead a workshop on how small acts of kindness allow for a deeper connection to the life around us.
“This two-day symposium aims to provide tools for finding joy in these turbulent times and building trusted friendships,” said Dr Veena Howard, director of the Gandhi Center and holder of the Jain and Hindu Dharma chair. “It is also an opportunity for our students to engage with leading scholars from the Jain and Hindu philosophical and religious traditions.”
After the symposium, the community is invited to the Garden of Peace to commemorate Gandhi’s birthday at a sunset event organized by Dr Sudarshan Kapoor, professor emeritus. The soothing sounds of classical Indian music will fill the music building as master sitarists and a tabla maestro perform their art.
“The concert will provide students and the community with the opportunity to learn more about this rich artistic and cultural tradition that dates back over 3,000 years,” said Prof. Joan Sharma. “I’m also thrilled that the artists are hosting a workshop for Fresno State students prior to this concert, providing them with a unique experience to learn a diverse form of music that is hard to find in this part of the world.”
All events are free to the public.
Monday, October 3
Tuesday, October 4
The “MK Gandhi Center: Inner Peace and Sarvodaya” at Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanitieswas created and is supported by the Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation. The Gandhi Center advances the understanding and practical learning of Gandhi’s Sarvodaya and Inner Peace philosophies centered on the holistic development of each individual and the creation of a just, peaceful and non-violent community.
The symposium is sponsored by the Uberoi Foundation for Religious Studiesthe JP and Renu Sethi Foundation, Alegría Mental Health Task Forceand the Associated Students, Inc.. It is in partnership with the College of Arts and Humanities, the Department of Philosophyand the Asian American Studies Program.
Image credit: Illustration by Albert Haro