(Below is talk given by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 13 March 2016 at the WCF )
A year back, when the thought came to me to organize A World Culture Festival, at that time when we visited this area (the venue), there was such bad odour in the area. People told me that, when we can't stand in this area for more than five minutes, then how can we hold a 3-day event? I told them, “It is our job to remove bad odours and spread fragrance everywhere”.
You all heard that voice, and took up the challenge and the job to organize this event. All the volunteers in Delhi worked so hard, and despite many challenges, they never stopped working for the event.
There is one more thing I want to share with you all. This stage on which we are all seated is unique in itself. There has never been a stage of this kind anywhere in the world for which the foundation was not dug deep into the ground. This stage of the World Culture Festival is a floating stage, there is no ground foundation laid for this stage.. Many people fail to understand this, as they cannot conceive of such a stage. They often reason that if you have built a 40-feet high stage, then the foundation for such a stage would have had to be deep into the ground. I tell them that this Mother Earth has blessed and supported us as if by supporting and upholding the stage in Her own hands!
Then people said “Gurudev, it is very unsafe”. I replied, “Do not worry my dear. There is a power that is looking after everyone’s safety”.
When we are strong and established from within, then we can provide safety and security to the whole world .When we are shaky inside then we cannot do so. Our job is to unite the hearts and minds of everyone, and this we will continue doing with a smile. When nature posed some challenges in this process, then also it could not deter anyone from their enthusiasm.
Yesterday I told the organizers that we will close the event at 9 pm, but people continued to dance even in the drizzling rain. This shows that our hearts are in the right place and nothing can shake us. Our job is to move the world through love, compassion, dedication and service.
We had formed a reception committee which was honoured by Hon’ble Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali by accepting to be its chairman. Our Chief Justice Mr. R.C. Lahoti also became co-chair in the committee. Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali was the sixth Secretary General of the United Nations. On 16th February he passed away from this world. Today, he is not with us in physical form but his spirit is with us. Looking upon this grand event, I am sure he must be feeling very happy and pleased. We thank his family; we appreciate them and extend our warm greetings to them.
It is unfortunate that some people in the media commented on Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, because a man of his stature should be honoured. I request our journalists and media to be more sensitive to such issues. You may choose to throw a 100 stones my way and I am ready to receive them all, for every stone will become a stepping stone to success. But when it comes to such eminent personalities who are respected all over the world, we should extend great respect to them instead of addressing them with unfortunate titles and names such as ‘Dead man’. This was pinching my heart for quite some time now so I thought I should give this message through this platform, so that his family members get a sense of relief and peace. Some people may commit such mistakes, but India, and so many countries in the world have very high respect for great personalities like Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
We should all move forward with enthusiasm and take everyone together. We must thank all the committee members and all the volunteers who have worked so hard for the success of this event.