The entire community is invited to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 143rd birthday and International Day of Nonviolence on October 2, 2012 from 5:00 p.m. to 6: 30 p.m. at the Gandhi statue outside the Honolulu Zoo in Waikiki. Dr. Raj Kumar, the Founder and President of the Gandhi International Institute for Peace, is organizing the 7th annual event to raise awareness towards nonviolence and peace in Hawaii.

Speakers from various religious backgrounds – Native Hawaiian, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism will speak about world peace. The event will also include an Indian spiritual invocation, Hawaiian blessing, peace song and chanting, speeches by community leaders, multicultural dances, Henna artwork, Psychic reading, Reiki healing, and music by the Royal Hawaiian Band.

Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in India. He brought a revolutionary change to South Africa and India by using ‘Satyagraha’ (passive resistance movement) against British government. On June 15, 2007, United Nations declared Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday as an “International Day of Nonviolence”.

Martin Luther King followed Gandhi’s philosophy, teachings and methods of nonviolence He adopted Gandhi’s model and principle, and led the civil rights movement in America. He succeeded in making significant progress towards his dream of creating racial equality and justice in the United States.

All religions teach to love one another and see God in every human being. No religion is superior to another. The religions may be different but their philosophy is the same. Similarly, the paths may be different but their goal is one- “GOD is the only Truth”. We have reached the moon and advanced ourselves in science and technology but we have not learned to live with our fellowmen peacefully. As Buddha once said, “violence does not cease violence.” and Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”

Peace is our birthright. We should never give up hope for peace even it seems impossible. Peace is an internal experience that can be felt when there is a balance at the physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual level. Peace is also attained when there is harmony among self, nature, and the society at large.

It is the time to raise the collective consciousness about peace. This can be achieved through constructive dialogues, respecting one another, understanding and trusting each other, accepting new people in society, sharing love and natural resources, and building bridges with various faiths, communities and countries.

We know that a good foundation for life starts at childhood. Therefore, we need to start peace education and establish a “Youth Peace Corps” in every school around the world. This will help them to learn and focus on how to control aggressive and violent behavior hence creating peace within themselves, family, and society at large. “Ahimsa” (Nonviolence) means “do not harm others in your thoughts, words or speech.” According to Gandhi, “Nonviolence needs more courage than violence.”

Children are the future of the nation and the leaders of tomorrow. We need to instill the seeds of love, compassion, humility, kindness, patience, calmness and tolerance in our children and teach them to follow eternal laws and principles of life. We also need to encourage them to live in harmony with others, become a global citizen and create a better and safer place to live in. Gandhi said, “Be a change, if you wish to see a change in the world. When we change, the world changes.”


About the author: Kumar is the author of several books. His new book, Anger and Nonviolence, will be released in summer of 2013. For more information about the event, email him at rkumarhi@yahoo.com, or visit: http://www.gandhianpeace.com.

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