Lighting 1000 lamps for Peace and Harmony – A special interfaith service in Scotland

A special interfaith service was conducted at the Hindu Temple of Scotland in Rutherglen, as a part of the Scottish Interfaith Week 2016. The aim of the service was to welcome people of all faiths and none to participate in celebration of Harmony and hope for peaceful co-existence between humans, all life and nature.

The service was conducted in English and Sanskrit (an ancient Indian Language). The hymns recited at the service were composed 1000s of years ago saying prayers for peaceful co-existence between humans and the surrounding nature.

People of various faiths attended the temple today and had a chance to listen to speech by Mr Jagan Nathan, the President of the Hindu Temple of Scotland and also by Mrs Frances Hume, Development officer for Interfaith Scotland (www.interfaithscotland.org). Both these speakers in the recent past have lead ‘Time for reflection’ at the Scottish Parliament and between them carry a wealth of experience in interfaith relations. It did not come as a surprise that both speakers reinforced the message of peaceful co-existence and highlighted the various interfaith activities happening across Scotland and commitment to working together with various faith groups.

A special part of today’s event was the lighting of 1008 lamps. A very powerful visual message was created by including the Interfaith Scotland Logo within a very sacred Hindu Symbol – the Shiva Linga and meditating under the ambience created by the warmth of the 1008 lamps. To lead the meditation, true to ethos of interfaith, the temple invited Venerable Bhante Rewatha Thero, the chief monk of the Buddhist Vihara in Scotland. Venerable Bhante guided a mindfulness meditation and blessed the congregation to have peace and harmony.

The meditation was followed by sounding of drums. It was very exciting to see Mr Ranjith Sankarnarayanan, an Indian playing on a very traditional South Indian drum joined by Mr Chief Suleman Chebe who hails from Africa, playing his traditional drums. The event concluded with people meeting and greeting over light vegetarian south Indian lunch.

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In the past week, I had to chance to attend two interfaith events and to organise and conduct this special interfaith service at the Hindu Temple of Scotland (www.hindutempleofscotland.org  or Facebook: Sundara Ganapathy) .  As your ambassador, I learnt a lot, met a lot of people and we exchanged various ideas for the future. This is the last blog from me as an ambassador for Interfaith Scotland. I sign off wishing you all peace and prosperity.

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Author: interfaithmel

Project officer, Interfaith Scotland

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