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Documentation of the events and programme of the Conference Dezember 2007
The World Conference on Unity of Man 2007 was a convention with different fields of attention, corresponding to the multiple aspects of the Project Kirpal Sagar.
The Project celebrated its silver jubilee and the 75th birth anniversary of Dr Harbhajan Singh with the inauguration of the Symbols of Unity on Dec 10, 2007.
With regard to the spiritual base of Kirpal Sagar the inter-religious dialogue was one field of attention, as religious tolerance is a must in a growing multicultural world community. Twenty-nine invited speakers treated the various aspects of the subject in their presentations on Dec 9-10, the main conference days.
In the morning of 1 December, a traditional prayer in one of the corner buildings in the Sarovar prefaced the inauguration of the Conference. Then all attendees gathered at the nearby 'Chowk', where Mrs. Surinder Kaur, president of Unity of Man, uncovered a plate depicting the milestones of the history of Kirpal Sagar: Sant Kirpal Singh's visit of the farm in 1973, the laying of the foundation stone of Kirpal Sagar in 1982, and the World Conference 1994, during which the foundation stone for the central building in the Sarovar was laid.
In her address Mrs. Surinder Kaur explained the significance of the Conference on Unity of Man, and the assembly remembered Dr. Harbhajan Singh, the founder chairman of Kirpal Sagar, who has set up the Project according to the wish of Sant Kirpal Singh.
As a symbol for peace two pigeons flew up in the sky.
The 2 December was dedicated to spiritual songs.
At 10:00 a.m. the interschool Shabad competition started, in which groups from 17 schools from the surrounding area participated. The textes of these traditional songs are verses and hymns from the Holy scriptures, expressing love and devotion to God. The contest was won by a girl group of Ludhiana.
The annual national Volleyball Tournament for boys was started in the morning of 3 December with a ceremony, in which all students, teachers and guests participated.
On 4 December the matches of the group phases went on.
The second day of the tournament saw several thrilling games. From 10:00 a.m. till evening, 18 teams played in four groups on two fields. It was a hard struggle. The first rank in each of the four groups qualified for the semi-finals of the next day.
At nine p.m. the "Light and Sound Show" was performed, a drama of nearly three hours. The story is set in the times of Guru Teg Bahadur, Guru Gobind Singh and the Mughal King Aurangzeb. Religious drama has a long tradition in India.
The performance was started by H.H. Surinder Kaur by lighting the lamp according to the custom. The foreign guests got a detailed description of the content in English and German to be able to follow the story, as it was performed in Punjabi language.
The hole scene was in utter darkness, including the tent of the spectators. The theatre-group used five different stages, alternately illuminating the different venues of the action. The recurrent theme was told by a narrator, and lots of actors in glittering outfits performed the scenes. The spectators saw various surprising effects and gave a long applause at the end.
On 5 December the Dr. Harbhajan Singh Memorial Inter School National Volleyball Tournament for Boys ended with the semi finals and the final match. Chief guest of the day was Hon. S. Gulzar Singh Ranike, cabinet minister of Punjab, responsible for sports. He adressed the audience and then handed out the awards to the teams, assisted by H.H. Surinder Kaur and representatives of Unity of Man.
In India the marriage ceremony is important, but also very expensive. Consequently, Unity of Man supports disadvantaged families by sponsoring the wedding for their daughters.
In the morning of 6 December twenty-eight bridal couples arrived in Kirpal Sagar. They came along with their families from different villages and towns within a radius of 200 km around Kirpal Sagar. The marriage ceremonies were celebrated according to the religious belief of the couples, in this case the marriage rites of the Sikhs. The guests of the conference were invited to attend the ceremony. They marvelled at the pretty red clothed and adorned brides and the well decorated young man. A famous singer from Pakistan, Baba Gulam Mohammed Chand, contributed with his musicians to the celebrations.
As the Project Kirpal Sagar took its begin from Amritsar, a function in Amritsar preceded the main programme of the World Conference in Kirpal Sagar. Organized as a conference on a smaller scale, it took place at the well-known 'Guru Nanak Bhawan', the main conference hall of the city.
Following a short introduction, the Principal of the Khalsa College of Education Amritsar, Mr. Jaswind Singh Dillon, welcomed the audience from India and abroad. In the scholarly atmosphere of the venerable Guru Nanak Auditorium, he explained the main educational aims as "to learn to know", "to learn to do", "to learn to be" (in the sense of a self-determined and self-confident life) and, the most important, "to learn to live together".
On 8 December the attention focussed on the procession to Kirpal Sagar.
The day began with a visit in the village of Nag Kalan, where Dr. Harbhajan Singh and his wife Surinder Kaur lived before they moved to Kirpal Sagar. Nag Kalan is located in a distance of about 10 kilometers from Amritsar. Here Sant Kirpal Singh laid the foundation stone of Dr. Harbhajan Singh’s hospital in 1973, stating that it was the foundation of the future Manav Kendra ('man - center', means Kirpal Sagar).
On 9 December in the morning, the first session of the conference started in the 'Pandal', the huge conference tent. Delegates from all five continents shared their views on the major problems of mankind and explained their approaches to meet these challenges.
The conference panel consisted of various renowned religious representatives, spiritual leaders, scientists and human rights activists. Their speeches related to world peace and universal brotherhood, and many took up Sant Kirpal Singh's motto: Be good – Do good – Be one.
The conference continued with Session III in the morning of 10 December. Once more, it was a marvellous sight to watch Hinduistic Swamis, Sikhs, Christians, Jains and Muslims sitting side by side on the stage.
In the beginning, Benedictine monks and nuns sang prayers and hymns from different religions, all dealing with the subject of peace. Thereafter, Swami Sushil Muni opened the session.
In the subsequent speeches, the delegates contributed from various angles to the subject "World Peace and Universal Brotherhood" - whether from a social, psychological, environmental or religious point of view, all finally agreed that it is up to the individuals to change their attitudes in their dealings with others and with God's creation.