27 Aug 2013

Nirankari Oneness Festival in Wiesbaden: “One God and One Humanity”

Swami Anashuya, Mataji Ambika and myself were invited yesterday (25 August 2013) as special guests to the Oneness Festival of the Nirankari Mission in Wiesbaden. The occasion was the visit of their Satguru, Baba Hardev Singh, who visited Germany for the first time in ten years. The main motto of their movement is “Global Brotherhood” and the motto of the gathering was “Unity”. Devotees from all over Europe came together in the large Wiesbadener Rhein-Main Halle, well over a thousand, some of which stayed overnight at Shree Peetha Nilaya (devotees from Spain and the Netherlands).
The whole event was organised on very short notice, and it was impressive to see how the devotees
made it happen and worked well together.
We were given the special honour of performing a formal welcoming ritual to Satguru Baba Hardev Singh as he arrived to the venue. We did this as is our tradition with a garland, a basket of gifts and the Vaishnava mantra. 

The Nirankari movement is not so well known in the West. Whilst its main base is in India, it is global, and has actually become very large over the past few decades under the leadership of their Guru. There are around 10 million devotees, the event was live streamed and well over 100'000 people supposedly were watching (also 100’000+ people come at times to gatherings in Delhi where the centre point of the movement lies).
Nirankari has its origins in Sikhism but has moved beyond any religion. The Nirankaris believe in the formless God (Nirankar) who lives inside everyone's heart, in universal brotherhood, in seva, and very strongly also in the Guru. Our Bhakti Marga movement shares many core values with the Nirankari Mission, and it is no coincidence, that through some of their devotees in nearby Bad-Schwalbach with whom our centre has a bond of friendship, the connection was made.

Swami Anashuya and I gave a joint talk of 5 minutes about the importance of the Grace of the Guru, and that without Love there can be no unity (for a full transcript of the talk, click here). After the speech we sang "Wahe Guru" with everyone in the hall. People were a bit shy at first, but it was still nice. Singing is maybe the simplest and greatest way of coming into unity with one another.
Our Guruji Sri Swami Vishwananda wanted to meet and personally welcome Satguru Baba Hardev Singh at Shree Peetha Nilaya, but their schedules couldn’t be made to match this time. We hope, that the two of them will meet soon and that the two movements can continue to work together in unity towards the greater goal of uniting humanity through Love. We are all children of One God who lives inside the heart of all.
Swami Kuru (Vishwakurunandhanananda)