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Welcome Address - Ms Bhanumathi Narasimhan Chairperson- International Women's Conference

Smt Bhanumathi NarasimhanDear Friends, with the Blessings of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the Sixth International Women’s Conference Harmony Evolution towards Perfection.

Harmony to me is when I am peaceful within; when I am able to connect to people; there is a sense of belongingness. In this very hall where we have gathered thousands of people have meditated and the air is vibrant with positivity. This space of friendliness and positivity is the right place to sow the seeds of positive transformation. Today I am very happy to see women from over 59 countries. We are very happy to welcome all of us and we have 350 rural women also here and we will be interacting with them.

Everything in this universe has a purpose and we have a higher purpose. Recognising this and valuing life over everything else is harmonious living. Sharing and caring, this is what Art of Living has done and is still doing for the past 33 years. We are proud once again to share this vision of sharing and caring with you as we begin this conference.

Together we will discuss various aspects influencing harmony like making a true global connection, the ability to move through opposites without losing our smile, the skill in finding a perfect solution in spite of multiplicity, restoring balance to the cycle of nature. We have a beautiful session on making happiness fashionable and about humour also. Humour is not just words. It is the lightness of your being and finally a session on expressing the inexpressible. What is even better is we will be experiencing the inexpressible; the finer aspects of our self through morning programs of meditation and I hope many of you have already started this program. Please feel free to reach us and to reach out to the angels and volunteers here. This is your home anyway for the coming three days.

When we were children, my brother Sri Sri would celebrate the birthdays of every saint from all faiths.. It was like a game for us at that time, but today I realize how the seeds of honoring wisdom from every source, a broad vision and deep roots were inculcated in us so simply and naturally. This world is diverse, celebrating this diversity and moving through life smoothly with joy and enthusiasm is a special skill. Maintaining this balance happens effortlessly when you are in touch with your self. Accommodating the multiplicity yet standing up for your vision and passion, this is harmony.

Leaders today are dealing with solutions for gun control, bans on assault weapons, women safety and so forth and one hand and to create opportunities for education and employment and health care on the other. The choices are not easy. The priorities are all high, the budgets are all divided. Violence and crime in society is consuming the time, attention and efforts of key resources and leaders in our country. The statistics are shocking, yet the solution is not clear. This is because we have to attend to the root cause of this which is erosion of human values.

As women we are balancing the needs and responsibilities and nourishing these values in our homes. It is very encouraging to see so many women here around the world coming forward to take responsibility, to extend their ability for the greater cause of humanity and society. Some of us are focused on the preventive and some curative, some treating the root and some nourishing the positive.. Each one of us is special, recognizing that we are unique, the best, and beautiful and this is spirituality.

A jasmine flower can be near a lotus or a rose, they don’t compete, and they simply are beautiful and add glory to the garden. With our uniqueness when we come together like this like a beautiful bouquet of flowers, this is harmony During these three days of deliberations let us find solutions; let us find ways which are both practical and mystical. As a person you are practical but the mind can be mystical. Uniting these aspects we can find harmony within and extend it to the world outside.

We have many great thinkers, we are eagerly waiting for your views and inspirations that will be shared through various sessions that are tailored to bring out all the values necessary for the evolution towards perfection that is harmony.

Thank you and once again I extend a warm welcome to all of you in your own home.