“The Culture of Giving” 21 Days of Making (and Receiving) Gifts!

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A new project “The Culture of Giving: a Golden Mantra for the GoldenFuture of Russia and the World” was launched in St. Petersburg.

The project is dedicated to the 319^th anniversary of St. Petersburg and the 32^nd anniversary of the Brahma Kumaris in this city.  Its first leg, the marathon “21 Days of Golden Gifts” will take place June 1 to 21. On the occasion of launching the project, the Diamond Hall of Lighthouse welcomed a large group of guests from various cities of Russia, India, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus. The event was broadcast live in many cities in this country and abroad.

Addressing the international audience, Mr. Kumar Gaurav, Consul General of India in St. Petersburg, underlined the relevance of the project in the context of today’s world scenario. He said, “Whenever I come to the Lighthouse, I feel a kind of divine intervention in this space. The culture of giving is truly the need of the hour. It is not by chance that the Indian tradition considers the act of giving, or daan, to be one of the most important tenets for getting salvation, apart from gaining knowledge and seeking for truth. The culture of giving is as old as India itself, and today we need to revive it worldwide.”

Ms. Alexandra Nikolayeva, Chairperson, Department for supporting socially oriented NGOs, Committee for Social Policy of St. Petersburg, highly appreciated the record of the social service of the Brahma Kumaris in this city: “The BKs and the government of St. Petersburg have been keeping close contacts for more than 30 years. Numerous projects have been carried out for the benefit of this city and its residents.

The new project that we are launching today suggests we become part of a 21-day Marathon of making gifts. I think that “21” is a sacred number, and it has not been chosen by chance. They say, it takes 21 days for a habit to be formed. And if we join this action and keep sharing our love, care and time with those around us, our world is going to become a better place to live!”

Ms. Ludmila Kuleshova, president of the Lawyers’ Association of St.Petersburg, shared her feelings by saying, “We are present at a beautiful festival of purity, light, and kindness. The establishment of the BK centre in St. Petersburg has had a great importance for spiritual and moral development of this city.”

Introducing the project, Didi Santosh, the Brahma Kumaris director in St. Petersburg, shared the inspiring words of wisdom about the deep philosophy of giving as described by the Supreme Giver. She said, “The project is dedicated to a beautiful task of giving for which God Himself comes on this Earth. The Supreme Soul, our Benefactor Father, is always a Giver for us, His children. He does not carry a calculator with Him for counting how much He has given to us. And the elements of nature are constant and selfless givers as well.”

“But we, human souls, somehow have put a lock on our ability to give. We get tired of giving because we forget who we are, whose we are, and why we are here. This forgetfulness changes our way of thinking, as a result of which our personality traits, or sanskaras, and our culture, or sanskriti, also change. The purpose of the project is to remind ourselves that we are souls, spiritual, sentient beings. A soul is basically a seed of knowledge, purity, peace and happiness. So let us make sure the seed sprouts and shares its latent treasures with the world.”

Bringing a unique fragrance of blessings and good wishes from Madhuban and Delhi, BK Yugratan decorated the event with a beautiful song “Sahayog se hi hoga sarvodaya” (“The benefit for everyone will be brought through co-operation”). And Mr. Mikhail Gavrilov, an opera singer and winner of international contests, dedicated his song “A City of Cool Winds” to St. Petersburg.

A sparkling variety of cultural items, songs, dances, and mime skits filled the audience with joy and inspired everyone to share this joy with others. The viewers were especially happy to greet young dancers who performed national dances of Azerbaijan and Ossetia.

A magic plate filled with delicious dry fruit was given to the specialguests of the event. Every plate is going to embark on a wonderful journey: after the treat has been accepted with love, the owner of the plate will fill it again and hand it over to someone else. In this way, the magic plate will go from one person to another at least 21 times! The round-shaped plate with the image of the Supreme Giver is symbolic of the law of actions that says, “Your acts of goodness will definitely come back to you, and you will be rewarded for them manifold.”

 

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