Mumbai is a city that is known to never stop for anyone or anything. The economic capital of India, Mumbai is famous for its seashore, incredible lifestyle, and festivities. The city has a tremendous amount of dynamic energy, which makes people fall in love with it. There’s a saying that “if you work hard in Mumbai, this city will always pay you back for your work.” That’s why it is home to so many of India’s creative people, whether they are in film, theater, television, or advertising. It has all the noise, music, and loudness of a big city, but it is also filled with restless souls searching for peace.
With enthusiasm, energy, and optimism, the young people in Mumbai who are promoting Maharaji’s message of peace make an impact wherever they go. A group of them initiated a peace parade to bring this message to the masses, especially to young adults. They did this apart from their school, college, or work and have a very unusual way of attracting people, especially a younger audience. They hold “canopy events” in malls, beaches, gardens, fairs, and railway stations. More than 260 people attended one of the events in the Andheri area of west Mumbai, which was held in the Infinity Mall. The young volunteers first attracted the audience through music and games. Then they showed a 3-min. presentation of Maharaji’s message to those who were interested. More than 35 people attended and expressed an interest in listening more about the message of hope and peace.
G.M. of Uniliver India Limited, one of the biggest retail companies in India, said of their efforts, “It’s such a great feeling to see young people spreading such a noble message. And I am very impressed with Mr. Prem Rawat’s message.”
After receiving positive feedback on their very first event, these young people got inspired to do more, and they held their next event on a beach. They wanted to do these events in the most unexpected places so that it would be fun for all those listening to the presentations and a challenge for them, too.
So, like a great picnic spot, they set up events regularly on beaches, and they made sure to get the necessary permit from the police and certificate from the Municipal Officer to conduct them. Using four portable DVD players, two laptops, and a TV, these events were held, with more than 300 people attending, many of whom expressed an interest in listening more to the message. One of them, Peter Parker, who is studying for his Ph.D., said, “I have never heard or read anything as incredible as this simple yet profound message.”
Their next destination was a railway station, as most of the Mumbai population travel by rail. As at the beach event, a canopy was set up at Vashi Railway Station in the Navi area, and the event was called “Celebrate Your Life.” They got all the necessary permissions to do the event and had laptops, DVD players, and leaflets in both Hindi and English. Maharaji’s message was shown on a projector to a crowd that gathered there, and it was a great success. Software engineer Datta Patil commented: “I was waiting for my train to arrive. I was tense and impatient, and I heard a boy younger than me telling a 50-year-old person about the possibility of finding inner peace and contentment. I was attracted to the message, and that made me want to listen to Maharaji. I feel blessed.”
Their next destination was a garden, where people come for morning and evening walks or just to sit peacefully. They organized three garden events in different locations in Mumbai. They showed a video of Maharaji and then distributed leaflets and books with his message to those who were interested. About 200 people heard Maharaji’s message through these garden events, out of whom 14 are now in the process of learning more about how to experience peace within.
When these young people sit with their friends, they talk freely about Maharaji’s message of peace, feeling this is the best kind of discussion to have. Mamta Joshi, one of the team members, says simply, “When older people see us talking about this message, they are inspired and remark, ‘At such a tender age, you know what peace is.’ And when young people see us spreading this message, they come to see what is so unique about it that even young people enjoy it.”
So, it’s the perception they are changing. As Maharaji says, “Peace is something that everyone needs. Age has nothing to do with contentment because it’s a journey within.”