A 5-day festival entitled ‘India Rising 2015’ was held in Mumbai from 14th to 18th of January with over 100,000 people in attendence. Radhanath Swami commented on the festival: “Rising India! I am very hopeful the people of India will rediscover the supreme treasure that has been their heritage, and through our arts, through our lives, we share it with each other and share it with the world.”
With hundreds of stalls displaying traditional handicrafts from different parts of India throughout the festival grounds, dance and dramas were performed on stage. Artisans and performers, some of them national award winners, were honored.
The spirit of selfless service is an integral aspect of Indian culture and was highlighted in the festival. The soldiers and the police who sacrificed their lives for the protection of others during the ‘26/11’ terrorist attack on Mumbai were gratefully remembered. Member of Parliament Mrs. Poonam Mahajan in her address praised Radhanath Swami’s compassionate efforts – through the project Annamrita – towards a hunger-free Mumbai.
Jagannath Rathyatra was the highlight on one of the festival days. Thousands of devotees pulled the chariot of Lord Jagannath through the streets of Mumbai into the festival grounds where the Lord was welcomed with traditional dance and kirtan performances.
In his keynote address Radhanath Swami spoke of the ‘yoga of art’. “The yoga of art is, through our music, through our dance and through every aspect of our life we are tuning in to the frequency of divine grace. And through our art, we become transmitters to uplift humanity and uplift the world to that divine grace.”
Several celebrities from the entertainment industry attended the festival including film director Shubhash Ghai, film and television star Juhi Chawla, television star Mukesh Khanna and others.