You've seen some tweets about our return from Melbourne, and our two days in Sydney, a welcome break after such an intense and productive week at the Parliament of the World's Religions. Here we capture Bodhinatha and Senthilnathaswami in front of the landmark Opera house, with the Sydney bridge peeking out on the left.
Back to Melbourne and the remarkable gathering of some 6-8,000 people (we can't find a definitive number). Just learned that Obama's special team was there to discuss religious matters with the representatives of the major faiths. They especially were seeing understanding of Islam and better ways to
Palaniswami called it a gathering of the tribes, and throughout the parliament groups of Buddhists, Sikhs, Shintoist, Hindus and indigenous peoples marched by, all dressed in their traditional garb.
Sri Ravi Shankar founder of the Art of Living is greeted by Sikh elders.
Back at the ultra-modern Convention Centre (this was the first major event for Melbourne's high-tech hall), some minstrels visit the Hinduism Today booth.
And two Indian dancers join.
At the last minute, Hinduism Today was asked to join a panel on "The Religious Response to Climate Change." Palaniswami surprised everyone a bit by actually giving a spiritual response, urging that leaders not use fear as the chief motivator of change and noting it is a lower-chakra energy. Rather than scaring the world to death, he suggested, let's inspire through compassion, love of the beautiful world around us and knowledge of our duty to the Earth which as borne us all these generations.
Bodhinatha joined to listen. The panelists, who were more political than religious in their talks, did not much appreciate Palaniswami's call, thinking it a bit naive. But others from the audience came forward to say it was an important message that could bring about even higher results. Why did other panelists not like the message? Because it was a bit politically incorrect ("Such ideas have no political traction" the moderator offered). We were supposed to join the chorus and cry, in the name of human survival, for immediate action lest we all die a horrible death.