By Bhanumati Narasimhan
“The role of women in the development of a society is of utmost importance. In fact, it is the only criterion that determines whether a society is strong and harmonious or not,” Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a global humanitarian and spiritual leader says.
A confluence of beauty, love, inspiration and knowledge, the International Women’s Conference 2020, is where over 400 women leaders from various fields like arts, politics, business and media will come together from around the globe in order to celebrate the essence of womanhood by learning from each other, motivating and supporting each other.
The conference promises to consist of inspiring sessions by speakers from over 20 different countries and spheres including Ms. Ndileka Mandela (CEO & Founder, Thembekile Mandela Foundation, South Africa),Hon. Justice Sapna Pradhan Malla (Supreme Court Judge,Nepal),H.E. Dr. Kiran Bedi, (retired Indian Police Service officer, social activist and current Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry), Ms. Ronnie Newman (Director at Health Promotion and Education at Art of Living USA), among others.
This year’s conference is themed “The Circle of life-Passion, Compassion and Dispassion”.
Gurudev beautifully encapsulates all of it in these words, “Passion and dispassion are like breathing in and breathing out. You breathe in that is passion and you breathe out that is dispassion and in between there is compassion. Be compassionate on others and compassionate on yourself too!”
It is only by passion that one can achieve success but passion leads to attachment which clouds our clarity and perception in life. Not every passion or desire gets fulfilled right away. Patience is necessary in order to pursue a passion and for patience one needs to have dispassion. Unfortunately dispassion is often misunderstood as lack of enthusiasm.
The sign of dispassion is not dullness but a never ending enthusiasm and energy. Wisdom is being passionate with action but at the same time being detached and being able to let go! Today the world needs a better balance of passion and dispassion with right amount of compassion at the right places! It is only in spirituality that passion and dispassion can happen together.
As leaders, influencers, homemakers and as pillars of our society, what can we as women do to create a positive environment in every sphere? Peace is our collective responsibility; for only with peace can we have more prosperity also.
Women have the ability to unite and make peace, because it is quite natural for them to relate from the level of heart. They have a natural tendency to love and care, and to beautify everyone and everything around them. Women have the power to instill love, compassion and spirituality in the people and the society around.
A mother is the first guru for a child. First step towards a better future is when the children are given the right upbringing, in an atmosphere of peace and love. Where women are happy and peaceful, the surroundings flourish, the family is happy and society is evolved. A deeper perspective towards life enables one to accept and sail through all kinds of situations. There are cases of anxiety disorders and suicides because people do not know how to deal with adverse circumstances. Pondering further over this will make you realize that all the violence in the world happens because people are not able to let go of their grudges, and are engrossed in their limited identities based on their nation, religion and culture. A broader perspective towards life will help them expand beyond these limited identities and accept all beings. Holding onto the past experiences, whether good or bad, fogs our vision to the reality of the present. Dispassion is letting go! The more people are spiritual, the better and more peaceful the world will be- and women definitely have a key role to play in making the world a better place.
The IWC aims at bringing together the women leaders from around the globe to a common platform where they engage in fruitful discussions and collective actions for making this world more stress free and violence free, while supporting and motivating each other, sharing their experiences from their respective fields of arts, science, politics, business and media.
Some of the highlights of IWC 2020 will be:
Mission Green earth 2020: an initiative by art of living that seeks to plant 10 million trees around the world and nurture them till they self-sustain, to restore biodiversity, leading to a measurable impact.
Gift a smile: A project that is committed to making holistic education accessible to the children that are outside the reach of other government or private programs.
Project Pavithra: This project aims to empower girls and women with knowledge and awareness on menstrual health and hygiene.
Forming a global network of women leaders, with more than 100 countries and over 400 eminent speakers, IWC 2020 is 9th such conference to be held in the last 15 years at the Art of living International Centre, Bengaluru.
“In today’s war-torn world, we need women to come to the forefront and take more responsibility, without getting stressed. When women are determined, they can do wonders!,” says Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
(The author is Chairperson, International Women’s Conference)