New Delhi – Over two hundred guests including spiritual leaders, scholars, university students and journalists came together last week at the India International Center in New Delhi to participate in the inaugural session of a two day dialogue between spiritual leaders and scholars from India and Iran on the theme of “Spirituality in Hinduism and Islam”.
Jointly organized by the by Indian and Iranian governments through Indian Council for Philosophical Research and Iran Culture House, the inaugural session consisted of speeches by various guests including India’s Minister for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. A special message sent by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also read out.
Speaking at the event, ISKCON India’s Deputy Director of Communications, Yudhistir Govinda Das stressed on the need for having interfaith dialogues and shared his views as a student of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition where love for a Supreme personal God is recognized as the highest form of religious expression and Gaudiya Vaishnavas respect this expression in other traditions wherever it is manifested.
“A common concept that came up several times in our inaugural session was to go beyond the externalities and love God selflessly. I think this served as a common unifying thread for the speakers in this session. The second day focused on several intricate philosophical concepts and how both religions approached them” said Yudhistir Govinda Das.
Other guests on the inaugural panel included:
Dr. Abuzar Ebrahimi – President of Iran’s public diplomacy organization ICRODr.
Mohsen Qomi – Islamic cleric & Deputy Head – Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran
H.E. Ghulam Reza Ansari – Ambassador of Iran in India
Swami Gurusharananda – Head of Karshni Udasin Pith
Dr. Srivatsa Goswami – Gaudiya Vaishanva teacher from Radha Raman Mandir, Vrindavan
Dr. Ali Dehgahi – Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of Iran in India
Dr. S.R Bhatt – Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research
The discussions and papers presented at this dialogue would be published as a book by the Indian Council for Philosophical Research. The organizers also informed the delegates that an attempt would be made to convert this dialogue into an annual event.
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