On January 14th, 2012, in One Earth One Sky One Humankind Meditation Center, Anand Ashram Foundation (affiliated with the UN) celebrated its 21th anniversary. The theme of the event was “Be Joyful and Share Your Joy with Others”. People having similar vision and mission as Anand Ashram attended the anniversary among them were Prof. Djohan Effendi (former Secretary of State 2000-2001), Fakri Rahman (Head of Sub-directorate of Region IV, Directorate General of Tourism Promotion), Aswi Warman Adam (LIPI researcher), Julia Suryakusuma (writer, contributor to The Jakarta Post), Moulik (from the US Embassy in Jakarta), Ugiek Kurniadi (Central Executive Board of the PA GMNI) and Venerable Mahathera Sanghasena (the founder of The Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre)
Dr. Wayan Sayoga, the chairperson of Anand Ashram Foundation, opened his speech by thanking the attendees who came to celebrate Anand Ashram’s anniversary. During 21 years Anand Ashram has been going through numerous tribulations which keep it developing and growing. Anand Ashram has succeeded in overcoming every test with the spirit of unity and brotherhood inspired by Anand Krishna, the founder of Anand Ashram Foundation.
Successfully Implemeting Interfaith Harmony
Prof. Djohan Effendi (National Secretary Minister 2000-2001) told the story about the deeds of a teacher. Sometimes they are in contradictory with our thoughts but often there is a hidden intent in the act of the teacher to help us to see the truth.
He also added many people out there are busy creating divisions among themselves; nevertheless here the divisions are melted away. Anand Ashram has successfully put interfaith harmony into practice. Djohan also congratulated Anand Ashram for its 21th anniversary.
Anand Ashram is the Answer to the Numerous Problems in Indonesia
Julia Surya Kusuma (Writer and The Jakarta Post’s Contributor) recalled the memory of her first meeting with Anand Krishna about 20 years ago. She admitted that Anand Ashram and she have the same vision, they both struggle for Pluralism. Julia further added Anand Ashram is the answer to many problems in Indonesia, the problem of religious violence and the problems of national disintegration. The government should learn from what Anand Ashram does to appreciate the difference amongst religions.
Solving the Problems Together
Moulik (from America’s Embassy) expressed his happiness because he could come again to One Earth One Sky One Humankind. He admitted he comes from America but feels at home in Indonesia. Moulik said the problems in America, the problems in Indonesia and the problems in the world are all similar. And they way to solve them is also the same: we have to sit down together and talk. With our togetherness can we solve the problems we are facing. Moulik also congratulated Anand Ashram and he expected Anand Ashram to maintain its achievements and to continue its service.
On Going Struggle to Realize Unity in Diversity
Anand Krishna, the Founder of Anand Ashram Foundation who is also famous as a spiritual activist and prolific author of more than 140 books in Indonesian and English, stated that Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Appearing as Many, Essentially Once – the national philosophy of Indonesia) should be upheld together. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is the solution to the world’s problems today.
Anand explained the physical differences cannot be united; however, the essence, that we are all human beings, can be united. What we need to do is to focus our attention to what can unite us and then we can learn to appreciate the existing differences along the way.
Reporter: Su Rahman, Photographer: Prabu Dennaga, Translator: Sylvia Antaresa