Embracing Spirituality and Nature, the Global Spirituality Mahotsav

Author: By Apoorva Bose   |   May 7, 2024

In a world fraught with chaos, there are moments that remind us of our shared humanity, our interconnectedness with nature and the power of collective action. The Global Spirituality Mahotsav (festival), a remarkable event co-organized by Heartfulness and the Ministry of Culture, India, was one such moment.

From 14 – 17 March, Kanha Shanti Vanam in Hyderabad, India, became an eclectic space for 70,000 people from across the globe to celebrate unity, diversity and the profound connection between spirituality and nature, amongst other topics. Politicians, spiritual leaders and visionaries exchanged ideas and inspiration.

Amidst this kaleidoscope of cultures and ideas, the G20 Global Land Initiative (GLI) echoed the voices of those advocating better land management and restoration practices. The GLI booth was a meeting point for conversations and stories about transformation and innovation intertwined with the shared vision of a sustainable future.

The Mahotsav gathered prominent personalities, including politicians and global spiritual leaders and the event was opened by the President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu.

During the event, Kamlesh D Patel, Global Guide of the Heartfulness, affectionately known as Daaji, received the esteemed title of ‘Global Ambassador of Peacebuilding and Faith in the Commonwealth’, a testament to his tireless efforts to foster harmony across borders.

M.R Hari (Senior Restoration Expert), G20 GLI representative, shared insights about the Initiatives impact. In a session dedicated to nature’s teachings, he spoke about the transformative potential of the Miyawaki method of building forests, and ignited curiosity and an exploration of the idea.

A Miyawaki forest is designed to grow a forest on a small patch of land, using many tree species that are native to the area. It is a forest restoration method developed by a Japanese botanist, Akira Miyawaki, which is widely used in Asia, Latin America and in urban areas.

Kanha Shanti Vanam, the location of the Mahotsav, is a surprising ecological haven. Participants revelled in the incredible beauty of an area once barren land, devoid of all vegetation and life. But through consistent restoration efforts, it is now a thriving ecosystem.

The restored landscape is a testament to the profound impact and potential of land restoration. In 2019, the project was awarded the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) Platinum award.

In addition to the thought-provoking sessions at the Mahotsav, the G20 GLI team had the pleasure of visiting the restoration sites.

In the spirit of collaboration, G20 GLI is partnering with Heartfulness to restore land. The first event is the Trainer of Instructors workshop to be held 1-4 July in Kanha Shanti Vanam to introduce a new elective university course titled, Trigger Change!  Innovative Sustainable Agriculture Solutions to Land Restoration.

Spreading the word and spirit of unity and sustainability is a powerful force for creating a brighter, more sustainable future for generations to come.