Fostering greater spiritual unity among the peoples of the world: convening a major International Spiritual Gathering in Varanasi, 21 -25 November 2019, as part of the Road to 2020 series of Global Public events.
Through the power of music, the sacredness of the river Ganga, the Mahindra Kabira Festival and the grassroots interfaith power of the United Religions Initiative, let’s celebrate the extraordinary diversity of human spirituality and our shared passion for connection and unity.
The Varanasi Convergence is organised in partnership with United Religions Initiative (URI) and Teamwork Arts. Teamwork Arts is the host of the three day Mahindra Kabira Festival. UNITY EARTH brings to the Kabira Festival Grammy Award nominated musician Pato Banton, US Singer/Songwriter Kristin Hoffmann and Cultural Ambassadors from across the globe.
The Mahindra Kabira Festival celebrates the spirit of Kabir’s philosophy and espouses the lyrical aspect of his teachings. Kabir, a 15th century poet and saint, whose enigmatic background adds to his mystic identity, is said to have grown up in a family of the
famed Varanasi weavers. He stood for no particular religion, believed that God resides within us and spawned an entire system of faith based on the principles of equality and simplicity.
Varanasi is a city in the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dating to the 11th century B.C. Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, the city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Along the city’s winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. As part of the program, we will spend the day in Sarnath, in a blissful Walking Meditation led by Lama Doboom Tulku.
Sarnath is located 10 kilometres north-east of Varanasi and is the place where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma. Sarnath has been developed as a place of pilgrimage, both for Buddhists from India and abroad. A number of countries in which Buddhism is
a major (or the dominant) religion, such as Thailand, Japan, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, have established temples and monasteries in Sarnath in the style that is typical for the respective country. Thus, pilgrims and visitors have the opportunity to
experience an overview of Buddhist architecture from various cultures.
Thursday, 21 November
• Arrive in Varanasi by late afternoon
• Dinner and Opening Gathering
Friday, 22 November
• Peace Program at Banaras Hindu University – event led by URI
• 9am – 2.30pm
• This event will consist of Opening Speeches by BHU, Musical Performance by UNITY
EARTH artists, Lunch, Official Photo Shoot, and more.
• Water Ceremony on the Ganga – Evening (event led by the Mahindra Kabira Festival)
Saturday, 23 November
• Visit to Sarnath, Mindfulness Walk and Talk with Lama Doobum Tulku – Morning and Lunch
• Mahindra Kabira Festival and Concert – Late Afternoon and Evening
Sunday, 24 November
• Mahindra Kabira Festival – All Day
• Closing Concert at Mahindra Kabira Festival – Evening
Monday, 25 November