Interfaith event seeks to promote goodness in all faiths

For the 2015 interfaith gathering, The Balshala, or children’s group, at the Hindu temple in Augusta recited ‘Lingashtakam’ as the opening prayer. Many faith groups including Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and others plan to participate in the program planned for July 22. FILE/STAFF

An upcoming event will bring together believers from different faiths to focus on one thing — how random acts of goodness can create an atmosphere of happiness.

 

“We want to do an interfaith dialogue,” said Dr. Shvetank Agarwal, associate professor and section chief of cardiothoracic anesthesia at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Agarwal is coordinating the event at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at the Hindu Temple on Luke Road off Wrightsboro Road.

Agarwal is part of a group called Brahma Kumaris, which promotes meditation.

A panel of speakers will discuss goodness and its basis in various religions at the July 22 event. Also, Ram Sangal, another member of Brahma Kumaris, who is an engineer and survivor of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, will be the keynote speaker.

Sangal is part of the 7 Billion Acts of Goodness campaign, which is “an intiative designed to exponentially increase expressions of benevolence in the world. It is a movement based on the spiritual truth that goodness is innate, and that by cultivating a spiritual awareness of the self, we can tap into this inherent goodness in a way that makes us capable of generating unlimited acts of goodness,” according to the 7 Billion Acts of Goodness website, www.actsofgoodness.org.

Sangal spoke in the area last year and about 70 people attended, but it was only open to a small group of people, said Agarwal.

“He’s a very good speaker. He’s very enthusiastic,” he said

This year, they wanted to open it up to a larger group of people and include those of other faiths. And the more people Agarwal talked to about the event, the more momentum it gained.

“This time we expect much more,” he said.

Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and those of other faiths have expressed an interest in attending and are excited about coming together, he said.

Agarwal said the hope is that through the dialogue people will be able to see that those of different faiths have more in common than they realize and that most religions hold the same tenets of goodness in their foundations.

The event is free. To register, visit https:9-11survivor.eventbrite.com.

 

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