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5 May 2019
Kottayam, Kerala, India
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was conferred the ‘Order of St. George’, the highest award given by Kottayam’s 462-year-old St. George Orthodox Church as part of the Church’s Commemorative Feast.
Along with Sri Sri, the event was graced by popular former Kerala Chief Minister, Hon. Dr. Oommen Chandy, and presided over by the Hon. Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan, who has led the various programmes connected with the Commemorative Feast.
Acknowledging the award, Sri Sri pointed out, an award signified more responsibilities that must be taken to serve others.
Talking about Sri Sri’s role, former Kerala Chief Minister, Hon. Oommen Chandy said that this country and the world was blessed to have the presence of a person like Sri Sri, who has been working relentlessly for spiritual awakening of the masses and for the good of society. “He is a symbol of peace and tolerance and he makes the world a better place,” the former CM said.
He remembered the times when he was the Chief Minister and the number of times that Sri Sri and his organization-The Art of Living served the state by doing lot of humanitarian work in Kerala.
Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan presiding over the celebrations, said, “It is an honor and blessing for Pudupally that he (Sri Sri) is here in person to receive the award.” He further said that though today the world has become a global village but the hearts of people have shrunk and have been filled with selfishness and that love and compassion had gone missing.
“Sri Sri binds the world in love and togetherness and transforms it so that peace, reverence and tolerance increase in the world around us,” Dr. Thomas said.
Sri Sri in his key note address said, “When you have love in your heart, the whole world is yours and this is the essence of all religions. When you go to the root of every religion you will find the same message-make compassion, love and service the sutra for your life.” He also emphasised on the need to strike a balance between love and discipline because love alone can bring chaos and discipline alone can be stiffling. Sri Sri also spoke about three types of faith one neess to have-faith in oneself, faith in the society and faith in the divine. “Know that there are lot of good people who are doing lot of good work. Have faith in this. If you see from my eyes, there is no bad person on this earth.”
The church, which is considered the Georgian Pilgrim Centre of the East, is known for several traditional rituals such as flag hoisting, fireworks, feeding rice to children for the first time, mass luncheon, ceremonial processions and fireworks, family unions, among others , during the annual Feast. Special Holy Communions will be held on May 6th and 7th. The installation of the golden cross at the main sacrificial altar will also take place on May 6th. This year, it is estimated that 10,001 kgs of rice will be cooked for feeding those who attend the Commemorative Feast.
The martyrdom day of St.Geevarghese Sahada was on April 23rd. The annual convention in connection with the Commemmorative Feast,commenced on April 30th and will conclude on May 5th.
Received the Order of St George conferred by the Orthodox Church, Kottayam, Kerala. Appreciate the honour & the warm reception by Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan & Ex CM Sri @Oommen_Chandy. The service projects & the interfaith initiatives by the Church are laudable. pic.twitter.com/LFhrssfdRv
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) May 5, 2019