Peace & Sustainability Through Yoga

Peace & Sustainability Through Yoga

Peace & Sustainability Through Yoga

Exploring Maitri & Karuna Through Yoga

International Online Yoga Festival

18th – 20th June, 2020


The celebration of war has been dominating human history for the last few millennia.

It has given us nuclear war.

It has brought us to the brink of Climate disaster.

It has created the COVID pandemic.

It is time to celebrate peace.

It is time to change the discourse about COVID to see how we make peace with the outbreak, and not how we win the war. The discourse of war exacerbates the panic, turns people against each other and sets the ground for a post-COVID that continues with the same, “I must live, and I must live well” idea of life. The underlying paradigm that energizes this idea of individualism also powers the use of natural resources for war, for nurturing a consumerist society and for fostering a world divided by narrow identifications.

The only hope for an equitable world is the discourse of peace. The tangible outcomes of a commitment to peace are obvious! More that 25% of world GDP serves the ‘military industrial complex’. Dismantling this and redirecting the money will mean that every person in the world can be fed, clothed, educated and housed free of charge! It will not harm the economy, since the stuff created by the complex is just sitting there waiting for a foolish leader to trigger a war, use the inventory to kill people and destroy the earth!

The only hope for a sustainable world is a discourse on peace. If the resources used to cater to valorize the individualistic and consumeristic world are turned towards nurturing meaningful and socially healthy ways of living, we will see a very different world. For example, we will need only public transport! We will build more spaces for play and collective enjoyment than to cater to exclusivity. These are not pipe dreams, there are towns where this has been experimented with great success.

To enable a discourse of peace, we need a personal practice that is grounded in human well-being, rational enquiry and collective harmony. Not one based on narrow belief that encourage the process of ‘othering’.

The COVID crisis has shown how relevant the practice of a holistic Yoga can be. One can enable the celebration of peace by reiterating the individual practice of Yoga with a central focus on the basic foundations of Yoga, namely,

  • A deep and abiding concern for the suffering of mankind and the earth (duHkha nivAraNa)
  • A commitment to non-violence (ahimsa)
  • A commitment to truth (satya)

These are individual practices with an immediate impact on every social interaction. Therefore, they will initiate a movement where all the resources of mankind will be turned away from war, and away from wasteful commerce.

The COVID crisis offers us a sliver of hope, it opens a small window in human minds to these possibilities. A life of dignity, personal honour and peace is something all human beings dream of and aspire for. Yet they get drawn into the discourse of war and consumerism.

Can we use the shock that all the people of the world are facing due to the pandemic to reinforce the dialogue that has been all but drowned out by the din of battle?

This is the voice of the ancient Rishis, of Buddha, of Mahavira, of Guru Nanak and the stream flows all the way to Gandhiji, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, B.R. Ambedkar, Hansa Mehta, Dakshayini Velayudhan, and others.

Ritambhara, in collaboration with the India Foundation’s Center for Soft Power, invites all yoga practitioners and seekers of peace to join us on this journey.

Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan (Co-founder, Ritambhara)



This initiative includes an international online yoga festival from 18th to 20th of June, 2020.

The Online Yoga Festival will feature dialogues between eminent personalities from different fields speaking on topics relating to Climate Change, Science, Economy, Gender, Tribal & Dalit Activism, Defence, and Spirituality.

The dialogues will be followed by inner work through yoga explorations facilitated by the Ritambhara team based on the SaptaSwara framework – Maitri, Karma, Dharma, Gnyanam, Ramyam, Yoga and Abhyasa.






18 June 2020

7AM - 7.30AM IST

Dr. Rajesh Kotecha

Lalita Kumaramangalam

Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India

India Foundation


18 June 2020

7.30AM - 10AM IST

Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan

Co-founder, Ritambhara

Peace & Sustainability Through Yoga

18 June 2020


Smt. Gitanjali JB

Founder - Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh

Nature Through The Eyes Of Vedas & Upanishads

19 June 2020

7AM - 10AM IST

Swami Atmaswarupananda

Vedanta Living Society, Houston

Spirituality & Yoga

19 June 2020


Dena Merriam 

Laxmi Tripathy


Dena Merriam is the Founder and Convener of the Global Peacee Initiative of Women.

Laxmi Tripathy is a transgender activist and Bharatanatyam dancer.

Subhrashta is an author and social commentator.

Yoga & Gender Justice

20 June 2020

7AM - 10AM IST

Subhash Kak

Author & Scientist,
Padma Shri,
Member, Scientific Advisory Council to the PM of India

Science & Yoga

20 June 2020

4PM - 5.45 PM IST

Dr. Sanjay Paswan

Member of Bihar Legislative Council, India

Yoga & Social Cohesion

20 June 2020

5.45PM - 7.15PM IST

Nouf Marwai

Fatima Al Mansoori

Salman Chishti

Nouf Marwai is the founder of the Arab Yoga Foundation.

Fatima Al Mansoori is the Founder & Executive Director of Sustainable Humanitarian Development Consultant.

Salman Chishti is the Chairman of Chisthy Foundation.

Yoga in Middle East: Opporutnities & Challenges

20 June 2020

7.15PM - 7.30PM IST

Sri Vinay Sahasrabuddhe

Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha

President, Indian Centre for Cultural Relations, Government of India



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