Religions for Peace 1st NSW meeting 2018

Mr Vijai Singhal of Hindu Council of Australia attended the quarterly meeting of the Religions for Peace(RfP), NSW Chapter of which he is also an Honorary Secretary. RfP is an international organisation and is the largest and most representative multi-religious organisation. It promotes harmony among people of different religions. The meeting was held in the Parliamentary office of Hon. Walt Secord, Shadow Minister for Health and Deputy Opposition leader in the NSW Legislative Council.

The topic for discussion was “Ritual abstinence”. Pravarajika Gayatripana, President of the Ramakrishna Sarada Vedanta Society of NSW spoke about the Hindu view on Fasting, which has a prominent role in cleaning up body and the mind. People keep fast on ‘Ekadasi – 11th day of the lunar calendar’; on Shivaratri day; on Shri Krishna Janamasthami day and 9-days fast during Navaratri in the month of Oct.
Father Patrick McInerney of Columban Mission spoke about Christian fasting during “Lent” – a period of 40 days fasting undertaken for purification of heart.

Ian Lacey spoke about the religious fasting in the Jewish faith on the day of atonement and the day to commemorate the destruction of the temple and celebration of Passover, a festival of freedom from slavery.
Mohini Gunasekara spoke about fasting in the Buddhist faith. Fasting is for self discipline to overcome cravings. Some Buddhist do not eat any solids after mid day. Buddha preached the middle path. Extremes are not allowed.

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