The 2006 WCER Congress, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India (5th – 10th February 2006)

The 2006 WCER Congress  (5th – 10 th February 2006)
Place : H. N. Mathur Institute of Public Administration, Nehru Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Theme: “Spirituality Beyond Religions” 9th Conference of the WCER in Jaipur – India

In 2006, the World Congress of Ethnic Religions and Traditions took place in India. It was organised in cooperation with the International Centre of Cultural Studies and the World Congress of Elders of Ancient Cultures and Traditions, both larger and financially independent organisations. The importance of this cooperation cannot be overestimated, because it has broadened our previous European vision to a more worldwide scope. Every single continent was represented and sometimes one was confronted with a surrealistic picture: a Palestinian Muslim defending, together with a Jewish friend, a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict, or an Elder of the Maya culture performing a fire ritual at the same time and at the same place as his Hindu brothers – an act by which the parallels in symbolism and religious practice become very obvious. WCER Representatives were the Latvian Ramava, the Lithuanian Romuva, Asatru from Scandinavia, Poland and Flanders, Druids from France, Sikhs, Hindus, . They all performed their rituals and held their speeches. We were treated with respect and I think we made a very good impression, both in our traditional behaviour and in our wisdom.

Beyond any doubt, the congress in India was colourful, adventurous, and spiritually highlevelled. Thanks to the ICCS, around 300 people were transported, got food and sleeping place, spiritual texts and books were distributed, an interesting cultural program was presented, and a lot of attention was paid to this event in schools, at universities and in the media . The driving force behind all this was prof. Yashwant Pathak. We cannot thank him enough for this wonderful experience.

The congress started on the 5th of February 2006. The sacred fire was lit by a representative of the World Congress of Ethnic Religions and Traditions and this was, if I may say so, a very intimate experience. Subsequently, the lectures began in 3 different places and they all treated the central theme ‘Spirituality beyond Religion’ from a specific angle, sometimes local, sometimes historical, sometimes from the inner tradition. The local situation has manifestly played a large role in the way of expression towards today’s situation.
The fact that the speeches have been published in a stylish book under the title Sanskriti Sangam II, has turned out to be an excellent decision., as not everyone speaks fluently and articulates clearly.

After the efforts we made during the day, we could enjoy the amazing cultural program that our hosts arranged for us in the evening. The performances brought us in an atmosphere of the Oriental histories of 1001 Nights. Highly traditional music performed by local groups from all over India, took us to the heavenly regions and in an ecstatic whirling we could not stay aside and joined our Indian brothers in dance and singing. All traditional evocations touched aspects of the religion and gave expression to myths and legends, and we were participants in the myths in honour of the old Gods of the Indo-European region.
At the end of the congress, a draft resolution text was presented by prof. Pathak. In this text, it was stated that the preservation of the diversity of traditional religious and spiritual experience is a guarantee for world peace.


Inauguration Ceremony
February 5th
7:30 – 8:30 am: Breakfast will be served at OTS
9:00 am: Delegates will be taken in buses to the SMS auditorium
10:00 am: Inauguration will commence with a 15 minute procession
10:15 am: Flag hoisting by two invited delegates
10:30 am: Lighting of inaugural lamp by the Chief Guest
10:40 am: 30-40 Delegates seated on the main dais to offer prayers for the total humanity for 1-1½ minutes each
12:00 noon: Address by the Chief Guest
12:30 pm: Conclusion of inaugural ceremony
Venue: S.M.S. Medical College Auditorium, S.M.S. Hospital Campus, Jaipur

Closing Ceremony:
February 10, 2006
2:00 pm: Delegates to arrive at Birla Auditorium
3:00 pm: Inauguration will commence with prayers offered for the good of total humanity and experiences of select 10 delegates
3:20 pm: Summary Report of Conference Proceedings
3:30 pm: Announcement of Future Plans
3:45 pm: Key Note Speech by the Chief Guest
4:20 pm: Concluding Remarks by Second Important Dignitary
4:55 – 5:00 pm: Vote of Thanks
Venue: B. M. Birla Auditorium, Jaipur

The regular sessions on each day will be as follows:
7:30 – 8:00 am: Breakfast
8:00 – 9:00 am: Ceremonies
10:00 – 12:00 noon: Presentation Sessions (four parallel sessions)
12:00 – 2:00 pm: Lunch
2:00 – 4:00 pm: Presentation Sessions (four parallel sessions)
4:30 – 6:00 pm: Presentation Sessions (four parallel sessions)
6:15 – 7:00 pm: Yoga/Meditation (Optional – every day a different system/concept/method will be taught by experts)
7:30 – 8:30 pm: Dinner
8:30 – 10:00 pm: Cultural Programs presented by 5 different cultural groups Venue: Harish Chandra Mathur Rajasthan State Institute of Public Administration (HCMRIPA), Jaipur — also referred as HCM/ RIPA/ OTS.

Additional Activities:
February 8, 2006:
10:00 – 12:00 noon: Visit to more that 100 schools and colleges by teams of delegates to present their respective culture and tradition (actual presentation will be of 30-40 min duration).
February 9, 2006
10:00 am – 4:00 pm: A special visit to Rajasthan Sanskrit University, Jaipur