International Gita Mahotsav was celebrated in Canada from 16-18 September 2022. It started in Canada’s Parliament on 16th September 2022. On day two it was celebrated at the Living Art Center of Mississauga. It ended on Yonge-Dundas Square in the downtown Toronto community on day three with a Shobha yatra parade.
Speaking at the event Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament Nepean, House of Commons of Canada emphasized his private member’s bill to celebrate November as Hindu Heritage Month. Chandra Arya stated that government should recognize the contributions that Hindu Canadians have made to the socio-economic development of Canada and their services to Canadian society.
Swami Advaitananda Giri, Chairman, International Meditation Foundation said ”As per the Mental Health Commission of Canada 1 in 5 people in Canada lives with a mental illness each year. As per the British Census 2021 around 1 in 5 (21%) adults experienced some form of depression. In America, US CDC 2022 reports that 32.3% overall population is affected by Anxiety or Depression disorders.
Swami Advaitananda Giri further stated “A serious question arises If 32.3% of the population is having serious mental health issues like anxiety or depression then It can be safely presumed that to have an anxiety or depression rate of 32.3 %, there must be a need for at least 3 times more sad people in the population, this leads to 32.3% x 3 = 96.9% of the total population. If 97% population is experiencing sadness then that requires immediate work to fix the problem. Bhagwat Gita in life is the solution for it and people of other faith follow their own path and that is the solution for them.
A message from Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau welcoming everyone to Parliament Hill in this Mahotsav was also read out at the programme. The Prime Minister said “such events not only bring Canadians together but also greatly encourage them to celebrate their diversity. He said that the message of peace, harmony and brotherhood taught in the Bhagavad Gita is universal.” A video message from Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Yog Guru Baba Ramdev was also played during the program. In the message, the Chief Minister said that with the inspiration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, since 2016, we are celebrating Gita Mahotsav at the International level. In the Mahotsav Apoorva Srivastava, Consulate General of India, Patric Brown, Mayor of Brampton, Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga, Nina Tangri MPP of Streetsville, Deepak Anand, MPP of Malton also stated their views.