Last week, Manchester paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s life and work with an interfaith service hosted at the esteemed Manchester Cathedral. Beginning with a flower-offering ceremony at Gandhi’s statue in front of the Cathedral (itself a gift on his 150th birthday), the service featured readings from representatives from diverse faiths such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam and Christianity, speeches by dignitaries, and dance and musical performances.
During the service, Director of the Manchester Museum Esme Ward spoke about Gandhi’s 1931 visit to Lancashire to speak about the plight of Indian cotton workers and build compassion and understanding between the two communities, as well as how important that same solidarity remains today.
The service ended with the lighting of candles in the name of peace, hope, non-violence and unity in Manchester, and a reminder of the enduring importance of Gandhi’s teachings.
The UK cover of Atmasiddhi Shastra was also revealed at the service, attracting plenty of pre-orders. This poetic work was once translated into English by Gandhi himself, but he left his copy behind on a bus in London during his visit to the UK, making the interfaith event a perfect opportunity to unveil the new translation. This new translation of Shrimad Rajchandraji’s magnum opus by Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshji aims to make the wisdom and teachings of Gandhi’s spiritual mentor accessible to the modern audience.