A FESTIVAL OF ANTHROPOSOPHY, OCT/NOV 2014
“THE MYSTERY OF THE ETHERIC”
Report by Aban Bana
The second Festival of Anthroposophy, was organised by the “Anthroposophical Society in India” and hosted by “Friends of Camphill India”. The venue was the Camphill village in Bannerghatta, Bangalore, from October 31 to November 2, 2014. This year the theme was “The Mystery of the Etheric”. The entire festival was prepared by the Bangalore Team, comprising of the Camphill members, the Bangalore Steiner School, the various Bangalore Kindergartens and friends, and coordinated skillfully by Francis and Anantha Aradhya and their children Arun, Padma and Uma. Many of the participants stayed at the venue. Others stayed with families in Bangalore and commuted.
The main lectures and activities took place in the open ground, which was arranged to accommodate 250 people comfortably, while the various courses were held in the rooms of the Camphill village. The delicious, organic-vegetarian meals were served in the open and a most ingenuous pathway was made for the dishwashing ceremony! All in all, the smooth-flowing manner in which the entire three days passed was remarkable.
The Festival began with a cultural programme and the lighting of the ceremonial lamps. There was a play, “The Waters of Life” performed by the Bangalore Steiner School children, followed by a verse “Stars once spake to Man” of Dr Rudolf Steiner, presented in Eurythmy, and a welcome address by Francis. Each keynote lecture in the Festival began with Eurythmy to verses in Sanskrit from the ancient scriptures of India. The Eurythmy was presented by Dilnawaz, with the accompanying speech formation by Aban. In the evening, the Friends of Camphill India group and the BSS performed a shadow play “The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lilly” with speech and music. It was awe-inspiring!
Each day had one or two key-note lectures which always addressed the Festival theme, viewing it from different perspectives. The key-note speakers were Jean-Michel Florin, one of the leaders of the section for agriculture at the Goetheanum, Dornach; Dr Simon Bednarek, a medical doctor from Australia; Anandhi and Seshadri, Waldorf teachers from Hyderabad and Mumbai respectively; and Dilnawaz, curative Eurythmist from Mumbai. Each one of the lectures was thought-provoking and unique, and ended with a moment of silence during which the members of the audience had time to write a poem which captured the essence of what they had just heard. Some of the poems were quite moving.
Between the lectures, participants could choose from a variety of courses like folk-dancing, organic cooking, compost-making, Eurythmy, singing, pottery, painting, games, etc. These courses were very well received by one and all. The weather also cooperated and we had pleasant, sunny days throughout!
The Festival ended with thanks-giving to all those who had worked so hard to create this amazing weekend of joy and togetherness. Old friends met, new friends were made, ideas exchanged, questions answered, new questions arose, new doors opened. Anthroposophy and Dr Rudolf Steiner came closer to the participants than ever before. One could perceive the many possibilities of Anthroposophy, which transforms the earth and manifests itself in our every-day life. Thank you, Rudolf Steiner, for this possibility!