(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners from Mumbai and Pune participated in the first annual book fair in Pune on December 16-24, 2023. The fair, hosted by the Pune Municipal Corporation and the National Book Trust, drew nearly 400,000 enthusiasts over the course of nine days.
The booth attracted the attention of many people. Practitioners displayed artworks from The Art of Zhen Shan Ren (Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance) International Exhibition, demonstrated the five exercises, and introduced the Falun Dafa lecture books series in English, Hindi, and the local language, Marathi.
Educators, doctors, working professionals, spiritual leaders, politicians, as well as book lovers visited the practitioners’ booth, wanting to learn more about Falun Dafa. Some learned the five sets of exercises on the spot while others invited practitioners to demonstrate the exercises at their schools and workplaces. A large number of people registered for an online Falun Dafa exercise teaching session.
Community Shows Support for Falun Dafa
Locals in Pune stopped by the practitioners’ booth to learn more about Falun Dafa and inquired about the health benefits. Practitioners explained the practice and introduced Falun Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and how the practice is practiced around the world.
Vijay Gaikwad, vice principal of Modern College of Commerce in Pune, said he was amazed seeing practitioners teaching the exercises for free all around the world. He also offered to look for a better publisher for Falun Dafa lecture books.
“I know you are doing a very noble work. I would like to help you,” Vijay said. “Falun Dafa is life-changing, and the practice should reach more people.”
A senior citizen from Pune, Avinash Jadhav, learned about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ongoing persecution. He said that the 24-year-long persecution saddened him greatly, “It’s awful to know that this is still happening in China.”
Avinash wanted to try the practice after seeing practitioners’ perseverance despite the brutal persecution in China. “I want to learn Falun Dafa because it’s such a peaceful practice,” he said.
A variety of political and religious leaders from the community also stopped by the practitioners’ booth, including Kumar Vishwas, a Hindi poet and politician; Vinod Tawade, former minister of education in Maharashtra; Tanaji Sawant, the minister of health in Maharashtra; and Supriya Sule, a member of Lok Sabha in India’s national parliament.
The Ripple Effect of Falun Dafa’s International Spread
Many attendees stopped at the booth, and some said they heard about Falun Dafa at informational events in different countries.
Mukund Kulkarni, an elderly Pune resident, visited the practitioners’ booth twice during the book fair to learn the Falun Dafa exercises. He said that he first heard about Falun Dafa in Dallas, Texas.
“I started practicing Falun Dafa on my own after doing some research online. However, I was not very knowledgeable about the details,” said Mukund. He was able to get a detailed description of what Falun Dafa was and how to practice the exercises from a practitioner. He began practicing the exercises every day after his first visit to the practitioners’ booth. He started to feel changes in his body on the third day.
“I felt a lot better on the third day, and my shoulder pain was gone,” he said. “I will practice the Falun Dafa exercises every day.”
Manju Chitale is a physics professor at Kalmadi College in Pune. She said she recently visited Harvard University in the U.S. and saw practitioners doing the exercises.
“I noticed a few people in yellow shirts performing similar exercises in a garden near Harvard University,” she said. “The meditation music makes me feel at ease.”
She was happy to see that she could learn the exercises back in India, and said she wished to meditate like the practitioners at the booth. “I will definitely learn all the exercises and also arrange for a Falun Dafa teaching session in our college.”
Students Enjoy Falun Dafa
Many children and young adults stopped at the booth to learn the exercises, including a class of visually and hearing-impaired children from Pune’s Ruia School. Their mentor led them in learning Falun Dafa’s fifth exercise, the meditation.
Their teacher happily said the children were able to concentrate and relax when they did the exercise, “I would like to have Falun Dafa practiced at our school.”
Visitors Touched by The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition
Eight paintings from The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition were also on display, and many people viewed them.
Kanishka and Medhavi, two Pune-based art students, said they admired the details of the paintings, and said the artists spent a great deal of time and patience creating them. They also enjoyed the spiritual themes in the paintings.
“The art pieces are really touching and sincere,” said Kanishka. “It is educational to learn about Falun Dafa. I am interested, and I’ll research Falun Dafa online.”
Mr. Gupta, a bookstore owner, said, “The artworks are very beautiful.” He liked the positive energy he felt. He particularly enjoyed the artwork “Illumination,” where a mother is depicted holding her child while reading Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Dafa.
“It makes me feel at ease. I would like to own this painting,” he said.
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