“I welcome the release of this book with a smile and an irony. An irony because indeed Karma Yoga was a part of this nation’s value, unfotunately today it is forgotten. Therefore, a figure like Anand Krishna must write a book to remind us about this noble value,” that was a comment from Muhammad AS Hikam in “Karma Yoga Book’s Appreciation, Transpersonal Working Ethos for Modern People” held at Matraman Gramedia Bookstore, Jakarta, Indonesia on Sunday (6 / 11), from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 pm.
From the beginning, the event – which was held in cooperation with Anand Ashram Foundation (affiliated with the United Nations), Gramedia Pustaka Utama (GPU), Matraman Gramedia Bookstore, and The Hikam Forum – has already begun uniquely. It was different from the formal way in a common book review program. It was opened with some songs. There were a song called “Peace Indonesia” with Sengko-sengko’s rhythm from Batak, North Sumatra, “Love all beings”, and “One Earth One Sky One Humankind” with the beat of Selayang Pandang song. Those songs reminded the audiences to the purpose of this book review program. To spread and apply the values of Peace, Love, and Harmony in daily life.
The event was hosted by Dian Martin as a moderator. It also presented some fabulous speakers: Mohammad AS Hikam (Indonesian Research and Technology Minister during the Gus Dur’s era), Ida Ayu Utami Pidada (Former Member of Indonesian House of Representatives), Muhammad Guntur Romli (Activist), and the author of Karma Yoga book, Anand Krishna. This holiday program was attended by more than 200 visitors. They gathered in a Function Room at Matraman Gramedia Bookstore. The phenomenon was delightful said Guntur Romli, “It is great because in fact the enlightening intellectual activity, is not contradictory with the religious activity (Eid al-Adha)”.
The book’s review program lasted alive. Why? because each speaker saw from their own perspective which were mutually complementary. They enriched the contents of Karma Yoga. Guntur Romli discussed from his understanding in Islam. Where many Suras and Hadiths that emphasize the importance of working with no strings attachment. Guntur Romli also emphasized, “Karma Yoga book is actually no need to be discussed, because the most important is its application.”
Meanwhile, AS Hikam highlighted the decline of the value of Karma Yoga. The value ”Rame Ing Gawe, Sepi Ing Pamrih” in the nation of Indonesia. “I believe this book will inspire the movement to improve the nation’s morality. As Occupy Wall Street’s movement that was born to break the damage, caused by capitalism,” said AS Hikam. He also warned the danger of “misunderstandings and wrong understanding” which are recently increased in Indonesia. AS Hikam also highlighted how the value of mutual cooperation (gotong-royong) and selfless service is getting faded away. “Because it is urged by the fact of religious fanaticism and some radical groups. This what made the difference gap among us is getting wider.”
Then, Utami Pidada saw from the awareness of state and this nation. The political and economic system was getting worse nowadays. The loss of the noble value of Karma Yoga, the value of “Rame Ing Gawe, Sepi Ing Pamrih.”" The politician work ed only for money, for personal, and for their own group’s interest. It’s no longer for the broader interest. However, Utami Pidada – with an energetic spirit – challenged the audiences to break this stagnation. To create a better Indonesian society. “How to do that? With a passion! Come home, read, and apply the contents of Karma Yoga book! “she said. Spontaneous applause was greeted by the audiences.
Furthermore, Anand Krishna shared his understanding of Karma Yoga. Through a presentation that was packed well. He showed many quotes from various religious traditions. Every quotation suggested the spirit of Karma Yoga, the spirit of “Rame Ing Gawe, Sepi Ing Pamrih.” However, ” That does not means when working, we are not accepting anything. I think the thing is still there, still there is a reply to his/her work, but it is little, not as much as his/her work, ” said that author of more than 140 books.
Question and answer session was held excitedly. The remarkable thing was all the questioners showed their interest. Everyone felt there was something wrong with our society today. Because the value of Karma Yoga was faded away. Therefore, how could I change it? How to continue this work? How to create a sharing mentality?
All the speakers with their own style emphasized the importance of practice and on going working. Moreover, Anand Krishna gave a presentation on the Food Crisis (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=209734802428183). To appreciate the food as an inspiration to do Karma Yoga. Started the selfless work from the simplest things. “Let us promise to ourselves not to waste any food!” he said.
Started with a spirit and ended with a practical application of Karma Yoga. This discussion was really amazing! This book review has also been held in Yogyakarta, Denpasar, Singaraja, and this time Jakarta. So, where is the next city? (Reporter: Aiu Haryadi, Fotografer: Prabu Dennaga, Translator: T. Nugroho)