Addressing the inaugural session of the three-day event, which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sri Sri pitched for protecting environment, saying it was in our DNA to 'care for and love' nature.

"Somebody said it is the guruji's private party. I said yes. It is true because entire world is my family. When one needs nothing for himself, then he belongs to the entire society," he said.
     
Seen as one of its kind event, the festival offers a platform for spiritual and religious leaders, politicians, business leaders, peacemakers and artists to spread the message of global peace and harmony in diversity.

The Art of Living had organised a similar peace festival in 2011 to celebrate its 30th anniversary at the historic Olympic stadium in Berlin, the organisers said.

The event here has been embroiled in controversy after environmentalists alleged that its preparations have damaged the ecology of Yamuna flood plains and demanded that it be stopped. The National Green Tribunal allowed Art of Living to hold the festival but slapped a fine of Rs 5 crore.

In an apparent reference the legal tussle with the NGT, Sri Sri said, "Many obstacles come when we want to do something great. But it only indicates that we have taken up something very significant.

The Art of Living founder told his followers to face with full courage whenever some difficulties come before them.

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