The World Peace Flame
“Symbolizes the Enormous Power of Light”
By Kay Walburger
Dr. Mansukh Patel in his book, “The Secret Power of Light, The Remarkable Story of the World Peace Flame,” explains the roots of peace are in the human hearts longing for connection and expressions of love and light. Peace is his way of life and sharing the Flame of Peace with you is his mission.
The World Peace Flame symbolizes the enormous Power of Light. Dr. Patel says, “This is the nature of light — to illuminate and penetrate the shadows and illusions of life and to reveal the truth to us.”
“Because Light is everywhere we tend to take it for granted, just like the air we breathe. Light is so silent and all-embracing that we are hardly aware of it coming and going through the pores of our skin. How many people know for instance, that we digest and utilize light primarily through our eyes, and this affects all the main systems in our body? Light and its effects are so subtle that we can be forgiven for not acknowledging its tremendous importance in our lives.”
“My experience has shown me beyond a shadow of a doubt that if everyone were to come to know and understand its secret and all-pervasive power, it would transform society and enable it to be fully harmonious at every conceivable level.”
“Light not only benefits us on a physiological and psychological level, but it can also open up a mirror in front of us that enables us to see how ‘Light’ we truly are.”
“This is the great mystery it reveals to us, that we are also beings of Light. I believe every person is important and has come to share his or her uniqueness. Every thread in the tapestry is important, every stroke of the artist’s brush necessary, in order to make the whole complete and perfect.”
The World Peace Flame was created in July 1999 when seven living flames lit by prominent peacemakers on five continents of the world were flown across the oceans by military air forces and commercial airlines and united into one eternal Flame. Hundreds of previously unconnected individuals joined to bring this visionary dream into a living symbol of hope for all of humanity. This extraordinary show of goodwill and cooperation produced the World Peace Flame, which “lives” permanently in North Wales.
#1 — The African Flame was lit by Dr. Mansukh Patel where he was born and raised by his loving parents. They taught him the true path to peace in Gandhi traditions and practices. It was only fitting that this great flame honored all the great souls of Africa’s long struggle for freedom and lasting peace. “I touched a match to the lantern and it seemed to me that the light expanded far beyond the walls of the room, over the plains, through the forests, mountains and the oceans. Africa, with all the immense striving of its people and vast horizons, had come to join us and now the African Flame of Peace was alive,” remembers Dr. Patel.
“That night as I sat outside, the African Flame burning quietly beside me, I reflected on the magic of the day. I expanded myself to embrace these blessings; something was beginning to explode inside me. I looked at the flame. All I could see inside the lantern was a tiny, still flame. It looked so vulnerable and reminded me how fragile a dream can be. Anyone could blow it out if they tried. But I knew that this small Flame, which represented the African people, was never going to go out because the power behind it was indestructible. Nothing could stop the light from expanding in all directions to connect with other Flames from other continents.”
#2 — The American Flame was lit by Lalita Doerstel on top of Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It’s surrounded by a nature reserve where an extraordinary range of wildlife flourishes, including black bears and mountain lions. The surrounding land is said to be very sacred and an area of great power and energy where years ago many North American tribes would periodically meet as if friends. They would lay down their respective weapons, even if they were enemies, in recognition of their common unity and connection to earth.
#3 — The Indian Flame was lit from Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial flame. It is said in the ancient tradition that wherever an eternal flame is burning, there you will find that all wisdom, truth, and love are also bound to reside. Gandhi epitomized all these qualities and that is why the eternal flame was lit from his funeral pyre in 1948 and still burns in Raj Ghat in Delhi, and was chosen to be the birthplace of the Indian Flame. We knew Gandhi’s great legacy of peace at Raj Ghat would provide a great impetus for healing at this critical time.
#4 — The European Flame was lit by Irene van Lippe Biesterfeld, Princess of the Netherlands, and carried to the UK by the Royal Dutch Air Force. Savitri MacCuish arrived in the UK with the European Flame and her eyes shining with gratefulness for the miracle of the Flame lighting experiences.
“I knew somehow these tiny flames symbolized the fulfillment of so many dreams of my parents and their teachers, as well as every teacher before them going back perhaps thousands of years. Everyone who had ever prayed for peace to come to the hearts and minds of the people of the world was responsible for this great moment,” said Dr. Patel. “In this moment the prayers of generations of our lineage have come to fruition!”
#5 — The Canadian Flame was lit by Northern Sitting Wolf, the Ojibwa Chief famous for his pioneering efforts to heal the traumas his people have suffered for centuries. The Chief is renowned for creating reconciliation between ‘Whites’ and First Nation Americans. He is involved in extensive healing and mediation work with both groups, particularly government workers, using a Native American model that draws from many tribes.
During the lighting ceremony the chief told of an ancient Ojibwa legend that talks of the coming of seven flames to earth. The legend says that when these flames are joined together, as the eighth flame of unity, a golden age of peace and harmony will be created on earth.
#6 — The Australian Flame was lit by Aboriginal Elder, Pearl Wyamara, along with a representative from the Sydney Olympic Committee, Joseph Bulgaria. Squadron Leader Ghee of the Australian Air force brought the Flame to Anita Goswami, Australian co-director, as she acknowledged the love, strength, and freedom of that continent.
#7 — The Middle Eastern Flame looked as if it would never happen because of ‘red-tape’. It was not possible to arrange clearance for the Emir of Bahrain to light the Flame. Just at the moment when all seemed lost, a call came in from the Squadron Leader at Lyncham, he said he had taken over the project and would deliver the Flame. There was stunned silence at the other end of the phone before he said, “I would be honored.”
He was instructed about the lighting procedure. 1-please use a match; 2-please take the lamp outside and place it on the natural earth; 3-please sit in silence for a minute or two; 4-please go back to the moment in time when you first made the decision to live your life, often at great risk to your own safety, in order that others might be free.
The silence at the other end of the line was an indication of how deeply the Squadron Leader was affected, perhaps because the judgment and complexity of the world fell away and someone was recognizing the person he really was. Perhaps he was remembering that pure space inside him where he had once been fired by sincere motivation to help people.
The next instruction was to light the match and say, “May all beings be at peace and may all beings find the true peace in their own hearts.” Please think of all the people in the Middle East coming together united as one. Know that as you light this Flame you are helping to bring alive the highest dreams for peace of all the people in those countries. Then light the lamp. To which he replied in a profound tone, “I’ll do my best.” And he did. That flame arrived in time to join all the other six Flames of Peace from the four corners of Earth in a History Making Event!
On April 18, 2002, the first monument with an eternally-burning World Peace Flame was installed in front of the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. In the presence of Mayor Deetman, Princess Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld, Erica Terpstra, Dr. Mansukh Patel and Savitri MacCuish, hundreds of local and foreign invitees witnessed the installation of the first World Peace Flame monument.
“The City of The Hague is very honored with the arrival of the World Peace Flame. The 20th century witnessed the most terrible wars of all times, but also the birth of important international peace organizations of which many are now residential in The Hague. However, the responsibility for peace is not only theirs. Every one of us is responsible. I express the hope that the World Peace Flame will add to that awareness.” Drs. W.J. Deetman, Mayor of The Hague.
On September 27th 2002, the first eternal Flame in the United States was installed at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
Educational, Spiritual and Political leaders including Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Pat Cox, (President of the European Parliament), former President Herzog of Germany and Tony Blair. The Center for Global Peace in the American University DC and The U.S. Pentagon have both welcomed the Flame into their midst along many other institutions. The World Peace Flame has opened and presided at such prestigious gatherings as the World Parliament of Religions, Cape Town, South Africa and the G8 Summit in Okinawa, Japan.
On July 31, 2003 the first World Peace Flame monument in the UK will be installed at the Life Foundation’s home base in North Wales in the presence of international leaders, peacemakers and politicians.
Life Foundation International is a group of health professionals working in war zones and everyday life to promote the use of self-help approaches for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing in every aspect of living. Originating in North Wales, UK, they have taken their empowering self-help techniques into conflict zones like Bosnia, the North Caucasus and Northern Ireland, as well as into the lives of thousands of people in 40 countries around the world.
The Life Foundation’s work is best summed up by their catch-phrase:
Transforming the world by giving people the tools to transform themselves
“Our dream is for every man, woman and child in every nation and country, from every religion and creed, to be united by the World Peace Flame. It is a powerful dream and one I truly believe can become a reality in time.”
“We would like to invite the people of the world to believe in this
flame and to believe in humanity’s ability to be united by it. The
of the World Peace Flame is our point of unity. It burns everywhere, in
every human heart, just waiting to be awakened. I believe the
establishing of this World Peace Flame will be remembered as a great
turning point in our history.”
Dr. Mansukh Patel, Co-founder Life Foundation
If you would like to know more about LIFE Foundation retreats, seminars and training courses in California, call Life Foundation USA, (714) 642-0408, or e-mail LifeCalifornia@aol.com Also please check out the website www.Lifefoundation.org.uk Central Office: Life Foundation International Retreat Center, Nant Ffrancon, Bethesda, Bangor, North Wales LL57 3LX, United Kingdom Phone: (+44) (0) 1248 602 900, Fax: (+44) (0) 1248 602 004 You may also e-mail us at email@example.com Life Foundation International, Postbus 88,6670 AB Zetten, The Netherlands *Portions of this article are excerpts from Dr. Patel’s books, and websites with express permission.
Return to the May/June Index page