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CHENNAI: The eighth edition of the annual Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair was inaugurated by yoga guru Baba Ramdev in the presence of Sikh and Buddhist scholars, on A M Jain college ground here on Tuesday. The fair will be thrown open for public on Wednesday.

More than 400 spiritual organisations will showcase their work and explain the services rendered by them during the six-day fair – organised to spread the message on the importance of conserving forest and protecting wildlife, preserving ecology, sustaining environment, inculcating family and human values, fostering women’s honour and instilling patriotism. The fair is being jointly organised by the Initiative for Moral and Cultural Training Foundation (IMCTF) and Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation (HSSF).

Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the fair, Ramdev said, “Since service is in our blood, we do not need to learn it from anyone else.” Echoing him, Gopal Srinivasan, chairman of TVS Capital Funds, said that 40 per cent of Indian household donated money for causes in spite of their economical status.

Flanked by Ghese Nawang Samten, a Buddhist scholar, Giani Iqbal Singh, a Sikh scholar, and Veerendra Heggade, a philanthropist, Ramdev said, “We do not have any discrimination in our society.” Stating that a human body was based on varnasrama dharma, he likened it to the society, saying no matter where the wound was inflicted, it hurt the entire body.

“No matter to which religion people belong, we always support and respect everyone, and this is what Hinduism is,” he said, adding that Hinduism was all about co-existence. “Hinduism is not a narrow religion. The ethos, tenets and culture of Hinduism are a way of life in India,” he said that, adding that India owed its secularism to Hinduism. Later, elaborating on the benefits of Yoga, Ramdev said, “Yoga helps one to live a stress-free, drug-free and violence-free life.”