The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Uprooted in China, Falun Gong finds ‘fertile ground’ in India

New Delhi, Dec. 12: Banished from its birthplace in the world’s most populous country, Falun Gong has set its sights on the world’s largest democracy, which also happens to be the second most peopled country on earth.

A five-member team of practitioners of the movement from Taiwan and Australia has arrived here to create awareness about Falun Gong in India, which they term as a “fertile field for the propagation of its ideas”.

Also called Falun Dafa, the movement is based on the universal principles of truth, compassion and forbearance.

It places emphasis on “improving one’s heart and putting others’ interests first”.

“It’s neither a sect, nor a religion. Nor is any membership required. Everything is taught free of cost,” said Mankuan Au, who’s part of the team.

Team members said there are certain advantages working in their favour in India which might create a considerable following within a short span.

“First, it is a free country and you are not hounded for propagating something which stands for peace and harmony. Second, and perhaps the most important is the awareness among the people about the essential difference between religion and spirituality,” said Au.

The movement began in India two years ago and already has regular practitioners in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.

The benefits of practising Falun Dafa are numerous and varied, said the team members. They range from improved health and new-found energy to mental clarity, stress relief and peace of mind. “Yet Falun Dafa is different from most other spiritual practices in that it goes beyond the pursuit of health and fitness to the goal of wisdom and enlightenment,” said Thomas Dobson, another team member.

The practice, which originated in China, involves meditation and a set of five exercises of slow, gentle movements.

Li Hongzhi of China introduced it to the general public in 1992.

“Falun Dafa’s effectiveness in improving health and its profound principles have quickly made the practice immensely popular throughout the world. Falun Dafa has attracted tens of millions of people in over 40 countries. Most major cities and universities in the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe have English-speaking Falun Dafa practice groups,” added Au.

Besides participating in and supervising the regular sessions in the country, the members have begun showing video clippings of cultivation practices and lecture sessions, and explaining the atrocities perpetrated by the Chinese government on a movement that doesn’t have any political objective.

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