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Vedic Pandits in Iowa chant for world peace: Oprah's new show
by Global Good News staff writer
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25 March 2012
On her recent trip to Fairfield, Iowa, Oprah Winfrey visited a group of 800 Vedic Pandits, or 'professional meditators' as she described them. Her trip to Fairfield was featured on a television show for her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) titled 'America's Most Unusual Town'.
The show focused on Transcendental Meditation and the unique town of Fairfield, which attracts meditators from all over the world, including a rotating group of Pandits from India.
According to the OWN website:
'Pandits are professional meditators who practice Transcendental Meditation for hours a day in the name of world peace. For two to three years, many of these men from India devote their lives to this practice in the cornfields of Iowa. On the day Oprah visits, nearly 800 are in residence. They've never allowed television cameras to film them—until now.'
The Pandits also spend part of each day in traditional Vedic chanting. On the video, Ms Winfrey asked her host at the Pandits' campus, 'What are they chanting and what are they chanting for?'
Bhupendra-ji, one of the leaders of the group of Pandits, answered, 'They are chanting for world peace.'
Ms Winfrey's voiceover narration of this segment of the show then addressed a potentially skeptical television audience:
'Well I can just imagine what many of you are thinking. How does chanting in Iowa bring about world peace? Well, TM teachers explain it like this: They believe certain sounds have a calming and peaceful effect. In the same way that water nourishes plants, they say sound nourishes nature. Since we're all essentially nature, they say the Pandits chanting can help create peace throughout the entire world.'
As she prepared to enter a large hall where the Pandits were performing their daily chanting, Ms Winfrey asked her host, 'So what we're seeing, nobody's filmed this before?'
Rogers Badgett, co-founder of Maharishi Vedic City, adjacent to Fairfield, where the Pandits' campus is located, replied, 'Nobody's filmed this before.'
'Well thank you for letting us see it. I'm the first one.'
Ms Winfrey then entered a large white hall filled with hundreds of Pandits, many in their 20s, chanting in the Sanskrit language. They were dressed in white with yellow scarves and shawls around them. They sat lined up in neat rows, chanting in unison, seemingly undisturbed by the presence of the cameras and the visitors.
See related article:
∙ What I know for sure: Oprah writes about her visit to 'TM Town', Fairfield, Iowa, USA
Global Good News will continue to report about Oprah Winfrey's show on Transcendental Meditation and Fairfield, Iowa.
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