Recognize Hinduism as other major religions in US – Summit

published on May 1, 2010

This Saturday, 24th April 2010 (Adhik Vaishakh Shukla Ekadashi 5112 as per Hindu calendar) the Hindu temple auditorium at Lemont reverberated with the auspicious sounds of conch blowing and Vedic recitations, commencing the much awaited Hinduism Summit (Hindu Dharmasabha). Eminent speakers, Dr. Richard Benkin of Forcefield, Dr. Sanjay Mehrotra of Geeta Mandir, Shri. Kalyan Vishwanathan of Sanatana Dharma Foundation (Dallas) were awarded the ‘Vishwa Hindu Ratna’ for selfless service to Hinduism. Swami Varadananda of Vivekananda Vedanta Society blessed the Summit with His presence. The Swami was honoured duly at the hands of Shri. Prasad Yelamanchi of Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, among other honoraries, namely the Hindu temple president L Bhima Reddy, Shrinarayan Chandak of Global Media Forum, Madhu Patel and A. V. L. Narsimharao.

The Summit had around 80 people attending in person while another 80 from around the world attended its live webcast online. They listened raptly as Dr. Mehrotra opened the presentations, highlighting the universal nature of the Bhagavad Gita; he emphasized that preserving, promoting and practicing Dharma is everyone’s responsibility. Shri. Vishwanathan followed with a thought provoking presentation regarding the challenges and opportunities in maintaining the Hindu identity; he proposed creating shared spaces for academia, media, leadership, networking and youth. Smt. Kudtarkar used SSRF’s spiritual research video footage showing the power of Saints and subtle negative forces, and inspired the listeners to consider spiritual measures in resolving issues facing the Hindu community. Shri. Gadoya spoke passionately about the need to stop rampant denigration of Hinduism and proposed practical methods to learn about denigration and stop it. Dr. Benkin brought to light the persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh; he made a resounding call to support his efforts to urge US leaders to pressure the Bangladesh government, in the hope that the victims do not become mere statistics. Smt. Shinde concluded the presentations with emphasis on Hinduism education and spiritual measures to overcome issues facing the Hindu community and to experience firsthand the unique science underlying Hinduism concepts and practices.

The following resolutions were passed at the Hinduism Summit and will be submitted to the Indian Embassy and the American government:

    * The Bangladeshi government should be urged to stop the persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh !
    * Hinduism should be recognized as a major religion in America as are others like Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism !

The attending Hindus vowed to create awareness about the plight of Bangladesh’s Hindus, to peacefully but surely protest every denigration of Hinduism, to not support art, products or media that denigrate Hindus’ revered concepts, and to take and impart Hinduism education. The Hinduism Summit concluded with the speakers answering questions from the members of the press and the attendees, on the direction ahead to understand, live and preserve Hinduism, through periodic meetings and action points.

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