Third Hinduism Summit in Chicago concludes with determined resolve by attendees !

via published on August 30, 2011

On 27th August 2011 the third Hinduism Summit (Hindu Dharmajagruti Sabha) in Chicago concluded successfully at the Hindu Temple of Lake County. Over 100 people, including Hindu parents trying to raise their children as Hindus, non-Hindus interested in Hinduism and Hindu activists, attended this public event, with 45 of the attendees online. The program received very positive feedback, such as, ‘We would like to have this enlightening program at our temple, too’, ‘It provided a rewarding experience, as we listened to the lectures of distinguished personalities’, ‘Questions on Hinduism were answered very well’, etc.
The presentation of Mrs. Bhavna Shinde Hurley, Spokesperson of FHA, drew attention to various issues facing Hindus in America, such as distortion of Hinduism by American academicians, like the recent news about ‘Prof. Sheldon Pollock broadening access to Sanskrit, the language of the elite’, Hindu youth increasingly converting out of Hinduism, anti-Hindu bias in the media, and the rampant trivialization of Hindu Deities. Mrs. Shinde Hurley explained how Hinduism education emphasizing the unique science of Hinduism and its firsthand experience can help us face these challenges successfully. She gave some examples of the spiritual science of Hinduism, such as the red dot (of pure vermillion powder) on the forehead that helps increase concentration and the Agnihotra sacrificial fire that one can perform to gain protection from nuclear radiation. Mrs. Shinde Hurley appealed to all supporters of Hinduism to come together whenever the Hindu community faces a challenge, to respond to it successfully, taking inspiration from the over 1000 Hindus worldwide who recently got the denigrating ‘Sita Sings the Blues’ New York show cancelled by promptly protesting to the organizers.
Dr. Richard Benkin, a leader in the struggle to stop the ethnic cleansing of Bangladesh’s Hindus, in his speech, mentioned a milestone reached in this struggle recently. On July 28, 2011, a US Congressman Robert Dold recognized the oppression of Bangladeshi Hindus on the floor of the United States Congress. Dr. Benkin spoke about the Human Rights Advisory Council he has been asked to lead. He urged everyone to contact their Senators to co-sponsor the bill, HR440, which calls for the appointment of a “Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia”, and to specifically mention the Bangladeshi Hindus’ persecution. However, he cautioned Hindus to play a prominent role early and even have some voice in who is appointed as Special Envoy to prevent the wrong person being made the Special Envoy. This would help the real issues like the Bangladeshi Hindus’ persecution to be investigated while preventing focus on one-sided false charges about Gujarat, Orissa, Palestinians, etc.  
Ms. Kristen Mandziuk of Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) showed videos of SSRF’s research with dowsing and biofeedback machines to illustrate that subtle distressing forces (aasuri shakti), which obstruct Dharma, are very powerful. The videos further illustrated that to effectively counter these challenges faced by the Hindu community, Hindus will need to gain spiritual strength by doing spiritual practice and by acquiring blessings of Saints who have the divine consciousness to counter the subtle distressing forces.
Ms. Maya Jairam, a native of Colorado, shared her firsthand account of growing up in America. Coming from a non-religious childhood, she was unaware of the spiritual ill effects of the non-vegetarian diet, the benefits of spiritual practice (sadhana), etc. Ms. Jairam found Hinduism’s spiritual science, such as the three subtle components (trigunas) to be fascinatingly clarifying of various aspects of life. It inspired her to become vegetarian and follow a Hindu spiritual path.
Hinduism supporters’ contributions to make this Hinduism Summit happen were commemorated in a beautiful, informative souvenir that was published at the hands of Mr. Prabhakar Joshi, a long time local Hindu activist. The Hinduism Summit concluded with attendees enthusiastically passing resolutions about urging US policy makers to investigate the Bangladeshi Hindus’ persecution, and about not supporting any product, publication or art that denigrates Hinduism.

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