In the run-up to the Hindu Heritage Month, to be observed and celebrated throughout this October, the principal organizers have issued statements to put the festival in perspective for the international audience. Keeping the occasion in mind, President of the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) Dr Ajay Shah said, “In continuation of our 10,000 years of documented history, this year we are starting a tradition for the connected world.”
“Every year, in October, we will share the exuberance of our festivals. We will tell the world about our heritage; how we have made a positive difference in every aspect of human life, from spirituality and culture to art, literature, science, astronomy and medicine.
“We will share the joys of yoga, meditation, and seva paramo dharma (selfless service is the highest form of spirituality). As we celebrate Hindu Heritage Month, we will tell the world that vasudhaiva kutumbakam (the whole world is one family) is the key to harmonious and sustained existence on planet earth,” Shah said.
Expanding the idea further, President of the Vedic Friends Association Benny Tillman enthusiastically endorsed this month-long celebration of Hindu culture. He said, “As one of the only African American leaders of a significant Hindu/Vedic organization in North America, I have to say how happy and proud I am to participate in this month-long celebration.”
“Just as the African American community united nationwide to establish the very successful Black History month, and similarly, the Latino community has come together to bring national focus to their unique culture and heritage. Likewise, we followers of this great Hindu/Vedic culture should unite and make the Hindu Heritage Month a tremendous success,” Tillman said.
Richa Gautam, Coalition of Hindus of North America (COHNA) elaborated on it, saying, “The Hindu Civilization is the longest living continuous tradition. Ancient universal values of ecofeminism, goddess worship, sustainability, and natural living flourish in its canopy. The world dips at will into Indic knowledge systems of vegetarianism, yoga, meditation and spirituality to heal and set its compass right.”
Gokul Kunnath of the United States Hindu Alliance (USHA) said, “It is the sacred duty of every American Hindu to share information about our rich heritage with the rest of America and the world. The Hindu Heritage Month has the potential to fill a great void.”
Dr Neelam Jaiswal, the lead coordinator of the Hindu Women’s Network (HWN), an initiative of the World Hindu Council of America, will be organizing an online webinar on October 3, titled “Awaken the Shakti Within”. This webinar will highlight the place of reverence that Hindu dharmic tradition holds for female shakti or energy.
Dr Jai Bansal, the vice president of the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) and one of the key organizers of this program, said, “The response from our sister organizations has been tremendous. A number of them have recently joined our constantly growing ranks, and many more have expressed interest in being part of this premier event. It is truly gratifying the see so many dharmic organizations across US and Canada coming together on one platform to celebrate their shared cultural heritage.”