“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”
“It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding.”
I have been attending Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh shakha since I was twelve years old. We’ve heard it said before, but it’s common knowledge that children just don’t understand the importance of going to shakha when they are little. I know I didn’t. In my imagination, it was simply a place to play with other children on a weekly basis. I was told that it would help me keep in touch with my Hindu culture. As I got older, however, I realized that it was a little bit more than these simplistic generalizations. According to the HSS website, the goal of having weekly meetings in the form of shakhas is to “organize the Hindu community in order to preserve, practice and promote Hindu ideals and values.” I understood that as I entered my teenage years. I understood that the point of going to shakha, family camps and Sangh Shiksha Vargs was to develop characteristics that would enable me to be proud of my Hindu culture and be a leader in society. Somehow, as I became a young woman, I found myself wanting to get involved more and more, and I no longer needed to go to shakha at anyone’s insistence. I wanted to make a difference.
“God is dead. We have killed him.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
From 9th grade through my freshman year at New York University (NYU), I lived the typical Indian teenager’s life. It revolved around four things: good grades, competitive debate, tennis, and my friends. Sure, I celebrated all the major Hindu festivals, including Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Diwali, Holi, etc. but I knew very little about my religion and made little time to learn. My religion was important only on holidays and celebrations. It meant that I got nice clothes, performed dances and plays during the pujas, and hung out with my friends. This was fine while I was at home in Houston.
Tattva is an international online monthly magazine, published by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh’s Hindu YUVA. Starting with the December 2007 issue, Tattva will be released on a new website: www.hinduyuva.org/tattva-blog. Unlike its past issues which used to be in a pdf format, future issues will be published in an innovative blog format. The new, more interactive format of Tattva will provide a forum for youth to share knowledge and ideas, voice opinions, discuss issues, and learn from one another.
In the months of September and October - 2007, youths of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) successfully conducted Speaker on Campus project in several US Universities. Various students from different universities came together and felt a need for bringing more awareness on campus about Hindu way of life. It is but surprising that even in the current state of world, people have overlooked social model which propagated the thought of "World is but one family" and "Let all be happy, prosperous, and healthy".
The Hindu Culture and Dharmic Tradition from India exhibition was displayed over a period of five days at THE ST. PETERSBURG INTERNATIONAL FOLK FAIR (SPIFFS). The event was sponsored by the city of St. Petersburg and was held at the VINOY PARK in downtown St Petersburg from Wednesday March 14th through Sunday March 18th. A total of 32 countries participated, each displaying their unique traditions, art, culture, folklore, foods etc. in their respective village.
nashto mohaH smrutirlabdhA tvatprasAdAnmyAchyut |
sthiroAsmi gatsandehah karishye vachanam tav ||
-- Bhagvad Gita, Ch18,v73
The above words were said by Arjuna, after listening Lord Krishna's message in the form of Bhagvad Gita after which Arjuna gained his confidence back and was ready to do his duty with even more vigor.
A similar experience, though on much smaller scale, was witnessed through a unique project, 'Speaker on Campus'. While the universities in US provide conducive environment for awareness and practice of various cultures and traditions, rarely we see events held specifically by Hindus on the campus. Speaker on Campus was one little step taken in this direction. The pearls of wisdom from ancient India were mustered together by renowned speakers and strung together by 'Speaker On Campus' project.
On Monday 28th August, Hindu YUVA, UW organized a lecture by Shri Ravi Kumar Iyer in Mary Gates Hall, University of Washington on Vedic Mathematics - the ancient mathematics and sciences developed in India.
Yuva Sangam (Youth Camp) organized by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh during the weekend of Oct. 1st & 2nd 2005, at Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca, served the purpose of creating awareness among the Hindu youth in the Midwest of USA.
The Melbourne Chapter of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh(HSS) and Hindu Students Council (HSC) of Florida Institute of Technology, conducted a Yuva Sangam at Florida Institute of Technology today.
The first HHYC of the season, in midwest, was held in Iowa City, IA on 15th May. The objectives of the camp were multifold. Primary being, to provide a platform for youths on campus where they can meet, share ideas and experience the energy of group efforts.