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Guyana: New Hindu Sabha launched, aims to promote social cohesion

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Guyana: A new Hindu Sabha named as Guyana Viraat Sabha was launched on Saturday. It promises to promote and foster social cohesion. The organisation had gained prominence last year.

A few hundred people attended the launching ceremony held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre. Students of Valmiki Vidyalaya Primary school chanted to commence the ceremony. Well Known Kathak dancer Kiran Mattai gave a skilful performance after that.

The Sabha had established itself with the first national Pitri Pasksh programme at the Lusignan Tarmac in 2008. However, last year when it differed with Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha over the date of Diwali and supported Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan.

Guyana Viraat Sabha is made of some of the biggest Hindu leaders of the country and many of those were part of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha in past. Guyana Pandits Council also supports this Sabha.

Rabindranauth Persaud, President, said that they feel committed to provide a better link between two kinds of people. One, who had selflessly sacrificed their lives for a better Guyana and other who are prepared to pool their energies and other resources in a bid to achieve a better environment for all.

He further added that”The Viraat Sabhaa is convinced that man, being gregarious, cannot exist without a philosophy. As such, spiritual education is placed at the pinnacle of the Sabhaa’s objectives. The Sabhaa is convinced that spirituality and divinity (are) the only way to unlock the gateway to civility and (create) a more cultured society. Godlessness nurtures negative propensities and vices which are adverse to human civilisation.”

He mentioned that Sabha already has already an impact on Hindu population of the country with its national network.

Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally, highlighted the role of the organization in extending its services to people in a non-discriminatory way. She focused to publicly recognize the rapidly growing network of the Sabhaa, which has the initiative in various aspects of human and social development.

She said that motto of the organisation proves the point of the Guyana’s motto. The Universe is One Family, she said this is a reminder of the deep concern to create a society where everyone will exist together.

The minister added that Sabha supports Government’s efforts to promote social cohesion and it is setting up a stage for the untroubled implementation of this program. Showed happiness over the fact that Government and Sabha are associated.

“We are concerned about people. We want every Guyanese to experience the good life, and so you [Sabhaa] have extended the right hand of friendship to Government for collaboration and partnership. And we, likewise, extend our hand to you for partnership, since there is commonality,” Minister Ally stated.

She also mentioned that there is a critical role for religion in the human and social development and nation building. Both Sabha and the government realise this point. She offered other groups to participate more like Sabha.

“Through this Government, political will is guaranteed for social cohesion, but we cannot do it alone. It is when groups like yours approach us (that) we are encouraged and recognize that here is another group that has caught a vision for the need to collaborate,” the Minister said.

She noted the need for the collaboration. She said the there is a distinct advantage with religious communities over other groups seeking to promote the social cohesion.

She said such groups are able to reach large numbers at one time as they are able to more frequent interaction with people than the other groups. She also said time must not be wasted remembering the past and everyone should be moving forward and building a unified nation to coexist.

“We have to stop referring to people as ‘dem black people’, ‘da coolie man’ and ‘dem buck man’. It is disrespectful. Our children are being socialized with this same culture, and it is unhelpful,” Minister Ally said passionately.(Source-GuyanaChronicle.com)

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  • Rajesh Geer

    Spritual education is the highest education that one can render .however this can only come from an enlightened master . from time to time enlightened masters are born in Hinduism .

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Puja for The Spiritualism, Not for Vulgar Entertainment

The westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our "scriptures" and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those "holy books" only in the drawers of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our “butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods' idols !!!

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Hinduism
he westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our "scriptures"

By Salil Gewali

Any auspicious days in Hinduism are expected to be observed with a complete purity of action and thought. The same holds true for other religions too. As per the Hindu scriptures, the believers are required to stay away from any kind of sense gratifications, particularly when the specific days are dedicated to Gods and Goddess such as Navratri, Laxmi Puja, Krishna Janmashtami, Shivaratri, to name a few. The pathway to devotion and spiritualism should not be “desecrated” by the blot of the brazen entertainment. The scriptures logically explain why it is antithetical, and its adverse consequences.

Hindusim
Incidentally, the Bhagavad Gita describes such situation as the rise of “tamasic vibes”.

 But, what a huge irony, rather a blasphemy that many people these days have started to choose the auspicious days of Gods to satisfy their base senses. Without a wee bit of regret, a certain class of people holds almost every auspicious day as the most “unmissable” occasion to booze with the friends, and what not, and stagger back home, lol! Such bizarre practices are fast catching now than ever.  Sadly, hardly any conscious people and spiritual organizations stand up and take the right measures to check such godless deviations.

What is quite unpleasant is that such a kind of unholy practices are often being facilitated by certain “Hindu intuitions” as well. On this past Laxmi Puja, the “propitious time” to perform the ritual had fallen between 6 PM to 7:53 PM. Yours truly decided to use that span of time for meditation. But hell broke loose. Apart from fireworks around, the Bollywood songs in high decibel burst forth from a certain Hindu institution quite frustrated the mission.

Hindusim
Sadhu Sanga Retreat, 2016

 One senior citizen laments – “Nothing could be irreligious than the fact that a favorable time for “puja” is also being used for the wrongful purposes. We rather expect the “Hindu institutions” to teach our children Bhajan, Kirtan, and other spiritual activities, not the loud and feverish parties and disturb others.”

Another college student adds “Having been much disturbed by the noise pollution, I have persuaded my parents to shift our place of residence to elsewhere, not at least near holy places with an unholy mission. I have started to see such institutions with the eyes of suspicion these says.” Is it that our institutions are unable to use their “discretion”, and as a result, they fail to differentiate between right and wrong?  One is deeply apprehensive that Bollywood songs and vulgar dances might as well be included as a part of the “puja ritual” as we have long accepted the fun of fireworks bursting as an integral part of Laxmi Puja which in fact is just an entrenched “misconception”.

Hinduism
Hinduism is expected to be observed with a complete purity of action

Needless to say, our roar for consumerism has almost drowned the whisper of inherent spiritualism. We are only just sending out the wrong messages. I’m afraid, the whole culture itself might be looked down with derision by other faiths. It might just become a subject of ridicule! It is no exaggeration, such negative notions against the “wrong practices” are all what we often read these days in several newspapers and social media. Do we want others to demean our profound spiritual heritage thus?  I believe it calls for a serious soul-searching.

Incidentally, the Bhagavad Gita describes such situation as the rise of “tamasic vibes”.  It warns in the strongest terms that mankind should absolutely be careful not to fall under the influence of any short-lived sense gratifications. Or else, our endeavor to “practice and preserve” the sanctity of a religion/spiritualism will be a futile exercise.

However, on the other hand, the westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our “scriptures” and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those “holy books” only in a drawer of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our “butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods’ idols !!!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.

Twitter:@SGewali.