Building COmmunities through Seva
September 28, 2010
Media Contact: Minauti Dave: firstname.lastname@example.org; (917) 723-9456; Ved Chaudhary : email@example.com
Hindu Americans Expand Civic Engagement through FestivalSeva (UtsavSeva)
-Invoking Spiritual Values of Festivals through Community Service-
Building on the success of YogaSeva, Hindu American Seva Charities is launching UtsavSeva (FestivalSeva), an initiative to conduct theme based community service throughout the year, highlighting the spiritual value of the major festival of that month.
“The strength of the Dharmic culture (Hindu and other eastern faiths) is the multitude ways in which the Puranic, (ancient traditional stories and epics are brought to life through festivals. These festivals play an important role in expressing the spiritual significance in a celebratory, joyous ways while bringing people together. And, during this time, our traditions encourage seva in diverse ways,” emphasizes Anju Bhargava HASC founder.
Following that tradition, HASC is encouraging the many communities within homes, secular or faith based cultural associations and organizations, in schools and in the temples/ashrams/spiritual centers to take the lead in organizing seva events invoking the spirit of the festivals. HASC is developing theme based seva resources/toolkits to bring awareness of the festivals, contemporary relevance in our life and ways to learn and inspire each other.
In August HASC launched, at Katrina’s anniversary, the first national Yogathon to bring healing to the nation and to support the President’s Lifestyle challenge. The open house included an introduction of the temples to the community; explanation of yoga and its connection with philosophy and tradition, with a free workshop on yog-asanas for youth and adults by Art of Living and Patanjali Yog Peeth. Yogathon was expanded to YogaSeva on September 2nd on Krishna Jayanti Festival, honoring the great Yogi. On Ganesh Chathurti Festival (remover of obstacles) HASC sent a historical message of peace which went around the world. Many temples and community members are continuing to host yoga classes regularly to bring healthy lifestyle and promote peace.
In October, Navaratri is a celebrated. It honors the many aspects of Devi; symbolically of women’s strength and of value enrichment within one self. HASC is initiating ShaktiSeva to highlight and bring this to the forefront during the celebrations, through dialogues, telling and sharing stories, helping women’s organizations. “Listen, Learn and Inspire” each other. (More details to come).
In Diwali, removal of ignorance with the light of knowledge and triumph of goodness over evil is celebrated. The theme is DhanaSeva – resources empowerment (serve as resources of wealth of knowledge, goodness and economic empowerment) to do seva projects to promote education, economic help, awareness of the festival, job fairs, canned/boxed food to replenish local food banks for Thanksgiving, etc. within and outside our community.
During December HASC suggests SarvaDharmaSeva – interfaith service--in which people from all faiths, including non-believers, can continue to foster respect and understanding continue to foster respect and understanding. And, in the spirit of inter-faith cooperation: working on the holy days, (Christmas, Chanukah, Muharram, Kwanza) of other faiths.
HASC is also working with the White House to bring awareness of women’s programs, economic empowerment and wealth creation to Indian Americans, secular and of all faiths and get our voice heard. More details of seva activities for the annual calendar to come. See our website for additional details.
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