ram-puja

Celebration for upcoming grand Shri Ram Mandir at the Ram Janma Bhumi, Ayodhya

World Hindu Council of America, Washington DC Chapter hosted grand celebration for upcoming grand Shri Ram Mandir at the Ram Janma Bhumi, Ayodhya, on Dec 07, 2019, and marking the end of five centuries of colonial subjugation of Hindus, as the Supreme court formalizes Hindu demands on Sri Ram Janma Bhoomi. 

The event was hosted at a Hindu Mandir in greater Washington DC area, and was attended by over 400 participants throughout the day.   See the events through pictures in this link.

We thank all the participants for being part of this historic event.

The event started at 9:30 AM with Vedic Puja, Paat, Bhajans. Devoutees of Sri Ram ji chanted  Ramayan  Dhayana Slokas, Rama Janana, Sita Kalyana, Rama Pattabhisheka and Mangala (Photos of Puja/Paat link).  Thereafter children from Samskruth Bharati recited Sri Ram Raksha Stotras. (Photos/ videos of , Ram  Storas, Hanuman Chalisa).

At noon Bhagwan Sri Ram jis’ grand Aarti was performed in-front Sri Ram’s deity, and later Prasad/food distribution was served to all participants throughout the day. (Aarti photos/videos links) .

In afternoon Bhajan Keertans  related to the praise of lord Rama was organized. (Bhajan videos Links). After Bhajans, sessions on history of Ayodhya and relevance of  adopting values from the life of Sri Ram ji in our own lives was presented to audience (Presentation photos/ videos links)..  Between 3-6 pm, many accomplished classical dance performers from ten professional dance academies in the DC metro area, presented enchanting dance dramas on Sri Ram and Raamyan (Raamayan dance performances link).

During the program, historic video capturing the sacrifices of millions of devotees throughout the history, and in the modern times also, to liberate the Sri Ram Janma Bhumi from the barbaric invaders were presented. Prayers were offered to those devotees who sacrificed their life for Sri Ramji and his ideals. (Ayoydhya History presentation & videos links)

We are thankful to all participants; volunteers; performers of Vedic Puja Paat; children and youth singing Sri Ram Sankeertans, Shlokas; Bhajan Keertan singers; professional dance academy Gurus, and performers,  who put together the enchanting dance performances in a short notice;  and all who made this great event possible, to commemorate lord Rama’s legal victory, and to celebrate on the upcoming grand Mandir at Sri Ram Janma Bhumi, Ayodhya.

As remarked by some of our senior volunteers, we need Tan, Man and Dhan to organize better and bigger programs like this to preserve, promote Hindu Dharma, and culture.  You may consider being part of our mailing list; and donations to support such events are certainly welcome.

Event Details:

DC Chapter of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA-DC)
Invites All to Celebrates the Upcoming “Shri Ram Mandir” in Ayodhya

Date: Time: Saturday December 7 2019; 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM

Place : Hindu Temple, 10001 Riggs Road, Adelphi MD 20783

Schedule :

9:30 am to 12:30 PM : Puja, Jap, Yagnay for Sri Ram Lalla Virajman

1:30 – 2:30 : Bhajans, Ram Gunagaan by various groups

2:30 – 3:00 : Presentation on the Historic Ram Janma Bhumi event

3:00 – 6:00 : Dance, Drama on Ramayan, and more by different groups

Note: Food/Prasad will be available to attendees

The Event is in Celebration of upcoming Grand Shri Ram Mandir at the Ram Janma Bhumi, Ayodhya,

For offering our prayers and support to help building Grand Ram Mandir at Sri Ram Janma Bhumi Ayodhya

 

 

Dhayana Slokas, followed by Sankshipta Ramayana, Rama Janana, Sita Kalyana, Rama Pattabhisheka and Mangala
Puja videos/ photos
Hanuman Chalisa
Hanuman Chalisa by HSC Students
Aarti
Aarti
Bhajans
Bhajans
Dance Performances
Dance Performances
Presentations on Ayodhya, RJB history.

My experience at the camp…

Shantiniketan Family Camp: Report by Madhurya Mahajan (9th Grade)
Have you ever been to a camp before? Well, even if you have, you probably have not been to one like Shantaniketan family camp organized by the VHP of America. This camp has something in store for everybody. For younger kids there are fun games and activities. For adults there are valuable lectures and sessions about subjects such as our Hindu Dharma.
The first night of camp, everyone comes in and gets registered. Once they are registered, they find their cabins and settle in. The first night is also when most people meet their old friends and make many more new ones. Everyone is tired. Light refreshments are served and then everybody goes to sleep.
The next morning, wake up is around at 6 o’clock. Everyone gets up and heads to the main hall to have the morning announcements and then head out for yoga/games. This early morning exercise gets everybody up and running for the busy day ahead. Once that’s done, its time for breakfast.
After breakfast, there are learning sessions for the kids and lecture sessions for the adults. These lectures and classes help nourish the value and knowledge of Hindu dharma. Younger kids are taught the basic essentials and building blocks, while the older kids venture deeper and deeper into the meaning and force behind it. All while enjoying and having a great time.
Families also enjoy events such as the campfire. At the campfire, everybody gathers around in the woods around a big fire. They eat smores and sing till they can’t anymore. After the campfire, everyone goes to bed for a good night’s rest. They have a big day ahead of them.
My personal favorite (many can say this applies to them as well) is the Treasure Hunt. This is an event where 4 teams go around a large area, including the forest and hiking trails, in search of clues. When a team finds a clue, they have to answer a question in order to obtain the clue and its contents. Once they have found all the clues, they go back to the main hall to claim their victory. After a tiring hunt, everyone goes back to their cabins, shower, and get ready for a night filled with talent, singing, and dancing. Especially garbah and raas. Everyone has fun, and no one is left out. A live “band” plays and sings music for the garbah. After all are tired, everyone heads back to the cabins for a peaceful night’s sleep.
The last day is still more exciting. Although everyone is leaving, there is still one thing that hasn’t been played yet. That is jeopardy. On the last day, everyone gathers in the main hall for a game of jeopardy. Questions are written for people of all ages. There are questions for the adults, questions for the children, and questions for everyone in general. Once the game is done, it is time for everyone to say goodbye till next year. That means a whole year full of anticipation for next year’s camp. It is a tedious wait, but completely worth its cause.
The Shantaniketan Family Camp is truly an amazing experience. The amount of fun and all that goes on can’t even be put into words. Not even if anyone tried. The only way to really know what it is, is to experience it yourself.


 

Festival images

Best Wishes for Holi

Best Wishes for Holi

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America wishes Happy Holi to all. We pray to Sri Vishnu Bhagawan on this occasion to protect his devotees like he protected ‘Prahlad’; and bless us with happiness and make our life colorful.

Festival images

Dates of  festival in year 2015: is Mar-5-6 ( ).  Hindu calendar dates:    Kali Yug – 5011 (year); ‘Jaya’  (year name), Palguna (month name) Purnima

May all be auspicious, may all attain peace, let there be fullness and contentment all over, may all be blessed.

Om peace, peace, peace.

May the colors of Holi fill your life with brilliance, joy, friendship, acceptance, discipline and adherence to Truth!

 VHPA 

 

The Great Festival of Holi 

Holi is a social festival. It is a festival of colors.  Young and old, men and women all participate in this festival with remarkable energy and gusto. It is a national festival in which people from various regions and all segments of the society join the celebrations with fervor. In the southern part of the country it takes the form of “Kama” festival in honor of the God Kamadeva. Holi  ushers the spring season (Vasant in Sanskrit) and is celebrated on the day of full moon in the month of March, which is Phalguna according to the Hindu Lunar calendar.  On this occasion the children and young adults build a stack of sticks, grass and wood in the center of the town or village. A ceremony is performed to worship Holika and then the stack is set to fire. After the ceremony when the fire has died down, the people place the ashes on their forehead and the rest of the body while chanting Vedic mantras in honor of Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu and the Divine Mother. This is pre-eminently the spring festival of Bharat. The trees are smiling with their sprout of tender leaves and blooming flowers. With the harvest having been completed and the winter also just ended, it is pre-eminently a festival of mirth and merriment. Gulal (colored powder) is sprinkled on each other by elders and children, men and women, rich and poor alike. All superficial social barriers are pulled down by the all-round gaiety and laughter.

 

Spiritual and Social Significance of Holi

As in the case of all our festivals, Holi too has its plentiful share of spiritual significance. Fire is the symbol of yajna in which all our bodily desires and propensities are offered in the pure and blazing flame of spiritual enlightenment lit within our hearts. Since Vedic times this festival has been termed as a “Yagna” or a sacred offering that marks “renewal” or re–birth. The rotten, the decaying, the negative in us is respectfully and symbolically burnt, and then promptly replaced with new, vibrant, positive aspirations, feeling and resolutions (spring season). Half ripe and fully ripe grains and fruits from the farms are offered to the “sacred fire” and then accepted as prasad. In Vedic times this offering was known as Hola from where the name Holika originated. The Holi ceremony in a way is in honor of Lord Agni (Fire) as the “impartial witness,” that reduces everything to its essence. In the presence of Agni, only the Truth survives and the untruth is destroyed. To celebrate this victory of virtue over cruelty and arrogance, fires are lit on the eve of Holi. People collect wood and pile it around a central pole. Some times a pot is filled with seeds and buried under the pole. The pole symbolizes Prahlad and the wood symbolizes Holika. The pole survives, whereas the wood is burnt to ashes. People also throw coconuts in the fire to help burn Holi. Holi is primarily a festival of enjoyment, fun and laughter. There is no fasting. People enact divine plays that Krishna played with the cowherd boys and girls.

TherHoli2efore on this day people of all ages, classes and regions throw colored water at each other. People tease each other lovingly. They sing and shout, all of which is intended to symbolize the pranks that Krishna used to play on the cowherd girls. The boys are allowed to appropriate fuel of any kind for the fire, the woodwork of deserted house, fences and the like, and the owner never dares to complain. Horseplay is okay. Handfuls of red powder, mixed with glistening talc, are thrown about unto the balconies above and down on people below.  Seen through this atmosphere of colored cloud, the frantic gestures of the throng, their white clothes and faces all stained with red and yellow patches, branches of peacock’s feathers, artificial flowers and tinsel stars stuck in their rims form a beautiful spectacle. Thereafter follows mock fights between men and women conducted with perfect good humor on both sides.

In the evening the scene is totally different. Every body is washed, groomed, decked with new clothes, and ornaments. They visit their friends, relatives and other meHoli3mbers of the community, exchange gifts and embrace each other as brothers and sisters, mother and father, friend and teacher, king and subject.

In the great historical work of Mahabharat, it is mentioned that King Yudhistir, the oldest of the Pandavas, on advice from Sage Narada, granted safe haven for every citizen on the Holi day, such that every citizen big or small can freely sing, dance and be merry – laugh, play pranks on each other. Joyous laughter, singing, and chanting of Vedic mantras gets rid of the negative feelings and charges the community with positive thoughts and good will. People forget and forgive past differences, hatred and petty jealousies. All that is burnt in the fire and what remains is truth, love, affection, respect and goodwill. Like many other great social festivals of Bharat (India), Holi again and again binds the Bharatiya (Indian) community and nation into a harmonious, inter–related whole.

 

Agni – The Witness

The fire, Agni, is the witness, Sakshi. Why? Fire reduces everything to its essence, to its elemental form. In this case it reduces Holika to ashes – that is carbon, except for the small statue of Devi and Prahlad – that symbolizes the Truth. Only Truth remains. Satyameva Jayate. Bhakta Prahlad, a ten year old boy, is the symbol, the champion of Truth and Justice. He was like a single man opposition party against the tyrannies of his father. But he was unwavering in his commitment, in his devotion to Vishnu, his devotion to Truth. So what Holi teaches us is about complete faith in ones’ self, in Vishnu. Do we have the courage of Bhakta Prahlad to stand for justice? The religious significance of the festival of Holi is to mark the burning of self-conceit, selfishness, greed, lust, hatred, in fact all the undesirable demoniac tendencies, propensities, thoughts and behaviors – the victory of righteous forces over demoniacal forces.  Holi dhamaka in the morning is followed by everyone dressed impeccably and visiting each other. This signifies discipline or “Anushashan.” We can have fun, take some small liberties and enjoy ourselves, but then we return to the norms, self control and observance of Maryayda.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthy

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America wishes Happy Ganesh Chaturthy to all. We pray to Ganesh Bhagawan to remove all obstacles, and bless us all with success in all our activities and endeavors.

Dates of  festival in year 2014: Aug 28-30).  Hindu calendar dates:    Kali Yug – 5011 (year); ‘Jaya’  (year name)
; Baadrapad Maas (month) Shukla Chaturthy (date).

We Are All Hindus Candle Light Vigil against hate crimes against Hindus and Sikhs

Candlelight Vigil to Remember the Hindus Killed in Hate Crimes

We Are All Hindus Candle Light Vigil against hate crimes against Hindus and Sikhs#WeAreAllHindus

The World Hindu Council Of America held a candle light vigil at Dupont Cricle, Washington DC on Friday March-3-2017 at 7:00 pm in memory of Srinivas Kuchibotla.

On February 23, 2017, an Indian engineer, 32 yrs old Srinivas Kuchibotla, was shot dead by Adam Purinton at the Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, KS. His Indian friend, Alok Madasani, was injured in same attack. Ian Grillot, 24, an American who tried to save them, was also shot and is recovering now. Mr Purinton who justified his heinous act by claiming that he was targeting “Iranian Muslims” as if that would somehow absolve him of the barbarity of his claim.

We protested such heinous attack. We came together to stand as a community united against a future based on hatred and ignorance manifesting as racism.

Hindus and Sikhs have been victims of racial and religious discrimination in different parts of the world. They have been targets by racist groups for many decades. They have also faced religious massacres in the hands of radical Islamists for the past many centuries.

Videos of the vigil:
Video 1
Video 2
Pictures from the vigil

A World Hindu Council of America volunteer Rajesh Gootyji gave the following message to all the good Samaritans that had gatherered:

Namaste!

I thank You on behalf of World Hindu Council of America for joining us at DuPont Circle in DC today & Leading our efforts in offering Peace Prayers, Candle Light Vigil in this demonstration of Solidarity. We are greatly encouraged by your support & participation with the Hindu American Community. Your presence today has energized the local, National & Global Hindu, Indian & Minority American Community immensely. We will continue to lead, assist & participate with renewed energy in such efforts and of other Interfaith, Diversity events.

I will begin with an Invocation & Peace Prayer: Aum asato mā sadgamaya, Tamaso mā jyotir gamaya, Mṛtyormā’mṛtaṁ gamaya, Aum śāntiḥ, śāntiḥ, śāntiḥi II (Lead us from the unreal to the Real, Lead us from darkness to light, Lead us from death to Eternal Life)

Shanthi or Peace Prayer:

Oṃ saha nāv avatu saha nau bhunaktu saha vīryaṃ karavāvahai tejasvi nāv adhītam astu mā vidviṣāvahai | Om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥi II

●        OM! May we all be protected, May we all be nourished,
●        May we work together with great energy, May our intellect be sharpened,
●        Let us be illuminated together, Let us Live in Peace & Harmony
●        Om, peace (in me), peace (in nature), peace (in divine forces)
●        (From the Taittiriya Upanishad of the Hindu Vedas.)

I Come from the land of Mahatma Gandhi & I bring the message of Dharma, Ahimsa & Shanthi, (Justice, Nonviolence & Peace.) And Pray for an Inclusive, Tolerant, Respectful & Harmonious Society, whole with Good Conduct & Righteous Living. A great Saint from India, Swamy Vivekananda said: “The Gist of all Worship & Prayers is this – ‘To Be Pure & Do Good to Others.”

What Is Hinduism?! The goal of a Hindu is to pursue the path of Liberation or Self Realization. In Essence, Hindu philosophy states there exists a universal soul known as paramatma, Supreme Being or God. Living beings have a soul known as ‘jivatma’. The objective of existence is to try to merge the jivatma with the paramatma, Soul in unison to the God. Thus Leading to the ultimate path to moksha or salvation, which means the highest good. The final pathway to this is via “Sannyāsa” Phase, only possible when You are disposed of material attractions, One has to develop Vairāgya ( A Complete & total detachment).

Today, We are here to Pray for Peace & Harmony & to disapprove of any divide & show our strength in unity & Solidarity in these challenging times of growing intolerance, increased polarization & acrimonious disharmony both locally, Nationally & Globally.

How then we stop this hate & reverse this divisiveness?

In two words, Education & Action.

Philosopher Edmund Burke Said: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’

Today is a shining example, that good Men, women, kids, Families, neighbors & Friends have come together & have acted, so we have contributed our time – and some have contributed their talents by engaging here on this very site & some others have given their treasure by donating to the Go Fund me page. So while we are contributing our time, talent & treasure, we need to be vigilant, Vocal & convey our mutual respect among different faiths, religious practices and rise against racial, sectarian, ethnic, regional & other differences that divide society.

Gandhi said “A Small body of Determined Spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” We need to continue in that spirit of oneness in Thought & Action. We are one Nation Under God. We are One People. We have moved from being a local village to a Global Village. We are all connected. We need to educate our next generation about the common bond we have across humanity & de-emphasize superiority of one religion or spiritual path over another.

Manava Seva is Madhava Seva: Human Being is Being Human. Serving Humanity is Serving God.
And there is no greater service to God than serving HIS creation. (Of all of God’s Creations, we are the most evolved life form on this precious Earth. We are blessed with wisdom & the the power of discrimination to understand that we are all created equal in the eyes of our creator. )

Prayer For World Peace: “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” – May all beings everywhere be happy and free,  And may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life, Contribute in some way, to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

Universal Prayer for Peace: Aum dyauḥ śāntirantarikṣaṁ śāntiḥ, pṛthivī śāntirāpaḥ śāntiroṣadhayaḥ śāntiḥ, vanaspatayaḥ śāntirviśvedevāḥśāntirbrahma śāntiḥ, sarvaṁ śāntiḥ śāntireva śāntiḥ, sā mā śāntiredhi, Aum śāntiḥ, śāntiḥ, śāntiḥ—Yajurveda 36:17

●        May there be peace on Earth. May the waters be appeasing.
●        May herbs be wholesome, and may trees & plants bring peace to all.
●        May all beneficent beings bring peace to us.
●        May all things be a source of peace to us. And may thy peace itself, bestow peace on all,
●        And may that peace come to me also.  Om Shanthi! Shanthi! Shanthi!

Peace Prayer to Supreme Lord:
●        Supreme Lord, let there be peace in the sky and in the atmosphere.
●        Let there be peace in the plant world and in the forests. Let the cosmic powers be peaceful. Let the Brahman, the true essence and source of life, be peaceful.
●        Let there be undiluted and fulfilling peace everywhere. – The Atharva Veda

Thank you very much for Your time, Patience, Courtesy, Your Gracious Presence today. As always, We look forward to having a healthy working relationship with the new Administration, Policy makers & the Community to promote the Best Interests of Hindu/ Indian & minority American Community.
Dhanyavaad!  Om Shanthi! May the Supreme God bless You All!  And, May God bless America!”

Memorandum to Indian embassy in Washington DC on Amarnath Yatra killing

Memorandum to Indian Embassy, DC on Amarnath Yatra attacks

On 14th July of 2017, concerned Hindu community representatives in Washington DC area participated in the rally to express their sorrow and shock on death and fatal injuries of several Hindu pilgrims, caused during their Yatra to the Holy Amarnath shrine in Kashmir.  The rally was organized in front of Indian embassy in DC near Mahatma Gandhi statue by World Hindu Council of America, DC chapter.Memorandum to Indian embassy in Washington DC on Amarnath Yatra killing

The delegates from DC area Hindu community met with Indian embassy officials and expressed concerns regarding loss of Hindu lives and handed over the following memorandum to pass it on to Prime minister and Home mister of India:

Hindus of USA are deeply saddened and shocked to learn about the death and fatal injuries of several Hindu pilgrims caused during their Yatra to the Holy Amarnath shrine in Kashmir.Memorandum to Indian embassy in Washington DC on Amarnath Yatra killing

We condemn this attack and killings by Islamist terrorists. We express our sincere sympathy to their families. We stand with them in expressing our solidarity with all those affected by this act of violence.

As quoted by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, “Hindus and pilgrims of every religion should be able to visit their holy places without fear of attacks by terrorists” in India and the Government of India must ensure this.

We urge the Government of India to provide enhanced security to all its citizens and protect them by taking stern measures against terrorists. We also urge the Government of India to take time bound and practical measures so that Hindus, where they are in minority, don’t have to live in fear for their lives; can practice their religion without getting murdered; safeguard their houses and businesses from being looted and burnt down, as it is happening in many parts of Kashmir, West Bengal and other parts of the country.Memorandum to Indian embassy in Washington DC on Amarnath Yatra killing

World Hindu Council of America is reflecting these concerns of Hindus in USA, and look forward for time bound measures by the Government of India to protect life and religious rights of Hindus in India.