Mission of BSNA: Advantagesof Following Vedic CultureBrahman Samaj of NorthAmericaNorth East Regional ConventionHoliday Inn, Edison, NJ4 December 2010Om SharmaPresident, Brahman Samaj of North America 1
BSNA is for service to all and disservice to noneOur goal is to serve the humanity (according to ancient Brahman paramparaa) 2
Need to talk about Vedic Values There is a lack of clear understanding of Vedic culture and its advantages due to ignorance/agyanNa hi gyanen sadrisham pavitramih vidyateTatswayam yog sansidhah kaalenaatmaane vindatiApi chedasi paapebhyah sarvebhyah paapkrittamahSaram gyanplaven aiv vrijinam santrishyashi Some Hindus who moved to the West either disregard their own culture or exhibit confusion - perhaps due to Western attitude and misunderstanding of Vedic values Efforts on trying to demean Vedic culture and promoting serious misunderstandings against it 3
What is Vedic Culture/Values? Vedic culture, Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism is not merely a religion but more of a spiritual path, way of living, an outlook on life and a complete philosophy It is an eternal nature of the universal soul Vedic culture encompasses various aspects of life: Spirituality and Philosophy (knowledge and experience) Religion and Rituals (practice and procedures) Arts and Culture (expression of developed internal qualities) 4
What is Vedic Culture? Vedic culture is the most profound tradition and is one of the foremost and oldest of all spiritual paths Most social advancements, scientific observations, religious customs, and spiritual philosophies can be traced back to Vedic culture Indeed, it offers the loftiest and most complete spiritual understanding found anywhere, without which the world would lose its connection to its earliest roots 5
What is Vedic Culture? It is the eternal nature of the soul and it recognizes that there is one Supreme Being with no beginning or end, the unlimited Absolute Truth, which can be manifested in many forms The Vedic tradition recognizes that the individual soul is eternal, beyond the limitations of the body, and that one soul is not different from another Aryans (who have clear consciousness toward God) followed the Vedic system Ar=clear or white; ya=God; also ya= Yadu (Krishna) 6
What does Vedic Culture Offer? It offers more insights into life and its purpose, especially the spiritual aspects, than any other culture Spiritual democracy - The Vedic path offers personal freedom for one to make his/her own choice of how he/she wants to pursue their spiritual approach, and what level of the Absolute Truth he or she wishes to understand The Vedic system is a path that upholds a code of conduct which values peace, happiness and justice for all 7
Maintaining Vedic Culture Vedic culture is under constant attack Such attacks are not only from those of other religions who would like to see the demise of the Vedic way of life but also from the lack of sincerity and the complacency of those who consider themselves followers of the Vedic path but are not serious about it A cohesive strategy and leadership is needed to preserve Vedic culture 8
Who Should Provide Leadership? Brahmans must play a major role in upholding Vedic values Characteristics of a Brahman are Shamo damastapah shaucham kshantih aarjavam aiv cha Gyanam vigyanam aastikyam brahmkarma swabhavajam Actions need to be taken at both the organizational and personal levels 9
Actions to be Taken Community and temple leaders need more training in Vedic knowledge and organizational skills Communities need to become culturally united as a large Hindu family Develop programs that go beyond regional distinctions and bring people together in a way that focuses on their unity in Vedic heritage Develop programs to provide exposure to the depths of Vedic philosophy that will actually attract anyone who is really searching for the means to perceive their spiritual identity Hindus should participate in the Vedic "samskara" ceremonies. These ceremonies or practices mark various stages of life in connection with the Vedic purpose of making spiritual progress 10
Actions to be Taken Parents must be educated in the importance of Vedic knowledge in order to be able to pass this along to their children Wealthy, educated and knowledgeable Hindus should take responsibility to protect Vedic culture We all need to become ambassadors of Vedic culture The Vedic culture has to be taken outside the temples to the people and congregations The global Vedic community should be welcoming those who are from outside of the Vedic tradition, and wish to join and participate in Vedic ways 11
Concluding Thought I am leaving you with the thought that you should think thoroughly about your own level of spiritual growth, lead a righteous way of life, seek help from scriptures and act accordingly As in the Gita, Shri Krishna said after giving the secret knowledge to Arjuna;Iti te gyanam aakhatam guhyaadguhyataram mayaaVimryshyaa aitat asheshen yethechchhasi tatha kuru 12
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