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Manava Sevaye Madhava Seva: Toledo Case Study - Dr. Sudershan Pasupuleti (s06a-1)

Manava Sevaye Madhava Seva: Toledo Case Study - Dr. Sudershan Pasupuleti (s06a-1)






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    Manava Sevaye Madhava Seva: Toledo Case Study - Dr. Sudershan Pasupuleti (s06a-1) Manava Sevaye Madhava Seva: Toledo Case Study - Dr. Sudershan Pasupuleti (s06a-1) Presentation Transcript

    • Session 6a Social Services – Hallmark of Hindus Manava Sevaye Madhava Seva: Toledo Case Study Dr. Sudershan Pasupuleti Hindu Temple Of Toledo September 11-13, 2009
    • Manava Sevaye Madhava Seva
      • “ The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings , O, Arjuna, causing them by his illusive power, to revolve, in accordance with their nature, as if they are mounted on a wheel of the body.” --- Bhagwad Gita.
        • Therefore, helping (serving) other human beings ( Manava Seva ) is a way of serving and worshipping God ( Madhava Seva).
      • In other words, any service to Jeevatma is service to Paramatma (Narayana), hence it is Narayana Seva .
        • When one gives of oneself in a spirit of Dana , one is not only relieving the suffering of another , but engaging in an act of spiritual self-upliftment ( renunciation of selfish attachments).
    • Religion a powerful influence in life, isn’t it?
      • I keep asking one question to myself:
        • Why am I the way I am today?
        • One thing clear in my mind is my upbringing in a “Hindu Family”.
      • I am not an expert in Hindu religious scriptures to quote and elaborate on what Vedas, Puranas, Bhagwad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata, etc. say but I learned through my socialization and practice of Hindu faith.
      • Hindu religion is rich in philosophy that guides our life on day-to-day basis. The following quotes from the scriptures reflect a gist of that rich philosophy and how Hindu religion views service/charity.
      • The scriptures underscored the importance of Seva/Service to mankind:
        • through dāna (charitable giving),
        • not only for the betterment of the lives of those suffering, and
        • but also for the giver's own spiritual well being.
    • Hindu Dharma Emphasizes….. Our context
      • Service to our faith community and service to larger community is --- service to mankind.
      • We, as a community, are very engaged with our community we live in by contributing to various ongoing social and outreach activities in the city.
        • The Hindu community is active with 450 families (about 2500 population) within and outside.
        • Our larger community is Toledo, a medium-sized city with 300,000 population.
        • It is pretty diverse community in both ethnic and religious respects.
        • The town is confronted with unemployment, crime, school drop outs, abused and custody children, homelessness, and health disparities.
    • Types of Service/Seva Activities
      • Our service/seva activities I see in two categories:
        • 1. Service to our faith community members
        • 2. Service to larger community we live in
      • Our service activities within our community include :
        • Helping elderly persons (giving rides to attend temple, special arrangements for worship and Lord dharshan, and serving food, etc).
        • Community lunch on every Sunday after religious service.
        • Organizing pilgrimages and tours for elders and youngsters
        • Organizing educational service and camps for community children
        • Celebration of festivals and cultural and social events
        • Visits and potlucks for community building
        • Helping new families in move-in and move-out process
        • Providing assistance (financial and in-kind) in fire, storm, etc.
        • Visiting our members when they are sick and offering support
    • Manava Sevaye Madhava Seva through Hindu Community to Toledo Community (1)
      • Feeding the homeless
        • preparing and feeding about 60 persons on every Sunday morning.
      • Giving gifts and clothes to Displaced Children
        • to celebrate Christmas.
      • Feeding homeless families with children
        • during the “Thanks Giving times.
      • Fundraising and donating nonperishable food items
        • for Northwest Ohio Food Bank to ensure food supply to soup kitchen in the town.
      • “ Interfaith Hunger Awareness Event”
        • sponsor, support, and participate in every year.
      • Interfaith Blood Drive
        • helping in in the community.
      • Volunteering for Service Organizations including Metro Parks, Zoo, etc.
        • Donated more than 1000 hours a year.
      • Scholarships to college-bound high school students.
        • Two temple and one in collaboration.
    • Manava Sevaye Madhava Seva through Hindu Community to Toledo Community (2)
      • “ Habitat for Humanity ”
        • Sponsor, support, participate in build program through Multi Faith Council of Northwest Ohio.
      • fundraising for families in crisis
        • Organize for natural calamities, other difficult situations in local community and in India.
      • “ Free Medical Screening and Counseling Camps”
        • Organize for homeless people.
      • Annual fundraising event for ASHA
        • Organize for India projects.
      • “ Faith Gardening Program”
        • Participating in to increase Seva opportunities for children and elders” on the temple premises and donate food to Food Bank and soup kitchens.
      • Time and Effort
        • Annually several thousands of dollars and hours of time contributed by community for charity and in service of others.
      • Starting an elective course, annual lecture and workshops on Hinduism in collaboration with The University of Toledo.
        • Starting from 2009-10 year
    • Insights from our experience…
      • Since we see God in every human being, our view of service should be free from any egoism, attachment, and expectation.
      • Treat human person with dignity and kindness.
      • Encourage men and women to be service-oriented, serving the humanity in crisis and need is considered greatest virtue in Hindu tradition.
      • Since what we do is learned by our children, parents and grand parents need to be role models for our children.
      • Building our community through our service activities is a great way; please try to create more opportunities for bringing our community together for a cause.
      • Undertake incremental steps to initiate and institute Seva activities because they build and reflect the character of our community.
      • “ Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu! Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu! Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu!
      • Om Shanti Hi… Shanti Hi… Shanti Hi.
    • Backup - Other Quotes from Scriptures (translated)
      • “ There is none other who does great good than the one who removes the hunger of those in a difficult situation, helpless, weak, and disturbed”. - Mahabharata XIII.59.11.
      • “ He who feeds a stranger and tired traveler with joy attains infinite religious merit.” - Mahabharata XIII.7.7
      • “ Acts of sacrifice, charity and austerity should not be abandoned, but should be performed because sacrifice, charity and austerity are the purifiers of the wise”, - Bhagwad Gita 10.5.
      • “ Even for the ill-minded, a fondness of giving makes one feel great.”
      • - Ramayana II.
      • “ Help, support, charity, gifts, protection, and rescue are all virtues that embody the grace of God.” - Ramayana II.
      • “ Of the divisions in one’s moral duties, sacrifice, study, and charity form the first.” - Chandogya Upanishad.
      • “ Give. Give with faith. Do not give without faith. Give with sensitivity. Give with a feeling of abundance. Give with right understanding.” - Taittriya Upanishad.