JAMAICA, NEW YORK, June 1, 2013 (press release): The 2nd Hindu Mandir Priests' Conference concluded at the Shri Surya Narayan Mandir here in Jamaica. The Conference was hosted by the Shri Surya Narayan Mandir, in collaboration with the Bhavaanee Maa Mandir, the New York Sanatana Mandir and the United Community Mandir under the auspices of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of American. The Inaugural Session of the conference got underway on the evening of Friday, May 31. In attendance were more than 130 Hindu devotees, pandits and swamis.
As the audience listened in rapt attention, the speakers made very thoughtful presentations that covered the challenges facing priests in the community by Amrutur Srinivasan, the work of the USA Pandits' Parishad in Guyana and here in the USA by Pandit Parasram, and Swamini Svatmavidyananda's talk on Devotion, Dharma, Prayer and the Priesthood. The Arya Spiritual Center's Dharmacharya Pandit Ramlall also spoke about the challenges facing the Hindu in hostile societies. The sessions covered topics such as priests' role: issues and concerns; community's issues and concerns: devotees' and executives' inputs; sharing resources; and education and training. In the third session dealing with community issues and concerns, young Aneesh Bairavasundaram stole everyone's hearts with a polished presentation of "My story: Growing Up in a Priest's Family." One outstanding feature of this conference was the number of youthful Hindus who made presentations. In addition to Aneesh, there was also Austin Ayer who spoke about the training available at universities in the Maharishi Organization, Devi Mehotra who spoke about the Hindu Students Council at Yale University and Dr. Anand Ramnarine, who called for a "national Hindu voice, as a means of solidifying our Hindu identity." After all the presentations, the participants unanimously approved 2 resolutions for action:
1. Enhance communication among priests in North America by building a dharmic bridge between priests and the community they serve.
2. Develop a priests training workshop model that includes development of a guide book.
The conference is part of HMEC, an initiative of World Hindu Council of America (VHPA). Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) of America (VHPA), founded in 1970 and incorporated in the state of New York in 1974, is an independent, nonprofit, tax- exempt and volunteer-based charitable organization serving the needs of Hindu community in USA.