SVT temple is a building of cultural significance

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Gender Equality Declaration by Hindu Council of Australia

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Hindu Council of Australia stands for Gender Equality and Respect for Women

By Prakash Mehta, President

As a peak Hindu body, Hindu Council of Australia is working to help Hindus live in harmony with all the other communities in Australia. To achieve this we have a mission to work for a strong, cohesive and active Hindu community that is committed to Gender Equality and Respect for Women.

Our tradition has it that: where women are worshiped, prosperity is there. There is a famous story which is the basis of one of the most celebrated festivals in India. In the story, all the divine forces fail to overcome powers that obstruct human progress; they approach Mother Goddess, and convince her to fight the dark powers. She achieves victory over the forces of darkness and makes our progress possible. This story is a statement of a deep spiritual realization that in critical stages of progress Mother Goddess is essential.

The biggest challenge the Hindu community faces today is to again make these deeply held beliefs as living realities where Mother Goddess is worshiped in temples, in homes, at work, and everywhere.

We have a commitment to gender equality and respect for women is in-built in our cultural values. Hindu council of Australia believes that women and men must have equal rights, opportunities, as well as responsibilities that enable each person to actively participate in all aspects of life that includes social, religious, political and economic activities. We believe that men and women must have equal participation in decision making processes and thereby creating a socially inclusive community.  In our culture, women always have been and will continue to be treated with full dignity and respect. We have a strong focus on bringing women in leadership roles.

Hindu Council acknowledges the important role of women in our community, the silent achievers and home makers as well as those women who have made contributions in professional roles. On this occasion we will be honouring outstanding women who have made significant contributions and celebrating their achievements. 

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to all these women whose contributions shape us, our children and our community.

Please join us  today to celebrate International Women’s day and let’s stand together, for Gender Equality and Respect for Women, not just for International Women’s Day but as a foundation of our community and the society.

Prakash Mehta,

National President

11 March 2018

Hindu Council announces Winners of Gargi Woman Award 2018

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The winners of Gargi Woman Award were announced today.

The winners of 2018 Gargi Woman Award are :

1. Jacinta Tobin – Service to her Aboriginal Community

2. June Bullivant – Academic Research

3. Dr Meenakshi Srinivasan – Educationist

4. Anju Kalra – Dementia Consultant

5. Jayanthi Ramnan – Carer Service

6. Poornima Sharama – Performer

7. Paramita Roy – Film Producer

In a function held as part of Parramasala festival in Sydney, Hindu council of Australia announced the winners of Gargi Woman Award at a function held to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018.

The event was attended by Deputy Lord Mayor Michelle Garrard, Federal MP Julie Owens, Federal MP Michelle Rowland, State MP for Parramatta Geoff Lee, State MP Julia Finn, State MP for Strathfield Jodi McKay, councillor Reena Jethi, councilor Sameer Pandey and councilor Suman Saha.

In this celebration, Hindu Council of Australia also recognized a young riser Pallavi Sinha and lifelong community service provided by Ms Akila Ramiratnam, Saraswathi Shashi and Amitha Saxena for their services to teach our languages, culture and religion to young students.

Hindu council in Parramasala parade

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Hindu council of Australia has partnered with Parramasala festival to celebrate International Women’s day and Gargi Woman Awards. Parramasala is a three day celebration Parramatta’s cultural diversity. The festival began on Friday 9th March 2018 with a parade from Parramatta Town Hall to Prince Alfred Park.

Different ethnic cultures at home in Parramatta were represented including a Rajasthani pretend Paalki, Chinese dragon dance, Africans, Malayali drums and so on. Hindu council women participated in the parade in traditional sarees.

On reaching the park the parade was welcomed by aboriginal country people, by the mayor of Parramatta and by various MPs. The mayor mentioned Indians as one of the vibrant communities of Parramatta. A bollywood theme “Dream Girls of Bollywood” dance program was the highlight of the day.

Hindu Council mourns passing away of Jagadguru Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya

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The sad passing away of Jagadguru Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya 1935 – 2018

The Hindu Council of Australia notes the movement of Shankaracharya Jagadguru Jayendra Saraswathi of the KanchiKamakotiPeetam (Mutt) to attain Moksha on 28 February 2018.  His calling as the 69th pontiff in 1954 was at the age of 19 years. The Mutt was established by AdiShankaracharya in the 5th Century AD.

We applaud Jagadguru Jayendra Saraswathi for leaving behind a great legacy within which he:

 

  1. Delivered religious discourses and involved himself in various spiritual and social activities. Under his guidance, the Mutt started several schools, eye clinics, hospitals and several charity initiatives such as the JanaKalyan, Jana Jagaran, a movement to “serve the people and awaken the masses.”
  2. Focussed on the uplift of Dalits and was also interested in developing healthcare and educational facilities for the people apart from spreading spiritualism. He initiated countless programmes for the downtrodden across the country. Perhaps he was the only Hindu sanyasi who had visited the most number of slums and Dalit colonies in the country. He visited the inner most parts of the Dharavi slums in Mumbai and several other slums and Dalit colonies.
  3. Was involved in both spiritual and public life and was known for the efforts for a solution in the Ajodhya and the Ram Janmabhoomi -Babri Masjid issue by engaging with stakeholders from both communities and the Government.
  4. Visited Manasarovar and Kailash in 1998 where he installed the deity of AdiShankaracharya.
  5. Established the Sri ChandrasekharendraSaraswathiViswaMahavidyalaya, a deemed university in the name of his Guru.

He will live on in the hearts and minds of millions of devotees due to his exemplary service and noblest thoughts.

The Hindu Council of Australia sends our condolences on the passing away of ShankaracharyaJagadguruPujyashri Jayendra SaraswathiShankaracharya who was at the forefront of innumerable community service initiatives. He nurtured institutions which transformed the lives of the poor and downtrodden.

Our sincerest sympathies on this sad occasion.

 

Hindu Council releases a Multi-faith Music CD

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Hindu Council of Australia – Release of Multi-faith Music CD

The Hindu Council of Australia organised a Multi-faith Music CD Release function from 4pm till 6.00pm on Saturday 1 July 2017 at Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre in Canberra. The theme of the program was “Theology and Music”.

The music CD was produced by Mr Divyanshu Pota who recorded music from five separate traditions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and Hindu.

Master of Ceremonies Mr Thamo Sri Tharan introduced the program and asked Mr Prakash Mehta to welcome all guests on behalf of the Hindu Council of Australia ACT Branch and Dr Himanshu Pota to speak on the theme.

The program commenced with a prayer by Mr Lakshman Prasad and the lighting of lamp by the leaders of the various faiths present:The Most Rev Christopher Prowse Archbishop of Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn; Mr Hasib Khan of Canberra Islamic Centre; Mr Greg O’Rourke of Tibetan Buddhist Centre;and Sri Prachar of Sri Chinmoy Centre. Leaders of other faith leaders present were: Mr Bill Arnold of the Jewish Community (being Sabbath he remained silent); Ms Shahnaz Kouhbor (Baha’i); Mr Amardeep Singh (Sikh); Ashok Jain (Jain); Dr Pal Dhall (Satya Sai); and Mr Lhakpa Tshoko (representative of His Holiness the Delai Lama for Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia).

Speakers amplified the role of music and presented music from their faiths providing further evidence of commonality and its transcendent nature.

Canberra Hindi School children Setu, Sanjana, Holi-jai, Isha, Priyanshi and Shivam sang a song in Hindi and Mr Yash Agasti played a favourite hymn of Mahatma Gandhi “Vaishnava Jan To Tene Kahiye” on key board.

Mrs Ira Patkar of the Mudrakar Kathak Dance School presented a classical Kathak Dance.

After Mr Santosh Gupta presented the vote of thanks the program concluded with a universal prayer sung by Mr Manish Chopra and his daughter Gauriof the Divine Life Society.

Attendees applauded the initiative by the Hindu Council on selecting a topic that provided a fresh insight on Religion and Faith. The gathering ended notingthat music can and does create good bonding and togetherness among the faiths of the world.

The meeting concluded with vegetarian refreshments and a meet and greet session.

 

 

 

 

Gargi Woman Award Press Release

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Hindu Council of Australia institutes award for recognizing Australian women

 Sydney : 12 February 2018

 Hindu Council of Australia has instituted annual awards to recognise outstanding contribution by Australian women in the society. The awards would be across multiple categories and will be announced on the occasion of International Woman’s day 2018.

 Speaking about the awards, the President of Hindu Council of Australia, Mr. Prakash Mehta said, “We want to recognise women who have been tirelessly contributing to the Australian society for a number of years. Some of them are well known in their field of work and some less known yet their contribution has been immense. With these awards we aim to recognise their hard work and create role models for younger generation of Hindu girls and women growing up in Australia.”

Further adding Mr. Mehta said, “These awards have been named after the great Hindu Rishika (female sage philosopher) Gargi Vachaknavi. Born around 700 BC, Gargi’s philosophy addresses metaphysical questions about the construction and origin of the universe and is considered to be the first, among many, in the long history of women’s intellectual contributions to human society. So, it’s only fitting that we named the awards her”.
 
The awards will be presented to the recipients during the Parramasala Festival in Parramatta on 11th March 2018.

For further details please contact us.

Chaplaincy Scholarships

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Media Release on Hindu Chaplaincy Training Scholarships