Hindu Council Donates to Farmers Relief Fund

Hindu Council gave a cheque for $11,000 to the Premier’s Farmers Relief Fund. 

Hindu Council Marks 20th Year

A brief history of formation and 20 years of Hindu Council of Australia.

Hindu Council condemns attack at Hindu Temple in Sydney

Hindu Council of Australia expresses its pain on learning of the vandalism that occurred at the Hindu Temple in Regents Park on Sunday, 14 October 2018. Unfortunately it happened in the most holy period of Navaratri in Hindu calendar.  The vandalism has caused lot of pain and anguish to the devotees.

We do not have enough information to know if the vandalism was a criminal act or a protest against multi-cultural Australia. More than 30 Deities and other accessories were broken. The financial cost of replacing the deities and rebuild temple will be in many thousands of dollar, but the emotional cost will be much higher.

HCA requests the police to investigate this matter and clarify the intent of the perpetrators. Considering the room for confusion such incidences can cause and hurt the multi-cultural fabric of the Australian society, we urge the police to investigate the matter considering other than just the financial cost to repair the damages. 

HCA offers its assistance to meet with the perpetrators if they have done this in ignorance of our beliefs as it effects their way of life.

The Hindu community sincerely hopes that such incidences do not occur in future. HCA offers all the help that is needed to inform the wider community about Hindu beliefs and practices so that such incidences do not happen due to ignorance.

HCA appeals to the wider Australian community to support the affected community and help them to rebuild the temple and ease their pain.

 

 

Prakash Mehta

National President,

Hindu Council of Australia

Religions meet for Peace in NSW

By: Vijai Singhal.

The Religions for Peace, NSW Chapter meeting was held on 20 August 2018 in Hon Walt Secord’s Office, NSW Parliament House. Meeting was sponsored by the Hon Walt Secord, Deputy Opposition leader in theNSW Legislative Council (Upper House) Shadow Minister for Health, NSW State Parliament House.

Josie Lacey OAM presided over the meeting. The topic for discussion was “Mysticism in my Religion”. Reverend PravrajikaGayatriprana, President of Shri Ramakrishna Sarada Vedanta Society of NSW spoke on the subject for the Hindu Faith.

Dowry abuse submission by Hindu Council of Australia

On 26 June 2018, the Senate of Australia (Upper house of Parliament) referred the practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 6 December 2018. The committee’s focus is on the broad issues raised in the terms of reference of the inquiry with a focus on explore the nature of dowry as a cultural practice, and the adequacy of current Australian policy settings and legal frameworks regarding dowry and dowry abuse.

Hindu Council of Australia has made a submission to the Committee.

A large number of submissions have been made and all of them can be viewed at

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Legal_and_Constitutional_Affairs/DowryAbuse/Submissions

HINDU COUNCIL SUBMISSION

www w.hinducouncil.com.au | Phone: 1300 HINDUS Fax: (02) 8208 9810| ACN 082 437 670
Head office: 17 The Crescent, Homebush, NSW 2140, AUSTRALIA
Hindu Council of Australia
Submission to Senate Inquiry into Dowry Abuse in Australia

Hindu Council of Australia (HCA) is a peak body organisation founded in 1998 with an aim to
preserve, promote and share Hindu religious values and culture in Australia. Since HCA was
founded, it has been acting as a representative of the Hindu community in Australia in dealing with
the federal, state and local governments, apart from reaching out to other Hindu organisations
and institutions.

Currently Hindu Council of Australia has established chapters in all the mainland states of Australia
and forty-two Hindu associations located in all states, are member of the HCA.
HCA is pleased to provide submission to this inquiry as follows:

1. The single largest cause of spouse mistreatment is due to the Australian immigration
processes. The processes are opaque and totally controlled by the sponsoring spouse. Admittedly
all the information is available online but as can be clearly seen it is not adequate for the spouses
who get trapped between a mistreating spouse and immigration procedures.

Our first strong submission is that once a marriage is verified to be legal:

(a) the migrating spouse
gets full and complete information about the sponsoring spouse,

(b) the migrating spouse is given
an option (probably for a small fee) to have a one-on-one consultation with a representative of
the High Commission or the Embassy about their legal rights, and

(c) the rights of the migrating spouse should be the same as the sponsoring spouse.

We again reiterate that the opacity, behaviour, and the processes of the department of
immigration is the single most important factor in the mistreatment of migrating spouses.

2. Unfortunately some Australian media have displayed a propensity towards Hindu bashing. In
the past HCA had to pursue several misreporting by the SBS with the tribunal. Dowry is not a part
of core Hindu beliefs and does not find any mention in the authentic Scriptures. The practice of
dowry is further confined to only a few communities in India. All the reform movements in India,
including HCA, are against the practice of dowry and no one will be more pleased than us if this
ugly practice disappears.

Our second strong submission is that please don’t make this Senate Enquiry a Hindu bashing
exercise. We say this because the setting of the enquiry draws heavily from ABC and SBS reporting
and please let that not colour the proceedings of the enquiry.

3. The role of the Hindu clergy is limited to performing rituals. If the clergy has any influence it is
due to their personal relationship with the community and not as clergy. A Hindu priest in general
has no role in family matters and especially in these complex matters that involve immigration
processes and family history.
 
Our third submission is that the Hindu Clergy be considered for what it is: responsible for rituals
and worship and not for any role within the family.

4. The frequent reference to Manu Smriti is baffling for us. Independent India made its own laws
with scant regard to Manu Smriti. Most of us hear about Manu Smriti the first time from the news
reports that have an anti-Hindu agenda. We say this because all the journalists know well that the
parts of Manu Smriti they quote are obsolete and find no connection with the present Hindu
society.

Our fourth submission is that the Hindu community in Australia is fully committed to the lawmaking
process in Australia and we will assist in whatsoever manner to make laws that prevent
spouse abuse. Please don’t get distracted by the journalists and “social” scientist with anti-Hindu
agenda. Hindus are fully committed to the laws of the land, no exceptions. We are confident of
pursuing our religion and culture and thriving in every society that makes its laws in a democratic
manner.

5. Male domination in any society is due to the poor education of women. In the Indian state of
Kerala, with almost hundred per cent education, there is a complete gender equality in the society.
In the regions with poor women education, the situation is the opposite. Indian women are taking
up education at a record rate, more than fifty per cent of students in professional courses in India
are now women.

Our fifth and final submission is that let the male domination theme be not used to run down our
culture and religion. We are working extremely hard to overcome our historical deficiencies. Hindu
bashing will be detrimental to this effort. The best way to correct gender power imbalance is to
encourage educated women to help other women and yet preserve the wonderful family structure
that the Indian society has created.

We look forward to cooperating with the Australian Parliament in making laws and establishing
processes which prevent the abuse of one human by another.

Thanks for giving us this opportunity to make our submission. We will be happy to make an inperson
presentation to the committee.

Kind Regards
Prakash Mehta
National President
Hindu Council of Australia, Email:
Mobile number: 17 August,
2018
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The practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia
Submission 57

Pope’s emissary meets Hindu Council of Australia

A Papal Contingent from Rome and various parts of the world visited Australia and met various  local faith leaders, including representatives of Hindu Council of Australia in Canberra. Many issues of similarities were discussed. The gathering also talked how to counter differences towards a happier and less wounded world.

Mr Prakash Mehta, President Hindu Council and Dr Himnashu Pota represented Hindu Council in the meeting. The team was received by Archbishop Prowse.  The four high ranking clergy from the Vatican consisted of Bishops, Monsignors and Priests from Spain, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia specialising in relations with other faiths. There were five faiths represented consisting Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Baha’i. There were some 20 invitees who were separated into three groups to interchange their views.

Farmers helped during Walkathon to Temples

Hindu Council of Australia organized a Walk to Temples event in Sydney on 29th September 2018. Funds were raised for Farmers Drought Relief efforts during the walk. According to Walk organizer Mr Sai Pravastu, $850 were raised on the first day and $540 were raised on second and final day of the walk. More funds are being collected and will be handed over to Hindu Benevolent Fund to help the Australian Farmers.

Hindu peace philosophy explained at Ahamadiya Peace Conference

By:Tara Sharma.

I attended Ahmadiyya Muslim community a Peace Symposium on behalf of Hindu Council of Australia. We were also represented a few weeks back, on their function on Eid festival.

It was a good experience.

There were people from other faiths too like Budhists, Sikhs, Christians from two faiths. There were political leaders too and some social / community leaders.

The topic of Symposium was : Decency, Tolerance and Respect for lasting peace.

There were 13 speakers.
I was one of the speakers and I spoke on Hindu philosophy/ teachings / thinking on Peace. It was well received.

There were around 400-500 attendees.

I was much impressed with the organisation.
The program was well organised, professional, well attended. The venue was well laid out, technologically well done, timing was on spot, guests were well received. Dinner was well serviced.
Plenty of volunteers, well managed volunteer force, clock precision work, no chaos, very humble behaviour.

Happy Onam

By:Madya Lila.

Happy Onam! The joyful festival of Onam originates in Kerala. It celebrates the auspicious appearance of the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu and the homecoming of Mahabali and it also marks the Malayalam new year. Onam is enthusiastically celebrated with worship ceremonies, beautiful flower arrangements, boat races, traditional dance performances, martial arts, music and elaborate vegetarian feasts.

 

According to the Bhagavat Purana, Mahabali was the grandson of the saintly devotee Prahlad Maharaj. Mahabali was a mighty warrior who conquered the devas (demigods)  and ruled the three worlds. The devas sought help from Lord Vishnu who descended in the form of a gloriously effulgent dwarf brahmin boy, Vamana.

 

At an opportune time, Vamana approached Mahabali asking for alms. Mahabali promised to give Vamana anything He wished for – land, gold, jewels – but Vamana said that greed destroys a person and He would only take three paces of land from him.

 

After Mahabali had made the promise to give Him the three paces of land, Vamana expanded in size revealing His cosmic form. With His first step He covered all the lower planets up to the earth, and with His second step He reached all the way to the top of the universe. His toenail pierced the universal coverings and the water of the Causal Ocean surged in, washed the Lord’s lotus feet, and descended into our universe as the celestial Ganges. Mahabali then placed his head at the feet of the Lord and offered himself as the place for Vamana’s third step.

 

For this act, Mahabali has become renowned throughout the ages as the devotee who exemplifies full surrender to the Lord. Vamana was extremely pleased with Mahabali and gave him the celestial planet, Sutala, to live on. Vamana also resides there with him. Onam celebrates this glorious event and is also the time that Mahabali returns to visit Kerala.

 

The twelfth-century poet and devotee Jayadeva Goswami writes:

 

chalayasi vikramane balim adbhuta-vamana 

pada-nakha-nira-janita-jana-pavana 

keshava dhrita-vamana-rupa jaya jagadisha hare

 

“O Keshava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of a dwarf-brahmana! All glories to You! O wonderful dwarf, by Your massive steps You deceive King Bali, and by the Ganges water that has emanated from the nails of Your lotus feet, You deliver all living beings within this world.”

The Indian-Australian millennials

ABC’s religion and ethics unit have published a story on why Indian-Australian millennials are choosing to have arranged marriages. Read about it here.