Hindu Heritage Day 2009

May 27, 2009

Author: Mona Khaitan

Source: Lokvani


Over 1,500 Hindu Americans assembled at Marlborough Middle School on May 17 to celebrate the 13th Hindu Heritage Day. To mark this annual occasion, The Mayor of City of Marlborough, Nancy E. Stevens, pro claimed SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2009 as “HINDU HERITAGE DAY.”

The purpose of this year’s Heritage day has been LokaSaNgraha: the collective welfare of the entire community. This collective welfare is wholly dependent on the welfare and stability of the individuals composing the community. In turn, the individual welfare and stability arises from being connected with the non-divisible Self (Atman).

If an individual can connect even for a fleeting moment with the real Self, it brings a sense of great joy and peace. The human heart finds much joy in seeing others, in being connected with others, in being with others even though total strangers. We are all linked as the Atman is One. Ancient Maha Rishi Yajnavalkya instructs his wife Maitreyi in Brhadaranyaka Upanishad:

“It is not for the sake of the husband, my dear, that he is loved, but for the sake of one’s own Self (Atman) that the husband is loved... Not indeed for the love of all is all dear. But, for the love of the Atman is all dear” (Br. Up. II.iv.5).

When we connect with others we are connecting with ourselves. This love and connectedness was clearly visible from the little children who frolicked and danced in the aisles of the auditorium during stage performances to the elderly who beamed with delight, their hearts showering blessings at the organizers for undertaking this massive annual function. One retired music teacher from Bengal unable to contain his enthusiasm exclaimed: "Excellent...excellent...excellent.”