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Report on the Dharma Summit 2005

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Report on the Dharma Summit 2005 By Lakshmi Ravu August 22, 2005 New York The overwhelmingly successful Dharma Summit that recently took place at Rutger s
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2005
      Report on the Dharma Summit 2005
      By Lakshmi Ravu

      August 22, 2005
      New York

      The overwhelmingly successful Dharma Summit that recently took place
      at Rutger's University was arguably the largest and most
      important Hindu conference ever organized on American shores. In this
      gathering of almost 450 Hindu leaders, gurus, and intellectuals, a
      new course was outlined for the future development and growth of the
      Hindu community in North America, India, and throughout the globe.

      Several of the themes of the conference included: a) the need for
      Hinduism to assert itself as a unique and living religious tradition,
      b) the importance of referring to our religion as "Sanatana
      Dharma", c) that Hindu management and leadership needs to become
      more professional, better trained, and more effective, d) that any
      and all attacks against Sanatana Dharma (whether by Christian
      missionaries, Islamic terror, anti-Hindu academicians, etc.) need to
      be combated forcefully, e) the rejection of Radical Universalism (the
      false idea that all religions are the same), f) that energetic and
      fired-up Hindu youth need to take charge of the task of saving
      Hinduism for the future.

      Some of the most important Hindu leaders in the world were present
      for this event. Including: Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswatiji (the
      inspiration behind the Dharma Summit, and convener of the event), Sri
      Chidananda Muniji (the creator of the Hindu Encyclopedia project),
      Sri Bodhinatha Veylanswami (Publisher of Hinduism Today Magazine) and
      several of his sannyasis, Sri K. S. Sudarshan (leader of the
      Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the largest Hindu service organization
      on earth), Dr. Pranav Pandya (leader of the several million members
      of the Gayatri Pariwar), Sri Swami Jyotirmayananda (Ramakrishna
      Order), Dr. David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastriji), Dr. Frank Gaetano
      Morales (the well-respected American Hindu intellectual and
      philosopher), Sri Steven Knapp (a prolific American Hindu author),
      and many others. These Hindu lights and dignitaries all filled the
      first row of the auditorium. Several Jain, Buddhist, and Sikh leaders
      were also present.

      Many inspiring talks were given during the three-day event. Both Sri
      Swami Dayananda Saraswati and Sri Chidananda Muniji spoke on the
      crucial need of defending Hinduism as a unique religious tradition,
      and on the importance of fostering global Hindu unity. Sri Dayananda
      Saraswati also stressed the importance of rejecting the false notion
      of Radical Universalism – the mistaken idea that Hinduism teaches
      that all religions are the same. "Hindus do not teach that all
      religions are the same", he assured the large audience,"After
      all, we're not idiots!"

      Sri Bodhinatha, Publisher of Hinduism Today, gave an impressive
      PowerPoint presentation on how to explain Hindu beliefs to children.
      Sri Anuttama Prabhu of ISKCON spoke at length on the importance of
      Hindu organizations adopting professional techniques to more
      effectively communicate the Hindu message to the media. Dr. Frank
      Morales gave one of the best received talks of the event (even
      beginning his talk in perfectly pronounced Hindi!), stressing that
      Hindus need to reject derogatory terminology when referring to Hindu
      beliefs and practices, and need to use the term "Sanatana
      Dharma" rather than "Hinduism". Other speakers included:
      Kanchan Banerji, Rajiv Malhotra, Ved Chaudhary (the conference's
      main organizer), and other Hindu leaders.

      The last day of the event was devoted to issues revolving around
      temple management. It was reported that there are presently well over
      700 Hindu temples in America, with another 20 – 25 being started
      every year.

      Overall, the mood of the Dharma Summit was exuberant and
      enthusiastic. The many Hindu leaders and delegates in attendance left
      Rugters University with a renewed sense of excitement and optimism
      about the future of Sanatana Dharma in America and throughout the
      world. The overwhelming consensus was that the very best days of
      Sanatana Dharma are yet to come!

      Ms. Lakshmi Ravu was born in 1983 in New York of Telugu speaking
      Hindu parents. She is currently a student majoring in philosophy and

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