NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Attendees of Global Dharma Conference have greater insight into the philosophy of “Dharma” for a conflict free and pluralistic world as well as the ancient spiritual roots of yoga and the social issues impacting Hindus. The largest Hindu students’ organization in North America, the HINDU STUDENTS COUNCIL, brought together over 40 scientists, theologians, academics, and spiritual leaders from a dozen countries to explore multiple applications of Dharma beyond religion as well as the need to preserve the holistic nature of yoga beyond exercises.
The conference convened with students chanting the sacred symbol Om, followed by a moment of silence for the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Organizers honored Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be in the U.S. this month, along with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living Foundation, Swami Dayananda Saraswati and Dr. HR Nagendra, with the Light of Yoga Award. The first Hindu-American Miss America Nina Davuluri served as the MC for the awards and renowned artists from India, Bali, and the U.S. mesmerized the audience with a spectacular international concert.
American business executive R. David Moon who has worked for decades in the Silicon Valley and elsewhere with large teams of Indian technology professionals said: “The conference was part of Hindu culture finally finding its voice. The value of Dharma is important as a philosophy aligned with 21st century pluralistic society, and the basis of the far reaching contributions of Hindu culture in science and technology.”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar provided insights on how the principles of Dharma can help develop a conflict free society, while Dr. David Frawley, the winner of Government of India’s prestigious Padma Bhusan Award said that yoga was a gift of the ancient Hindu sages and should not be cut-off from its roots and holistic benefits.
“Who’s Who of Hindus converged on Edison, New Jersey from across the U.S. and far corners of the world to impart their knowledge and wisdom to mark the 25th year anniversary,” said HSC Chairman and Conference Chair Nikunj Trivedi.
2014 Field Medalist Dr. Manjul Bhargava along with University of Notre Dame physicist Dr. GNR Tripathi, computer scientist and Indology researcher Dr. Subhash Kak and New York professor Alok Kumar, discussed the need to recognize the significant contributions of ancient Hindus in the field of science and mathematics. Dr. Bhargava, a Princeton University mathematics professor, explained why the number system ought to be renamed the “Hindu Number System” rather than “Arabic Number System,” among other things.
On a panel on women’s empowerment, a female monk, a female yogi and a female professor challenged western feminism, which often does not take into account transnational and spiritual concerns, and proposed ways in which females can find strength in understandings of gender found within the Indic traditions. Another panel on Human Rights spoke passionately about the persecution of Hindus around the world and implored the global community to take action to protect the rights of Hindus where they are minorities and are denied religious freedom.
An inter-faith panel, moderated by noted public intellectual and writer Rajiv Malhotra, discussed a framework for a pluralistic world order. It included Rabbi Justus N. Baird, Dean of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, Pastor David Davis of the Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, Buddhist monk Venerable Bhante Kondanna, Jain monk Venerable Amrinder Muni, noted Sikh speaker Ratanjit Sondhe and Hindu leader Dr. Mahesh Mehta.
“What you see here is youth taking charge of Dharma and moving it forward in a bold and holistic way”, remarked Ravindra Jaishankar, HSC President and Conference Program Chair. “The conference, while epic in its scale, also marks a new beginning for the American Hindu youth and their engagement with the community and the greater society.”
The Hindu Students Council hopes that future conferences produce an even greater impact regarding Dharma’s potential to guide and support a sustainable society throughout the world. www.DharmaConference.com