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Hindu Legacy Through The Generations

Jaya Asthana

These days many Hindu families are concerned about passing on the Hindu values and traditions to the next generation. To address these concerns, Hindu Women’s Network (HWN) National team held an online Conference and Panel Discussion on Saturday October 29th, 2022, to celebrate Hindu Heritage Month. Every year Hindu Heritage Month is celebrated in October to promote unity, educate others about our rich Hindu heritage and to discuss issues of concern.

The theme of HWN Conference was “Hindu Legacy Through the Generations”. The event was well attended by over 100+ online viewers.

Jaya Asthana, a core team member, welcomed the audience and introduced the emcee for the day, Krutika Vyas. Krutika introduced HWN and its mission – Seva, Shakti and Sadhana. She talked about the goal of HWN, which is to form a vibrant network of Hindu women to promote communication and collaboration at local, national, and international levels.

The audience was treated to a beautiful bhajan sung by mother daughter duo - Shrimati Bhagyajyothi Arun and her daughter Kumari Vibha Arun. Dressed in color coordinated outfits and in perfect unison, they enthralled the audience with their beautiful rendering of a Ganesh stuti.

Toral Mehta was the moderator of the conference. Toral has been an active and selfless sevak in both her Indian and local community. She is currently the Joint General Secretary of VHP of America. She talked about the theme of the event and set the tone for the discussions. But before that, the audience was treated to the Keynote speaker, Didi Maa Sadhvi Ritambhara Ji.

Pujya Didi Maa inspired the viewers by her wisdom and clarity of thought. She talked about the Hindu family’s sustaining principal (Sutra) of living for loved ones and not for fulfilment of one’s own aspirations. From very young age the child in the family is introduced to a Divine Presence and taught to accept that authority at all the times. The first manifestation of that power is seen in Mother and Father. Parents are the child’s first Guru, and they teach values through example, not preaching. The child carries that Sanskar (value) with him for life. The Joint family provides moral support to its members during emotional stress. Everyone in the family has multiple roles to play, but the Mother sustains the family.

Toral then introduced the three multi-Generational families, the Patel Family from New York State, Upadhyay family from Illinois and Dave family from Indiana. Four generations were represented in all families, with the third generation being chosen by all families to be the spokesperson. Toral led them through a series of question-and-answer sessions which brought out their family values and its effects on the younger members of the families.

The Patel family’s spokesperson, Sonal Patel, first introduced all four generations of her family and shared why they decided to stay together. She talked about the values of their family, her own upbringing, how she imbibed the values of her family and how she is passing on those values to her children. The Upadhyay family’s spokesperson was Sheetal. She had a similar experience growing up and shared some ways in which she saw the same teachings reflected in the next generation. Keya Dave, the Dave family spokesperson, shared the value of our culture and how they maintain closeness even while living apart.

All three families described the benefits that they have experienced – in growth, support, and commitment to each other. They shared how far they think they have succeeded in maintaining cohesiveness within their families. They also spoke openly about conflict resolutions within the family, and how important it is to resolve them as they arise, to maintain harmony.

All three families spoke about the importance of communication. Respect one another, be happy in others’ successes. A common theme running through all three families’ discussions was respect for each other and passing on whatever one has learned through example.

Some golden nuggets from the discussion:

“Children want to know why? Answer the “Why”. Teach whatever you know.”

“Have a few regular rituals. We do Aarti in our house every day.”

“Instill confidence and pride in your identity.”

“Resolve conflicts through spirituality. With spirituality in the center of our lives, we can overcome anything.”

Some comments from the audience:

“So inspiring. I learned a lot from this discussion.”

“I will apply some of these techniques when teaching my grandchildren.”

“It is good to see the third generation not just carry on but also pass on their traditions to the next generation.”

“A must watch for all second and third generation families.”

The discussion was followed by a lively question and answer session, led by Shobha Patel.

The session ended with a Vote of Thanks by Neelam Jaiswal.

The Hindu Women’s Network seeks to inspire every woman to strengthen her own family and society to achieve harmony through emotional, spiritual and financial well-being. Its goal is to form a dynamic and vibrant national network of Hindu women living in America, to foster communication and collaboration locally and nationally in the service of the society, by sharing their skills, talents and age-old wisdom.

In case you missed the event and would like to watch it, please follow the link of the recording: https://youtu.be/g0xnhs1YNPQ

To obtain more information about this initiative, please visit www.HWNUSA.org




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