Summary of activities at the World Brahman Federation Convention 2K6

Submitted by Bharat Bhargava

Dates of the Convention: July 7, 8 and 9, 2006

Place: Crown Plaza, Monroe, New Jersey  

 

Summary: Overall it was a very successful convention that bridged all linguistic and regional differences. It was attended by about 200 people ranging in age from a few months to several decades. There were lively discussions, exhilarating cultural programs, excellent speeches, and a touching exhibition on Kashmir. The audience gave standing ovation to Dr. Yegnasubramaniun who inaugurated the convention and Mr. Nirmal Choubey, the Founder President of the WBF.  

  1. The convention started on July 7, 2006 at 12:00 noon with lunch served to the early registrants attending on July 7, 2006 for the organizational meetings.
 
  1. The first Organizational Meeting started at 1:00 PM . The session was chaired by Mr. Sanjay Tripathi and Mr. Nirmal Choubey. Several interesting ideas given below were presented by the attendees.

·        Role of Brahmans in the Modern World ( Ravi Chandra Shekher)

·        Using word “sanskars” instead of rituals ( Vinod Tewary, Shekher Shastri)

·        Pick up few high impact Initiatives and successfully complete them (Manoranjan Misra)

·        Do some marketing & publicity for WBF and WBF Initiatives (Anita Dubey) 

·        Role of WBF (Nirmal Choubey )

o       Unite Brahmans across regions/languages/countries

o       Building sankars among our upcoming generations

o       Take up issues of interest to Brahmans and identify / prioritize “Initiatives”

o       Hold Conventions to bring Brahmans together. The theme of the present convention is “Sanatan Dharma in present millennium”.

o       Some Initiatives being pursued:

§         Plight of Kashmiri brahmans

§         Priest status improvement 

§         Educational Initiative

§         Anti-Reservation initiative

§         Matrimonial Facilitation initiative

§         Convention initiative

§         Organizational initiative

§         Government and Media relations and publicity

o       Formation of WBF, Canada and Nirmal Choubey introduced Azad Kaushik and Archana Kaushik from Canada . Also, introduced Digamber Parkhi, Chandra Shekher Parkhi and Alaknanda Parkhi from Canada . The Parkhis were representing Maharashtrian brahmans

 

·        Real wealth is our Sanskriti / culture. We should maintain and advance it should impress teaching Sanskrit (Vanita Shastri).

·        It was also agreed that a Book of “Brahmanic Values and Sankriti” should be produced. Vinod Tewary, Vanita and Shekher Shastri to work on this. Others who would like to contribute may contact Vinod Tewary

·        Mr. Rajesh Shukla suggested a list of Issues and Action Items. The list generated very interesting discussions on what is the purpose to form WBF, what we want to achieve, what are the issues we are facing. What are the political, social, economical issues and to have Action Plans.

·        M G Prasad discussed the plight of the priests and suggested establishment of a fund. Also was discussed the training required for priests for them to function effectively in North America

·        The Organizational meetings adjourned at 6:00 PM with thanks to all the participants.

 

  1. Kavi Sammelan organized by Anoop Bhargava was a grand success. Anubhav Shukla presented his several interesting and humorous Hindi poetry. He was clearly the star of the Convention. Others presenters were Vinod Tewary, Ramanath Sharma, Anoop and  Rajni Bhargava. A Kavi Sammelan was also organized on July 8th and was very much enjoyed.

 

  1. An excellent exhibition on “Plight of Kashmiri Brahmans”, was organized by Rabinder Koul, Rajni Koul, Aditya Koul and Sanjay Koul. The plight of Kashmiri brahmans touched the peoples heart and the reality faced by them. These people have been dislocated from their own homeland for over 18 years. They have been suffering for over 18 years and no effort is being made by the Indian Government to resolve this issue. It touched some peoples pocket as well and Chandra Dwivedi and Shivaji Pathak each have promised to give $ 500. for this cause.

 

  1. The Convention opened with Registration ( Swami Nandan Ojha), and a formal Welcome by Sanjay Tripathi and Nirmal Choubey.

 

  1. The convention was formally inaugurated by Dr. Yegnasubramaniun. This session was chaired by Umesh Jois, which started by chanting Veda Mantra by Dr. Yegnasubhramaniun and his students. Umesh Jois introduced Dr. Yegnasubramaniun Srinivasa who gave an excellent talk on “Rescuing and helping Brahman Priests”. He explained in details the very special skills and the hard work required in training of a Brahman priest. The audience was so moved by his intense talk that they gave a standing ovation to Dr. Yegnasubramaniun at the end of the talk.

 

  1. The session Sanatan Dharma , past, present and future (youth perspective) was chaired by Ravi Chandra Shekher. Speakers were Jaldhar Vyas and Saroja Hansoge. Jaldhar Vyas stressed on the spiritual aspect of dharma, while Saroja impressed on the practical application in daily lives. She favored simplification. In this aspect, it is important to remember, that Bhagvad Geeta, although is a highest spiritual discourse spoken by Lord Krishna for Arjun was to follow and deal with the practical situation in Dharamshetra Kurukshetra. Lack of this practical viewpoint and understanding has hurt us brahmans and Hinduism extensively in the past.

 

  1. The Inspirational Keynote address was co-chaired by Anita Dubey and Vanita Shastri and included Prayer & Dance recitals by Arpita Gorur, Meghna Simha and speeches by Mr. Ramanath Sharma and MG Prasad. The dance recitals were excellent and the talks were very much enjoyed and threw light on our past, present and future. 

 

  1. The Plenary session chaired by Ravi Chandra Shekher included speech by Balaji Hebber, who spoke on the different aspects and philosophies of Hindu religion. The talk was very informative and was enjoyed very much by the convention attendees.

 

  1. The session Sanatan Dharma, past, present and future chaired by Saroja Hansoge with talks by Krishnamurthy Ramakrishna, Umesh Jois and Shekhar Shastri. The talks explained Hinduism and some of the threats being faced by our Hindu religion and stressed that we need to be careful to understand who the opposition players are. There is a constant threat of conversion, misguidance from some other religions and we should be prepared to identify them and face them.

 

  1. The session “Challenges we face” chaired by Rajesh Shukla was very interesting and had very strong opinions. The panelists were Rabinder Koul, Surendra Tiwari, Sailesh Mishra and Aswath Hansoge. Our Brahman community, today, is being discriminated, reservation quotas are being created to prevent the best, the priests are suffering, the temples are not being cared for, the Sankrit language is not being taught and is being ignored, the values we should hold and which are the basis of our Hindu religion are being threatened. We need to unify and deal with them very effectively.

 

  1. The session on Health & Fitness chaired by Anil Dubey and speakers Yellespur Jayaram and Ravi Chandra Shekhar emphasized on health issues. Health is even more important than the wealth and we need to care of ourselves. Many of the attendees are above 50 years and proper care of health is essential.

 

  1. The General Discussion session chaired by Vinod Tewary enabled participants to share their thoughts. It is felt that for lot of those of who have been brought up in this Country some simplification in following and understanding our Hindu religion could be helpful. Also, practical application aspects should be considered besides the spiritual aspects.

 

  1.  The session Corporate Ladder was chaired by Sanjay Tripathi. The speaker  was Ranjana Pathak. She made an excellent  presentation and explained some of the challenges that are faced in the American corporations by brahmans and other Hindus as they attain senior positions. Ranjana Pathak has recently been given a special award in her Company and has successfully risen to the position of Vice President.

 

  1. The session on Learning Sanskrit class given by Shekhar Shastri was very much enjoyed by the participants. It was an interesting learning session. The attendees spoke simple Sanskrit sentences for the duration of the class (40 minutes).

 

  1. The Poster session was chaired by Rajni Bhargava. It included presentations and performances from our young folks. Participants were Kanupriya Bhargava, Ashish Pandya (karate), Lopesh Ojha(dance) and Shelly Misra (Life of Goswami Tulsidas). Several of these young folks have contributed articles in Bramhodaya

 

  1. A workshop session for High school children was chaired by Vanita Shastri and Anita Dubey.

 

  1. A workshop for pre-school and Junior high was chaired by Sandhya Dwivedi and Sharad Tewary 

 

  1. Vishishtha session was chaired by Sanjay Tripathi and Tripti Pandey.

 

·        The first  part chaired by Tripti Pandey was very interesting and included dances by Mallika Jois and Ranjana Pathak and very nice bhajans by Asha Janardan and Gaytri Suswaran. The bhajan “Bhaj Govindam” was very much enjoyed. Dances by Ranjana Pathak and Mallika Jois were excellent.

 

·        The second part included speeches by WBF President Nirmal Choubey and Inspirational Keynote speech by Ashok Trivedi. The Presidentail speech was given by Mr. Nirmal Choubey. He briefly described the initiatives which included support for Kashmiri Brahmans, uplifting standards for priests, anti quota-reservations in institutions etc. We all in WBF must support and work hard on these initiatives. This is only possible when we unite and work hard together. Mr. Choubey's speech reflected his strong passion and commitment for the Brahman cause. The audience responded by giving him a standing ovation. 

 

·     The Key-note address by Ashok Trivedi was very inspirational. Ashok  Trivedi  shared how he was able to start a Company “Igate solutions” and was able to make it a fastest growing Company. We could not have had a better inspirational talk on “Entrepreneurship and Business Development”.

 

  1. A paath from Ramcharit Manas was organized by Anita Dube and Sharad Tewary on Sunday morning starting at 7:00 AM , which was followed by Arti and prasadam. This was attended by several Ramcharit Manas premi. 

 

  1. Rama Nath Sharma gave a tribute to Bhaw Dutt Shukla who died last year. A two minute silence was observed to honor him. Bhaw Dutt ji contributed extensively to the formation of WBF.

 

  1. The session Our Identity was chaired by Chandra Mohan Dwivedi and the speakers were Sailesh Mishra, Vanita Shastri, Umesh Jois and MG Prasad. Sailesh Mishra suggested having a “Brahman Divas” and discussed possible days. The WBF will take this suggestion work with other organizations. Vanita Shastri explained how the Universities and Colleges are combining the Study of Hindu religions with south-east Asian studies and causing it to be totally misrepresented and teaching other languages and religion beliefs under the guise of Hindu religion. Umesh Jois presented information on Omkar Foundation and MG Prasad presented different aspects of Hindu religions. In overall, the session was  very enlightening and was very much appreciated.

 

  1. The session on Youth Assessment was very interesting and gave the opportunity to youth to speak and present the youth viewpoint. Participants were Ajay Kaushik, Ved Shastri, Mrinal Shukla and Aditya Koul. The session was chaired by Ajay Malaviya. The WBF needs to do more to attract our youth in general in WBF and in the future Conventions.

 

  1.  Azad Kaushik, President WBF Canada shared their plan for advancing WBF activities in Canada . He expressed his appreciation for the activities in WBF USA and his impressions of the Convention. WBF also expressed appreciation for WBF Canada and participation of Digamber Parikhi, Chandra Shekher Parikhi and Alaknanda Parkhi from Canada for attending and contributing to this Convention.

 

  1. The President address was given by Nirmal Choubey and Treasures reports were presented. The Convention is still in red and needs contributions from the members.

 

  1. The Convention publication “Bramhodaya” was distributed to the Convention registrants  with the registration. This was edited by Anoop Bhargava, Ramanath Sharma, Sailesh Mishra. The “Eko’hum”, has been edited by Vinod Tewary. Thanks to the editors, the editorial board and the authors who submitted the articles. Thanks also to contributors who have advertised in the Brahmodaya.

 

  1. The Association of Sanketi Brahmans has supported the WBF activities and this convention. Thanks for their support.

 

  1. Support from individuals such as Digamber Parkhi, Chandra Shekhar Parkhi, Girish Shelat, Nanoranjan Misra,  Abhaya Maharaj, Alok Dwivedi is very much appreciated.

 

  1. The support for Audio-Visuals was provided by Umesh Jois and Vivek. The system worked well and their support is appreciated.

 

  1. Undoubtedly, a convention arranged at such short notice (four-six months), arranging a good relaxing hotel, good food, nice and entertaining programs is not an easy task. The Convention attendees appeared to be very happy with all these arrangements. Thanks to the New Jersey Team.  Following people deserve our thanks and appreciation for the work well done:

 

Mr. & Mrs. Nirmal Choubey – President WBF.

Mr. & Mrs. Sanjay Tripathi – Convention President 

Mr. & Mrs. Swami Nandan Ojha – General Secretary

Mrs. Anita Dubey  - cultural Program and activities

Mr. & Mrs. Aswath Hansoge

Mr. Rajesh Shukla

 

  1. The Crowne Plaza Hotel provided good service and thanks to them and their staff.

 

  1. Thanks also to the caterers Mr. Surrinder Singh of Jewel of India for good food and service.

 

Report on the Cultural Program by Neil Dubey