Sacramento Brahmans Celebrate India Day at a Picnic



(Written By Abhaya N Maharaj- The Founding Chapter President)  

To see the photos of this event please click below:

Sacramento picnic photos

The BSNA Sacramento Chapter Brahmans gathered at a picnic at Elk Grove Park on Monday, September 6th, 2010, to celebrate sixty third year of India’s independence from the British. The following is a summary of what transpired at the picnic:

1.       Shri Madan Lal Sharma, the Vice-President of Sacramento Chapter warmly welcomed over 120 plus attendees on behalf of the Chapter President Shri Manohar Ratti.  Many of the attendees were new and had gathered at the lakeside setting, and the gushing fountains of the beautiful Elk Grove Public Park to mark the end of summer and to celebrate the 63rd year of India ’s freedom from the shackles of the British Raj.

2.       The occasion was very special because a very distinguished guest, Shri Nirmal Choubey, the founder of BSNA, and its first elected president, graced the occasion. He was also here in the capacity of the founding president of the World Brahman Federation (WBF), an organization that was founded by the BSNA at the Valley Forge , Pennsylvania , in the year 2000 as an umbrella organization to help Brahman organizations address some of their challenges on a global basis. The first World Brahman Convention sponsored by the BSNA was held at the Radisson Hotel in Valley Forge , PA. Several overseas organizations; from several states of India, Nepal, United Kingdom and other places were represented in large numbers to inaugurate the first World Brahman Convention .

          Mr. Madan Lal Sharma welcomed and introduced Shri Choubeyji to the members and requested him to speak to them. Sharmaji provided the historical perspective and the unbreakable bond that exists between the two organizations. He invited the audience to join the WBF and become part of the international Brahman community that is well rooted in the North America .  Shri Choubeyji outlined how Sacramento Chapter was founded at the residence of Shri Abhaya Nand Maharaj in 1997 and how the Chapter grew into one of the most successful Chapters so quickly. So much so, to his admiration that the Sacramento Chapter hosted a world class convention in 1999, even though at the time it was the newest Chapter among some 25 Chapters nationwide. He went on to describe the work he is currently involved in the WBF, which is mainly to solidify the gains made in the last ten years and then expand further.  The return of the BSNA to its rightful place within WBF is at the top of his agenda, now that the BSNA has withdrawn its membership from the WBO, a defunct organization.  Shri Choubeyji emphasized that some of us who were active ten years ago are no longer young anymore and soon the younger generation will have to take the leadership role of running both the BSNA and the WBF. He expressed hope that the younger generation will co-operate and will be ready to take the helms so that we can retire peacefully. He thanked everyone for inviting him and how happy he was to be there to meet many familiar faces and also meet many new families. He wished everyone an enjoyable time at the picnic.

3.       Sharmaji then introduced Swami Vanvari Lal Maharaj, a well-known musician, who was visiting from Vrindavan; India . Swamiji reminded all those present the importance of Brahmans to the community. He emphasized that for Hinduism to flourish it was necessary for the Hindu community to honor three things, namely, Brahmans, the Tulsi plant and the care and preservation of the Gau Mataa. He asked Brahmans to work for the benefit of the community at large.

4.       Shri Abhaya N. Maharaj requested Swami Vanvari Maharajji to present an award on behalf of Sacramento Chapter to one of our founding members, Dr. Tej N. Pandey, who was also invited to grace the occasion, for his exemplary service to the community in various capacities at the Chapter and also at the Corporate level since the founding of the Chapter.  Both Pandeyji and his wife, Raginiji, thanked the members profusely for the surprise recognition of their service to the community.

5.       Shri Madan Lal Sharma objected to the BSNA corporate plan to hold a regional convention in Las Vegas to which non-Brahmans and non-members were invited. He emphasized that the casinos do not provide a suitable venue for us to impart our values to our children. He stressed that BSNA was founded for Brahman families.  He vociferously objected to the idea of allowing non-Brahmans, non-members to participate in Brahman functions. The idea of organizing a convention at a casino in Las Vegas was reprehensible and will not be tolerated. The members unanimously agreed to his objections.

6.       Pundit Om Sharma led the recital of prayers for the welfare of Our Motherland and all of mankind. He explained the importance of Brahmans to the community, and then began the recital of India ’s National Anthem followed by the songs that imbibed the glory of India . Everyone, young and old, and those in between, enthusiastically joined in. It was indeed so awesome to hear the members, particularly the ladies, sing so well. It definitely evoked true feelings of love of the Matribhoomi in every heart. It is regretted that we did not have enough time to continue singing a little longer. Concluding this segment, Shri Abhaya N. Maharaj outlined some of the remarkable achievements of Hindu majority of secular India in such a short span of democracy, and how much India has to offer to this world compared to that of Pakistan , a country that was carved out of India in 1947.  A poverty stricken country that was considered the world basket case is now the world’s fourth largest economy.  There was a message for the young not to abandon India no matter how distant it seemed to them.

7.       Everyone was treated with snacks, soft drinks, fruit salad and a sumptuous hot lunch that was cooked on site. The lunch was truly delicious. Children participated in various sports activities that strengthened their bond with fellow Brahmans. Raffle tickets were distributed to each family. Each family won a prize that was loaded with gifts that will be valuable to every household.

8.       The Chapter President, Shri Manohar Ratti, thanked everyone who had worked to make this program a grand success, particularly to Shri Vinod K. Sharmaji for organizing this function, almost single-handedly. He was grateful to Shri Kamal Rattiji, Shri Harish Raiji, Shri Madan Lal Sharmaji, Shri Baldev Sharmaji, Ms. Seema Ratti, Pt. Om Sharma and Shri Abhaya N. Maharaj for their help, as well as, everyone else who had taken time out to attend the picnic on a long weekend. He was very thankful to Shri Choubeyji and to Swamiji for their attendance and for words of encouragement to our Chapter. Our treasurer, Shri Baldev Sharmaji seconded and thanked the President Shri Manohar Ratti for his help and guidance in making all this possible.

Thanks to everyone else who we may have missed inadvertently for their part in helping this picnic succeed. Special thanks to all those respected Brahman families who participated and made the day so enjoyable. The picnic was a grand success indeed. Without your presence and participation it wouldn’t have happened. The organizers are very thankful to the membership for their co-operation.

If you have any suggestions please contact the general Secretary, Shri Vinod Sharma, for implementation next time. Your input is essential and is expected. Already the organizing board has begun planning the next event.

Acknowledgements: The editor is indebted to Dr.Tej Narayan Pandey for graciously furnishing pictures of the picnic. Also, to Ms. Seema Ratti for being the expert photographer.