Hindu Mandir (Temple) Executives representing 113 Temples and Hindu
Organizations from more than 25 states of US and Canada and Caribbean
converged in Romulus, MI to attend the Third Hindu Mandir Executives
Conference (HMEC), from September 26, 2008 through September 28,
They traveled from as far as British Columbia in Canada, Hawaii,
California, Florida, and the heartland of America, with a mission to
nourish, protect and sustain Hindu Dharma in America.
This very successful HMEC-2008 follows the second HMEC held in
NJ in August 2007 and the first ever such Conference of Executives of
Hindu Mandirs(Temples) held in Atlanta, GA, in June 2006, which were
attended by representatives of 99 and 57 temples respectively from
over North America.
Participation by several large organizations like Art of Living,
Vidya Gurukulam, Arya Samaj, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Chinmaya
Mission, Gayatri Pariwar, ISKON, Sanatan Dharma Mahasabha of
Yogi Divine Society, Kauai’s Hindu Monastery, Jagadguru Kripalu
Parishat, Devotees of Narayani Peetam, Nithyananda Vedic Temples and
many others made HMEC an inspiring experience for the attendees.
The Mandir executives represented a wide cross-section of the Hindu
community. These attendees who numbered over 225, were physicians,
scientists, business persons, homemakers, engineers, etc., besides
being temple executives with deep commitment to fulfilling the
spiritual and social needs of Hindu-American community.
The group was diverse in terms of age, race, generation, as well as
national origin. The conference had some parallel sessions for the
youth representing temples from across the nation. Deven Patel, a 30
something, President of Shri Mandir San Diego, CA, said, ” This
platform will serve the purpose of furthering our cause in preserving
HINDU Dharma for our future generations in USA ” .
In this conference there was a strong participation of youth. The
youth group decided that they will facilitate execution of Seva
(service) activities on a single chosen day to coincide with a
festival such as Holi or Ugadi, across the country. Mandirs will be
involved in these Seva activities vigorously. The range of these
activities could be diverse including soup kitchens, helping
low-income inner city communities, recycling, helping the elderly,
Addressing the temple executives from across the country, Swami
Dayananda Saraswati of the ‘Arsha Vidya Gurukulam’, who was the
keynote speaker, emphasized that the Hindu Mandirs should be halls of
learning for the Hindu youth besides being the altars of worship.
At HMEC 2008, Hindu Mandir executives collectively deliberated on
evolving social, religious, cultural and spiritual needs of 2.5
million strong, confident, diverse and vibrant Hindu-American
community. Deepak Kotecha, author of ‘Hindus Awake’, was inspired and
mentioned that ” Hindu Temples are now rising above their
denominational confines and presenting a unified face of Hinduism to
which the world can look up to, admire and be inspired by’
This conference was marked by the use of many Multimedia
presentations. A multimedia video presentation by Arumuga Swami and
Swami Bodhinatha Veylanswami, of Kauai’s Hindu Monastery.on ‘Indian
History Text Book Supplement #2 ” as a successor to last
year’s ” Indian
History Text Book Supplement #1 ” was one of those. Another
awe-inspiring presentation was made by Mrs. Cathy Wenuk a devotee of
Narayani Peetam of Sripuram Golden Temple fame.
Washington DC finally ran away with the honor to hold the 2009-Hindu
Mandir Executives’ Conference(HMEC), after a tough competition
many cities who were interested in replicating this years’ success
grandeur of 2008-HMEC.
In the concluding session of the Conference, the delegates agreed on
series of Action items which emerged as a consequence of the
deliberations and presentations:
Â· Hindu Seva Diwas: Conduct Seva(service) activities across
the country on a single chosen day
Â· Constitute a panel of experts who can be approached by
upcoming mandirs in USA and Canada. Given the experience of these
experts, they can advise the champions of new upcoming mandirs on
issues pertaining to procurement of materials, law, finance,
procedures, rituals, etc., on an as needed basis.
Â· Developing software and e-services for mandirs so that they
can enhance their operational and community-outreach effectiveness.
Â· Develop appropriate training programs for interested people
(youth and seniors) so that they can effectively educate others about
Hindu dharma in concise and precise terms.
Â· Continue to work with others sister Hindu organizations in
addressing the challenge of misportrayal of Hindu dharma and
civilization in textbooks used in US schools and colleges.
Â· Develop content as it relates to Hindu rites and Saá¹ƒskÄras.
Â· Develop reference manuals for mandirs
Â· Develop and make available, textual-audio-visual materials
for mandirs, which they could easily use to communicate and promote
the ideals of Hindu dharma.
Â· Enhanced communication between Hindu organizations.
The delegates also agreed, and unanimously passed the following
resolutions for consideration of their temple’s boards, in the
concluding session of the Conference
We the delegates of the Hindu-American Mandirs at HMEC strongly
condemn the brutal killing of a revered saint in Orissa, Swami
Laxmananda. We urge the governmental authorities in India
expeditiously bring the culprits to the book and also undertake
requisite steps to ensure that the practice of peaceful Vaidik
traditions in the sacred land of Hindus, continues uninhibited.
We will work as a family to restore and further the dignity of Hindu
We the delegates of the Hindu-American Mandirs at HMEC will help in
all material ways possible to accelerate the restoration process of
Hindu heritage sites world over. In particular, we appreciate and
whole heartedly support Dr. Animesh Sinha efforts in preserving and
restoring the sites of Braj.
, Media Relations