Chief priest of the Hindu Jain Temple welcomes the swamis from Hawaii and all the priests from around the US

First-ever Hindu Mandir Priests Conference

PITTSUBURG: Over 32 Pandits and 40 adult and youth delegates representing more than 20 Hindu Temple and Hindu organizations, from across the county, participated in the First annual Hindu Pandits’ (Priest) Conference from April 27 through 28 in Pittsburgh, PA.
It was the First Hindu Mandir Priests Conferecne (HMPC) hosted by The Hindu Jain Temple (HJT) & Sri Venkateswara Temple (SVT), Pittsburgh PA and organized by World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) and Hindu institutions.
Delegates ranged in ages from teenagers to those in their seventies and came from a variety of ethnic and career backgrounds. The theme of the conference was ‘Role of Pandits in Sustaining Dharma in America’.
The objective of the HMPC is sustainability and advancement of Sanatan Dharma by making the modes of worship meaningful and relevant for the younger generation of Hindus. The conference provided an opening for better understanding between the Hindu Pandits in North America and Hindu devotees in terms of mutual support and empowerment.
The conference began with group-chanting of Ganesh Atharvashirsha by all the Pandits. Krishna Sharma, Chairperson of HJT and GG Hegde, Chairperson of SVT welcomed the delegates.
In his keynote address Pandit Roopnauth Sharma of Canada said, “The mandir belongs to the devotees, who come to the mandir.”
In keeping with the age-old Hindu tradition, he proposed to honor the Pandit, a key figure in the sustaining of spiritual and cultural element of Hindu society and providing the infrastructure and opportunities for personal development and growth within the organization and community.
He stressed the role of the Pandit as a performer of religious functions, as a teacher/counselor, as a mandir executive and as a leader.