Large GTA contingent at Detroit Hindu event

More than 300 participants from 113 temples across North America attended the 3rd Hindu Mandir Executive Conference held at Romulus in Detroit, Michigan, Sept. 26-28, 2008.The conference, which was organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, sought to further develop and strengthen networking among the executives of all Hindu mandirs of North America. It also highlighted activities of the Hindu Sabha school and its various operations.The event attracted representation from many of the GTA-based Hindu temples. The Hindu Sabha Mandir in Brampton was represented at the conference by Mahendra Gupta, Ajit Pahwa and Sat Malik.Other prominent GTA-based community members in attendance included Dr. Budhendra Doobay of the Vishnu Mandir in Richmond Hill, Roopnauth Sharma from Mississauga Ram Mandir, Anil Goyal from Vaishno Devi Mandir in Oakville, Naveen Tiwari from Datta Yoga Centre, and Dwarka Prasad from Guelph.Participants acknowledged the growth of the Hindu dharma in North America depends to the extent of the youths' involvement in temples.Some the workshops held alongside the conference included Securing a Site for Ash Immersion in Canada, Role of Temples in Positioning and Strengthening Hindu Dharma, Sustaining Hindu Dharma, Endowment Act and Hindu Mandirs, Health Shared Pool, and Antyeshti Sanskar publications.Navratri celebrationsMeanwhile temples through the GTA are gearing up for Navratri celebrations, conducted across nine nights.Both the Mississauga Ram Mandir and the Hindu Sabha, Brampton's biggest temple for the Hindu community, are gearing up to greet the crowds that traditionally converge on the temple for the festive celebrations.Hindu Sabha is also preparing for a jagran (night vigil) Saturday, Oct. 4, with the celebrations to include the ritual burning of a 60-foot effigy to signify the victory of good over evil.Navaratri is celebrated in different ways throughout India. In North India, Navratri is celebrated with much fervor by fasting on all nine days and worshipping the Goddess Parvati in her different forms, including Goddess Durga, with Durga Pooja being among the biggest festivals in West Bengal.In the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Navratri is celebrated by setting up of Golu or Bombegalu (dolls). It is believed that this was a means to invite people home to celebrate the festivities with them.In Karanataka, particularly Mysore, the enacting of destruction of evil (Ravana destroyed by Rama) is displayed with the lighting of dolls representing Ravana and the forces of evil.