In celebration of its rich cultural diversity in Guyana, the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) of Guyana, a non profit voluntary organization with affiliation to one of the largest voluntary Hindu-based International organisations, will be hosting a series of activities aimed at creating awareness on the dynamic Hindu culture.
One of the main activities is the hosting of a pictorial exhibition at the National Library commencing from tomorrow (September 17) to Sunday, September 21, from 09:00 hrs to 17:00 hrs daily.
The aim of this activity is to highlight the evolution of Hindu civilization with emphasis on cultural and architectural art forms including music, dance, art and temples, science, mathematics among others contributing to almost every imaginable field of human endeavor.
There is also an invitation for persons to participate in the grand opening of the pictorial exhibition which commences at 17:00 hrs tomorrow at the National Library.
The programme will be opened with brief remarks by Swami Aksharananda, followed by the History of the Exhibition and countries where it was held, and a demonstration of Vedic mathematics by other volunteers of the HSS.
The feature address will be delivered by the renowned Shri Mohan Ji, General Secretary of the Rashriya Swayamsevak Sangh, also known as the Sangh or the RSS, which is a Hindu nationalist organization in India with the largest number of volunteers worldwide.
The general philosophical outlook of RSS is cultural nationalism known as integral humanism, aimed at revitalizing the spiritual and moral traditions of India.
Apart from the pictorial exhibition, the HSS will be hosting Hindu Unity Day on Sunday, September 21, 2008 commencing at 13:00 hrs at the Saraswati Vidya Niketan, Cornelia Ida, West Coast Demerara. According to the organisers, the HSS, the primary aim of the activity is to strengthen unity among all Hindus and other stakeholders.
Hinduism or Hindu Dharma is a righteous way of life based on accumulated wisdom of great sages, Vedas, Upanishads and Agamas. Various basic concepts like Dharma, Karma, Ahimsa, Rebirth, Moksha (Nirvana) are inherited by various Dharmic traditions like Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism from Hinduism.
Hindus believe in cyclic time including eternal cycle of manifestation and dissolution of the Universe. Hindus believe that God is both immanent and transcendent. Hindu Dharma gives freedom to perceive and approach God in different ways.
Scriptures: Hinduism is not based on a single book, rather Hindus have various scriptures like Vedas, Upanishads, Agamas, Puranas, Itihasas (epics), Geeta, Revelations and messages of Gurus, Smritis, Darshanas and many others. Being an eternal living tradition, new scriptures are continuously added.
Architecture: Many amazing monuments built thousands of years ago are unique exhibits of Hindu architecture, giving imprints of Hindu heritage. Architecture includes ancient town planning, citadels, rock cut temples like Ajanta, Elephanta Caves, Mahabalipuram, and temples built in various styles like Dravida, Veresa etc.
All the styles, however, are based on the Hindu scripture on architecture called Vastu Shastra.
Temples: Hindu temples are believed as earthly seats of gods where Hindus worship gods through icons or deities. Artistically created Hindu temples are centres of religious, cultural and social events.
In the last few thousand years, various Hindu dynasties built wonderful temples. Pilgrimage to these temples has been part of Hindu life. With these sacred places, Indian subcontinent is considered as the sacred land of Dharmic traditions. Hindus built temples wherever they went, including America where more than 400 temples were built.
Nature and Service: Hindus believe divinity is in everyone. Hindu dharma preaches happiness to all beings and peace at various levels. Hindus practice coexistence with ecology. Based on such ideals, Hindus are nature lovers and consider service to humanity as equivalent to service to God.
Yoga and Ayurveda: Yoga and Ayurveda (medical science of life) are two unique contributions of Hindus to the world. Both have their roots in Vedas. Meditation and Asanas (postures), both part of Raja Yoga, have become very beneficial in maintaining a good health in modern life. Modern days’ rhinoplasty is known as Indian rhinoplasty for its root in an ancient sage Sushruta’s technique from Ayurveda.
Art: Various Indian dances are expression of devotion. Most of the times, such dances and music are based on religious themes and content. Music in particular is rooted in Samaveda while performing arts are detailed in ‘Natya Shashtra’ by Sage Bharata.
Festivals: Most of the festivals are religious, celebration of seasons, historical events including birthdays of forms of God, Gurus and historically important personalities.
Hindu Influence: Hindus shared their cultural heritage with neighbours of India. For more than a thousand years, from around 200 CE to 1400-1500 CE, various dynasties that originated from India had established kingdoms in various nations in far East Asia.
Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Padmanabhan temple and Boradubur temple in Central Indonesia are few examples of them. In the colonized world of British Empire, some Hindus were migrated as labourers to places like Caribbean islands, Fiji and Africa where they maintained their culture, contributed locally and established themselves.
Ancient knowledge and contributions in Mathematics, Science and Technology: From ancient times, Hindu culture is conducive to development of various scientific fields. Hindus made significant progress in astronomy and had substantial contributions in mathematics (from zero, decimal system, various concepts in trigonometry, and even calculus). Hindus developed and used knowledge in chemistry and metallurgy.
An iron pillar unrusted for more than 1400 years shows their prowess in metallurgy. Indian maritime has a long history and the mariner’s compass is said to be based on an ancient Hindu technique.
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