‘Indian civilization mother of many in world’

David Frawley
David Frawley

Himani Sanagaaram

CHICAGO: Padmabhushan David Frawley says that almost all European civilizations came from India and South East Asia was also part of Indian civilization.

Talking to this correspondent, Frawley observed that the reality is that India has been the dominant civilization in the world spiritually and culturally.India has preserved and conserved the science of consciousness and no one can deny that. We need a higher awakening of ancient traditions and resurrecting visions, he added.

Frawley had attended the World Hindu Congress meet here at Lombard last month and was an active participant in the panel discussion on Western Academic Challenge that was chaired by Prof Arvind Sharma. It had stalwart panelists with a very good turnout.

“The literary interpretations you’re getting from the West are totally wrong,” David Frawley or Vamadev Shastri, said. “The reality is that India has been the dominant civilization in the world spiritually and culturally.”

You cannot claim to be a Bharatiya intellectual if you don’t know at least the basics of Vedanta,” Frawley said. “Hindus are the only civilization united today after 5000 years. Nehru in his Discovery of India did not even get into India,” he said.

In response to a question if the WHC 2018 had succeeded, he said that “overall I felt the WHC went very well with many good speakers in a variety of forums and discussions. The range of topics was perhaps unique in Hindu conferences in the USA and covered all the main pressing social and cultural issues. The audience size and participation was notable, and the event was well organized.

“I spoke at the Educational Conference. We emphasized that there are many distortions of Hindu Dharma in textbooks and educational programs in the West, largely because there are very few Hindu voices present or contemporary Hindu leaders studied or examined, while detractors of Hinduism largely create the agenda,” he said.

“What is lacking for Hinduism in America is more such conferences and events, and making a stronger presence at a media level by highlighting the Hindu community and its traditions, at a political level by voting, and at a financial level by funding pro-Hindu institutions. There needs to be a more engaging Hindu intellectual voice overall so that discussions are balanced,” Frawley added.

“It was sad to see intolerance displayed towards the conference by some outside groups, though Hindus have been a peaceful and supportive group in the USA, one of the best immigrant communities, not causing trouble to anyone,” he remarked.

Only time will tell if this has been but a bubble, but the WHC-2018 was very well-organized, kudos to Swami Vigyananda, the session leaders and all other organizers. It will galvanize many participants into taking the already-functioning or newly-presented projects forward, Indologist and writer Koenraad Elst said on Twitter.

“WHC was a total success. We need to do more of this,” Benny Tillman, also known as Shri Balabhadra Das, after he joined the Hare Krishna movement in 1972. “We can’t wait four more years till the next WHC. There should be more cultural events throughout the year, where they need to appreciate Vedic philosophy.

Tillman attended the Hindu Organizational Temples Association conference titled, “Global Hindus Making Global Impact.” He is the president of Vedic Friends Association.

Tillman, who lives in Georgia studied at the Hare Krishna Temple in Georgia and met a Ghanian man who had converted to Hinduism.”He wants to work with me to bring back our culture,” Das said.”Hindus need to go into the public and share our culture so it becomes attractive,” he said.

Tillman turned to Hinduism at 12 years of age when he could not find answers in his own Christian religion. He also used Bhagvad Gita to educate and train gang members in Atlanta, who wanted to become businessmen.
He owns a record production company with his son.” We’re looking for a Hindu rap star, who can sing about Hindu culture. There is no Hindu star on the music charts. We need to show it through music, dress, culture and art

“We (Hindu) community need to be seen as a caring community. Young people need to study the Hindu culture extensively, but we have to present it and show them the benefits or “What’s in it for me?”

“It’s time for Hindus to get together. They need to get united and work together,” said Vedic expert Stephen Knapp. Most western conferences have an action plan, I hope WHC 2018 has one,” he said,

“Hindu youth are not being educated about their culture in the right way. Westerners are taking interest in Yoga and Indian culture in an interesting way,” Knapp, who is the chairman of the board at the Hare Krishna Temple in Detroit, said.

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