15,000 attended twin Dharma and Yoga Fests

‘Dharma and Yoga fest’ in the San Francisco Bay Area
‘Dharma and Yoga fest’ in the San Francisco Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: In a first of its kind event in the San Francisco Bay-area, over 15,000 people attended the twin Dharma and Yoga Fests at Santa Clara and Pleasanton organized jointly by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Sunnyvale Hindu Temple and Fremont Hindu Temple with the support of over 40 other organizations.

The Dharma and Yoga Fest was a culmination of HSS initiated year-long celebration of Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary, which included Dharma Bee Competition.

Delivering the Keynote address, Saumitra Gokhale, the International coordinator of HSS, highlighted Swami Vivekananda’s message of “Universal Peace through Dharma and Yoga”. At Pleasanton Prof. Ved Nanda of Denver University spoke of relevance of Hindu Spiritual ideas in current discord and conflict.

Tulsi Gabbard, the Guest speaker on the occasion and the Democratic Congresswomen representing Hawaii and who popularly took oath on Bhagwad Gita, spoke of how the teachings of Hinduism and helped her combat tough times in her life.

Consul General of India N. Parthasarathi emphasized the message of Swami Vivekananda of respecting all cultures. He admired the Hindu Community of Bay area coming together to celebrate this grand event.
The Hindu Experience track provided a glimpse of the Hindu values as practiced with unique presentations of four of many fundamentals of Hinduism. Athithi Devo Bhava – guest is God.

Runa – emphasis on one’s debt towards nature, parents and teachers. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the whole world is one family and Vivaah – wedding as per Vedic traditions. Famous American singer MC Yogi and his wife Amanda renewed their wedding vows as per Hindu tradition.

Hindu Theme Park for Children had its own conclave to enjoy games, Bharat Darshan Yatra and Laughing Yoga besides other activities. A unique Hindu Characters parade was held at various times.

Youth fest started with colorful Ganesh procession with traditional attire, bands and synchronized dances. It followed presentations by inspirational speakers. Four young achievers Eesha Khare, Pragathi Guruprasad, Rasika Kumar and Sadhvi Puneeta Bharti were felicitated with the ‘Swami Vivekananda Young Achiever Award’.

Honoring Swami Vivekananda, who first classified Yoga in its present form; Dharma & Yoga Fest had parallel events on Raja, Jnana, Bhakti and Karma Yoga. All the sessions in every track were packed to full capacity.

The pinnacle of the event was evening program which had a unique combination of concert by Hip-Hop Bhajan artists MC Yogi, Jai Uttal, Bhajan Sandhya by Anuradha Paudwal and Krishna Leela by 250+ children representing HSS Bal Gokulam.

The Chairman of Bay Area Dharma Yoga Fest and HSS Bay Area president Chandru Bhambhra thanked the 400+ HSS volunteers, Sunnyvale and Fremont temples and 40 organizations, Sponsors, hundreds of performing children and the audience.

The culmination event began with Dr Romesh Japra from FIA and Fremont temple and Raj Bhanot from Sunnyvale temple welcoming everybody. Dr Japra said, this is a unique event illustrating Hindu Dharma and values not just for Hindus but for everybody.

Raj Bhanot added to this by saying that this event is a manifestation of unity of Hindu community and demonstrating the diversity of our culture.

India Post News Service 

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