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Hindu Press International

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PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANI, USA, April 27, 2012: The 1st Hindu Mandir priests' Conference 2012 (HMPC 2012) started today in Pittsburgh, USA, and will go on until April 28. The conference objective is sustainability and the advancement of Sanatana Dharma by making the modes of worship meaningful and relevant for the younger generation of Hindus within the United States and Canada. The purohits (priests) play an essential role in the spiritual and cultural welfare of North American Hindu society. The conference will explore ways to make the priests' roles more effective in meeting the ever changing needs of North American Hindus.

Some of the detailed discussions will be around the following: * Connecting with Children and Young Adults * Personal Growth and Continuing Education * Shared responsibilities * Samskaras & Festivals * Worship practices: Beyond rituals * Internships, Sabbaticals, Exchange Programs * Challenges of multiple languages, disparate customs * Managing devotees demands * Environmental Considerations * Employment & Benefits * Hindu Chaplaincy Program It is the hope of the organizers that priests may take several new concepts from this conference and implement in advancing the growth of the respective temples.


INDIA, April 2012 (DNA India): Vidyamrut Varishini Pathshala is a 101-year-old institution in Valsad which offers free education to pundits teaching them Hindu religion and puja rituals. As the number of students has decreased over the years, the school is trying its best to maintain age-old traditions.

The school teaches karma-kand and other Hindu puja rituals which are not taught at any other place in India other than Varanasi. The students can come to the pathshala at a time that suits them.

"The school's foundation was laid by Naran Joshi, a noted Gandhian and staunch follower of Hinduism. With the foundation of this pathshala, Joshi wanted the youth to adopt Gandhian principles. To build the school, Joshi collected donations from people coming from all walks of life." said Naran Bhatt, administrator of the school. Gandhiji himself visited the school several times and praised Joshi for his efforts.

While the school has a glorious past, today, a mere 15 students are studying karma-kand and other rituals at the school. Since education is free, teachers also don't ask for salaries. They consider teaching as doing a service for their religion.

However, Bhatt is now planning to renovate the school. He is planning to get affiliation from the Somnath Sanskrit University and provide degree courses to students. "If the school gets the affiliation, it will benefit students. The school will also reap the fruits. Degree courses in Sanskrit and other subjects will bring recognition to the school as well as the students. We are also planning to develop the library and restore valuable books. Efforts are on to find the funds," said Bhatt.


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