Re-loving the Gita
Re-loving the Gita

The Gita wasn’t the first book that connected me to Krishna, yet it remains the most impactful reading experience of my life. I remember that first reading clearly – I stayed up late, drawn into the story of Arjuna and wondering what decisions he yet might make. The ending didn’t disappoint. 

I’ve returned to that good book recently, for an hour a day, soaking in its words as if reading it again for the first time. I am now older and wiser in the practice of Krishna Bhakti and yet it still moves me, still delights, still informs. 

Besides reminding me that I am a spirit soul, individual and with an eternal form, what else about the Gita do I love? 

First, the generosity of the invitation to a relationship with Krishna. Again and again Krishna says, anyone, no matter from what level or sphere of life one is in, can directly interact with Him. Race, country, status, or what we have done or not done, cannot exclude us from our individual choice to reconnect with Krishna. His door is wide open, always. 

Secondly, the reminder that it’s all about love – not peace, not liberation, not becoming one with. Not winning, not losing, being right, or being the best. It’s about pure, exuberant, unconditional love for the source of all life, Sri Krishna. The experience of it, the exchange of it, the absorption in it. How nice is that? We are meant to love and be loved. Why we run from that is our great misfortune.  

Thirdly, the absolute simplicity of the process. Just hear about Krishna. Of course, this simplicity is complicated by the messy and miserable material world that we are part of. Our body is a mass of emotions and fears which successfully distract us throughout the day from thoughts of Krsna. The Gita is a loving reminder – Krishna is everywhere. Call on Him, think of Him, feel His presence. When we put our mind, our attention to that, amazing things happen. That’s the power of love, and the secret of love, to be found at the heart of the Bhagavad-gita.  

I have many favorite verses and here is one from today’s reading: 

“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” 9.29 

And a sweet jewel from the Purport: “When a diamond is set in a golden ring, it looks very nice. The gold is glorified, and at the same time the diamond is glorified. The Lord and the living entity eternally glitter, and when a living entity becomes inclined to the service of the Supreme Lord he looks like gold. The Lord is a diamond, and so this combination is very nice.”

The Irish Hindu Community celebrates its Grand Opening
The Irish Hindu Community celebrates its Grand Opening

There are, estimated, 25,000 Hindus who live in Ireland, according to the director of the Vedic Hindu Cultural Centre

The Irish Times has reported today that Ireland’s first official Hindu Temple has formally opened its doors this Saturday in Walkinstown after two decades of raising funds and planning by the Irish Hindu community.

The new temple, which is marking, according to The Irish Times, its opening by holding a number of small events over the weekend with limited numbers to keep in line with Covid-19 restrictions, and expects thousands of Hindus from all around Ireland to pass through its doors over the coming months.

While the centre will primarily serve as a place of worship for Hindus, it will also offer meditation and yoga classes, language classes, music and dance workshops and be available for school visits and youth activities for the general public, Sudhansh Verma, director of the Vedic Hindu Cultural Centre of Ireland told The Irish Times.

“The community has been waiting for this for a long time so everyone is very excited. Finally we’ll have a place to embrace our culture, we miss that link here. We expect between 8-10,000 people will have visited by the end of the year but for now we have to keep following restrictions on numbers.”

Mr Verma, who has lead the campaign to find a permanent home for a Hindu temple in Ireland for nearly two decades, says the community has been relying on temporary locations to offer space for worship up until now and described the opening as “a historic moment”.

“Before this we were renting places and moving around all the time. We used community centres, school halls, GAA centres but now finally the hunt is over.

“I remember doing my first prayer session in Clontarf castle in 2001 and we had about 200 people. Back then I could count on my fingers how many people from India and Nepal lived here. But the community has grown a lot.

While the 2016 census recorded just over 14,300 Hindus living in Ireland, Mr Verma says the actual figure, when taking into account the number of students, nurses tech workers who have moved here in recent years, is much closer to 25,000 people.

Asked if the Hindu community has experienced any racism or rejection in this country, Mr Verma told The Irish Times that he’s always found Ireland to be “generous and kind”. He underlined that the new centre at the Sunbury Industrial Estate in Walkinstown would be open to people of “all faiths and religions”.

“We as a religion do not believe in fundamentalism; we believe we are all a family and can have different manifestations of God. We want people to live together peacefully and amicably, that is the main objective. This will not only be a spiritual centre but a community centre.”

He added that he hoped the centre’s kitchen could be used to provide food to homeless people working in partnership with local charities. Teenagers studying religion at Leaving Cert level will be able to attend classes on Hinduism at the temple, he said.

While the centre is open to the public, no walk-in visitors will be allowed while Covid-19 restrictions remain in place and access to the site is only available through pre-booking via the Vedic Hindu Cultural Centre.

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Modi becomes India’s 4th longest-serving Prime Minister
Modi becomes India’s 4th longest-serving Prime Minister

By   — Shyamal Sinha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday became the fourth longest-serving Prime Minister in Indian history, after Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh.

However, PM Modi is the first longest-serving Indian prime minister of non-Congress origin, surpassing Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Narendra Modi took oath as the 14th Prime Minister of the country on May 26, 2014. He started with his second innings as the PM again on May 30, 2019.

Jawaharlal Nehru remains the longest-serving prime minister of India so far. His tenure lasted for around 17 years, followed by his daughter Indira Gandhi who served two terms of little more 11 years and nearly five years respectively. Dr Manmohan Singh served two consecutive terms of five years each.

The other non-Congress prime ministers who could not complete their tenure included Morarji Desai (March 24, 1977 — July 28, 1979), Charan Singh (July 28, 1979 — January 14, 1980), Vishwanath Pratap Singh (December 2, 1989 — November 10, 1990), Chandra Shekhar (November 10, 1990 — June 21, 1991), H.D. Deve Gowda (June 1, 1996 — April 21, 1997) and Inder Kumar Gujral (April 21, 1997 — March 19, 1998).

Narendra Modi has become the fourth longest-serving prime minister just two days ahead of India’s 74th Independence Day. On August 15 he will deliver his seventh Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

Under PM Modi’s leadership, the BJP-led NDA government has ushered an era of inclusive and development-oriented governance, catering to the aspirations of the farmer, the poor, marginalised, youth, women and neo-middle class. He has introduced many schemes since 2014 and taken major decisions leading India on a new path of development and progress. He started the Make In India and Digital India and implemented the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He also started the Pradhan Mantri Yojna, Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao projects.

Hindu Forum Europe celebrated World Environment Day
Hindu Forum Europe celebrated World Environment Day

The WorLd Environment Day Program was held on 9th June 12.00 pm onward EU TIME for three hours. There were 12 speakers from different countries. The inaugural address was given by Her Highness First Vice President of European Parliament Ms Mairaid McGuiness. She highlighted the Biodiversity strategy being followed by Europe to restore the Environmental Challenges. Her Grace Sister Jayanti talked on the Three Basic Principles of Non-Violence, Compassion & Respect which can bring inner peace. All the speakers highlighted how to safeguard our environment in different ways. This was broadcasted live on HFE Facebook, website and YouTube. 

I sincerely thank you all for being with Hindu Forum Europe and encouraging us to engage in Nature-friendly & social activities.

Dr. Lakshmi Vyas


Visiting Professor, AUSN

IWCC and Women’s faith leader, Religion for Peace

SACRE member – Royal Borough of Greenwich, UK

Work with IARF, ECRL, HMB, HFB and UK Women Network

Understanding The Factors Behind Denominational Differences
Understanding The Factors Behind Denominational Differences

The issue of religions in Europe is of great significance. Many modern societies have different religious traditions and it is difficult to enforce their practices. For example, in some countries, Christianity dominates the population. In other countries, Hinduism and Islam are the major religions and there is a huge debate on which should prevail.

Despite the fact that many countries in Europe have large Christian populations, the fact remains that Christianity is dominant in many European countries. This can be attributed to the influence of Protestantism which took root in most countries.

There are many reasons for the dominance of different religions. It is also due to the division of Europe between the Eastern and Western worlds. Some countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy and France had strong ties with the Roman Catholic Church.

Different denominations Of Religions In Europe.

Churches Of Oriental, Persian, Turkish, Indian, Chinese and Greek can be mentioned here. In Europe alone, Hinduism and Islam (after Christianity) are the two biggest religions and their followers outnumber other religions.

Religion. Although all religions come from various geographical regions and origins, it is important to keep in mind that the dominating religions of the world are Christianity and Islam.

Protestantism and Catholicism form the two largest religions in Europe and the two are the most influential religions in the European Union. In several countries in Europe like Spain, Portugal, Italy and France, Catholicism has been the predominant religion. Similarly, in Germany, a country that is mainly Protestant, Christians are more predominant than Muslims.

Many experts in Europe believe that the Influence Of A Worldwide Religion On Europe Is Causing Controversy. It is due to the influence of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism that many people have become so religiously divided. However, Christianity is very powerful in Europe and their dominance is not going to fade anytime soon.

It is also true that minority religions are starting to take positions within the EU like for example the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Church of Later Day Saints, Bahai´s, Scientology, Bektashism, and others.