Saturday, February 28, 2009

rajiv malhotra: March 15th talk at Arsha Bodha Center, New Jersey: COMMON CONFUSIONS ABOUT THE NEED FOR HINDU IDENTITY

feb 28th, 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rajiv Malhotra

Dear K, thanks for your email. Below is the info you
requested. (I just got back from India, Cambodia and Thailand,
including attending the Hindu-Buddhist Summit in Cambodia.)


Time and Place: Arsha Bodha Center, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Sunday,
March 15, 2009, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.

Abstract: Hindu leaders and the community have often confused the
universal truths of Hinduism with abandonment of a distinct identity.
Some have even argued that any identity being nama-rupa and mithya, is
therefore contrary to dharma. Others have feared that identity brings
conflict, because they have falsely assumed that religious identity is
inherently disrespectful of other faiths. Still others regard being
Hindu as un-American. This talk will refute several common
misunderstandings. It will show that such attitudes are
counterproductive in today's social environment and have put dharma
under threat, with some parts becoming digested into various other
religions, including un-dharmic ones, and other parts becoming
distorted and demonized out of existence. Dharmic living in the
practical world requires performing various identity-based roles in
our daily lives, and there is no reason to run away from the role of
protecting dharma in the modern kurukshetra, and transmitting it
authentically to future generations. The widespread confusion arises
from the cut-and-paste and ad hoc mixing of elements picked from
Vedanta's teachings of ultimate reality, and applying these in an
escapist manner to life within the provisional phenomenal reality in
which karma and dharma must operate. The arguments used in the talk
are supported by the teachings of Hinduism from various exemplars such
as Adi Shankara, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Gandhi and numerous
others, and by Hindu texts including Upanishads, dharmashastras, Gita
and Puranas.

Picture: Attached

Bio: Rajiv Malhotra took early retirement at age 45 from a successful
career in Information Techniology where he had worked as a corporate
executive, management consultant, and enterpreneur of businesses in
emerging countries. He became a philanthropist with his own funds and
started the Infinity Foundation. For the past 15 years he has run this
on a full-time basis. This Foundation's vision is to encourage a type
of multiculturalism and globalization in which non-Western
civilizations are given equal respect. Its special focus is on Indian
civilization and its future both inside and outside India. The
Foundation has given over 300 grants for research and education to
major institutions and individual scholars. It has also organized
several conferences and scholarly events in USA and India. Its range
of research, education and related activities may be seen at:
Mr. Malhotra is Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Center for
Indic Studies, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He serves on
the Board of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Red Cross. He was
appointed by the former governor of New Jersey State on the
Asian-American Commission where he served as chairman of the Asian
Studies committee. He is a member of the External Advisory Board of
Computer Sciences at New Jersey Institute of Technology. He writes and
speaks regularly on a variety of topics concerning the Indian American
Diaspora, the traditions and cultures of India, globalization, and
East-West relations.