Sunday, August 26, 2012

AN AMERICAN HINDU (OF NON-INDIAN ORIGIN) IN US CONGRESS?

interesting. but let me note that the kauai temple (san marga) is probably not all that small. the (american-origin) monks there, are followers of the late sri subramuniyaswami and the saiva siddhanta sabha. they have been publishing 'hinduism today' for two-three decades. i have written a few pieces for them in years past, and was at one time quite friendly with the editor, acharya palani swami.

i also remember with great fondness their priest at the old san francisco murugan temple on sacramento avenue. i was astonished many years ago to wander in there and find sadhaka diksha kandar, a white man, do a perfect, practiced rendering of archanas.

sadhaka diksha kandar passed away a few years ago. acharya palani told me about how the sadhaka, who had cancer, entered samadhi by voluntarily denying himself food and drink.

these monks, one they took their diksha, never spoke any more of their earlier lives, as they had abandoned them completely.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ram Narayanan


INDIA ABROAD, AUGUST 24, 2012, PAGE A 28

’First time in history, Hindus will have a representative in the US Congress’

George Joseph

Tulsi Gabbard last week defeated her main opponent, former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hanneman, in the Democratic primary with 55.1 percent votes to 34.3 percent from the 2nd Congressional District in Hawaii.

’This was a huge, come-from-behind, grass roots upset’ said United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat, New York), who had endorsed Tulsi. ’And we know she has what it takes to beat her Republican challenger in November… We’re one step closer to sending yet another strong progressive woman with an independent voice to Congress’.

Gabbard, 31, acknowledged Gillibrand’s support in glowing terms. ’When I was trailing my opponent by double digits, Senator Gillibrand came to me and said she’d do anything she could to help me. And she did,’ Gabbard said. ’Not only did she give me amazing advice and encouragement, she introduced me to her tremendous grassroots supporters. Because Kirsten believed in me -- because you believed in me -- I now have the chance to go to Washington where I can fight for the progressive values we all believe in.

Gabbard seems set to win the election from the predominantly Democratic district in November. Though a Republican opponent is in the fray, nobody doubts Gabbard’s chances.

Though Gabbard is not Indian she is Hindu (India Abroad, July 27). She thanked the Indian American community for its support.

"First time in history, Hindus will have a representative in the US Congress," said Houston-based Indian American community leader Vijay Pallod, who was one of her earliest supporters. "All major faiths have their representatives in Congress with the exception of Hinduism. Hindus all over US are very excited about her win, especially the second generation. An American friend of mine in Hawaii, Vrin Parker, informed me about Tulsi. I looked at her credentials and was very impressed. I sent my first contribution check. I have contributed two more times.

Pallod arranged a conference call with Gabbard to introduce her to the Hindu community workers in the US.

"I have known Tulsi Gabbard since she was the shy child of the Gabbard family," Vrin Brannon Parker said. "Now she has become the dynamic new star of Hawaii’s political scene. She is shattering barriers and raising the bar of what it means to be a public servant. Tulsi refers to her political role as ’servant-leadership,’ and it is no exaggeration to say that this concept is rooted in the Hindu ethos by which she was raised. As a fellow American Hindu, it is quite heartening to see the rise of a Dharmic political leader. Her story truly represents the American story. In fact Tulsi’s career is a result of the long-term confluence of ancient Indian wisdom and the dynamism and energy of modern America. Now, in Tulsi, we have some one in the mainstream political scene that shares our values. She will speak for us, stand with us, and millions of other Americans that recognize the great potential benefits of the Dharmic traditions of India."

Hawaii is mostly Christian and has a significant number of Buddhists (10 to 15 percent). There are only two Hindu temples in the State -- the ISKCON Temple in Oahu and the Aadheenam Temple in Kauai.

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