Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dharma and Yoga Fest: Vivekananda (video)

Wisdom Quarterly; Pearl S. Driver (India-West, Sept. 19, 2013)
A group of young tabla students thrills the audience with a high-powered performance at the Dharma and Yoga Fest, Sept. 14, Pleasanton, CA (Pearl Driver/
PLEASANTON, California - A gathering of nearly 5,000 people converged on the Alameda Fairgrounds on September 14th to attend the Dharma and Yoga Fest.
It was organized by the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS). It was also celebrated on the same day at Mission College in Santa Clara. These events were two of several such celebrations being held at 25 venues across the United States through the fall to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
American Indian girls dressed in traditional saris with colorful ornaments
The event here was jointly supported by the Sri Datta Sai Mandir in San Ramon, CA, Shea Homes, Geeta Society, and by Art of Living. The Santa Clara event was jointly hosted by Sunnyvale and Fremont Hindu temples.
“This event has brought together members of diverse communities under the HSS banner,” Mani Keertan, an HSS volunteer, told India-West. “We are thrilled to have nearly 500 people of non-Indian origin interested in dharma and yoga with us today.” 

The event was meticulously and thoughtfully organized, right down to the well-posted signs that guided one to a dedicated parking lot. The crowd spanned the generations, ranging from toddlers to grandparents, and several small businesses and local non-profits set up booths in the reception area.
A courtyard of sorts was the center of all the action, with all of the activities developed around the core teachings of Swami Vivekananda, the 19th century Indian saint who played a pivotal role in introducing the concepts of dharma (truth, teaching; duty, social obligation) and yoga (means of yoking to the divine) to the Western world and emphasized the importance of interfaith awareness. More

Swami Vivekananda became famous in the West after coming to America and delivering a rousing speech on the timeless  dharma at the Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893:

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