RIT Celebrates Hindu Awareness Week, April 19-23




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Speakers in the Hindu tradition will address aspects of Hindu practice, observance and belief during Hindu Awareness Week, April 19-23, at Rochester Institute of Technology.

The week’s activities are sponsored by RIT Hindu Students, the Center for Religious Life and the Office of International Student Services. All events are free and open to the public and are held in the Allen Chapel in the RIT Center for Religious Life.

Hinduism—one of the oldest religious systems of the world—is also perhaps the most misunderstood. More than a religion, it can be best defined as a way of life and is referred to as Sanathana Dharma, the eternal faith. While religion means to bind, Dharma means to hold.

Speakers will attempt to answer questions about Sanathana Dharma, Hinduism and how its principles can be incorporated in daily life. Events throughout the week include:

Varadaraja Raman will speak on the main tenets of Hinduism at 5 p.m. on April 19. Hinduism is a very ancient and complex religious system, including a wide range of practices and beliefs that have evolved over the centuries. Scholars and religious activists still debate about who qualifies to be a real Hindu. Yet, from historical and cultural perspectives, there are certain overarching elements shared by the vast majority of people who regard themselves as Hindus. This talk will explore some of those cornerstones of the Hindu worldview. Raman is a professor emeritus of Physics and Humanities at RIT and has taught various courses in basic and advanced physics and mathematics.

Subhash Kak will discuss science in Vedas at 5 p.m. on April 20. This talk will present evidence related to the outer and the inner sciences and discuss the origins of Indian culture. Kak is a professor of electrical engineering, Asian studies and cognitive science at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

M.G. Prasad will speak on multi-faceted Vedic Hinduism at noon on April 21. Vedic Hinduism is originally known as Sanatana Dharma and deals with the central issues of life, namely, its meaning, vision and purpose. This talk will present Sanatana Dharma’s integration in various aspects of life—such as spirituality, religion, science and culture—and the essential need of Sanatana Dharma for fulfillment in life.

Prasad is a spiritual disciple of seer-yogi Sriranga Sadguru, founder of Ashtanga Yoga Vijnana Mandiram in Mysore, India. He has written several books on Hinduism and lectures at universities, temples and churches. Prasad is a professor of mechanical engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

Baldev Kaur Khalsa will present kundalini yoga at 5 p.m. on April 22. Kundalini yoga is a 5,000-year-old authentic system of yoga exercise and meditation that promotes health, happiness and spiritual awareness. Combining breathing, movement, stretching and sound, kundalini yoga is a safe, comprehensive technology that can be practiced by everyone. Khalsa is an assistant professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf’s Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education.

Dr. Bhudev Sharma will speak about Vedic mathematics at 5 p.m. on April 23. Sharma is a professor at Clark Atlanta University and a former president of Hindu University of America.

For more information, contact the Center for Religious Life at 475-2135.

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