BOSTON–For the past three Sundays, over 25,000 Hindus across North America harnessed the power of AUM by closing their eyes, taking a deep breath and intoning the sacred sound syllable by syllable, organizers said in a statement. Dissolving into silence after each AUM, they delved into their own divinity to pray for universal peace and the wellbeing of a world that is being ravaged by COVID-19.
This infusion of peace and hope was the brainchild of the Hindu Mandir Executive’s Conference (HMEC), an initiative of Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America. HMEC, in partnership with over 400 organizations across North America, took the lead in live streaming the 15-minute chanting sessions through Facebook and Twitter.
The organization has been performing Havans and prayers regularly, but this is the first concerted effort to encourage as many people as possible to connect to the power of
While the first chanting session was for universal peace, the second was dedicated to the scientists who are working to find a vaccine for Coronavirus and the healthcare and service workforce. The third session was to offer solace to those who had lost their loved ones in this crisis.
VHPA General Secretary Sanjay Mehta began the sessions at 5:00 pm CT from his puja room in Pittsburg, PA with a brief explanation of the significance of AUM.
According to Hindu Shastras, AUM creates strong positive vibrations both within us and around us. AUM, for Hindus, is also a symbol of hope, peace and a manifestation of the Divine Power or Brahman – the Absolute.
After the traditional invocation to Bhagwan Ganesh and the blowing of the conch, Mr. Mehta guided the chanting for 10 minutes followed by the Mahamantrajaya eleven times.
The meaning of the Mahamantra, composed by the Rishis of India thousands of years ago, is an appeal to the Divine Power to keep everyone healthy, banish the fear of death and perform right actions, according to the statement.
A key coordinator of this effort, Vallabha Tantry of Minneapolis summed up a common sentiment by stating that “this was a much-needed activity to rid our minds from the anxiety and stress arising from the uncertainty of the COVID 19 situation. Knowing that each participant was chanting the Om mantra along with thousands of others across North America, at the same – remotely, yet collectively, was intended to bring a calming feeling of oneness among all of us.”
Ami Patel, Program Chair, HMEC announced that this is a weekly event and will be conducted at the same time (5:00 pm CT, 6:00 EST) every Sunday going forward.
Amitabh Mittal, Jt. Gen Secretary World Hindu Council of America stated that VHPA is also working to raise funds to help the community such as food banks, international students, senior citizens and first responders.
If you would like to donate, please visit: https://www.vhp-america.org/donation/
HMEC Guiding Team: Ami Patel, Vallabha Tantry, Abhaya Asthana, Sanjay Mehta, Vipul Patel
The vision of HMEC is to be the network of Hindu Organizations for effective leadership from generation to generation in North America. The World Hindu Council of America (VHPA), founded in 1970 and incorporated in the State of New York, is an independent, nonprofit and volunteer-based organization serving the needs of Hindu community in USA. It aims to build a dynamic and vibrant Hindu society rooted in the eternal values of Dharma and inspired by the lofty ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, i.e. the entire creation is one family.