MADRID: The priest Juan Carlos Ramchandani, of Ceuta, successfully concluded participation in the first meeting of Hindus of Spain on June 8 and 9 in Madrid, where he served as coordinator. The conference, one of the great aspirations of the community in recent years, benefited from presentations and panel discussions by leading personalities of that religious denomination in Spain. The meeting of the various schools of Hinduism took place in the Jhulelal Temple, which selflessly lent its facilities for the two-day event. A commemorative poster, with text in Castilian and Sanskrit, was created for the event by the artist Hari Chaitanya.
The program began with a puja (ritual) to welcome the participants and the Mangalacharan, an invocation with recitation of mantras to favor an auspicious beginning. Then, it was Ramchandani who opened the meeting with a presentation on the state of Hinduism in this country, and called on other groups to seek unity in diversity.
Among the speakers was the writer and editor Alvaro Enterria, resident in India for 30 years, whose exposure to Orthodox Hinduism and integration of foreigners mainly revolved around his personal experience as a Hindu believer of Western origin in that country. The monk and scholar Swami Satyananda spoke about teaching the Hindu tradition in a world that doesn’t value spiritual life and a return to the fundamental principles of Vedic cultural heritage. Philosopher and teacher of Yoga, Oscar Montero, Swami Omkarananda, from the Sivananda Mandir Hindu Temple of Valencia, and doctor of philosophy and writer Javier Ruiz Calderon also were among the speakers.
Attendance at this meeting was by invitation and was limited to a small group of those who are very committed to Hinduism in Spain. Plans are now being made for a Hindu congress which will be open to the general public the next year. – El Faro Digital, 15 June 2013