HMEC Update 11th Annual Hindu Mandir Executives Conference Atlanta GA


11th Annual Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference

Awareness and Awakening: The Future Role of Hindu Mandirs and Institutions

Holiday Inn Atlanta / Roswell Suites, 909 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell GA 30076; Ph 770-817-1414

Register for Conference Online at:

For Room Reservation, contact hotel (Best Western PLUS Roswell) directly at :(770)‐552‐5599

Special rate under: “Vishwa Hindu conference.”

Update – August 16, 2016


A large number of distinguished speakers/moderators representing temples/organizations/universities have already confirmed their participation.

A request to all temples/Institutions to send their representatives to this unique conference.

This email update contains the following items:

1)     Hosts and Co-Hosts

2)     Registration options (Sponsor/Co-Host, Delegate, Local Delegate, Youth Delegate, Booth)

3)     Airport to Hotel Transportation

4)     Call for Advertisement in Mandir Vani: HMEC 2016 Souvenir Magazine

5)     Conference Program Agenda – tentative



Thank you for the support.

Ambaji USA Shree Shakti Mandir Arshavidya Gurukulam Durga Temple of Virginia
Hindu Temple of Atlanta BAPS Woodlands Hindu Temple
Gokuldham Sankat Mochan Mandir Hindu Temple of Central Indiana
Shri Siddhivinayak Mandir Sai Mandir Gayatri Pariwar of Atlanta
Shiv Mandir Temple Chinmaya Mission Norcross  
Gayatri Chetna Center of New Jersey Ganesh Temple of Nashville  



The preparations for the conference are in full swing and registration for the conference is gaining momentum. Temples all the way from Hawaii to Massachusetts and from Canada to the Caribbean are confirming their participation.   Please register as soon as you can.

Institution Sponsor/Co-host:

o   US$1001 (includes 2 delegates and 1 youth; full page ad in HMEC souvenir)

o   US$501 (Includes 1 delegate and 1 youth; ½ page ad in HMEC souvenir)

Conference Registration (Does not include hotel stay)

o   Adult Delegate: US$151

o   Youth: (under the age of 35): US$50

Please register:

o   On-line

o   By mail: Download form for host/co-host/individual, fill it in and mail with check.


o    (check payable to HMEC):  Anit Gupta, 15 Bryden Road, Southborough MA 01772. Tel: (508) 624-9041


Special rate $101/night double occupancy

For room reservation, contact hotel directly (Best Western PLUS Roswell) at :(770)‐552‐5599, special rate under: “Vishwa Hindu conference.”


Room sharing assistance: Swati Patel (610) 871-0559 or

Booths: Booths are available on First come first serve basis at a cost of $50 to Co-host participants and $ 150 for other.  Intending Organizations/Vendors may please contact:  Kusum Khurana at (404) 661-1482



Option 1

  1. From Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, go to Airport Station for MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority404- 848-5000). Cost is approx. $2.50
  2. Take the Northbound line to North Springs Station.
  3. From North Springs Station
  4. Call the hotel (770) 552‐5599.
  5. Please note that hotel will provide shuttle until 9PM only.

Option 2

  1. For any arrivals on Friday from 12PM onwards, our local team transportation coordinator, Surinder Dharji, can be contacted at (678) 823 3646 or email at
  2. Please ensure that you contact Surinder ji by September 12, 2016 with your travel itinerary for this option.
  3. Surinder ji and local team will coordinate batch pickup from the airport on an hourly basis.

* *Backup contacts: Kusum Khurana (404) 661-1482 or Swati Patel (610) 871-0559

Option 3

  1. Taxi approx. $75 or UBER is available from the airport



Souvenir Magazine is going for printing on September 7, 2016

Please submit your articles, advertisements and photographs electronically in MS Word format or PDF  to: Dr. Surendra Pandey, Chief Editor

E-mail:; Tel: 229-883-1687


Advertisements Rates:

  • Full Back page – color $ 2,000
  • Full inside page – color $ 1,000
  • Full page – black/white $ 500.
  • Half page black/white $ 250
  • Quarter page black/white $ 150.
  • Page sponsor/2-line message/Compliments/Greetings $100



THEME: Awareness and Awakening: The Future Role of Hindu Mandirs and Institutions

Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Sept 16-18, 2016
FRIDAY  September 16, 2016
Meal Dinner
Session 1
Inaugural Session – Awareness and Awakening
  Every good action is only increased many fold with blessings and gratitude. We will open the conference with Vedic Mantras and Diya lighting by hosts of the HMEC 2016. Welcome address by the organizing hosts will be followed by invited talks and inaugural addresses.
SATURDAY September 17, 2016
Sadhana Yoga, Meditation, Devotional Singing
Meal Breakfast
Session 2
The Future Role of Hindu Mandirs and Institutions
  The Hindu temples, institutions, teachers, priests and practitioners have a critical and significant role to play in ensuring sustenance and growth of Dharma – to ensure that our family and global Hindu community stays dynamic, vibrant and rooted in our eternal principles and value system. In this session we will envision a future and re-evaluate the strategic directions needed to reach that future together.
Session 3
Spiritualism in Mandirs
  We have built a great amount of infrastructure whether it is religious institutions or cultural centers or schools or ashrams in North America and Caribbean. An important question to ask ourselves is: “Are these Hindu entities rooted and nourished in Spirituality?” In this session, we will define spirituality and discuss how to bring back the essence of spirituality to Mandirs. The importance of satsang, the relevance of practice, discipline, recitation and meditation, the spiritual context of rituals and applying spirituality to every day life are key areas of discussion.
Break Relaxation
Session 4
Temples as Service Centers
  Hindu Temples currently are religious as well as cultural centers. They are not yet setup for service centers. There is a great need for providing various services to the Hindu community. Mandirs need to become total support centers for the Hindu population. Christians, Jewish and other religious institutions are providing such critical services to their community and Hindu community is lacking support in life services. Hindu community needs: spiritual counseling, youth services, elder care, domestic counseling, etc
Session 5
HMEC Update
  HMEC was established to be a driver for catalytic change. Many creative ideas and practical projects have emanated from HMEC over the past 10 years. Key accomplishments from the past HMEC initiatives, action plans and projects delivered will be summarized. Some of these success initiatives have become significant movements in their own right, examples such as the Hindu Mandir Priest Conference, the Hindu Chaplaincy Initiative, the Hindu Prayer Book for Hospitals, the Bal Vihar Network or Hindu Women’s Network. This session provides a glimpse of these projects.
Meal Lunch
SATURDAY September 17, 2016
Parallel Tracks – Break Out Sessions (A, B, C, D)
Session 6A
Stressful Challenges in Modern Hindus
  The Hindus in North America and the Caribbean are a largely well-established, educated, law-abiding community. Having said that, we are not immune to illness, old age, bereavement and trauma through discrimination and personal disasters. Through identifying substantial resources and making intentional efforts, the Hindu community can come together to address these issues both within the community as well as the larger communities in which we live.
Session 6B
Respect for/Emphasis on Education of Rituals
  There is a lack of respect during poojas perhaps because of a lack of understanding of the significance of the poojas. In many instances, priests focus on rituals but may not have the skills or tools to accommodate the various types of devotees in helping them understand and follow along during the practice. There is a need for education as well as a need for maintaining a decorum of respect and sincerity during ritual practice. The session will discuss the meaning and significance of rituals and sharing best practices from case studies.
Session 6C
Atlanta Area Hindu Temples
  Atlanta area mandirs serving needs of diverse groups are based mainly on Indian language or region. The current challenge is that mandirs are trying to survive/maintain mainly by engaging in rituals and it appears to be revenue generating tools. There is a need for mandirs to be more  supportive of each other instead of competitive. In addition, there is a greater requirement for mandirs to be more education oriented. How can this be achieved?
Session 6D
Self Improvement through Shaastras
  Our Hindu Dharma has a plethora of knowledge and answers to every question in life. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the number of different texts and shaastras. Though there are a various number of Hindu teachings available, the one that is most well-known, even in this country, is the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita is the perfect culmination of our Vedic teachings and has the ability to guide anyone through any situation in life, whether you’re Arjun, Gandhi, or a student in today’s day and age. This session will take a deep dive into a few shlokas of Gita and see how they still apply to the modern world, and how it can be the perfect first step in learning our shaastras.
Session 7A
Enlightened Leadership in Temples
  As the Hindu population/demographics changes, the temple leadership must continue to evolve and adopt to meet the challenges it will present. The leaders with right attributes emerge when environment is right. Then ‘they should do it’ turns to ‘let us find solutions together’ and mentor the youth to take the lead for survival and growth. Great leadership can make ALL the difference in temple operation especially in the time of crisis; and crises are looming all the time!
Session 7B
2nd Generation Parents: Raising Children in Sanatan Dharmic Way in the West
  There are many challenges facing second-generation parents/mothers in this country in raising children in the Sanatan Dharmic way. Following one’s own heritage is not easy in a different country. Passing on heritage to the next-generation should be considered a top priority for all parents (especially those parents who are born and brought up in this country who may not have such a strong bond to India). Temples are more focused on Pooja, festivals and rituals and may not be supporting second-generation parents in their pursuit to pass on Hindu heritage to the next generation.This panel discussion among second-generation young mothers should help identify issues/challenges in raising children in the Dharmic way in the western world and how temples and Hindu oriented institutions could support them in this endeavor.
Session 7C
Temples as Learning Centers
  For thousands of years our temples have been Naimisharanyas – universities of the highest learning. How can we once again make temples a place for not only educating children, but also continuing education for adults. Hinduism is very scientific: how can we promote scientific thinking?
Session 7D
Youth – Explaining Dharma: Answering Tough Questions About Hinduism
  Oftentimes, Hindu children are placed in situations where they have to explain key parts of their religious tradition to friends and teachers that come from different backgrounds. These situations can further be daunting due to the many misconceptions about Hinduism that exist in textbooks and mainstream media. This session will explore how we can answer important questions about Sanatana Dharma and explain misconceptions about our traditions in an informative way that maintains the integrity of dharmic concepts and rituals.
Meal Afternoon Tea and Snacks
  Parallel Workshops – (A, B, C, D)
Session 8A
Challenges and Opportunities with Current Programs
  Programs are the back bone of every temple and their success depends on planning and effective execution. Every temple routinely conducts many programs such as children education (i.e. Bal Vihar/Balagokulam), rituals (i.e abhishek, yagna), and festival celebrations (i.e. Diwali, Holi, Ram Navmi, Janmastmi) However, temples face many challenges in conducting these programs related to explaining the meaning of rituals, lack of volunteers, timings( too long) and youth participation. We need to make these programs short, meaningful and applicable to all attendees with appropriate preparation, training and effective execution.
Session 8B
New Age Approach and Resources
  In this 21st century we are seeing a shattering of previous paradigms of religious belief and expression. How Hindu Dharma will not only survive but thrive is up to those of us who are willing to explore ways of connecting with the greater community and prove ourselves relevant.
Session 8C
Challenges of Hindus Growing up in Diaspora
  The current times may be the toughest for Hindus because of the fast pace of life and external pressures we face on a daily basis. Our ancestors faced their own set of challenges, but with the growing diaspora and the rapidly changing technology and communication methods, one must quickly adopt to the changes by equipping themselves with the right tools, techniques and know-how to sustain their dharmic values and way of life. With the migration to North America and the Caribbean, our cumulative lessons learned will add value to our search for sustenance. In this session, issues from various Diaspora will be highlighted along and opportunities for overcoming these challenges will be deliberated upon.
Session 8D
Youth – Workshop
  This workshop with provide the youth with an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the cause and effect of various external pressures to obtain practical and viable solutions from key guest speakers. These solutions can then be further developed into tangible action plans for immediate implementation and impact.
  Free time – Networking
Session 9
Gala Dinner Program
Meal Dinner &  Light Entertainment
  Cultural Program & Invited Speakers
SUNDAY September 18, 2016
Sadhana Yoga, Meditation, Devotional Singing
Meal Breakfast
Session 10
Cultivating Young Ambassadors
  Hindu youth living abroad face significant challenges in maintaining their Hindu identities while living in a diverse community. A barrage of online media, peer pressure, religious conversion, compulsion to fit in, minority syndrome, and atheism among youth are just a few of the obstacles faced by youth today. The ability to cultivate youth ambassadors can lead to a stronger future generation of young leaders who have knowledge and pride in their identity and convictions.
Session 11
Youth Interfaith Session
  The aim of this youth interfaith panel is to gain a better understanding of best practices from other faith traditions and to come away with several ideas of how to strengthen our own practices using lessons learned.
Relaxation Break
Session 12
Parallel Track Summary and Solutions Integration
  The new session 12 can be used to summarize and integrate the solutions which emerge from the parallel sessions on Saturday (Sessions 6A-6D, 7A-7D, 8A-8D). Appoint Observers during the parallel tracks to put together a summary. (could be a role for many who come and want to speak and participate). Sit through the sessions, come up with the ideas and share the insights. Suggestion to identify youths if possible who are passionate about the topic to be Observers.
Session 13
HMEC 2016 Closure Session

Source: HMEC