• Sacred Waters at the Queens Museum

  • Sadhana Honored as Hero of Jamaica Bay

  • Healthy Relationships Series

  • Sacred Waters at the Queens Museum

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Latest Blog Posts

  • American Hindu in the 21st Century

    This 21st Century is having a Hindu moment. Yoga, meditation, karma — these are concepts which have entered American consciousness and life in many diverse ways, but what do they really mean and where do they actually come from? How does the rich spiritual culture of Hinduism inform the identity, ministry, and calling of those involved in Hindu practices? More problematically, how do we deal with the horrific history and reality of caste discrimination of Dalit and other “un ...

    by Christopher Fici
    Sunday, 01 March 2015
  • The Connection Between Oratory & Confidence

             Some of the most frightening moments in my childhood occurred right in front of the Gods and Goddesses I worship.  Between the ages of 8 to 14, my Guru, a Hindu Priest, would schlep me to the homes of his congregants to perform their annual pujas with him.  As we sat across from each other, I would watch him as he would instruct those sitting between us to perform rituals to smiling earthen statues, bathing them in milk and breathing them into life.& ...

    by Rohan Narine
    Monday, 23 February 2015
  • Hindu Environmental Advocacy - Delivered at the Light For Lima Vigil - Union Square, NYC - December 7th, 2014

                The evidence is the strongest it's ever been: greenhouse gas emissions are the highest ever recorded in history.  Over the past 50 years, sea levels have risen, snow and ice are diminishing worldwide, and sound global policies have still not been put into place.          But fear not my sisters and brothers - for there is hope.  Our eyes are open, and we can see now.  We can see all too well now.  My sist ...

    by Rohan Narine
    Monday, 29 December 2014
  • Sadhana Hosts "Jamaica Bay Lives!" Film Screening At The Shri Trimurti Bhavan Mandir in Ozone Park, Queens

                 On June 22nd, the Sadhana Coalition, in partnership with the National Parks Service, Dan Hendrick, and Kamini Doobay, hosted the preview of Jamaica Bay Lives, a documentary film shown at the Shri Trimurti Bhavan, a Mandir in Ozone Park, Queens.  Mr. Hendrick, the Vice President for External Affairs at the New York League of Conservation Voters and a graduate of Columbia University, met Ms. Doobay four years ago.  He heard about Jamaica ...

    by Rohan Narine
    Saturday, 02 August 2014
  • A Farewell, But Also A Hello

         My fiancé told me when I got ready to write my personal statement for graduate school that, "You know, when you get ready to write your statement, every word should count.  It's got to be powerful."  This post, written without proofreading, copying and pasting from MS Word, or sourced for hyperlinks, comes at a time when I meditate on what Sadhana stands for.  At the beginning of every Sadhana meeting, which takes place at Sunita's loving home in Brooklyn, she ...

    by Rohan Narine
    Saturday, 28 June 2014
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Latest Updates

Sadhana Speaks on Purvi Patel Sentencing

On March 30, 2015, Purvi Patel, a South Asian Hindu American woman who sought medical care after suffering a miscarriage, was sentenced to over 20 years in prison by a judge in the state of Indiana. Purvi is the first woman in the United States to be charged, convicted, and sentenced on a feticide charge. She was also contradictorily convicted of child neglect.

According to Purvi’s lawyers, she comes from a conservative Hindu family that looks down upon pre-marital sex. Purvi did not want her parents to know about her pregnancy. She therefore suffered in silence with the burden of shame.

As a progressive Hindu organization committed to social justice, Sadhana calls upon all families, particularly South Asian and Indo-Caribbean families, to foster open streams of communication and understanding with our children, rather than wrathful shaming and blaming which contributes to the internalization of struggles like Purvi’s.  Sentencing women like Purvi to prison, instead of ensuring that they are equipped with the emotional and medical support needed to overcome such difficulties, only serves to punish rather than protect.

Rama's Forgiveness of Ahalya

The Story of Lord Rama’s Forgiveness of Ahalya

Lord Indra, filled with desire, comes to beautiful Ahalya's bed in the form of her husband, Gautama Muni.

Enraged, Gautama Muni curses Ahalya to become a stone.

As a stone, Ahalya performs prayer and penance. Years pass.  

Lord Rama wandering in the Dandaka forest in exile. Steps on a stone in his path. 

Ahalya appears, and bows to Lord Rama.

In an act of deep humility, Lord Rama bows deeply to Ahalya. 

Ahalya, considered a sinner by society, 

is considered pure and holy by Lord Rama.

He knows she committed no sin.

But then why oh why?

When his own beloved Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, rescued and brought back home to Ayodhya, why oh why doesn't Rama bow before Sita, his own beloved?

Sita, innocent, devoted to Rama and Rama alone, is made to walk through fire to prove her purity after being kidnapped by another man.  

Proven innocent by Agni, the fire, she still is banished from the kingdom.

We live between justice and injustice.

Justice and injustice live within each of us.

Humility. The only way. 

Note: This story has been adapted and is solely Sadhana’s interpretation.

Sadhana Speaks at #iamfarkhunda Vigil in Foley Square

On March 26th, 2015, Sadhana joined many religious leaders, activists, and individuals in New York City’s Foley Square for a vigil organized by Women for Afghan Women to denounce the brutal death of Farkhunda

The vigil begun with prayers from various faith groups. Sadhana’s Aminta Kilawan delivered a brief message and a Hindu prayer to the Goddess Lakshmi so that She may dispel darkness and bestow light, paving the way for justice and guiding leaders to uphold the rule of law.

Here is a video of Aminta’s prayer:

Domestic Violence Outreach (April 11, 2015)

DV

As part of our Healthy Relationships Initiative, Sadhana will be organizing outreach on Richmond Hill's Liberty Avenue this Saturday! In partnership with the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, we will be spreading awareness about domestic violence to local community members, both males and females, in efforts to end the cycle of violence in relationships.

Volunteers will meet for a brief training from 9:30am to 10am (at the corner of Lefferts Boulevard and Liberty Avenue) and then visit local hair/nail salons, the Lefferts Blvd subway station, grocery stores, sari boutiques, etc. The outreach should last until 1pm.

If you are interested in volunteering or need further information, please contact Aminta Kilawan at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
 
Please join us as we work together to end this deep-rooted problem which has no face and affects one too many people. A few hours of your weekend can go towards saving families and lives!

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What is Sadhana?

Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus was formed in October, 2011 by a group of like-minded individuals, spiritually or culturally Hindu, to inject a progressive, Hindu voice in the public discourse affecting Hindus in the United States and across the diaspora.

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  • Help us build a peaceful and tolerant Hindu society which prioritizes social justice.


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Featured Projects

Brooklyn Bala Vihar

Sadhana member Sunita Viswanath, along with others, has launched a Bala Vihar in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.  The classes are for kids ages 4 - 7 and are based on the Chinmaya Mission curriculum (www.chinmayanewyork.org).  The Bala Vihar will focus on stories about Hindu deities, especially Rama, Lord Krishna, Hanuman, and Ganesha, and values such as the importance of seva, and the idea of the oneness of us all.  Simple, age-appropriate community service activities are included.  Classes are taught within the context of religious plurality and tolerance. The Bala Vihar has its own blog: http://brooklynbalavihar.wordpress.com/


Bala Vihar

Healthy Relationships Series

Since October 2014, Sadhana has held several “healthy relationship” sessions at the Lefferts Branch of Queens Library. We have framed this subject in an out-of-the-ordinary way, identifying the need to have a "healthy relationship" not just with one's spouse/romantic partner, but also with oneself, one’s peers, and one’s community at large. Issues covered to date have been domestic violence/dating abuse, suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse, and LGBTQ rights. We hope to address bullying, both in school and cyber-bullying, and violence at local establishments during upcoming sessions. Sadhana will continue to partner with Queens Library to ensure that upliftment and healing occur in the community.

Sadhana thanks the fearless speakers who shared invaluable messages with the attendees, including Susan Jacob of the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, Anindita Bhaumik of CONNECT-Faith, Tiffany Jackson of CADVA, Pt. Suresh Sugrim of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission, Acharya Arun Gossai of the Chinmaya Mission, Pt. Devanand Das of Prem Bhakti Mandir, Annan Boodram of the Caribbean Voice, Chitra Singh of the Rajkumarie Cultural Center, John McCormick of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and Mohammed Amin, LGBTQ rights activist. We also sincerely thank Ms. Narisha Mohammed and Mr. David Booker III of Queens Library for all their assistance along the way!

Healthy