By Parveen Chopra
Mineola, NY: Swami Narendracharyaji Maharaj kicked off his fortnight long North American tour with a stately program at Nassau County Legislative Chambers in Mineola, NY on Saturday.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano made time to come and greet the revered saint, a Jagadguru from the Vaishnavite tradition, and presented him a citation lauding his service to humanity.
Swamiji, in turn, presented him a golden idol of Goddess Laxmi. Blessings of the goddess of wealth will help the county in these tough times, remarked Kamlesh Mehta, Director, Business and Economic Development of the county. He thanked Hon. Mangano for making the event possible, and welcomed all present.
Swamiji was introduced by BL Vijay, Treasurer of the Jagadguru Narendracharyaji Maharaj Global Foundation,US, who also introduced to the sizeable audience Swamiji, his message and mission. ITV's Ashok Vyas compered the program.
Before starting his discourse in Hindi, Swamiji said that instead of talking about religion and spirituality, he would rather dwell on everyday challenges that people face, because without solving them, you are not motivated to seek higher things.
“Life is a flow,” Swamiji started off. “It has its ups and downs. We mistakenly believe like Arjun (driven by Lord Krishna) that we are running the show and get stressed doing so. The way out is to strengthen the mind with daily 10 minutes of mental exercise in the form of meditation or praying to deity of your choice.”
To mitigate suffering, Swamiji also gave practical advice to develop decision making ability, leadership quality and emphasized time management and the need of meticulously planning one’s life.
Following his advice, he said, is guaranteed to bring four major things all human being want: happiness, solutions, stability and progress.
Why he prescribes just 10 minutes of bhakti every day? He explained. “Bhakti or devotion develops sattvik (all-positive and benign) qualities, and in turn human qualities. This leads to live and let live and helping others live peacefully. That is parmarth, here and now, not in some afterworld.
The discourse was followed by vegetarian lunch served by Copper Wok, Hicksville.
Swamiji is visiting the US and Canada from April 13 to 30, 2012. He was anointed, in 2005, Jagadguru of Nanijdham Peeth in Maharashtra, a center of Vaishnavism, one of the two main streams of Hinduism along with Shaivism.
His discourses and programs in US and Canada have been organized by the Jagadguru Narendracharyaji Maharaj Global Foundation, Inc (JANAMGF.org), which aims to set up a Hindu Peetham to make his teachings available to all Indian Americans and their families. Swamiji’s message is to unite all Hindus and provide authentic knowledge about Hindu religion, worship procedures and gods and goddesses. He has also pledged to serve the under-privileged and downtrodden, because therein lies true service to the Divine.
He established Sadguru Narendra Maharaj Sansthan (SNMS) in Nanijdham, in Maharashtra, which undertakes numerous social empowerment and welfare projects.