(PRWEB) August 9, 2010
World Association for Vedic Studies (WAVES) holds a successful Eighth International Conference in Port of Spain, Trinidad-Tobago from August 4 to August 7, 2010, with the co-sponsorship and support of a number of organizations in Trinidad-Tobago(TT), the Indian High Commission to Trinidad, Saraswati Mandiram of Trinidad, National Council for Indian Culture and the University of West Indies, was inaugurated by Dr. Suraj Ratan Rambachan, TT Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Indian High Commissioner to TT, Malay Mishra. Mr. Mishra also welcomed the scholars participating in this WAVES Conference to a banquet which was graced by the First President of TT, His Highness Sir Ellis Clarke, Mr. Tim Gopi Singh, TT Minister of Education, and other dignitaries from the Trinidad and Tobago Government.
Working in close collaboration with WAVES 2010 was the First International Conference on Ayurveda organized by the Indian High Commission, in coordination with the Mahatma Gandhi Institute and the University of West Indies, Mt. Hope Campus. The Ayurveda Conference had participation from experts from various parts of the world including India, and deliberated on Ayurveda as an Alternative Medicine System.
Malay Mishra explained the link between Ayurveda and Vedic knowledge, and announced that the Government of India is offering scholarships for students from TT for a five and half year graduate degree in Ayurvedic Medicine in India. Discussions elaborated the prospects for promoting Wellness Tourism in TT and building up Ayurvedic resorts and protection of vast array of Herbal medicinal plants in the rainforests of the twin islands of TT.
“Ayurveda is an affordable, accessible, non-invasive medicine system” said Mr. Mishra. On behalf of the Government of India, he offered support in promoting Ayurveda education and treatment in TT. TT, which in itself is a microcosm of a multicultural society that got its Indian component since 30 May 1845, when the first group of migrants from India landed on TT shores. Dr. Dyre Narinesingh, Acting Principal of the University of West Indies presented the perspective of TT on Ayurveda and the strategic importance of facilitating the teaching and practice of Ayurveda in the unique regional University systems of TT.
Dr. Bal Ram Singh, Conference Chair of WAVES 2010, explained the nature of Ayurveda as a holistic science and announced the three tracks of sessions in WAVES 2010: Academic, Practicing Scholars and Youth tracks, to herald the importance of Vedic knowledge for civilizational harmony and relevance for youth of present and future generations. Mr. Chandra Mohan Bhandari, a retire who has served as an Indian Ambassador to various countries, spoke of the Manas Kand of Skanda Puran which offered detailed information on the Himalayan glacier of Manasarovar.
The Conference was lauded by Mr. Tim Gopi Singh, TT Minister of Education, who conveyed the greetings of the TT Government to WAVES delegates, who were from many parts of the world including India, Belarus, US, Canada and Greece. Prof. Subhash Kak highlighted the antiquity of the Sarasvati Civilization, and the core meaning of the Vedas as related to self-experience, and the linking of the microcosm and macrocosm, thus reinforcing the essential unity of the globe. Vedic Yajna was discussed as a journey of self-transformation and self-discovery, and the scientific information conveyed in the Vedic knowledge was discussed.
Dr. Suraj Ratan Rambachan, TT Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivered the keynote address at Diwali Nagar of NCIC, and underscored that there could be no clashes of civilizations in a global society when governed by the Vedic precept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. HE Malay Mishra spoke of the unity of religion and culture in all societies and commended the institution of Ministry of Multiculturalism in TT. He mentioned that the Vedic message was very relevant for the present day; so was the recognition that ‘Manava seva was madhava seva’. (service to people is service to the supreme divine), a recognition of the divine in all human beings.
The proceedings of WAVES 2010 in the three tracks got off to a start with a Vedic invocation and performance of Yajna in the premises of St. Augustine campus of the University of West Indies. The Yajna was a demonstration of the essential continuity of Vedic tradition as a living tradition for over 5 millennia, and offering of prayers for the welfare of the global village that the globe has become. Over 100 scholars of Vedic studies and practicing Vedic scholars participating in WAVES 2010 covered a variety of topics related to the evolution of languages and cultures since Vedic times, the validation of Vedic wisdom by a number of scientific disciplines such as genetics, biology, neurosciences and consciousness studies. The central theme was the significance of Vedic knowledge for civilizational harmony and continued relevance of Vedic traditions for present times.
With the assistance of the Ministry of Tourism and the Trinidad and Tobago Convention Bureau, the WAVES delegates went on a tour of Trinidad Island, exposing them to the cultural microcosm that TT is. This tour spotlighted the historical sites of TT, and the delegates were delighted to be able to visit a harmonious multi-cultural society cherishing Vedic values for centuries.
Professor Clement Sankat, Principal of Univ. of West Indies, through his office, welcomed the WAVES 2010 delegates at a banquet and offered his felicitations.
Sashi Kejriwal, President of WAVES, thanked the citizens of TT, the representatives of the TT Government and University of West Indies for the hospitality and support extended to the Conference. Scholars who participated in the Conference included: David Frawley, Jeffrey Armstrong, Rajiv Malhotra, Sethuraman Rammohan, Subhash Kak, S. Kalyanaraman, Nicholas Kazanas, Oleg Perzashkevich, Kalidas Shetty, Ved Nanda, Sampadananda Mishra, Kaushal Vepa, Shekhar Sastri, Sampada Savardekar. There were presentations in the Youth section by Eshan Kejriwal, Arnav Kejriwal and Kavita Pallod.
Four awards were presented by WAVES Board of Directors to the Hindu American Foundation(HAF), Nicholas Kazanas, Rajiv Malhotra and Bal Ram Singh for excellence in areas of serving the cause of Vedic values, best contribution to Vedic studies by a scholar, lifetime achievement for Vedic studies causes and for distinguished service to WAVES, respectively.
Awards for community service in the preservation of the Vedic Tradition in TT were given to Mr. Satnarayan Maharaj, General Secretary of the Sanatan Mahasabha, Dr. Ramdath Ramkissoon, President of Saraswati Mandiram of Trinidad and Tobago, and Professor Hari Shanker Adesh, Director General, Bharatiya Vidya Sansthhaan.
In several sessions the conference addressed some of the major challenges facing the world today, such as the ongoing religious and ethnic conflicts, economic downturn, environmental degradation, and violations of human rights, and presented the applicable Vedic principles to provide effective solutions to these problems.
Swami Jyotirmayananda, a regular WAVES attendee, observed that this is the best conference among the five he has attended in the past, referring to the various academic panels, presentation by youth and by practicing Vedic scholars, and the various tours, banquets and cultural programs that accompanied the Conference.
S. Kalyanaraman, Member of Board of Directors of WAVES.
Contact: S. Kalyanaraman, kalyan97(at)gmail(dot)com
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