Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ShaktiSeva: Honoring Feminine Strength and Divinity

ShaktiSeva: Honoring Feminine Strength and Divinity
Hindu tradition and American expression lead to innovative community service

September 25, 2011, Washington, D.C.  While celebrating the Festival of Navratri, Hindu American Seva Charities encourages all to honor the feminine strength.  Navratri, the nine nights to honor the Goddess, starts from September 28 so the theme for September – October is ShaktiSeva: community service bringing to the forefront the Feminine Principles, and the feminine energy within oneself.

There are numerous ways in which the strength of the woman can be highlighted by individuals, families and communities.  HASC encourages women to use October as a time to reflect and engage with spirit, however that is understood by them, through life-enrichment activities. Celebrate Navaratri in a way that is meaningful to you. Nine nights in a row, observe a ritual: it may be traditional, invented or a combination of the two. Click for more“how tos” at http://www.hinduamericanseva.org/UtsavSeva/shaktiseva/how-to-of-shaktiseva

Honor the Deities, Folk Heroes, Activists, Writers, Artists, Innovators, Politicians…..the women…who inspire YOU.
Have your friends over: share the profound and “silly” female bonding rituals of your heritage and youth - oil your hair, do henna, paint your nails.
Forgive a friend who wronged you.
Light your altar and chant the ancient prayers, then light a candle and relax.
Adorn yourself.
Invoke the values of Ashtanga Yoga. Do Yoga.
Go out for the evening.  
Arrange events: be inspired by or inspire others with your shakti stories.
Start a journal, a blog, share your stories.
Get moving: go for a walk, learn to ride a horse, take up a martial art,
Give yourself permission to create something.
Sign up for a class: make pottery; learn to play music, knit a scarf
Write a letter........... Call your sister, friend, mother.
Revive an old love: sing, dance, paint.
Help other women. 
Pledge to continue with ShaktiSeva on an ongoing basis, during the year, every month, every moment

While based on Hindu ideals, these efforts are inclusive. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month and National Breast Cancer Awareness month. HASC is encouraging women and men of the Dharmic and Hindu-American community to engage in activities that raise funds and empower healthy communities, families and individuals.

HASC launched ShaktiSeva in 2010 and it has been featured in the Washington Post On Faith, and has stimulated a lively conversation. In Huffington post Shakti: Innate Quality of a Woman And, crossing lines of religion and culture and people are responding to the idea of ShaktiSeva - Navaratri, Shakti, and Politics, and Abuse Against African Women. In Wichita Kansas, as highlighted at the White House conference, ShaktiSeva has bridged cultural divides.  Every year, the Hindu Temple of Minnesota engages women congregants to gather and share stories. 

HASC members and partners are organizing local community woman-centered events that focus on and empower the principles ShaktiSeva  It continue to encourage the diverse women to dialog about their faith, culture and heritage. HASC’s unique program, UtsavSeva (Festivals of Seva) augments the spirit of Hindu festivals through seva events organized during this time and connects them with the cultural heritage.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations. Hopefully it will creat a better understanding among all the individuals irrespective of their religion.