LOS ANGELES, CA – Once every year, the Brahman Samaj of North America (BSNA) hosts a grand convention. This year, Los Angeles had the distinction of hosting the combined 20th convention of BSNA and the fifth Global Brahman Confederation (GBC). The event was held at the Hilton LAX hotel from July 3 -5.
The convention served as a forum for opinions and ideas, with many speakers presenting their views on the importance of Brahmanic values, vedic culture and heritage in modern life. Each morning concurrent sessions of bhajans and yoga were held. Attendees from the US, Canada and India participated in the convention.
The three-day convention opened on July 3 with the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees having their annual meeting and was followed by a children’s talent show featuring young performers Sujash Mukherjee and Taj Mishra as well as Hirani Pathak and Achi Mishra. A ‘members only’ evening followed when all memebrs and their families participated in a multicolored cultural program hosted by Rashmi Bajpai. A kavi sammelan also took place.
The formal opening ceremony of the convention took place on July 4, Independence Day with Vedic chanting and lamp lighting. The welcome speech was given by Convention Director KV Kumar followed by remarks from BOT Chair Dr. Om Sharma. President of BSNA & GBC, Dr. Shri Kant Mishra welcomed attendees and introduced the Chief Guest Sugunendra Tirtha Swamiji of Puttige Matt Udupi, Karnataka, India.
Swamiji noted the value of knowledge and Brahmanic values continuing that many first generation Indians might have learned of their culture and should impart to younger generation and stressed on the unity of Brahmans globally.
A discussion on ‘American Experience and Brahamanic Heritage’ moderated by chief guest Dr. Satish K. Tripathi, President of University of Buffalo which included speeches from Dr. Kusum Bhat, Mamta Tiwari, Dr. Sanjay Pandey and Dr. Vinod Mishra, was well received.
The convention also featured a Health and Disease Management panel chaired by Dr. Kolar Murthy where speakers including Drs. Om Sharma, Naras & Kusum Bhat, Alka Sharma, Jayshree Vyas,Vinod Mishra and Sudhakar Dixit, made presentations. The afternoon saw an event in Business Forum participated in by KV Kumar, Ajay Mishra and Syam Appala and a Special Session attended by Dr. Keshav Shukla, Suraj Dixit, Subhash Tiwari, Subhesh Sharman and Uttam Tiwari.
The concurrently held BSNA Youth Convention, jointly headed by Abhay Dubey, Ameeti and Aditi Mishra, Vineet and Rahul Pandey, Sampurna Dube, Achi Mishra and others played an especially important role in the convention. Their discourse highlighted a key aspect: whether an individual qualifies to be a Brahmin by “karma” (duty) or “janma” (birth). Abhay Dube created a thought provoking “dharmic (religious) developmental cycle” where he intertwined spiritual development to a society with structure which leads to the politics of benevolence and subsequently leads to economic prosperity for all.
The evening of July 4 saw a dance performance by the students of Kathak Kala Academy choreographed by Rachana Upadhyay, Director of the Academy which was followed by Bollywood songs by local talent including Vini Gore, Sujit Dutta and Mahesh Vyas accompanied by Anish Chandani and his group.
On July 5, Dr. Om Sharma and Dr. Shrikant Mishra distributed various awards among executives based on the level of services. A special plaque was given to Dr. Satish K Tripathi. The keynote speech was by Ed Royce, Chairman, U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee.
The convention was organized by the current Executive Committee consisting of Dr. Shri Kant Mishra (President BSNA & GBC), Dr. Om Sharma (Chairman BOT for BSNA and Exec Vice President GBC), Jagar Sharma (Exec Vice president BSNA), Dr. Lakshmi Shankar Dubey, (Vice President BSNA, Canada), Dr. Keshav Shukla (Vice President BSNA and GBC), Ajoy Dube (Treasurer BSNA), Ram Misra (Assistant Treasurer BSNA), Dr. Sukrit Mukherjee (Chief Technology Officer BSNA & GBC), Dr. Sanjay Pandey (Chapter-President BSNA San Diego and editor of Brahmbharati) and Gopal Chaturvedi (Chapter-President BSNA Los Angeles).