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HUA 5th Anniversary & Inauguration of the new HUA Office

On March 31st, 2024, the Hindu University of America (HUA) celebrated a significant milestone as it marked five years under the leadership of President Shri Kalyan Viswanathan. Commemorating this occasion, HUA inaugurated its new office campus on March 28, 2024, at the serene Pine Lake Retreat in Groveland, Florida.

Bhagvan Shri Ganesha – The remover of all obstacles

Bhagavan Shri Ganesha

The inauguration ceremony began with a traditional Hindu puja conducted by HUA’s esteemed faculty member Shri Sree Aswath ji, who teaches Vedic rituals at HUA. Shri Kalyan Viswanathan served as the yajamana, or ritual patron, while Aswath ji presided over the puja as the priest. The ceremony commenced with the lighting of the akhanda-jyoti, symbolizing eternal light, followed by an invocation to Bhagawan Shri Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.

Kalyan ji and Aswath ji doing homa

Shri Sree Aswath ji and Shri Kalyan Viswanathan doing homa. 

As the puja progressed, Aswath ji explained the significance of each ritual, including the āhvahanti homa (आवहन्ती होम), a Vedic ritual aimed at attracting disciplined and dedicated students to the gurukula/ educational institution. During the homa, the attendees were encouraged to meditate on the deity being worshiped, with Aswath ji leading the chanting of mantras, invoking blessings for prosperity and abundance. Aswath ji chanted a profound shloka addressed to Agni/Yajna Purusha, rich with symbolism and deep meaning. The captivating significance of the shloka and its elaboration, which mesmerized the audience, merits its own dedicated post.

Attendees participating in puja and collective chanting.

Attendees immersed in the puja

Aswath ji urged all the attendees to meditate (do dhyana) on the deity to be worshiped. He explained that in a homa/yajna, we start by meditating on Agni. A beautiful mantra with deep meaning and symbolism, addressed to Agni/Yajna Purusha, chanted by Aswath ji. The beautiful shloka and its equally mesmerizing meaning, which left the audience in awe, deserves its own independent post. The homa culminated with purnahuti and the hall reverberated with collective chanting of stotras, as the HUA staff and faculty, the representatives of the board, our generous patrons and the other attendees all joined as proud Hindus in the chantings and pradakshina.

Following the homa, Shri Kalyan Viswanathan expressed gratitude to staff, board members, patrons, and attendees for their support. He announced HUA's completion of five years under his leadership and extended thanks to donors, Shri Brahmaratan Agarwal ji and Shri Suresh Gupta ji, for providing the office space.

Kalyan ji introducing our donor Shr Brahmaratan ji.

Shri Kalyan Viswanathan 's note of thanks to Shri Bhramaratan Agarwal ji.

The event also served as an opportunity to introduce HUA's staff, many of whom gathered in person for the first time since 2018 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees were introduced to key personnel, including Vice President Shri Aravind Swami, Director of Student Experience Smt. Sumedha Kashalkar, and Director of Advancement - Shri Ankur Patel, Director of Outreach - Smt. Esther Kamakshi Dhanraj, Accreditation Liaison Officer - Smt. Jyoti Yelagalavadi, Coordinator of Sanskrit Studies - Smt. Parvathi Sriram and Coordinator of Content - Smt. Jyoti Suravarjula.

HUA staff and Ayurveda Retreat Faculty members.

HUA Staff, Members of Faculty for the Ayurveda Retreat and Members of the Board. 

In addition, faculty members from the Ayurveda Retreat - Dr. Rupali Pense, Dr. Kanada Narahari, Dr. Shriram Sarvotham and Dr. Mahadevan Seetharaman, and local board member Shri Kiran Chhagganlal were recognized for their contributions.

The ceremony concluded with attendees enjoying a satvik feast at the retreat cafeteria, fostering camaraderie and celebration among all present.

HUA office and Vice President Shr Aravind ji.

The Newly inaugurated office with Vice President Shri Aravind ji working at his desk. 

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