Darshan- Newsletter of the Ohio State Chapter
A Publication of the Hindu Students Council
at THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Volume I, Issue 2 February 1994
Darshan means the blessing that flows from the mere sight of a saint.
Autobiography of a Yogi.
Welcome to a new year! We here at HSC are glad to see all of you back
for yet another exciting year. HSC has many plans for 1994 and we
want all of you to be a part of it. Darshan is the Hindu Students
Council publication at O.S.U. This is an informative brochure to
introduce you to the activities of HSC. We hope that you enjoy this
issue as much as we do. Thank you for your support.
What is HSC?
Hindu Students Council is a movement. It is a movement of Hindu
awareness and the promotion of Hindu culture and heritage This
movement is part of a new global awakening through spiritual
enlightenment. We, the HSC members are fortunate to be part of a
history in the making.
HSC's mission is to develop a bond of extended Hindu family
relationship and awareness about the universal Hindu System. HSC aims
to achieve this through education and through the promotion of various
activities and projects on and off campuses. HSC also strives to
raise awareness about social, political and religious issues affecting
HSC is a national students forum which was formed on May 27, 1990. We
started the chapter at OSU during the Summer quarter of 1993. HSC
provides opportunities to learn about Hindu heritage, culture,
philosophy, religion, and history. Most of us know Swami Vivekananda,
the great philosopher and seer; he said "Organize young educated
people and great things can be done". And yes, that is our goal. We
are trying to rediscover our identity and create an environment to
learn the great heritage of which we are a part.
We have hundreds of members from about 30 states and over 100 colleges
& universities in America. HSC is neither just a club, nor for few
days, but it is a mission, a mission to put great ideas and ideals
into work and practice for a long time to come. The whole world,
including our presidential candidates are talking about family and
family values. We believe that the entire creation is one family.
And of course HSC is a family and we want all you to become a part of
GaNtantra Divas Republic's Day
Dr. Rajendra Prasad assumed the highest office in Bharat Varsh (India)
on January 26, The Republic of India. The last British official in the
government, Lord Mountbatten, the then Governor General of India,
The Constitution of India had been completed and adopted on
November 26, 1949. One of the most prominent framers of the
constitution was Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. The Constitution of India has the
distinction of being the longest of any country, with over 100,000
words. It was an accomplishment to write a constitution for a country
with a population of over 450 million people. Within a span of two
years after independence, people speaking dozens of different
languages and following almost all the major religions of the world,
were united under a single consitution.
The constitution was not ratified until two months later in order
to coincide with an important event that occurred twenty years
earlier. During an annual meeting of the Indian National Congress,
the most popular group promoting Indian independence, a resolution was
unanimously passed for Sampurna Swaraj. This signified Indian
sovereignty on December 31, 1929. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the
leader of the Indian National Congress at that time. Shortly after
that, the first Independence day celebrations were held in Calcutta on
January 26, 1930. The British formally left India on August 15, 1947
at the stroke of midnight.
So when we sang the National Anthem of India on January 26th, not only
were we celebrating the 44th Republic Day, but also the 65th
(Victory to India)
On Wednesday, February 2, 1994, Hindu Students Council at The Ohio
State University held a special event. The Saraswati puja was held to
celebrate Basant Panchami, which coincides with the months of January
and February to honor Saraswati, the Goddess of learning.
We were honored to have Shri Shive Chaturvedi and Shri S. Ashwath,
our distinguished guests, conduct this auspicious puja for us. Shri
Aswath led the students, step by step, through the puja. He performed
and explained the significance of each part from the beginning to the
end. This encompassed everything from first invoking the Goddess for
visiting us to making preparations for her leave.
Shri Aswath also entertained the students with interesting and
humerous anecdotes associated with the Goddess Saraswati. Dr.
Chaturvedi explained the significance and symbolism of the goddess,
for example why she sits on a lotus leaf or why she uses the swan for
The informative and meaningful ceremony ended with prasad being
distributed to all the students. The students were very pleased with
this special session for not only did they learn a great deal about
pujas which they now can apply to all future pujas they attend, but
they also left with a sense of having done something very meaningful
and important. Last but not least, they were able to socialize with
their friends while eating the prasad! HSC will be hosting a similar
Diwali puja in the fall. For those who were unable to make it to the
Saraswati puja, we hope to see you at this Diwali puja.
The Pongal Celebration
Pongal is the harvest festival celebrated in southern India on the
first day of the solar month. This day, January 14, also marks the
beginning of Makar Sankaraanthi which is observed in northern India.
This is the day when the sun begins its northward course.
Pongal is a three day festival. On the first day, called Bhogi,
people burn their old, outdated possessions such as rags and papers in
a huge bonfire. The literal meaning of the word Pongal is boiling
over and accordingly milk is caused to boil over in pots. The
significance of Pongal is similar to why Thanksgiving is celebrated
here in America, in order to give thanks for the foods that we are
given. On the day of Pongal, people wear new clothes and offer a dish
called Pongal to various Gods and Goddesses.
HSC-OSU chapter would like to thank all those who contributed and
helped to put this newsletter together. If you're interested in
contributing something for upcoming newsletters or just have some
comments or suggestions, please contact:
Prabal Dutta (614) 293-2684
Rashmi Gupta (614) 459-3266
Raj Ramachandran (614) 293-2605
Raj Vardhan Singh (614) 294-4155
N. S. Sundar (614) 299-2641