Updated: Jul 15, 2020
We hope this message finds you safe and healthy. 2020 has been a year that will be remembered for many reasons. Over the past few months, while the global pandemic continues to expand its tentacles, social injustice and hate crimes converge in a vulnerable moment endangering the very fabric of our society. Our core beliefs and way of life have been laid bare, forcing us to look inwards for self-improvement and outwards for community engagement.
North Bay Hindu Center has decided to take a more active role while maintaining distance, which is reflected in this message - the first of a new blog on our website and part of our effort to keep you informed.
Black Lives Matter
Soon after the death of George Floyd, we issued the following statement and unequivocal stance that Black Lives Matter - a statement of empowerment that symbolizes the movement towards equality. As faith leaders, we condemn such violence and racial injustice against black lives.
As a Hindu organization, NBHC has joined hands with other religious leaders in the North Bay to discuss and explore what steps we can take to address the situation. We acknowledge that this is a sickness that needs to be addressed from the ground up, by each individual, by each family and together as a community. We have identified several themes that we are discussing with African American leaders in the community to get their feedback so we can take additional steps to support them.
As you likely have noticed, NBHC has made attempts to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and has taken the steps to switch to the digital medium to celebrate the festivals such as Ram Navami, Krishna Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi. Gita Study sessions are also held over Zoom sessions every two weeks. Our Growing Up Hindu in America series will continue and be shared online.
The NBHC Temple committee has decided to change course for the temple project in two major ways. One, we want the entire North Bay community - stretching from Sausalito to Santa Rosa - to easily travel to a future temple site. Therefore, we are focused on Petaluma as our future site. Two, in order to ensure a responsible path forward, we are focused on rental spaces and not buying property at this time. Our objective is to secure a place and hire a priest by the end of 2021 and we are going to make every attempt to achieve this goal.
We thank you for your support during these trying times. In closing, let us remember what Krishna taught us in the Bhagavad Gita on unity and equality of all creations and all creatures of the universe. According to Krishna, “We are all connected strung together through Him, just like beads in a necklace are held together by the string”. If one person is affected, the effect is felt by all of us. Let us all come together as a community and move forward in strength and unity.
Radhika Sitaraman, President North Bay Hindu Center