2012 Sanatana Dharma Banquet at Preston City Hall - by Bhakti devi dasi, HCCV Administration Assistant.

HCCV's Sanatana Dharma Banquet was held on Friday 15th June this year. This annual event hosted by HCCV for presenting the culture of Sanatana Dharma to members of various religious groups, was again a great success.

Many people travelled to the Preston City Hall to attend the function, including groups of other religious persuasions, as well as groups from our own Sanatana Dharma viewpoint.

We believe that approximately 250 people attended this year. The beautiful 3 foot tall deity of Lord Ganesh greeted all who came in through the entrance hall and were welcomed by Vice-President Vamsi Krishna Gollamudi.

An enormous flower & peacock feather arrangement adorned the stage and a perpetual slideshow of Hindu Gods and Goddesses as well as Hindu Values and dress codes was screened up on the wall beside the stage.

The venue was an intimate space with a warm and friendly atmosphere. The evening began with background music by David Cameron playing on CD, followed by bhajans from Sachi devi from the Shiva Yoga Ashram in Mt. Eliza.

Unfortunately I was not provided with any photos of Sachi singing this night, but you can hear Sachi's performance by clicking this link: Sachi sings bhajans at 2012 HCCV Sanatana Dharma Banquet

The host and MC for the night was Bhakta dasa, HCCV's General Secretary, who introduced the proceedings starting with the lighting of the lamp ceremony and pooja for an auspicious start to the night.


MC Bhakta dasa introduces the speakers for the evening.


The first speaker, HCCV President Pandit Abhay Awasthi, spoke on how fortunate we all are to be living in such a diverse society which is accepting of so many peoples and faiths, and that as God's creations, all humanity is one family. The second speaker, Mr. Murali Neelamegam from Chinmaya Mission, spoke on the importance of finding peace within oneself. Next, HCCV Patron Mahamandaleshwar Swami Shankarananda, enlivened us with the understanding that the differences of the many faiths and individuals gathered on the evening created a "masala", that made the curry of our gathering more tasty.


The audience is listening with rapt attention.


There was enlivening entertainment, including the Gopi Rasa-Leela Dance performed by the Lollywood Dancers of Fiji.





We were spoiled by the beautiful voice of Hari Bhakti Dey, who sang various wonderful bhajans and enlightened us on their meaning.


You can hear Hari Bhakti dasa here: Santana Dharma Banquet 2012 Bhajans


The Sanatana Dharma program pamphlets on the tables contained an explanation of the purpose of HCCV:

"The Hindu Community Council of Victoria (HCCV) represents a unified voice of Hindus living in the multicultural community of VIctoria, irrepective of their race, language or country of origin. We bring together various Hindu organisations to assist and promote their respective activities and to represent them in dealings with government (as well as other organisations and institutions) at local, national and international levels. We are particularly committed to multifaith/interfailth dialogue and wish to contribute to the harmony of the Victorian community by promoting positive relations between Hindus and people of other faiths."

This same pamphlet also listed many of HCCV's achievements since its inception.


This year HCCV asked the audience if they would like to make some contributions to HCCV's endeavours and they responded generously.

The Vegetarian Prasadam was supplied by the Hare Krishna Temple devotees who worked hard to cook, present and serve a delicious feast, topped off with a desert of carrot halavah with cream, very decadent indeed.


You can click the link below for a video which includes the Opening Puja and Speeches at the Hindu Community Council of Victoria Sanatana Dharma Banquet, Preston Town Hall, 15 June 2012.

The video includes the Introduction by MC and HCCV General Secretary Bhakta dasa, Address by HCCV President Pandit Abhay Awasthi, Address by Mr. Murali Neelamegam from Chinmaya Mission, and the Address by HCCV Patron Mahamandaleshwar Swami Shankarananda.

As well, Bhakta dasa speaks about HCCV's achievements.

Sanatana Dharma Banquet 2012 - Youtube footage

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