Philip Goldberg captivates audience on "American Veda" discussion
Milpitas, CA (January 26, 2011) – Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda, captivated a packed audience this past Saturday at the Shreemaya Krishnadham Cultural and Community Center at the Bay Area Vaishnava Parivar Mandir, with an inspiring and educational talk entitled “What Hinduism Has Given America: Hinduism’s Gifts to the West." The special event, sponsored by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) as part of its 2011 Speaker Series, chronicled the widespread influence of Hindu-based teachings on America over more than a century.
Beyond the more well-known and noteworthy thinkers, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Goldberg illuminated the tremendous impact of Hinduism on such diverse fields as psychology, medicine, music, and the arts. But most significantly, he described the influence of Hindu thought on the manner in which Americans perceive and experience religion and spirituality, and the mainstream acceptance of many ancient Vedic practices, such as yoga and meditation.
"I was really fascinated to learn how Hinduism influenced the thoughts and works of such great authors and poets like Emerson, Thoreau, TS Elliot, and Christopher Isherwood, just to name a few,” explained Sudha Rao, who helped coordinate the event for HAF. “I also didn’t realize how long ago Yoga came to America."
Similarly, Srivats Iyer, a Bay Area Working Group member of HAF, felt that the program was informative and a real eye opener as to how deep and widespread Hindu influence has been since the early days of America's foundation to today.
During his talk, Goldberg also acknowledged that many of these contributions are unknown to ordinary Americans, and there still exists a number of misconceptions regarding Hinduism. The renowned author and journalist, however, remained optimistic that the American society would eventually gain a better understanding of Hinduism, and commended HAF for its continued work and advocacy.
“In light of the pervasive ignorance surrounding Hinduism, it’s incredibly important for HAF to host speakers, such as Philip Goldberg,” said Samir Kalra, Esq., Bay Area Working Group member of HAF. “He is someone who is accurately conveying the philosophical principles of Hinduism to wide-ranging audiences, while inspiring pride amongst the Hindu American community.”