“…to protect, preserve, practise and promote Hindu dharma.”

The mission statement that NHSF (UK) proudly stands by is no better realised than by its recent Jai Hanuman events. This year’s Central Zone Jai Hanuman promised to deliver a day of spiritual elevation, devotion and dharmic practice in tribute to Hanuman Ji for Chapter members and the local samaj, and it did not disappoint!

On Saturday 3rd February 2018, Sanatan Dharm Hindu Temple (Coventry) welcomed students as early as 7.30am where they gave their time to assist in any necessary last-minute preparations. Since Ganesh Ji is the remover of obstacles and bearer of good fortune, it was only fitting to commence the day with a Ganesh Puja led by the pujari at the mandir. This auspicious start set the tone for what would be an uplifting day ahead.

Attendees were led through a yoga workshop which aimed to inspire positive energy, after which the 108 Hanuman Chalisa officially kicked off. Despite the early start, the musicians and singers showed irrefutable passion and enthusiasm, something which only increased as the day progressed and the mandir filled with more people. Attendees had the opportunity to present offerings to Hanuman Ji by giving donations which would contribute to the continuous effort to improve the mandir.

Efforts to better the community were not limited to the mandir alone but extended to the wider Coventry area. Students organised a collection of non-perishable food items in collaboration with the local Coventry Food Bank, which the organisation was very grateful for.

It was heartwarming to see how everyone, regardless of age or beliefs, came together to celebrate such a joyous occasion. Be it the youngsters who were eager to get involved and play new instruments, get their faces painted, and complete activity sheets, or the older generation who provided wisdom and leadership, the mutual respect amongst everyone highlighted what the event set out to achieve from the outset: unity.

Throughout the day, had they the heart to step away from the thrilling atmosphere, attendees were able to take a break from the chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa and other activities to help themselves to breakfast, lunch and dinner kindly prepared by the mandir. It’s safe to say this went down a treat!   

The overwhelmingly positive atmosphere during the final chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa and the aarti reaffirmed the success of the event. It truly was a day that will resonate deeply with everyone there.

From the outset, Central Zone Jai Hanuman aimed to promote spirituality and the practice of Hindu dharma, with the tagline ‘four yogas, one goal’ felt throughout. Whether through bhakti yoga, karma yoga, jñāna yoga or rāja yoga, the event showed how we can all develop the qualities of Hanuman Ji, such as devotion and loyalty, in our own lives.

— Manisha Kumar, NHSF Wolverhampton