IASA event

The IASA Executive committee with the speakers at the interfaith event. (Bani Mukherjee photo)

The Indo American Social Association organized an interfaith event focusing on peace and harmony June 9 at the Diamond Palace Restaurant in Diamond Bar, Calif.

Rajbir Singh Husson, president and founder of IASA, launched IASA with a mission to unite people and bring all communities together, and the event united people of all religions and cultures by bringing them together under one roof.

The emcees of the event, Suresh Malkani and Seema Sagar, introduced the mission of IASA and welcomed all the guests to the interfaith event. Venkat Peddi, secretary of IASA, provided a welcome message, followed by the American national anthem by Misbah Noor and the Indian national anthem.

IASA, which aims to spread the message of unity and oneness, was started to organize people to strive for a society that places equality, dignity and respect above all else. The organization is striving towards providing cultural, social, and intellectual integration.

Husson wants to make a change from “division to togetherness, from religious fanaticism to spiritualism, and unconditional forgiveness and unconditional love.”

Various speakers of different faiths were invited to speak at this event and spread the message of peace and harmony.

Amol Jadhav, head of the SSY Group, which focuses on yoga and meditation, said that each one present at the event eats, studies, plays and works together, but goes separate ways to pray. “What would happen if everyone started praying together?” he asked.

Jadhav, through his Global Religious Harmony program in India, has made that possible, where preachers of all religions emphasize that there is one divinity.

Dr. Shukavak Dasa, head priest of the Hindu Society of Inland Empire’s Shri Lakshmi Narayan Temple in Riverside, Calif., told the gathering, “We should all pray together for peace and harmony.”

Buddhist speaker Shailesh Maharjan, who currently works as an adjunct professor and researcher at California State University, San Bernardino, commented: “Disharmony begins where you constantly attempt to prove yourself right and reject others views without much thought. Therefore, the key for harmony is being open for difference, accepting diversity, and embracing changes.”

Rev. Israel Rapuri, head of the Asian Indian Church in Artesia, Calif., mentioned that the main goal of their ministry is to reach out to non-Christians in Artesia with the “gospel of our lord and savior Jesus Christ.”

Baljit Toor, secretary of Gurudwara of Sadh Sangat in Norco, Calif., mentioned that “peace and harmony are within us; faith and forgiveness is important.”

Sriman Narasimhacharya Cherukupally, chief priest of Panchamukha Hanuman Temple, emphasized the importance of Yagnas and chanting for peace and harmony.

Parsee/Zoroastrian priest Mobed Zarrir Bhandara made an appeal to all the leaders to interpret scriptures to bring about more love, peace, harmony, and acceptance in the world and show empathy towards all living beings.

Cerritos Mayor Naresh Solanki was the chief guest at the event and received a plaque from IASA. Artesia Councilmember Ali Sajjad Taj also emphasized unity and received a plaque from IASA.

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