Today we see the Vishwa Hindu Parishad as a huge banyan tree having many branches in the Form of several initiatives taking roots to strengthen the organization. It has sustained for long 50 years because the seed planted by Maheshbhai was mature and free from defects.
His ideas were well thought out and his motivation was free from self-promotion.
He stood strong with his dedicated team and protected the young sapling whenever there was rough Weather. His wisdom and unshakable determination always ushered us through rough times.
I feel truly fortunate for joining VHPA much early in my life in 1986 as a Balvihar parent in my Hometown Irvine in Orange County under mentorship of local coordinator Shobhnaji Vora. The seed of my desire to teach Hindu culture through stories to children was dormant for many years.
It sprouted instantly when I read Maheshbhai’s explanation “what is the need for Balvihar.”
The first VHPA camp I attended carved deep impression in my mind. I was extremely exited to find an organization standing on noble philosophy.
Thereafter, new projects like Hindu Unity Day, Youth Conference, annual Youth Camps, brought us face to face with the local Hindu community.
Major impact was felt by the very Idea of The Global Vision 2000. Maheshbhai came to Los Angeles To present his mighty project with the blueprint of his ambitious plan. That speech gave true Direction to my life. He had special power to convince many to follow him. His vision was clear, He had definite plan to follow. He himself had conviction of the destination where he wanted to reach.
I had path to follow, i.e., “to take swami Vivekananda to every Hindu Home.”
I was haunted with the Idea Day and night. First, I started study group in my home to bring awareness About swami ji and his clear universal message. I named our balivar as Vivekananda Balvihar.
We started working on the dramatic presentation on his complete life. Maheshbhai presented us With the magic wand of Swami Vivekananda’s Life message which gave us power to bring many minds together for Greater Cause in years to follow.
The Virat Hindu Gathering in Washington turned out to be big challenge right from its start to end.
The Hindu psyche in those days was influenced by borrowed thoughts from Indian politics.
As the final celebration came closer the whole event became obstacle race. Just finishing the Race to its last mile was mere success. Even though I was not big participant in Washington Gala, as a spectator I still feel the thrill and vibrations we all felt listening to every speaker and absorbing the cultural programs.
It is important to note that grand event was not the end of the great Idea but truly the Vision highlighted to follow for years to come.
After that, many more programs landed in port of Los Angeles such as Dharma Prasaar Yaatra in 2000 And second Dharma Prasar Yaatra in 2002. Those programs physically brought five thousand Hindus together under one roof which gave sense of belonging. At every program Maheshbhai’s presence brought electrifying energy among Pariwar (sister organizations) to work in cooperation for years to come.
I remember today what Mahesh bhai once said to me:
“When every Hindu will proudly call himself a Hindu VHPA will fold in its work and we all will retire” His will to unite Hindu minds was so strong that Maheshbhai will be born again and again to guide the future generations of Hindus.
Shri Ramakrishna used to say,
“When you see a man doing great work, you may know that God’s special power is manifested through him.”
Mahesh Bhai demonstrated such a spiritual power throughout his life.
Smt. Sheela Kene is the president of Orange County, CA chapter of VHPA. She ran a very successful Balvihar for more than 25 years.