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Friends event: Grace in Vaishnavism

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 18 March 2017 -
7:00pm to 9:00pm

Grace in Vaishnavism
A talk by Dr Brainerd Prince of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Does God give grace freely without any qualification? Or are good living and good works needed to receive God’s grace? The Vaishnava understanding of grace that focuses on the role of guru may give some clues. For Vaishnavas, while the grace of God is freely given through the guru, the disciple still has an important role to play in receiving the grace. This is an example of how Hindu thought can contribute to a debate that also exists in Christian theology and offer insights to find a way forward.

Friends event: Religion in Public Life: A Muslim and Hindu Comment

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 4 March 2017 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

Imam Ibrahim Mogra and Shaunaka Rishi Das both served as Commissioners on the Commission for Faith and Belief in British Public Life (2013-2015), established by the Woolf Institute, Cambridge. In this moderated session Imam Mogra and Shri Rishi Das will reflect on how their traditions have been represented in the Commission’s report and on approaches to areas covered in the report, such as; the common good, education; the law; and integration. Moderated by Tom Wilson, Director of St Philips Centre in Leicester.

Friends event: Tirath Yatra

Leicester Friends Event
Sunday, 12 March 2017 - 8:00am

The Friends of the OCHS annual pilgrimage to the main temples of Leicester.

Friends event: Doing the right thing as a Hindu

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 4 February 2017 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Prof. Werner Menski

The challenge to figure out what is the right thing to do in any particular life situation is a universal problem. Hindus have addressed this over time in various ways that can be focused, also today, on the key concept of dharma. The presentation identifies the many different aspects of dharma and provides practical examples of how to handle this decision-making process in a balanced manner.

Friends event: UniqueDevotion, Uniqueness of Devotion

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 7 January 2017 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Ramesh Pattni of the Oxford Centre For Hindu Studies

The mystic poet Meerabai is a celebrated saint of North India and a devotee of Krishna. Her poetic style and expression has a unique combination of profound wisdom and deep devotion, with elements of passion, longing, defiance, anticipation and ecstasy of union. In this talk we examine the Bhakti movement, its origins and growth, its unique philosophy and principles, taking some textual references as the basis of this exploration.

Friends Event: How Hanuman Conquered Hearts

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 3 December 2016 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

Lord Rama may be the central character of the Ramayana, but it is Hanuman his devoted servant who has become perhaps the most beloved of all Hindu deities. How did he achieve such celebrity status and why does his appeal endure today? This talk draws upon the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and popular tradition to trace the development of devotion to this son of Vayu. The talk will be accompanied by an an audio-visual presentation.

Friends Event: Yadanjali

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 17 September 2016 (All day)

Friends Event: Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha - the idea of the Guru in Hinduism

Saturday, 1 October 2016 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Tushar Shah of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Hinduism pays great reverence to gurus as spiritual instructors,  guardians,  role-models,  counsellors,  mediators, and even embodiments of the divine. In this talk, we will explore how the notion of the guru has developed throughout history. Then, by looking at various case studies, we will discuss what role modern gurus play today in the development of Hinduism as well in people’s lives.

Book launch: Swaminarayan Hinduism

What started as a small religious community and reform movement in 19th century northwestern India is now one of the fastest growing devotional (bhakti) Hindu communities in the world. The story of the Swaminarayan community's growth is one of literary and performative innovation, colonial interaction, and architectural revolution. This edited volume presents perspectives on this popular religious community's growth and cultural adaptation over the past two centuries.

Appointment of Prof. John Brockington as Interim Academic Director

The OCHS is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor John Brockington as the Interim Academic Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies for the year 2016–17.

Professor Brockington is an Oxonian belonging (Corpus Christi College, 1959–65) with a BA (1963), MA (1966) and D.Phil (1968) from the University.

Professor Brockington is a renowned Sanskritist who has authored and edited several books and nearly one hundred articles, mainly on the Sanskrit epics and the history of Hinduism. He has also lectured and presented in conferences around the world. His key books include The

OCHS Approved as UN NGO

At a meeting in New York City on 28 April 2016, the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies was approved as an NGO (Non-governmental organisation) associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI).

The approval was granted by UN DPI as the OCHS is engaged in activities aligned to the aims and objectives of the United Nations. This new status allows the OCHS to be a formal partner for sharing of news and information about UN activities.

Friends Event: Life as Balancing Act

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 21 May 2016 -
7:00pm to 9:00pm

This talk looks to the Upanis​h​ads, Mahabharata,and the Puranas for help in striking the balance between the paths of pravritti (world-embracing) and nivritti (world renouncing) in day​-to​-day life. ​​In other words how can we live whole-heartedly in the world yet not be completely of the world.