Kulapati Easan Katir and Kulamata Sundari Katir are serving as Hindu American Foundation’s interfaith coordinators. On September 11th, they joined representatives from the Christian, Islamic, Hebrew faiths at an exquisitely beautiful Shinjo-Ito Buddhist temple in Redwood City. A congregation of 300 from the San Franscisco bay area to pray for peace on this 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack.
Here Easan spoke of Hinduism’s cardinal principle of ahimsa, and shared Gurudevai’s answer expressed before 1,200 delegates at the UN in 2000 when he received the U Thant Peace Award, when asked how to stop war: For peace on earth, stop the war in the home. Lots of good responses in the reception following and requests for more interfaith work.
The Shinjo-Ito temple is of the Japanese Shinnyo-en branch of Buddhism, which in turn is an offshoot of Shingon Buddhism which has a strong presence here in Hawaii, including on our island of Kauai.
Wikipedia has this interesting note on Shingon Buddhism’s ancient connections with Hinduism:
Shinnyo-en Buddhist Ceremonies
Traditional ceremonies, derived from Shingon Buddhism, and many of which can be traced back to ancient Vedic and Hindu ceremonies, are an important part of the traditional Shinnyo Buddhist practice, and are used as means to purify negative energy or to express gratitude for the chance to develop through Shinnyo training. Prayers for ancestors and departed souls, such as the Lantern Floating ceremony, and O-bon (Sanskrit: Ullambana), are believed to also help cultivate kindness and compassion within practitioners. Traditional fire purification ceremonies such as Homa (Sanskrit: Yajna) are performed to help practitioners overcome obstacles that hinder their spiritual progress and liberation.