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Fiji Time: 6:44 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Refrain from yaqona, smoking

Shayal Devi
Saturday, December 21, 2013

HINDU priests have been directed by visiting international professors specialising in Hinduism to wear a dhoti (a piece of white ceremonial cloth) while performing puja (prayers).

They have also been asked to refrain from drinking yaqona and smoking.

This was revealed during a workshop for Western Sanatan priests at Votualevu in Nadi this week.

The meeting was organised by the charitable organisation, Yaadein Vision Australia.

Yaadein Vision representative Bobby Mishra said the workshop was long overdue because they had received feedback from people that priests in different regions were conducting prayers differently.

"For this reason, we brought in these overseas experts and have now introduced a book that will allow priests to conduct prayers in a similar fashion, whether they are from Lautoka or Suva," he said.

"The workshop was held for five days and was open to the public as well because we focused on teaching the art of living and yoga and for people to know more about Hinduism."

About 100 priests participated in the workshop where they were taught the correct pronunciations of mantras and their meanings.

"This all was done under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and Dr Brij Lal officially handed over the certificates to the priests who completed their training," Mr Mishra said.

This workshop was conducted with the help of Jagdish Ram, the director of Yaadein Vision Australia, Benu Mishra and Rajesh Chand of Yaadein Vision Fiji.

The two professionals visiting from India were Dr Meenakshi and Dr Acharya Sharma.

Both founded the Sydney Sanskrit School and Five Dimension Vedic Centre of Sydney respectively.