Hindus in Spain are reportedly coming together to form a united platform to work on issues of common interest and be a voice for the community.
A Federación Hindú de España (FHE) has reportedly been formed in Spain to unite all Hindus, defend-preserve-promote Hinduism, challenge-correct academic misrepresentation of Hinduism, advise local-regional-national governments on Hinduism and make Hindu representation, promote authentic yoga, claim equal standing with other religions, etc.
FHE reportedly intends to approach and enroll/affiliate other Hindu temples-organizations-groups all over Spain who are not members yet. In future, it also plans to conduct educational programs; train Hindu priests; create directory of Hindu temples- institutions-associations-groups of Spain; etc.
According to reports, founding Hindu groups included Veda Dharma (Madrid), Sudha Satva (Valencia), Arsha Vidya (Madrid) and Advaita Vidya (Barcelona); while Centro Védico Dharma (Alicante) and Om Shiva Shakti (Barcelona) joined later. FHE is expecting three other Hindu groups to join.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended efforts of Hindu groups and community in Spain to unite in order to give Hinduism a voice.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this Hindu federation would help in this direction in Spain. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism. Zed also urged the federation to actively indulge in interfaith dialogue with other religions to help promote harmony in the Spanish society.
Per a rough estimate, there are about 50,000 Hindus in Spain, including Hindus of India-descent and Spanish followers of Hinduism. They are spread all over the country but Canary Islands have a large concentration of them. There are various Hindu groups in Spain; some of which are reportedly officially registered, while many are not registered yet. There are about 40 Hindu temples/worship-places/worship-groups in Spain, including temples in Valencia, Malaga, Melilla and Madrid; Hare Krishna temples in Madrid, Barcelona, Tenerife, Malaga, besides an institute and a farm; followers/groups/movements of Brahma-Kumaris, Mata Amritanandamayi Amma, Sathya Sai Baba, Siddha Yoga, Sahaja Yoga, etc. Various Hindu festivals, including Rath-Yatra, are celebrated. There is a Hindu temple in neighboring Gibraltar.
Juan Carlos Ramchandani (Krishna Kripa Dasa) is the President of FHE. Other office-bearers include: Vice-President Swami Satyananda Sarasvati, Secretary Hari Das, Treasurer Pedro Soto, Public Relations Naren Herrero, Academic Relations Javier Ruiz Calderón Shankara, and India Representative (Varanasi) Álvaro Enterría; reports suggest.