T-YOU; Early Religious Training Built Foundation for Life

Article excerpt

THE FAITH LEADER

RAMESH VASHI

Title, church, city: board member, Hindu Society of Northeast Florida, Orange Park

Age: 70

Education: bachelor's in engineering from India; master's in mathematical statistics from Wayne State University in Detroit; master's in business administration from the University of Detroit.

Q: Tell us about your family.

My wife, Sarla, and I live in Jacksonville and are happily married for 42 years. We have two children, a daughter and a son. Our son is a physician in Jacksonville, married and has two young daughters. Our daughter is a health administrator living in the Washington, D.C., area. She is married and has one son.

Q: How did you become so involved in Hinduism?

Born into a religious Hindu family, I got my lessons in Hinduism early on. Routine visits to the temples, worship, rituals and celebrations of major religious events were part of our life. The religious upbringing and orientation (sankaras) took deep roots over the years and stimulated interest for further knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. I am so involved because I feel that our future generations must be exposed to our religious beliefs, temple worship, rituals, traditions and Vedic knowledge so that they have the opportunity to follow this religion that has so much to offer, a way of moral and virtuous living.

Q: Did you ever consider or pursue another line of work?

I worked for medium-sized auto supplier companies in management capacity. I worked for the last 16 years before retirement as a senior engineer in the Department of Defense. My wife, Sarla, also retired at the same time from college teaching.

Q: What is most rewarding about your involvement with the Hindu society?

I was temple president in 2004 and currently a member of the board of trustees for three years. My work for the temple embraces involvement in various aspects of temple operations including work on different committees. The temple thus provides the opportunity to contribute in several ways. The ability to devote the time and offer help in the service of God is the most satisfying experience.

Q: What is most frustrating about that work?

Frustrations are part of our life and it is human nature to be frustrated when our hard work does not produce desired results or when the outcome is not as planned. …