Sanskrit Yoga and Jyotish Trust on Saturday, December 2, hosted a ceremony to launch the book on the rituals of Sanatan Dharm at Sai Sansthan in Onehunga, Auckland.

The book titled Customs and Rituals of Sanatan Dharm is written by the Auckland-based renowned priest, preacher and scholar, Acharya Ajay Tiwari.

Acharya Ajay Tiwari is also the founder and Managing Director of Sanskrit Yoga and Jyotish Trust and Gyaan Mandir based in Manurewa, South Auckland.

The book launch event was attended by several community leaders and dignitaries including, Vinod Kumar, President of Hindu Council of New Zealand, Bhav Dhillon, Honorary Consul of India in Auckland, Michael Wood, Labour Party MP for Mt Roskill and Parliamentary Under-Secretary.

The event commenced with Ganesh Stuti and Hanuman Chalisa by children, followed by flute, mridangam and violin recital by Dr Ashok Malur, Dr Suresh Ramchandra and Shrimati Ashvani Vishvanath.

Acharya Tiwari, in his speech, shared his scholastic journey and mentioned how this book would inspire thousands of followers of Hinduism, especially those in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

The book will be beneficial for those followers who are unable to read and understand Hindi language but want to know more about Sanatan Dharm.

The book also covers all kinds of pooja and rituals Hindus perform in households.

Acharya Tiwari was bestowed with the title of  ‘Acharya’ by Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidhalayin Varanasi after obtaining two Master’s degrees in Vyakaran and Mimansa Shastra respectively. He received his third Master’s degree in Sanskrit Literature from the University of Delhi.

Acharya Tiwari had spent more than 20 years with Acharya Mahamandaleshawara, Shri Maheshanand Giri Maharaj, a veteran scholar of various Upanishads from whom he studied sacred texts such as ‘Brahmasutra,’ ‘Shankar Bhashya,’ ‘Ishopanishad,’ ‘Kenopanishad,’ ‘Kadhopanishad,’ and the well-known ‘Bhagwat Geeta.’

Acharya Tiwari is also the Head Priest of ‘Yogini Shakti Peetham,’ a Vedic Temple Complex based in Pollock on Awhitu Peninsula, about 95 kilometres from Auckland.

Acharya Tiwari’s Sanskrit Trust conducts a variety of cultural activities such as classes in Sanskrit, ‘Veda’, ‘Karmakand’ or how to perform Vedic rituals and astrology. It also hosts Indian Classical music and dance programmes, seminars, and the printing of books and calendars.