Atma, The Self, has no gender

Philosophy & practice of Sat Sanatan Dharma in observance of UN Sustainable Development Goal of Gender equality
Online live session in the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022

Date: 11 March 2022

Time: CET 6 pm, EST 12 pm, IST 10:30 pm

Duration: 2h

Venue: Zoom video conference

Zoom link:

Aim: Address philosophy & practice of Sat Sanatan Dharma as an answer to achieving gender equality goal set by UN Sustainable Development Goals

Reasoning the need of venue:

Value system and tradition are grassroots of solving modern challenges. They are integrated and indivisible, and they balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social, and environmental.  

Vedic culture is known as Sanatan or eternal culture. Sat Sanatan Dharma is based on the spiritual experiences of tens of thousands of spiritually enlightened individuals, men and women, rishis, who transmitted the message of spirituality. At the same time this culture is adapted to any place and time and vivid, transmitted in an unbroken chain from Master to disciple – Guru parampara.

Sat Sanatan Dharma is the relationship between the individual and the universe, it keeps society and civilization in communion through righteous living. In a broader sense, it means getting acquainted with the eternal laws of the universe that govern everything.


Part 1: Opening Words 

Mahamandaleshwar Swami Vivek Puri, Hindu Religious Society of Croatia (10 min)

Mahamandaleshwar Swami Vivek Puri was born in Zagreb, Croatia and he has been practicing yoga and teaching The System Yoga in Daily Life under the guidance of H.H. Vishwaguru Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwaranandaji, for the past 38 years. He is a co-founder of the Yoga in Daily Life of Croatia from 1984 and he has been the president of the Hindu Religious Society of Croatia since its founding in 2003.

In 2013, during the Kumbha Mela in Prayag Raj, he was bestowed the title of Mahamandaleshwar of Maha Nirvani Akhara for his work in promoting yoga, Sanatan Dharma and culture of India. MM Swami Vivek Puri serves tirelessly by giving yoga classes and leading different kinds of weekend workshops and lectures both in Croatia and other countries in Europe, Canada, the USA and Australia.

Part 2 (session format): Lightning Keynote – Listen to inspiring global leaders as they share Sat Sanatan Dharma perspectives and calls for action to achieve UN SDG 5 (30 min)

Dr Uma Mysorekar, President of the Hindu Temple Society, North America (10 min)

Dr. Uma Mysorekar, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, was born in Bangalore, India, and has been involved in several social organizations since 1976. As President of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, she has initiated numerous programs to bring the community together, including spiritual and cultural activities. She has initiated several interfaith meetings to bring about awareness of Hinduism and spoke at numerous functions to educate people on Hinduism. She is charged with responsibility for daily affairs, Temple expansion, communication and the implementation of various programs.

Mahamandaleshwar Swami Gyaneshwar Puri, Om Vishwa Gurudeep Ashram (10 min)

Mahamandaleshwar Swami Gyaneshwar Puri is a longtime disciple of Vishwaguru Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwarananda, the author of the scientific system of Yoga in Daily Life. In 2007, Vishwaguruji initiated him into the order of sannyasis in the spiritual lineage of Sri Alakhpuri Siddha Peeth Parampara from which Yoga in Daily Life originates, and in 2013 he was initiated into Mahamandaleshwara Maha Nirvani Akhara for his long-term work in promoting yoga and Sanatan Dharma. Swami Gyaneshwar Puri, Master of Geophysics from Zagreb, has been living in India for more than two decades, studying Indian tradition, history, spirituality and Sanskrit. He has obtained his Master’s degree in Gandhi’s Peace Studies in India, as well as certificate for Sanskrit language and grammar and Vedic Studies.

Denise Scotto, Chair of International Day of Yoga Committee at the U.N. (10 min)

DENISE SCOTTO, ESQ. is an attorney at law, policy advisor, international speaker, Interfaith Minister & Founding Chair of the International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN. Her legal career started in the public sector, and she appeared in courts in all boroughs of the City of New York and had leadership roles in professional organizations such as the NY State Bar, the International Law section of the American Bar Association. As a UN staff member in NY Headquarters, Denise worked on reforming the UN’s internal system of justice, then, in the DESA, on formulating policy to advance law, good governance and human rights. She holds leadership positions within the UN community and other organizations, and is a member of the Evolutionary Leaders, a project of the Source of Synergy Foundation.

Part 3: Experts on specific topics to share learnings anchored in real-life experience (30 min) 

Lakshmi Srivastava, Linguist, representative of Embassy of India to Republic of Croatia (5 min)

Mrs Srivastava moved to various parts of the world and met people of different traditions, customs, and ways of life spanning from Japan, Myanmar, Spain, Brazil, Austria and all the way to Croatia. She is learning Croatian now, which is her ninth language. She has firsthand experience of „Vasudhaiva kutumbakam“, and she lives it by accepting local culture and trying to see things through the lens of a local person while carrying mother India in her own DNA.

Alen Minić, BSc in Social Work and Head of Social Welfare Zagreb, Sesvete Branch (5 min)

Alen has years of experience in working with vulnerable social groups – elderly, migrants, children with behavioral disorders, parents in the process of highly conflicted divorce, children without proper parental care. He will focus on the impact of the pandemic on the mental and social health of social welfare beneficiaries by giving us his firsthand experience from daily work. He is also Member of the Council of the City of Zagreb for Social Welfare 

Ingeborg Matečić, PhD in Economics and PhD ib Cultural Anthropology (5 min)

Ingeborg will talk about the role of women in higher education and research. She took the Merle Pledge, an initiative of the SAGE Athena SWAN Programme at the University of Queensland. This initiative aims to substantially improve women’s representation, and she has committed to increase the visibility and contribution of women in public and professional forums and advocate for gender balance and diversity in all professional events, panels and conferences. 

Khyati Rathore, Climate Change Analyst at The World Bank (5 min)

Khyati is an active Climate Advocate. Besides her current position, she led Defend Our Future’s initiative where she engaged with young professionals and students to drive private sector ambition on climate action. Through her work at EDF and in cooperation with international institutions, she aimed to support systemic change for climate action across sectors, and strengthen the youth-led climate movement. Khyati is also youth representative for climate change at High Level Political Forum, ECOSOC Forum and High-Level Meeting on Climate Change at YOUNGO, United Nations.

Part 4: Keynote speaker

His Holiness Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwarananda Puriji of Panchayati Maha Nirvani Akhara

Founder of the Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council, an NGO with special consultative status with ECOSOC. He came to Europe in 1972 from Rajasthan, India. In the last 50 years His Holiness has traveled extensively throughout the world, tirelessly spreading the message of Sat Sanatan Dharma and Yoga according to the teachings of one of the oldest spiritual lineages in India, OM Sri Alakhpuriju Siddha Peeeth Parampara. His Holiness has undertaken many activities and projects aimed at eradication of gender disparities through education or health service, such as Gyanputra scheme, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Education Program for Women and Women’s Community Health Service. Only a small part of his work for world and humanity is mentioned here, please read more about Vishwaguruji at .


Hindu Religious Society of Croatia follows the philosophy of Sat Sanatan Dharma by studying its principles and integrating them in daily life. It is a registered religious community whose beginnings in the Republic of Croatia date back to 1984. Since 2019 it has been granted a special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).


Tina Sirotić, MSc in Economics

Apart from 20 years of banking experience, she is the founder of Social Banking in Croatia where she focuses on financial inclusion of vulnerable groups, startups and NGO’s.

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