Hindu Press International

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How India Forgot About Pakistani Hindus

Posted on 2016/2/4 18:06:04 ( 459 reads )


PAKISTAN, February 1. 2016 (by David Frawley): Which religious group has the least amount of human rights in South Asia? The probable answer, perhaps surprisingly, is a group that few think about or recognize as existing - Pakistani Hindus. The plight of Pakistani Hindus is among the direst of any community in the world and has been so for decades. Yet not many in the world are aware of, much less have any concern for them, even in India. Hindus in Pakistan are a targeted community and losing their numbers, unlike Muslims in India who are increasing. While there were similar percentages of Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in India at the time of Partition, Pakistani Hindus have been continually oppressed, marginalized, converted or simply eliminated. The result is that only two per cent of Pakistan is Hindu today.

Pakistani Hindus are among the poorest of the poor and do only the most menial jobs. The most basic human rights are not given to them. Pakistani Hindus cannot own land or register their marriages. Their women are commonly abducted and there is little they can do about it. Pakistani courts seldom hear their pleas, or if they do, seldom rule in their favor. You will not see any thriving Hindu temples left in Pakistan comparable to the great mosques that have continued in India. Hindu temples are neglected, occupied or destroyed. There are no Hindu religious schools of any size or any group funding them like the Saudi-funded madrasas in India. There are no government honored Hindu holidays in Pakistan, such as Islamic holidays in India.

Should not all groups in India insist that Pakistani Hindus be afforded the same rights as Indian Muslims? After all, they are both human beings. Fortunately, the Narendra Modi government is beginning to address the plight of Pakistani Hindus and a few India media groups are making better efforts as well. Yet so far they are only scraping the tip of a massive iceberg of oppression and abuse that will require persistent and determined struggles to effectively correct.

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Shun Colonised Mindset to Conserve Sanskrit: Najma Heptulla

Posted on 2016/2/4 18:05:53 ( 369 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, February 2, 2016 (Press Trust of India): Sanskrit would have survived had it become the language of commoners, Union minister Najma Heptulla noted here today while asking people to shun their "colonized" mindset to conserve the country's oldest language. "Sanskrit would have survived had it been the language of commoners and not only elites. Colonization here (in India) also contributed (to the present condition of Sanskrit). We became colonized in our minds."

"We need to throw colonization out of our mind," she said. The Minority Affairs Minister made the remarks during launch of author Rajiv Malhotra's book "The Battle for Sanskrit," at Delhi University. Heptulla rued that Sanskrit, despite being the oldest Indian language, was not taken care of in the country, while other nations "distorted" it. She said presently only around 40,000 persons speak Sanskrit in the country.

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/2/4 18:05:43 ( 279 reads )


Only the guru is father, mother and brother. He is also friend, well-wisher and the only wealth. Thus everything should be surrendered to him. The disciple, fully surrendered to the guru, sees him as God, and then becomes God himself.
-- Chandra Jnana Agama, 2.68

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Treasure Trove of Tamil Yoga Siddha Manuscripts Released

Posted on 2016/2/3 19:03:15 ( 574 reads )


INDIA, January 31, 2016 (Babaji's Kriya Yoga): "The Treasure Trove of Tamil Yoga Siddha Manuscripts" is a guide and a large collection of verses composed by Tamil Yoga Siddhars during the medieval Sangam period. These verses, found only on palm leaf manuscripts, were collected, scanned, transcribed into modern Tamil and edited by an eminent team of scholars and manuscriptologists during the past 15 years. The guide is a valuable resource, not only for lovers of Siddha poetry, but also for scholars, translators and researchers in the fields of Yoga and Tantra.

All 13,276 verses on 1,677 pages are included in a compact disc inserted in the rear cover. This new publication will be released at a function in Chennai, India, on February 6, 2016, at 6:30 pm organized by Babaji's Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas and the Yoga Siddha Research Centre. For more information, click "source" above.

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Tirupati Temple Income to Cross US$147 Million in 2016-17

Posted on 2016/2/3 19:03:04 ( 520 reads )


INDIA, January 31, 2016 (The Hindu): The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) on Saturday has approved its annual budget for the year 2016-17 with an estimated revenue of US$394.5 million.

For the first time in the history of the TTD, the income derived from the temple Hundi by way of offerings is put at Rs. 1,010 crore (US$148.8 million), surpassing the one thousand crore mark. The second major source of income is Interest on investments with the estimates being pegged at $114.7 million.

The TTD also expects an income from the sales of special entry darshan tickets, prasadams, human hair, choultry receipts, and arjithas seva tickets.

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Lack of Hindu Marriage law in Pakistan Creating multitude of Issues

Posted on 2016/2/3 19:02:54 ( 512 reads )


ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN, February 1, 2016 (Press Trust of India): Pakistani lawmakers' lack of political will to pass the pending Hindu marriage bill despite a Supreme Court directive came in for criticism today, with a leading newspaper questioning the government's commitment to minority rights, especially for Hindu women. "While many politicians are quick to issue public statements about the rights of minorities in Pakistan, when it comes to taking practical steps to secure these rights, there is very little to show," Dawn newspaper said in a scathing editorial. "A prime example of this strange paradox is the decades-old issue of legislation related to Hindu marriage," it said, highlighting that the "legal vacuum that created a multitude of issues especially for minority communities."

A bill on Hindu marriage was jointly presented in the parliament in 2014 by Ramesh Lal of opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Darshan of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). A separate but similar government bill was tabled in parliament by Law Minister Pervaiz Rashid in March 2015. The Hindu women have to face problems in proving their relationships when dealing with officials, while widows are particularly disadvantaged, it said. It said that these issues were a reason for conversion as some experts point out that forced conversions are also facilitated by the lack of documentation of Hindu marriages.

Despite the fact that even the Supreme Court has ordered the state to enact the law, lawmakers have failed to do the needful, the editorial noted."This tardiness and lack of political will are inexcusable. If the parties leading the Sindh and Punjab governments are serious about their commitment to minority rights, they should pass the resolutions without further delay in order to do away with the hurdles in the way of a Hindu marriage law," it said. Sindh should show particular alacrity, as most of Pakistan's Hindus reside in this province.

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/2/3 19:02:43 ( 437 reads )


Hinduism is a living organism. One and indivisible at the root, it has grown into a vast tree with innumerable branches-- knowledge is limitless and also limitless is the application of Truth.
-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

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Book Delves into Indian Communities in South Africa

Posted on 2016/2/2 20:06:23 ( 664 reads )


KWAZULU NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA, December 17, 2015 (Rising Sun): What started off as a page three feature documenting the rich history and tapestry of Indian communities within KZN in the Tribune Herald, has now been turned into a coffee table book. "Beyond the Fields" was officially launched at Coastlands on the Ridge last Thursday, among special guests.

The book takes readers into 50 communities and "focuses on their history, culture and the people who shaped them," according to Tribune reporter, Clinton Moodley, who researched and wrote most of the content. He was also assisted by fellow journalists, Neesha Maharaj, Nabeelah Shaikh and Mervyn Naidoo.

The former Rising Sun writer said, "The feature was a hit among our readers and the popularity of course led to our decision to turn it into a coffee table book. From the cane cutters in Tongaat to Overport's little India, to the beautiful architectural religious institutions in Phoenix, "Beyond the Fields" tells the story of how our forefathers in KZN built their homes here."

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250 Soldiers Sent to Ramdev for Yoga Course, 750 More Waiting for Training

Posted on 2016/2/2 20:06:13 ( 697 reads )


DEHRADUN, INDIA, January 27, 2016 (Times of India): In a first-of-its-kind exercise, 250 soldiers of the Western Command of the Army have been sent for a two-week Yoga Teacher's Training Course being organized by Ramdev's Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar. Army officials said the soldiers after their yoga stint will help impart this training to others in the Command. During the training, which began on January 10 and concluded on Tuesday, the jawans were given a comprehensive knowledge of yoga and meditation by specialists of Patanjali Yogpeeth under Ramdev's guidance.

Yoga has been introduced in Army as an important means to address stress and lifestyle-related diseases. The overall aim is to train 1,000 army persons as "yoga instructors". The soldiers will thereafter become the "fulcrum" for spreading the knowledge at various Army units. Krishna Milan, coordinator at Patanjali Yogpeeth, told TOI, "Baba Ramdev himself took classes for the soldiers and taught them the 12 yoga asanas as well as special asanas for a number of ailments. He also guided them about the correct diet and fitness regime to follow. Thereafter, Acharya Balkrishnan took sessions on meditation and spirituality."

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Paying Homage to Lord Muruga

Posted on 2016/2/2 20:06:03 ( 667 reads )


MALAYSIA, January 25, 2016 (The Star): Thousands of devotees took part in colorful and vibrant processions during the Thaipusam celebration in Ipoh. Carrying kavadis of various colors, shapes and sizes, many of these devotees walked about six miles from Jelapang to Buntong and to the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh on a bright Sunday morning.

Chants of "Vel vel" and the beats from the dhol drums were heard far and wide as the devotees made their way to the temple. Many had paid a visit to the temple to fulfil their vows to Lord Muruga for answering their prayers.

Apart from the festivities at the temple, there were also thaner panthals (refreshment stalls) set up along Jalan Raja Musa Aziz, offering free food and drinks to devotees. Tents selling food, drinks, clothes, toys and other accessories were nearby as well.

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Erawan Shrine Trade Picks Up

Posted on 2016/2/2 20:05:52 ( 645 reads )


BANGKOK, THAILAND, December 17, 2015 (Bangkok Post): Vendors convincing passers-by to buy garlands and pay respects to the Hindu God has become a common scene at the Ratchaprasong intersection. Four months after the deadly Erawan shrine blast, thick smoke from joss sticks has again blanketed the shrine as hundreds of tourists, especially Asians, are returning to the spot.

As the intersection has been well-decorated ahead of New Year festivities, and many tourists are returning to the area, business at the shrine is picking up. But it has yet to meet local business operators' expectations. Orawan Chatthong, 32, a flower vendor, has been watching business picking up since the tourism peak season began last month. The number of tourists dropped sharply in the two months immediately after the Aug 17 blast.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has made improvements to its security cameras installed at the Ratchaprasong intersection and in nearby locations and is working together with security agencies to prepare for New Year festivities.

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/2/2 20:05:42 ( 584 reads )


There are no impediments to meditation. The very thought of such obstacles is the greatest impediment.
-- Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic

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Thousands of Hindu Devotees Throng Temples to Celebrate Thaipusam

Posted on 2016/1/31 19:31:34 ( 1051 reads )


SELANGOR, MALAYSIA, January 24, 2016 (Malay Mail): More than a million Hindus in Malaysia celebrated the colorful Thaipusam festival today, thronging temples to display their devotion with wince-inducing body piercing and offerings to the Deity Murugan. Hundreds of thousands converged on the Batu Caves an important religious site for Tamil Hindus on Kuala Lumpur's outskirts with many walking up to 10 hours to the site, capped by a final 272-step climb to its limestone hilltop shrine.

Many show their fervor through mind-over-matter feats of body piercing including long skewers stuck through their flesh in a form of penance, or by bearing the elaborately decorated home-made frames called "kavadi." Kavadi can weigh as much as 220 lbs. and are typically affixed to a person's body using sharp metal spikes dug into the skin.

Many endured sweltering heat to follow the 15-kilometre (nine-mile) procession of a silver chariot from a temple in central Kuala Lumpur to the caves. Most of Malaysia's roughly 29 million people are Muslim, but the country also has more than two million ethnic Indians.

Photos and video at "source" above.

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Isn't It Time for Left Historians to Apologise to the Nation for Their Dishonesty?

Posted on 2016/1/31 19:31:23 ( 1030 reads )


INDIA, January 25, 2016 (Swaraja Magazine by R. Jagannathan): The autobiography of a former Regional Director of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), K.K. Muhammed, shreds the last fig leaf of legitimacy from India's "Eminent" Leftist historians, and even the broader Indian Left ecosystem, which includes most mainstream political parties and large sections of the old media in print and TV.

In his book titled Njan Enna Bharatiyan (I, an Indian), Muhammed clearly indicts Left historians for actually preventing a rapprochement between Hindus and Muslims over the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, by making the Muslim side adopt intransigent positions.

Firstpost quotes him as saying this: "The Babri issue would have been settled long ago if the Muslim intelligentsia had not fallen prey to the brain-washing by the Leftist historians. A set of historians, including Romila Thapar, Bipin Chandra and S. Gopal argued that there was no mention of the dismantling of the temple before 19th century and Ayodhya is a Buddhist-Jain centre. They were supported by historians Irfan Habib, R.S. Sharma, D.N. Jha, Suraj Bhan and Akthar Ali." This was later disproved conclusively by archeologist B.B. Lal in a court-ordered investigation.

More at "source" above.

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Swami Ghananda Saraswati Passes On

Posted on 2016/1/31 19:31:13 ( 1041 reads )

ODORKOR, ACCRA, GHANA, January 31, 2016: HPI has received the following report from the Hindu Monastery of Africa's national president, P.K. Wiredu ("source" above). The editors of Hinduism Today had met Swamiji on several occasions and found him always an uplifting spiritual personage:

The Hindu Monastery of Africa announce with deep sorrow the attainment of Mahasamadhi (passing on to eternity) of His Holiness Swami Ghananand Saraswati on Monday, 18th January, 2016. His mortal remains has since been buried and the final Mahasamadhi Puja (memorial service) will be held on Sunday, 7th February, 2016 at The Hindu Monastery of Africa, Odorkor, Accra at 7: 00 a.m prompt.

The Hindu Monastery of Africa was founded by His Holiness Swami Krishnanand Saraswati in March, 1975 when he initiated the first African Hindu Monk, His Holiness Swami Ghananand Saraswati. Never before has any African donned the ochre robes of sannyas. This was a great honor to Ghana.

His Holiness Swami Ghanand Saraswati was until his initiation known as Guide Kwesi Essel. He was born of humble parentage of Senya Beraku in the central region of Ghana on the 12th of September, 1937. At the early age of six his devoted mother died and this was to have a serious effect on his education. He had his primary school education at Winneba and Senya Beraku respectful. He quickly took up serious religions practice and in 1954, at the age of seventeen (17) he started a prayer group at his hometown, Senya Beraku-praying and meditating with friends. In the face of great difficulties and hardships, he persevered and worshipped zealously, sometimes fasting for long periods. His major preoccupation was praying to God to give him the opportunity to serve more and more people.

In 1962 he moved to Accra and on 24th November he formed the Divine Mystic Path Society. He then started correspondence courses on the Hindu way of life (Sanatana Dharma) with the Divine Life Society of Rishikesh, Himalayas, in India.

As a result of his urge to search for God and with the assistance and support of some well-meaning elders of the society to whom he had greatly endeared himself, he left in August, 1970 for the Himalayas, India, where he sat at the feet of masters at Sivananda Ashram.
He returned after almost two years of study passing through Germany, Denmark, the U.K. and the USA. He initially founded a branch a branch of the Divine Life Society at Odorkor, Accra, the present headquarters of the Hindu Monastery of Africa providing spiritual leadership to a number of devotees, instructing them in the higher esoteric teachings of the masters.

It was his dedication to the propagation and practice of these teachings that culminated in his initiation into the Holy Order of the renunciates of India, and the founding of the Hindu Monastery of Africa by his master, His Holiness Swami Krishnanand Saraswati who had come all the way from India. His initiation was unique in that, it was done by that Revered Saint of India, H.H. Swami Krishnanand Saraswati who had not met him physically until his arrival in Ghana for the second time and stayed only for two (2) weeks.

Originally, the Swami was scheduled to stay in Ghana for three (3) days only, but so strong and irresistible was the spiritual bond that had developed between them when they first met that they behaved and talked as if they had known each other for many years. It is significant to note that the visit of Swami Krishnanand to Ghana was arranged and organised by a group, which was completely independent of the Divine Life Society, and without prior knowledge of Swami Ghananand himself. Herein lies the truth in the old adage that "when the student is ready the master appears."

H.H. Swami Ghananand Saraswati has been the head of the Hindu Monastery of Africa, Accra, Ghana since it was founded by H.H. Swami Krishnanand Saraswati in March 1975. Under Swami Ghananand's leadership the monastery has established branches in five cities in Ghana, with another in Lome-Togo. More than 2,500 families from Ghana and Togo have embraced Hinduism, not to mention those who practice the principles of Hinduism privately.

The monastery supports orphanages, schools for the handicapped and destitute, and also undertakes various social services in the form of monthly free medical services and occasional eye screening camps for the poor and needy as part of her social responsibility. The monastery also lays stress on inter-faith harmony.

Swamiji has to his credit the authorship of fourteen books on Hinduism. No doubt, H.H Swamiji has by the grace of Guruji laid a very solid foundation for the development of Hinduism in Ghana and indeed the whole of the African continent. It is for us in this generation to endeavour to dedicate ourselves to the practice of the principles which he has taught us while involving our families in the practice to ensure that the principles get to as many as we could possibly reach.

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