Hindu Press International


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Hindu Group Willing to Loosen Grip on UCI Donations

Posted on 2016/2/10 18:14:26 ( 190 reads )

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IRVINE, CALIFORNIA, February 9, 2016 (Orange County Register by Teri Sforza): When donors gift millions of dollars to universities, it's no surprise that they want to keep as close an eye on the money as possible. But how close is too close? A review of major donor agreements with UC Irvine suggests that the level of control sought by the controversial Dharma Civilization Foundation - in exchange for gifts of $3 million - is greater than that sought by other big donors with names like Samueli, Merage, Beckman and Bren.

The Dharma agreements fund professorships in the study of Eastern religions, and create advisory councils so Dharma can keep an eye on who UCI hires and what is accomplished. Some agreements specify the skills successful academics must possess - such as facility with Sanskrit - and effectively narrow the applicant pool to what some faculty members fear is Dharma's own, hand-picked candidates.

(HPI Note: The article fails to explain why facility in Sanskrit should be considered an unreasonable requirement for a chair in Indian studies. A very informative analysis of the issue of university chairs, this from the Sikh perspective, is: https://archive.org/stream/ChairsInSik ... lemsAndSolutions_djvu.txt)

Hundreds of critics, including UCI faculty and students, have gone on record demanding that UCI reject Dharma's gifts. A university committee is reviewing those gifts, and is on the verge of recommending what to do.

All of which confounds the donors at Dharma, who say they are willing to consider rewriting clauses that people are uncomfortable with and are eager to meet face-to-face with their critics. "When we wrote the agreements, we did not consult other agreements," said Kalyan Viswanathan, executive vice president for the Dharma Civilization Foundation. "We didn't ask for any, and we didn't compare any. We wrote what we thought we wanted, and the university administration guided us toward language that was acceptable to them. It went through several levels of review."

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Head of Kashi Math Passes On

Posted on 2016/2/10 18:14:16 ( 199 reads )

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INDIA, January 18, 2016 (The Hindu): Swami Sudheendra Theertha died after a brief illness at Hardwar on Sunday. As the spiritual leader of the Kashi Math, Swami Sudheendra Theertha, headed the Math for 70 years as the 20th guru in succession.

Born as Sadasiva Shenoy in 1926 as the fourth son of Draupadi and Ramadas Shenoy of Kappasseri House, near T. D. Temple, the Swami took up Sanyasa as a 17-year-old at the behest of his guru Sukritheendra Swami.

His spiritual leadership in combination with a social outlook led the Swami to leave a mark in charitable acts that serve the people with a missionary zeal. The Sudheendra Medical Mission Hospital established in 1971 here and later taking over the Royal College of Homeopathic Physicians at Chottanikkara and renaming it in the memory of the founders as Dr. Padiyar Memorial Homoepathic Memorial College, are two landmark institutions here.

He was a saint who kept in touch with the pulse of the people, remembers Bhaskara Shenoy, president of the Anugraha Charitable Trust here. His mastery in Sanskrit and many other Indian languages was well-known and he was a true follower of traditions and rituals throughout his life.

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Digitized Manuscripts Available Online

Posted on 2016/2/10 18:14:05 ( 245 reads )

https://archive.org/details/@dharmarthatrustjk#uploads">Source

INDIA, February 9, 2016 (dharmathatrustJK): Ancient manuscripts from the Raghunath Temple are now available online at source above.

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In Supreme Court, Kerala Supports Ban on Women's Entry at Sabarimala Temple

Posted on 2016/2/9 20:03:39 ( 391 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, February 6, 2016 (Times of India): The Kerala government has told the Supreme Court that banning entry of women of menstrual age in historic Sabarimala temple in the state is a "matter of religion" and it is duty bound to "protect the right to practice the religion of these devotees".

In an affidavit, the state government said, "In the context of Sabarimala, the administration vests with the Travancore Devaswom Board under the provisions of the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act, 1950. Under the Act, there is a statutory duty cast on the Board to arrange worship in temples in accordance with the usage. Therefore, in matters of religion, it is the opinion of the priests that is final," the affidavit filed by state chief secretary Jiji Thomson said.

A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice NV Ramana would take up the matter on February 8.

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Why Teachers Should Not Ask Students to Try on the Hijab

Posted on 2016/2/9 20:03:29 ( 353 reads )

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UNITED STATES, February 9, 2016 (Religion News Service): Eager to support a Muslim student's effort to dispel stereotypes, teachers at a public high school in Rochester, N.Y., last week helped non-Muslim students try on a hijab for a day. Predictably, there were protests. The school system received about two dozen calls opposing the activity. Residents, many of them parents, told local news stations that they saw the activity as forcing a religion on students.

While some opponents laced objections with anti-Muslim comments, they were right to question the appropriateness of public school teachers' appearing to endorse a religious article of clothing. The school system and the school approved the day, and 150 scarves were donated for the occasion.

The World of Inquiry, a K through 12 school, likes experiential approaches, but religion requires special handling. Besides weighing the effect on the religion being represented, teachers also have to consider whether an activity simulates ritual, makes students uncomfortable or creates the appearance of promoting a particular faith.

More at "source".

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/2/9 20:03:18 ( 292 reads )

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Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions: Why am I doing it? What might the results be? Can I be successful? Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, then proceed.
-- Chanakya (350-275 bce), Indian politician, strategist and writer

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Professor Tanya Rawal's #SareeNotSorry Campaign Uses Fashion to Fight Racism

Posted on 2016/2/6 19:47:39 ( 951 reads )

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SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA, December 23, 2015 (India West): "It's time we stop apologizing for our skin color, language and culture," says the woman behind the viral hashtag #SareeNotSorry, a campaign to discourage negative attitudes of people towards Indian Americans and bring attention to the positive aspects of Indian culture.

Meet Tanya Rawal, an Indian American professor at the University of California, Riverside. Since September, using the hashtag #SareeNotSorry, Rawal has been tweeting and instagramming pictures of herself wearing sarees in myriad colors and fabrics, sometimes accessorized with a belt and boots. At first, the idea was just a teaching experiment.

"My experiment was on what does it mean to be brown and a woman, and I was hoping to generate some questions in the class around being a minority in this country," Rawal told India-West by phone from Riverside. But what started as a teaching experiment ten weeks ago has become a full-blown movement on social media, with women across the world posting pictures of themselves in sarees, using the hashtag she started.

Much more at "source" above.

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Why Schools Are Embracing Yoga

Posted on 2016/2/6 19:47:28 ( 780 reads )

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NEW YORK, USA, February 5, 2016 ( by Lizzie Thompson):In the basement of New Design High School on Manhattan's Lower East Side, seven teenage girls are sitting on yoga mats. Absent are the Lululemon outfits, the scented candles and ambiguously soothing music that are synonymous with yoga classes these days. For the next 49 minutes the girls will focus on themselves and leave their academic and social worries behind. The yoga class is run by Bent On Learning, a nonprofit that brings yoga into New York City public schools. Founded in 2001 by three yoga instructors, Bent On Learning was awarded a SHAPE 9/11 Grant in 2002 to teach yoga in 10 public schools located near Ground Zero to help students there manage post-traumatic stress following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In the 15 years since, Bent On Learning has seen yoga in the classroom grow beyond those 10 schools. They are now bringing the practice to 3,500 students around the city and find the demand for classes growing faster than they can keep up. Program manager Kristin Lalka estimates that there are around 40 schools on the waiting list. And Bent on Learning is just one of many programs bringing yoga to schools.

Outside of New York City, the phenomenon of yoga in schools crisscrosses the country. In Detroit, Michigan 15 public schools have yoga classes offered through Danielle Karmonos' Work It Out, a nonprofit that provides yoga and nutrition classes to students in low-income neighborhoods. In Litchfield, Minnesota, one teacher uses yoga techniques to calm and focus her students who are primarily classified with emotional behavior disorder. In Encinitas, California, yoga is widely taught in the classroom, though its implementation prompted a 2012 lawsuit alleging that it was promoting religion. A California appeals court ruled that yoga did not violate religious freedom.

The effects of yoga on students is still being studied, but it has been shown to reduce stress, improve focus and school performance, foster creativity, and improve self-esteem and body image. All outcomes that create healthy students eager to do well in school.

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A 4-day National Arogya Fair-2016 Begins at Dehradun in Uttarakhand

Posted on 2016/2/6 19:47:18 ( 687 reads )

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INDIA, February 5, 2016 (Press Information Bureau): The 4-day National Arogya Fair (Arogya means "health" in Hindi) began at Dehradun in Uttarakhand today. The Fair has been organized by the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa & Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in collaboration with the State government of Uttarakhand and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). The Fair was inaugurated by the Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge) and Health & Family Welfare, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik and Chief Minister of Uttarakhand , Shri Harish Rawat.

Addressing the inaugural session, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik said that India can bring in a revolution in healthcare and be a teacher to the world if we capitalize on our strengths in the traditional systems of medicine. He elaborated that the Arogya fair has grown into a country-wide phenomenon with more than 10 fairs organized throughout the year now. The Minister explained that over the past three decades, there has been a tremendous resurgence of World's interest in the AYUSH Systems of Medicine, including countries in Europe and USA. This is mainly because of holistic approach towards preventive, promotive and positive health and multi-dimensional aspects of disease management in these traditional systems of medicine.

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/2/6 19:47:07 ( 615 reads )

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I loved my motherland dearly before I went to America and England. After my return, every particle of dust of this land seems sacred to me.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

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Official Well-Being Statistics Show Religious People Are Happier than Atheists

Posted on 2016/2/5 18:11:10 ( 990 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, February 2, 2016 (Huffington Post): Religious people from all different faiths are happier than those who have "no religion," official data released on Tuesday revealed. Of all the faiths in the UK, Hindus are the happiest, scoring well above the national average and just under the demographic of people who consider themselves to be "in very good health," according to data compiled by the Office for National Statistics.

On average, Hindus scored a rating of 7.57 (out of 10) for happiness, followed by Christians at 7.47, Sikhs with 7.45 and Buddhist at 7.41. Those who follow "any other religion" came in at 7.26. And people who belonged to "no religion" were the unhappiest, scoring just 7.22.

The ONS report analysed personal well-being data for more than 300,000 adults in the UK. The samples were collected over three years, between 2012 and 2015.

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Ramakrishnan Professorship to Support Study of Sanskrit

Posted on 2016/2/5 18:10:59 ( 912 reads )

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, January 26, 2016 (University of Chicago): As the University of Chicago prepares to celebrate two major anniversaries in South Asian studies, a new gift will help to ensure UChicago's continued leadership in the study of the Indian subcontinent. The Anupama and Guru Ramakrishnan Professorship in Sanskrit Studies, established by a US$3.5 million gift from Guru and Anupama Ramakrishnan, supports a faculty member whose work focuses on the ancient classical language. Gary Tubb, professor in South Asian Languages and Civilizations and faculty director of the University of Chicago Center in Delhi, will be the first scholar to hold the new position.

Sanskrit is the language of the scriptures of the Hindu religion, as well as much of the literature of the Jains and Buddhists. In addition, many important works of poetry, philosophy, science, history, law, political theory, medicine and aesthetics were written in Sanskrit, the oldest literary language of South Asia. Sanskrit is also the longest continuously taught South Asian language at UChicago, having been offered since the first classes were held at the University in 1892.

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/2/5 18:10:48 ( 771 reads )

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A person's growth begins with dissatisfaction. Not content with the world, he seeks satisfaction by prayers to God; this purifies his mind and he longs to know God more than to satisfy his carnal desires. Then God's grace begins to manifest. God will take the form of a guru and appear to the devotee, to teach him Truth so that his mind gains strength and is able to turn inward. With meditation the mind is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple. That stillness is the Self. The guru is both exterior and interior: from the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn inward and from the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self. That is grace. See? There is no difference between God, guru and Self.
-- Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic

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How India Forgot About Pakistani Hindus

Posted on 2016/2/4 18:06:04 ( 1186 reads )

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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 ( 1130 reads )

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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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