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

Posted on 2016/2/6 19:47:39 ( 475 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 ( 351 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 ( 314 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 ( 258 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 ( 619 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 ( 558 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 ( 435 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 ( 822 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 ( 784 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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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/2/4 18:05:43 ( 608 reads )

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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 ( 909 reads )

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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 ( 840 reads )

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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 ( 825 reads )

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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 ( 764 reads )

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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 ( 966 reads )

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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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