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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/6 1:50:00 ( 64 reads )

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There are two great forces in the universe, silence and speech. Silence prepares, speech creates. The strength of noise and activity is great. But infinite is the strength of stillness and silence, in which great forces prepare for action. To be capable of silence, stillness and illuminated passivity is to be fit for immortality.
-- Sri Aurobido (1879-1950)

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Over 70,000 Transgenders in Rural India: Survey
Posted on 2015/7/6 1:50:00 ( 72 reads )

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KOLKATA, INDIA, July 4, 2015 (Times of India): Rural India has over 70,000 transgenders, with Uttar Pradesh topping the list with nearly 13,000, and West Bengal home to around 10,000, reveals the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011. The census's gender analysis reports rural India has 74,286 transgenders.

According to Ranjita Sinha, transgender activist and a member of Bengal's Transgender Development Board, the survey released on Friday reflects the growing recognition of the third gender in the state. "The census will provide a way to frame better policies for the third gender in the state. A lot of positive things are happening in Bengal and the official record of the numbers are evidence of the growing recognition, especially in the rural areas," Sinha told IANS. Sinha said the statistics and data will help further strategies in health and education of the third gender.

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Indian of Africans Origin Faces Discrimination in India
Posted on 2015/7/6 1:50:00 ( 77 reads )

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INDIA, July 5, 2015 (By Mridula Chari): Travelling to the subcontinent from Africa as mercenaries, merchants and slaves, Sidis are now well assimilated. Yet they are frequent victims of discrimination. When people think of Africans in Indian history, Malik Ambar tends to be the first name to come to mind. Brought to Ahmadnagar as a warrior-slave in the 16th century, he rose to be the general of the Deccan sultanate's army and eventually its regent. Yet Malik Ambar was only the most successful of thousands of Africans brought to India by Arab and Portuguese slavers across the Arabian Sea. Thousands of others came as mercenaries and merchants. Today, Sidis, as people of African origin living in India for centuries call themselves, are a fast disappearing community. Separated by appearance, if not by culture, they are largely misunderstood.

Sidis in India today have to deal with fragmentation within their community and discrimination from without. Despite being Indian for centuries, Sidis constantly face racial discrimination in India, where their identities or origins are not fully understood. In Pakistan too they have suffered similar prejudice because of their physical resemblance to many Africans. Because of discrimination, many look to marry outside the Sidi community and dilute their African appearance. For some that is how they can avoid this discrimination, but for many this is seen as the very disappearance of the Sidi people themselves."

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Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Book On HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj Released
Posted on 2015/7/5 1:30:00 ( 608 reads )

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DELHI, INDIA, July 5, 2015 (By Rajiv Malik, India/South Asia Correspondent, Hinduism Today magazine): A grand celebration and book release event of Dr. Kalam's book "Transcendence" was held at Pramukh Sabhagruh, Akshardham Swaminarayan Mandir , New Delhi on Friday, July 3rd , 2015, in the presence of over 500 dignitaries, well wishers and devotees. The event was graced by the Pujya Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji of Vijaywada, Hon. Shri L.K. Advani, Former Deputy Prime Minister Of India, Dr. S.S. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, Shri A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO], Shri Mohan Das Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education and Shri G.M. Rao, Chairman, GMR Group.

"Transcendence," beautifully describes Dr. Kalam's spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The book, published by Harper-Collins India, also included the social and moral contributions of BAPS to society, the co-relation of science and spirituality and creative leadership. It contains the essence of the Upanishads, Gita and Puranas and other principles propagated by Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

The event began with Vedic prayers and the lighting of the inaugural lamps by Pujya Mahant Swami and Pujay T.S.R. Chinna Jeeyar Swami and was followed by a welcome speech by Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami.

Thereafter the giant 10ft by 40ft LED screen transported the audience back in time through and animation presentation of the stories of two boys- the journeys of how a fisherman's boy became a scientist and later the 11th President of India and how a farmer's boy became the president of BAPS and a world-renowned spiritual leader.

Pujya Brahmavihari Swami in his speech gave glimpses of the mutual interactions between Dr. Kalam and Pramukh Swami Maharaj during their 14 year association [2001-2014]. According to him, "In all Dr. Kalam had seven meetings and many phone call conversations with Pramukh Swami Ji Maharaj. Interestingly while Dr. Kalam did not know a single word of Gujarati and Pramukh Swami did not know a single word of English, this never came in the way of their ever blossoming love and friendship." He added that after Dr. Kalam's first meeting with Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 2001, Delhi, Dr. Kalam had said he felt an inner calm pervade him and on the other hand Swamiji had declared that Dr. Kalam was a rishi.

Brahmavihari Swami went on to say, "When Dr. Kalam had his first meeting with Pramukh Swamiji and presented him his plans for India 2020, Swamiji's first words were-"Along with your five areas to transform India add a sixth one- faith in God" and Dr. Kalam immediately and happily agreed to do so." Dr. Kalam had also told Swamishri , "When I see Akshardham and your work....I feel anything is possible in the world. I want to work with you for a better India."

This was followed by a video clip on Dr. Kalam presenting his book to Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Sarangpur on 20th June, 2015, amidst the chanting of Vedic verses. (See http://www.baps.org/News/2015/Dr-APJ- ... h-Swami-Maharaj-8137.aspx for a report on this.)

While presenting the book to Swamiji Dr. Kalam said, "I have written this book. Your are a great teacher....I learnt to remove I, remove me. That is a great lesson I have learnt. Remove I and mine. I learnt from you." Responding to this Swamishri said, "To rise above I and mine is only possible by God's Grace. It is the best principle by which to remain happy in life." Both Dr. Kalam and Pramukh Swamiji were not physically present during the New Delhi event.

Professor Arun Tiwari, the co-author of "Transcendence", sharing his experiences about writing the book said, "A few weeks after getting this assignment I realized I had not been able to write anything. Then I came to Ahmedabad and Pujya Brahmavihari Swami took me to Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami, who blessed me by placing his hand on my head and he gave me a murti of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. I took the murti home and sat down to type on my computer, and then words and sentences started flowing spontaneously." Choked with emotions he shared, "A few days ago I went to my mother in Meerut , Uttar Pradesh. I took the souvenir plate given to me by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. On seeing it , my mother said , "Son, you have done a wonderful thing. One is the an ocean of love- Pramukh Swamiji and another is an ocean of knowledge--Abdul Kalam. You have filled two great oceans in a small pot [book] !"

P.M. Sukumar, the CEO of Harper Collins Publishers[India] , who published "Transcendence" announced that the English version would be translated shortly into six other languages : Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telgu and Malayalam.

Thereafter the celebration ceremony of the book took place amongst chanting of Vedic Mantras and then the stage guests formally inaugurated copies of the book and displayed them to the audience.

The chief guests, including Shri L.K. Advani Ji , paid glowing tributes to the book and recounted their associations with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Advani Ji, in his address, said that in the childhood he had learnt about Intelligence Quotient and later on came to know about Economic Quotient but as he grew up in life he felt that a happy and fulfilling life has to also have Spiritual Quotient, which is extremely important and with this quotient only it will be considered as complete.

During the event , Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was remembered for having received the book at the hands of Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami at his office in New Delhi on 26th June, 2015. The Prime Minister opined that he would read the book for it would help him and inspire him in his life.

Finally, Pujya T.S. R. Chinna Jeeyar Swami and Pujya Mahant Swami blessed the event. Pujya Mahant Swami noted, " 'Transcendence' is a book that shares about higher values. The content is universal and transcends all human distinctions and barriers to make a person humane."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/5 1:20:00 ( 368 reads )

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"Sweet are the sounds of the flute and the lute," say those who have not heard the prattle of their own children.
-- Tirukkural

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Aryan Invasion of India: The Biggest Lie Propagated by Leftist Historians
Posted on 2015/7/5 1:20:00 ( 622 reads )

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UNITED STATES, March 20, 2015 (Linkis, by David Frawley): One of the main ideas used to interpret--and generally devalue--the ancient history of India is the theory of the Aryan invasion. According to this account, India was invaded and conquered by nomadic light-skinned Indo-European tribes from Central Asia around 1500-1000 BC, who overthrew an earlier and more advanced dark-skinned Dravidian civilization from which they took most of what later became Hindu culture. This so-called pre-Aryan civilization is said to be evidenced by the large urban ruins of what has been called the Indus valley culture (as most of its initial sites were on the River Indus). The war between the powers of light and darkness, a prevalent idea in ancient Aryan Vedic scriptures, was thus interpreted to refer to this war between light and dark-skinned peoples. The Aryan invasion theory thus turned the 'Vedas', the original scriptures of ancient India and the Indo-Aryans, into little more than primitive poems of uncivilized plunderers.

This idea -- totally foreign to the history of India, whether north or south -- has become almost an unquestioned truth in the interpretation of India's ancient history. Today, after nearly all the reasons for its supposed validity have been refuted, even major Western scholars are at last beginning to call it in question.

Full article at 'source' above.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/4 4:00:00 ( 545 reads )

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When the Creator dances, the worlds He created dance. To the measure that He dances in our knowledge, our thoughts, too, dance. When He in heart-endearing dances, the several elements, too, dance. Witness in rapture surpassing the dance of that One who is a glowing flame.
-- Tirumantiram, 2786

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Indian Food Wisdom And the Art of Eating Right
Posted on 2015/7/4 4:00:00 ( 692 reads )

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INDIA, June 24, 2015 (YouTube by Rujuta Diwekar): Popular Celebrity Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar elaborates on the importance of various Indian Herbs and Spices in meals. Indian Food Wisdom & The Art Of Eating Right by Rujuta Diwekar brings forth our ancient wisdom on what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, how to stay healthy and its relevance in our times. Its an attempt to help you overcome the ever conflicting information on food and weight loss fads. The biggest celebrities of Indian cinema like Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Karishma Kapoor etc. share their opinion on eating right and the diet secrets that have kept them healthy in all these years. Watch this informative video for a fresh, but age old, perspective on well-being.

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Amarnath Yatra Begins Amid Tight Security
Posted on 2015/7/4 4:00:00 ( 524 reads )

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SRINAGAR, July 3, 2015 (Daily Pioneer): The annual Amarnath pilgrimage began in Kashmir Valley on Thursday morning amid tight security as 6,300 pilgrims began trekking to the holy cave ensconced in mountains of South Kashmir at a height of 12,800 feet above sea level. The yatra began from both the treacherous but shorter Baltal route and the longest traditional Pahalgam route. It takes around seven hours to reach the cave through Baltal while the traditional route through Pahalgam Valley takes two days for a pilgrim to reach the cave for a glimpse of the ice stalagmite, believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva.

The pilgrims began their journey on July 1 from Bhagwati Nagar Base Camp in Jammu. Three BJP Ministers of the coalition Government -- Lal Singh, Sukhnandan Kumar and Priya Sethi flagged off the cavalcade of 34 vehicles who were accorded warm welcome at every halt along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. By the evening, the pilgrims reached Nunwan and Baltal base camps.

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Amarnath Yatra Begins July Second
Posted on 2015/7/1 4:40:40 ( 1120 reads )

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JAMMU, INDIA June 30, 2015 (India TV News): Amid tight security arrangements, the annual Amarnath yatra will begin from Jammu as the first batch of over 5,000 pilgrims will leave for 3,888-metre high cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas. The yatra will be escorted by heavy contingent of security forces to twin base-camps of Amarnath cave shrine in Baltal in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir and Pahalgam belt of South Kashmir.

Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley, Amarnath shrine stands at 3,888 m, 46 Km from Pahalgam and 14 Kms from Baltal. In Kashmir Valley, the 59 days annual yatra will start from July 2-- an auspicious day of Hindu calendar and conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 29. Over 200,000 pilgrims have secured advance registration and 22,104 have purchased helicopter tickets from Baltal and Pahalgam to Panjtarni. "Entire state administration is fully geared up to provide every facility like, drinking water, medicare, electricity and security to the yatris at base camps," a official said.

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Sri Lanka's Thousands of Destitute War Widows Pin Hopes on New President
Posted on 2015/7/1 4:40:29 ( 1063 reads )

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SRI LANKA, June 30, 2015 (France-Presse): Shunned, destitute and pushed into prostitution in some cases, Sri Lanka's Tamil widows have returned to northern Jaffna since the end of the separatist war only to discover they are not welcome even in their homeland. Now, six years after the war ended, the women who fled the fighting on the peninsula in the thousands are pinning their hopes on the nation's new president for a better future for their families.

"Widows are despised in our society," said Baskaran Jegathiswari, 50, fighting back tears at her home in Achchuveli village in Jaffna, heartland of Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority. "People look down on us. They think we bring bad luck," said Jegathiswari, who lost her husband to military shellfire just months before the war ended in 2009. Official figures show 27,000 widows head households in Jaffna, where the conflict was centered, while local politicians put the figure much higher. The women are closely watching President Maithripala Sirisena who took office in January pledging reconciliation to "heal broken hearts and minds".

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Russia Cracks Down on Yoga Classes to Check Occultism
Posted on 2015/7/1 4:40:19 ( 1103 reads )

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RUSSIA, June 30, 2015 (Times Of India): Close on the heels of India leading worldwide International Yoga Day celebrations, yoga classes have been banned in a central Russian city by the authorities to check spread of "religious occultism." At the center of the crackdown are two studios holding classes for Hatha Yoga -- a set of asanas or postures involving deep breathing and tough physical exercises, which as per Hindu mythology was first practiced by Lord Shiva. Yoga is known as an ancient Indian spiritual and exercise discipline to balance mind, body and spirit, however, yoga has become highly commoditized globally over the years and various schools and cults have sprung up in different parts of the world in its name.

In the first major crackdown abroad, the authorities in the central Russian city of Nizhnevartovsk have now asked the two Hatha Yoga studies -- Auro and Ingara -- to stop holding yoga classes in the municipal facilities of the city, as per the Russian media reports. Kommersant business daily reported that the Nizhnevartovsk officials have barred use of municipal buildings for yoga classes and have issued orders to the two studios on this. The Moscow Times reported that the order has been issued "to prevent the spread of new religious cults and movements."

The authorities have also issued a letter to the heads of departments for physical culture and education, stating that hatha yoga was "inextricably linked to religious practices" and has "an occult character," as per the Kommersant report.

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India: Dalit Christians Accuse Church Of Discrimination
Posted on 2015/7/1 4:40:09 ( 1175 reads )

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INDIA, June 30, 2015 (by Missionary International Service News Agency): The Dalit Christian Liberation Movement (DCLM) accuses the Vatican and the Indian Catholic Church leadership of caste-based discrimination "by way of allowing it directly and indirectly in their spiritual, educational and administrative places". "We have submitted seven copies of the complaint to Rajeev Chandran, assistant director of the UN Center in New Delhi addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and different human rights organizations," Mary John, president of the DCLM, told ucanews.com.

A DCLM delegation asked the UN and other organizations to urge the Holy See to eradicate the caste discriminatory practices and to withdraw the Permanent Observer position of the Holy See in the UN if the Vatican does not take the necessary steps. Dalits, or untouchables, are the lowest caste within Hindu society. Huge numbers of Dalits have converted to Christianity and Islam over the decades, though in reality the religions offer limited protection from societal prejudice even within their adopted faith. "The discrimination against Dalit Christians in the Catholic Church is a human rights issue and it would be right if we approach the UN to find a solution to it", Mary John said.

"There are separate cemeteries for Dalit Christians. Even in the church there are separate seating arrangements for those from the Dalit community and others. The festival choir processions do not enter the streets where Dalit Christians live," said Kudanthai Arasan, president of the Viduthalai Tamil Puligal Katchi, adding that in some churches even the dead body of a Dalit Christian is not allowed inside for funeral Mass. While Dalit Christians form 70 percent of the total Catholic population in India, said John, their representation in the Church leadership is only 4-5 percent. Out of about 200 active bishops in India, only nine are from the Dalit community.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/1 4:39:58 ( 1047 reads )

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There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and one's subtle body rest upon that and not rest on anything else.
-- Maitri Upanishad

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Taiwan Water Park Inferno: Spotlight on Flammable "Holi" Powder that Sparked Blaze
Posted on 2015/6/29 23:43:28 ( 1266 reads )

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TAIWAN, June 29, 2015 (Straits Times): HPI note: The use of thrown colored powder--traditionally part of the Hindu festival of Holi--has gained a following elsewhere in the world, not as part of a religious event, but as one more feature of small or large parties. During Holi, the colored and potentially flammable cornstarch powder is tossed randomly, and posses no threat. But at these parties, the trend is to disperse it all at once, with in this case, disastrous consequences:

The Color Play Asia event at the Formosa Fun Coast waterpark outside Taipei turned hellish for partygoers when a sudden fire erupted seemingly out of nowhere, injuring hundreds, including a Singaporean woman. "This explosion and fire... was caused by the powder spray. It could have been due to the heat of the lights on the stage," said a spokesman for the New Taipei City fire department.

"Color" events, like last Saturday's event at the Taipei water park, are gaining in popularity, with more and more of such similar ones taking place around the globe. They typically involve colored powder, known as holi powder (made by mixing corn starch, water and food dye), being thrown onto participants. At the time of the incident in Taipei, the powder was released onto partygoers as they danced in front of a stage.

Corn starch, while normally a harmless, edible substance that is almost inert when it is in a mass, is a highly flammable carbohydrate and burns instantly when it is dispersed into fine particles, which happens when it is blown out during a "color" event. In such cases, the substance will be ignited when it comes into contact with a flame or high heat.

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