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Dam to Submerge Hindu Temples and Historical Structures
Posted on 2014/9/18 17:57:41 ( 158 reads )


NALGONDA, TELAGANA, INDIA, September 2, 2014 (The Hindu): Villages under the Pulichintala project have many monuments that are likely to go under water. Even with 11 tmcft (one thousand million cubic feet) storage, four of 13 villages where a majority of temples are located would submerge.

Efforts for rehabilitating 6,775 displaced families from 13 villages in Nalgonda district (near Hyderabad), which are set to submerge under Pulichintala multipurpose project are on, but the translocation of over 100 temples including 21 historical monuments has been delayed by the State government.

The officials in the Endowment and Archaeology Departments said that they had prepared detail project reports by estimating cost for shifting over 100 religious structures close to Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) centres, but the funds were not yet granted. The storage capacity of the multipurpose irrigation project is 45.77 tmcft, but the irrigation authorities would store only a little over 11 tmcft for this year, which would be increased to the total capacity of the project in next three years gradually.

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Police Close Case of Ganesha Found in Newington Pond
Posted on 2014/9/18 17:57:35 ( 136 reads )


NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT, September 11, 2014 (Courant): A town employee made an unusual discovery at Mill Pond Park Thursday morning: In the pond was an ornate figure with an elephant's head, a man's body and four arms.

The employee fished the large, colorful statue from the water and brought it to the police department, Sgt. Christopher Perry said. Officers quickly ascertained that the half-man, half-pachyderm was a likeness of the Hindu God Ganesha. Thinking the statue might have been lost or stolen, police posted a picture of it on their Facebook page and asked anyone with information to contact them.

By day's end, the mystery had been solved. A lawyer for a Hindu group that had a party in the park called to say his clients had intentionally left the statue in the water, Perry said. Such observances are part of the Hindu festival honoring Ganesha, traditionally held this time of year. The figure is designed to dissolve in water, and the group had permission from the parks and recreation department to dispose of it in the pond, Perry said. "Case closed," he said.

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DDharma Civilization Foundation to Establish Chair in Hindu/Vedic Stauces at University of California Irvine
Posted on 2014/9/18 17:57:29 ( 146 reads )


IRVINE, CALIFORNIA, September 9, 2014 (Dharma Civilization Foundation press release): The University of California offers a religious studies program through its School of Humanities. However, these programs currently do not offer a graduate degree in religious studies, and are confined to a Bachelor's Degree. The University of California Irvine (UCI), has expressed a commitment to establish a graduate degree program in religious studies, and is working towards developing the faculty necessary to teach at the Masters and Ph.D. levels.

This initiative was born primarily through the proactive interest of the UCI's School of Humanities, which came to Dharma Civilization Foundation with a proposal, where in one half of the financial commitment necessary to establish a fully endowed chair would come from the State of California, and the other half would be raised by the Dharma Civilization Foundation.

Thanks to a very generous gift by Drs. Irma and Ushakant Thakkar, DCF plans to establish the DCF-Thakkar Family chair in Hindu/Vedic Studies at the University of California. The program will create and facilitate the opportunity for the serious study of the Hindu/Vedic ethos that will emphasize serious scholarship in Indian history of religion, culture, philosophy, religion, and theology.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/18 17:57:23 ( 130 reads )


The sages, being filled with universal love for all beings, did not want to keep their enlightenment to themselves. They declared to all: "O mortals, striving and struggling upon this Earth plane, weeping, wailing, buffeted by the vicissitudes of life: we have come upon a great discovery. There is something beyond these appearances, these vanishing names and forms that go to make up this universe. There is something beyond, which is the very source and support of all these objects of the phenomenal world. Why do you search in vain for happiness outside? Come, come, happiness resides within."
-- Swami Chidananda (1916-2008), president of Divine Life Society

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Festival Parade of Palermo's Hindus
Posted on 2014/9/17 15:34:37 ( 229 reads )


PALERMO, ITALY, August 31, 2014 (Repubblica Palermo): The Vinayakar Chathurthy holy day was celebrated yesterday by hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamil immigrants in the shipyard district of Palermo. The festival commemorates the birthday of Ganesha; one of the most beloved Deities of the Tamil community. The event began with a function at the Muthu Vinaayakar Aalayam on Via Venancio Marvuglia and continued with a procession of the Deity through the neighboring streets.

The chariot carrying the Deity was accompanied by men carrying kavadi (small wooden altars) on their shoulders. Tradition has it that the hooks and spears inserted in various parts of their bodies resolved the vows they had previously made to God.

The ceremony ended with the ritual of the "breaking of the coconut." A small bazaar selling goods imported from India and Sri Lanka, set up in the street outside the temple rounded out this celebration which invoked good humored curiosity among the inhabitants of the district.

Slideshow at "source."

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Devotees May Immerse Statues in Small Water-Filled Containers
Posted on 2014/9/17 15:34:30 ( 228 reads )


BHOPAL, INDIA, September 5, 2014 (Daily Pioneer): To avoid pollution in the water bodies during the Ganesha statue immersion, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to place small containers filled with water, where the devotees may immerse statues in Narmada water.

These containers would be placed at every ward. With the implementation of the instructions given by BMC Commissioner Tejaswi S. Naik, the development works are being carried out for the statue immersion. The officials concerned are instructed to take speedy actions and complete the work within the given time. Further, to keep the water pollution free, the water of sacred Narmada River will be arranged at the immersion ghats of various wards so that the devotees may perform the rituals observing the required customs and also the rivers will remain pollution free.

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Himachal Pradesh's Outlaws Animal Sacrifice in Hindu Temples
Posted on 2014/9/17 15:34:24 ( 210 reads )


INDIA, September 2, 2014 (The Guardian): A court in remote northern India has banned a long tradition of sacrificing animals for religious reasons, deeming the practice cruel and barbaric. The high court in Himachal Pradesh has asked police and other officials to enforce its ban on the slaughter, mainly of goats, in Hindu temples throughout the state.

"A startling revelation has been made ... thousands of animals are sacrificed every year in the name of worship," the court said. "Sacrifice causes immense pain and suffering to innocent animals. They cannot be permitted to be sacrificed to appease a god or deity in a barbaric manner," it said.

Animals are symbolically offered to the deity and later taken home by villagers and their guests for eating during the Himalayan state's bitterly cold winter.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/17 15:34:18 ( 197 reads )


It is easy to tame the rogue elephant. It is easy to tie the mouth of a bear. It is easy to mount the back of a lion. It is easy to charm poisonous snakes. It is easy to conquer the celestial and the noncelestial realms. It is easy to trek the worlds invisible. It is easy to command the angelic heavens. It is easy to retain youth eternally. It is easy to enter the body of others. It is easy to walk on water and sit in burning fire. It is easy to attain all of the siddhis (yogic powers). But to remain still is very, very difficult indeed.
Tayumanavar (1706-1744), Tamil saint, mystic and poet

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Correction on Call for papers: Digital Hinduism Academic Anthology
Posted on 2014/9/6 17:30:00 ( 1031 reads )

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 6, 2014 (Press Release, with correction providing names of editors): In this anthology edited by Vamsee Juluri and Murali Balaji, we seek to show how the digital age has transformed the way Hinduism is communicated -- and practiced -- across the world. From online worship services and philosophical forums, articulations of LGBT Hindu identities through online portals, devotional social media sites and non-Indian Hindu bloggers, to the iterations of Hinduphobia on various web portals, this anthology reflects the diverse and interdisciplinary scholarship resulting from an ancient religion's interactions with new media. Chapters must be no longer than 7,000 words in APA citation style. For full consideration, please submit a 150-word abstract to by October 15.

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Australian PM Tony Abbott Returns 11th Century Stolen Statues to Modi
Posted on 2014/9/6 17:23:32 ( 776 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 5, 2014 (New Indian Express): Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday handed over to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi two antique statues of Hindu deities which were stolen from temples in Tamil Nadu before being bought by art galleries in Australia.

During his meeting with Modi, Abbott returned the statues, one of which is a Nataraja -- the dancing Shiva -- which belonged to the Chola dynasty of 11th-12th century. The other sculpture is of Ardhanariswara, which represents Shiva in half-female form, and dates back to 10th century.

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Temple Demolition: Pakistani Hindus Seek Redress
Posted on 2014/9/6 17:23:25 ( 710 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 5, 2014 (Business Standard): As Pakistani authorities are all set to raze a 79-year-old temple in Rawalpindi, anger and disappointment prevail among the country's Hindu minority that is seeking protection and freedom to practice their religion in an Islamic state.

Hindus have been living in Rawalpindi for over a century and the 1935-built Maharishi Valmik Swamiji Mandir in the Gracy Lines area of the Chaklala cantonment holds major significance as it enables them to worship and conduct religious festivities. Its entrance is decorated with Pakistani flags, a sign of the Hindu minorities' patriotism and love for the country where they were born and grew up.

When notice to demolish such an old temple was issued July 18, a sense of anger, fear, and panic gripped not just the over 20,000 Hindus of Rawalpindi and neighboring Islamabad but also the two million Hindus - a dwindling community - living across Pakistan, a nation of 180 million people.

Lahore-based journalist Raza Wazir felt the demolition of the temple symbolizes "a trend in Pakistan where the space for religious plurality and tolerance of different beliefs is fast shrinking". It is indicative of a change in the attitude of the authorities as well as the active members of society who "no longer consider it their duty to care for faiths other than Islam", Wazir told IANS in an email, adding: "This is surely a bad sign for the progress of Pakistan's democratic culture."

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Call for papers: Digital Hinduism Academic Anthology
Posted on 2014/9/5 18:00:00 ( 793 reads )

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 5, 2014 (Press Release): In this anthology edited by Vamsee Juluri and Murali Balaji, we seek to show how the digital age has transformed the way Hinduism is communicated -- and practiced -- across the world. From online worship services and philosophical forums, articulations of LGBT Hindu identities through online portals, devotional social media sites and non-Indian Hindu bloggers, to the iterations of Hinduphobia on various web portals, this anthology reflects the diverse and interdisciplinary scholarship resulting from an ancient religion's interactions with new media. Chapters must be no longer than 7,000 words in APA citation style. For full consideration, please submit a 150-word abstract to by October 15.

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Chinese President Xi May Offer India New Route for Kailash Yatra
Posted on 2014/9/5 17:51:49 ( 824 reads )


INDIA, September 4, 2014 (Hindustan Times): In a major political gesture, Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to announce the opening of a new safe route for Indian pilgrims visiting Kailash and Manasarovar in Tibet via Sikkim during his forthcoming visit to India. Besides a package of major investments, Xi may announce the opening of the route sought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their first meeting in Fortaleza in Brazil in July this year.

Expectations are high that the route through Nathu La border point in Sikkim would be part of the big gesture of friendship not only to strike chord with Modi but also the people at large, especially Hindus and Buddhists considering its religious importance.

Modi wanted the second route for the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra, keeping in view the terrain difficulties of the existing routes through Uttarakhand and Nepal which involves an arduous journey involving heavy tracking or by mules. The Yatra involves trekking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet.

More at "source."

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Ganesha Festival in UK
Posted on 2014/9/5 17:51:44 ( 659 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, September 3, 2014 (Echo): Thousands of people turned out to the country's biggest festival celebrating the Hindu God Ganesh. More than 10,000 Hindus descended on Shoebury's East Beach for the Ganesh Visarjan on Sunday after a procession from Blackgate Road to a marquee on the beach.

Worshippers enjoyed food, live music, singing and dancing. The festival ended with a water ceremony at 6pm, where statues of Ganesh were washed in the Thames Estuary and showered with flower petals.

Worshippers came in coaches from all over the country, including Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham, with organiser Jay Gokani, of the Hounslow Hindu temple in West London, describing it as a great success.

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Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Owns $1.6 Billion in Properties across India, Nepal
Posted on 2014/9/5 17:51:38 ( 613 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, August 27, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) has land, shopping complexes and other buildings not only in Andhra Pradesh but also in Nepal, Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Pondicherry, Haryana and Odisha.

"The market value of the landed properties owned by the TTD is about US$1.6 billion. In all, there is 4,657.51 acres of land belonging to TTD in the then undivided Andhra Pradesh, and another 125.75 acres outside Andhra Pradesh including Nepal and other states in India," said Endowments Minister Manikyal Rao.

However, YSRC members Chintala Ramachandra Reddy and Peddireddygari Ramachandra Reddy said the worth of TTD properties would be over $8 billion and that the TTD officials are failing to protect the properties of Lord Venkateswara. While no assurance was given by the minister on House Committee, he said the government will take all steps to ensure that every inch of TTD land and other properties are protected.

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