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Demeaning Portrayal of India in Proposed California Textbooks Causes Uproar


Posted on 2017/5/26 18:09:46 ( 73 reads )

Source

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, May 18, 2017 (Hindu Education Foundation): Indian-American students and parents from across the state gathered at the California Department of Education (CDE) today to oppose the negative portrayal of Hinduism and India in proposed school textbooks. At the public hearing conducted by the Department, they expressed anguish at the recurring problem of adverse reflection of Hinduism and India, pointing out factual inaccuracies and demeaning portrayals in the textbook drafts by key publishers.

"It is disappointing to see that even after a decade of building awareness by the Hindu-American community, textbooks especially by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), McGraw-Hill, Discovery and National Geographic continue to use orientalist narratives to portray Indian civilization" said Shantharam Nekkar, Director of Hindu Education Foundation USA (HEF). "Some textbooks continue to depict Hinduism and ancient India using pictures such as cows eating trash, slums and poverty stricken people" he said.

California mandates the textbooks to be based on the framework laid down by the Department of Education. The framework was revised last year amidst many controversies. Over the past two years, the Department had made several updates to the framework based on inputs by scholars, students and community members, mentioning Hindu concepts like Yoga and Dharma, Sages Vyasa and Valmiki, and Indian achievements in science and technology. Hindu groups pointed out that many of these changes have not been reflected in the textbook drafts.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2017/5/26 18:09:36 ( 64 reads )

Source

To attain stillness of speech and thought at once is mauna. Mauna with speech alone is but a state of dumbness. Only when speech and thought are alike in mauna are you in a state of perfection.
-- Tirumantiram 1896



Tokyo's Invisible Ganeshas


Posted on 2017/5/23 20:21:09 ( 634 reads )

Source

TOKYO, ,JAPAN, May 22, 2017 (by Pallavi Aiyar, The Hindu ): Amidst the quintessentially Japanese plum blossom trees and antique shops, it is jolting therefore, to stumble upon Matsuchiyama Shoden, a Ganesha temple located on slightly elevated ground by the river. But given the Hindu roots of so many deities in the Japanese Buddhist pantheon, it is not entirely surprising. Early Buddhism was deeply intertwined with Hinduism. Consequently, many Japanese schools of Buddhism, especially those influenced by tantric thought, adopted Brahmanic and Hindu devas or Gods. The Hindu God Shiva (Daijizaiten), for example, was associated with Avalokitesvara or Kannon, while Brahma (Bonten) was linked to Manjusri. Hindu deities were most commonly incorporated as guardians. Some, such as Indra (Taishakuten) and Varuna (Raijin) are ubiquitous at temple entrances. Other common devas include Yama (Enmaten), Garuda (Karura), and Lakshmi (Kichijoten). Saraswati (Benzaiten) is particularly popular and has hundreds of temples dedicated to Her across the country.

However, the journey over mountains and oceans from India via China to the Japanese archipelago transformed these deities both in their physical representations and metaphysical meanings. Consequently, for the average Japanese, the Hindu underpinnings of the deities they so often genuflect before at temples have become more or less invisible. Neither the names nor the appearance of the deities betray their origins to the uninitiated. In the case of Ganesha this invisibility is literal, since statues of the elephant-headed deity are almost never displayed public. He is considered so powerful that beholding him can be dangerous and his icons are secreted away, sometimes not even seen by the priests themselves. The juushoku or head priest of Matsuchiyama Shoden, Hirata Shinjyun, confesses to never having looked at the temple's statue of Ganesha. In fact, the last time it was seen by human eyes was following World War II, when it was extracted from its underground wartime hiding place, and placed in an inner sanctum that has remained shut since. The priest says the secrecy surrounding the deity adds to the belief in the efficacy of its power.



Rediscovering India: The British Legacy of India Part 3


Posted on 2017/5/23 20:20:58 ( 347 reads )

Source

INDIA, May 23, 2017 (Slideshare by Arindam Bandyopadhyay): One of the most extraordinary examples of whitewashing of history is the sustained, continuing deletion of two centuries of massive recurrent, man made famine in British India from British and world history. How did these famines occur? The main reason was not bad weather or natural causes but rather the breaking up of India's indigenous crop patterns. The British replaced food crops such as rice and wheat and instead forced Indian farmers to produce jute, cotton, tea and oil seeds, which they needed as raw materials for their home industries. The implication of this in times of shortages was catastrophic, as the famine figures show.

Slideshow and written text for Part 3 at "source" above as well as access to Parts 1 & 2.



Hindu University of America is Launching Online Certificate, Masters and Doctoral Program on Conflict, Peace and Hindu Philosophy


Posted on 2017/5/23 20:20:48 ( 367 reads )

Source

ORLANDO, USA, May 17, 2017 (press release): The Mahatma Gandhi Center for Nonviolence, Human Rights and World Peace at the Hindu University of America is launching online Certificate, Masters and Doctoral program in Conflict, Peace and Hindu Philosophy (CPH) from July 2017. The program aims at enriching the discipline of Conflict and Peace Studies by providing a Hindu perspective. The dominant perspectives in conflict resolution prioritize rigid notions on peace and security, often at the cost of other perspectives from pluralistic cultures and traditions. The program aims to widen the discipline by drawing upon the finer principles of Hinduism. It brings into focus ideas and contributions of the philosophers, leaders and Yogis from Dharmic traditions.

For details of the program see "source" above.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2017/5/23 20:20:38 ( 242 reads )

Source

Hinduism is not a definite dogmatic creed, but a vast, complex and subtly unified mass of spiritual thought and realization. Its tradition of the Godward endeavor of the human spirit has been continuously enlarging through the ages.
-- Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975), philosopher, statesmen and second President of India



Around 1,800 People Stranded after Landslide Hits Pilgrimage Route in India


Posted on 2017/5/22 19:15:20 ( 423 reads )

Source

INDIA, May 20, 2017 (Daily Sabah): Some 1,800 people [other reports give a higher number], many of them pilgrims, were stranded after a landslide hit a highway near a Hindu temple site in India's northern mountainous state of Uttarakhand, officials said Saturday. The landslide triggered by pre-monsoon rains blocked the highway to the Badrinath temple, one of the main Hindu shrines in the region, leading to many vehicles being stuck on both sides.

"Around 1,800 people have been affected by the landslide. Authorities have made provisions for the lodging, food and drinking water of the people in the area," state official Ashish Joshi said. Another state official, Vinod Kumar Suman, said there were no reports of deaths or injuries. Tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit the temples in the Himalayan state every year. In 2013, heavy monsoon rains triggered devastating floods and landslides in the region, leaving more than 5,700 dead or missing and presumed dead.



Tamil Nadu: Over 72,000 Palm-leaf, Paper Manuscripts Moved to Anna Library


Posted on 2017/5/22 19:15:09 ( 0 reads )

Source

CHENNAI, INDIA, May 19, 2017 (Deccan Chronicle): One of the largest libraries in South Asia, the Anna Centenary Library (ACL) in Kotturpuram will now house 72,000 palm-leaf and paper manuscripts as the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Centre (GOML) has been moved into the world class facility with all its rare collections this week. Ending the six-year-long wait, the 148-year-old treasure house relocated itself from Madras University to the seventh floor of the library.

The rare and original palm-leaf and paper manuscripts at the library are 300-500 years old. The palm-leaf manuscripts include those of the Tamil classics Tirukkural, Manimegalai and Tolkappiam. The library also has 25,000 reference books in various subjects. This library was established in 1869 mainly to house India's first Surveyor General Mackenzie's collection. The palm-leaf and paper manuscripts are available in Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Urdu, Arabic, Persian and Sinhalese. They offer an insight into subjects as varied as literature, Vedas, Agama Shastra, architecture and mathematics, astronomy and Siddha.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2017/5/22 19:14:57 ( 227 reads )

Source

Do you realize the sacred significance and the supreme importance of the guru's role in the evolution of man? It was not without reason that the India of the past carefully tended and kept alive the lamp of guru-tattva. It is therefore not without reason that India, year after year, age after age, commemorates anew this ancient concept of the guru, adores it and pays homage to it again and again, and thereby reaffirms its belief and allegiance to it.
-- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh



Udupi: Sri Krishna Math Renovated - Kalabhisheka Held, Brahmakalashotsava on May 18


Posted on 2017/5/21 19:49:40 ( 420 reads )

Source

UDUPI, INDIA, May 17 (Daiji World): Sri Krishna Math in the city, which is eight centuries old, has been thoroughly renovated and reconstructed for the first time under the initiative undertaken by Paryaya Sri Vishweshateertha Swamiji of Pejawar Math. The Swamiji's long-cherished dream has come true. The outer precincts of the Math, which were built of mud in the past, have been replaced with tastefully carved wooden sculptures and the height of the precincts has been increased by one level. With this, more air and light will enter Sri Krishna Math. Brahmakalashotsava as part of the renovation and reconstruction is being held on May 18 on a grand scale. Thousands of devotees pay obeisance at Sri Krishna Math every day. The Math is famous across the country and abroad. Sri Krishna Math happens to be the hub for Dwaita philosophy, which is one of the three main philosophies of Hindu religion.

Full article and many colorful photos at "source" above.



International Conference on Sri Aurobindo at Hindu University of America


Posted on 2017/5/21 19:49:30 ( 453 reads )

Source

ORLANDO, FLORIDA, May 17, 2017 (Press Release): The Hindu University of America, Orlando, USA, organized a two-day international conference on May 4 and 5, 2017, on the theme Relevance of Sri Aurobindo and the Grand Visions of the Ancient Indian Wisdom. Twenty-six speakers from India and the US participated in the conference and focused on various aspects of Sri Aurobindo's philosophy and its relevance for the contemporary world.

The conference aimed at a discussion of Sri Aurobindo's perspectives on the intersection of spirituality and practicality towards a better organization of human life and society. The deliberations positioned his ideas in theoretical and policy debates on individual, state, society and world. Despite the profundity of his philosophy and its wider implications, Sri Aurobindo and his ideas are relatively less known in the West, and there have been few events to make an in-depth study of his philosophy. The conference was a step towards filling this gap.

For details on the conference see "source" above.



Aldous Huxley Describes the Dancing Shiva Image


Posted on 2017/5/21 19:49:19 ( 408 reads )

Source

LONDON, U.K., 1961 (YouTube): The great writer Aldous Huxley (Brave New World, The Perennial Philosophy, The Doors of Perception, Island) describes the "Dancing Shiva" image (Nataraj) of the Hindu tradition and its immense significance and comprehensiveness. This is from an interview with Mr. Huxley which was done in 1961 in London and was recorded and distributed under the title "Speaking Personally". Fascinating short video at "source".



International Yoga Day Will Be Held at Tata Motors with Free Classes


Posted on 2017/5/21 19:49:09 ( 412 reads )

Source

BOLIVIA, May 18, 2017 (Eju.tv, translated from Spanish): The International Association of Yoga and Yogism (Yoga en Sintesis) in Bolivia, with the collaboration of India's automotive icon, Tata Motors and its exclusive distributor, Bolivian Auto Motors, will celebrate on June 21, in the capital of Santa Cruz, the International Yoga Day with a program that is open and free to the public. In this way, Santa Cruz de la Sierra joins this worldwide initiative that many cities have welcomed with large public gatherings since the United Nations agreed three years ago to celebrate this international holiday in recognition of the contribution that yoga, as a holistic system, provides to those who practice it.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2017/5/21 19:48:59 ( 289 reads )

Source

If you stick to your principles, life becomes meaningful. Otherwise you become a rudderless vessel that is at the mercy of the winds.
-- Swami Tejomayananda, spiritual head of Chinmaya Mission



Why Are Millions of Indian Women Dropping out of Work?


Posted on 2017/5/20 19:31:39 ( 445 reads )

Source

INDIA, May18, 2017 (BBC): The numbers are stark - for the first time in India's recent history, not only was there a decline in the female labour participation rate, but also a shrinking of the total number of women in the workforce. Nearly 20 million Indian women quit work between 2004-05 to 2011-12 The labour force participation rate for women of working age declined from 42% in 1993-94 to 31% in 2011-12. While more than 24 million men joined the work force between 2004-5 to 2009-10, the number of women in the the work force dropped by 21.7 million.

Using data gleaned from successive rounds of National Sample Survey Organisation and census data, a team of researchers from World Bank have attempted to find out why this is happening - at a time when India's economy has grown at steady clip. Women need better and more suitable job opportunities outside farming, the authors say. Predictable social norms are attributed to women quitting work in India: marriage, motherhood, vexed gender relations and biases, and patriarchy. But they may not be the only reasons. Significantly, rising aspirations and relative prosperity may be actually responsible for putting a large cohort of women out of work in India.

More at "source" above

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