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Indian Priests Perform 9-day Yagna for Tokyo's Clean Environment

Posted on 2016/10/24 20:37:27 ( 266 reads )


TOKYO, JAPAN, October 21, 2016 (ANI): A number of Hindu priests from India and across the world began chanting Vedic hymns for a nine-day yagna being performed for the environmental and other issues prevalent in Tokyo. Over 100 priests from India have made it to Tokyo to perform the holy ritual. The ritual aims to bring down natural disasters, suicide cases and psychiatric disorders. [HPI Note: The article doesn't say who organized the event.]

Video can be viewed at "source" above.

Sydney Opera House to Be Lit up for Diwali

Posted on 2016/10/24 20:37:16 ( 195 reads )


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, October 22, 2016 (Khaleej Times): Australia's iconic Sydney Opera House is about to turn golden for a night in celebration of Diwali, the traditional Indian festival of lights. New South Wales Premier Mike Baird will visit the Opera House next Friday night to witness its color change. Before that, Baird is expected to attend a traditional Hindu ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art here. From 8 p.m. to midnight the Sydney Opera House will shine golden, and the illumination will be visible along the harbor. Diwali, which celebrates the conquest of light over darkness and truth over ignorance, is celebrated by Indians all over the world. It falls on October 30.

Local Music Teacher Receives National Award

Posted on 2016/10/19 18:32:18 ( 592 reads )


SOUTH AFRICA, October 19, 2016 (Rising Sun): Cultural doyen, spiritual leader and school teacher, Guru Sadha Munien, was honored by the South African Hindu Maha Sabha at the Durban City Hall, on Saturday. Continuing his late father's legacy of propagating the ancient form of Indian music and language to children in the Chatsworth and surrounding areas, Munien was awarded with the prestigious national award for the promotion of music, culture and language.

Speaking about the award, Munien said, "No one's life is complete without the artistic and cultural balance. Language and culture keeps the community together and it is for this reason I will continue to uphold the legacy of my late father who was an iconic cultural leader in the community." Munien's late father, Soobramoney Munien Blakes, opened the Saraswathi Padasalai School of Fine Arts in 1961, in Cator Manor. Guru Munien continues this legacy and runs the school from Dawnridge Primary School in Moorton, every Friday. 529 pupils from around the community are currently being taught the art of music at the school.

Man's Best Friend Is Not the Dog!

Posted on 2016/10/19 18:32:07 ( 402 reads )


INDIA, October 19, 2016 (YouTube): In this short and entertaining video from the UK's Jay Lakhani he explains why it is the cow that deserves to be recognized and honored. For thousands of years men were hunter-gathers, he starts out. The only time human beings settled down and started farming and becoming a little bit civilized is when they had this lovely animal called the cow. If you wish to pay tribute to one animal as man's best friend, Lakhani concludes, it's not the dog, it is the gentle animal called the cow.

Video is at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/10/19 18:31:57 ( 266 reads )


I have heard that man can acquire superhuman powers through it and perform miracles. What shall I do with superhuman powers? Can one realize God through them? If God is not realized then everything becomes false.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

River Saraswati Did Exist Finds a Government Panel

Posted on 2016/10/18 19:51:57 ( 546 reads )


INDIA, October 16, 2016 (Topyaps, by Aseem Gaurav Sharma): The Saraswati, a river mentioned in the Rigveda and Hindu mythology and so far considered a mythical river, did exist, a government-constituted experts' committee has found. The expert committee comprised of geologists, archaeologists and hydrologists. "The Saraswati originated in the Himalayas and passed through Haryana, Rajasthan and north Gujarat," eminent geologist Prof KS Valdiya, who led the panel, said. The report commissioned by the Water Resources Ministry was made public on October 15.

The panel concluded that evidence from palaeochannels -- remnants of defunct rivers -- suggested that the Sarsuti-Markanda rivulets in Haryana were the water courses of the "eastern branch of a Himalayan river" and the Ghaggar-Patiali channels were the western branches. [HPI note: this is not really a "new" discovery as the Ghaggar had been identified with the Saraswati on 19th century British maps, but it is welcome confirmation.] The Centre and especially Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharati had in 2014 made "finding the missing river" a priority of the Modi government. Even Haryana government was involved in tracing the origin of the mythical Saraswati. Last year, people involved in digging the course of the Saraswati in Mugalwali village of Yamunanagar district found water gushing out when they burrowed to a depth of eight feet.

Anger Seethes Within Section of Assam Society Over Granting of Citizenship of Hindu Bengalese from Bangladesh

Posted on 2016/10/18 19:51:47 ( 423 reads )


ASSAM, INDIA, October 16, 2016 (Northeast Today): There is a growing discontentment amongst a section of Assamese people who had voted the to power in the state over granting of citizenship of Hindu Migrants from Bangladesh. This move which directly violates the 1985 Assam Accord will ensure that almost 200,000 Bangladeshi Hindus will be given citizenship in the state of Assam, something which PM Modi had promised before the 2014 elections.

The proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 - introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Modi government on December 23, 2014 - will grant Indian citizenship not only to the Bengali Hindus from Bangladesh, but also to all Hindus, Parsis, Christians, Buddhists and Sikhs of Pakistan and Afghanistan, who are seeking refuge in India "due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution." It also reduces their period of stay in India required to become eligible for citizenship from 11 years to six years.

Several critics and thinkers have questioned the rationale behind the move "If the Centre wants to rehabilitate the migrants then they should spread them across the country and not just one state" says one such individual adding that he did not want Assam to become another Tripura where the indigenous tribal population have become a complete minority in the state.

Sewa Day 2016: International Day of Volunteering Celebrated Across USA

Posted on 2016/10/18 19:51:36 ( 394 reads )


HOUSTON, TEXAS, October 17, 2016 (Press Release Sewa International): Sewa Day, a day of pure voluntary selfless service, was celebrated by the Hindu-American community for the 6th successive year with community service projects at 32 locations across the US. Hundreds of volunteers across different age-groups and backgrounds including youth and children from Sewa International and partner organizations came together between September 11 and October 16 and worked on a variety of activities to make a difference in their communities.

Sewa Day is supported worldwide by three guiding principles: 1. Serve humanity to relieve hardship, 2. Bring a little joy to others, and 3. Help to sustain the environment. This year saw participation from new states and cities, a 60% increase in the number of nationwide events, and increased diversity of projects from feeding the homeless and tree planting to free immigration service sessions, and even a FIRST Robotics-connected STEM camp.

A photo album of Sewa Day 2016 activities in the USA is available here: https://goo.gl/photos/jnVcKSjtnXETCuUY7

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/10/18 19:51:26 ( 252 reads )


To enter into the spiritual life is a rare blessedness, it is a great good: to take it seriously and engage in active spiritual Sadhana is a second blessedness and a still greater good: but to persevere in the spiritual life, to be ever progressive and ceaseless in one's spiritual life, is the greatest good, the crowning blessedness.
-- Swami Chidananda (1916-2008), President of Divine Life Society

Ayudha Puja: The Worship of Weapons

Posted on 2016/10/13 19:46:27 ( 690 reads )


INDIA, October 10, 2016 (Swarajya): Ayudha puja or shastra puja is the worship of weapons that takes place on the ninth day of the Navaratri festival. Weapons are retrieved for use with the blessings of the Goddess on the tenth day, Vijayadasami. Ayudha puja is a pan-Indian phenomenon, although it is traditionally confined to those closely connected with, and responsible for, the use of weapons such as royal families and schools of martial arts such as kalaripayattu. Today, worship of weapons is primarily carried out by policemen, security personnel and the army. Most Indian army units have long standing traditions of ayudha puja.

Unlike Abrahamic traditions, Hinduism sees divinity in all of creation and God as both immanent and transcendent. Such an attitude infuses divinity into all activities of life. Work itself is worship, and this philosophy of karma yoga is yet another context in which to place the veneration of weapons. Although it means "weapons", ayudha is also a generic term that means "instrument or implement." On the ninth day of Navaratri, everyone cleans, decorates and worships the implement that enables them to make a living, seeing a manifestation of the divine in that. This applies to musicians and musical instruments, farmers and the plough, students and their books, as well as factories and machinery. And of course, it applies to soldiers and their weapons.

Much more of this lengthy and interesting article at "source" above.

Religion Data of Census 2011: Meghalaya

Posted on 2016/10/13 19:46:16 ( 466 reads )


INDIA, October 13, 2016 (Center for Policy Studies by Dr. JK Bajaj): The thirtieth note posted on the Religion Data of Census 2011 concerns the religious demography of the different Scheduled Tribe communities of Meghalaya. Meghalaya has now become a Christian tribal State. More than 86 percent of the total population of the State is from the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and among the STs more than 84 percent are now Christian. The process of conversion of the Scheduled Tribes of Meghalaya that began in the early decades of the twentieth century and picked up pace after Independence is not yet complete. Therefore, the share of Christians in the ST population has been rising from decade to decade. In the last two decades, their share has risen from 75.3 to 84.4 percent, marking an accretion of 9 percentage points.

The rise of Christianity in Meghalaya, at least during the recent decades, has been mainly at the cost of the followers of the so-called Other Religions and Persuasions (ORPs). Because of this, the richly diverse religious practices of the people--like Songsarek of the Garo or Niamtre of the Khasi--which had survived for uncounted centuries under the benignly protective umbrella of Hinduism, are now about to disappear. This is a great cultural, religious and civilizational tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes in the present times that are supposedly be much more tolerant and supportive of diversity both in nature and in society.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/10/13 19:46:05 ( 317 reads )


Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. Proneness to exaggerate, to suppress or modify the truth, wittingly or unwittingly, is a natural weakness of man and silence is necessary in order to surmount it.
-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), Indian spiritual leader

Abu Dhabi's First Hindu Temple to Be Built in a Year

Posted on 2016/10/12 19:47:03 ( 554 reads )


ABU DHABI, October 12, 2016 (Khaleej Times): The first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi will come up on 20,000 square metres of land at Al Wathba. "We took delivery of the land on Monday. The temple will be built within one year," said BR Shetty, the businessman who heads the temple coordination committee, on Monday night. "Al Wathba is just 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi City. It will be close to the highway on Abu Dhabi-Al Ain road," Shetty, chief executive officer of NMC Healthcare and UAE Exchange, told Khaleej Times.

Inside the temple, the murthis will be of "Deities Krishna, Maheshwara, Ayyappa and more." "The temple will have a good vrindavan (garden) and a waterfront," Shetty added. It was during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit in August last year that the UAE Government announced its decision to allocate land for Abu Dhabi's first ever Hindu temple. At present, there are two Hindu temples and one Sikh gurudwara in Dubai.

Badrinath Temple to Close for Winter November 16

Posted on 2016/10/12 19:46:53 ( 384 reads )


DEHRADUN, INDIA, October 12, 2016 (Daily Pioneer): Based on astrological calculations the date for closure of the kapat (portals) of Badrinath temple to the public for the winters was declared to be November 16 on Wednesday.

This year, the portals of the temple to Lord Ganesh will be closed after Ganesha worship and Mahabhishek on November 12 after which on November 13, the portals of Adi Kedareshwar will be closed ceremoniously. After various other religious rituals including the ceremonious worship of Goddess Lakshmi in her temple and Kadhai Bhog on November 15 after which the portals of the Badrinath temple will be closed to human devotees at the designated time of 3:45 PM on November 16.

According to long held belief, Lord Vishnu in the form of Badrinath is worshipped by humans for a duration of six months in the summer and monsoon seasons, the gods led by the celestial sage Narad conduct the worship of Lord Badirnath in the shrine during the six-month winter period when a blanket of snow covers parts of both the Badrinath temple township and the surrounding Himalayan peaks.

You'll Be Surprised at Which Religions Have the Most Members with $100K+ Incomes

Posted on 2016/10/12 19:46:41 ( 408 reads )


U.S., October 12, 2016 (Time): A new analysis from the Pew Research Center focuses on how much money various religious groups earn, and clearly, members of certain religions are much more likely than others to be wealthy. But don't assume that converting to a new religion is going to somehow boost your income. The real takeaway from the data is probably a message you've heard many times over: Higher education is the path to higher earnings.

According to data collected in a huge 2014 Pew study, 44% of American Jews live in a household with total income of $100,000 or more. That's the highest rate in the nation, followed by Hindus (36%) and Episcopalians (35%). These three groups also had high representations in the $50,000 to $99,000 income bracket. Altogether, roughly 70% of members of the Jewish, Hindu, and Episcopalian faith have household incomes of $50,000 or above.

In a way it should come as little surprise that Jews and Hindus tend to have the highest earners. After all, they also tend to be exceptionally well educated. A previous Pew study revealed that 58% of American Jews are college graduates, and 28% have post-grad degrees--compared to rates of 29% and 10%, respectively, for all U.S. adults. Hindus have even higher rates of higher education, with 85% holding college degrees and 57% with some post-graduate education, according to a 2012 study.

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