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California Governor Vetoes Bill to Revise School Textbook Content Standards
Posted on 2014/9/22 18:34:12 ( 85 reads )


SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, September 19, 2014 (HPI): California governor Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 1057 which would have called for the revision of the "Content Standards" which guide the creation of the state's history-social science books for grades K-12. The Hindu-American community was disappointed with the veto as the bill could have improved the presentation of Hinduism and Indian history in the state's school system.

In vetoing the bill, the governor said, "This bill would require the State Board of Education to adopt history-social science content standards by July 30, 2018. I agree that providing up to date instructional guidance to educators for use in their classrooms is important. This is precisely why the State Board of Education is currently updating the history-social science framework which is on track to be adopted next spring. I am concerned that this bill may slow progress that is already underway, and does not include a role for the Instructional Quality Commission. For these reasons, I am unable to sign this bill."

For the full text of the original bill, go to: ... l?bill_id=201320140SB1057

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Know how Durga Puja is celebrated in East India
Posted on 2014/9/22 18:34:06 ( 85 reads )


INDIA, September 8, 2014 (by Anindita Dev, zeenews): It's that time of the year for the Bengali Hindus and Assamese, who wake up to the Dhak (drum) beats every morning, following the ten-day long festival of Durga Puja. Durga Puja is also referred to as Durgotsava in Bengali, which marks the victory of Durga over the buffalo demon, Mahishasura. It symbolises the victory of good over evil. The celebration of Durga Puja is culturally significant and holds emotional value for the people of Bengal, Assam and adjoining areas.

Throughout the 6 days of this festival, the cities their cultural milieu. Pandals are set up in all the nooks and corner of city, wherever possible. The Deities are creatively crafted by the potters, out of clay and the life-size Deities of Durga along with her children are installed in the pandals. Community puja or Sarbojanin puja, take up the role of organizing the puja in their locality by housing Deities in pandals and make-shift temples. The five-day worship of the Goddess ends with a grand procession of immersing the Deity in the nearby river. This marks an emotional moment, as She leaves Her home to reunite with Shiva, marked by Vijayadashami. This indicates Durga's victory over the evil and in Northern part of the country, it is known as Dusherra which marks Rama's victory over the demon Ravana.

During the five-day celebration, devotees abstain from alcohol, meat, onions, and wheat. This is something similar to people observing fasts during the Navratras.The end of Navratri calls for an auspicious time for new business or considered lucky for any new work, following a number of rituals which leads to Shubho Bijoya.

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The On-Going Battle for Custodianship of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple and its Immense Wealth
Posted on 2014/9/22 18:34:00 ( 96 reads )

On the day the first vault was opened, the court team also tried to open a second, known as Kallara B. Today, the question of whether to open Kallara B to examine its contents is at the center of a bitter and protracted Supreme Court battle, as is the bigger question of exactly who should control the temple, and its priceless treasure. The Varmas, the former royal family of Travancore, now part of the modern state of Kerala, have staunchly opposed opening the vault, citing fears it will disturb the temple's spiritual energy, anger the Deity and bring them ill fortune. "They believe death will visit them if Kallara B would be opened," KK Venugopal, a family lawyer, told the judges during a Supreme Court hearing in August.

Yet the Travancore royals are on the defensive when it comes to the temple and its affairs. In April, Gopal Subramanium, a top lawyer appointed as amicus curiae, an independent adviser to the court accused the erstwhile royals of a "large-scale breach of moral and fiduciary duties" to Lord Padmanabha. In his exhaustive 575-page report, he argued there was no proper accounting of public donations received or monies spent at the temple, nor proper records of temple assets. Following this sharp criticism, the Supreme Court ordered the former royal family to hand over their keys to the temple and its vaults, severing their centuries-old role as the shrine's main custodians.

The court-ordered opening and inventorying of Kallara B seems inevitable -- and there is fierce speculation over what it will reveal. Meanwhile, Princess Gowri Parvathi who is the niece of the last Travancore Maharaja insists her family, now led by her older brother, will keep fighting for the restoration of its custodianship of the shrine it insists it had served faithfully for centuries. "We have no claim even to one little coin within the temple," she says. "We are saying it all belongs to the Deity and to Him only. We are not fighting to gain control of the riches - not at all. We want our good name vindicated. This is our life. It's not about possessions. We are fighting for our life."

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Lord Ganesha Figure Immersed in Pattaya Bay, Thailand
Posted on 2014/9/22 18:33:53 ( 86 reads )


PATTAYA, THAILAND, September 12, 2014 (Pattaya Mail): Followers of the Hindu and Buddhist God Ganesha capped a 15-day festival with a ceremony lowering a statue of the "God of Success" into the sea at Bali Hai Pier. Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and Pattaya Ganesha Lovers Club President Chaiwat Detnathee led the faithful at a fire sacrifice and prayer ceremony Aug. 28 as part of the Ganesha Chaturthi celebration.

The centerpiece of the event was the ritual immersion of an eight-foot-tall Ganesha figure into the sea, symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in His journey towards His abode in Kailash while taking away with Him the misfortunes of His devotees.

The Aug. 15-30 festival -- the sixth year it has been held in Thailand -- is the country's largest celebration of its kind. The festival included a parade through Pattaya to display Ganesha's image so followers could pray for their own success and obstacles to be removed. Pattaya officials and club leaders then led followers in an evening candle-lighting ceremony.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/22 18:33:47 ( 80 reads )


When the fundamentalists of any religion teach an unrelenting duality based on good and evil, man and nature or God and Devil, this creates friends and enemies. This belief is a sacrilege to Hindus, because they know that the attitudes which are the by-product are totally dualistic, and for good to triumph over that which is alien or evil, it must kill out that which is considered to be evil. The Hindu looks at nothing as intrinsically evil. To him the ground is sacred. The sky is sacred. The sun is sacred. His wife is a Goddess. Her husband is a God. Their children are devas. Their home is a shrine.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

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