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Georgetown University to Add Hindu Chaplaincy This Fall
Posted on 2014/8/27 16:45:03 ( 176 reads )

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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 13, 2014 (Georgetown Voice): This fall, Georgetown will add to its extensive on-campus chaplain community, the largest in the entire country, with its first-ever Hindu chaplain. Pratima Dharm, a Hindu chaplain currently serving in the U.S. Army, will arrive on campus on October 1.

Vice President for Mission and Ministry Kevin O'Brien, S.J., announced Dharm's decision to come to campus via email yesterday. O'Brien connected Dharm's chaplaincy to Georgetown's long tradition of diverse chaplains. According to O'Brien, Dharm is the first female chaplain of Indian descent and the first Hindu chaplain in the U.S. Army.

"Over the years, she earned the esteem of her colleagues and, among other accolades, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for organizing and leading numerous humanitarian aid missions for the Kurdish people in Iraq," O'Brien wrote. "Before joining the army, Chaplain Dharm served as a teacher, counselor, and social worker in a variety of settings." Dharm will retire from military service this fall and starts at Georgetown on October 1.

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With Bells and Bananas, a Time to Worship Ganesh
Posted on 2014/8/27 16:44:57 ( 142 reads )

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FLUSHING, NEW YORK, August 26, 2014 (NY Times): At the Hindu Temple Society of North America, in Flushing, Queens, this week is time to worship Ganesh, the elephant-headed, many-armed Deity who is believed to remove obstacles. Here, as at temples in over a dozen countries, Hindus are celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi, which marks the God's birth (and rebirth).

In Queens, which has perhaps the largest Hindu population in New York, more than 10,000 people will pay homage during the jubilee, which started on Friday and ends on Sunday. More than 400 gallons of milk, 100 boxes of apples, 50 crates of bananas and five kilograms of sandalwood paste will be used. And each day, dozens of liters of ghee, clarified butter, will be ladled into the fire pit for the homam, or fire ritual, which is believed to carry offerings to the lord. Visitors will consume some 50,000 prepared meals, according to the organizers.

Much more at "source."

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Bringing Clay to Life
Posted on 2014/8/27 16:44:51 ( 145 reads )

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HYDERABAD, INDIA, August 21, 2014 (The Hindu): Infusing life into clay statues is the artisans' skill and with awareness about use of clay statues increasing, these traditional potters are working overtime to meet the demand from devotees celebrating in their houses and mass pujas in public places in Hyderabad. Decorating Lord Ganesha statues with carcinogenic colours is a thing of the past and majority root for the clay statues.

Very nice slice show at "source."

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Statue-Makers Pay a Price for Going Green
Posted on 2014/8/27 16:44:36 ( 124 reads )

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INDIA, August 23, 2014 (The Hindu): Every year, weeks before Ganesh Chaturthi, the word 'eco-friendly' garners more attention than the festival itself. Social organisations, NGOs and government bodies embark on campaigns vociferously advocating the use of eco-friendly Ganeshas. But, this trend of 'going green' seems to have reversed in Bommala Colony, as statues makers there pay a hefty price for embracing environmentalism.

The colony, situated on the outskirts of the temple city, is known for its eco-friendly Ganeshas and is frequented by people. Of late, the introduction of Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols in the region has dampened the statue makers' spirit, as people have been opting for shiny statues instead of the eco-friendly ones. "Making statues from naturally available items is hard work (it takes more than six months) and requires huge godowns for storage. A drizzle can melt an entire statue within minutes. On the contrary, PoP statues can be made in a jiffy and can withstand the rigours of nature," says statue maker Sabhari, hastening his work on a statue, apprehensive about the overcast conditions.

Lamenting the indifference of officials, Mr. Sabhari maintained that all their pleas to ban PoP statues had fallen on deaf ears. "Over the years, we have approached several officials, but none of them took steps to resolve the issue. Their apathy sometimes makes us question ourselves - what is the use of being environment friendly," he adds. According to him, a complete ban on the use of PoP statues, implemented in states like Tamil Nadu, will address the issue effectively.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/27 16:44:29 ( 126 reads )

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He is the Supreme Brahman, the Self of all, the chief foundation of this world, subtler than the subtle, eternal. That thou art; thou art That.
-- Atharva Veda, Kaivalya Upanishad

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