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US Post Office to Issue Diwali Stamp

Posted on 2016/8/27 19:33:07 ( 438 reads )


WASHINGTON D.C., August 23, 2016 (Washington Post): It took petitions from everyone from schoolchildren to members of Congress, and 12 years of waiting. Soon, a long-hoped-for goal will be a stickum-backed reality of less than a square inch: a new postage stamp recognizing the holiday of Diwali. The stamp, announced by the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday, will be the first stamp honoring the Hindu religion, joining U.S. postage that has marked Christian, Jewish and Muslim holidays in the past.

What's the value of an old-fashioned stamp in a society that uses less and less snail mail? "Stamps are miniature pieces of art that reflect the American experience," Mark Saunders at the U.S. Postal Service said. Members of the Hindu community and their supporters have asked for years to join the long list of themes that have inspired stamp art. Saunders said the first petition for a Diwali stamp was received in 2004. It's hard for a petition to make the cut: the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee receives about 40,000 stamp suggestions every year and only recommends about 25 to the postmaster general, Saunders said.

The call for a Diwali stamp grew louder. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced a resolution in Congress last year in favor of a Diwali stamp. Indian diplomats in the United States expressed support for it, and thousands of Americans wrote letters and signed petitions. In the end, it was the volume of those petitions, not the high-profile support, that swayed the committee, said William Gicker, director of stamp development. "This was the biggest push, the most people writing in," he said. "From our standpoint, we are producing stamps for people to use for holidays ... Looking at the numbers, we saw that Diwali is a holiday that people send cards and correspondence. So we were happy to support that."

Photo of the new stamp at "source" above. At some point the stamp will be available for sale at https://store.usps.com/store/, but not as of this posting.

Calling Hinduism a Way of Life Is Meaningless: Sanjeev Sanyal

Posted on 2016/8/27 19:32:56 ( 407 reads )


INDIA, August 22, 2016 (Boom Live by Hindol Sengupta): Who is a Hindu? What does he believe or can he be an unbeliever and still be a Hindu? Why is Hinduism so open to everything and yet driven the same goal to adapt and accommodate everything? What does a Hindu seek? While addressing these questions Hindol Sengupta explores the modern Hindus and the societies they are living in.

In this video episode of Being Hindu, my friend Sanjeev Sanyal, economist, historian and the author of books like "Land of Seven Rivers" and most recently "The Ocean of Churn," and I talk about what Sanjeev calls the architecture of Hinduism and what I call Hinduism, the open source faith. What are we essentially saying? We are arguing that Hinduism is unique because while it sees The Truth as absolute and immutable but simultaneously acknowledges that there could be an infinite number of variations and permutations and combinations to approach that Truth.

So Hinduism, says Sanjeev, is like an operating system which provides the basic framework to structure the search, and different thinkers, sages, monks, philosophers have built apps on top of that architecture, on top of that operating system, building thoughts and ideas that assist people on the faith to knowing the Truth. In a sense, I argue, Hinduism is an open source faith allowing many ideas to flow in and provides nuances and directions of thought that assimilate and accommodate constantly and consistently.

Watch this interesting video discussion at "source" above.

American Held for Preaching Christianity to Nepalese

Posted on 2016/8/27 19:32:46 ( 361 reads )


JHAPA, NEPAL, August 24, 2016 (Himalayan Times): An American national was arrested for preaching Christianity to locals with an intention to force them into changing their religion. The suspect has been identified as 70-year-old Fomess Dolan, according to the Jhapa District Police Office. He was arrested from a local church, Hosma Academy. police added. According to police, he had entered Nepal without a visa via India.

He was posing himself as a doctor who had come to help the locals, stated DSP Hari Prasad Sharma of the DPO. He asked the women who came to him seeking treatment to wash off the sindur (vermilion powder) from their foreheads and discard potes (traditional glass beads worn by married Hindu women) in the name of Jesus. The locals then reported him to police for trying to make them change their religion.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/27 19:32:36 ( 178 reads )


The way to freedom is a way of silence--of silent resolve and silent service.
-- Sadhu Vaswani, (1879-1966) founder the Sadhu Vaswani Mission

South African Temple Celebrates a Decade of Devotion to Lord Ganesha

Posted on 2016/8/26 14:36:08 ( 443 reads )


DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, August 19, 2016 (Rising Sun): It was a special moment for the organizers of the Lord Ganesha Float Procession when they unveiled two beautiful and divine murthis at the launch held at the Shri Marieammen Temple in Mount Edgecombe, recently.

The murthis, which are in the image of Lord Ganesha and Mother Ganga, will go on a pilgrimage to 27 temples in Newlands West, Durban North, Phoenix, Verulam and Marianhill for the next 10 days. This year is significant as the procession celebrates its 10th anniversary and takes place on September 3 and 4. The first float procession took place at the Blue Lagoon Park in 2007.

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