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Religious Leaders, Scholars Honored by 2015 Padma Awards
Posted on 2015/1/25 11:39:03 ( 52 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 25, 2015: (IBN Live): Padma Awards, one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, were announced on Sunday. The awards are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service (7 awarded in 2015); Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order (20 awarded) and Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field (75 awarded). The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.

These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year. This year the President of India has approved conferment of Padma Awards to 104 persons (see source above for full list).

American David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri), a Sanskritist, astrologer and expert in Ayurveda was given the Padma Bhushan (which also went to Bill and Melinda Gates). George Hart, Professor of Tamil at the University of California, was honored with the Padma Shri award. Chinese Indologist Huang Baosheng and German Indologist Annette Schmiedchen also received the Padma Shri.

In this story, here, it is reported that Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar both declined the award. Ramdev said that as an ascetic he should refrain from accepting rewards or honors. Sri Sri thanked the government for considering him for the award but said there were many other deserving people who should be honored instead.

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Hindu Group on a Quest to End Graft in Maharashtra Temples
Posted on 2015/1/25 11:38:57 ( 54 reads )

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MUMBAI, INDIA, January 25, 2015 (New Indian Express): Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad (HVP), a union of Mumbai-based lawyers that works for right-wing organisations, has set quite an unusual goal for itself. It is working towards unearthing scams in several big Hindu temples in Maharashtra. So far, it has achieved some amount of success in its mission with two temples in Maharashtra.

Pandharpur Temple land had been encroached upon and the temple claimed to be unaware of the matter. Ichalkaranjikar and his team filed several queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking details of the financial transactions of the temple trust. The replies to his queries revealed that the temple trust claimed to be in the dark regarding possession of 300 acres of its land. Ichalkaranjikar took up the matter with the government and the land was handed back to the temple.

"There is much hue and cry over lack of infrastructure like toilets and guest houses as well as hygiene facilities at Pandharpur. Now that the land is back in the temple trust's possession, it would be possible to create the necessary infrastructure," he points out.

The success in Pandharpur prompted HVP to take up the issue of financial mismanagement in another popular temple--that of Mahalakshmi in Kolhapur.

After one-and-a-half years of research, they found financial mismanagement not only in the Kolhapur temple but in around 3,000 temples in three districts of Sangli, Kolhapur and Sindhudurg controlled by the Devsthan Vyavasthapan Samiti (DVS).

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/1/25 11:38:52 ( 52 reads )

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Mind is consciousness which has put on limitations. You are originally unlimited and perfect. Later you take on limitations and become the mind.
-- Ramana Maharshi, (1879-1950), South Indian mystic

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Sringeri Sankaracharya Anoints Successor
Posted on 2015/1/24 15:51:07 ( 418 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, January 24, 2015 (The Hindu): Sri Vidhushekhara Bharati, earlier known as Kuppa Venkateshwara Prasada Sharma, was formally anointed as successor to Sri Bharati Tirtha, Sankaracharya of the Sringeri Math, in Sringeri on Friday.

According to a release from the Math, the elaborate ceremony of Shishya Sweekara began on Thursday. The successor-designate performed several rituals, fasted all day and stayed awake throughout the night. He began Friday by paying homage at the samadhi shrines of the previous Sankaracharyas.

Later, he went to the banks of the Tunga and performed Preshochaarana and Sarva-bhoota-abhaya Pradhana, signifying a vow of non-violence towards all beings. On completion of the ceremony, the junior pontiff entered the Sharada temple. The event was witnessed by over 40,000 persons, the release said.

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Encounter with the Infinite
Posted on 2015/1/24 15:51:01 ( 358 reads )

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UNITED STATES, January 23, 2015 (by Robert Schneider with Benjamin Phelan): Srinivasa Ramanujan was a super genius born into extreme poverty in an obscure part of southern India, who taught himself mathematics from a standard textbook, and in total isolation became a mathematician of such power that one hundred years after his death, at the age of thirty-two, the meaning of much of his work is still a mystery. In the middle of what I thought would be my life's work, writing and producing music, I heard his story; now I find myself in graduate school studying number theory.

Read more of this lengthy and interesting essay on Ramanujan and the authors own studies at 'source'.


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