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Sugar Factory Starts to Build Ganesha Temple, Immediately Uncovers 12th Century Ganesha Statue During Foundation Work
Posted on 2014/8/28 17:50:10 ( 129 reads )

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VIJAYAWADA, ANDDHRA PRADESH, August 28, 2014 (The Hindu): As the city is gearing up for the colorful Vinayaka Chavithi festival from Friday, celebrations have begun well in advance on the premises of KCP Sugars and Industries Limited at Laxmipuram on the suburbs of Vijayawada with the discovery of an ancient Ganesh statue during digging works for construction of a temple.

As part of its plans to build Sri Lakshmi Ganapathi temple, the factory management started works at north-east corner using an earthmover. While the earthmover operator was digging, he heard a sound and stopped operating the machine for a while. A few minutes later, he resumed the work only to find a stone structure. When the operator slowly removed the soil, he found a three-foot high Ganesh statue in a sitting posture, said CEO G. Venkateswara Rao.

"We immediately alerted Department of Archaeology and Museums officials who rushed to the premises and examined the statue. We have been planning to construct Sri Lakshmi Ganapathi temple for the last three years but when we commenced the works, we found a Ganesh statue. It's really a blessing from the God," he said. The company has decided to conduct Ganesh festival celebrations on a grand note this time and after completion of the festivities, the construction work will begin.

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Hindu Summer Camp in America
Posted on 2014/8/28 17:50:03 ( 106 reads )

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MACEDON, NEW YORK, August 28, 2014 (NY Times): Just before July a decade ago when Neha Dhawan turned 11, her mother informed her, "You're going to Hindu camp this summer." Growing up Indian-American in Shreveport, La., was already a conflicted proposition for Neha. As the daughter of two immigrant doctors, she dutifully went with her parents to a Hindu temple and sat through their favorite Bollywood movies. In the other half of her hyphenated life, she joined her middle school's pep squad and rarely missed an episode of "Lizzie McGuire."

So the last thing that Neha wanted the summer of 2004 was to be even more identified as an Indian and a Hindu. That summer, she says now with retrospection, changed her life. She loved doing morning yoga, her hair still cool and damp from the shower. She discovered a favorite bhajan. She spoke with her peers and their college-age counselors about dealing with stereotypes and racism. "I realized," she said, "it's O.K. to be proud of who you are."

There is a long, rich history of religious and ethnic groups using summer camps to strengthen the denominational and ancestral identity of young people in a polyglot nation with an enticingly secular popular culture. The Indian immigrants who arrived in the last half-century are relatively recent and especially avid adopters. Shana Sippy, a professor of religion at Carleton College in Minnesota who has studied Hindu-American educational organizations, estimated that 135 such camps now exist. These range from overnight retreats to day camps to sleep-away programs like that of the Hindu Heritage Summer Camp.

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No More Direct Darshan at Tirumala Temple
Posted on 2014/8/28 17:49:57 ( 131 reads )

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HYDERABAD, INDIA, August 27, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to bring in major changes in Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams for the convenience of devotees. One is the cancellation of direct darshan by those who climb up the hill (that's an 11 km trek starting from Alipiri and climbing 3,500 steps). This system was introduced 12 years ago when the number of devotees was much smaller and allowed those pilgrims to skip the queue. At that time, the number of devotees used to be around 800, but now the figure has increased to around 30,000 on normal days and on Saturdays it is 50,000.

Endowment minister P. Manikyala Rao said, at present, every day around 120,000 devotees come to Tirumala and 75,000 are the ones who get darshan. Every day the backlog of devotees is 50,000 and it is increasing by the day. With the number of devotees walking up to the temple increasing, the devotees, who come through the queue, get delayed and have to wait long hours for darshan.

The government is planning to introduce advanced booking for general devotees. Mr. Rao said in the next two years the number of devotees will increase by 40 per cent, according to an official estimate. "After two years, no devotee can have darshan without advanced booking," he said adding that the advanced booking can be done online too. This will minimise the waiting period of the devotees.

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Help Hinduism Today's Story on Food for the Gods
Posted on 2014/8/28 17:49:51 ( 99 reads )



KAUAI, HAWAII, August 28, 2014 (HPI): Hinduism Today is working on a story on prasadam, the food offered to the Deity, blessed and then shared with the devotees. It is a bonus to seeking darshan of the Deities, a sweet treat or a community meal which has been blessed by God.

You can help us with this story by sharing your favorite memories of temples you've visited in India or elsewhere that did something really special in the line of prasadam.

Email us details or contacts by early September to ar@hindu.org.

Help create a delicious feature!

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/28 17:49:45 ( 97 reads )

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There the eye goes not, nor words, nor mind. We know not. We cannot understand how He can be explained. He is above the known, and He is above the unknown. Thus have we heard from the ancient sages who explained this truth to us.
-- Sama Veda, Kena Upanishad 1.3

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