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Global Conference on World's Religions After 9/11 Meets in Montreal in September

Posted on 2016/5/15 19:10:03 ( 1704 reads )


MONTREAL, CANADA, May 15, 2016 (invitation from the conference convenor, Dr. Arvind Sharma): Most people remember where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the news of the aerial assault on the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. The ground may not have shifted under our feet at the moment but the very concept of religion underwent a paradigm shift for many of us. Instead of standing for virtue and piety, and peace and harmony, the word religion was launched on a semantic trajectory which would make it a byword for evil, aggression and terror.

But is there not more to religion than this? We invite you to explore the more positive possibilities of the religious dimension of life by attending the third Global Conference on World's Religions after September 11: From Faith to Interfaith, which will meet in Montreal on September 15, 2016. Its aim is to bring together the various religions of the world in an ecumenical spirit to address the many issues facing the world today and adopt a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the hope that this will help all of us become better human beings.

Arvind Sharma, Birks Professor of Comparative Religion, Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University

Click "source" above for more information.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/5/15 19:09:52 ( 1614 reads )


He cannot be seen by the eye, and words cannot reveal Him. He cannot be reached by the senses, or by austerity or sacred actions. By the grace of wisdom and purity of mind, He can be seen, indivisible, in the silence of contemplation. This invisible Atman can be seen by the mind wherein the five senses are resting.
-- Atharva Veda

A Confluence of Divine and Digital at the Kumbha Mela

Posted on 2016/5/11 20:57:02 ( 2638 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 11, 2016 (by Jyotika Sood, Livemint): The kumbh is a Hindu religious fair where the highlight is a bath in the holy river, which is supposed to cleanse one's sins. With smart parking, virtual darshan, coded entry, e-rickshaws, high-tech cooking, live video streaming, drone monitoring, 6,000 closed-circuit cameras with face and behavior detection, this year's kumbh is a combination of the divine and the digital. The fair, which started on 22 April and goes on till 21 May, is also a platform for some home-grown start-ups to showcase their technologies.

State-owned Telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has laid around 100 km of optical fiber cables and associated equipment with 73 Wi-Fi hotspots. The district administration and kumbh organizers have jointly developed a mobile app with information on helpline, contact numbers, days of the full moon holy dip, and other important days. "We wanted to give a high-end technology experience to the people and make things very systematic. A parking solution is provided by one-year-old Delhi-based start up getmyparking.com. Pilgrims can choose their spots from 11 parking lots through a mobile app or by visiting getmyparking.com.

Healthcare start-up Medd is providing some preventive health checks for Rs.1 at its stalls near the venue. Visitors can download the Medd mobile app and register themselves for booking lab tests and scans. The health ministry has deployed a mobile telemedicine van with doctors and equipment to check blood pressure, diabetes and ECG, dermatology tests, ophthalmology tests, X-Ray etc. The van also works as a mobile health facility where doctors are consulted from far-off hospitals through video conferencing. The Indian Space Research Organisation monitors the kumbh through its satellites. The district administration said 300 e-rickshaws have been deployed to transport senior citizens and differently-abled people.

Scholars for People Submits Critique on California Framework Review

Posted on 2016/5/11 20:56:52 ( 2332 reads )


CALIFORNIA, May 11, 2016 (press release): The Scholars for People sent in a letter to the California Board of Education critiquing academically the suggestions on Framework Narrative Review coming the South Asia Faculty Group. The letter and the analyses may be downloaded at "source" above. The Scholars for People group objects to suggestions they believe seriously misrepresents the history of India and of Hinduism.

Yoga, Meditation Improve Memory Better Than Brain Games, Study Finds

Posted on 2016/5/11 20:56:42 ( 2363 reads )


ARIZONA, USA, May 12, 2016 (YogaDork): This is some much-needed fantastic news you can share with all your friends and family ... and, no, it has nothing to do with putting your feet over your head, Uncle Charlie. A recent study found that yoga, yes yoga, is better at keeping your memory sharp than all those puzzles and brain training apps you download to try and "exercise" the old noodle. In the "more good news" department, yoga was also found to relieve depression and anxiety in people who practiced regularly. The study, which was funded by the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation in Tuscon, Arizona, involved 25 participants over the age of 55. Through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans the researchers saw changes in the way the brain cells connect with each other changed in both groups, but they were only statistically significant in the people practicing yoga.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/5/11 20:56:31 ( 2271 reads )


Only in the depth of pure silence can we hear God's voice. Silence is like an upright empty glass that is capable of being filled with, and retaining, the water of knowledge.
-- Mata Amritanandamayi Ma,

Kumbha Mela in Full Swing in Ujjain

Posted on 2016/5/10 20:14:57 ( 2428 reads )


BHOPAL, INDIA, May 10, 2016 (Daily Pioneer): The Second Shahi Snan during Simhastha at Ujjain began with fervor, enthusiasm and great devotion. Saints and seers of various Nirwani Akhara had the holy dip in Kshipra at Ramghat. Running while raising slogans praising Mahadev, saints and seers had mass holy dip. Naga Sadhus' holy dip was a special attraction at Ramghat. Unique convergence of faith, Amrit and Atma was seen during Shahi Snan.

Vast and attractive Ramghat was virtually covered by the glory of Lord Shiva with mass holy dip by saints, seers and Mahatmas. Hundreds of followers accompanying Mahant Dharmraj Maharaj of Panch Nirwani Akhara took the holy dip in River of Salvation Kshipra. Sadhus of Nirmohi Ani Akhara, Nirwani Ani Akhara, Digambar Ani Akhara, Panchayati Udaseen Akhara, Panchayati Naya Udaseen Akhara and Nirmal Akhara also had the holy dip. Saints and seers of Panch Nirwani Akhara had come for the holy dip riding profusely decorated Raths on tractor-trolleys and other vehicles. With Chhatra and Chanwar, these Raths presented a very attractive look.

Focus on Tribal Culture, Arts at Simhastha Mela

Posted on 2016/5/10 20:14:47 ( 2329 reads )


BHOPAL, INDIA, May 9, 2016 (Daily Pioneer): On the eve of the second Shahi Snan of Simhastha at Ujjain, a large number of devotees from elsewhere within the country and abroad enjoyed various arts all night by listening to spiritual and religious discourses at various akharas. Tribal artistes from various states of the country with their unique musical instruments gave presentations on tribal arts and culture.

At Bhoj Manch on Sadawal road, artistes of Santhal tribe of Jharkhand won the hearts of the audience through their performance. A 15-member troupe led by Jamshedpur's Ramchandra Marandi presented tribal dance and drama focusing on creation of Earth in Santhali dialect, which left the audience spell-bound. Hundreds of thousands of devotees are enjoying bhajan-kirtan and cultural presentations at Akharas of saints and seers on the holy soil of Ujjain during Simhastha.

April 2016 Issue of Hinduism Today Available on Our Mobile App

Posted on 2016/5/10 20:14:37 ( 2349 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, May 9, 2016: The editors at Hinduism Today are celebrating today the availability of the fourth issue of the magazine on our mobile app, whether Apple or Android. You can download the free app at "source" above

And you can get a short tutorial on use and features here: http://www.himalayanacademy.com/blog/ ... e-amazing-ht-app-is-born/

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/5/10 20:14:27 ( 1230 reads )


There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and one's subtle body rest upon that and not rest on anything else.
-- Maitri Upanishad

Seven Dead as Thunderstorm Hits Kumbh Mela Site in Ujjain

Posted on 2016/5/8 19:21:29 ( 1677 reads )


UJJAIN, INDIA, May 5, 2016 (Outlook): Seven people were killed and around 90 others injured when heavy rains accompanied by lightning and squalls flattened and uprooted makeshift tents of pilgrims in and around the site of ongoing Simbatha Kumbh Mela here this evening.

According to police official B.S. Chauhan, nearly a third of the tents put up by the pilgrims were blown away in the squall. Authorities fear that the death toll may rise as the rescuers are clearing the collapsed tents and pulling out the people trapped under them.

The rain made large parts of the Mela ground slushy, making the rescue operation difficult. Authorities have cut off the electricity supply to the area as a precautionary measure. The state government has spent more than US$540 million for developing infrastructure and facilities for the month-long congregation. The second Shahi Snan (royal bath) is slated for May 9.

Debate Erupts in California Over Curriculum on India's History

Posted on 2016/5/8 19:21:18 ( 1665 reads )


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, May 4, 2016 (New York Times): Victors are said to write history. But in California, history is being written by a committee that is at the center of a raging debate over how to tell the story of South Asia as it tries to update textbooks and revise curriculums for Grades 6 and 7.

The dispute centers on whether the region that includes modern-day India, Pakistan and Nepal should be referred to as India or as South Asia, to represent the plurality of cultures there -- particularly because India was not a nation-state until 1947. It also touches on how the culture of the region is portrayed, including women's role in society and the vestiges of the caste system.The issue has prompted petition drives, as well as a #DontEraseIndia social media campaign and a battle of opinion pieces.

On one side are advocates from the Hindu American Foundation, which seeks to shape the image of Hinduism in the United States. Backed by some scholars, they want the entire area under dispute to be referred to as India, reflecting what they say is the most important influence in the area. A group of other scholars challenge the historical accuracy of this view. They say the area should be referred to as South Asia.

Perhaps no state other than California, with its large immigrant population, would have such a contentious fight. According to the foundation, nearly half of the 2.5 million Hindus in the United States live in California. The textbook dispute has come up as the state's Instructional Quality Commission debates a new framework for the kindergarten to 12th grade social science curriculum, an effort meant to include new research and reflect the state's increasing diversity. The State Board of Education will vote on the final changes next month.

Much more at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/5/8 19:21:08 ( 1543 reads )


It is the unique and all-encompassing nature of Hinduism that one devotee may be worshiping Ganesha while his friend worships Subramaniam or Vishnu, and yet both honor the other's choice and feel no sense of conflict. The profound understanding and universal acceptance that are unique in Hinduism are reflected in this faculty for accommodating different approaches to the Divine, allowing for different names and forms of God to be worshiped side by side within the temple walls.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

No Special Security for VIPs at Ujjain Kumbha Mela

Posted on 2016/5/7 19:30:29 ( 1671 reads )


BHOPAL, INDIA, April 22, 2016 (Times of India): Politicians, judges, bureaucrats, industrialists, movie stars and celebrities of all shades planning to take a holy bath this Simhastha Kumbh Mela at Ujjain have been told by an "overburdened" Madhya Pradesh police that they will not be provided with additional security, sparing personnel at the expense of routine cover for the event.

Bothered by number of applications seeking "special arrangement" in the last few days, state government has issued an advisory to Supreme court/high court registers, chief secretaries and police headquarters (PHQs) across the country citing that they would not be able to comply with security protocol or provide any additional cover to anyone else falling in the VIP and VVIP categories. "We have received more than 250 applications from VIPs and VVIPs of different states seeking security arrangements for their Ujjain visit, which is not at all possible," said a senior officer.

Over 70 million pilgrims are expected to visit Ujjain and other holy places during the month long fair, for which huge security and logistical arrangements have been made, including shifting of police forces from all 51 districts to Ujjain.

Durban Temple Desecrated by Burglars

Posted on 2016/5/7 19:30:19 ( 1688 reads )


DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, May 5, 2016 (by Sherlissa Peters, IOL): Devotees of the Northdale Siva Nyana Sabha in Pietermaritzburg have been left devastated by a burglary which desecrated the temple. According to the chairman of the temple in Chetty Road, Sagren Phillips, the burglars smashed down the boundary wall between the temple and Ramatha Primary School at the weekend before stripping the building of significant brass Hindu murthis, copper pipes, a Yamaha organ, PA system and kitchen implements, including massive cast iron pots, the kitchen geyser and a double-door fridge. Phillips estimated the damage and losses to be more than R50000.

"It is a desecration of the worst kind, to disrespect such a sacred and holy place," Phillips said. He said thieves tried to remove a huge brass statue of Hindu god Nataraja (cosmic dancing god). It is built in a granite structure, which the thieves tried to break down with an iron pick to remove the idol. "The statue is now bent over and damaged," said Phillips, explaining that the statue had been brought from India in 1976.

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