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Yoga %26 Memory
Posted on 2014/7/28 17:13:31 ( 419 reads )


UNITED STATES, July 27, 2014 (She Knows): New studies suggest that regular exercise, and yoga in particular, plays a big role in keeping the mind active and memory intact. A series of studies published in Science and the Journal of Neuroscience showed that exercise can stimulate new brain cells, which can then migrate from one area of the brain to another allowing you in essence to "create a new brain," according to the author of "Brain Longevity," Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, in an article published on Yoga Journal.

But the catch, according to Khalsa, is that in order to keep those new brain cells alive and active, one must be relieved of as much stress as possible. That's why the practice of yoga, which engages the mind, body and spirit, is the perfect solution to the problem.

"We took people with memory loss and prescribed 12 minutes of kirtan kriya [a technique used in kundalini yoga that combines meditation, mudra, chanting and mantra] every day," Khalsa states. "After eight weeks, you can see on our scans that after the meditation, the blood flow to the frontal lobe, the area responsible for attention, concentration and focus, is improved." Khalsa also noted that the main components of yoga -- exercise, posture, focused breathing and meditation -- are all good for the brain. "Because of that," he said, "yoga should go far in creating positive brain changes."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/28 17:13:19 ( 218 reads )


Just as the Earth bears those who dig into her, it is best to bear with those who despise us.
-- Tirukkural

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Priests Decide to Clean Ganga Ghats on Sundays
Posted on 2014/7/27 17:47:42 ( 312 reads )


ALLAHABAD, INDIA, July 14, 2014 (Times of India): In a unique initiative of making the holy river clean and pollution-free, the priests of the city have decided to clean the banks of Ganga every Sunday. Many priests assembled at Sangam today and started cleaning the banks. They also created awareness among the people for keeping the ghats clean and making the river pollution-free.

General secretary of Prayagwal Sabha Rajendra Paliwal said: "Ganga is holy and sacred for us from time immemorial. It is our prime duty to keep the river pure and make it pollution-free. The responsibility of keeping the river clean is also on the priests. Therefore, we have decided to clean the banks of Ganga every Sunday and urge the people to join and lend support in making the river clean."

In the cleanliness drive, priests belonging to various organizations like Narayan Sewa Sansthan, Prayag Dharam Sangh, Beni Madhav Sansthan and others participated. They picked up polythene, flowers, garlands and other material lying scattered at the Sangam.

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Women Kanwariyas Flock Sangam
Posted on 2014/7/27 17:47:36 ( 264 reads )


ALLAHABAD, INDIA, July 16, 2014 (Times of India): Driven by devotion and desire to offer prayers to Lord Shiva at Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, a large number of women Kanwariyas (pilgrims) are joining hands with their male counterparts in walking the extra mile.

Dressed in saffron attire, the number of women carrying the decorated pot has increased manifold at Dashashwamedh Ghat and Sangam. Here the Kanwariyas collect water from Ganga before heading to Varanasi. Most of these women kanwariyas hail from rural area and are in the age group of 25-40 years. After collecting water from Ganga, these women walk barefoot to offer jalabhishek to Lord Shiva. The start of Shrawan month has already filled Sangam city's streets with saffron-clad Kanwariyas carrying decorated kanwars structure on their shoulders.

"It's a matter of devotion. Women are making a mark in all fields like education, engineering and medical. They are also strong enough to follow the custom and practice (taking kanwar on their shoulders) as men do" said Savita, a woman kanwariya from Soraon. She added "The number of women kanwariyas has increased in the last two to three years. Earlier, they preferred offering puja to the Deity at local temples."

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Guyana Dharmic Sabha Opens Multi-Million Dollar Home for the Vulnerable
Posted on 2014/7/27 17:47:30 ( 267 reads )


GUYANA, May 8, 2014 (Kaieteur News): The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha (GHDS) on Monday commissioned a multi-million-dollar home for abused women and children at Ankerville, Port Mourant, Corentyne. Doing the honors of cutting the ribbon to the majestic multi-wing edifice, Bal Nivas, was Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, President Donald Ramotar, Indian playback singer Sonu Nigam and President of the GHDS, Dr. Vindhya Persaud.

Dr. Persaud spoke about the project and thanked President Ramotar for giving them the land a few years ago. She thanked the donors who worked selflessly and voluntarily behind the GHDS and behind the project.

The shelter, which will become fully operational by July, will house more than 60 children and their mothers. Additionally, it will encompass a Skills Training Centre which will be opened to the community and a Counseling Unit, "so we offer this facility to serve you, the Guyanese people."

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The Story of Jack Cole, jazz and the "Hindu Swing" of the 1950s
Posted on 2014/7/27 17:47:23 ( 318 reads )


USA, December 18, 2011 ( HPI Note: We came across by chance today this long article on a noted dancer of the 1930-50s, Jack Cole, who had learned--from whom is uncertain--a fair amount of Bharatanatyam dance style. He then developed a form of jazz dancing using some of this style, including for movie dance choreography. This blog, whose author identifies herself only as "Cassidy, a white chick" wrote up a long article on Cole in 2011, along with clips from the old movies, some of which are absolutely fascinating. Her article begins:

Ever heard of choreographer Jack Cole and "Hindu Swing?" Four weeks ago I had not either, but I think this could be one of the grooviest discoveries I've ever made on this blog.

While researching films about India and Orientalism for my "Indian Dances in Western Films About India" post series, I came across the article "The Thousand Ways There Are to Move: Camp and Oriental Dance in the Hollywood Musicals of Jack Cole." Clearly an interesting article just from the title, but as I read it my fascination was piqued when I read that Cole fused ethnic movements (most notably East Indian) into his choreography, started out as a Denishawn dancer, and studied with Uday Shankar! A Hollywood choreographer that studied with Uday Shankar? Tell me more! Tell me more!

The article discussed in detail the number "Not Since Nineveh" that Cole choreographed for the Arabian-themed Hollywood film Kismet (1955) and it emphasized his use of clear signifiers of Indian dance. OK, I figured there would maybe be some Indian-inspired hand gestures, some pretty arm movements, some namaste hands....

but nothing prepared me for THIS:

"Not Since Nineveh" - Kismet (1955) -link to video

I don't think I've ever seen a dance in Hollywood so brilliantly inspired by the geometry and precision of Bharatanatyam! I'm simply in awe. The Indian inspiration coupled with the syncopated jazz music makes for a completely new visual experience.

Much more at "source" above.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/27 17:47:17 ( 239 reads )


Today is in your hands. Tomorrow the chance may never come.
-- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society

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Colorful Indian Festival Held in Pegognaga, Italy
Posted on 2014/7/24 16:55:46 ( 454 reads )


PEGOGNAGA, ITALY, June 1, 2014 (Gazzetta Di Mantova): A thousand people belonging to the Hindu community in Northern Italy participated in the second annual Pegognaga Shoba Yatra, organized by Shri Hari Om Mandir together with the Municipality of Pegognaga. In a festive folkloric atmosphere, with music, songs and prayers, the faithful gathered in the square of the Coop and then proceeded in a long procession along Avenue San Lorenzo to arrive in Piazza Matteotti, where the religious leaders of the Hindu community and the crowd were greeted by the mayor Dimitri Melli.

In the days preceding the festival, a reading of the the Ramayana scripture was held at the Mandir on via Martin Luther King, where they venerate statues of Shiva, Kali and ten other Gods that were gifted by the Indian state. Svamini Hamsananda of Savona, vice president of the Italian Hindu Union, says that a meeting of representatives of all the temples in northern Italy, with the participation of the president of the Italian Hindu Union, took place during this time.

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Akshardham Temple Coming up in New Jersey
Posted on 2014/7/24 16:55:40 ( 445 reads )


AHMEDABAD, INDIA, Julu 22, 2014 (by Bharat Yagnik, TNN): The Bochasanvasi Akshar Purushottam Sansthan (BAPS) has envisioned an Akshardham temple at Robbinsville in New Jersey, US that will be spread over a mammoth 162 acres. BAPS has earlier established two Akshardham temples at Gandhinagar and New Delhi as religious and cultural centers. The US project -- aptly named Akshardham Mahamandir -- started in 2013 with a stone-laying ceremony, realizing the 15-year-old dream of Pramukh Swami, the religious leader of the sect, to construct an Akshardham at New Jersey. The area has sizable Gujarati and Indian population. The leaders are hopeful that the temple will be ready in 2017. Pramukh Swami will visit the site next month when he will be in the US.

Sadhu Brahmprakash of BAPS told TOI that the work is going on at Rajasthan where more than 2,000 artisans are laboring over various parts of the temple at Dungarpur, Pindwada and Sangwada. "The finished parts are shipped to US where they are assembled by master craftsmen," he said. Italian marble and marble from Rajasthan's quarries is being used and the parts are shipped from Mundra, added officials. In US, a 5,000-strong team is looking after various aspects of the construction and design.

The main building will have four floors. The complex will have an exhibit dedicated to Indian history and culture, a youth activity center and much more. The artisans have taken elements of both south and north Indian temples. The embellished temple will have ornate pillars and panels depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata and ancient scriptures. The halls will have full-size idols of important leaders of the sect.

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Michigan's Sambodh Society Hosts 12th Annual Rudrabhishekam and Chandi Homam
Posted on 2014/7/24 16:55:34 ( 367 reads )


KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN, July 23, 2014 (Press Release): The Sambodh Society, Inc., and the Sambodh Center for Human Excellence will celebrate the 12th Annual Rudrabhishekam and Chandi Homam on August 1-3, 2014 at the Sambodh Ashram in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The program will consist of a number of poojas and homas for benefit of people of all ages and from all walks of life. Click "source" above for complete information, and to download the full program brochure.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/24 16:55:28 ( 327 reads )


Listen for silence in noisy places; feel at peace in the midst of disturbance; awaken joy when there is no reason.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

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Panama's First Lady Participates Attends Morari Bapu's Lecture
Posted on 2014/7/23 18:10:37 ( 460 reads )


PANAMA, July 21, 2014 (Panama On): The First Lady of the Republic, Lorena Castillo de Varela, attended the lecture by Hindu spiritual preacher Morari Bapu. At the event, the preacher, on his first visit to Panama (to present Ram Katha), spoke of truth, love, compassion and forgiveness as essential values for all religions that can transform anyone into a peacemaker. The event, organized by the Hindu Temple at a local hotel, was attended by the Ambassador of India to Panama Shamma Jain, government representatives, members of the Hindu community in Panama, and special guests.

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Defalsification of Indian History is the First Step for Our Renaissance.
Posted on 2014/7/23 18:10:32 ( 423 reads )


INDIA, May 3, 2014 ( Note: This is a long editorial piece by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, an economist and prominent Indian politician with the BJP.

The identity of India is Hindustan, i.e., a nation of Hindus and those others who acknowledge with pride that their ancestors were Hindus. Hindustan represents the continuing history of culture of Hindus. One's religion may change, but culture does not. Thus, on the agenda for a national renaissance should be the dissemination of the correct perception of what we are. This perception has to be derived from a defalsified history. However, the present history taught in our schools and colleges is the British imperialist-sponsored one, with the intent to destroy our identity.

A correct, defalsified history would record that Hindustan was one nation in the art of governance, in the style of royal courts, in the methods of warfare, in the maintenance of its agrarian base, and in the dissemination of information. Sanskrit was the language of national communication and discourse.

Much more of the lengthy discussion and history at source above.

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Beef Ten Times More Damaging to Environment Than Other Livestock
Posted on 2014/7/23 18:10:17 ( 354 reads )


UNITED STATES, July 21, 2014 (BBC): A new study suggests that the production of beef is around 10 times more damaging to the environment than any other form of livestock. Scientists measured the environment inputs required to produce the main US sources of protein. Beef cattle need 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than pork, poultry, eggs or dairy. The research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers developed a uniform methodology that they were able to apply to all five livestock categories and to four measures of environmental performance. As a result, beef comes out clearly as the food animal with the biggest environmental impact. As well as the effects on land and water, cattle release five times more greenhouse gas and consume six times more nitrogen than eggs or poultry.

"The overall environmental footprint of beef is particularly large because it combines a low production efficiency with very high volume," said Prof. Mark Sutton, from the UK's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. "The result is that the researchers estimate that over 60% of the environmental burden of livestock in the US results from beef. Although the exact numbers will be different for Europe (expecting a larger role of dairy), the overall message will be similar: Cattle dominate the livestock footprint of both Europe and US."

Cutting down on beef can have a big environmental impact they say. But the same is not true for all livestock.

"One can reasonably be an environmentally mindful eater, designing one's diet with its environmental impact in mind, while not resorting to exclusive reliance on plant food sources," said Prof Eshel.

"In fact, eliminating beef, and replacing it with relatively efficiency animal-based alternatives such as eggs, can achieve an environmental improvement comparable to switching to plant food source."

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Millet's True Glycemic Index
Posted on 2014/7/23 18:10:11 ( 294 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, July 22, 2014: A reader has pointed out that millet does not have a low glycemic index number as claimed in the July 21 news item, "Millets: The Nutrient Rich Counterparts Of Wheat And Rice," (even though coming from a government of India press release).

Generally anything over 70 is considered high glycemic. Ragi, a common form of red millet in India is 86 ( Bajra, or millet, is given here ( as 82. Other sites give similar numbers.

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