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Nepal Earthquake: A Field Report
Posted on 2015/5/30 9:45:54 ( 1085 reads )



NEPAL, May 29, 2015 (Hinduism Today): Tenzin Norbu of Sunny Travels in Nepal sent the following email to a donor who was helping with funds to rebuild a village:

"We thank you for the support. We have distributed the funds to the very poor Tamang village of 450 houses. It was not much, but the people were very happy to get anything in such a crises. The good news about the situation is that while nearly 400 houses were destroyed, only five or six died. Most were luckily out in the field working. One major school was closed that day, and others were able to run out of their home in time.

"Now these people have already started to rebuild their houses. The whole village is cooperating, but they will only be able to rebuild 25% of the houses destroyed this year. Instead of tents or food, they want aluminum roofing to build permanent houses. One sheet costs US$20, and to build one normal house they need 12 to 16 sheets for the roof.

"Now the biggest problem is for the tourism Industry. In Nepal, most are farmers. Then we have people working overseas in the Middle East and Malaysia. The tourism industry is very important to the economy, but through August, 90% of all tourist trips have been canceled. More and more people are jobless. We hope the tourist season will peak as usual in September. Visiting Nepal will help rebuild Nepal.

"Praying for you all and thanking you once again.

Tenzin Norbu, Managing Director, sunnytravels.np@gmail.com

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/5/30 9:45:48 ( 1049 reads )

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Stop all your attachments to false values. In an ever-changing world there is nothing worthwhile for us to desire or weep for. Joys and sorrows are bound to come in human life; they are just two sides of the same coin.
-- Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1992), founder of the Chinmaya Mission

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Indian Center in China Unable to Find Experts
Posted on 2015/5/28 20:24:09 ( 1264 reads )

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BEIJING, CHINA, May 21, 2015 (Times of India): The head of Center for Gandhian and Indian Studies (CGIS) that Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated at Shanghai's Fudan University last week has said he is facing problems in finding Indologists and Gandhian studies experts for it. "Most Indologists in China are experts in Buddhism. We need variety. The best option is to get from India," CGIS dean Liu Zhen told TOI. The situation is stark in the case of Gandhian studies.

Liu said he would push for Hinduism and Jainism studies, but there are no scholars on these subjects in China as well. He said the formation of CGIS is the first step and that an essential framework had been created. "I hope it will evolve into a proper university faculty," Liu said. He said everyone knows the importance of the Center. "There are so many Sinology institutions the world over. But so few Indology faculties although both are countries with similar population sizes and depth of history and culture," he said. "We will work hard to make this Center a success."

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Indonesians Can Now Put Faiths Outside the 6 Officially Recognized Religions on Their ID Cards
Posted on 2015/5/28 20:24:04 ( 1117 reads )

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JAKARTA, INDONESIA, May 21, 2015 (Coconuts Jakarta): There are only six religions officially recognized by the Indonesian government: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Indonesian citizens had to put one of those six religions on their ID cards (KTP), regardless of their actual beliefs. Until now, that is. Yesterday, Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo announced that faiths outside of the aforementioned six, must be allowed onto ID cards.

Tjahjo said one of the main reason for changing the rule was so that authorities would know what funerary rites needed to be observed and respected when a person died. Tjahjo said it was for that reason that it was important for the government to know exactly what religion each person believes in. While it appears to be mainly an administrative move rather than a philosophical change of heart by the government, it is still a big step forward in the name of religious freedom for Indonesians of all faiths.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/5/28 20:23:58 ( 1128 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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The 4th Hindu Mandir Priest Conference (HMPC) Held in Minnesota
Posted on 2015/5/27 20:28:54 ( 1168 reads )

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MINNESOTA, U.S., May 23, 2013 (World Hindu News): Hindu Mandir Priests' Conference (HMPC) is an initiative of the Hindu Mandir Executives' Conference. The mission of HMEC is to provide leadership to the Hindu-American community by encouraging Hindu temples across North America to nourish, protect, and sustain Hindu Dharma. The 4th annual HMPC was hosted by Hindu Temple of Minnesota, MN from May 15-16, 2015.

This year, over 55 pundits, adults, and youth delegates attended this conference, representing various Mandirs and Hindu organizations across the nation. The conference was organized into four sessions, and the topics were consistent with the HMPC's objective: Sustainability and Advancement of Sanatana Dharma by making the modes of worship meaningful and relevant for the younger generation of Hindus. The four sessions were: Role and relationship of Priests, Sustaining Hindu temples, Community links, and Hindu American Youth viewpoint.

Full details of conference events at "source".

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The Great Indian Kingdoms Which Never Got a Significant Place in Our School History Books
Posted on 2015/5/27 20:28:16 ( 1383 reads )

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INDIA, May 25, 2015 (South Report by Reshmanth): [HPI Note: This is an excellent presentation on the many neglected kingdoms of Indian history. The site has a short description of each with a map.]

All we ever studied in our history books was all about the glorified history of a very few kingdoms like the Mughal Dynasty, Mysore Dynasty and the Delhi sultanates. This article brings to focus the real legacy of Indian kings and dynasties under whom India progressed and flourished as a cultural, spiritual and social nation.

The Pandyan dynasty was the ancient Tamil dynasty, one of the three Tamil dynasties, the other two being Chola and Chera. No other dynasty in the world has ruled more duration than the Pandyas. Pandyas were experts in water management, agriculture (mostly near river banks) and fisheries and they were eminent sailors and sea traders too. They controlled the pearl fisheries along the South Indian coast, between Sri Lanka and India, which produced some of the finest pearls in the known ancient world.

Other great kingdoms include: The Pallava Dynasty, Maratha Empire, Vijayanagara Empire, Kingdom of Kochin, Kakatiya Dynasty, Gajapathi Kingdom, The Chola Dynasty, Satavahana Kingdom, Hoysala Empire, Magadha Kingdom, The Chalukyas, The Mauryas, The Rajputs, Nanda Dynasty and The Guptas.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/5/27 20:28:11 ( 1014 reads )

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Even in search of extraordinary gains, the wise will never speak trivial or useless words.
-- Tirukkural 198

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Indian-American Students Shine at UC Berkeley Graduation
Posted on 2015/5/24 18:34:45 ( 1618 reads )

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BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, May 16, 2015 (Facebook): Last Saturday's UC Berkeley University commencement featured moving, personal remarks by top graduating senior Radhika Kannan. Kannan, UC Berkeley's most distinguished graduating senior and winner of the University Medal, earned the highest distinction in Economics and Conservation studies. Having grown up both in India and Singapore, two areas plagued by drought and floods, she developed a passion for environmental justice. She's is now headed to the University of Oxford for a Masters Degree. Kannan began her speech with "Mikka Nandri, Thank-you" to University Chancellor Dirks who she noted also speaks her mother tongue--Tamil. More on Radihika speech is at "source" above and an article about her here: http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2015/05/04/medalist2015/

A second inspiring speech is by Vrinda Agarwal who gave the UC Berkeley Political Science Valedictorian Speech. She's worked on rights for women in India's slums, as well as rights for the poor communities of Oakland (Berkeley's next-door neighbor). Her long-term goal is to become the first female Indian-American US Senator. She's served as an officer of Berkeley's Hindu Students Council. Her speech is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzXWBzwqZKY

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Kauai's Hindu Monastery Looking for Mobile App Developer
Posted on 2015/5/24 18:34:01 ( 1494 reads )



KAUAI, HAWAII, May 24, 2015 (HPI): Kauai's Hindu Monastery, home of Hinduism Today, is looking for a team (or ace individual) to collaborate with for mobile app development. We have a modest budget (US$4-5,000) and ideas for a simple first app. We seek someone who can endure such limited budgets, perhaps an up-and-coming young designer/developer looking for clients? If we are a good fit, it could be a decades-long relationship.

Please contact: Sadasivanathaswami, Editor-in-Chief, Hinduism Today, sadasivanatha@hindu.org

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/5/24 18:33:55 ( 936 reads )

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The sages, being filled with universal love for all beings, did not want to keep their enlightenment to themselves. They declared to all: "O mortals, striving and struggling upon this Earth plane, weeping, wailing, buffeted by the vicissitudes of life: we have come upon a great discovery. There is something beyond these appearances, these vanishing names and forms that go to make up this universe. There is something beyond, which is the very source and support of all these objects of the phenomenal world. Why do you search in vain for happiness outside? Come, come, happiness resides within."
-- Swami Chidananda (1916-2008), president of Divine Life Society

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Jay Lakhani on BBC Bias Against India
Posted on 2015/5/23 20:00:18 ( 1430 reads )

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LONDON, ENGLAND, May 23, 2015 (YouTube): Jay Lakhani, a prominent teacher of Hinduism in the UK, explains why the media--specifically the BBC--is bias against India. He points out that the media only reports on the negative and avoids reporting on the positive, thereby giving a wrong impression of India. The video is short and to the point.

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Event to Launch Hindu Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California
Posted on 2015/5/23 20:00:12 ( 1330 reads )

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BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, May 22, 2015 (Press Release): In partnership with Dharma Civilization Foundation, the Graduate Theological Union, has just launched a Master's Degree Program in Hindu Studies. This program will enable the creation of scholars in Hindu Dharma who are also practitioners who will present and teach the perspectives of the insiders to the traditions. In the fullness of time, these scholars will teach courses in Hindu Dharma in many main stream universities. Many thousands of students of future generations will derive immense value from these teachers.

So far, Hindu Studies has been the privilege of outsiders to the tradition itself i.e. those who examine Hinduism academically, and critically i.e. through Marxist, Freudian or otherwise suspicious eyes. South Asian studies Departments have focused on geo-political issues, and have not examined the many gifts of Hindu Dharma to humanity.

The Hindu Studies program aims to change that. A fund-raiser event will be held May 30, 2015, starting at 3 pm at the India Community Center in Milpitas. For more information on this limited-seating event, contact info@dcfusa.org or 614-668-1668.

The event will include talks by Prof. Vamsee Juluri on his new book "Rearming Hinduism" and Prof. Riess Potterveld on the integration of Hindu Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. A preview of activities over the next year will be given, including the continued development of the M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Hindu Studies.



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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/5/23 20:00:07 ( 1017 reads )

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In India I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth, but not adhering to it. Inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything but possessed by nothing.
-- Appolonius of Tiana (2-97 ce), Greek philosopher and occultist. His work deeply influenced Western mysticism.

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One Thousand Buddhist Monasteries Collapsed in Nepal Earthquake,
Posted on 2015/5/22 19:53:33 ( 1311 reads )

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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, May 22, 2015 (PTI): Around 200 Buddhist monks and nuns were killed when about 1,000 monasteries collapsed in the massive April 25 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in Nepal, according to authorities. Buddhist philosophy promotion and monastery development committee (BPPMDC), under the ministry of federal affairs and local development, said that all 215 monasteries in Sindhupalchok district were flattened due to impact of the earthquake. A total of 150 Buddhist monasteries collapsed in Gorkha, 105 in Dhading, 60 in Rasuwa and 60 in Solukhumbu. Monasteries also collapsed in Nuwakot, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Okhaldhunga, Makwanpur, Lamjung and Syangja districts as well.

Some well-known monasteries include Seto Gumba in Ramkot; Rato Gumba in Sitapaila, both located in the outskirt of Kathmandu; Khumchey Gumba in Gorkha; Chrighyang Gumba in Dolakha and Chirite Gumba in Sindhupalchok. Karma Tsering Tashi Lama, president of the BPPMDC, who recently visited many of the earthquake-hit areas in Sindhupalchok and Rasuwa, said he did not see a single monastery that stands intact.

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