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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/31 2:06:00 ( 943 reads )

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Like treasure hidden in the ground, like flavor in the fruit, like gold in the rock, and oil in the seed, the Absolute is hidden in the heart.
-- Akka Mahadevi, twelfth-century Vira Saiva saint

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US Agencies May be Indirectly Funding Religious Conversion in India
Posted on 2015/3/30 3:38:49 ( 1311 reads )

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INDIA, March 30, 2015 (by Rupa Subramanya, Firstpost): An unsettled and ongoing debate in the area of foreign development assistance concerns the extensive role played by faith-based organisations (FBO). In the US context, in particular, FBOs have been heavily involved in the delivery of both domestic social and foreign development assistance activities funded by the US government. One of the principal avenues through which FBOs receive taxpayer support is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Indeed, several major US-based FBOs, which receive USAID funds, are active in India in a big way. An obvious concern is that when explicitly religious organisations are funded by tax dollars, what happens if those organisations are tempted to use the funds for proselytising activity rather than just the intended humanitarian or charitable purpose?

Nothing prevents an FBO from quickly transitioning from a humanitarian activity such as disaster relief to evangelizing to the same group of people -- and such activity is widely reported. Second, as monies are fungible, the fact that FBOs receive government support means that they can transfer money away from humanitarian activity toward proselytising, and still come out ahead financially. This sort of activity, blending charity and Christian evangelism, has aroused the concern of the Indian government. "Can social service not be performed without resorting to conversion and will any country allow changes to its demographic character?" asked India's Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently while addressing a government commission charged with protecting the rights of minorities in India.

For more, go to source

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Simple Way to Cook Rice that Dramatically Cuts the Calories
Posted on 2015/3/30 3:38:34 ( 1379 reads )

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UNITED STATES, March 25, 2015 (Washington Post): Rice, the lifeblood of so many nations' cuisines, is perhaps the most ubiquitous food in the world. In Asia, where an estimated 90 percent of all rice is consumed, the pillowy grains are part of almost every meal. Rice is popular because it's malleable--it pairs well with a lot of different kinds of food--and it's relatively cheap. But like other starch-heavy foods, it has one central flaw: it isn't that good for you. White rice consumption, in particular, has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes. A cup of the cooked grain carries with it roughly 200 calories, most of which comes in the form of starch, which turns into sugar, and often thereafter body fat.

An undergraduate student and his professor at the University of Sri Lanka have been tinkering with a new way to cook rice that can reduce its calories by as much as 50 percent and even offer a few other added health benefits. The ingenious method, which at its core is just a simple manipulation of chemistry, involves only a couple easy steps in practice. "What we did is cook the rice as you normally do, but when the water is boiling, before adding the raw rice, we added coconut oil--about 3 percent of the weight of the rice you're going to cook," said Sudhair James, who presented his preliminary research at National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Monday. "After it was ready, we let it cool in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. That's it."

More at source.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/30 3:38:27 ( 970 reads )

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You shine, all living things emerge. You disappear, they go to rest. Recognizing our innocence, O golden-haired Sun, arise; let each day be better than the last.
-- Rig Veda (10.37.9)

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Graduate Theological Union Announces New MA and Certificate Options in Hindu Studies; Lecture by Anantanand Rambachan
Posted on 2015/3/29 3:32:38 ( 1165 reads )

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BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, March 3, 2015 (Press Release): The Graduate Theological Union has introduced new degree options in Hindu Studies and Interreligious Studies for its Master of Arts program, and has extended the application deadline through July 1, 2015, for students seeking to enroll in these programs for the Fall 2015 semester.

The Master of Arts with an area of concentration in Hindu Studies will be offered in connection with the GTU's newly established Hindu Studies Initiative. The primary foci for the program will be the study of Hindu philosophy of religion, theology, art, and sacred texts; Hinduism and world engagement in consideration of its historical and cultural contexts; and the interrelationships of Hinduism with other Indic Dharma faiths--particularly Jainism and Indian Buddhism. In accordance with the interreligious environment of the GTU, the Hindu ethos will be studied in dialogue with other religious traditions, in order to deepen understanding and relationships amongst cultures and faiths while honoring the distinctiveness of each religion. With this new degree option, the GTU becomes one of the first masters programs in North America with a clear focus on Hindu Philosophy of Religion and Theology (which integrates art and music), as well as engaged Hinduism.

GTU will also offer a Certificate in Hindu Studies which can count toward later graduate studies.

The most important Endowed Lectureship of the GTU Berkeley is the Singh Lecture Series in Comparative Religious Thought. It is known as the "Flagship" GTU lecture. This is an annual lecture delivered by an invited eminent scholar. Renowned authors, poets, professors and public intellectuals have given this lecture, which is shared across the academy.

The 2015 GTU "Flagship" lecture will be delivered by a Hindu scholar to promote and announce the groundbreaking Hindu Studies initiative at the GTU, on April 10th, 2015 at the Doug Adams Gallery in Berkeley. Professor Anantanand Rambachan, an expert in Vedanta, and Indian Philosophy of Religion will deliver the GTU 2015 Singh lecture to celebrate the development of the world's most ancient and vibrant spiritual tradition at the nation's singular and eminent interreligious graduate university. See http://gtu.edu/events/2015-surjit-singh-lecture for details.

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Input Requested for Proposed Directory of Indian Spiritual Organisations Functioning Abroad
Posted on 2015/3/29 3:32:23 ( 1104 reads )

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MARCH 27, 2015 (DISOA):The booklet titled "The Global Vision and Mission of Swami Vivekananda, and how it inspired the Indian Spiritual Thrust World-wide" (downloadable online at http://tinyurl.com/nta7ocy) highlights the need for a DIRECTORY OF INDIAN SPIRITUAL ORGANISATIONS FUNCTIONING ABROAD, and presents the details of the Project. It also contains an appeal from the President of Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, the Convener of the Project, who has undertaken it with the blessings and support of the leading spiritual institutions of Bharath. Given at the end of the booklet are details about the particulars required for the Directory, the guidelines for submission online at www.disoa.org , categories of participating institutions, their various particulars to be incorporated in the proposed Directory, and the future plan.

More information at source.

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3,500 People Leave the Christian Church in America Every Day
Posted on 2015/3/29 3:32:17 ( 1355 reads )

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March, 27, 2015, USA (tfwm.com): There is an ongoing silent migration away from the church of an estimated 3,500 individuals each and every day. A 2014 study indicated that over 1.2 million people will leave the church in the next year. Several factors are contributing to this trend, but the majority of individuals who are leaving the church report that they no longer feel connected. This movement away from the church has been ongoing for several decades. The number of churches that are closing their doors every year is leading to an overall decline in church attendance. In 2015, it is estimated that over 10,000 churches will close their doors.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/29 3:32:11 ( 1039 reads )

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The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him--that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

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Protest as Hindu Festival Delayed in Yangon, Myanmar
Posted on 2015/3/26 4:37:14 ( 1162 reads )

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YANGON, MYANMAR, March 26, 2015 (by Myint Thi, The Myanmar Times): An internal dispute has caused confusion among worshippers looking forward to the Sarimari Yaman Hindu Temple festival. The original dates fixed by the temple's religious authority were March 20-29, but the All Myanmar Hindu Central Council wants it to run from March 27 to April 5, citing a one-day clash with matriculation exams. "I know the brahmin said the festival should start on March 20. But the God won't punish us if we hold it a bit later," said U Maung Shwe, president of the All Myanmar Hindu Central Council."This is the matriculation exam period, and I'm worried there may be violence so I decided to postpone the festival," he said, declining to elaborate as to why violence could be a concern.

Worshipers, however, say the council has no authority to reschedule the event. The temple's rules, which have been in force since 1914, state the festival must be conducted.They dismissed the concern of violence, saying there had been no conflict during previous festivals. "I think they want to topple the current trustees. This is the only reason the council has interfered with the temple's activities," said temple patron SP Naathal. This year was to mark the 135th festival of the Sarimari Yaman, a Hindu temple for about 20,000 Tamil Hindu worshippers. It is now unclear when the festival will go ahead.

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Student in Trouble for Posting Hindu Swastika
Posted on 2015/3/26 4:37:08 ( 1117 reads )

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WASHINGTON D.C., March 24, 2015 (WTOP): A senior law professor at George Washington University is blasting the school for a decision to crack down on a student who posted an image of a Hindu swastika on a bulletin board. The student, a Jewish man, posted the religious symbol on a bulletin board belonging to his largely-Jewish fraternity on March 16. University President Steven Knapp issued a statement calling the display "utterly unacceptable." The symbol has long been associated with hatred toward Jews, Knapp writes in his statement. And the case has been handed over to D.C. police to be reviewed by the department's hate crimes unit.

The student says the whole incident was a misunderstanding. He claims the symbol he posted was a Hindu symbol representing peace that he brought home from a spring break trip to India. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum "The swastika has an extensive history. It was used at least 5,000 years before Adolf Hitler designed the Nazi flag. The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means "good fortune" or "well-being."

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Bhagavad Gita English-Translation Collection, 70+ Books Up For Auction--One Day Left!
Posted on 2015/3/26 4:37:02 ( 1030 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, March 25, 2015 (Hinduism Today): Hinduism Today is offering at auction its collection of English translations of the Bhagavad Gita. These range from Edwin Arnold's early translation to multiple editions issued since 2000. Condition of books is from new (many of them) to fair or poor condition, mostly depending on age.

To see the Ebay auction with a complete list of authors, titles, dates of publication and condition, click "source" above. Bidding started at $101 and is now at $310. Auction ends March 26th at 4:46 pm Hawaii time. There is no reserve.

Direct link to auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bhagavad-Gita ... ranslation-/281632110136?

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/26 4:36:56 ( 888 reads )

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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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Oxford University Cancels Lectures by Dr. Subramanian Swamy (on India's Economy) and Rajiv Malhotra (on "Revisionist History")
Posted on 2015/3/25 2:29:35 ( 1325 reads )

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LONDON, ENGLAND, March 23, 2015 (Press Release from National Council of Hindu Temples UK): Following a series of meetings between prominent and influential members of Oxford University's academic faculty and members of the Oxford India Society on Friday, March 20th, a decision was taken to cancel the lectures of Dr. Subramaniam Swami and Rajiv Malhotra during an April 3 to 6th event at Oxford University, citing 'logistical and internal issues.' We [NCHTUK] have asked for further clarification as to the reasons and justification and await clarification. In light of this very significant development, Shri Rajiv Malhotraji who had been battling health issues to ensure his participation at the events, has now bowed to his physicians recommendation not to travel, and will be participating fully in all of the remaining events by live video conference. Dr. Subramanian Swamy remains undeterred and unsurprised and will be present and will join the other speakers at the remaining events as planned.

Dr. Subramanian Swamy was to speak on "Economic development over the years and new reforms need to take India forward," and Rajiv Malhotra on "Rethinking Indian history based on the book Breaking India: Western interventions in Dravidian and Dalit faultlines."

"We are stunned that a leading British University that should be championing free speech and freedom of thought, has taken such a cowardly decision. We cannot allow the appeasement of extremists to stifle cherished values and I fear this decision will reflect very badly on Oxford University and their much publicized "free rigorous thinking" credentials." Satish K Sharma, General Secretary, National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)

Of interest will be this online petition (mostly aimed at Dr. Subramaniam Swami) by "Oxford Students" on change.org requesting the lectures be cancelled:

https://www.change.org/p/oxford-india- ... custom_msg&fb_ref=Default

And this somewhat defensive post by the same group when the lectures actually were canceled, apparently to their surprise:

https://www.change.org/p/oxford-india- ... y-and-malhotra/u/10161516

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Anita Ratnam tells A Million Sitas
Posted on 2015/3/25 2:29:29 ( 933 reads )

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, March 20, 2015 (NYU Steinhardt school of music): Through the lens of Sita, timeless icon of womanhood, Anita Ratnam refracts and reweaves the many strands of the majestic and sweeping Hindu epic. One of India's most celebrated dance-actors, Ratnam brings storytelling, theatre, and dance to her rendering of Sita, who stands at the epicenter of this story of love, honor, courage, treachery, and sacrifice.

Dr. Anita Ratnam, one of India's most renowned performers, describes herself as a "contemporary classicist" whose solo work re-imagines notions of what is sacred and what is secular from within the framework of her life and experience. Her ability to connect through storytelling, musical theatre, and gesture to a wide variety of audiences has led to international engagements in diverse venues such as Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Korzo Theatre in The Hague, Substation Singapore, Newark Museum, and Peabody Essex Museum in the US. arangham.com.
All shows, scheduled for May 3, 2015 at 3.00 p.m, are at the historic Provincetown Playhouse at 133 MacDougal Street, New York City, and are appropriate for adults and children over 12.

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Bhagavad Gita English-Translation Collection, 70+ Books Up For Auction--Ending in Two Days
Posted on 2015/3/25 2:29:23 ( 925 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, March 22, 2015 (Hinduism Today): Hinduism Today is offering at auction its collection of English translations of the Bhagavad Gita. These range from Edwin Arnold's early translation to multiple editions issued since 2000. Condition of books is from new (many of them) to fair or poor condition, mostly depending on age.

To see the Ebay auction with a complete list of authors, titles, dates of publication and condition, click "source" above. Bidding started at $101 and is now at $300. Auction ends March 26th. There is no reserve.

Direct link to auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bhagavad-Gita ... ranslation-/281632110136?

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