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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/12/26 18:26:19 ( 654 reads )

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The mind alone is man's cause of bondage or release: it leads to bondage when attached to the sense objects, and to release when freed from them.
-- Krishna Yajur Veda, Maitri Upanishad

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Conversion Ceremony Long Offered at Kerala Temples
Posted on 2014/12/25 16:14:51 ( 798 reads )

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KOCHI, KERALA, INDIA, December 24, 2014 (Deccan Chronical): Even as the wrangle over conversion and Ghar Vapas ("return to home) continues, a temple in Kaviyoor in Kottayam district has on its notice board "conversion" as an item of offering for the Deity of the temple. The Thrikkaviyoor temple under Travancore Devaswom Board has listed conversion in a long list of offerings starting with Ganapathi homam. Conversion is item number 46 next to marriage and and the rate per head is US$2.46.

When queried how conversion found its way to the itinerary of offerings, TDB commissioner P. Venugopal said that this was there from the very beginning. "Some of the temples have conversion in the list which I think is as old as the existence of the TDB. But I don't think any mass conversion is happening on account of this. This may be to facilitate caste certificates to gain reservation benefits," said Mr Venugopal. Mr P.K. Sivan Pillai, a native of Kaviyoor, said that conversion was in the itinerary of offerings of major temples under TDB. "It's not part of minor temples.

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Adivasis Experience the Goodness of Yoga
Posted on 2014/12/25 16:14:45 ( 726 reads )

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UTNOOR, INDIA, December 23, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): Yoga became an experience of a lifetime for tribal women who had never before been exposed to the exercise regime. Around 80 tribals, including a few Schedule Caste women, of all ages, have been practicing Surya Namaskarams and stretching exercises for joint, knee and back pains, and they are now capable of training other tribals.

These tribal and SC women received certificates for their participation in the free yoga and naturopathy camp at Utnoor conducted under the SC and ST component plan. Sources said that the certificates would go a long way in boosting the morale of the Anganwadi and Asha workers, most of whom have only studied till primary and upper primary levels.

After attending the free three-day yoga training camp organized by Vemana Yoga Research Institute, the women felt that yoga and naturopathy would prove to be very useful as these could help cure various ailments often faced by the Adivasis, without any medical expenses and side effects.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/12/25 16:14:38 ( 597 reads )

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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-- Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), mystic, poet and artist

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Crusade for Dalits' Entry into Temples
Posted on 2014/12/24 16:07:06 ( 808 reads )

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INDIA, December 23, 2014 (The Hindu): Kolar district is set to take a big leap forward to eradicate untouchability. Enthused by the response for Grihapravesha -- a campaign that made Dalits' entry into the houses of upper caste people possible in several villages in the district in the last five months -- the organizers have now devised a program to ensure entry of Dalits into Muzrai Department temples. Dalits comprise almost one-third the total population in the district.

Started by Mulbagal-based Arivu Kendra, led by G. Shivappa, an assistant professor with Government College for Women in Kolar, the Grihapravesha has expanded. A number of organiZations and other like-minded people have joined hands in this endeavour. As a result, a wider platform -- Dalitara Grihapravesha Rajya Samiti -- evolved to take the campaign across the State.

The committee has formulated a program for the entry of Dalits into the temples, with Namma Nade Asprashyate Mukta Bharatadede (Our march towards untouchability-free India), as the theme. There are 1,336 temples under the Muzrai and Religious Endowment Department in Kolar district.

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The Architecture of Hinduism
Posted on 2014/12/24 16:07:00 ( 887 reads )

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INDIA, November 3, 2014 (Swarajya, by Sanjeev Sanyal): Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism has long suffered from a very basic problem - the difficulty of defining it. One can describe a particular sect, or philosophy, but it is not easy to explain the whole. Thus, it is not uncommon for people to ultimately fall back on saying that it is a "way of life". Unfortunately, such a definition is neither a meaningful description nor of analytical value. If anything, it causes a great deal of confusion by suggesting that Hindu religion is identical to Indic culture - the two are obviously linked but not exactly the same. The purpose of this article is to investigate the systemic logic of Sanatana Dharma as a whole and the process by with it evolves. It is not concerned here with the philosophical content or daily practice of any of the constituent sects, traditions and philosophies.

Most world religions, particularly those of Abrahamic origin, are based on a clearly defined set of beliefs - a single god, a holy book, a prophet and so on. These are articles of faith or axioms from which each of these religions is derived. This why the terms religion, belief and faith can be used interchangeably in these cases. In contrast, it is perfectly acceptable in Hinduism to be a polytheist, monotheist, monist, pantheist, agnostic, atheist, animist or any combination thereof. Thus Hinduism is a religion but not a faith, although constituent sects or philosophies can be termed faiths or beliefs. Instead, it should be thought of as an organic, evolving ecosystem of interrelated and interdependent elements that are constantly interacting with each other (and with the outside world).

Much more at 'source'.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/12/24 16:06:53 ( 624 reads )

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Do you realize now the sacred significance and the supreme importance of the guru's role in the evolution of man? It was not without reason that the India of the past carefully tended and kept alive the lamp of guru-tattva. It is therefore not without reason that India, year after year, age after age, commemorates anew this ancient concept of the guru, adores it and pays homage to it again and again, and thereby reaffirms its belief and allegiance to it. For the true Indian knows that the guru is the only guarantee for the individual to transcend the bondage of sorrow and death, and experience the Consciousness of the Reality.
-- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh

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How Sikhs and Hindus Became the Bedrock of Middle Class Britain
Posted on 2014/12/23 16:55:29 ( 869 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, December 14, 2014 (Daily Mail): The lifestyle of a typical Middle Class Briton has been laid bare in wide-ranging research published yesterday. Analysts discovered a social group living in semi-detached suburbia and worrying about how to pay the mortgage. And while many of the findings reinforce the stereotype of a middle-class family, some of the research is perhaps more surprising. The survey found that long-established Hindu and Sikh families now have an above average likelihood of being classed Middle Class Britons.

The research was carried out by analysts at Experian, who examined nationwide data ranging from income and housing type to favorite internet sites and shopping habits. It identified more than 400 social and economic factors to define Middle Class Britain and has produced a detailed picture of the country's largest social group, accounting for 13.1 million people, or one in five of the population.

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Remnants of Shiva Temple Found Decades Ago in Mosque Excavation in Gujarat
Posted on 2014/12/23 16:55:23 ( 1029 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 11, 2014 (Daily Pioneer): Remnants of a Shiva temple having two shrines were found during an excavation carried out at Jami Masjid mosque and its adjacent areas in Gujarat about 35 years ago, the Government informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

On the details of scientific excavations carried out at the archaeological monuments of Rudramahalaya and Jami Masjid at Sidhpur district of Patan in Gujarat during the same period, he said plinth of the temple was exposed and sculptures, architectural members, decorative mouldings were found after scientific excavations.

To a question on the present status of planning and development for clearance operations, preservation of ruins of Rudramahalaya and Jami Masjid, he said that in the clearance operations, modern buildings adjacent to Jami Masjid, obstructing the view of these monuments, have been removed.

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Where Cows Are Welcomed with Open Arms
Posted on 2014/12/23 16:55:16 ( 558 reads )

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INDIA, December 23, 2014 (The Hindu): People worship cows on Gokulashtami Day each year. But for the households of Rajaputra Street in Chittoor, not a single day in a week round the year will pass without offering prayers to the sacred animals. A score of cows with their calves can be seen in this street, with history dating back to more than a century, every morning and evening. Their affinity with women and children is such that the cows tap the doors and make gentle 'baa' sounds to wake up their patrons at dawn.

It is a regular phenomenon that cows find their way into the households, entering kitchens and feasting on the vegetables and food. Angry housewives soon cool down, considering such intrusion as a good omen. "Each time a cow enters our house, our financial crunch would be eased to a great extent. We feel healthy and happy for several months," Suguna, a housewife says.

On the flip side, patronage to cows since generations has led to the waning number of street dogs here. Women from other localities too come to Rajaputra Street on festive occasions in search of cows, to feed them. The older generation take pride in carrying forward this unique tradition, which does not exist anywhere in the town.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/12/23 16:55:10 ( 449 reads )

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The syllable gu means shadows. The syllable ru, he who disperses them. Because of the power to disperse darkness, the guru is thus named.
--Shukla Yajur Veda, Advayataraka Upanishad 16

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Allahabad High Court: Conversion to Islam solely for Marriage not Valid
Posted on 2014/12/22 18:51:44 ( 631 reads )

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ALLAHABAD, INDIA, December 20, 2014 (Daily Pioneer): In a significant judgement, the Allahabad High Court has ruled that the religious conversion of girls "without their faith and belief in Islam" and "solely for the purpose of marriage" to Muslim boys could not be held valid.

Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani passed the order while dismissing a batch of petitions filed by five couples, hailing from different districts of Uttar Pradesh, who had sought "protection as married couple." In each case, the boys were Muslim while the girls were Hindu who got converted to Islam for solemnizing nikah.

In his order earlier this week, justice Kesarwani quoted a Supreme Court order of 2000 wherein it was laid down that "conversion of religion of a non-Muslim without any real change of belief in Islam and only for the purpose of marriage is void."

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Corporate Heads Take to Yoga
Posted on 2014/12/22 18:51:38 ( 563 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, December 13, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): A group of 11 people, all corporate heads above 45 years, are exposed to yoga for the first time at a workshop. Almost all complain of pain in the neck, back and the knee while performing asanas and while sitting on the floor for minutes together. Dr. Krishna Raman, consultant physician, internal medicine, offers tips and changes in sitting position.

When we sit properly, it gives energy to the mind," Dr. Raman, the medical specialist who combines internal medicine and yoga, explains at the workshop. While sitting, shoulders have to drop down and if so, the neck is also relieved.Yoga is most often perceived as something for flexibility, breathing and spirituality and we do not appreciate it, says Dr. Farzana Siraj, consultant therapeutic yoga, adding that hot and power yoga are a corruption of yoga. We have to sit and stand in a proper posture. Leaning forward is ageing and leaning backward is anti-aging, says Dr. Siraj.

Yoga instructors in the city say that awareness about yoga and its benefits has been increasing and many young people now prefer attending classes. Given the demand for yoga and naturopathy, the government yoga and naturopathy medical college in the city has increased the seats from 20 to 50 from this academic year.

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Hindu Calendar Now Available
Posted on 2014/12/22 18:51:32 ( 705 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, December 21, 2014: The Hindu calendar, or panchangam, for 285 cities are now available in both pdf and iCalendar formats. iCalendar panchangams may be imported into iCal, BusyCal and Google calendars. The 2015-2016 calendar begins on May 5, 2015 and ends on April 22, 2016. These detailed calendars provide all lunar information as well as nakshatras and other details used in daily puja during the sankalpam.

Many calendar users have requested that we provide the panchangams for free. The Panchangam Endowment Fund with Hindu Heritage Endowment (www.hheonline.org) was created for this purpose and has reached its goal of $45,000. Now the calendars are free.

Download free panchangams at http://www.minimela.com/panchang.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/12/22 18:51:26 ( 463 reads )

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If you have not seen your own Self, if you have not pierced the knots of your Heart and washed away the filth of your mind, then what does it matter if you are a human being?
-- Kabir

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