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India has Just 33,304 Self-declared Atheists


Posted on 2016/8/16 19:01:05 ( 848 reads )

Source

NEW DELHI, INDIA August 15, 2016 (En.Prothom.Alo): There's a new minority to contend with and, at a little over 33,000, they are fewer in number than the Parsis. But the unbelieving atheists-counted separately for the first time in Census 2011 -- just cannot agree with the figure. To be precise, only 33,304 of India's 1.2 billion citizens have declared themselves as atheists in the census-a minuscule 0.0027 per cent. China, by comparison, is 61% atheist and the UK is 13%. In an overtly and fervently religious country, this low figure may not come as a surprise, but atheists are simply not buying it. They accuse the powers that be of everything from "dishonesty" to "unscientific" methodology-all aimed at "mischievously" skewing the data.

"There are millions of people in India who don't subscribe to any caste or religion. They call themselves atheists, rationalists or non-religious people," says G. Vijayam, Executive Director of the Atheist Centre in Vijayawada. "When you say there are only a few thousand atheists, it's a distortion of reality," Vijayam told IANS. "This is mischief done by orthodox people and the Census authorities, and it must be corrected." In any case, the non-believers are upbeat. Ghosh, for instance, contends 22 per cent of the world population is now atheist, and that the number is growing. He believes the trend will be replicated in India as well. Adds Vijayam: "Atheism has come to stay. It's a worldwide phenomenon and when opportunity comes they all will come out of religion."



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2016/8/16 19:00:55 ( 752 reads )

Source

"To listen to some devout people, one would imagine God never laughs."
-- Sri Aurobindo



One Arrested with Stolen Artifacts in Nepal


Posted on 2016/8/14 19:36:24 ( 945 reads )

Source

KATHMANDU, NEPAL, Aug 10, 2016 (My Republica): Nepal Police has arrested a member of a gang of six to seven youths allegedly involved in stealing artifacts and antique murthis from quake-devastated buildings, temples and other structures. The police apprehended 19-year-old Prakash Raut, originally from Sindhupalchowk district, after he was found hauling away a heavy sack on his shoulder around midnight Sunday from Asan-27 of Kathmandu. "When we inspected his sack we found antique murthis along with the other items," said DSP Binod Ghimire, chief of Metropolitan Police Circle Office, Janasewa. The murthis seem very old and of immense archeological importance, he said, adding that most of the items are ones used for Hindu prayers.

During the interrogation, Raut, who lives in a rented room near Shiva-Parvati temple in Basantapur, that he was involved only in transferring the items. The police has claimed that the gang of six to seven people was involved in stealing murthis from homes and temples and selling them for handsome prizes. "We have tracked all the suspects but yet to arrest them," said Inspector Raj Maharjan of the office. The police also said that they were preparing to hand over the seized murthis to the Archaeological Department for further examination and send the alleged to police custody for further interrogation.



FSSAI Bans Silver Leaf of Animal Origin in Food Items


Posted on 2016/8/14 19:36:13 ( 930 reads )

Source

NEW DELHI, INDIA, August 3, 2016 (Times of India): Now, be assured of vegetarian sweets. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned the use of any material of animal origin in silver leaf (chandi ka warq), commonly used in confectionaries and sweets like barfi for decoration and also in pan and packaged supari.

According to sources in the ministry, the move comes in the wake of concerns over use of intestines of cows and buffaloes in making these thin strips of silver. "The silver leaf is prepared by placing small thin strips of silver between the intestines of cows and buffaloes and continuously hammering these bundles for up to eight hour a day till desired thickness of silver leaf is achieved," an official said. He said the process was found to be offensive and unhygienic posing potential risk to consumers. Moreover, such silver sheets do not carry any green dot or maroon dot. Hence, consumers fail to differentiate between a vegetarian and non-vegetarian product.



What Happened When the Olympic Committee Tried to Exclude Brazil's African Faiths


Posted on 2016/8/14 19:36:03 ( 980 reads )

Source

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, August 12, 2016 (RNS): The International Olympic Committee had chosen only five "official" religions for the interfaith center. According to the Rio 2016 Olympic organizing committee, the choice of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism was based on IOC research that showed most athletes follow those faiths. But the IOC found itself facing heavy criticism for failing to consider the possibility that some Brazilian competitors could be Candomble and Umbanda adherents and in need of pastoral support as well.

Mother Fatima Damas and other Brazilian-African religious leaders lobbied the government to overturn the decision. The exclusion was eventually dropped. Both Candomble and Umbanda are a fusion of different beliefs and multiple deities. The faiths are rooted in African spiritual traditions with elements blended from Roman Catholicism. Brazil has more than 58,800 followers of African religions, and a significant number are concentrated in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

The Rev. Leandro Lenin, the coordinator of the interfaith center, recently visited all 31 buildings in the Olympic village and posted information on notice boards about the center and the availability of various religious leaders to give counsel and comfort to the 17,000 athletes, coaches and other support staff. "Whatever faith they follow, athletes competing in the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games will always find a place to worship in the village," he said. So far, no one has taken up the offer to see a Candomble or Umbanda priest, Lenin said.

More at "source" above.




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2016/8/14 19:35:53 ( 762 reads )

Source

As you pray to God for devotion, so also pray that you may not find fault with anyone.
-- Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886)



His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj Passes Away


Posted on 2016/8/13 11:03:03 ( 2552 reads )

Source

AHMEDABAD, INDIA, August 13, 2016 (press release): Today, August 13 2016, at 6.00 p.m. (IST), the spiritual head of BAPS, celebrated for his worldwide socio-spiritual services, HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj passed away at the pilgrimage place of Sarangpur, Gujarat, at the age of 95.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the fifth spiritual successor in the guru parampara tradition of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. For more than seven decades he travelled tirelessly, visiting over 17,000 towns and villages in India and abroad. However, for the last two years, because of age and frail health, he had been residing at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Sarangpur under the able care of expert doctors.

Most recently, Pramukh Swami Maharaj had been affected by a chest infection from which he had gradually recovered. However, due to his longstanding heart problems, he passed away peacefully at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Sarangpur.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj was born on December 7, 1921 to a humble farmer's family in the small village of Chansad, near Vadodara in Gujarat. In 1939, he renounced home to become a renunciate and received initiation into the sadhu-fold from his guru, Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj and was named Sadhu Narayanswarupdas.

On completing his Sanskrit studies, he was appointed as the kothari of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Sarangpur in 1946 at the age of 25. Then in 1950, at the age of 28, Shastriji Maharaj selected him as the President (Pramukh) of BAPS in his place. Since then, he had been fondly known as "Pramukh Swami."

Shastriji Maharaj passed away in 1951, declaring Yogiji Maharaj as his spiritual successor. Thereafter, Pramukh Swami served under the guidance and blessings of Yogiji Maharaj. In 1971, after the departure of guru Yogiji Maharaj, Pramukh Swami Maharaj succeeded him as the fifth spiritual guru of BAPS. Over the next 45 years, his unremitting satsang travels, selfless services to society, saintly virtues and profound devotion to God earned him the respect and reverence of countless worldwide.

His untiring efforts in uplifting lives, liberating thousands from vices and addictions, providing relief and rehabilitation to innumerable people in times of calamity and catastrophe, and inspiring character and faith in hundreds of thousands of children and youths were some of his many outstanding services to society.

He also created and consecrated over 1,100 mandirs worldwide and grand cultural complexes like Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi and Gandhinagar to portray the cultural and spiritual heritage of India.

Renowned spiritual masters and heads of state have been deeply touched by his humility, saintliness and noble works. These include His Holiness The Dalai Lama, India's late president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the late Sheikh Isa bin Salman al Khalifa of Bahrain, and many royals, heads of state and other dignitaries. All were profoundly touched by Swamishri's spiritual personality and humanitarian services to society.

The news of his earthly departure has created a pall of deep sadness among countless devotees and well-wishers. Devotees and well-wishers are in Sarangpur for his last darshan and to pay their final respects to him.

Pujya Swayamprakashdas Swami, a senior sadhu of the BAPS, made an official statement that His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj has been revered by countless people throughout the world. To cater to the large influx of people, arrangements for his final darshan at Sarangpur have been made from 7:00m onwards, Sunday, 14 August 2016 to 11:00am Wednesday, 17 August 2016. During this period, darshan will continue for 24 hours. The cremation rites will be performed on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 at 3:00pm in the precincts of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir complex in Sarangpur.

The final cremation rites will be broadcast live on www.live.baps.org at 3:00pm, Wednesday, 17 August 2016.

Pujya Doctor Swami also added that four years ago, on 20 July 2012, HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj had declared in a letter that HH Keshavjivandas Swami (Mahant Swami) would succeed him as the guru of BAPS. Thus, Pujya Mahant Swami is the president of BAPS and the sixth spiritual head in the gunatit guru parampara tradition of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Henceforth, he will steer BAPS and further the great teachings and works of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

Tributes to his life can be sent to tributes@in.baps.org. For more details refer to psm.baps.org. www.baps.org https://www.youtube.com/user/BAPSChannel https://twitter.com/BAPS https://www.facebook.com/bapsswaminarayansanstha

About BAPS
The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a worldwide socio-spiritual organization in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, is dedicated to community service, peace and harmony. Motivated by Hindu principles, BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families and individuals. Through a number of social and spiritual activities, BAPS endeavors to produce better citizens of tomorrow who have a high esteem for their roots - their rich Hindu culture. Its 3,300 international centers support these activities of character-building. Under the guidance and leadership of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS aspires to build a community that is morally, ethically and spiritually pure, and free of addictions.

About Pramukh Swami Maharaj
His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, has inspired millions of people across the world to lead a God-centered, morally pure life. Pramukh Swami Maharaj travelled from village to village, continent to continent, emphasizing the importance of family harmony, community service and spiritual progress. His compassion for humanity, universal wisdom and striking simplicity touched many around the world.



Georgetown University, Washington DC, Appoints First Full-Time Director for Hindu Life


Posted on 2016/8/12 19:47:24 ( 1579 reads )

Source

WASHINGTON, USA, August 10, 2016 (The Hoya): Brahmachari Vrajvihari Sharan will serve as Georgetown's first full-time director for Hindu life starting this fall, making him the first Hindu priest chaplain in the United States, according to a campus-wide email sent by Interim Vice President for Mission and Ministry Rev. Howard Gray. Sharan is also Georgetown's second Hindu chaplain after Pratima Dharm, who resigned in January 2015. Dharm had previously served as the United States Army's first Hindu chaplain. Before joining Georgetown, Sharan was honorary Hindu chaplain at the University of Edinburgh since 2010.

Sharan has had significant experience in both the practice and teaching of Hindu traditions. He was initiated in 2003 at Shri Golok Dham Ashram where he is currently a senior monk. Sharan completed further training at Vishwanath Sanyas Ashram and is an acharya, a trainer of Hindu priests known as pandits. Sharan received his Ph.D. in Sanskrit from the University of Edinburgh in 2015. He also served as a lecturer of Asian religions at Cardiff University in Wales and as a senior teaching fellow in Sanskrit at the University of London in England.

Gray said Sharan will become part of a passionate Hindu community -- consisting of around 400 students and faculty members -- at Georgetown. "Br. Sharan was drawn to Georgetown by its commitment to interreligious student formation, and by the vibrancy of the university's Hindu community," Gray wrote in the email. In addition to his work in as director for Hindu life, Sharan will serve as a chaplain-in-residence in New South Hall.



Dancing Shiva: Indian Villagers Still Waiting for the Return of Their Stolen Statue


Posted on 2016/8/12 19:47:14 ( 968 reads )

Source

INDIA, August 8, 2016 (ABC News): In Sripuranthan's temple, the village's Hindu priest recites a hymn and makes offerings to the God Nataraja -- the dancing Shiva -- seeking the blessing of village elder Subramaniam. But where the town's prized, 900-year-old bronze Shiva statue should stand is a mere poster. Two years after the Australian National Gallery gave a stolen sculpture back to India, it remains in police storage -- and the south Indian villagers awaiting its return say they still do not know when their prized Dancing Shiva will come home.

Outside, Subramaniam says villagers' pleas for its return have so far been ignored. "We've asked the Government to have the statue back. It is very sad that the Government has not returned it to us," he says. The statue sits locked in police storage, as evidence against the man accused of masterminding its theft, Subhash Kapoor.

Thieves broke into the temple in 2006, making off with the valuable icon. Kapoor, who is in prison in India awaiting trial after being extradited from the US, then allegedly forged documents about its origin, and ultimately sold it to the Australian National Gallery. The statue was brought back for one festival, but police then took it away again. With fresh allegations still being made against Kapoor, the case against the accused thief is likely to drag on for years.

A short video can be viewed at "source" above.



New Federal Overtime Law Raises Concerns For Nonprofit Industry


Posted on 2016/8/12 19:47:04 ( 901 reads )

Source

FLORIDA, USA, August 10, 2016 (by Renata Sago, WGCU News): HPI Note: This article is on a technical subject which could potentially impact Hindu temples in the US. We're not offering any advice on just how this applies to a temple, but it is something for temple trustees and administrators to be aware of and to consult with their attorneys and accountants about.

A new law will raise the salary threshold for overtime across the country. All those extra hours that went into a void will have a paycheck attached to them come December. But for employees at nonprofits, that's not so simple. In an industry where fundraising is king and long hours, queen, administrators are scrambling to figure out how they'll comply with the new law. But come December, the Council and mission-based nonprofits like it will have to track that. It used to be if a federal workers made $23,660 they were exempt from overtime pay. The new law nearly doubles that amount to $47,476.

David Thompson with the National Council of Nonprofits says it does not take much analysis to see this new law will put nonprofits across the country between a rock and a hard place. In a recent national survey he found many are bracing themselves to pay overtime. "A third said that they're going to have to reduce staff to make ends meet and another third said they're going to have to reduce services," he adds. "To a nonprofit, reducing services is the absolute worst thing you could do.

"But national workers' rights groups like Jobs with Justice--also a non-profit--can think of one thing that is worse: employee burnout. "That leads to people leaving," says labor policy analyst Michael Wasser. "Making sure that they can go home and recharge can have long-term sustaining benefits because you don't have to go out and recruit, train up, rebuild that knowledge." But, experts expect tough decisions in the coming months from agencies that get state and federal grants, which have special rules for how nonprofits can use them.

Nonprofits aside, Mark Neuberger, employment attorney at Foley & Lardner LLP, says how employers deal with overtime is simply counterintuitive. "The law was passed at a time when men--and I mean men--went to work--and if the man wore a white shirt, they didn't get overtime and if they wore a blue shirt, they punched the clock and got overtime. Life today is not nearly so simple." He says the law could change depending on who gets elected in November.




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2016/8/12 19:46:53 ( 810 reads )

Source

"The downfall of a religous sect begins from the day that the worship of the rich enters into it."
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)



Big Turnout at National Hindu Talks in Fiji


Posted on 2016/8/8 14:29:49 ( 1683 reads )

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SUVA, FIJI, August 7, 2016 (Fiji Sun): The third National Hindu conference attracted all Hindu volunteers, organizations and temples to showcase their contribution to Fiji. The event at Studio 6 in Suva yesterday drew at least 200 delegates from government agencies, businesses, volunteers and Hindu organisations.

President of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) Fiji, Jay Dayal said: "The conference provided a platform to address how successful Hindus have been serving their communities." "This was in line with our conference theme Serving Community, Serving Fiji." Mr. Patel said the one of the major task undertaken by the VHP was their enormous involvement in the relief work for post Cyclone Winston.

High Commissioner of India to Fiji, Shri Vishvas Sapkal, said it was heartening to note that people of Fiji had retained their cultural values and developed organizations to preserve and sustain them. The conference ends today.



Jay Lakhani Posts Free Course on Hinduism


Posted on 2016/8/8 14:29:39 ( 1250 reads )

Source

LONDON, ENGLAND, August 8, 2016 (Press Release): Jay Lakhani, a popular lecturer and teacher of Hinduism in UK, has launched a free set of 10 half-hour courses on the basics of Hinduism (available at "source" above). The aim of the course is to give a structured and sensible teaching of Hinduism to thousands of Hindu youth worldwide.

Other popular video series by Lakhani:

Questions and Answers on Hinduism with 42 clips
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6GBWx ... qEqwJBTLO2NFCq_flRzZ2SsqB

Arise my India series of 20 clips
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20rK52 ... qEqyagDYlqj6yKdssZpcFfD7D



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2016/8/8 14:29:29 ( 868 reads )

Source

The delicate anicham flower withers when merely smelled, but an unwelcome look is enough to wither a guest's heart.
-- Tirukkural



Where Is Hinduism Heading? An Appeal from the Editors to Update Our Hindu Megatrends


Posted on 2016/8/5 18:30:31 ( 1771 reads )



KAPAA, HAWAII, August 5, 2016 (HPI): Back in 1992 Hinduism Today developed a list of 12 Megatrends (and 8 Minitrends) focusing on the continuing evolution of Sanatana Dharma. This list is dated, and so we are preparing an upgrade, and seeking creative and savvy input that will make the 2017 edition even more insightful. Please help us update this list! Comments for additions, changes, deletions, may be sent to our Editor in Chief here: sadasivanatha@hindu.org

12 MEGATRENDS:

1) More temerity. We see a replacement of historical timidness with a new-found pride and determination to preserve dharma. This is being called the Hindu Renaissance.

2) Rebirth of Ritual. When the Germans first brought Hinduism to the West, philosophy was emphasized and ceremony ignored. When Vedanta swept into Europe and America, nothing was said about puja. Today's seekers don't just listen to lectures anymore, and they aren't agonizing over idol worship, as did their less-informed forerunners. Instead, they are mastering the mantras and sitting for long, elaborate rites. This devotional thrust has become a major theme in Hindu groups and yoga institutions

3) Influence Outside India. An intensification of the influence of Hindu dharma in the West, including environmental groups, the health and vegetarian movement, the ecumenical movement, the yoga movement, new age movement and more

4) The Ascent of Women. The emergence of women at all levels of Hindu religion, and their refusal to tolerate unfairness in forced marriages, spouse abuse or economic disadvantage:

5) Temples Return. The reversal of centuries of decline in temple emphasis, reflected in the remarkable flood of temples being constructed, especially outside of India. In a related trend, lesser tirthas, once considered low-caste, are becoming popular and losing their stigma - Katiragama and Sabarimalai are examples. Thus, old pilgrimage sites are now competing with new, aggressively-financed ones

6) More Seva, More Outreach. A tendency to be more extroverted, to creatively reach out to help and serve others coupled with the institutionalization of many kinds of social service and the sometimes violent approach to solving social problems;

7) Building Resources. Once-scarce Hindu resources are becoming abundant. These include children's courses, Hindu schools and academies for art, dance and music, a first-ever Hindu encyclopedia, the rise of Sanskrit studies and more university courses focusing on Asian studies

8) India's Rise. India's emergence as the world's newest superpower, a fact made more momentous by the 1992 demise of communism

9) Touting Technology. The dizzy change from an agricultural era to one of technology, nuclear power, space exploration and communications (backyard satellite TV dishes giving uncensored access to Western broadcasting, and Apple computer's recent agreement to produce Macintoshes in India are two indications)

10) Setbacks. Key setbacks, such as difficulties in preserving the culture and tradition, failure to teach Hinduism to a whole generation of children, abandoning the vegetarian ethic, public perception problems caused by "anti-cult" Christians like TV evangelist Pat Robertson and the (now deceased) non-Hindu leader Rajneesh

11) Academia. Increased academic honesty. Hindus (and most non-Christians, including American Indians, Jews, Hawaiians and Pagans) have endured the abuse flung their way by scholars of the past. Even dictionary writers have published their prejudices. An early Webster's New International Dictionary defines swami as "often equivalent to yogi, fakir, wonder-worker, etc." Recently Webster has done better in its New World Dictionary: "A Hindu title of respect, especially for a Hindu religious teacher: a learned man. pundit." That improvement reveals the new intellectual balance among scholars toward non-Christian matters

12) Wider View. Movement away from village life and consciousness to a global presence.

8 MINITRENDS:

13) Trademark Wars. Corporate protectionism. Something extraordinary is happening in the global dharma business. Hinduism is doing well in the marketplace, and people want a piece of the action. SYDA copyrighted the term Siddha Yoga. Another group is seeking exclusive use of Self-Realization. A third is said to have locked up the word vairagi, the term for a desireless and detached soul. Does all this portend a future where groups divide up our spiritual teachings and terms, then fight to defend their claims? One hopes not.

14) Cry for Justice. Condemnation of injustice. There is a loud cry among Hindus against injustice toward untouchables, widows, wives and children. If this sounds familiar, it is. Every society is looking at these issues more now than ever.

15) New friendships. One hears too little about the smaller, gentler cultures with no voice in politics. Recently, Pagans, Polynesians, Wiccans, Gypsies and Aborigines have rediscovered a kinship with Hinduism and are forging informal ties. A related trend is the fast growing rapport of Indians and Blacks.

16) Less strict mores. Historically, swamis and sadhus have been celibate monks. In fact, if one was not, he was assiduously avoided, even maligned. There is a trend of late for Hindus to accept, or at least tolerate, married swamis. A related microtrend is coed ashram life. The strict separation of single men and women engaged in yoga and spiritual pursuits is no longer an assumed protocol. Men and women are sharing the same living facilities, and experiencing the often difficult consequences of such arrangements.

17) Redefining Hinduism. Oddly, to call oneself a Hindu in India carries with it an implication of communalism. Hinduism is reemerging there, but political ambitions are in the way. A new model of Hinduism needs to be developed and defined in a universal sense. There is a tendency in India to misrepresent and improperly classify Hinduism as right wing and fundamentalist, whereas Hinduism stands for ecology, vegetarianism, etc. (which are left wing in the West). Hinduism is a positive term. For a long time, people would say, "I'm a Christian" or "I'm a Buddhist," but the Hindu would say, "I'm a follower of all religions." That's not so true today.

18) Burial versus cremation. In Sri Lanka, under the weight of years of ethnic struggles that have cost 17,000 lives, Hindus have stopped cremating and begun to bury their dead. A similar trend is emerging outside of Asia, where cremation facilities are lacking and burial is the only option.

19) Dharma can be entertaining. Major visitor centers are evolving, designed around Hindu thought and culture. Swaminaranaya's Cultural Festivals. TM's Disney-like Veda-Land and the Brahma Kumaris" Global Museum in Kenya are examples. Also, bold. Creative movie-makers are finding new ways to make the old epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana work, and films are breaking out of old constraints.

20) No more Colonial mind. Once Hindus wanted to ape everything Western. No longer. It's stylish to be yourself these days. One result: we are enjoying our uniqueness and breaking our addiction to comparing ourselves with the rest or the world.

MEGATRENDS is a term coined by futurologist John Naisbett in 1982 to name the major underlying forces that are transforming society and shaping the future. To formulate these ten Hindu megatrends, we solicited the advice of the following prominent Hindu religious leaders, scholars, priest and business people. Each contributed to our analysis, however, the final conclusions as given above are the responsibility of Hinduism Today alone: Swami Bhasyananda, Vivekananda Vedanta Society, Illinois; Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Arsha Vidya Pitham, Pennsylvania; Swami Parvati Devyashram, Sri Rajarajeshwari Peetham, Pennsylvania; H.H. Sri Swami Satchidananda, Integral Yoga Institute, Virginia; Pundit R. Ravichandran, priest, California; Mr. Vidyasagar Anand, Chairman, European Council of Hindu Organizations, United Kingdom; Dr. Mahesh Mehta, President, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, Massachusetts; Dr. S.M. Ponniah, Advisor, Malaysia Hindu Sangum; Dr. David Knipe, Professor of South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin; Dr. Seshagiri Rao, Professor of Hindu Religion, University of Virginia; Dr. H. Daniel Smith, Professor of Religion, Syracuse University, New York; Mr. Arvind Ghosh, publisher, Texas; Mr. Srikumar Poddar, businessman, Michigan.



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