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250 Soldiers Sent to Ramdev for Yoga Course, 750 More Waiting for Training

Posted on 2016/2/2 20:06:13 ( 895 reads )

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DEHRADUN, INDIA, January 27, 2016 (Times of India): In a first-of-its-kind exercise, 250 soldiers of the Western Command of the Army have been sent for a two-week Yoga Teacher's Training Course being organized by Ramdev's Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar. Army officials said the soldiers after their yoga stint will help impart this training to others in the Command. During the training, which began on January 10 and concluded on Tuesday, the jawans were given a comprehensive knowledge of yoga and meditation by specialists of Patanjali Yogpeeth under Ramdev's guidance.

Yoga has been introduced in Army as an important means to address stress and lifestyle-related diseases. The overall aim is to train 1,000 army persons as "yoga instructors". The soldiers will thereafter become the "fulcrum" for spreading the knowledge at various Army units. Krishna Milan, coordinator at Patanjali Yogpeeth, told TOI, "Baba Ramdev himself took classes for the soldiers and taught them the 12 yoga asanas as well as special asanas for a number of ailments. He also guided them about the correct diet and fitness regime to follow. Thereafter, Acharya Balkrishnan took sessions on meditation and spirituality."

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Paying Homage to Lord Muruga

Posted on 2016/2/2 20:06:03 ( 865 reads )

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MALAYSIA, January 25, 2016 (The Star): Thousands of devotees took part in colorful and vibrant processions during the Thaipusam celebration in Ipoh. Carrying kavadis of various colors, shapes and sizes, many of these devotees walked about six miles from Jelapang to Buntong and to the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh on a bright Sunday morning.

Chants of "Vel vel" and the beats from the dhol drums were heard far and wide as the devotees made their way to the temple. Many had paid a visit to the temple to fulfil their vows to Lord Muruga for answering their prayers.

Apart from the festivities at the temple, there were also thaner panthals (refreshment stalls) set up along Jalan Raja Musa Aziz, offering free food and drinks to devotees. Tents selling food, drinks, clothes, toys and other accessories were nearby as well.

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Erawan Shrine Trade Picks Up

Posted on 2016/2/2 20:05:52 ( 841 reads )

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BANGKOK, THAILAND, December 17, 2015 (Bangkok Post): Vendors convincing passers-by to buy garlands and pay respects to the Hindu God has become a common scene at the Ratchaprasong intersection. Four months after the deadly Erawan shrine blast, thick smoke from joss sticks has again blanketed the shrine as hundreds of tourists, especially Asians, are returning to the spot.

As the intersection has been well-decorated ahead of New Year festivities, and many tourists are returning to the area, business at the shrine is picking up. But it has yet to meet local business operators' expectations. Orawan Chatthong, 32, a flower vendor, has been watching business picking up since the tourism peak season began last month. The number of tourists dropped sharply in the two months immediately after the Aug 17 blast.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has made improvements to its security cameras installed at the Ratchaprasong intersection and in nearby locations and is working together with security agencies to prepare for New Year festivities.


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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/2/2 20:05:42 ( 782 reads )

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There are no impediments to meditation. The very thought of such obstacles is the greatest impediment.
-- Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic

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Thousands of Hindu Devotees Throng Temples to Celebrate Thaipusam

Posted on 2016/1/31 19:31:34 ( 1089 reads )

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SELANGOR, MALAYSIA, January 24, 2016 (Malay Mail): More than a million Hindus in Malaysia celebrated the colorful Thaipusam festival today, thronging temples to display their devotion with wince-inducing body piercing and offerings to the Deity Murugan. Hundreds of thousands converged on the Batu Caves an important religious site for Tamil Hindus on Kuala Lumpur's outskirts with many walking up to 10 hours to the site, capped by a final 272-step climb to its limestone hilltop shrine.

Many show their fervor through mind-over-matter feats of body piercing including long skewers stuck through their flesh in a form of penance, or by bearing the elaborately decorated home-made frames called "kavadi." Kavadi can weigh as much as 220 lbs. and are typically affixed to a person's body using sharp metal spikes dug into the skin.

Many endured sweltering heat to follow the 15-kilometre (nine-mile) procession of a silver chariot from a temple in central Kuala Lumpur to the caves. Most of Malaysia's roughly 29 million people are Muslim, but the country also has more than two million ethnic Indians.

Photos and video at "source" above.

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Isn't It Time for Left Historians to Apologise to the Nation for Their Dishonesty?

Posted on 2016/1/31 19:31:23 ( 1068 reads )

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INDIA, January 25, 2016 (Swaraja Magazine by R. Jagannathan): The autobiography of a former Regional Director of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), K.K. Muhammed, shreds the last fig leaf of legitimacy from India's "Eminent" Leftist historians, and even the broader Indian Left ecosystem, which includes most mainstream political parties and large sections of the old media in print and TV.

In his book titled Njan Enna Bharatiyan (I, an Indian), Muhammed clearly indicts Left historians for actually preventing a rapprochement between Hindus and Muslims over the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, by making the Muslim side adopt intransigent positions.

Firstpost quotes him as saying this: "The Babri issue would have been settled long ago if the Muslim intelligentsia had not fallen prey to the brain-washing by the Leftist historians. A set of historians, including Romila Thapar, Bipin Chandra and S. Gopal argued that there was no mention of the dismantling of the temple before 19th century and Ayodhya is a Buddhist-Jain centre. They were supported by historians Irfan Habib, R.S. Sharma, D.N. Jha, Suraj Bhan and Akthar Ali." This was later disproved conclusively by archeologist B.B. Lal in a court-ordered investigation.

More at "source" above.

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Swami Ghananda Saraswati Passes On

Posted on 2016/1/31 19:31:13 ( 1080 reads )



ODORKOR, ACCRA, GHANA, January 31, 2016: HPI has received the following report from the Hindu Monastery of Africa's national president, P.K. Wiredu ("source" above). The editors of Hinduism Today had met Swamiji on several occasions and found him always an uplifting spiritual personage:

The Hindu Monastery of Africa announce with deep sorrow the attainment of Mahasamadhi (passing on to eternity) of His Holiness Swami Ghananand Saraswati on Monday, 18th January, 2016. His mortal remains has since been buried and the final Mahasamadhi Puja (memorial service) will be held on Sunday, 7th February, 2016 at The Hindu Monastery of Africa, Odorkor, Accra at 7: 00 a.m prompt.

The Hindu Monastery of Africa was founded by His Holiness Swami Krishnanand Saraswati in March, 1975 when he initiated the first African Hindu Monk, His Holiness Swami Ghananand Saraswati. Never before has any African donned the ochre robes of sannyas. This was a great honor to Ghana.

His Holiness Swami Ghanand Saraswati was until his initiation known as Guide Kwesi Essel. He was born of humble parentage of Senya Beraku in the central region of Ghana on the 12th of September, 1937. At the early age of six his devoted mother died and this was to have a serious effect on his education. He had his primary school education at Winneba and Senya Beraku respectful. He quickly took up serious religions practice and in 1954, at the age of seventeen (17) he started a prayer group at his hometown, Senya Beraku-praying and meditating with friends. In the face of great difficulties and hardships, he persevered and worshipped zealously, sometimes fasting for long periods. His major preoccupation was praying to God to give him the opportunity to serve more and more people.

In 1962 he moved to Accra and on 24th November he formed the Divine Mystic Path Society. He then started correspondence courses on the Hindu way of life (Sanatana Dharma) with the Divine Life Society of Rishikesh, Himalayas, in India.

As a result of his urge to search for God and with the assistance and support of some well-meaning elders of the society to whom he had greatly endeared himself, he left in August, 1970 for the Himalayas, India, where he sat at the feet of masters at Sivananda Ashram.
He returned after almost two years of study passing through Germany, Denmark, the U.K. and the USA. He initially founded a branch a branch of the Divine Life Society at Odorkor, Accra, the present headquarters of the Hindu Monastery of Africa providing spiritual leadership to a number of devotees, instructing them in the higher esoteric teachings of the masters.

It was his dedication to the propagation and practice of these teachings that culminated in his initiation into the Holy Order of the renunciates of India, and the founding of the Hindu Monastery of Africa by his master, His Holiness Swami Krishnanand Saraswati who had come all the way from India. His initiation was unique in that, it was done by that Revered Saint of India, H.H. Swami Krishnanand Saraswati who had not met him physically until his arrival in Ghana for the second time and stayed only for two (2) weeks.

Originally, the Swami was scheduled to stay in Ghana for three (3) days only, but so strong and irresistible was the spiritual bond that had developed between them when they first met that they behaved and talked as if they had known each other for many years. It is significant to note that the visit of Swami Krishnanand to Ghana was arranged and organised by a group, which was completely independent of the Divine Life Society, and without prior knowledge of Swami Ghananand himself. Herein lies the truth in the old adage that "when the student is ready the master appears."

H.H. Swami Ghananand Saraswati has been the head of the Hindu Monastery of Africa, Accra, Ghana since it was founded by H.H. Swami Krishnanand Saraswati in March 1975. Under Swami Ghananand's leadership the monastery has established branches in five cities in Ghana, with another in Lome-Togo. More than 2,500 families from Ghana and Togo have embraced Hinduism, not to mention those who practice the principles of Hinduism privately.

The monastery supports orphanages, schools for the handicapped and destitute, and also undertakes various social services in the form of monthly free medical services and occasional eye screening camps for the poor and needy as part of her social responsibility. The monastery also lays stress on inter-faith harmony.

Swamiji has to his credit the authorship of fourteen books on Hinduism. No doubt, H.H Swamiji has by the grace of Guruji laid a very solid foundation for the development of Hinduism in Ghana and indeed the whole of the African continent. It is for us in this generation to endeavour to dedicate ourselves to the practice of the principles which he has taught us while involving our families in the practice to ensure that the principles get to as many as we could possibly reach.

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/1/31 19:31:02 ( 842 reads )

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Love is the only reality, and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation.
-- Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Indian poet and Nobel laureate

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Sri Lanka Refugees from Tamil Nadu not Welcome in Australia

Posted on 2016/1/30 14:22:58 ( 1085 reads )

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CHENNAI, January 25, 2016 ( Deccan Chronicle): The Australian government on Friday made it clear that Sri Lankan refugees from Tamil Nadu are no longer welcome in its country as they are not from refugee camps approved by United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC). Nearly 1,200 Lankan refugees tried to travel in boats from Indian subcontinent to Australia between the years 2009 and 2013 died before reaching their destination. Sean Kelly, Australian consul-general to South India pointed out that Australia is not in position to take such refugees reaching their country without UNHRC approval. "Australia will only resettle those refugees who are registered by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees" he said pointing out that his country will continue to remain a refugee friendly state.

"There is no way that people who attempt to travel to Australia by boat will be allowed to settle in Australia. Anyone who does survive the journey will be intercepted and transferred to regional processing centres in Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea," Kelly added. Lankan refugees who reached Australia illegally are now in such camps. He also said that Tamil Nadu government was doing its best to inform Lankan refugees settled in the state that journey by sea to Australia was almost impossible to finish. "Don't fall into the trap of such human traffickers. It is just not possible to travel such a long distance using ordinary boats without food and fuel," he added.

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Dance Drama "Skanda" Presented in South Africa

Posted on 2016/1/30 14:22:47 ( 976 reads )

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SOUTH AFRICA, January 25, 2016 (News 24): The highly-acclaimed dance drama Skanda will showcase during the auspicious observance of Thaipoosam Kavadi at the Shree Veeraboga Cultural Centre on Saturday, 16 January. The show, which has been brought to Tongaat by the Brake Village Siva Soobramaniar Alayam makes a return after playing to capacity audiences at the Playhouse in Durban in 2015. The epic dance drama choreographed, directed and presented by Smt Kantharuby Munsamy and Smt Yshrene Moodley takes place a day after Murugan Temples hoist their flags for the commencement of the Thaipoosam Kavadi. Over 50 dancers from the Natya Kalayalayam Academy of Dance come together to bring to life the epic story of Lord Muruga also known as Skanda. The show is a fast moving drama which tells the story of Lord Shunmuga or Skanda in a very vibrant and breathtaking production which takes everyone on a spiritual high by the end of the show.

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French President Francois Hollande Visits Museum in Chandigarh with PM

Posted on 2016/1/30 14:22:37 ( 0 reads )

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CHANDIGARH,INDIA, January 25, 2016 (Press Information Bureau): The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and President Mr. Francois Hollande paid a joint visit to the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh, as part of their engagements during the State Visit of President Hollande to India on 24 January 2016.The two viewed the displays of archaeological findings from the foothills of the Himalayas which suggest human activity dating back to 2.6 millions years ago, making them among the oldest known remnants of human existence. This significant discovery is the result of seven years of extensive research and collaboration between the Prehistory Department of the National Museum of Natural History of France and the Society of Archaeological and Anthropological Research of Chandigarh.

The archaeological discovery comprises about 1,500 fossil finds, including 200 quartzite tools collected from several locations spread over 50 acres of area in Masol region near Chandigarh. The Prime Minister and President Hollande congratulated the Indo-French team for their joint research work leading to this discovery.

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At 15.6 million, India Tops List of Migrants to Other Countries

Posted on 2016/1/30 14:22:26 ( 857 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, January 25, 2016 (B. Shivkumar, TNN): In the five-year period from 2010 to 2015, India displaced Russia as the country with the largest diaspora in the world, as per UN data on migrants for 2015. While the UAE, with its job opportunities for all sections of people, tops as the preferred destination for India-born migrants, the US, that lets in only highly qualified professional Indians, is today home to nearly two million people born in India. Australia comes high up on the list with four hundred thousand Indians. Between 1990 and 2010, Russia was topping the list of migrants but its diaspora was concentrated in a few countries like Israel.

Paradoxically enough, the spike in Indian migration happened after the country's economy moved into a high-growth path. Today, a total of 15.6 million people born in India are living across all continents. The rate of migration to foreign countries has increased by half compared to 10 years ago. Observers see Indian migration as helping world economies. "Indian migrants to the US have been a great asset for the world. Their contribution to development of information technology has been useful to various sections. Similarly in Gulf countries, many Indians are in the managerial cadre and their contribution has been immensely appreciated," former diplomat G Parthasarathi told TOI. Indians working as construction laborers are also most sought after by companies in the Gulf. "Indian laborers are highly disciplined.

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Hindu American Foundation Lauds Significant Improvements in Virginia Curriculum Frameworks

Posted on 2016/1/30 14:22:16 ( 813 reads )

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2016 (HAF): Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) applauded the Virginia Board of Education's adoption of new history and social science curriculum frameworks, which significantly improved upon the previous versions of the draft.

HAF had previously worked with the Virginia Department of Education to improve language in their history-social science standards of learning and had met with Board members and DOE staff numerous times over the past two years. The conversations and public testimony led to changes in the history-social science standards of learning in March 2015.

Since November, HAF and members of Virginia's Hindu community, along with academic experts, submitted comments on ways to improve language in the frameworks, which are used to shape local curriculum across the Commonwealth and textbook content.

Among the changes was a section that nuanced India's origins. The Final Draft adopted Jan. 2016 reads: "Classical Indian civilization began in the Indus River Valley, spread to the Ganges River Valley, and then spread throughout the Indian subcontinent. This spread continued with little interruption because of the geographic location. Historians are divided over whether migrations occurred or whether Indian civilization grew from within, but agree that Harappan civilization and the Vedic period shaped Indian society."


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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/1/30 14:22:05 ( 759 reads )

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True gurus are available in every religion. They may not be in the ordinary world of strife, for such a world does not want them, nor have they any use for it. Go, therefore, in search of a true master. He is ever available and is only waiting for a symptom of real earnestness in you. If you have true humility and earnestness to see God, he will solve all your doubts and show you God in no time at all.
-- Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati (1912-1954), 34th pontiff of the Sarada Peetham

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Hindu God Statue's Head Returns to Cambodia

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:23:48 ( 960 reads )

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CAMBODIA, January 22, 2016 ( BBC): A French museum has returned the head of a 7th Century Hindu statue to Cambodia 130 years after it was taken. The statue, a representation of the Hindu gods Vishnu and Shiva, had its head broken off and taken in French colonial times. It was returned by the Guimet Museum in Paris at Cambodia's request and reattached to the body.

A Cambodian culture ministry spokesman said joining the head to the statue felt "like we are reconnecting the soul of our national heritage". The reunification was carried out with a lavish ceremony in Phnom Penh. "According to our Khmer culture, the reunion is symbolic of prosperity," Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said at a ceremony in Cambodia's National Museum. The complete statue had stood in the Phnom Da temple in southern Takeo province before its head was shipped to France in 1886. Cambodia has not ruled out allowing France to display the complete statue, known as Harihara, in the future.

Over the past few years, Cambodia has sought to return artefacts taken by other countries without permission. In the past three years, several statues were sent back to Cambodia by US museums and a private collector in Norway.

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