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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/5 17:51:25 ( 585 reads )

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Do not say that you do not have time for God. The busiest of men will have the most leisure, and the laziest will always be short of time, for the former utilizes time and the latter only wastes it. If you really want God, you will find time for Him.
-- Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati (1912-1954), 34th pontiff of Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham

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Houston Celebrates Janamashtami
Posted on 2014/9/4 18:12:01 ( 558 reads )

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HOUSTON, TEXAS, August 28, 2014 (Indo American News): This year attendance at the premier, nonprofit event marking the birth of Lord Krishna - on 17 August, 3228 BC, according to the Bhagvata Purana - was at an all-time high of 8,000, reversing a decline over the past few years that had concerned the organizing group, the Hindus of Greater Houston. This year, the HGH had pulled out all the stops, it seemed, and made some fundamental changes that generated the enthusiasm among area Hindus to attend in large numbers as the Janamashtami event was held this past evening Saturday, August 23.

Since its inception in 1990 as a venue for bringing the celebration of life and wisdom of one of the major divinities in Hinduism, Lord Krishna, the Janamashtami festival has sought to bring together all the temples and other Hindu organizations under one roof to show not only the unity among these groups in the metropolitan area but also bring the culture and beauty of Hinduism - and by extension, India - to the Houston community.

This year nearly 70 booths displayed their products and services, including the area restaurants, and for the first time, 15 commercial booths were allowed to locate to the other side of the booths with religious affiliations, which still formed the colorful majority of the booths towards the center and right of the elevated stage in the back of the cavernous hall. "Hindus of the greater Houston area celebrated the birth of Lord Krishna in a truly grand style at this Silver Jubilee celebration," said Thara Narasimhan, a Board member and longtime supporter of HGH. "True to tradition, it was a celebration of many accolades, celebrities and achievements of the past and present community Hindu leaders."

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Two Elephants in Catania's Municipal Plaza
Posted on 2014/9/4 18:11:55 ( 545 reads )

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CATANIA, SICILY, September 1, 2014 (CTZEN--translated from Italian): The Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of the son of Shiva and Parvati, called Ganesha Chaturthi, has been celebrated with a quiet but colorful procession through the streets. Fifty devotees, all of Mauritian origin and from the little temple of the Catania Shiv Shakti Association took part in the event. Swami Ramchandas, from India, was brought by the group to participate. Accompanied by singing and dancing, the colorful (and biodegradable) Ganesha statue was carried on a small palanquin, through the Duomo Plaza past Il Liotru, the ancient elephant statue (official symbol of the city, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catania for a photo), on the way to the nearby seashore for immersion.

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Thousands Come to Altare Ashram to Celebrate Ganesh
Posted on 2014/9/4 18:11:48 ( 500 reads )

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ALTARE, ITALY, august 31,2014 (La Stampa--translated from Italian): Over two thousand Hindu devotees and a large number of dignitaries came to celebrate the annual festival of Ganesha Caturthi at the Gitananda Ashram. The event was a great success. As has been a tradition for many years now, the Ashram hosted a heartfelt celebration dedicated to the the birthday of the God Ganesh, who is most loved by the Hindu faithful. The day was divided into two parts, with an early morning visit to the temple dedicated to prayers and rituals, and the later part dedicated to speeches by the important personalities present, including the Consul General of India, who arrived from Milan, and the Ambassador of India to Italy, who came specially from Rome. The closing event was the procession with the statue of the God.

"Our celebration of Ganesha Caturthi was based on prayer for peace in the world - explained the leaders of the Ashram - for which we asked for peace for everyone, without distinction of any kind. And we hope that our request will be heard." Devotees came from all over the north of Italy, and also from some neighboring European countries. The Ashram was founded in 1984 (this year celebrated thirty years of work) as a place of prayer and study of the Hindu tradition by Yogasri Swami Yogananda Giri.

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Nepal Flooding Presents Gospel Opportunities
Posted on 2014/9/4 18:11:40 ( 480 reads )

https://www.mnnonline.org/news/nepal-f ... nts-gospel-opportunities/

NEPAL, August 27, 2014 (Mission Network News): HPI Note: This is from a Christian news source.

Nearly 300 people have died and more than 100 are missing due to severe Nepal flooding. Heavy rain, which began August 13, has affected 25 of Nepal's 75 districts, overflowing riverbanks and causing landslides. More than 22,000 people have been displaced. A ministry leader supported by Christian Aid Mission reports that he has "never, in the past 52 years," seen this kind of flooding in Bardia.

Many homeless families are living at the school run by this ministry-a school that recently received negative attention from a news channel in Nepal after it became known that several children converted to Christianity there. Converting someone to a religion other than Hinduism was illegal in Nepal until 2008, when it changed from the world's only Hindu Kingdom to a secular state.

The Nepalese government is ill-equipped to respond to such a disaster. According to one ministry leader assisted by Christian Aid Mission, the government is calling upon "each able individual to contribute 100 rupees [$1] for the people in the affected regions." Indigenous ministries inside Nepal are in a unique position to reach out to their hurting neighbors in Jesus' name immediately, with help wired directly from Christian Aid Mission.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/4 18:11:33 ( 444 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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Heavy Rain Forces 50,000 Pilgrims to Abandon Nanda Devi Jat Yatra
Posted on 2014/9/3 18:37:43 ( 499 reads )

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INDIA, September 1, 2014 (Daily Mail): Poor preparation and bad weather saved the Uttarakhand government a catastrophe as it forced a major chunk of pilgrims to abandon the Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra midway at Bedni in the Chamoli district.

Monday saw over 50,000 pilgrims return, while only 8,000 opted to undertake the arduous trek for Patar Nachoniya, located at an altitude of 12,000 feet above sea level.

Mohan Singh, a native of Tharali said: "I had passed the medical test but I decided to return after the heavy rainfall. We stayed in the open under our umbrella after a wet Sunday night." "The state government makes huge claims of elaborated arrangements in television commercials but on ground nothing exists," said another villager.

The Yatra is hosted every twelfth year and is presently underway in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district. "The number is now manageable and I am thankful to people for accepting my appeal to withdraw their Yatra. They retreated on their own," said Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat.

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Indian Community Launches Museum in Australia
Posted on 2014/9/3 18:37:37 ( 466 reads )

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MELBOURNE, August 11, 2014 ( Times of India): Members of the Indian diaspora in Australia have opened their first museum comprising over 1,200 rare pieces including pictures, paintings, photographs, coins and stamps here on the Independence day. Partly funded by the Indian High Commission in Canberra, the museum is an initiative of Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV).The museum has artworks as old as 1800s showcasing rich Indian History, Hindu culture and mythology along with several astonishing International arts.The entire collection showcased in the museum is a personal collection of an Indian doctor, living in Melbourne, Dinesh Parekh who has been collecting artefacts for the last 50 years.

Named as Museum India, the collection has several original paintings, high quality lithographs, chromolithographs, engravings from 1840s onwards, sculptures, coins from 500 bce onwards and stamp collection for the public. The museum was launched by Consul General of Melbourne Manika Jain in the presence of the state Minister of planning Matthew Guy, Dandenong Mayor Jim Memeti and several other high profile leaders and Indian community members.

This project has been supported by Melbourne Consul general of India, specially through Indian High Commission and Pravasi Bharti community.

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Kailash Yatra Breaks all Past Records
Posted on 2014/9/3 18:37:31 ( 356 reads )

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INDIA, August 22, 2014 (Hindustan Times): Giving a reason for officials to smile, more than 900 pilgrims have visited Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) this year, setting a new record of sorts. The yatra is an annual affair which passes through Uttarakhand and goes till Kailash Mansarovar in TAR under China. (Many more pilgrims take the easier route by jeep or even helicopter via Nepal.)

The pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar is considered one of the difficult pilgrimages. On the Indian side, beyond Malti, pilgrims have to trek the route on foot. The last station on the Indian side is Liphulekh pass.

After last years' flash floods, the rains ravaged roads and damaged a bridge at Kimjyoti in Pithoragarh district. Last year, owing to the adverse situation, the yatra was suspended midway. The yatra began on June 12 through an old route but later the administration decided to move pilgrims through an alternative route. Despite odds, the yatra went on successfully.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/3 18:37:24 ( 305 reads )

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Sojourns in tirthas, which are meritorious and which constitute one of the high mysteries of the rishis, are even superior to sacrifices.
-- Mahabharata

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Church Turned into Temple after 72 Valmikis Reconvert to Hinduism
Posted on 2014/8/31 18:03:45 ( 945 reads )

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ALIGARH, INDIA, August 28, 2014 (Times of India): A church with a cross in it that belonged to the 7th Day Adventists overnight turned into a temple adorned with a portrait of Shiva after what some Hindu groups in Aligarh termed the "successful ghar wapasi" (reconversion) of 72 Valmikis who had become Christians in 1995. There was an elaborate shuddhi karan (purification) ceremony on Tuesday inside the church in Asroi, 18 miles from Aligarh.

Khem Chandra, Sangh pracharak and pramukh of Dharam Jagran Vivad in Aligarh, said, "This is called ghar wapasi, not conversion. They left by choice and today they have realized their mistake and want to come back. We welcome them. We can't let our samaj scatter, we have to hold it tight. I have told them that honor comes from within the community and not from outside." Chandra added that in the years that followed their adoption of Christianity, he met heads of the eight Valmiki families numerous times to convince them to reconsider their decision.

Anil Gaur, one of those who returned to the Hindu fold, said it was because they were unhappy with the caste system that they changed their religion. "But we found ourselves in no better position among Christians," he said. "As Hindus we had no status and were restricted to doing menial jobs, but even after remaining a Christian for 19 years, we saw that no one came to us from their community. There was no celebration of Bada Din (Christmas). The missionaries just built a church for us in the vicinity where some of the villagers got married. That was all."

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A Film Fest Highlights Conditions Of Hindu Temples
Posted on 2014/8/31 18:03:39 ( 536 reads )

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HYDERABAD, INDIA, August 27, 2014 (Silicon India): A unique international film festival here brought into focus the dilapidated condition of Hindu temples in India, highlighting problems like corruption, mismanagement, encroachments, financial problems faced by priests and erosion of traditional rituals associated with worship. Aimed at creating awareness about the need to save temples, the three-day festival saw the screening of 40 movies from different parts of India and countries like Mauritius, Denmark, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Britain and the United States.

The first-of-its kind festival was organized by the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF), an initiative launched by a group of Indian Americans to protect temples in India. "We want to make people aware of richness of temples and the need to address issues related to their protection, annadanam, gomata and other aspects of temples," Velagapudi Prakasarao, founder of the foundation, said.

An Indian American who started the foundation in 2006, Prakasarao attributed the problems faced by the temples, especially in southern India, to the government control over them. Unlike in the north where only major temples are under the government, in the south nearly all temples come under the Endowments department.

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Marvelous Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra Film Released
Posted on 2014/8/31 18:03:33 ( 552 reads )

https://vimeo.com/104862626

USA, August 31, 2014 (Press release, Robert Moses, Namarupa Publishers): In the summer of 2014 Namarupa Yatra Divine went to Puri, Odisha on the Bay of Bengal to witness the world famous Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra. Lord Jagannath, His Brother Lord Balarama and their sister the Lady Subhadra ascend their incredible chariots and proceed from their huge Jagannath Puri Temple for three kilometers down the Grand Road to take their annual summer vacation in the Gundica Temple. We had grandstand seats right at the starting area of the great chariot festival and spent the entire day enthralled and captivated by the love, joy and spontaneous devotion. More than a million devotees thronged the Grand Road. This short video is offered at the Feet of the Lord.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/31 18:03:27 ( 476 reads )

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How can one realize that which alone is real? All we need to do is to give up our habit of regarding as real that which is unreal. Reality alone will remain, and we will be That.
-- Sri Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic

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India's US$5.14 Million Ta Prohm Restoration Work Will Be Finished This Year
Posted on 2014/8/30 17:49:30 ( 702 reads )

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INDIA, August 29, 2014 (Indian Embassy Phnom Penh): HPI note: we were unable to access the URL at source the day we posted this, but it should be correct.

India-Cambodia relations are traceable to 2000 years. Historically, Indian influence in culture and religion was a dominant feature in South East Asia. However, Cambodia is perhaps the only country where it still remains strongly visible in customs, rituals and way of life of the people. The landmark of this strong link is perhaps the pre-Angkor era temples, which are one of the greatest heritage monuments in the world. According to Padmasree Prof. Sachchidanand Sahai, a renowned scholar and expert on Khmer civilization, the Angkor Heritage Park, covering an area of approx. 400 sq. km. is the only mega heritage site in the world. The world famous temples of Angkor Wat, Banteay Srei, Ta Prohm, Preah Khan, Bayon, Baphuon, Phnom Bakheng and many other great temples are all located inside this Angkor Heritage Park, which is adjacent to the Siem Reap town in Cambodia.

In its present phase, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been working on the restoration of the Ta Prohm temple since 2003. Ta Prohm temple, dedicated to Lord Brahma (Prohm) was built during the period between mid-twelfth century and early thirteenth century by Khmer King Jayavarman VII. Ta Prohm was initially constructed as a Buddhist monastery and was very wealthy in its time. It was dedicated by King Jayavarman VII to his mother.

Ta Prohm, more popularly known as Tree Temple is one of the finest specimen of Khmer creativity and architecture of the Angkorean era. ASI has successfully documented all identified structures of the temple and proposed conservation thereof. It has also successfully restored the 3rd enclosure gallery (which was completely fallen before), main causeway and the 4th enclosure Gopura.

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