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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/4/9 18:41:53 ( 354 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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UK Court Allows Hindu Prisoner To Perform Father's Last Rites
Posted on 2014/4/8 17:55:14 ( 477 reads )

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LONDON: April 5, 2014(Times of India): In a first-of-its-kind case, a Hindu prisoner being held in a British jail has won the right to perform the last rites at his father's funeral following a major legal battle. Joginder Paul Kashyap, serving a default prison sentence over non-payment of a confiscation order at Oakwood prison near the West Midlands city of Wolverhampton, was given immediate permission this week to be "chief mourner" and have his handcuffs removed to take part in the rituals of the Hindu funeral.

The 57-year-old had originally been told by the prison that he could only attend the cremation while handcuffed and accompanied by two guards. He launched judicial review proceedings and a judge ruled earlier this week that the original decision was wrong. "The claimant's handcuffs are to be removed in accordance with the terms set out in the Schedule to this Order," reads the court order by Justice Leggatt, sitting at the Administrative Court in Birmingham.

Kashyap's claim was backed by the Hindu Council (UK), which gave scriptural advice on the basis that "it could not be in dispute that the eldest son performs the funeral rites where the offspring consists of sons and that he must be allowed to do so with dignity". The case, believed to be the first of its kind, is expected to have wide-reaching repercussions on similar cases across the UK. The prisoner's legal team had argued that the decision of the prison was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

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Ram Navmi Celebrated With Religious Fervor
Posted on 2014/4/8 17:55:08 ( 462 reads )

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SRINAGAR,INDIA, Apr 8, 2014 (Rising Kashmir, by Sumaiya Yousuf): Ram Navami, the birth anniversary of Lord Rama, was celebrated in Summer Capital with religious fervor and gaiety on Tuesday ending their nine-day-long fast of Chaitra Navratri. Hundreds of devotees thronged the temples since morning to pay obeisance. Havans, sankirtans and preeti bhoj were conducted. The local pujaris (priests) had organized rallies and other functions that were conducted smoothly.

A group of Kashmiri pandits told Rising Kashmir that they conducted the festival effortlessly. Expressing gratitude to Muslim community, they said that they were very happy to see Muslim brothers and sisters helping and supporting them. "We are pleased to see how everyone is supporting and enjoying our festival, we could see our Muslim brothers smiling and cheering with us so what could be better than this feeling on such a precious day," another devotee from Karan Nagar Varun Gupta said. In several other places across Kashmir, Rath Yatra (religious processions) of murthis of Lord Rama and Sita are also organized, with devotees chanting hymns.

According to Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti, an organization of Kashmiri Pandits staying in Kashmir valley, currently there are 651 families with of population of 2,764 Kashmiri Pandits staying in and outside Srinagar [against a pre-1995 population of more than 100,000]. As per the Indian online pages, J&K has 10,143,700 total population and among them 3,005,349 are Hindu population maintaining 29.6% of the total population.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/4/8 17:55:01 ( 320 reads )

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Go beyond science, into the region of metaphysics. Real religion is beyond argument. It can only be lived, both inwardly and outwardly.
-- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society

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Japan's Yoga Practitioners Moving To The Next Level
Posted on 2014/4/5 18:23:24 ( 623 reads )

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KYODO, JAPAN, November 27, 2013 (Japan Times): There is a "natural" convergence among yoga practitioners in Japan: Those who have practiced it primarily for slimming or health are becoming more interested in its spiritual aspects, while those who have approached it as a philosophy are more actively engaging in physical exercise, according to an experienced yoga instructor.

"When you have a dialogue with your body as a real object, you have to face yourself," Mamoru Aizawa said. "This is an awakening. Lots of people practice Ashtanga yoga early in the morning before going to work." Ashtanga yoga is a modern form of classical Indian yoga increasingly practiced in the United States, Europe and Japan.

Aizawa, whose yoga name is Chama, is an instructor at TOKYOYOGA, which offers a large number of classes in the capital. Following his instructions, students perform a series of poses ranging from the basic to the complex.

With the yoga boom spreading, what organizers called the biggest yoga event in Asia was held in Yokohama in late September. The 10th Yogafest Yokohama offered various yoga classes, including those for children and physically disabled people.

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A Rationalist's Mystical Moment
Posted on 2014/4/5 18:23:18 ( 459 reads )

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NEW YORK, April 5, 2014 (New York Times, by Barbara Ehrenreich): My atheism is hard-core, rooted in family tradition rather than adolescent rebellion. According to family legend, one of my 19th-century ancestors, a dirt-poor Irish-American woman in Montana, expressed her disgust with the church by vehemently refusing last rites when she lay dying in childbirth. From then on, we were atheists and rationalists, a stance I perpetuated by opting, initially, for a career in science.

How else to understand the world except as the interaction of tiny bits of matter and mathematically predictable forces? There were no gods or spirits, just our own minds pressing up against the unknown.

But something happened when I was 17 that shook my safely rationalist worldview and left me with a lifelong puzzle. Years later, I learned that this sort of event is usually called a mystical experience, and I can see in retrospect that the circumstances had been propitious: Thanks to a severely underfunded and poorly planned skiing trip, I was sleep-deprived and probably hypoglycemic that morning in 1959 when I stepped out alone, walked into the streets of Lone Pine, Calif., and saw the world -- the mountains, the sky, the low scattered buildings -- suddenly flame into life.

There were no visions, no prophetic voices or visits by totemic animals, just this blazing everywhere. Something poured into me and I poured out into it. This was not the passive beatific merger with "the All," as promised by the Eastern mystics. It was a furious encounter with a living substance that was coming at me through all things at once, too vast and violent to hold on to, too heartbreakingly beautiful to let go of. It seemed to me that whether you start as a twig or a gorgeous tapestry, you will be recruited into the flame and made indistinguishable from the rest of the blaze. I felt ecstatic and somehow completed, but also shattered.

Of course I said nothing about this to anyone. Since I recognized no deities, and even the notion of an "altered state of consciousness" was unavailable at the time, I was left with only one explanation: I had had a mental breakdown, ultimately explainable as a matter of chemical imbalances, overloaded circuits or identifiable psychological forces. There had been some sort of brief equipment failure, that was all, and I determined to pull myself together and put it behind me, going on to finish my formal education as a cellular immunologist and become a responsible, productive citizen.

It took an inexcusably long time for me to figure out that what had happened to me was part of a widespread category of human experience. Some surveys find that nearly half of Americans report having had a mystical experience.

Of course all such experiences can be seen as symptoms of one sort or another, and that is the way psychiatry has traditionally disposed of the mystically adept: The shaman was simply the local schizophrenic, Saint Teresa of Avila a clear hysteric. A recent paper from Harvard Medical School proposes that the revelations experienced by Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Paul can all be attributed to "primary or mood-disorder-associated psychotic disorders." I suspect we would have more reports of uncanny experiences from ordinary, rational people if it were not for the fear of being judged insane or at least unstable.

Fortunately, science itself has been changing. It was simply overwhelmed by the empirical evidence, starting with quantum mechanics and the realization that even the most austere vacuum is a happening place, bursting with possibility and giving birth to bits of something, even if they're only fleeting particles of matter and antimatter. Without invoking anything supernatural, we may be ready to acknowledge that we are not, after all, alone in the universe. There is no evidence for a God or gods, least of all caring ones, but our mystical experiences give us tantalizing glimpses of other forms of consciousness, which may be beings of some kind, ordinarily invisible to us and our instruments. Or it could be that the universe is itself pulsing with a kind of life, and capable of bursting into something that looks to us momentarily like the flame.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/4/5 18:23:12 ( 405 reads )

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Like a tortoise withdrawing five limbs into its shell, those who restrain the five senses in one life will find safe shelter for seven.
-- Tirukkural 126

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Google Launches Virtual Tour Of Cambodia's Angkor Wat
Posted on 2014/4/4 15:58:18 ( 946 reads )

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UNITED STATES, April 3, 2014 (Voice Of America): Located in remote, northwestern Cambodia, the ancient Angkor Wat temples have been a wonder from afar for many who had neither the time nor money to pay a visit. Now, a tour is just a free click away, thanks to Google Street View. The company announced the launch of its new ground-level view of the complex Thursday in Siem Reap province, where the temples are located.

Senior Google staffer Divon Lan Thursday said the service was the product of more than a year of work. "It has significance beyond Cambodia. This is a very important part of history of the world. The site is the biggest religious site in the world. It's the biggest Hindu temple in the world, so for the billions of people who believe in Hinduism in the world, this is very important for them. So this a very important heritage site in the global scale. This is a part of the world of information that we want to bring to everyone in the world," said Lan.

Google Street View users can now visit 100 temples and sculptures around Angkor Wat, via a 360-degree perspective. The new initiative adds to existing virtual tours of the Taj Mahal in India and Mt. Fuji in Japan.

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Hindu Festival Gains Ground Among Pinoys
Posted on 2014/4/4 15:58:12 ( 486 reads )

https://ph.news.yahoo.com/photos/hindu ... d-among-pinoys-slideshow/

PHILIPPINES, April 4, 2014 (ph news): In the Philippines, a religious feast from a foreign land is starting to gain ground among Pinoy communities. Following the lead of Indian nationals now in the country, some Filipinos have joined the Hindu spring festival called Holi through music, dance and a clash of colors. The feast is also called the festival of colors, as it usually involves people throwing colored powder and water at each other. Holi, which commemorates Hindu God Krishna's dance with the gopikas, signifies the victory of good over evil.

Slideshow at source.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/4/4 15:58:05 ( 431 reads )

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Do not be proud of wealth, people, relations and friends, or youth. All these are snatched by time in the blink of an eye. Giving up this illusory world, know and attain the Supreme.
-- Adi Shankara, 9th century Indian philosopher and saint

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One Million Devotees Expected for Palani Temple Festival
Posted on 2014/4/3 17:53:11 ( 560 reads )

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MADURAI, INDIA, March 29, 2014 (Times Of India): Amidst election duty, 3,000 police personnel in Dindigul will be deployed to provide security for the over one million devotees who are expected to the throng the Palani Dandhayudapani temple on the occasion of the Panguni Uthiram festival in mid-April.

Panguni Uthiram is one of the important festivals of the temple and draws people from across the state to the hill temple. Flag-hoisting for the festival will be held on April 7, the thirukalyanam or celestial wedding on April 12 and the car festival is scheduled on April 13.

Every year elaborate arrangements are undertaken by the Dindigul district administration and the temple authorities weeks before the festival. This year's festival will pose a challenge to authorities as it will be held when the campaigning for the Lok Sabha election will be at its peak.

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Radford Speaks: Director Of Australia's National Gallery Is In Denial
Posted on 2014/4/3 17:53:01 ( 403 reads )

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AUSTRALIA, March 10, 2014 (Chasing Aphrodite): Ron Radford, the embattled director of the National Gallery of Australia, sat down last week for his first media interview since the Subhash Kapoor scandal broke. Radford's stumbling performance and reality-defying denials already have some leading experts questioning his ability to lead Australia's premiere national museum. "The gallery's council must surely question whether the director can remain in place," University of Sydney law professor Duncan Chappell told the Australian.

Radford staunchly defended the museum's investigation of the bogus ownership history that Kapoor supplied for the Shiva, which claimed it had been in the private New York collection of a woman named Raj Mehgoub. "We did everything that was humanly possible," Radford told ABC's Anne Maria Nicholson. "The negotiations went on for a year as we were testing whether it had been stolen from anywhere or its provenance and we were checking all of that with great thoroughness. We went through about eight different processes before we bought it."

His skepticism flies in the face of his museum's own lawsuit against Kapoor claiming it was duped; Radford's December offer to seek avenues for the Shiva's restitution to India; the Australian Attorney General's stated urgency to resolve the case; the guilty plea of Kapoor's gallery manager Aaron Freeman, who admitted forging the Shiva's false provenance and detailed its path from an Indian temple to New York; the indictment of Kapoor's girlfriend and sister for allegedly forging provenance documents and holding stolen art; a detailed criminal investigation by Indian authorities that since 2009 has publicly named the alleged thieves who stole the Shiva; Vijay Kumar's careful analysis of the links between the stolen Shiva and the one at the NGA; and our first report last June showing the Shiva in the house of the alleged temple thief who stole it.

More at source.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/4/3 17:52:46 ( 410 reads )

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

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Thousands Throng Temple Opening in New Zealand
Posted on 2014/4/2 16:50:22 ( 461 reads )

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ONEHUNGA, NEW ZEALAND, February 14, 2014 (Indian Weekender): Thousands of people thronged Onehunga, Auckland, over four days last week as the Shirdi Saibaba Mandir opened its doors to the public. Twelve years, more than $4.5 million, and countless hours of toil by members of the Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan of New Zealand came to fruition at 12-18 Princess St on February 6, as the splendor of the mandir was unveiled to all. Four days of rituals, pooja and discourses culminated with cultural programmes and Shej Aarti on Sunday, February 9. Sansthan executives told the Indian Weekender they were delighted with the opening of the mandir and the way the community had responded to make the event so successful.

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Hindu Temple In Hyderabad Broken Into, Set On Fire
Posted on 2014/4/2 16:50:15 ( 483 reads )

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PAKISTAN, March 29, 2014 (Tribune): A small temple belonging to the Hindu scheduled-caste community was desecrated on Friday morning. Three unidentified attackers entered the temple of the Hindu deity, Hanuman, in the SITE area of Latifabad at around 7 am. The men prayed for two minutes and then broke Hanuman's statue before setting the temple on fire. This temple is located in the same compound as the more popular temple of Kali Mata.

"They asked me to let them in because they wanted to pray," said Darshan, a student of class five, who has been looking after the temple for the last five months. "But, once they entered, they broke the statue, sprayed kerosene oil and set everything ablaze."

The temple is located in Kali Mata Colony on the foothills of the Ganjo Takkar mountain range. The colony, inhabited by around 500 to 600 scheduled-caste families, is named after the historic Kali Mata temple, which was located in a mountain cave before the new temple was built. Hanuman's temple is situated at the colony's entrance, some 350 to 400 feet away from the Kali Mata's temple. The attack came weeks before the April 14 fair organized at the temple every year.

Krishan Kumar, who represents the colony's community, refused to accept that Friday's attacks were caused due to any rivalries. The people of this area mostly belong to the labor class, he said, adding that they neither fight with neighboring communities nor have they received any threats. "We have been living here for centuries because of Kali Mata's temple. Never in the past were we attacked this way."


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