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Malaysia's Attempt to Move Diwali Holidays Faces Heat
Posted on 2015/6/27 4:40:54 ( 696 reads )

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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, June 25, 2015 (CanIndia): A recent attempt by Malaysia's Terengganu state education department to include Diwali holiday dates in the summer to extend the Hari Raya break has faced the ire of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA). The MCA political party expressed its disapproval of the education department's directive allowing schools to bring forward the November 11-12 Diwali holidays to July 22-23 to extend the Hari Raya break, forcing the Diwali days to be regular school days, a release from MCA said.

"This is inconsiderate as Hindu students and teachers, who as fellow Malaysians, will want to celebrate Diwali with their families and friends," MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said in statement. MCA has called on the Terengganu Education Department to be sensitive with religious holidays and follow strictly to those gazetted by the Federal government. Hari Raya is one of the biggest holidays in Malaysia, celebrated by Muslims at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

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Terengganu Schools with Hindu Teachers, Students to Follow Scheduled Deepavali Holidays
Posted on 2015/6/27 4:40:49 ( 606 reads )

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KUALA TERENGGANU, MALAYSIA, June 25, 2015 (The Star): Only schools without any Hindu students and teachers are allowed to bring forward two out of four days from their Deepavali holidays, state Education director Shafruddin Ali Hussin said. "The recommendation does not apply to schools with Hindu students or teachers as they will still follow the gazetted holidays," said Shafruddin.

He was commenting on the misunderstanding over a recommendation that schools in the state bring forward the gazetted holidays for Deepavali, which led to him being accused of being inconsiderate to Hindu students. This was following the department's directive to bring forward Nov 11 and 12 (Deepavali holidays) to July 22 and 23 (to extend the Hari Raya break from June 17). "This means all schools in Terengganu will still get at least two days off to celebrate the Deepavali holidays on Nov 9 and 10, and schools with Hindu students and pupils will still get full four days holiday since they are not eligible to bring forward Nov 11 and 12 to extend Hari Raya break," Shafruddin said.

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No Stopping the Forces: Army, Navy Brave Odds to Celebrate Yoga Day
Posted on 2015/6/27 4:40:43 ( 612 reads )

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INDIA, June 22, 2015 (Deccan Chronicle): With 'Yoga Across the Oceans' as the theme for the First International Yoga Day, various benefits of yoga were amply demonstrated by the conduct of yoga on board all Indian Naval ships deployed from the South China Sea in the East to the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday Morning. A beautiful photo gallery at "source" features the Indian Army and Navy personnel observing International Yoga Day.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/6/27 4:40:38 ( 573 reads )

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Only in the depth of pure silence can we hear God's voice. Silence is like an upright empty glass that is capable of being filled with, and retaining, the water of knowledge.
-- Mata Amritanandamayi Ma,

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Sri Lanka to Reconstruct Two heritage Temples in Nepal Damaged by Earthquake
Posted on 2015/6/27 4:00:00 ( 494 reads )

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COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, June 24, 2015 (Sri lanka Times): The Sri Lankan government will take part in the International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction scheduled to be held on 25th June in Kathmandu. The Sri-Lankan Minister of Disaster Management, A.H.M Fowzie accompanied by the Secretary for Resettlement and Reconstruction Affairs will represent the Sri Lankan government at the international conference titled "Toward a Resilient Nepal" organized by the Government of Nepal.

The purpose of the Conference is to coordinate efforts among partner governments and organizations involved in the reconstruction efforts following the 25th April earthquake and aftershocks in Nepal. At the Conference, Sri Lanka will undertake to reconstruct two heritage temples that were damaged by the earthquake - the Anandakuti Vihar and the Rato Macchindranath Hindu Temple.

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Mauritius: The Greatest Country on Earth
Posted on 2015/6/25 22:32:54 ( 759 reads )

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MAURITIUS, June 23, 2015, (by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Slate Magazine): (HPI note: 48% of Mauritians are Hindus and the largest religious group on the island.) Suppose someone were to describe to you a small country that provided free education through university for all of its citizens, transportation for school children, and free health care--including heart surgery--for all. You might suspect that such a country is either phenomenally rich or on the fast track to fiscal crisis. After all, rich countries in Europe have increasingly found that they cannot pay for university education and are asking young people and their families to bear the costs. For its part, the United States has never attempted to give free college for all, and it took a bitter battle just to ensure that America's poor get access to health care.

But Mauritius, a tropical island nation of 1.3 million people off the east coast of Africa, is neither particularly rich nor on its way to budgetary ruin. Nonetheless, it has spent the last decades successfully building a diverse economy, a democratic political system and a strong social safety net. Many countries, not least the United States, could learn from its experience. In a recent visit I had a chance to see some of the leaps Mauritius has taken--accomplishments that can seem bewildering in light of the debate in the United States and elsewhere.

Consider home ownership: While American conservatives say that the government's attempt to extend homeownership to 70 percent of the U.S. population was responsible for the financial meltdown, 87 percent of Mauritians own their own homes--without fueling a housing bubble.
For more, go to source

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Hinduism Today's July-August-September 2015 issue available for free online.
Posted on 2015/6/25 22:32:48 ( 800 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, June 25, 2015 (Hinduism Today): Each quarter our photographers and journalists take us on great journeys to Hinduism's cultural and religious centers. In this issue, our feature article unravels the complex city of Varanasi, Siva's Citadel. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited city on Earth, to which pilgrims flock for a glimpse of God on the River Ganga. It is also the holiest of places to die, and many spend their final days here in prayer and meditation. Come with us to Varanasi and hear the voices of the priests, the mourners, the Sanskrit scholars and common residents.

Food. Who is there who doesn't like food? And so we take you to the Royal Vega restaurant in Chennai's ITC Grand Chola Hotel for a vegetarian cuisine that is lavish enough for real-life royals. This high-end eatery redefines the vegetarian restaurant, drawing on India's courtly history and architecture and on Chef Manjit Gill's astounding knowledge of Indian gastronomy. Finally, a place where you can feel a little guilty while enjoying healthy foods.

Our 16-page Insight Section tells the story, and shares the profound philosophy, of Sri Ramanuja, a theological genius revered as one of India's five most important philosophical sages. He lived from 1017 to 1137 and changed the course of Indian spiritual life, redefining Vedanta to include bhakti and love of God as lofty sadhanas. Nainee Shaw illustrates the crucial events of his life, his struggle with his teacher and his bold message, which lives on today.

In Publisher's Desk, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami gives us a relevant explication of the Art of Listening, taking us through the morass of modern digital distractions and showing proven techniques to make us mindful of our conversations and our communications. A richer life and learning experience awaits those who have the tools.

Commentary and opinion are in abundance in this magazine. Swami Aksharananda of Guyana focuses on highschool youth in his nation. Justice C.V. Wigneswaran of Sri Lanka offers an interpretation of dispassion, tethered to faith and humility in service. Dr. Rita Sherma unravels the status of Hindu Dharma at Berkeley's Graduate Theological Union. Plus, our book reviewer delves into that ever-so-popular-in schools book, India Unveiled.

You'll always find a cartoon surrounded by inspiring and witty remarks in our "Quotes and Quips," many good reader responses in our "Letters" section and an array of diaspora stories from around the world in "Global Dharma."


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/6/25 22:32:43 ( 640 reads )

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The sages, being filled with universal love for all beings, did not want to keep their enlightenment to themselves. They declared to all: "O mortals, striving and struggling upon this Earth plane, weeping, wailing, buffeted by the vicissitudes of life: we have come upon a great discovery. There is something beyond these appearances, these vanishing names and forms that go to make up this universe. There is something beyond, which is the very source and support of all these objects of the phenomenal world. Why do you search in vain for happiness outside? Come, come, happiness resides within."
-- Swami Chidananda (1916-2008), president of Divine Life Society

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One Thousand Yogis Celebrate International Day of Yoga in Lisbon
Posted on 2015/6/23 4:15:11 ( 1082 reads )

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LISPON, PORTUGAL, June 21, 2015 (Noticias Locais): United by the motto "The Light is Coming," more than 1,000 people gathered at the Prof. Moniz Pereira to Athletics Track practice yoga, contribute to a day without bloodshed throughout the planet, celebrate ethnic and cultural diversity and inter-religious tolerance.

The Portuguese capital was thus one of the world epicenters of the first official commemoration of the International Day of Yoga, celebrated since 2002 by the Portuguese Yoga Confederation on the summer solstice and recognized by the UN in December 2014.

Organized by the Portuguese Confederation of Yoga and the Embassy of India - with the co-organization of the Lisbon City Council and supported by the Portuguese Government through the Secretary of State for Sports and Youth - the International day of Yoga brought together practitioners of all ages and representatives of the countries that have come to be associated with this cause that Portugal pioneered for the World in 2001, the year it sent a manifesto to the UN and UNESCO.

The celebrations began at 8:00 am in Prof. Moniz Pereira Athletics Track field, with an official message from the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, followed by a Global Classroom Yoga based on the Common Protocol of India.

The activities included tributes to key figures of Yoga in Portugal, Yoga demonstrations and a Master Class of Yoga, as well as Bharatanatyam (classical Indian dance), a duet by the famous Indian sitar master Ajay Sharma and Rao Kyao, a Lyrical Duet by countertenors Luis Pecas and Joao Paulo Ferreira, a presentation by the Naqshbandi Sufi Order and a presentation of the Omkara Choral Orchestra of the Portuguese Confederation of Yoga. Also a class of Yoga for Children and a class of yoga for pregnant women was held.

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"Yoga Day" Most Searched Term on Google
Posted on 2015/6/23 4:14:40 ( 934 reads )

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HYDERABAD, June 22, 2015 (The Hindu): By the time yoga had India in its grip early Sunday, it had already broken the Internet, which was flooded with searches, and the social media teeming with related videos, pictures and text.

Google Search analysis reveals "Yoga Day" was the most searched term on the popular search engine in India on Saturday. With over 200,000 searches, it beat "Father's Day" searches by a huge margin. As for the search term "yoga" and "Yoga Day," queries kept pouring from all of India but Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh saw higher expression of interest.

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Honoring the Roots, Celebrating International Day of Yoga
Posted on 2015/6/23 4:14:29 ( 899 reads )

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UNITED STATES, June 21, 2015 (Huffington Post):The Indian ambassador to the United Nations joined a room full of journalists this week to talk up the first International Day of Yoga. Ambassador Asoke Kumar Mukerji laid out some of the plans for the day in New York City, which includes a yoga teaching at the UN Plaza followed by a much larger event in Times Square that 20,000 people are expected to attend. In all, Mukerji boasted that up to 2 billion people in 192 countries around the world would be participating in the United Nations-sponsored event.

While it is clear that yoga is wildly popular in almost every corner of the world, much less understood are the origins of yoga, including the religious and cultural context out of which it grew. Changing that appears to be part of the aim of the International Day of Yoga -- and it is not without controversy. The idea for the UN-sponsored day was first proposed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the General Assembly in September 2014, during which he laid out the personal, societal and even global benefits of yoga. The UN adopted the resolution proposed by the Indian mission just a few months later, with 177 countries sponsoring.

It is important to honor the roots of yoga, as contested as they are. It is equally crucial to celebrate the blossoms that are blooming in ways that would have surprised those practitioners in the past. For thousands of years, yoga grew in the rich and diverse soil of spirituality within South Asia -- in the 21st century, yoga's vitality continues to be revealed in its ability to transform lives from South America to Iceland, from atheists to Zoroastrians.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/6/23 4:14:24 ( 832 reads )

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Sattvic knowledge sees the one indestructible Being in all beings, the unity underlying the multiplicity of creation. Rajasic knowledge sees all things and creatures as separate and distinct. Tamasic knowledge, lacking any sense of perspective, sees one small part and mistakes it for the whole.
-- Bhagavad Gita 18:20-22

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PM Modi leads Yoga Day Celebration at Rajpath, India Sets Two World Records
Posted on 2015/6/22 4:07:13 ( 932 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 21, 2015 (Times of India): On a humid summer morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stretched his arms, bent his legs, rolled his neck and twisted every sinew in his body as India celebrated the first International Day of Yoga with gusto, muscling into the Guinness World Records.

Late Sunday evening, it was announced that the Union ministry of Ayush had set two records -- for the largest yoga session ever with 35,985 participants and for most nationalities, 84, taking part at a single venue. The earlier record on the first count was held by Vivekanand Kendra, a Gwalior-based institute, with 29,973 participants.

All of last week, the hype surrounding the event was more like a forthcoming Salman film or a world heavyweight title bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Or, both put together. Yet nothing really prepared you for what you saw -- a prime minister, literally on the mat, staring at the sky at Rajpath, one of the capital's most toffee-nosed boulevards.

Kapalbhati, bhujang aasan, trikon aasan, bharadwaj aasan and more -- Modi did the entire 35-minute yoga routine, even taking a brief break to supervise the children behind him. The PM was dressed for the occasion: a full-sleeve white T-shirt and pyjama with a tricolor stole he used to wipe his sweat. But for a brief pranayam, yoga guru Baba Ramdev sat quietly on stage. This was Modi's show.

It wasn't just Delhi. The event spread across India from the silver stretches of the Rann of Kutch to INS Virat on the high seas, to passengers in mid-air on morning flights. Ayush is estimated to have spent Rs 30-40 crore organizing the event across 650 camps. Abroad, enthusiasts spread themselves below the towering irons of Eiffel Tower and the phlegmatic temples of Cambodia.

For a great set of pictures of the day around the world:
http://abcnews.go.com/International/p ... y-31929796/image-31930067

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What is the Foundation of Yoga?
Posted on 2015/6/22 4:07:02 ( 916 reads )

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INDIA, June 21, 2015 (Cinema Rasik): Today is the first International Yoga Day. It is a major event. So we thought it would be helpful to lay out what is yoga, what is the foundation of yoga, why rigorous pronunciation of various Sanskrit mantras are important to yoga, and why Indian Dharmic Thought was the only one to discover yoga.

The foundation of yoga is described best in the simple but profound shloka (verse) from the Katha-Upanishad, one of ten most important treatises on Indian dharmic thought: Understand the atman as the owner/rider of the chariot & the Body as the chariot. Understand buddhi as the charioteer/driver and the Mind as the Reins.

The next time you get into your yoga-asana, remember the chariot analogy. The key to an optimal ride in a chariot is the balance between the driver, the reins & the horses. If you remember and embrace that, then you will begin to get the harmonious balance between your buddhi, your mind and the physiological processes of your body - the true essence of Yoga.

For the full article click on source above.



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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/6/22 4:06:57 ( 836 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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