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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/11/9 17:16:56 ( 609 reads )

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He is the Supreme Brahman, the Self of all, the chief foundation of this world, subtler than the subtle, eternal. That thou art; thou art That.
-- Atharva Veda, Kaivalya Upanishad

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Rare Mukhalinga on Display in Vietnam
Posted on 2014/11/8 17:15:59 ( 780 reads )

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VIETNAM, November 24, 2013 (Thanhnien News): A Hindu lingam with Shiva's face carved into it was placed on display at the My Son Champa ruins in central Vietnam Saturday, becoming the first intact mukhalinga to be exhibited in Southeast Asia.

The statue is estimated to date back to the 7th or 8th centuries. It was uncovered in November of last year as rains eroded the ground, around 33 feet from the temple of My Son, which is a complex of Cham temple ruins in Quang Nam Province, not far from Hoi An.

Mukhalingas, lingams with the faces of humans and Gods, began appearing in northern India during the 1st to 3rd centuries. The item on display made from a block of brownish gold sandstone stands 5 feet high, with the Shiva bust on the round head.

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How Love Emerges in Arranged Marriages
Posted on 2014/11/8 17:15:53 ( 802 reads )

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FINLAND, November 7, 2014, (By Samuli Kangaslampi): Despite the prevalence of autonomous ("love") marriages in "Western" countries, most marriages in the world are still arranged by parents or matchmakers. Quite a number of studies have been conducted comparing and contrasting arranged marriages and autonomous marriages. Such studies have arrived at somewhat mixed results as regards love and satisfaction in these two types of marriages. However, overall, most of the evidence suggests that there is at least as much love in arranged marriages as in autonomous ones, and that love in such marriages grows over time as opposed to autonomous marriages where it tends to diminish over time. Similarly, satisfaction seems to be at the same level or better in arranged marriages as in autonomous ones.

For more, go to source

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/11/8 17:15:47 ( 562 reads )

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Discipline your speech. Speak the truth at all costs. Speak little. Speak sweetly. Always utter encouraging words. Never condemn, criticize or discourage. Do not raise your voice and shout at little children or subordinates.
-- Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh (1887-1963)

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Alagappa Alagappan, Founder of the Flushing Ganesha Temple, Passes on at 88
Posted on 2014/11/3 17:11:03 ( 1028 reads )

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, November 1, 2014 (New York Times): In 1968, on a trip to his native India, Alagappa Alagappan dreamed that an ancient Hindu God told him to visit a medium. So he did, and on his first visit the medium read palm leaves to tell him that Lord Ganesha wanted to settle in a city beginning with the letter N.

By the time of his death, on Oct. 24 at the age of 88, Mr. Alagappan, a retired United Nations official who lived in Queens, had become "the father of the temple-building movement in North America," as a Hindu leader in Texas wrote in an email to Mr. Alagappan's family.

Mr. Alagappan started the project close to home, in his adopted city whose name began with N [New York]. Mr. Alagappan helped form the Hindu Temple Society of North America, which in 1977 opened a temple in Flushing, Queens (a borough of New York City). Today there are 700 Hindu temples in the United States, serving a Hindu population that since 1965 has increased thirtyfold, to about 1.5 million.

HPI Note: Our founder, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, knew Alagappan and was a strong supporter of Flushing Ganesha temple in its early years, encouraging him to set an example of traditional orthodox worship for future Hindu temples in the US.

More at 'source.'

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Sanskrit and Russian: Ancient Kinship
Posted on 2014/11/3 17:10:57 ( 1092 reads )

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INDIA/RUSSIA, November 3, 2014 (by Rakesh Krishnan Simha, In.Rbth): When was the last time you had a shot of vodka? Well, next time you have one, remember that this Russian word has its origins in the Vedic Sanskrit word for water - udaka. The striking similarities in Sanskrit and Russian indicate that during some period of history, the speakers of the two languages lived close together. While it is commonly known that both languages belong to the Indo-European family of languages, most people believe the relation between Russian and Sanskrit is as distant as that between Persian and Sanskrit or Latin and Sanskrit. Linguist and author W.R. Rishi writes in his book "India & Russia: Linguistic & Cultural Affinity" that Russian and Sanskrit share a deeper connection.

According to Rishi, the relation between these two languages is very close and correspondence between these two languages is so minute that it cannot be attributed to mere chance. "The facts...lead us to conclude that during some period of history the speakers of Sanskrit and Russian lived close together." The two languages have two broad similarities. One, Russian is the only European language that shares a strong common grammatical base with Sanskrit. Secondly, both Russian and Sanskrit are pleasing to the ear. The very name Sanskrit means carefully constructed, systematically formed, polished and refined. Colonial era linguist William Jones wrote: "Sanskrit language is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin and more exquisitely refined than either."

Linguist S. Zharnikova writes in Science & Life: "There are many Russian names and words in Russian the origin of which can easily be traced with the help of the Sanskrit language. What explains the similarities? Vedic Sanskrit was spoken as late as 300 BCE but its antiquity may stretch back thousands of years from that date. Russian may either be the result of ancient Indians taking their language and culture from the banks of the Saraswati river to the banks of the Ob River (in Siberia). The discovery of Shiva statues in Central Asia and Russia points to the spread of Hindu culture far beyond the Indian heartland.

For more, go to source

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/11/3 17:10:51 ( 803 reads )

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The son's duty to his father is to make the world ask, "by what great austerities did he merit such a son?"
-- Tirukkural

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Honoring Rajendra Chola I in Tamil Nadu
Posted on 2014/11/2 17:31:43 ( 1522 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, July 27, 2014 (Telegraph India): Tamil Nadu's leaders, for all their prickly championing of Tamil culture, let the 1,000th anniversary of the coronation of the greatest Tamil king ever pass without a flutter last week. It was left to a group of writers, historians, retired archaeologists and academics to honour the memory of Rajendra Chola I (960-1044), whose empire stretched from Bengal to India's southern tip, covered the whole of Sri Lanka and extended up to Indonesia.

A University of Madras professor said the Centre and the Archaeological Survey of India should have led the celebrations. "Rajendra was India's first global king, not just because of his conquests but also because he opened trade to foreigners and founded a formidable navy that lorded over the Bay of Bengal," the professor said. "During his time, the Bay came to be called the Chola Lake."

"(Southeast Asian king) Suryavarman I, with the help of Rajendra, re-established the Khmer kingdom in Cambodia. His successor Suryavarman II built the Angkor Wat, the world's largest Hindu temple, with the help of artisans sent by Rajendra." Like his father Raja Raja Chola, who built the grand Shiva temple at Thanjavur, Rajendra too built temples and dug lakes. His greatest architectural feat is the temple at Gangaikondacholapuram, where he had a near-replica of the Thanjavur Big Temple built, but in a smaller version. Both temples are Unesco heritage sites.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/11/2 17:31:37 ( 644 reads )

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Years ago, I used to walk for miles to meet my Guru. The distance appeared no longer than a few furlongs.
-- Dada J.P. Vaswani

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An Epic Retelling: Geet Ramayan completes 60 years
Posted on 2014/11/1 18:25:48 ( 778 reads )

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PUNE. INDIA, October 29 , 2014( by Amruta Lakhe, Indian express): On April 1, 1955, at 8.45 am sharp, presenter Purushottam Joshi of All India Radio (AIR), Pune, announced the start of a new program -- Geet Ramayan. It was the morning after Ram Navami celebrations, with the festive mood still palpable. The weekly program, a retelling of the Ramayana in verses, was written by GD Madgulkar and the music was composed by Sudhir Phadke. "Madgulkar and Phadke didn't know it then, but with that first song, a tradition was born," says Shridhar Phadke. Since 2005, he has been carrying his father's legacy forward by performing the songs across the country. People would tie garlands to the radio and pray before the program would begin. "This weekly ritual was followed for the entire year that the programme was aired," says Shridhar.

"At that time, the Ramayana only belonged to scholars. But with Geet Ramayan, it reached the smallest shops and houses," says Shridhar. The collaboration was a first-of-its-kind project on the Indian radio. Madgulkar's writing was simple and lucid. Yet, it retained the complexities of the epic. The show's popularity did not wane after it went off air in 1956. "After 1956, recordings circulated in the form of LPs, cassettes and later as CDs. Phadke and Madgulkar performed the songs all over the country in a two-hour-long Geet Ramayan program. In later years, the songs were translated and sung in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Sanskrit and Kannada, among other languages. A compilation of the songs was published in over nine languages, including Braille.

Today, Shridhar and Anand are taking steps to familiarise the youth with Geet Ramayan. Earlier this year, Madgulkar's family launched an app to download the songs, apart from select documentation of Geet Ramayan, available on its website.

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The Godhra Riots - Postscript: The Masterminds
Posted on 2014/11/1 18:25:42 ( 909 reads )

https://www.scribd.com/doc/244384543/T ... e-Masterminds-Nicole-Elfi

OCTOBER 30, 2014 (scribd by Nicole Elfi): This is a postscript to The Godhra Riots: Sifting Fact from Fiction, July 2013, by the same author. In May this year, the people of India chose their Prime Minister. Over twelve years, several inquiry commissions -- the Tewatia Committee (2010), the Nanavati Commission (2008), the Special Investigation Team (2011) under the Supreme Court -- cleared Narendra Modi of all charges of having masterminded or, at least, encouraged the Godhra riots.

This report by Elfi goes into the evidence and court cases and convictions of those responsible for the attack on the train in Godhra station which started the turmoil. Go to source above for full report.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/11/1 18:25:36 ( 629 reads )

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Listen for silence in noisy places; feel at peace in the midst of disturbance; awaken joy when there is no reason.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

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Solving The Puzzling Mental Illness of Bhutanese Refugees
Posted on 2014/10/29 10:42:26 ( 900 reads )

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KANSAS, USA, October 28, 2014( by Alex Smith, Kcur):The community health specialist,Dr Lemaster has been working for the past several years to address the unique challenges of Bhutanese refugees. Many Bhutanese refugees have had trouble adapting to life in the United States. "Within a month of getting here, somebody committed suicide and we began to be become aware that the risk of suicide in the Bhutanese refugees is about three times the risk of in other refugee groups," LeMaster says. "So we started looking into that." He tried art therapy, dance therapy, tai chi and even a petting zoo and finally yoga.
Yoga therapist Claudia Cardin-Kleffner specializes in working with people with chronic health conditions. LeMaster says that earlier in his career, he would have been hesitant to prescribe yoga and was surprised by the program's success. The women's levels of pain on a standard pain index dropped dramatically. Participants also showed major improvements on standard measures of anxiety, depression and acculturation.
Studies have shown that yoga helps the brain, heart and nervous system. But why did it work in this case when physical therapy and medication failed? That's something LeMaster is still trying to understand. But the answer may have to do with nothing more mysterious than cultural familiarity. Whether it was the yoga or mere coincidence, there hasn't been a suicide among the Kansas City refugees since LeMaster instituted the program. Now he's exploring how yoga and other culturally-specific practices can be used to help additional immigrant groups.

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Portals of Gangotri Shrine Closed to Public
Posted on 2014/10/29 10:42:00 ( 694 reads )

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DEHRADUN, INDIA, October 25, 2014 (Daily Pioneer): The portals of the Gangotri shrine were closed to the public for the winter on Friday. Meanwhile, preparations have also been made for the closure of the portals of Kedarnath and Yamunotri on Saturday. Multitudes of devotees from various parts of Uttarkashi district and beyond arrived at Gangotri shrine on Friday. After ceremonial prayers and amidst Vedic chanting, a statue of Goddess Ganga was carried out of the shrine in a palanquin by devotees at 12:50 pm.
The devotees left with the palanquin carrying a statue of Ganga for Mukhba, also in Uttarkashi district. Ganga is ceremoniously worshipped at Mukhba during the winters when the Gangotri shrine remains closed to the public. Starting this year, the State Government has planned to facilitate winter pilgrimage to the places where the deities of Char Dham shrines are ritually worshipped during the winter when the main shrines are closed to the public.

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Secretary Kerry to Host Diwali Celebration
Posted on 2014/10/29 10:41:29 ( 608 reads )

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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 22, 2014 (U.S. Department of State): Secretary of State John Kerry will host the Obama Administration's Annual Diwali Celebration to honor the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain holiday celebrated throughout the world. The event will be held at 6 p.m. on October 23, in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the U.S. Department of State.
After an introduction by Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal, Secretary Kerry will deliver remarks that celebrate the important contributions Indian and South-Asian Americans have made to the United States, and highlight the State Department's commitment to human dignity, compassion, and service - a commitment that is at the heart of all great faiths.

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