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No Go for Cable Car at Batu Caves
Posted on 2014/8/13 17:38:33 ( 537 reads )

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MALAYSIA, July 10, 2014 (The Star): The US$3.1 million Batu Caves Cable Car project will most likely be scrapped as soil studies carried out by experts failed to confirm its feasibility. According to the detailed soil stability report, the upper parts of the limestone karsts of the hilltop caves have been zoned as "high risk", putting a stop to any possibility of development on the 400 million-year-old limestone caves.

A reliable source from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam committee has accepted the fact that the cable car project may not be feasible and will no longer push for it. This was further confirmed when StarMetro visited the project site recently and found it to be cleared of construction equipment. The area had been resurfaced with tar and is now a car park.

Proponents of the cable car line argued that the system would benefit the disabled, senior citizens, and people with health problems. The temple management have, for decades, been trying to build a cable car service at the iconic landmark. Batu Caves, touted as a national treasure, draws millions of people from all over the world each year especially during the annual Thaipusam festival.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/13 17:38:26 ( 468 reads )

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You seek peace? To attain peace, one must be willing to pass through the contrary to peace. Such is the teaching of the sages.
-- Swami Brahmananda (1863-1922), disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and first president of the Ramakrishna Mission

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Flower Festival: Colorful Hindu Procession Causes a Stir in Germany
Posted on 2014/8/12 18:47:20 ( 770 reads )

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PFORZHEIM, GERMANY, August 10, 2014 (PZ News): Many residents leaned out on their windows or balconies with their camera phone and many passers-by watched spellbound at the spectacle. A colorful and solemn procession parading the streets at the conclusion of the festival of the Hindu community caused a stir on Saturday afternoon.

Along the Weiher, Joerg Jahn and Ratgeb roads the believers carried their Mother Goddess. This was the first time that the temple's eleven-day annual festival ended with such a procession.

More than 200 believers, mostly Tamils, some coming from afar, joined the procession and the ceremony, in festive dress, accompanied by music, drum sounds and the smell of incense. A spokesman for the Nagapoosany Amman Aalayam Association thanked the City Council for approving this procession, which has great significance and importance for their community.

Colorful slideshow at "source."

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Yoga in India vs. Yoga in America
Posted on 2014/8/12 18:47:14 ( 587 reads )

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UNITED STATES, August 2, 2014 (Seattle Yoga News by Arundhati Baitmangalkar): A year and a half ago, I moved halfway around the world to the Pacific Northwest from my hometown in South India. It was a big, tumultuous move and the one thing that remained constant for me was yoga. Initially, I had no idea what the yoga scene would be like in Seattle and in the U.S. Every day I learned something new. There is so much yoga around here, that it was and continues to be exciting for a yoga geek like me. America is a nation that seems to have an excess of everything, and yoga is no exception. I couldn't help but be fascinated by the differences between yoga in the U.S. and in India and these are a few of my observations.

First, yoga in America is more popular among the masses than yoga in India. Second, the yoga teacher-student dynamic in India is drastically different than in the US. Third, the teaching styles vary greatly between India and America. Fourth, the combination of yoga & fashion in the US is not present in India. And fifth, the popularity of hot yoga in the US contrasts with its rarity in India.

Even though there are differences, yoga unites people all over the world. We may be different on the surface but we all seek the same goals of good health and liberation. The paths we take towards yoga are many, but in the end they all unite. No path is higher or inferior than another. What I have learned from moving across the globe is that yoga is universal and I've been inspired to see how people around the world have embraced yoga and evolved with it. It is a key to freedom that belongs to all humanity.

More at "source."

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Interfaith Marriage with Equality: a Video
Posted on 2014/8/12 18:47:08 ( 607 reads )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlAuY85RlcE

UNITED STATES, July 31, 2014 (Interfaith Shaadi): Interfaith marriage is becoming increasingly common. About 40% of Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Christians marry outside their faith in America. However, interfaith dating youths face hardships from parents and religious institutions. Information in this video offers one approach to making an informed decision for married life.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/12 18:47:02 ( 588 reads )

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Life is a boomerang. It brings you back what you send out. It is a child, not an old person, who makes progress in life. If you really want to become a child, then you have to feel that there is always something to learn and that God is there to teach you.
-- Sri Chinmoy, renowned spiritual leader, author, poet, artist, musician and athlete

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Francis Ponaman Honored in Guadeloupe for His Contribution
Posted on 2014/8/8 17:50:29 ( 640 reads )

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FRENCH WEST INDIES, July 4, 2014 (Montray Kreyol): The Ganesh D'Or (Golden Ganesh) prize was awarded to Gilbert Francis Ponaman at the Guadeloupe Council for Indian Languages (CGPLI) 12th anniversary celebration on June 27, 2014. The prize, given annually, was created to honor those who have done something significant in the promotion of Indian heritage, culture, religion or language in the French Antilles.

Ponaman was honored as being "the father of Indianness" and for his struggle for the recognition and acceptance of the Indian contribution to the Creole society of the islands. In 1967, encouraged by elders, he began a "back to our roots/Indian pride" movement among a small group of friends. He started the Soleil Indien (Indian Sun) journal in 1973, to define what it meant to be an Indian in a Creole society, through articles about Hindu religion and culture and the history of Indians in the Caribbean.

In 1980 he made his first pilgrimage to India. He spent eight months in Tamil Nadu reconnecting with the traditions of his forefathers and researching the roots of the Hindu traditions that still survived in his island home. Returning to the Caribbean, he began a prolific career sharing his knowledge through lectures and publications. He is still at it today, deep in his research, dividing his time between India, Paris and the French West Indies.

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Bhajan as Therapeutic for Children with Autism
Posted on 2014/8/8 17:50:23 ( 693 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, August 2, 2014 (The Hindu): With the sound of music, we have no trouble locating music therapist Lakshmi Mohan's second-floor house at R.A. Puram. This is not the usual music class where the teacher sings and students repeat after her. For 45 minutes, Lakshmi only sings bhajans and the children come just to listen to her. It's a different kind of after-school activity for these children, who have autism spectrum disorder. They come twice or thrice a week to Lakshmi to listen to the bhajans. "All my children may not speak, but they love, enjoy and respond to music," says Lakshmi, bringing an udukkai drum down from the shelf.

For 12 years now, Lakshmi has shown that bhajans can have therapeutic benefits for children with autism. Lakshmi, who has also authored books on autism, plans to do a thesis on the improvement her students have shown. But, for now, her parents will vouch for the therapeutic effect bhajans have on their children. "My son hardly sits quietly for a minute. But, at last week's performance, he sat for 15 minutes," said a father. Another parent Shoba Kannan said, "It de-stresses and over a period of time, it transforms the inner soul."

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Sydney Murugan Saivaneri Conference 2014
Posted on 2014/8/8 17:50:17 ( 611 reads )

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, August 8, 2014 (Sydney Murugan Temple): The Saiva Manram & World Saiva Council Australia Inc. jointly present the Sydney Murugan Saivaneri Conference 2014. The theme of the conference is Humanitarianism in Saiva Agamas, Thirumurai and Siddhantha Texts. the conference will be held on August 29, 30 & 31, 2014, and tutorials on August 23, 24 and September 6 & 7, 2014. All conference sessions, religious ceremonies, cultural event, and tutorials will be held at the Sydney Murugan Temple Complex, 217 Great Western Hwy, Mays Hill NSW 2145, Australia. The conference is billed as a wonderful opportunity to learn the intricacies and greatness of Saivam.

For more information contact pathivu.saivaneri@gmail.com.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/8 17:50:11 ( 565 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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Temple Festival Parade in Schwerte, Germany
Posted on 2014/8/7 16:45:48 ( 647 reads )

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SCHWERTE, GERMANY, August 3, 2014 (Ruhr Nachrichten): The highlight of the ten day annual festival of the Sri Kanakathurga Ampal temple in Schwerte, Germany was a colorful procession on August 3rd. The Goddess, riding on a chariot, and Ganesh, riding on a palanquin, were accompanied by musicians, kavadi bearers and 600 devotees. The mayor of Schwerte, Heinrich Boeckeluehr, along with his young daughter Josefine, removed their shoes to help pull the chariot through the streets surrounding the temple on Robert-Koch Road. Plans for a building a larger temple at a new location are being made.

Accompanying video can be viewed at "source."

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Temple Vandalized in Georgia, USA
Posted on 2014/8/7 16:45:42 ( 733 reads )

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MONROE, GEORGIA, USA, August 4, 2014 (My Fox Phoenix): A Hindu temple was found vandalized over the weekend in Walton County. Members of Vishwa Bhavan Mandir in Monroe found graffiti and profanity displayed on their place of worship early Saturday morning. Spray painted messages included "ha ha" and "LOL." The vandalism included the temple's statue of the Hindu God Lord Shiva. The statue was covered with black spray paint.

Investigators tell FOX 5, less than half a mile away, the same graffiti turned up at a mobile home community and at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness next door.

Temple members tell FOX 5's George Franco vandals struck the same spot this time last year. They damaged air conditioners. Members are wondering if the same vandals have returned.

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India's New Health Policy to Place Primacy on Traditional Medicine
Posted on 2014/8/7 16:45:35 ( 651 reads )

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INDIA, August 3, 2014 (Press Information Bureau): "For the first time since 1947, the government's health policy is going to lay primary emphasis on the Ayurveda Siddhanta. This is in tune with the times as World Health Organisation (WHO) has given considerable importance to Ayurveda in its activities related to traditional medicine," Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said at Haridwar, today.

Speaking to reporters after laying the foundation stone of a "Global museum of Ayurveda and Herbal Medicine" at Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Yoga Pitha, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said the government would work towards strengthening Ayurveda's global acceptance as evidence-based medicine.

"Now every AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science) centre will have an indigenous medicine department of which Ayurveda will be a major component. AIIMS Rishikesh will take the lead in this as steps are underway to have a 100-bed AYUSH Hospital and land for medicinal herb cultivation facility for standardised production of medicines," the Health Minister said.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/7 16:45:28 ( 522 reads )

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The bonds of dharma do not bind but promise sweet liberation.
-- His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, spiritual head of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha

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Vietnam's New Tourism Attraction
Posted on 2014/8/6 18:30:00 ( 777 reads )

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VIETNAM, December 27, 2014 (Vietnam Tourism): After 10 years of implementation with the help of UNESCO, University of Polytechnic of Milan (Italy) and the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports, the Safeguarding My Son World Heritage Site Project was completed successfully in December 2013.

This US$1.6 million project, funded by the Italian Government, concentrated in restoration, conservation and protection of Hindu Cham monuments of 4th to 13th century My Son Sanctuary Site, including the G tower group, by using bricks produced in Quang Nam province which met the requirements of structure, color and baking method of the ancient Cham people for building and protecting their towers throughout Viet Nam in past centuries. Workshops were also conducted for the staff responsible for the site in conservation skill, maintenance and operation.

UNESCO representative Katherine Muller Marin said the My Son site promotes sustainable tourism development, museum space, capacity building and documentation of lessons learned for production of guidelines for archaeological studies and conservation of Cham monument complexes.

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