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Balaji Temple Deposits Two Tons of Gold with Government Bank
Posted on 2014/8/6 18:24:38 ( 664 reads )

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TIRUPATI, INDIA, August 2, 2014 (The Economic Times): A whopping 4,000 lbs. of gold offerings made by devotees of Lord Venkateswara at the famous hill shrine at Tirumala was today deposited with the State Bank of India, taking the total deposits made by it so far with various banks to more than 11,000 lbs.

Executive officer of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages the cash-rich temple, M. G. Gopal handed over the gold to State Bank of India (SBI) Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya at the TTD Headquarters here, in the first deposit of the precious metal by the temple in the last two years.

The gold offered by devotees in the hill temple hundi was deposited under SBI Gold Scheme for a period of five years at the rate of interest of one per cent, which effectively would mean addition of 26.5 lbs. of gold per year, Gopal told reporters.

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India's PM Gifts Nepal's 2,500 Kilos of Sandalwood
Posted on 2014/8/6 18:24:18 ( 615 reads )

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KATMANDU, NEPAL, August 4, 2014 (Hindustan Times): On Monday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to the Himalayan nation, reached Pashupatinath Temple, the most sacred Lord Shiva shrine in Nepal, and conducted special prayers.

"He took part in a special puja which was conducted by Ganesh Bhatta, the Indian head priest of the temple, and lasted for 35 minutes," said Govinda Tandon, member secretary of Pashupati Area Development Trust. The prime minister made an offering of 2,500 kilos of sandalwood. Nearly 1/2 kilo of sandalwood paste is used daily on the Shiva jLinga at the temple. Considering the steep price of the commodity, temple authorities had requested India to provide the sandalwood. Worth about US$250,000, the quantity should last 12-15 years.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/6 18:24:11 ( 673 reads )

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About many things in Hinduism I had once been inclined to believe that there was much of dream in it, much that was delusion and maya. But now day after day I realized in the mind, I realized in the heart, I realized in the body the truths of the Hindu religion. They became living experiences to me, and things were opened to me which no material science could explain.
-- Sri Aurobindo (1879-1950)

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Eco-Friendly Ganesha Statues to be Cheaper this Year
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:44 ( 1008 reads )

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MUMBAI, INDIA, July 27, 2014 (dna India): Even as only one month remains for Ganesh Chaturthi, the statue sculptors and manufacturers in the city are already applying the finishing touches to the Ganesha statues. In a bid to ensure an eco-friendly festival, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) have tied up with the Ganesh statue makers to ensure that more eco-friendly statues flood the market at reasonable rates.

While it is common knowledge that Plaster of Paris (PoP) statues are cheaper than clay statues, The manufacturers are making efforts to ensure that price difference between them idols made can be slashed from a comparative 50 per cent to 25 - 30 per cent this year.

The MPCB will also start with awareness and promotion programs to increase use of clay statues. "There will be advertisements in television channels and local newspapers, workshops for citizens and training for clay statue makers as well to help them understand how to promote the eco friendly statues. All this will start in early August," said J. S. Salunkhe, sub regional officer, MPCB.

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Bali: Nyelung, an Expression of Gratitude
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:38 ( 673 reads )

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BALI, INDONESIA, July 22, 2014 (Bali Daily): The people of Buahan, a village in Payangan, Gianyar, welcomed this month with a joyful spirit. The harvest was quite good and the time had come for them to organize Nyelung, a religious festival held once a decade. The peak of the festival fell on July 15, during which nearly all the villagers marched to the Pucak Pausan Temple on the northern side of the village.

It is said that centuries ago the village was nearly destroyed by a long drought that triggered widespread famine. Furthermore, the remaining crops were totally consumed by merciless pests. "Members of the local subak [traditional farming organization] then conducted a 6 mile pilgrimage to the temple and brought back holy water from it. They sprinkled the holy water onto the rice fields and plantations. Gradually, things got better, the plants thrived and the villagers were healthy," temple priest Jero Mangku Wayan Mahardika said.

To express their gratitude to the Deities at Pucak Pausan Temple, the villagers constructed a large wooden box, which they filled with various agricultural produce. The box was beautifully decorated and escorted in fanfare during a five hour-long march to the temple.

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Val-Morin Tamil Kavadi Procession
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:32 ( 726 reads )

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QUEBEC, CANADA, July 30, 2014 (Laurentides Express): Every year the celebration of Kavadi in Val-Morin attracts hundreds of onlookers who watch, with cameras in hand, the procession of devotees of the Tamil community in the streets of the municipality.

Several Hindu devotees are suspended horizontally by iron hooks piercing the skin of their back, triceps and hamstrings. "They fast for several days before the event", explained a young Tamil woman who makes her home near Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. "They practice total abstinence - including their sex lives - to purify the soul. On Kavadi day, they go into a trance, possessed by the Deity to the point where they do not feel the hooks or needles that pass through their skin."

This celebration is a Hindu festival usually celebrated in January or February in the tropical climate of the southwest Indian Ocean. However, the Tamil diaspora in North America has chosen to celebrate this colorful festival during the hot season, in July, in Val-Morin, rather than in the sub-zero weather of January.

Colorful photos at 'source.'

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Madrid's Indian Film and Dance Festival
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:26 ( 635 reads )

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MADRID, SPAIN, June 7, 2014 (El Mundo): The seventh annual BollyMadrid Festival is being held on the streets and plazas of the Spanish capital for three days in June. The sponsor of the event, the government of Madrid's central Lavapies district, is anticipating that 30,000 people will come to participate in the festival. The festival includes a morning fair selling Indian fashion and handicrafts and holding workshops, such as rangoli drawing, for the children. There's an Indian food plaza with 25 booths staffed by the district's Indian restaurants. Over three days there will be 50 performances choreographed for 100 dancers. And in the evening after sunset, the latest films from Mumbai are being shown on the big screen over the stage.

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BBC Documentary: The Story of the Swastika
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:12 ( 1601 reads )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocf8Nlq5Xiw

LONDON, ENGLAND, May 13, 2014 (BBC): At last, the BBC has produced an excellent video explaining how Hitler hijacked the swastika--a symbol of auspiciousness used by ancient cultures worldwide and held sacred by Hindus--and distorted its meaning so that the Western world now regards it with fear and loathing, as a symbol of hatred and genocide. Footage of Nazi Germany is contrasted with the swastika's uses and significance in Hindu culture and religious observances. Although the narrator doubts we can ever effect a complete recovery (even saying that Hitler "changed the perception of the swastika in the West forever"), the video ends on a very positive note, hypothesizing the day when each child's early exposure to the swastika will be in terms of its traditional, benevolent uses and meanings--and the later knowledge of Hitler's misuse of it will be met with the same sense of sock, horror and outrage that Hindus themselves feel. "And if we can get to that point, then Hitler will have finally been defeated."


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:05 ( 510 reads )

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Love is seeing and feeling life everywhere. When your heart is full of love, you sense life pulsating through all creation.
-- Mata Amritanandamayi Ma, Kerala-based hugging saint

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South Africa Temple Celebrates Akhand Hanuman Chalisa
Posted on 2014/7/31 17:38:45 ( 633 reads )

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SOUTH AFRICA, July 29, 2014 (Indian Times): The Isipingo Dharam Mandir celebrated its 2nd Akhand Hanuman Chalisa on 25th May 2014 at the temple in Isipingo. The President of the Temple Society, Neelien Ramchand explain that the event included the recitation of the Hanuman Chalisa 108 times. Various satsang groups from the Durban area were programmed to perform the Hanuman Chalisa during this marathon recital. The recitation started at 6 am and ended at 6 pm.

The day's proceedings commenced with prayer at 4-30 am. Neelien said that the Akhand Hanuman Chalisa was a thanksgiving prayer to the Supreme Being in the form of Lord Hanuman to acknowledge our existence and give thanks to what we have in this world. Pundith Suman Singh, the officiating priest, said, "We are all servants of the Lord and our existence is by the grace of the Lord".

The origins of the temple started in 1963 when the community of Malakazi got together to start this organisation. It had very humble beginnings and has grown over the years. It currently has about 120 members of the temple society. However, during the major festivals and celebrations, hundreds of people from far and wide gather at the temple to offer prayers and pay homage to the Lord.

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Java On the Shores of the Atlantic: 120 years of the Javanese in Surinam
Posted on 2014/7/31 17:38:38 ( 541 reads )

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SURINAM, SOUTH AMERICAJuly 29, 2014 (Geographic Guianas by Dominique Maison) Only a few minutes from the centre of Paramaribo is one of the beating hearts of Javanese culture. It has been there since the first Javanese migrants came across 120 years ago this year to this then Dutch colony from Indonesia, also a Dutch colony. Today there are over 70,000 Javanese who, to the sound of great festivities, are remembering their ancestors and the island they hailed from. These Javanese are today Muslims, and it is unknown how many Hindus were among the original migrants and what became of them. At the same time, Hindu immigrants were coming into Surinam and surrounding colonies from India.

Nowadays the 70,000 descendants of the Javanese migrants are to be found in all sectors of Surinamese society. They have managed to obtain numerous positions in the public sector (in health and teaching), as well as supplying the national parliament with its president in 2004.

In 1954 some of them undertook the arduous journey back to the land of their fathers. We have retraced their footsteps to recount their sometimes painful stories and to tell of the hopes of this community whose history is often but poorly known in French Guiana.

To read the interesting history of how Javanese culture has managed to survive over 12,500 miles away from the island where it originated, click on 'source' above.

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Include Yoga and Physical Activity in SLP Schools
Posted on 2014/7/31 17:38:32 ( 586 reads )

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SAN LUIS POTOSI, MEXICO, July 28, 2014 (Plano Informativo): San Luis Potosi (SLP) is a city of 723,000 located 250 miles north of Mexico City. Aiming to combat bullying in schools, the city's Department of Education will implement a program that includes the promotion of positive social values through reading assignments, and also includes the practice of yoga along with other physical activity.

Today, bullying occurs in almost all educational spaces. One of the main concerns of the mayor, Mario Garcia, is preventing this phenomenon and avoiding its negative impact on the student population. Therefore, plans to eradicate bullying are being implemented.

The program is now in the final planning phase. The pilot project will begin in September, conducted and overseen by specialists in the field.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/31 17:38:24 ( 551 reads )

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There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and one's subtle body rest upon that and not rest on anything else.
-- Maitri Upanishad

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Trinidad Youths Prepare for Krishna Leela in Tabaquite
Posted on 2014/7/30 16:00:18 ( 583 reads )

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TABAQUITE,TRINIDAD,July 25, 2014 (by Seeta Persad, Newsday): Massive preparations are now taking place for the second annual Shri Krishna Leela at the Guaracara Recreation Ground in Tabaquite. This ten-day drama based on the life and times of the Hindu God Lord Krishna is being staged by the Krishna Rama Shakti Mandir (KRSM) of Tabaquite. This play runs from August 1 to 10 between the hours of 6 pm to 8 pm. Members of the KRSM will be playing the various roles in this unfolding drama of Lord Krishna.

According to Pundit Lackram, Chan Krishna Leela drama production depicts the exploits of Lord Krishna (an incarnation of God), when He took descent on Earth thousands of years ago in India. This is a play similar to Ramleela and it consists of scenes depicting Krishna's appearance from a baby to his teenage days.

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Sri Lanka Supreme Court Allows Animal Sacrifice in Hindu Temple
Posted on 2014/7/30 16:00:12 ( 585 reads )

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COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, July 23, 2014 (Colombo Page): Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has ruled that the Hindu temples can perform animal sacrifice under controlled conditions. The apex court on Monday hearing an appeal filed by the trustees of the Sri Bhadrakali Amman Kovil at Munneswaram in Chilaw ruled that the Hindu Temple can slaughter the animals under the supervision of the Public Health Department.

In recent years the customary ritual of sacrificing hundreds of goats and fowl in the annual feast of the Munneswaram Sri Bhadra Kali Amman Kovil in Chilaw has come under severe protest from the animal lovers, Buddhist clergy and politicians. (HPI Note: The Buddhists of Sri Lanka are not vegetarians.)

The Chief Justice Mohan Peiris said he is not ready to ban the animal sacrifice since the practice was hundreds of years old. However, he said the number of animals slaughtered normally is too high and urged the devotees to talk to each other to bring down the number of animals killed. He ordered the temple authorities to slaughter one animal at a time in a specially designated enclosure away from the public view under the supervision of the Public Health Department.

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