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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/2/8 19:56:20 ( 466 reads )


Even in rags I am a God, fallen I am divine, high I triumph when down-trod, long I live when slain!
-- Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), Indian philosopher and poet

Ganesha Statue Restoration Grabs Global Attention

Posted on 2017/2/7 20:55:44 ( 539 reads )


RAIPUR, INDIA, February 6, 2017 (Daily Pioneer): The 10th century statue of Lord Ganesha atop Dholkal hills of Dantewada district in insurgency-infested Bastar region of Chhattisgarh which was pushed down by unidentified miscreants some time back in a deep valley has grabbed global attention.

Thanks to personal interest and concern displayed by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh who had directed the Dantewada District administration and the security forces after the incident to ensure that the statue gets restored in record time. The statue remains had fallen down at least 1,500 feet below in the valley.

The episode had grabbed international attention with extensive support shown by people on social media to see the statue is restored at the earliest considering not just the age of the statue but also its importance as one of India's key archaeological asset. It may be recalled that the unique discovery of the 1,000-year-old Ganesha statue located atop the Dholkal hills in the interiors of Maoist hotbed South Bastar was made in January 2013.

Thaipusam in Penang Chariot Issue Continues

Posted on 2017/2/7 20:55:33 ( 548 reads )


PENANG,MALAYSIA, February 7, 2017 (by Predeep Nambiar, Malaysia Today): The Penang Chettiars have refused to have their silver Thaipusam chariot run together with the hilltop Murugan Temple's new golden chariot on the eve of Thaipusam Day, which falls on Feb 9. The Penang Hindu Endowments Board (PHEB), which manages the hilltop temple, said the inaugural golden chariot would now leave at 5am, 90 minutes before the Chettiars' silver chariot at 6.30am.

"The PHEB had asked for all the chariots to run at the same time, but were refused any form of coordination or cooperation," Ramasamy said at a press conference in Komtar today. Lord Murugan temple's new chariot is to correct 'injustice' done to locals, says Penang Hindu Endowments Board chairman P Ramasamy. However, he said police had assured the board of their full cooperation to ensure both chariots run smoothly on Thaipusam.

Vegetarian Resource Group Awarding $20,000 in Scholarships

Posted on 2017/2/7 20:55:23 ( 468 reads )


UNITED STATES, February 7, 2017 (Vegetarian Resource Group): Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, The Vegetarian Resource Group each year will award $20,000 in college scholarship money to graduating U.S. high school students who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and/or communities.

One award of $10,000 and two awards of $5,000 will be given. Entries may only be sent by students graduating from high school in Spring 2017.The deadline is February 20, 2017. Applicants will be judged on having shown compassion, courage, and a strong commitment to promoting a peaceful world through a vegetarian diet/lifestyle. Payment will be made to the student's college (U.S. based only).

For more information on applications and submissions see "source" above or email vrg@vrg.org.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/2/7 20:55:12 ( 370 reads )


Many Western ideals and goals are based on the underlying attitude that there is only one life

Agama Expert: No Prohibition on Golden Temple Chariots

Posted on 2017/2/5 20:07:38 ( 902 reads )


GEORGE TOWN, MALAYSIA, February 5, 2017 (Hinduism Today): Dr. S.P. Sabharathnam, a renowned scholar of Saiva Agamas in Tamil Nadu, has weighed in on the controversy here regarding the Penang Hindu Endowment Board's new golden chariot which will debut at the February 9th festival of Thai Pusam to Lord Murugan. According to this article, http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2150406, a group called the United Hindu Religious Council citing a "ruling" by the Arupadai Veedu Trust that Murugan temples should not have golden chariot processions. The UHRC spokesperson said the ruling was based on "Hindu Agamic treatises, religious beliefs, norms and practices of Hinduism," and that chariots should only be made of wood or silver. The Penang Hindu Endowment Board chairman, P. Ramasamy, rejected the ruling, saying Hinduism is pluralistic and there is no central authority.

Dr. Sabharathnam supported Ramasamy's view: "The 'ruling' cited by the United Hindu Religious Council is baseless. After hearing of this issue I reviewed all chapters in available Agamas dealing with the construction and installation of temple chariots and I found no rule preventing the construction of temple chariots with gold, silver or copper or prohibiting the procession of such chariots around the city or village where the temple is situated."

"It can also not be claimed that 'Arupadai Veedu Trust is a top authority of the highest order for all Hindu religious matters pertaining to Muruga Perumaan religious-cultural festivities across the world,' " Sabharathnam concluded.

International Conference on Sri Aurobindo at Hindu University of America, May 4 and 5, 2017

Posted on 2017/2/5 20:07:28 ( 559 reads )


ORLANDO, FLORIDA, February 2, 2017 (Press Release): The Mahatma Gandhi Center for Non-Violence, Human Rights and World Peace at the Hindu University of America is organizing an international conference titled "Relevance of Sri Aurobindo and the Grand Visions of the Ancient Indian Wisdom" on May 4 and 5, 2017.

The conference aims to focus on Sri Aurobindo's philosophy and ancient Indian wisdom and their applicability to contemporary problems confronting the human society and the world. It is interested to engage scholars from academia, media, corporate sector, policymaking, non-governmental sectors, and grass-roots activism for an elaborate inquiry on the relevance of Sri Aurobindo's philosophy. The aim is to position Sri Aurobindo's ideas in theoretical and policy debates on individual, state, society and world.

Interested participants should send abstract of the paper (within 500 words) and a bionote (within 100 words) to conference@hua.edu by February 28, 2017. For further details about the conference see "source" above.

Spectacular Video of Srikalahasteewara Temple Fire Posted

Posted on 2017/2/5 20:07:18 ( 515 reads )


ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA, February 4, 2017 (Times of India): A fire broke out in Srikalahasteeswara Temple premises in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor a short while ago: now doused, no casualties reported. Short video at "source" above. It appears to be a temporary yagasala structure in front of the temple rajagopuram which was consumed. Such structures, often made of wood and palm fronds, have burned in the past, sometimes with loss of life.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/2/5 20:07:07 ( 482 reads )


Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin--to say that you are weak, or others are weak.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Waterfall Running Parallel to 272 Steps Will Be Latest Attraction in Batu Caves

Posted on 2017/2/2 19:05:08 ( 746 reads )


KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, February 2, 2017 (The Malay Mail): A 410 ft. natural waterfall or as long as the 272 steps at the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple in Batu Caves will be the latest attraction for devotees, visitors and tourists during Thaipusam this year. Temple committee chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah said the committee had carried out upgrading works to beautify the waterfall and its surroundings to give the thousands of Hindus who visit Batu Caves on Feb 9, a cooling effect. Nadarajah added that the temple committee had also completed the construction of a 272-step fourth lane in December to add on to the three lanes in existence earlier, he told Bernama.

Hindu devotees throng Batu Caves by the thousands in a colorful fusion of faith, thanksgiving, and hope to mark the Thaipusam religious festival and pay homage to Lord Murugan. A 42.7m (140 ft.) statue of Lord Murugan, reputed to be the tallest statue of Lord Murugan in the world, stands at the main entrance as a symbol to welcome devotees to start their climb up the 272 steps.

The 166th year Thaipusam festivity starts in earnest on Tuesday (Feb. 7) when the silver chariot procession begins at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Tun H S Lee bearing the statues of Lord Murugan and his two consorts, Valli and Theivanai at 10pm. "About 100,000 devotees plus 1,500 police personnel are expected to accompany the silver chariot which takes about 16 hours to reach Batu Caves," he said adding that the temple in Batu Caves will be operating 24 hours on Feb 8, 9 and 10 to cater for the thousands of devotees who carry the Kavadi or Pal Kudam and pay homage to Lord Murugan.

Russian Court Clears Yoga Teacher of Illegal Missionary Activity

Posted on 2017/2/2 19:04:58 ( 0 reads )


RUSSIA, January 18, 2017 (Radio Free Europe): A Russian computer programmer who was accused of conducting illegal missionary work after giving a lecture on yoga has been cleared of the charges by a court in St. Petersburg.

The 44-year-old Dmitry Ugay was detained by Russian police in October while giving a talk on the philosophical origins of yoga after police received a complaint accusing him of proselytizing for a sect. He was charged with illegal missionary activity -- an administrative offense under counterterrorism legislation signed by President Vladimir Putin in the summer of 2016.

The legislation placed restrictions on missionary activity and introduced administrative fines of up to 50,000 rubles ($840) for people who proselytize outside of venues registered to recognized religions. Critics said the case against Ugay showed that the legislation is loosely-worded and open to abuse.

Dangerous Fruit: Mystery of Deadly Outbreaks in India Is Solved

Posted on 2017/2/2 19:04:48 ( 527 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 31, 2017 (New York Times): Three years ago, Dr. Rajesh Yadav, an investigator with the India Epidemic Intelligence Service, moved to the city of Muzaffarpur, the site of one of the country's most mysterious outbreaks. And he waited. Every year in mid-May, as temperatures reached scorching heights, parents took children who had been healthy the night before to the hospital. The children awakened with a high-pitched cry in the early morning, many parents said. Then the youths began having seizures and slipping into comas. In about 40 percent of cases, they died.

Every year in July, with the arrival of monsoon rains, the outbreak ended as suddenly as it began. Beginning in 1995, investigations variously ascribed the phenomenon to heat stroke; to infections carried by rats, bats or sand flies; or to pesticides used in the region's ubiquitous lychee orchards. But there were few signposts for investigators. Instead of occurring in clusters, the illness typically struck only one child in a village, often leaving even siblings unaffected.

A joint investigation by India's National Center for Disease Control and the India office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, published in the British medical journal The Lancet Global Health on Tuesday, has identified a surprising culprit: the lychee fruit itself, when eaten on an empty stomach by malnourished children. In 2015, as a result of the investigation, health officials began urging parents in the area to be sure to feed young children an evening meal and to limit their consumption of lychees. In two seasons, the number of reported cases per year dropped to less than 50 from hundreds.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/2/2 19:04:37 ( 475 reads )


Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too self-full to seek other than itself.
-- Kabir (1440-1518), mystic Indian poet

Islamabad City Agency Approves Plot for Hindu Temple, Crematorium

Posted on 2017/1/31 19:14:19 ( 668 reads )


ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN, January 29, 2017 (Nation): Capital Development Authority (CDA) has sanctioned a plot for construction of the first Hindu temple and crematorium in federal capital. A letter has been written to Directorate of State Management in this regard and the plot would be handed over to the community through the Auqaf department. However, CDA has conditioned allotment of the plot with approval of Ministry of Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony and other concerned departments.

National Assembly (NA) Parliamentary committee had approved allotment of the plot on July 15, 2016, after dismissing concerns put forward by the government that there would be security issues if a temple is built for Hindus. In the absence of a temple, around 1,200 Hindus from Islamabad have been celebrating festivals in their homes, and in case of a death in their community, they take the bodies either to Rawalpindi or to their native towns for cremation. The only temple in the twin cities is Krishna Mandir in Kabari Bazaar, Saddar Rawalpindi. There are also some small temples in residential parts of the Rawalpindi cantonment.

Hindus Seen Through Foreign Eyes Over the Centuries

Posted on 2017/1/31 19:14:08 ( 648 reads )


INDIA, January 30, 2017 (New Indian Express by Guatam Pingle): Describing the character of an entire group of people is difficult. And, it is almost impossible to describe the character of Hindus--divided by region, language, caste and sect. Nonetheless, foreign observers have attempted the task based on their personal experience. The following is an account of some of these over time.

Ktesias, the Greek Physician of Persian King Artaxerxes [404-358 BC] has a special chapter "on the justice of the Hindus" in his Indica. Megasthenes [c.350-c.290 BC] states thefts were extremely rare, and the people honored truth and virtue. Arrian [c.86-160 AD] said on officials: "They oversee what goes on in the country or towns, and report everything to the king, where the people have a king, and to the magistrates, where the people are self-governed, and it is against the use and wont of these to give a false report; but indeed no Hindu is accused of lying."

British comments of their Hindu subjects are interesting. Warren Hastings [1732-1818]: "They are gentle and benevolent, more susceptible of gratitude for kindness, and less prompted to vengeance for wrongs inflicted than any people on the face of the earth; faithful, affectionate, submissive to legal authority." Bishop Heber [1783-1826]: "The Hindus are brave, courteous, intelligent, most eager for knowledge and improvement; sober, industrious, dutiful to parents, affectionate to their children, uniformly gentle and patient, and more easily affected by kindness and attention to their wants and feelings than any people I ever met with."

Many more such historical quotes at "source" above.

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