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Vietnam's Ancient Hindu Culture Rediscovered
Posted on 2015/3/18 18:07:28 ( 1046 reads )

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VIETNAM, March 17, 2015 (by Amanda Mcinerney, InDaily): "Officially, Vietnam is an atheist state, but a significant section of the population practices traditional religions; some adhere to Buddhism and there are quite a few Catholics left over from the French occupation. However, tucked away not far from Hoi An, is My Son, a UNESCO World Heritage site, once the location of the ancient Hindu Champa civilization and its majestic complex of temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

Originally the religious and political capital of the Champa kingdom, the complex was built around the third or fourth century AD, and traces its spiritual roots back to Indian Hinduism. Consisting of 70 ruins over 57ha, the site was rediscovered and renovated by the French in the late 1890s, but was subsequently heavily bombed during the Vietnam War, when it was found to be a hiding place for the Viet Cong. Parts of the site are gradually being reconstructed using the traditional red bricks of the original work. My Son is an extraordinary example of an ancient culture -- and one which kept written records. Much was recorded on perishable materials, but a great deal has been preserved on stone slabs or pillars and these have been a precious source of information for scholars and archaeologists.

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New Hindu Temple set to Open in Indianapolis
Posted on 2015/3/18 18:07:22 ( 869 reads )

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INDIANAPOLIS, USA MARCH 16, 2015 (by Sravanth Verma, Digital Journal): A new temple being built will be formally established and opened to public on June 3, in Indianapolis, after an elaborate ceremony called the Maha Kumbhabhishekam. The ceremony will involve elaborate Hindu rituals by 30 priests, over a period of five days, and will mark the official consecration of the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana (HTCI). The massive ceremony will include the opening of several shrines that are also a part of the temple complex. In all, there are 17 primary deities, made of granite and marble and shipped from India. Thirty-two stone craftsmen from India are completing the temple, which spread over 13.5 acres, and includes a 11,000-square-foot worship hall and a 400-square-foot room for various rituals.

The HTCI will be open throughout the week, and also plans to organize celebrations of festivals, scriptural talks, cultural programs, heritage camps, youth programs and yoga classes, according to the temple committee. The Illinois State University is planning a cultural immersion trip to the temple on March 21.

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Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project, Inc.
Posted on 2015/3/18 18:07:15 ( 909 reads )

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JAMAICA, NEW YORK, March 14, 2015 (Sachi Dastidar): The Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation Project, Inc. (ISPaD) invites you to send articles, essays, poems, short stories, photographs or documents for the 2015 issue of the Journal. We plan to publish well before the October 2015 Partition Center Conference. Our past journals contained articles from the U.S., India, Bangladesh and Pakistan covering diverse topics from wide geographical areas. Papers could cover such areas as India and Pakistan partitions and its consequences.

All papers and essays must sent to us by July 1, 2015 to ispad1947@gmail.com as attachment. If you need to talk to us, please call Mr. Shuvo G. Dastidar, Project Coordinator, at 917-524-0035 during working hours or email us.

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Colombia is Converting Former Death Squad Members into Yoga Teachers
Posted on 2015/3/18 18:02:59 ( 759 reads )

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COLOMBIA, March 16, 2015 ( by Lila Maclellan, Quartz.com): In New York or L.A., it's pretty common to learn that a yoga teacher used to be a dancer, an actor, or even a former Wall Street banker. In Bogota and Medellin, the same is true. Except that here, the teacher may also be an ex-member of a Colombian death squad. Since 2010, a local organization called Dunna, Alternativas Creativas Para la Paz (Dunna: Creative Alternatives for Peace) has been gradually introducing the basic poses to two groups for whom yoga has been a foreign concept: the poor, mostly rural victims of Colombia's brutal, half-century conflict, and the guerilla fighters who once terrorized them. Hundreds of ex-militants have already taken the offered yoga courses. A dozen now plan to teach yoga to others. Ten years ago, the suggestion that former members of the FARC and the AUC might one day sit together in lotus position would have seemed laughable

Dunna was co-founded in 2010 by New York University law school graduate, Natalia Quinones, the organization's research director, and Maria Adelaida Lopez, a Colombian-born graduate of the University of London and longtime yogi, now the non-profit executive director. Together the two women secured backing from a handful of sources. Between 10% and 20% of Dunna's funding comes from private foundations and corporations, says Quinones, and public money covers the rest. To prove that public funds have been well spent, Dunna's researchers tracked yoga's effectiveness in a controlled study. Results showed a 48.5% decrease in symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), compared to a group not in the program. When the yoga course was expanded to five more cities in Colombia, students again reported an easing of symptoms, and reduced drug and alcohol use.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/18 18:02:53 ( 721 reads )

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Sectarianism, bigotry and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful Earth. They have filled the Earth with violence, drenched it often with human blood, destroyed civilizations and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), disciple of Sri Ramakrisha

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Pakistan Works--Slowly--to Improve Minority Rights
Posted on 2015/3/17 10:19:07 ( 871 reads )

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PAKISTAN, March 16, 2015 (Pakistan Today): Pakistan Hindu Council Patron-In-Chief MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani has highly appreciated the services of newly-appointed National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) chairman, saying that progress made by him for the preparation of Hindu marriage and death certificates is remarkable. [Marriage certificates are to date only issued for Muslims and Christians in Pakistan, not for Hindus. See:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hindus- ... -Pakistan/104196649648825]

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani says removal of hate-material from school curriculum is also a remarkable victory of minorities. Talking to the journalists outside the Supreme Court on Thursday he said that he himself presented the NADRA certificates sample copies to the two-member apex court, headed by the chief justice, on Thursday during the hearing regarding minorities' rights.

Moreover, the Supreme Court has ordered other provincial governments to offer hate-free syllabus also, Dr Vankwani informed, terming this a great victory of all minorities living in Pakistan and acknowledged them for their successful struggle.

For more on the curriculum isses in Pakistan, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan_studies#Curriculum_issues

One quote: "An editorial in Pakistan's oldest newspaper Dawn commenting on a report in The Guardian on Pakistani Textbooks noted 'By propagating concepts such as jihad, the inferiority of non-Muslims, India's ingrained enmity with Pakistan, etc., the textbook board publications used by all government schools promote a mindset that is bigoted and obscurantist. Since there are more children studying in these schools than in madrassas the damage done is greater."

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Fiji Hindus to Educate Youngsters on Holi
Posted on 2015/3/17 10:19:01 ( 908 reads )

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FIJI, March 15, 2015 (by Shayal Devi, Fiji Times): A lack of knowledge about traditional Hindu festivals among the younger generation prompted a group of individuals to organise the Holi Mela 2015 in Nadi last Friday. He said the event was supported by the Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "The idea is to revive the festival. We are expecting more than 500 people at the event and we will have free sweets and food for all who attend. Culture should be celebrated so we are very eager to celebrate this with our friends from all walks of life."

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Sewa International Launches 2015 Yuva for Sewa Summer Internship for India
Posted on 2015/3/17 10:18:54 ( 815 reads )

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HOUSTON, TEXAS, March 17, 2015 (Sewa International): Sewa International has launched its annual Yuva for Sewa (YFS), 8 to 10-week volunteer (unpaid) summer internship opportunity for college students to travel to India to contribute their time to serve humanity. Since its inception in 2006, 52 YFS youth interns have volunteered their time for healthcare, education, environment, women's empowerment, rural development, and microfinance. Interns work with community NGOs to serve and engage in an empowering self-transformative experience to make an impact in their chosen field. Program is open to students of Indian and non-Indian origin alike.

To know more about the Yuva for Sewa program, log on to http://www.sewausa.org/yuva-sewa-appeal. Interested candidates apply online at http://www.sewausa.org/yuva-sewa-2015. Admissions are on a rolling basis. The final deadline is April 15, 2015. Locations of internships will be in Bengaluru, India. Interns pay their own way to and from Bengaluru. Boarding and lodging in India is provided by the host NGO at no cost.

Sewa International (www.sewausa.org) is a Hindu-faith based, worldwide nonprofit that promotes selfless service to communities around the world regardless of race, color, nationality, religion, or gender. To volunteer, contact info@sewausa.org.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/17 10:18:42 ( 759 reads )

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We want to claim that which we already are. You are already the Self. You are just not aware of it. Do not put it off based upon some concept that we are not ready, we are not worthy, we need more of this or that. None of those principles apply when it comes to Self-realization.
-- Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today magazine

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Hinduism Today's April-May-June 2015 Released On-Line
Posted on 2015/3/16 16:57:22 ( 927 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, March 15, 2015 (Hinduism Today): The new issue of Hinduism Today has been released and is now available for free online. In this issue, our team of writers and photographers take you deep into Rajasthan for a giant festival in honor of the India cow, considered to be sacred. Our reporter, a 20s-something city-girl from Delhi, is thrown into a first-hand experience of rural India and the elaborate ways that the ever-giving Desi bovine is honored. Her story is a revealing clash of traditional Bharat and urban life in modern India.

Then off to the Himalayas with the story of the Nanda Devi Raj Yatra, one of the world's most dangerous pilgrimages, which led our camerawoman up and up and up into the frozen mountains with the Goddess. Next we take you to Germany for the Balinese Kuningan festival, which added a dazzle of color and Balinese style to the streets of Hamburg.

Our publisher, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, offers a helpful explanation of temple murtis and the various views that are commonly held of them. He explains how the various Hindu lineages define God and how this impacts worship and temples.

This is the issue in which we announce our Hindu of the Year Renaissance Award which for 2014 goes to......cue drum roll..... India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is hard to argue with his enormous impact on Hindus everywhere in the world.

Explore your own mind with this issue's Insight section, showcasing a detailed analysis of the five states of mind: the subconscious, subsubconscious, conscious, superconscious and subsuperconscious. For those exploring yoga and meditation, this is a precious resource, giving profound insights into the nature of our mind.

Other stories in the issue:
How one Hindu parent in California is working to improve the presentation of Hinduism in US public schools.
Profile of Ramli Ibraham, a Malaysian, one of today's most creative dancers, choreographing masterful works drawing on India's rich stories and dance styles, particularly Orissi.
The historic World Hindu Congress held last November in New Delhi.

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4th Annual Hindu Mandir Priests Conference
Posted on 2015/3/16 16:57:16 ( 833 reads )

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MINNESOTA, USA, March 13, 2015 (by HMEC): The 4th annual Hindu Mandir Priests Conference is being hosted by the Hindu Temple of Minnesota this year on May 15 and 16

On the program: Sustainability and advancement of Santana Dharma by making the Hindu modes of worship meaningful and relevant for the younger generation of Hindus and how the priests play an essential role in the spiritual and cultural welfare of North American Hindu society. The delegates will explore ways to make the priests' roles more effective in meeting the ever changing needs of North American Hindus. Please contact Sant Gupta santguptava@gmail.com for registration purpose.

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Bhagavad Gita English-Translation Collection, 70+ Books Up For Auction
Posted on 2015/3/16 16:57:10 ( 802 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, March 16, 2015 (Hinduism Today): Hinduism Today is offering at auction its collection of English translations of the Bhagavad Gita. These range from Edwin Arnold's early translation to multiple editions issued since 2000. Condition of books is from new to fair or poor condition, mostly depending on age.

To see the Ebay auction with a complete list of authors, titles and dates of publication, click "source" above. The auction will end March 26th, starting bid is $101.00 with no reserve.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/16 16:57:03 ( 675 reads )

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Suppose a thorn has pierced a man's foot. He picks up another thorn to pull out the one hurting him. After extracting the first with the help of the second, he throws both away. One should use the thorn of knowledge to pull out the thorn of ignorance, then throw away both, and realize God directly.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

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10,000 Attend California Holi Festival
Posted on 2015/3/12 18:32:27 ( 1309 reads )

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MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA, March 11, 2015 (Mercury News): An estimated 10,000 Indian-Americans from all over the Bay Area congregated Saturday at Cardoza Park in Milpitas to celebrate the start of spring with the Festival of Colors, Holi. The free festival, organized by the Federation of Indo-Americans of Northern California and Fremont Hindu Temple to celebrate Holi, drew in families, devotees and community members throwing colorful powders on one another to the thumping beat of live music.

The festival, which has traditionally been held at Hindu temples in the area, was held for the first time in a park, as organizers expect to see attendance to continue to grow. "Usually we do it in the temple and it was just getting overcrowded. We thought we should move it to an open area and ... we want to open it up to a lot of other communities to start participating ... we want to share some our traditional culture with everybody else around in the community," said Dr. Romesh Japra, president of the Federation of Indo-Americans.

Japra said attendees really got into the swing of the event, dancing to fast-paced Bollywood music as color were thrown by children, elders and adults. "There was a lot of food, music, dancing and colors," Japra said. Japra said the story of Holi is one of goodness triumphing over evil, and that the festival is a celebration of love, truth, faith and being a good person.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/12 18:32:18 ( 1171 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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