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From Neuromapping to Biomechanics - the Hard Science Questions that Yoga Researchers are Asking
Posted on 2015/8/21 10:44:55 ( 1666 reads )

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INDIA, August 16, 2015 (Scroll.in): Yoga has so far been almost entirely within the ambit of India's Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy). Now the Ministry of Science wants in on it too. The Department of Science and Technology has launched a new research program it calls SATYAM, short for Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation, which allows scientists studying these matters to apply for three years of funding support from the department.

Scientists studying yoga in various institutes are asking hard science questions, conducting clinical trials, conducting molecular biology experiments to identify whether and why yoga works and what its limits are. The Department of Science and Technology already funds some of these studies. It has given more than US$124,000 to the researchers at Bengaluru's Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana to map neurophysiological, neurochemical and cerebral blood flow changes in attention processes related to yoga

Scientists at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bengaluri, better known as NIMHANS, have been asking four clinical questions about yoga - how does yoga affect cognition in patients with depression, what neurochemical alterations can the practice of yoga cause, how yoga affects cognition in healthy seniors, and how it might affect dementia. NIMHANS researchers have found that impaired cognition in depression patients can become normalized after they practice yoga for a few weeks. In another randomized trial, healthy senior citizens were given neuro-psychological tests after six months of yoga. Their cognition, it was found, was improved.

More at source.

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Hinduism Today Needs Photos of Karma Yoga in Action
Posted on 2015/8/21 10:44:44 ( 1529 reads )



KAUAI, HAWAII, August 21, 2015 (HPI): Hinduism Today is seeking good quality, uplifting photos of Hindus doing karma yoga, seva, to illustrate the Educational Insight on that subject in the Jan/Feb/March, 2016, issue. We want to depict the wide range of activities, such as cleaning at the temple, polishing brass, feeding devotees, offering charity and medical help to the community. If you have quality high-resolution photos from your temple group, organization or ashram, please email our deputy editor: kumar@hindu.org.

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UAE Decides to Allot Land for Temple in Abu Dhabi
Posted on 2015/8/20 19:10:43 ( 1899 reads )

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ABU DHABI, August 16, 2015 (Times of India): On the occasion of PM Narendra Modi's visit, a long wait for the Indian community in UAE ended as the government there announced its decision to allot land for building a temple in Abu Dhabi. PM Modi thanked the UAE leadership for this landmark decision. "A long wait for the Indian community ends. On the occasion of PM's visit, UAE Govt decides to allot land for building a temple in Abu Dhabi," tweeted external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

The UAE is home to 2.6 million Indian workers, of whom around 20 percent are white-collar professionals. Indian expatriates comprise 30 percent of the UAE's population and are the largest nationality group.

According to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Temple,_Dubai:

"Hindu Temple, Dubai (referred to locally as Shiva and Krishna Mandir) is a temple complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The temple caters to the large Hindu community in the United Arab Emirates and is the only Hindu temple in that country. The temple complex comprises a Shiva and Krishna temple. The Hindu Temple is located west of the Dubai Creek in the area of Bur Dubai (specifically Bur Dubai Old Souk). The temple is run in conjunction with the Indian consulate in Dubai; the temple also performs marriage ceremonies between Hindus. However, registration of Hindu marriages cannot be performed in the United Arab Emirates. The upper floor of the Shiva temple formerly also housed a gurudwara; the gurudwara has now moved to new premises near Jebel Ali. In 1958, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum permitted the Hindu temple to be built on the first floor of a bylane in Bur Dubai. Among the other temples in Dubai, one is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the other to Lord Krishna. The over 50,000 Sikhs in the UAE got their own grand Gurdwara in 2012 which was the land donated by Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktoum. The UAE also hosts several churches frequented by the Malayali Syrian Christians. In July 2013, a Muslim businessman donated five acres of land adjoining a mosque for setting up a Swaminarayan temple."

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Employees Hit as Temples Starved of Funds
Posted on 2015/8/20 19:10:33 ( 1488 reads )

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KOZHIKODE, INDIA, August 15, 2015 (Deccan Chronicle): The state government's lethargy in sanctioning funds for the temples has left many employees in a deep crisis. Several employees like those of Karikkad temple in Manjeri have not received salaries for the last four years. The Devaswom Board had refused to give funds citing that the temple had a revenue of over US$15,000.

Malabar Devaswom Employees Union state committee leader K. Parameswaran told DC that funds are given to temples based on the revenue. The temples with over $15,000 revenue per year would get only 50 percent of the expenses as management funds by the state government whereas those with poor revenue would receive more funds. "But what the government failed to assess is the functioning of many satellite temples that survive on the revenue from the main temple and also many unlisted employees who are yet to be recognised by the Devaswom Board," he added.

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Big FM Welcomes the Eighth Glorious "Big Green Ganesha"
Posted on 2015/8/20 19:10:22 ( 1446 reads )

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MUMBAI, INDIA, August 12, 2015 (Radio and Music): Big FM (that's a privately-owned radio station in India which covers 45 cities, fyi) welcomes the largest Indian festival of the year with a Big twist of green, the Big Green Ganesha. The campaign was laid down in 2008 with the vision for a better eco-friendly future and has received tremendous support over the past seven years from citizens across the country.

Big Green Ganesha aims at creating social consciousness towards making one of India's largest and most popular festivals, ecologically sound. The campaign has so far touched over millions of Indians and spans across 15 major cities this year including Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, Sholapur, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Surat, Baroda, Mysore, Tirupati, Vizag, Chennai and Mangalore.

With an enormous paper collection drive underway, India's most popular radio network has started the process of collecting tons of newspapers and other paper products from residential areas, celebrity houses, corporate offices, shops and other commercial establishments. These will be shared with renowned sculptors from across the country to enable the creation of beautiful and artistic eco-friendly Ganesha statues through techniques of paper mache and clay molding.

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Tourists Among 18 killed in Attack at Bangkok Shrine
Posted on 2015/8/19 15:44:21 ( 1608 reads )

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BANGKOK, THAILAND, August 17, 2015 (CNN): A bomb explosion that near a popular Hindu shrine in central Bangkok killed at least 18 people Monday and injured 117 more, according to a hospital in the Thai capital. Twelve victims died at the scene, and six others died later at the Erawan Medical Emergency Center, officials said. Foreigners are among the injured, said Maj Gen. Weerachon Sukhontapatipak, a Thai government spokesman. He had no specifics, but national police Chief Somyot Pumpanmuang said on state TV that Chinese tourists who had traveled to Thailand from the Philippines had been killed. It's too early to say who orchestrated the attack, Somyot said.

The Bangkok Post reported the bomb, which detonated just after 7 p.m., was fastened to a utility pole in front of the Erawan Shrine. Though Buddhism is the predominant religion in Thailand, there are many Hindu shrines in Bangkok, and the Erawan Shrine is the best known among them. Streams of people pay respects at the shrine from early morning until late at night. Thais and foreign visitors make ceremonial offerings, ranging from floral garlands and fruits to teakwood elephants in the hope their wishes will be fulfilled.

The shrine houses a golden statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of Brahma, the Hindu God of creation. Thousands of worshipers visit the site each day, praying for everything from good health to sports results. They light incense sticks and wai (bow slightly with palms pressed together) to each of the four faces of the statue. For extra luck, worshipers pay respect and money to the shrine's Thai dancers.

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Yoga Crosses over from AYUSH Department to Science
Posted on 2015/8/19 15:44:10 ( 1249 reads )

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INDIA, August 14, 2015 (Indian Express): In further proof of the growing importance of yoga under the NDA government, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has decided to fund research on the impact of yoga and meditation on human health -- the first time the department has ventured into this area.

Research and studies on yoga have so far remained within the domain of AYUSH, a government department whose mandate is to promote traditional medicine, including ayurveda, unani and homeopathy. Now, in tune with the government's efforts to promote yoga internationally, the DST has called for research proposals from "scientists/academicians with prior research experience in yoga and meditation".

"Yoga is already an international movement, and it has been adopted even by the United Nations. So there is nothing unusual if the DST makes efforts in promoting research in yoga. We have already seen how popular yoga is," Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan told The Indian Express.

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Dharma Civilization Foundation to Make Major Gift Announcement at San Jose Meeting
Posted on 2015/8/19 15:44:00 ( 1280 reads )

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SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, August 18, 2015 (Dharma Civilization Foundation): Join us on August 22nd, 2015 at 5 pm to 8.00 pm - at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, San Jose, in support of the Hindu Studies initiative at Berkeley. On that day we will announce a major gift that will endow the "Center for Dharma Studies" at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. On this occasion Dr. Graham Schweig will speak on the topic The Importance of Hindu Theology. Dr. Riess Potterveld will speak about the unique opportunity that the Graduate Theological Union offers for Hindu Studies. Dr. Rita Sherma will share a vision for the Center for Dharma Studies, and Mr. Kalyan Viswanathan will announce the progress being made.

Registration information is available at 'source' above.

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Hinduism Today Needs a Little Help with Sanskrit
Posted on 2015/8/19 15:43:49 ( 1287 reads )



KAUAI, HAWAII, August 19, 2015 (HPI): Hinduism Today is seeking help with a five-sloka Sanskrit guru parampara chant. The project, estimated to take 1-2 hours, involves parsing the language, doing a word-by-word translation. Anyone competent to do this can email our editor-in-chief here: sadasivanatha@hindu.org.

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Dry Weather Reveals Amazing River with Thousands of Shiva Lingas
Posted on 2015/8/18 20:18:24 ( 1312 reads )

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INDIA, August 12, 2015 (India Divine): Recently, due to dry weather, the water level of the Shalmala river in Karnataka receded, revealing the presence of thousands of Shiva Lingas carved throughout the river bed. Because of these uncountable carvings, the place gets the name "Sahasralinga" (thousand Shiva Lingas).

Sahasralinga has become an important pilgrimage place. On the auspicious day of Mahashivaratri thousands of pilgrims visit Sahasralinga to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva. Each Lingam in the river has a matching carving of Nandi (the Bull carrier of Lord Shiva) facing it. Sahasralinga is a most beautiful place. It is located near Sirsi, in the state of Karnataka.

Amazing photos at source.

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Kali, Goddess of Darkness, Lights Up Empire State Building
Posted on 2015/8/18 20:18:13 ( 1119 reads )

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NEW YORK, August 10, 2015 (Yogadork): The top of the Empire State Building is famous for its specially themed lighting (green for St. Patrick's Day, rainbow for Gay Pride, etc.) but recently we've been treated to much more of a show, along with a deeper message. Last week, huge images of endangered animals were projected on the building's facade as part of Projecting Change an art exhibition by filmmaker Louie Psihoyos. Drawing attention to wildlife extinction the show shed light, literally, on the human impact on these creatures, including the most recent killing of Cecil the Lion. It also highlighted some hope/urgency in the form of an enormous and magical Kali, the Hindu Goddess of darkness, designed by artist Android Jones, which closed out the exhibition.

The dark mother of time, change, power and destruction, Kali was summoned to signify the reality of darkness and the wake-up call to alter our ways. "This Kali apparition over Manhattan may be our last warning. Fierce protectress of truth, she tells it like it is, she beckons us to dive into the dark, to face the stark reality of the global ecological crisis upon us, and to let heartbreak be the ground from which we awaken and serve." (via Rebelle Society)

Photos at source.

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Kathmandu Meet Demands Nepal be a Hindu Nation
Posted on 2015/8/18 20:18:03 ( 1046 reads )

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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, August 7, 2015 (DC Nepal): Dharma Gurus organized a Dharma Sabha at the Open Theater of Kathmandu today demanding Nepal to be reinstated as a Sanatan Hindu nation. The Sabha has been organized at a time when the four major political parties are trying their best to forge consensus among them with a view to include suggestions of the people given during the feedback collection program on the preliminary draft of the new constitution.

Echoing their voice, the speakers at the venue criticized the preliminary draft for failing to include Nepal as a Sanatan Hindu nation. Further, they have urged to include their demand of re-instating Nepal as a Sanatan Hindu nation through the new constitution as their prime demand. They have warned to go for stern protest programs if their demand was not addressed through the new constitution.

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Over 1,500 Yoga Asanas Shortlisted to Thwart Patenting by Foreign Parties
Posted on 2015/8/11 19:57:07 ( 2057 reads )

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INDIA, August 10, 2015 (Indian Express): In a move that will help thwart attempts by foreign MNCs and individuals to get patents and trademark on ancient yoga techniques, the government has shortlisted over 1,500 asanas and videographed over 250, classifying them as "traditional knowledge" of the country. The initiative will be a part of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a unit of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of the Ministry of Science and Technology, which challenges claims made at several patent offices across the globe by individuals and MNCs.

"Our experts have identified over 1,500 yoga techniques from the literature available from our ancient texts and what is available now. Nearly 250 asanas have been video graphed already. It should take five or six months to complete the process, after which it can be the part of the database. "Once that happens, any attempt to claim patent on the Indian yoga techniques practiced since ancient time can be thwarted," said Archana Sharma, head of TKDL.

The government decided to form the TKDL after the bitter experience of some MNCs claiming patents for neem and turmeric in the last two decades. Getting a patent issued to a US MNC revoked for turmeric, alone cost over a million dollars in legal expenses, travel and other costs.

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Sanskrit Renaissance Has Begun in the US
Posted on 2015/8/11 19:56:57 ( 2163 reads )

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USA, August 11, 2015 (NewsGram): NewsGram spoke to Dr. Jyotsna Kalavar, who is a Professor in Human Development & Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University, USA and is an instructor at Samskrita Bharati, USA. An excerpt: "From what I have seen, most Hindu children in the United States, take immense pride in their heritage, go through some period of soul searching and questioning, and pursue their personal definition of what it means to be a Hindu. Some take up the study of Sanskrit, literature, art, Vedic chanting, Vedanta, dance, music, Yoga - whatever aspect of Hinduism that appeals to them. On the one hand, I have seen Hindu children in the United States being more Hindu than children in India. They have learned sections of the Vedas, speak Sanskrit fluently, and take great pride in their Hindu beliefs. Recently, I was at an event in Stroudsburg, PA where more than a dozen children had memorized the entire Bhagavad Gita, and were participating in a competition. I was simply bowled over by these children. As a liturgical language, Sanskrit will continue to play an important role among Hindus worldwide. As a transactional language, I am very optimistic that it will pick up steam both in India and outside. It seems like the Sanskrit renaissance has begun and is here to stay!"

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Hindu Nectar: Spiritual Wanderings in India
Posted on 2015/8/11 19:56:46 ( 1635 reads )

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INDIA, September 3, 2014 (YouTube, by Akanksha Joshi): This is a charming and professional video of a daughter's journey distilling the nectar of the stories and songs she heard as a child and rediscovering the land of her childhood, where religion was synonymous with the celebration of life in all its colors.

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