Hindu Press International


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Dance Drama "Skanda" Presented in South Africa

Posted on 2016/1/30 14:22:47 ( 988 reads )

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SOUTH AFRICA, January 25, 2016 (News 24): The highly-acclaimed dance drama Skanda will showcase during the auspicious observance of Thaipoosam Kavadi at the Shree Veeraboga Cultural Centre on Saturday, 16 January. The show, which has been brought to Tongaat by the Brake Village Siva Soobramaniar Alayam makes a return after playing to capacity audiences at the Playhouse in Durban in 2015. The epic dance drama choreographed, directed and presented by Smt Kantharuby Munsamy and Smt Yshrene Moodley takes place a day after Murugan Temples hoist their flags for the commencement of the Thaipoosam Kavadi. Over 50 dancers from the Natya Kalayalayam Academy of Dance come together to bring to life the epic story of Lord Muruga also known as Skanda. The show is a fast moving drama which tells the story of Lord Shunmuga or Skanda in a very vibrant and breathtaking production which takes everyone on a spiritual high by the end of the show.

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French President Francois Hollande Visits Museum in Chandigarh with PM

Posted on 2016/1/30 14:22:37 ( 0 reads )

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CHANDIGARH,INDIA, January 25, 2016 (Press Information Bureau): The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and President Mr. Francois Hollande paid a joint visit to the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh, as part of their engagements during the State Visit of President Hollande to India on 24 January 2016.The two viewed the displays of archaeological findings from the foothills of the Himalayas which suggest human activity dating back to 2.6 millions years ago, making them among the oldest known remnants of human existence. This significant discovery is the result of seven years of extensive research and collaboration between the Prehistory Department of the National Museum of Natural History of France and the Society of Archaeological and Anthropological Research of Chandigarh.

The archaeological discovery comprises about 1,500 fossil finds, including 200 quartzite tools collected from several locations spread over 50 acres of area in Masol region near Chandigarh. The Prime Minister and President Hollande congratulated the Indo-French team for their joint research work leading to this discovery.

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At 15.6 million, India Tops List of Migrants to Other Countries

Posted on 2016/1/30 14:22:26 ( 867 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, January 25, 2016 (B. Shivkumar, TNN): In the five-year period from 2010 to 2015, India displaced Russia as the country with the largest diaspora in the world, as per UN data on migrants for 2015. While the UAE, with its job opportunities for all sections of people, tops as the preferred destination for India-born migrants, the US, that lets in only highly qualified professional Indians, is today home to nearly two million people born in India. Australia comes high up on the list with four hundred thousand Indians. Between 1990 and 2010, Russia was topping the list of migrants but its diaspora was concentrated in a few countries like Israel.

Paradoxically enough, the spike in Indian migration happened after the country's economy moved into a high-growth path. Today, a total of 15.6 million people born in India are living across all continents. The rate of migration to foreign countries has increased by half compared to 10 years ago. Observers see Indian migration as helping world economies. "Indian migrants to the US have been a great asset for the world. Their contribution to development of information technology has been useful to various sections. Similarly in Gulf countries, many Indians are in the managerial cadre and their contribution has been immensely appreciated," former diplomat G Parthasarathi told TOI. Indians working as construction laborers are also most sought after by companies in the Gulf. "Indian laborers are highly disciplined.

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Hindu American Foundation Lauds Significant Improvements in Virginia Curriculum Frameworks

Posted on 2016/1/30 14:22:16 ( 818 reads )

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2016 (HAF): Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) applauded the Virginia Board of Education's adoption of new history and social science curriculum frameworks, which significantly improved upon the previous versions of the draft.

HAF had previously worked with the Virginia Department of Education to improve language in their history-social science standards of learning and had met with Board members and DOE staff numerous times over the past two years. The conversations and public testimony led to changes in the history-social science standards of learning in March 2015.

Since November, HAF and members of Virginia's Hindu community, along with academic experts, submitted comments on ways to improve language in the frameworks, which are used to shape local curriculum across the Commonwealth and textbook content.

Among the changes was a section that nuanced India's origins. The Final Draft adopted Jan. 2016 reads: "Classical Indian civilization began in the Indus River Valley, spread to the Ganges River Valley, and then spread throughout the Indian subcontinent. This spread continued with little interruption because of the geographic location. Historians are divided over whether migrations occurred or whether Indian civilization grew from within, but agree that Harappan civilization and the Vedic period shaped Indian society."


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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/1/30 14:22:05 ( 770 reads )

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True gurus are available in every religion. They may not be in the ordinary world of strife, for such a world does not want them, nor have they any use for it. Go, therefore, in search of a true master. He is ever available and is only waiting for a symptom of real earnestness in you. If you have true humility and earnestness to see God, he will solve all your doubts and show you God in no time at all.
-- Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati (1912-1954), 34th pontiff of the Sarada Peetham

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Hindu God Statue's Head Returns to Cambodia

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:23:48 ( 969 reads )

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CAMBODIA, January 22, 2016 ( BBC): A French museum has returned the head of a 7th Century Hindu statue to Cambodia 130 years after it was taken. The statue, a representation of the Hindu gods Vishnu and Shiva, had its head broken off and taken in French colonial times. It was returned by the Guimet Museum in Paris at Cambodia's request and reattached to the body.

A Cambodian culture ministry spokesman said joining the head to the statue felt "like we are reconnecting the soul of our national heritage". The reunification was carried out with a lavish ceremony in Phnom Penh. "According to our Khmer culture, the reunion is symbolic of prosperity," Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said at a ceremony in Cambodia's National Museum. The complete statue had stood in the Phnom Da temple in southern Takeo province before its head was shipped to France in 1886. Cambodia has not ruled out allowing France to display the complete statue, known as Harihara, in the future.

Over the past few years, Cambodia has sought to return artefacts taken by other countries without permission. In the past three years, several statues were sent back to Cambodia by US museums and a private collector in Norway.

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One Auspicious Day, Many Events in Tamilnadu

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:23:38 ( 841 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, January 20, 2016 (News Today): Whether you are a religious person, politically inclined, a cinema buff or a bizman, this is the day you were waiting for. The day, 20 January, has seen so much activity as it is considered an auspicious day to conduct kumbabhishekams or launch any event.

Since the day holds an important place in the Tamil calendar and panchangam, kumbabhishekam of 69 temples, including the Ramanathaswamy temple in Rameswaram, Srivilliputhur Andal temple and Bannariamman temple in Coimbatore district, have been organized by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments.

Numerous corporate and business enterprises launched their products today. The ever-sentimental film industry has also made big announcements. And the Tamilnadu government began its first Assembly session of the year today. Noted astrologer Sivalpuri Singaram says, "January 20 is important because Chithirai yogam will stay the full day which makes the day best suited for the official launch of anything. Moreover, it is not only auspicious but also in valarpirai, the day that marks the period of transition from Amavasya to Pournami. Valar translates to grow, that indicates the period the moon grows'in size. Thereby, anything which needs growth and prosperity can be started on this day."

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Drumming Their Way to Spirituality

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:23:27 ( 840 reads )

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MALAYSIA, January 22, 2016 (The Star): The sound emanating from the urumee, a double-headed hourglass-shaped drum commonly used by village musicians in south India, easily attracts a crowd. During Thaipusam, urumee melam (drum beat) groups typically accompany kavadi and milk pot bearers to give them strength and courage to fulfil their vows.

In Malaysia, especially Perak, the urumee is used by musical groups specialising in traditional folk songs and it is seen during Hindu religious ceremonies such as Thaipusam. For M. Guna Seelan, 26, he was so mesmerised by the sound created by the drum that he decided to form an urumee melam group comprising of youngsters who are passionate about traditional and folk music.

Many believe that the urumee possesses supernatural and sacred powers. When played during religious ceremonies, specific beats and songs could lead a person into a trance state. "They will go into a trance because of the vibration from the drum. Before that, they have to fast before fulfilling their vow and during their prayers, on the way to the temple, they should not have any outside disturbance. The group will play the instrument and sing devotional songs to ensure that their mind is fully focused on the vow," said Seelan.

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Pleas Challenging Kumbabishekam of Rameswaram Temple Dismissed

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:23:17 ( 881 reads )

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MADURAI, INDIA, January 8, 2016 (Times of India): The Madurai Bench of the Madras high court on Thursday passed a common order dismissing two petitions challenged the kumbabishekam of the Rameswaram temple scheduled for January 20 on various grounds, including that the day fixed for the ceremony was inauspicious. At the same time it directed the temple authority to either repair the statue of Goddess Parvathavarthini, consort of Lord Ramanathar, which is damaged, or to make a golden armour (kavacham) so that the damage would stand rectified before the kumbabishekam.

Dismissing the petitions, the division bench of justices V. Ramasubramanian and N. Kirubakaran observed that none of the issues raised by the petitioners was capable of being examined on any judicially prescribed standards or parameters. "It is not possible for the court to decide whether the date fixed for the ceremony was good for the ruler or for the ruled, if not for the Almighty. For one who transcends time, space and all limitations within which the universe functions, which the theists believe, no date and time could be inauspicious. For mortals, what is auspicious for one is inauspicious for another and vice versa. Many times, no two astrologers, like lawyers and doctors, agree with each other," said the bench.

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Kanchi Seer Sidelined at Rameswaram Temple

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:23:07 ( 937 reads )

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RAMESWARAM, INDIA, January 25, 2016 (Deccan Chronicle): Even as the consecration of the Sri Ramanathaswamy temple here was performed on a grand scale with utmost religious fervor on Wednesday, a controversy brewed over the alleged sidelining by the temple authorities of the visiting Sankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt, Sri Jayendra Saraswathy.

While the pre-consecration rituals including the yaga saala pujas that commenced on Jan. 15 with invocations to Lord Ganesh (Vigneswara Puja), went off very well in front of the Amman shrine over the past four days, the seer attended the pujas on January 19. But "due respects were not accorded to the Kanchi seer," sources said. Instead, temple functionaries kept a tab on his movement, which deeply hurt the Kanchi seer, sources said.

Consequently, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi on Wednesday morning kept away from the main consecration function. After a brief meeting with Kanchi mutt functionaries here in the afternoon, the Acharya merely went up to the Artha Mandapa in front of the presiding Deity's sanctum, handed over the golden Naaga Kavasam (a gift to adorn the hood of the Shiva Linga) to the temple priest, offered prayers to the Lord and quickly left for Kancheepuram.

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Evangelical Leaders see Syrian Refugees as Opportunity

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:22:56 ( 482 reads )

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NAPERVILLE, IllINOIS, January 22, 2016 (by Timothy C. Morgan, Religious News Service): HPI provides this news item to inform Hindus of the kind of predatory tactics used by some Christians to gain converts from traumatized communities.

Evangelical leaders are calling on American Christians to welcome Syrian refugees in their communities despite anxieties over differences of religion -- arguing that it is an opportunity to preach the gospel. "We are having the wrong conversation about refugees," Richard Stearns, head of the aid group World Vision, told a meeting of evangelicals. "We have managed to make the suffering of millions all about us. God wants us to share their pain."

Around 500 people attended the GC2 Summit at the Community Christian Church, a Chicago-area megachurch. GC2 is a reference to the Great Commandment and Great Commission in the New Testament, which require Christians to love God and their neighbors, and to evangelize. Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, an evangelical polling organization, called it "the largest gathering of evangelicals on refugees ever." The aim of the summit was to spark a new church-based outreach to the physical and spiritual needs of refugees similar to the faith-based outreach to people with HIV/AIDS that began about 15 years ago. Evangelical groups involved include World Vision, World Relief, the Willow Creek Association, Saddleback Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College.

In the audience, Raed Awabdeh, pastor of the Arabic Church in Sacramento, Calif., said the GC2 message resonated with him. A Syrian immigrant, Awabdeh established an Arab-American Learning Center in Sacramento, where up to 30 Muslim families per day come to the center for assistance with school supplies, transportation, housing and employment. "Invite the Muslim to sit with you. Make true friends. Be the gospel and preach the gospel," he said, adding that Christians should not engage Muslims in theological argument. He also said attitudes toward Muslims change when churchgoers get to know refugees. "Refugees are precious in God Almighty's sight," he said. "This movement needs us to get in the game."

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:22:46 ( 442 reads )

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In thinking 'This is I' and 'That is mine' one binds himself with himself, as does a bird with a snare.
-- Krishna Yajur Veda, Maitreya Upanishad 3.2

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Kumbabishekam Performed at Ramanathaswamy Temple

Posted on 2016/1/28 20:05:34 ( 675 reads )

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RAMESHWARAM, TAMIL NADU, INDIA, January 22, 2016 ( Press Trust of India):The kumbabishekam at the historic temple of Sri Ramanathaswamy here was performed today. About 200,000 devotees witnessed the function. The last kumbabishekam was performed on February 5, 2001. The kumbabishekam at Srivilliputhur Andal temple was also performed today.

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Massive Security Cordon at Rameswaram

Posted on 2016/1/28 20:05:24 ( 656 reads )

http/www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/massive-security-cordon-at-rameswaram/article8127185.ece

TAMIL NADU, INDIA, January 22, 2016 (The Hindu): Police threw a massive security cordon, deploying a strong pose of about 1,800 policemen for the mahakumbabishekam at the historic Sri Ramanathaswamy temple here on Wednesday as the pilgrim island wore a festive look for the ceremony, being held after 14 years. To ensure that the mega event was organised in a peaceful and an orderly manner, the district police, led by Superintendent of Police N. Manivannan, made elaborate security arrangements installing closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) and watch towers at strategic locations around the temple.

Three Additional Superintendents of Police, 13 Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) and 44 Inspectors of Police have been enlisted to supervise the security arrangements, the SP said adding they would ensure adequate security at the temple, control the crowd, manage the traffic and prevent crime occurrences. Six companies of Tamil Nadu Special Police, three companies of Armed Reserve Police, five units of Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and five units of traffic police have been deployed to ensure that there were no untoward incidents during the ceremony, the SP said. Seven crime teams would be on the move round-the-clock at all places of public congregation to prevent crimes such as pick pocketing and chain snatching, the SP said adding photographs of habitual criminals would be displayed at strategic points to caution the public.

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Congratulations, Tamil Nadu! Only Indian Destination to make it to New York Time's list of 52 Places to visit in 2016

Posted on 2016/1/28 20:05:14 ( 551 reads )

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TAMIL NADU, INDIA, January 22, 2016 ( First Post): Tamil Nadu has made it to The New York Times' list of 52 places to go to in 2016. Not only that, but it is also the only Indian place to make it to the list. Not Rajasthan, not Maharashtra, but Tamil Nadu. And it's not very low on the list either. It is ranked 24, above Washington, D.C. (rank 26), Barcelona (rank 29), Phnom Penh (rank 45) and Sydney (rank 51). The publication describes TN as the place to go to for its "temple cultural complexes" including Madurai Meenakshi, 18th century mansions in Chettinad and its spicy and aromatic cuisine. Tamil Nadu, like the other destinations on the list, was chosen because the publication's travel editors believe they "expect (it) to be particularly compelling" in 2016.

While no Indian region made it to the list in 2015, Chennai did make it to the list in 2014 (ranked 26 out of 52), New Delhi (ranked 9 out of 46) in 2013, Kerala (ranked 21 out of 45) in 2012 and Mysore (ranked 4 out of 31) in 2010.

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