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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/2/5 20:07:07 ( 315 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 ( 613 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 ( 392 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 ( 348 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 ( 536 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 ( 509 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.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/1/31 19:13:58 ( 346 reads )


The wise man should merge his speech in his mind and his mind in his intellect. He should merge his intellect in the Cosmic Mind and the Cosmic Mind in the Tranquil Self.
-- Katha Upanishad 1.3.13

Maoists Blamed for Destruction of 1100-Year-Old Ganesha Statue on Bastar Hilltop

Posted on 2017/1/30 19:11:59 ( 476 reads )


RAIPUR, INDIA, January 28, 2017 (Times of India): A 1,100-year-old Ganesha statue located atop Dholkal hill in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, fell from a height of 13,000 feet and broke into pieces in the dense forest area dominated by the Maoists. Experts and conservationists term this a major blow to archaeology.

Bastar police believe Maoists pushed the statue off the hill to destroy it in an attempt to stop development works and prevent visitors in the area where they have a strong presence as the incident took place after the recent government announcement to sanction US$294,000 for developing the area as a tourist spot.

With information about the missing statue spreading like wildfire, pictures of the spot went viral on the social media amid speculation that the 10th century statue was stolen. Later, a group of people launched a search and finally found pieces of the historic statue scattered at the foothill. The 1,100 year old Ganesha statue was discovered 5 years ago by a local journalist, who reached the Dholkal hilltop in 2012. Located atop of Dhol-shaped hill called Dholkal, the six-foot statue belonged to Nagvanshi dynasty of 9th or 10th century.

Basics of Indian Dance Video Posted to YouTube

Posted on 2017/1/30 19:11:49 ( 527 reads )


UNITED STATES, January 27, 2017 (YouTube): Introduction to Indian Dance is a nine-minute video developed by the Editors of Hinduism Today Magazine in collaboration with Bharatanatyam dancer Shivani Thakkar of Los Angeles and Dr. Shiva Bajpai, Professor Emeritus of History, California State University Northridge, Los Angeles. It was funded by a grant from Uberoi Foundation and filmed at the Malibu Hindu Temple.

The video covers in brief the history of Indian classical dance, a comparison with Western ballet style, hand gestures of Bharatanatyam, methods of character depiction, choreography and storytelling, abstract dance, and clips of many other styles of Indian dance. This is the first installment in our Teach Indic Culture series of short videos intended for K-12 school use and adaptable to Common Core teaching methods.

Beautiful video at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/1/30 19:11:39 ( 308 reads )


Love, love, love--that is what life is about. Study, pray, meditate, but love, love, love--that is what life is about. All scriptures sing of love. All saints roar of love. All the known prophets continuously demonstrate love.
-- Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), founder of Chinmaya Mission

Hindu American Foundation Executive Director Named "Faith Leader to Watch in 2017"

Posted on 2017/1/29 18:50:29 ( 491 reads )


WASHINGTON, D.C., January 18, 2017(HAF): Suhag Shukla, Executive Director, Legal Counsel, and co-founder of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), has been named one of twelve "faith leaders to watch in 2017" by the Center for American Progress (CAP).

CAP says, "Shukla has positioned HAF as a strong voice in the national debate about the separation of church and state, consistently speaking out about issues of Hinduphobia and the rights of religious minorities. Prioritizing legal advocacy, HAF regularly weighs in on cases related to religious discrimination and accommodations. Educating the Hindu American community on their rights regarding religious liberty is a core part of this work."

"HAF participates in the [Obama Administration's] White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders Act to Change platform to combat bullying; it recently published Classroom Subjected: Bullying and Bias Against Hindu Students in American Schools. The report examines Hindu American students' experiences with bullying in schools and offers recommendations to address this bias. Shukla embodies true religious liberty, ensuring that plurality and the rights of religious minorities are at the heart of religious freedom advocacy."

Rhode Island Hindu Society Buys Jewish Temple

Posted on 2017/1/29 18:50:18 ( 523 reads )


WARWICK, RHODE ISLAND, August 25, 2016 (Providence Journal): Temple Am David, which has been in receivership since November, is expected to soon turn over to new owners - and a new faith. Theodore Orson, the temple's temporary receiver, said Wednesday that the Rhode Island Hindu Temple Society Inc. signed a purchase-and-sale agreement in June for $400,001. Kent County Superior Court approved the agreement in July, said Orson, of the Providence law firm Orson and Brusini Ltd. The temple had experienced declining attendance for years before the decision was taken to close it. "I was absolutely thrilled that the purchaser was a group that intended to keep the building for the purpose that it was created" and that it would not be razed for commercial use, he said. A Hindu temple has been a priority for the group, which began meeting in 2013, according to its website. Rhode Island has no Hindu temple, the website states.

How to Eat Like a Hindu God

Posted on 2017/1/29 18:50:08 ( 355 reads )


QUEENS, NEW YORK, January 26, 2017 (Yahoo): The Ganesha Temple in Queens, New York, has been a cultural hub for Hindus in the United States since the 1970s. But this temple isn't just dedicated to religious practice. The canteen in the temple's basement is a bonafide restaurant, serving up more than 100 traditional vegetarian Indian dishes. What started as a kitchen to prepare food offerings to the Gods has become a place for Hindus and non-Hindus alike to chow down on some of the most authentic South Indian food in New York City.

Charming video at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/1/29 18:49:58 ( 276 reads )


Greater than a thousand ghee offerings consumed in sacrificial fires is to not sacrifice and consume any living creature.
-- Tirukural 259

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