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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/10/3 17:31:30 ( 665 reads )

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Of all blessings we know of none greater than the begetting of children endowed with intelligence.
-- Tirukkural

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Durga Puja Begins Today in Bangladesh; Pandals Immediately Attacked
Posted on 2014/9/30 18:20:46 ( 1077 reads )

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DHAKA, BANGLADESH, September 30, 2014 (The Daily Star): The five-day Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of Hindus, begins today with Mahashashthi. This year Mohanabami, alongside Bijoya Dashami, the day the Deities are immersed, will be celebrated on October 3. However, Puja organizers in Dhaka have decided to immerse the Deities on October 4. Around 28,600 altars have been set up in the country, including 221 in Dhaka. Compared to last year, the numbers have increased by around 800 and nine respectively.

Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad stated that miscreants attacked and vandalized at least 23 altars in 14 districts although law enforcers had claimed that adequate security measure were in place. "Five mandaps (altars) in Kishoreganj came under attack on September 18," the parishad President Kajal Devnath told The Daily Star.

Mohanagar Sarbojonin Puja Committee at a press conference yesterday demanded sufficient security measures, uninterrupted electricity and water supply, colorful decorations on government buildings, including Gono Bhaban, Bangabhaban and Nagar Bhaban; adequate measures for the smooth immersion of Deities and announcing a holiday at all educational institutions.

The central altar in the capital is at Dhakeshwari National Temple. Large ones have also been built at Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University, the Ramkrishna Mission, Ramna Kali Mondir, Tanti Bazar, Shankhari Bazar, Bangla Bazar, Banani and Dhanmondi.

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Narendra Modi Asks World Leaders to Adopt International Yoga Day
Posted on 2014/9/30 18:20:32 ( 964 reads )

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INDIA, September 27, 2014 (Indian Express): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked the world leaders to adopt an International Yoga Day, saying that by changing lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. "Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day," Modi said in his maiden address to the 193-member UN General Assembly in United Nations.

Noting that Yoga is "an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition", he said: "It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature." "Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being," he said. "By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change," he added.

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Help Sought for Directory of Indian Spiritual Organisations Functioning Abroad
Posted on 2014/9/30 18:20:26 ( 851 reads )

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INDIA, September 30, 2014 (Vivekananda Kendra): The booklet titled "The Global Vision and Mission of Swami Vivekananda, and how it inspired the Indian Spiritual Thrust World-wide" (downloadable online at http://tinyurl.com/nta7ocy) highlights the need for a Directory of Indian Spiritual Organisations Functioning Abroad, and presents the details of the Project.

It contains an appeal from the President of Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, the Convener of the Project, who has undertaken it with the blessings and support of the leading spiritual institutions of Bharath:

"We hereby appeal and invite all concerned, world over, to be a part of this important move, for a historic Spiritual Directory, by submitting, at their earliest convenience, all the required particulars through the Form available online, at http://www.disoa.org. The contact info of our Coordinator is given in the booklet. For questions, if any, or for clarifications and further details, please feel free to contact him. We earnestly request your kind participation in this noble venture."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/30 18:20:20 ( 702 reads )

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The mind alone is man's cause of bondage or release: it leads to bondage when attached to the sense objects, and to release when freed from them.
-- Krishna Yajur Veda, Maitri Upanishad

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Kullu Religious Body Decides to Continue with Animal Sacrifice Despite High Court Ban
Posted on 2014/9/29 18:51:10 ( 795 reads )

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INDIA, September 26, 2014 (Indian Express): Less than a month after the Himachal Pradesh High Court banned animal sacrifice at religious places during fairs and festivals, the caretakers of the Deities, at their rare congregation, decided to continue with the age-old tradition.

The development has created a piquant situation for law enforcing agencies, which had earlier told the caretakers' body that High Court orders would be enforced strictly to stop animal sacrifice of any sort. Its immediate effect will be in Kullu Dussehra on October 3 wherein animal sacrifice is part of the rituals.

The Dharam Sansad witnessed an overwhelming presence of representatives of the local Deities. "Just in one voice every caretaker of the 260 Deities spoke of upholding of the tradition and appealed the High Court to reconsider the order on ban as it goes against the accepted traditions and customs approved by supreme deities", said Maheshwar Singh, an erstwhile raja of Kullu, who is chief kardar (caretaker) of Lord Raghunath.

Dot Ram Thakur, president of Dev Samaj, made it clear at the Dharam Sansad that animal sacrifice is an important part of the religious beliefs in the area since ages. He said, "There cannot be changes in the tradition as it is the order of the Gods and people have to follow. No religious festival will be completed if animal sacrifice is not carried out." [The sacrificed animals are taken home and eaten by the devotees.]

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Indonesian Puppetry and a Festival of West Javanese Culture Come to Freer/Sackler
Posted on 2014/9/29 18:51:04 ( 667 reads )

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WASHINGTON D.C., September 26, 2014 (Washington Post): Epic narrative. Exquisite music. Spirited humor. And puppets. The performing-art form wayang golek has it all, says Kathy Foley, a scholar and master puppeteer who is deeply versed in this brand of theater, traditional to the Sundanese culture of West Java, Indonesia.

Wayang golek could be likened to "a combination of what we would think of as opera, Shakespeare and popular stand-up comedy," with dance (by puppets) and some "high philosophical wisdom" thrown in, says Foley, a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She was speaking by phone in the lead-up to "The Miraculous Birth of Hanuman, the Monkey King," the wayang golek production in which she's scheduled to perform at the Freer Gallery of Art on Oct. 4.

The show, which dramatizes an episode from Hindu mythology, also will feature gamelan musicians from the Indonesian College of the Arts in the city of Bandung. It's all part of "Performing Indonesia: Music, Dance and Theater From West Java," a two-day festival being presented by the Smithsonian's Freer/Arthur M. Sackler galleries and the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.

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Calling All Young Writers: Announcing HAF's 6th Annual NextGen Essay Contest
Posted on 2014/9/29 18:50:58 ( 553 reads )

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WASHINGTON D.C., September 4, 2014 (HAF): ) The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) announces its sixth annual NextGen Essay Contest, open to writers ages 14 through 27. As HAF continues its efforts to build a credible Hindu American voice, it is also working to ensure the voices of future Hindu American leaders are heard. The NextGen Essay Contest was established in 2009 to engage the youth and to continue to emphasize the importance of a Hindu American identity.

Submissions should address an issue relating to Green Living. Green Living is a hot topic these days. From eating only organic to biking to work to composting, and a growing interest in productive, yet sustainable farming, people around the globe, including researchers, are trying to find ways to live in greater harmony with the Earth. The Contest Deadline is Friday, October 10, 2014. For more details see source above.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/29 18:50:52 ( 510 reads )

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I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and acceptance. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites who came to Southern India in the very year in which their holy temple was destroyed by Romans. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the last of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I, my friends, am a Hindu.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), disciple of Sri Ramakrisha

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Navratri Mandals in Mumbai Provide Wi-Fi to Feature on Social Media
Posted on 2014/9/28 17:04:04 ( 597 reads )

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MUMBAI, INDIA, September 26, 2014 (Hindustan Times): Every festive season, cultural events take the city by storm. Now, to ensure that the buzz and excitement spreads on social media as well, mandals across the city are providing Wi-Fi connections in their venues this year. This new trend can be attributed to the fact that young visitors to the mandals are fond of clicking selfies against a festive backdrop, and Wi-Fi connections allow them to promptly upload the photos on to social networking sites. This, in turn, translates into publicity for the mandals, say organizers.

While the recently concluded 10-day Ganeshotsav saw several decorative pandals equipped with high-speed Internet for the first time, even sprawling garba grounds are now offering the facility. "Mandals these days have a website, social media pages and mobile apps, but these are not enough. There is tremendous marketing opportunity in people liking and sharing photos or status updates about us on social media. That happens when visitors upload photos such as selfies on sites, or share them on messaging groups. Free Wi-Fi comes in handy then," said Ganesh Naidu, president of Naidu Club, which is celebrating the nine-day Navratri festival at Kora Kendra, Borivli (West).

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Understanding Navaratri
Posted on 2014/9/28 17:03:58 ( 588 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, September 26, 2014 (National Council of Hindu Temples UK): Hindu spiritual philosophy suggests that the Universe and everything therein that we can see and feel, is Feminine (creative and dynamic) in nature. Further we humans can "connect" with this aspect of the Universe by connecting with its highest expression i.e. Energy (called Shakti), its next largest local form (the Earth) followed by its next highest form, the human form i.e. especially the female form. Energetic expression is a feature of the Navratri festival which involves energetic dance, cooking, rituals, light and color - all very exuberant and dynamic.

At the Festival of Navratri, Hindus celebrate the Divine feminine in 9 different forms, navdurga individually and on consecutive nights. There are two elements which are critical to all of the activities in the festival - Energetic dynamic expressions throughout the day and deep contemplation and meditation throughout the night - exuberantly connecting with the outer world during the day and tranquilly connecting with the inner world during the night are core features of the festival.

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Popular Swami from Europe Visiting Mexico
Posted on 2014/9/28 17:03:52 ( 597 reads )

www.advaitavidya-mexico.org

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, September 28, 2014: Swami Satyananda Saraswati will be visiting Mexico City, September 25th to November 30th, 2014. He'll be giving talks in Spanish, a meditation seminar and presenting his new book, El Hinduismo. He'll also be appearing at the Encuentro Nacional de Yoga conference to speak about the HIndu Roots of Yoga. More info:

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Dalai Lama Says India a Model of Religious Harmony
Posted on 2014/9/28 17:03:46 ( 515 reads )

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INDIA, September 20, 2014 (Hindustan Times): The Dalai Lama says the enduring harmony between India's many religions is proof to the world that different communities can live peacefully and solve problems together.

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader has lived for decades in exile in India's Himalayan foothill city of Dharamsala, after fleeing China after a failed 1959 uprising. He said Saturday that "India is the only country where all major world religions live together, not only in modern time, but over 1,000 years."

The Dalai Lama was speaking to leaders from nine religious groups invited for two days of meetings to mull some of India's biggest problems, including poverty, attacks on women, environmental degradation and communal violence. He stressed that there was no justification for fighting in the name of faith, calling it "unthinkable."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/28 17:03:40 ( 484 reads )

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Hindu society has been the meeting point as well as the melting pot of as many spiritual visions as the human psyche is capable of springing up spontaneously. It has been a willing and welcoming platform for as many seers, sages, saints and mystics as have responded to the deeper stirrings in the human soul. It has been a repository of as many metaphysical points of view as human reason can render in human language.
-- Sita Ram Goel (1921-2003), Hindu renaissance thinker and writer, founder of Voice of India

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Ninth Hindu Mandir Executives Conference Concludes
Posted on 2014/9/27 16:53:15 ( 504 reads )

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ORLANDO, FLORIDA, September 26, 2014 (HMEC): Over 200 adult and youth delegates representing over 85 Mandirs (Temples) and Hindu organizations, from across the world, attended the ninth annual Hindu Mandir Executives' Conference (HMEC) that was held from September 19 through 21, 2014 in Orlando, Florida. The 9th HMEC was co-hosted by a record 47 Hindu temples and Hindu organizations from across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The theme of the conference was: "The Role of Temples in Hindu Education."

Mandir issues were at the forefront of the discussion. The Hindu community in North America has always sought effective ways to deal with the challenges of a Western / American society. The participants discussed how the temples, through community involvement, can contribute to the American society in many ways such as, coping with and reducing stressful situations through traditional practices, and by referrals to the right resources available via local city, county, and federal agencies.

A special session was dedicated to teaching Hinduism in Universities. With the increasing academic awareness of Hinduism, many universities and colleges offer courses on the subject which are often taught by non-Hindu practitioners. This session was aimed at gaining an understanding of the perspective and experiences of the professors. Swami Sadasivanatha Palaniswami of Hinduism Today presented practical proposals on the topic of "Mandirs' Educational Model."

For more information on HMEC visit www.myhmec.com.

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