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How Nehru Outsourced India's Culture to Communists, and How Modi is Changing That

Posted on 2017/4/5 19:53:13 ( 642 reads )


INDIA, March 29, 2017 (Daily Mail by David Frawley): India is one of the oldest countries in the world and probably the best at preserving its ancient heritage. The Vedas compiled thousands of years ago remain commonly chanted today. India's independence movement was rooted in Yoga and Vedanta and the country's older civilizational inspiration through Swami Vivekananda, Tilak, Aurobindo and Gandhi.

Yet after independence Nehru and his followers rejected India's past for a very different idea of India. Congress outsourced education and cultural development to the far left, Marxists and Communists, with which Nehru had much affinity. India's political independence unfortunately continued an intellectual dependence on the West, perpetuating a denigration of the traditional culture, led by Delhi elite, which though located in India, kept their minds residing outside the country. Indira Gandhi brought back some regard for traditional India but in the end supported the same Westernized elite for whom Indian civilisation was a dangerous myth to be eliminated for modern progress.

Then came Narendra Modi, who dramatically changed the equation in his unexpected decisive electoral mandate in 2014, adding a power of vision, personal charisma, a forward development agenda and tremendous work to usher in a new India. Modi as Prime Minister brings in a technologically progressive and intellectually sophisticated form of the older India/Bharatiya ethos as a dynamic creative force.

At the same time Modi visits temples and honors the great deities and gurus of the country. He is not afraid to be a Hindu or to attend Hindu functions, while at the same time excelling as a modern technocrat. Yet his view of Hinduism is equally sophisticated, not of a sectarian, belief-based religion but a broad spiritual path of Yoga, meditation, universal consciousness and self-realisation. Modi shows at a political level what the world has seen at a spiritual level, that the dharmic traditions of India, not only Hindu but also Buddhist, Jain and Sikh, have tremendous relevance if repackaged in a modern language and allied with cutting edge trends in spirituality, medicine, and science.

More at "source" above.

Most College Head Chaplains are Christian but at the University of Southern California, a Hindu Leads the Way

Posted on 2017/4/5 19:53:02 ( 331 reads )


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, April 3, 2017 (LA Times): Varun Soni straightened his shoulders and grasped the podium, his dark suit flanked by the stately white robes of priests and ministers. A beloved professor had been stabbed to death. As USC's head chaplain, it fell to Soni to help the hundreds gathered outside that day to process their loss. And so he spoke to them of the stories he'd collected, the pain he'd shared, the grief he had witnessed. And he offered words to help them, though not from the Bible or any other religious text. "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel," he said, quoting Maya Angelou, before he bowed his head in a universal "Amen."

Soni is an unusual college chaplain. He is a Hindu. He has a law degree. In 2008, when USC hired him as its dean of religious life, he was the sole head chaplain at a major American university who was not only not a Christian but not an ordained Christian at that. Today, at a time when differences -- religious and otherwise -- grow ever more fraught and complex, he remains all nearly alone in breaking the Protestant chaplain mold. "It's very, very hard to divorce the pomp and circumstances of academia from particularly Protestant traditions," said Dena Bodian, president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains. "Chaplains like Varun enable us all to rethink what chaplaincy in higher ed could look like."

The job, after all, is about much more than Christianity. As USC's spiritual leader and moral voice, Soni oversees about 90 campus religious groups including atheists and agnostics, Bahais and Zoroastrians. Inside and outside the lecture halls and dormitories, he bridges what he sees as the gap between the slow-moving wheels of academic change and a new generation's impatience with tradition. He counters the tendency to split apart and subdivide with a message of tolerance, coexistence, respect. "If we want to know what religion is going to look like in the United States in 20 years, just look at what's happening on college campuses now," he said. "Particularly at a time when our country is so polarized, and people aren't speaking to each other."

Much more of this interesting article at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/4/5 19:52:52 ( 286 reads )


Realize the truest reality, the real power, that you are; Infinite you are, above all danger and difficulty.
-- Swami Rama Thirtha (1873-1906), Hindu teacher and lecturer

High Court Orders Sealing of Hotels, Ashrams, Factories in Haridwar for Polluting Ganga

Posted on 2017/4/1 17:50:15 ( 706 reads )


HARIDWAR, INDIA, March 30, 2017 (Hindustan Times): The Uttarakhand high court on Thursday told the state pollution control board to seal hotels, ashrams and industrial units in Haridwar for polluting the Ganga by discharging untreated waste into the river. The order, which came two days after a mining ban in the hill state, would hit 700 of the 1,400 hotels in the holy Hindu city visited by thousands of pilgrims everyday, officials said.

"The court has given us three months time to comply with the order. A fresh survey will be conducted to identify the erring establishments," pollution board secretary Vinod Singhal told HT. Hearing a public interest litigation against hotels dirtying the Ganga and hindering the Clean Ganga Mission, the court pulled up the pollution board for not following its order to shut down establishments discharging pollutants into the river.

Most of the hotels and ashrams that face uncertain future are those set up under the Sarai Act, 1867, which didn't require renewal of licence or the pollution board's permission. These establishments are yet to channelize effluents into sewage treatment plants. "We are ready to connect our establishments with sewage line but there is no facility of modern sewerage system in north Haridwar," said OP Jamdagni, a hotelier and district president of Haridwar Vyapar Mandal.

Brazil's Ministry of Health Incorporates Ayurveda, Chiropractic, Yoga and Shantala

Posted on 2017/4/1 17:50:05 ( 505 reads )


BRAZIL, March 17, 2017 (Globo.com): An ordinance of the Ministry of Health, published on Tuesday (March 28) in the Official Gazette of the Union, has included 14 new alternative therapies in the National Policy of Integrative and Complementary Practices (PNPIC). In January, the ministry had announced that these procedures would soon be offered by the Unified Health System (SUS). According to the new ordinance (no. 849 ) now included in the PNPIC are: art therapy, ayurveda, biodance, circular dance, meditation, music therapy, Naturopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, reflexotherapy, reiki, Ayurvedic massage, integrative community therapy and yoga.

The National Policy on Integrative and Complementary Practices of the Ministry of Health was created in 2006. It instituted alternative medicine approaches into the SUS, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, among others. Each municipality is responsible for offering the services to the population in the Units of Basic Attention. However, not all cities offer all the therapies contained in the PNPIC, since each municipality can opt for practices in which there is demand.

According to the Ministry of Health, since the creation of the National Policy on Integrative and Complementary Practices in 2006, more than five thousand establishments have started offering alternative therapies to the public.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/4/1 17:49:54 ( 287 reads )


Only two kinds of people can attain self-knowledge: those who are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, whose minds are not over-crowded with thoughts borrowed from others; and those who, after studying all the scriptures and sciences, have come to realize that they know nothing.
-- Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886), famed guru of Swami Vivekananda

Bank of England Backs Palm Oil to Replace Animal Fat in Plastic #20 Note

Posted on 2017/3/31 18:49:33 ( 421 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, March 30, 2017 (The Telegraph): The Bank of England has backed the use of palm oil in its new #20 note following a backlash from vegans and religious groups over the use of animal fat in the plastic #5 note. The Bank said the world's most commonly used vegetable oil was the "only practical alternative" to tallow, following considerations about cost and availability. It said palm oil offered a "mature supply chain and is available at reasonable cost".

The Bank has started "extensive testing" of palm oil to ensure it meets "technical and operational requirements." The tests are expected to conclude this summer. The Bank has said it will not withdraw the current plastic #5 note, which was introduced last year. The new plastic #10 note this September will also contain tallow as 275m notes have already been printed.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/3/31 18:49:22 ( 272 reads )


God Siva's all-knowingness is always inside of us. We don't have to do anything for it to be there; that's the important thing. We just have to look in the right place at the right time.
-- Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today

Burglars Decamp with Antique Statue worth $154,000 from Temple

Posted on 2017/3/30 19:53:21 ( 414 reads )


KENDRAPARA,INDIA, March 29, 2017 (Odisha TV): In what has exposed the gaping holes in the temple security system, unidentified burglars broke open the sanctum sanctorum of 300-year-old temple in Pattamundai police station jurisdiction and decamped with antique statues and valuables worth over US$154,000.

The stolen articles include a 88 lb. Astadhatu statue of Lord Krishna besides the brass statues of Lord Hanuman and Goddesses Durga. The stolen Astadhatu statue was of immense antiquity value and assessed at more than $154,000. From preliminary investigations, it seems that it is the handiwork of a smuggling racket. Scientific teams are on the job to elicit vital clues from the spot of the crime.

The theft took place on Tuesday midnight hours at the Dadhibabanjew temple in Choudkulat village. The 300-year-old medieval temple dates back to the Marathas who reigned in these parts. "The temple priest spotted the temple vandalized early morning. He brought it to the notice of the temple management. The miscreants had broken open two iron grills to perpetrate the crime," said Sarat Chandra Mishra, a member of temple management trust.

Cultural Significance of Gudi Padwa: Maharashtra's New Year

Posted on 2017/3/30 19:53:10 ( 369 reads )


INDIA, March 29, 2017 (New Indian Express): Gudi Padwa is a springtime festival that marks the new year for Marati Hindus. It is celebrated in and near Maharashtra on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New Year according to the lunar/solar Hindu calendar. The festival is observed with colorful floor decorations called rangoli, a special Gudhi flag, street processions, dancing and festive foods.

A colorful slideshow of the celebrations is at 'source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/3/30 19:52:59 ( 273 reads )


Just as the rays of light share and diffuse the radiance of the sun, so you too share and reflect the golden glories of Indra, the cosmic soul. Let us meditate on the divine presence and for our share, enjoy the ecstasy of bliss vibrating in the world of past and future creations, by virtue of Indra's omnipresent majesty.
-- Rig Veda 8.99.3

Please Be Quiet: Bali's Tourism Shuts down for a Day

Posted on 2017/3/29 20:35:39 ( 395 reads )


BALI, INDONESIA, March 28, 2017 (CNBC): Nyepi, a Hindu celebration primarily celebrated in the Indonesian island of Bali calls for a day of silence on March 28 and is marked as time for self-reflection. The ritual mandates the absence of work, entertainment and travel, which makes for a 24-hour period during which no flights are allowed in or out, electricity use is limited and cars are prohibited on the streets. Even television provider, Indovision ceases broadcasting for the day. Hotel guests on the island are confined to their property and special arrangements have to be made for a limited staff to keep the hotels operating.

Many travel agencies and tour operators discourage bookings this time of year because of the disruption. There's a segment of tourists, however, that actually views the day as a unique part of the culture not to be missed. "It's one of the many elements that actually makes Bali an even more unique tourist spot, which holds special meaning to visitors as well as residents," Dendy Kurniawan, AirAsia Group CEO for Indonesia told CNBC. "It is how culture and religious practice have been preserved through times, whilst blended perfectly with the touch of modern world."

"It's fascinating that an island of 4.5 million people can shut down for 24 hours," Marian Carroll, director of public relations at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay told CNBC, adding that it should be on every visitor's bucket list. "It takes a huge amount of coordination and discipline. Only the Balinese could pull it off!"

Tirupati Temple Hundi Nets $732,500 Post Demonetisation

Posted on 2017/3/29 20:35:29 ( 545 reads )


TIRUPATI, INDIA, March 28, 2017 (Hindustan Times): In April 2012, on the auspicious Sri Rama Navami day, the hundi had received the biggest single day cash offerings of US$883,600. The offering box at the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara here on Tuesday netted cash offerings to the tune of $732,500 in new notes, the highest single day collections post demonetisation.

"Since the announcement of demonetisation scheme, everyday the hundi (offering box) had collected between $385,500 and 462,600, besides offerings in gold and silver, from thousands of devotees across the country, who are undeterred by demonetisation," temple sources told PTI.

The collection surprised the temple staff when they emptied the seven-foot-high hundi for counting as a single offering of over $154,000 was found in a bag along with other cash and precious kind offerings, the sources said.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/3/29 20:35:18 ( 300 reads )


Common men talk bagfuls of religion but do not practice even a grain of it. The wise man speaks a little, even though his whole life is religion expressed in action.
-- Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886),

National Geographic Documentary to Give Viewers an Inside View of Tirumala Tirupathi Temple

Posted on 2017/3/25 19:59:29 ( 1056 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, March 23, 2017 (Television Post): On 27 March at 9 pm, National Geographic will air a documentary "Inside Tirumala Tirupati" to give viewers a 360-degree view of the temple Tirumala Tirupati. The temple, which is an example of Dravidian architecture which dates back to the 7th century, draws around 60,000 to 80,000 devotees a day. The devotees visiting the temple come back with a blissful spiritual experience, they don't manage to get an in-depth view of the temple. This is about to change with the documentary.

The broadcaster said that watching the documentary will make people feel that they are experiencing an actual visit to the temple, and will also reveal incredible new aspects of the temple even for those who have visited it previously. This one-hour special National Geographic documentary will give viewers an in-depth access to the massive scale of operations, the technology used at various stages, the processes and the people who manage the mind-boggling number of devotees visiting this iconic temple.

The documentary will incorporate elaborate graphics that explain the temple layout in detail, re-creating the sacred inner parts of the temple, where not only cameras, but even people are usually not allowed in. Fox Networks Group creative director, India Productions Shruti Takulia said, "Inside Tirumala Tirupati is National Geographic's newest India production that delivers on our promise to bring relevant and impactful stories with a high level of editorial credibility and unprecedented access to our viewers."

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