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Pakistan Works--Slowly--to Improve Minority Rights
Posted on 2015/3/17 10:19:07 ( 876 reads )

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PAKISTAN, March 16, 2015 (Pakistan Today): Pakistan Hindu Council Patron-In-Chief MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani has highly appreciated the services of newly-appointed National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) chairman, saying that progress made by him for the preparation of Hindu marriage and death certificates is remarkable. [Marriage certificates are to date only issued for Muslims and Christians in Pakistan, not for Hindus. See:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hindus- ... -Pakistan/104196649648825]

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani says removal of hate-material from school curriculum is also a remarkable victory of minorities. Talking to the journalists outside the Supreme Court on Thursday he said that he himself presented the NADRA certificates sample copies to the two-member apex court, headed by the chief justice, on Thursday during the hearing regarding minorities' rights.

Moreover, the Supreme Court has ordered other provincial governments to offer hate-free syllabus also, Dr Vankwani informed, terming this a great victory of all minorities living in Pakistan and acknowledged them for their successful struggle.

For more on the curriculum isses in Pakistan, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan_studies#Curriculum_issues

One quote: "An editorial in Pakistan's oldest newspaper Dawn commenting on a report in The Guardian on Pakistani Textbooks noted 'By propagating concepts such as jihad, the inferiority of non-Muslims, India's ingrained enmity with Pakistan, etc., the textbook board publications used by all government schools promote a mindset that is bigoted and obscurantist. Since there are more children studying in these schools than in madrassas the damage done is greater."

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Fiji Hindus to Educate Youngsters on Holi
Posted on 2015/3/17 10:19:01 ( 914 reads )

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FIJI, March 15, 2015 (by Shayal Devi, Fiji Times): A lack of knowledge about traditional Hindu festivals among the younger generation prompted a group of individuals to organise the Holi Mela 2015 in Nadi last Friday. He said the event was supported by the Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "The idea is to revive the festival. We are expecting more than 500 people at the event and we will have free sweets and food for all who attend. Culture should be celebrated so we are very eager to celebrate this with our friends from all walks of life."

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Sewa International Launches 2015 Yuva for Sewa Summer Internship for India
Posted on 2015/3/17 10:18:54 ( 819 reads )

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HOUSTON, TEXAS, March 17, 2015 (Sewa International): Sewa International has launched its annual Yuva for Sewa (YFS), 8 to 10-week volunteer (unpaid) summer internship opportunity for college students to travel to India to contribute their time to serve humanity. Since its inception in 2006, 52 YFS youth interns have volunteered their time for healthcare, education, environment, women's empowerment, rural development, and microfinance. Interns work with community NGOs to serve and engage in an empowering self-transformative experience to make an impact in their chosen field. Program is open to students of Indian and non-Indian origin alike.

To know more about the Yuva for Sewa program, log on to http://www.sewausa.org/yuva-sewa-appeal. Interested candidates apply online at http://www.sewausa.org/yuva-sewa-2015. Admissions are on a rolling basis. The final deadline is April 15, 2015. Locations of internships will be in Bengaluru, India. Interns pay their own way to and from Bengaluru. Boarding and lodging in India is provided by the host NGO at no cost.

Sewa International (www.sewausa.org) is a Hindu-faith based, worldwide nonprofit that promotes selfless service to communities around the world regardless of race, color, nationality, religion, or gender. To volunteer, contact info@sewausa.org.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/17 10:18:42 ( 767 reads )

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We want to claim that which we already are. You are already the Self. You are just not aware of it. Do not put it off based upon some concept that we are not ready, we are not worthy, we need more of this or that. None of those principles apply when it comes to Self-realization.
-- Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today magazine

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Hinduism Today's April-May-June 2015 Released On-Line
Posted on 2015/3/16 16:57:22 ( 934 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, March 15, 2015 (Hinduism Today): The new issue of Hinduism Today has been released and is now available for free online. In this issue, our team of writers and photographers take you deep into Rajasthan for a giant festival in honor of the India cow, considered to be sacred. Our reporter, a 20s-something city-girl from Delhi, is thrown into a first-hand experience of rural India and the elaborate ways that the ever-giving Desi bovine is honored. Her story is a revealing clash of traditional Bharat and urban life in modern India.

Then off to the Himalayas with the story of the Nanda Devi Raj Yatra, one of the world's most dangerous pilgrimages, which led our camerawoman up and up and up into the frozen mountains with the Goddess. Next we take you to Germany for the Balinese Kuningan festival, which added a dazzle of color and Balinese style to the streets of Hamburg.

Our publisher, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, offers a helpful explanation of temple murtis and the various views that are commonly held of them. He explains how the various Hindu lineages define God and how this impacts worship and temples.

This is the issue in which we announce our Hindu of the Year Renaissance Award which for 2014 goes to......cue drum roll..... India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is hard to argue with his enormous impact on Hindus everywhere in the world.

Explore your own mind with this issue's Insight section, showcasing a detailed analysis of the five states of mind: the subconscious, subsubconscious, conscious, superconscious and subsuperconscious. For those exploring yoga and meditation, this is a precious resource, giving profound insights into the nature of our mind.

Other stories in the issue:
How one Hindu parent in California is working to improve the presentation of Hinduism in US public schools.
Profile of Ramli Ibraham, a Malaysian, one of today's most creative dancers, choreographing masterful works drawing on India's rich stories and dance styles, particularly Orissi.
The historic World Hindu Congress held last November in New Delhi.

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4th Annual Hindu Mandir Priests Conference
Posted on 2015/3/16 16:57:16 ( 844 reads )

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MINNESOTA, USA, March 13, 2015 (by HMEC): The 4th annual Hindu Mandir Priests Conference is being hosted by the Hindu Temple of Minnesota this year on May 15 and 16

On the program: Sustainability and advancement of Santana Dharma by making the Hindu modes of worship meaningful and relevant for the younger generation of Hindus and how the priests play an essential role in the spiritual and cultural welfare of North American Hindu society. The delegates will explore ways to make the priests' roles more effective in meeting the ever changing needs of North American Hindus. Please contact Sant Gupta santguptava@gmail.com for registration purpose.

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Bhagavad Gita English-Translation Collection, 70+ Books Up For Auction
Posted on 2015/3/16 16:57:10 ( 811 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, March 16, 2015 (Hinduism Today): Hinduism Today is offering at auction its collection of English translations of the Bhagavad Gita. These range from Edwin Arnold's early translation to multiple editions issued since 2000. Condition of books is from new to fair or poor condition, mostly depending on age.

To see the Ebay auction with a complete list of authors, titles and dates of publication, click "source" above. The auction will end March 26th, starting bid is $101.00 with no reserve.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/16 16:57:03 ( 680 reads )

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Suppose a thorn has pierced a man's foot. He picks up another thorn to pull out the one hurting him. After extracting the first with the help of the second, he throws both away. One should use the thorn of knowledge to pull out the thorn of ignorance, then throw away both, and realize God directly.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

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10,000 Attend California Holi Festival
Posted on 2015/3/12 18:32:27 ( 1314 reads )

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MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA, March 11, 2015 (Mercury News): An estimated 10,000 Indian-Americans from all over the Bay Area congregated Saturday at Cardoza Park in Milpitas to celebrate the start of spring with the Festival of Colors, Holi. The free festival, organized by the Federation of Indo-Americans of Northern California and Fremont Hindu Temple to celebrate Holi, drew in families, devotees and community members throwing colorful powders on one another to the thumping beat of live music.

The festival, which has traditionally been held at Hindu temples in the area, was held for the first time in a park, as organizers expect to see attendance to continue to grow. "Usually we do it in the temple and it was just getting overcrowded. We thought we should move it to an open area and ... we want to open it up to a lot of other communities to start participating ... we want to share some our traditional culture with everybody else around in the community," said Dr. Romesh Japra, president of the Federation of Indo-Americans.

Japra said attendees really got into the swing of the event, dancing to fast-paced Bollywood music as color were thrown by children, elders and adults. "There was a lot of food, music, dancing and colors," Japra said. Japra said the story of Holi is one of goodness triumphing over evil, and that the festival is a celebration of love, truth, faith and being a good person.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/12 18:32:18 ( 1179 reads )

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Sattvic knowledge sees the one indestructible Being in all beings, the unity underlying the multiplicity of creation. Rajasic knowledge sees all things and creatures as separate and distinct. Tamasic knowledge, lacking any sense of perspective, sees one small part and mistakes it for the whole.
-- Bhagavad Gita 18:20-22

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New Team Takes Charge at Indian Council of Historical Research
Posted on 2015/3/11 18:22:37 ( 1124 reads )

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INDIA, March 9, 2015 (by Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times): It may soon be right side up for history writing in India with a new team taking charge at the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) last week, comprising scholars who have worked on topics such as Ram and Ayodhya, and written on Hindu Gods and sacred animals. The new members -- some of whom are known to be close to the BJP and its ideological fountainhead the RSS -- have also conducted research on the condition of Hindus in Bangladesh, Kashmir and Kerala and are taking on the country's top left-leaning historians.

The discourse on medieval India is witnessing the most heated debate as the composite culture theory that highlights Hindu-Muslim syncretism is being challenged by an assertion that Hindus were persecuted during the period. Saradindu Mukherjee, a member of the new panel, embodies the shift. "Hindus suffered at the hands of their Islamic conquerors. Look at the records and not the propagandist books and you find destruction of temples, discrimination, forced conversions either smothered or rationalized, if not justified," he says.

Veteran historian KN Panikkar also told HT the panel seemed to lack diversity and RSS leanings were perhaps considered crucial. Mukherjee, who has often spoken out against left-leaning academics in the past, retorted. "Those who can't even accept simple facts of history such as the existence of a Ram temple at Ayodhya and its destruction by 'holy' Islamic warriors are not worth a dialogue. The RSS is a patriotic organization. It is rooted to this land. After all, Sir Syed Ahmad's legacy has many takers," said the professor.

For more, go to source

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At Aetna, a CEO's Management by Mantra
Posted on 2015/3/11 18:22:23 ( 1111 reads )

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NEW YORK, USA, March 9, 2015 (by David Gellesfeb, New York Times):
On a recent wintry afternoon, Mark T. Bertolini, the 58-year-old chief executive of Aetna, the health insurer, was sitting in his Hartford office wearing a dark suit and a crisp, white, French-cuffed shirt. But instead of a necktie, he wore a shiny metal amulet engraved with the Sanskrit characters "sohum." Roughly translated, sohum means "I am that," and repeating the phrase is used to help control breathing in meditation. Mr. Bertolini says the word also signifies a divine connection with the universe. He has a similar design tattooed on his back.

In recent years, following a near-death experience after a ski injury, Mr. Bertolini set about overhauling his own health regimen, as well reshaping the culture of Aetna with a series of eyebrow-raising moves. He has offered free yoga and meditation classes to Aetna employees; more than 13,000 workers have participated. He began selling the same classes to the businesses that contract with Aetna for their health insurance. And in January, after reading "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," the treatise on inequality by the French economist Thomas Piketty, Mr. Bertolini gave his lowest-paid employees a 33 percent raise.

Nearly a third of the company's 50,000 employees have taken a class. Aetna says participants show increased productivity, and report less stress and pain. They also become more effective on the job, gaining an average of 62 minutes per week of productivity each, which Aetna estimates is worth $3,000 per employee per year. Demand for the programs continues to rise; every class is overbooked.

Taken together, these moves have transformed a stodgy insurance company into one of the most progressive actors in corporate America. Most health insurance companies are thriving, largely because of increased enrollment. Aetna's stock has increased threefold since Mr. Bertolini took over as chief executive in 2010, and recently hit a record high. It's a decidedly groovy moment for the company, and Mr. Bertolini is reveling in his role as an idealistic, unconventional corporate chieftain.

For more, go to source

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/11 18:22:17 ( 968 reads )

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There are two great forces in the universe, silence and speech. Silence prepares, speech creates. The strength of noise and activity is great. But infinite is the strength of stillness and silence, in which great forces prepare for action. To be capable of silence, stillness and illuminated passivity is to be fit for immortality.
-- Sri Aurobindo (1879-1950)

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Millions of Women Offer Pongala
Posted on 2015/3/10 17:17:10 ( 1125 reads )

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KERALA, March 6, 2015 (Daily Pioneer): Millions of women from Kerala, other states and even from outside the country on Thursday cooked Pongala (rice-jaggery pudding). One huge group did so on open hearths on the streets of Thiruvananthapuram and offered it to the Goddess of the Attukal Devi temple, known as Women's Sabarimala, virtually turning the State's capital city into a Yagashala.

The rush of women devotees of the Goddess on the occasion was so heavy that women had lined up for cooking the Pongala on the city streets in a 6 mile radius from the Attukal temple. As per estimates, over three million women had participated in the Pongala festival last year but temple officials said on Thursday that they expected the number to be about four million this year.

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The East India Company: The Original Corporate Raiders
Posted on 2015/3/10 17:17:03 ( 1177 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, March 4, 2015 (The Guardian): For a century, the East India Company (EIC) conquered, subjugated and plundered vast tracts of south Asia. The lessons of its brutal reign have never been more relevant. In August 1765, the young Mughal emperor Shah Alam, exiled from Delhi and defeated by East India Company troops, was forced into what we would now call an act of involuntary privatization. The emperor was ordered to dismiss his own Mughal revenue officials in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, and replace them with a set of English traders appointed by Robert Clive -- the new governor of Bengal -- and the directors of the EIC, who the document describes as "the high and mighty, the noblest of exalted nobles, the chief of illustrious warriors, our faithful servants and sincere well-wishers, worthy of our royal favors, the English Company". The collecting of Mughal taxes was henceforth subcontracted to a powerful multinational corporation -- whose revenue-collecting operations were protected by its own private army.

It was at this moment that the East India Company (EIC) ceased to be a conventional corporation, trading and silks and spices, and became something much more unusual. Within a few years, 250 company clerks backed by the military force of 20,000 locally recruited Indian soldiers had become the effective rulers of Bengal. An international corporation was transforming itself into an aggressive colonial power.

Much more of this long and interesting history at source.

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