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Switzerland: A Hindu Temple Opens in Zizers
Posted on 2015/4/10 17:44:40 ( 1099 reads )

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SWITZERLAND, April 2, 2015 (Voce Evangelica): A new Hindu temple has opened in the eastern Swiss town of Zizers near Chur. The ceremony, which took place Saturday, March 28, was organized by the Hindus of the Grisons Canton (Grisons is the only Swiss canton which is officially trilingual: Swiss German, Italian and Romansh) who turned a warehouse, located in the Rheinruetenen industrial area of Zizers, into a place of worship.

The inauguration took place with songs, prayers and dances. A Hindu priest, who came specially for the occasion from Sri Lanka, expressed gratitude for the freedom of religion in Switzerland and thanked the local authorities for having granted approval for the construction of the temple. The priest of the new Zizers temple is Kagendrasharma Nageswarakurukkal, who deals with the 150 families -- residents in Graubuenden, Glarus and St Gallen -- that are part of the local Hindu community. On May 30th there will be a "Open House" that will allow the local population to visit the new temple of Zizers.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/10 17:44:34 ( 861 reads )

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The way to freedom is a way of silence--of silent resolve and silent service.
-- Sadhu Vaswani, (1879-1966) founder the Sadhu Vaswani Mission

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Hindu Temple Opened in Germany with Colorful Festival
Posted on 2015/4/9 18:07:39 ( 1038 reads )

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KREFELD, GERMANY, March 24, 2015 (RP Online): Krefeld's only Hindu temple has been completely renovated. The colorful reopening celebration hosted many visitors. The reason for this big celebration: "According to our religious tradition we have, in the last few months, completely renovated our temple after twelve years and cleaned inside and out - we want to celebrate with all our supporters," says Thanuja Baskaran.

One of these supporters is the Catholic priest Albert Koolen, the chaplain who came about 18 years ago to Krefeld and assumed care for the refugees, mostly Tamils, from Sri Lanka. To give them the opportunity to practice their faith, he helped them find a suitable place to set up an earlier version of the temple in Oppum district. Later space became available at the Mies van Rohe Business Park site.

From the outside, the Hindu temple is as austere industrial building. There's no trace of the masterful Indian religious architecture inside. The basic requirements of the landlord was to make no visible structural change to the building's exterior. However, the interior has been intricately remodeled and decorated. Some 300 Tamil families come to worship with traditional prayer; they come from Krefeld and the surrounding area.

Loud drums announced the grand entrance of "Shakira" the cow. Amidst great rejoicing she was led into the hall - one of the highlights of the four-day festival in Sri Nagapoosani Ampal Hindu temple on Girmesgath Street. "The cow is a sacred animal in our faith," says Thanuja Baskaran, Deputy Chairman of the Tamil Cultural Association.

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Indians Break from Family Living in Twilight Years
Posted on 2015/4/9 18:07:33 ( 1003 reads )

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INDIA, April 6, 2015 (Taipei Times): When Usha Mantri brushed off frowning traditionalists and moved into a retirement village, she became a pioneer for a generation of Indians who are increasingly breaking the custom of multi-generational households. She is now happily settled in the peaceful retreat by India's western mountains, which has an on-site Hindu temple and offers ayurvedic massage -- and is a two-hour drive from her son in Mumbai.

While most senior citizens still prefer to live with their families, alternative options are increasingly in demand as the country develops, children migrate and their parents live longer. There are currently more than 100 million Indians aged 60 and above, and that is projected to rise to more than 300 million by 2050, when they will make up about 20 percent of the population, according to the charity HelpAge India. This growing "dependency ratio," along with better purchasing power among the elderly, are among the factors said to be fueling the demand for senior housing.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/9 18:07:27 ( 874 reads )

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It is the unique and all-encompassing nature of Hinduism that one devotee may be worshiping Ganesha while his friend worships Subramaniam or Vishnu, and yet both honor the other's choice and feel no sense of conflict. The profound understanding and universal acceptance that are unique in Hinduism are reflected in this faculty for accommodating different approaches to the Divine, allowing for different names and forms of God to be worshiped side by side within the temple walls.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

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US Court Says School Yoga Does Not Violate Religious Freedom
Posted on 2015/4/8 18:11:26 ( 1038 reads )

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LOS ANGELES. USA, April 4, 2015 (Agence France-Presse): A California court said Friday that yoga classes taught at an elementary school do not violate students' right to religious freedom, after parents complained Hindu and Buddhist doctrines were being promoted. The parents of two students at an Encinitas district school near San Diego said the yoga classes, which were taught as part of the school's physical education curriculum, infringed on their children's constitutional rights.

The First Amendment bans school-sponsored religious promotion and prayer. But after a years-long court battle, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in San Diego ruled the courses are not faith-based. "We conclude that the program is secular in purpose, does not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion and does not excessively entangle the school district in religion," justice Cynthia Aaron wrote. "The district's yoga program does not violate our state constitution," the justice wrote. The decision upholds an earlier ruling of a lower court, which the parents had sought to appeal.

Yoga, an exercise that promotes stretching and breathing, often incorporates spiritual elements from eastern faiths. It has become popular in the West, and many practices in North America do not incorporate the religious aspects of the practice.

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Old but Not Gold
Posted on 2015/4/8 18:11:19 ( 903 reads )

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INDIA, April 5, 2015 (The Hindu): Independent India was born an extraordinarily young country. The median age was just a little over 21, and nearly 60 per cent of the population was under 25. With life expectancy just 36 years, the issue of managing an ageing population must have seemed like challenges for the distant future. Much has changed since: as health and nutrition have improved, average life expectancy has climbed to over 66 years. Simultaneously, with better education and access to health, women are having fewer children than ever before; the median age has climbed to nearly 27; and for the first time in history, less than half the country is under 25.

India now has over 100 million citizens over the age of 60, five times the number in 1950. Seniors now make up 8.6 per cent of the population. By 2050, India will have nearly 300 million seniors and make up about a fifth of the population, as per projections from the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. Compared globally, these numbers seem small. But the conditions in which India's seniors live as well as the current status of official policies on senior citizens raise serious doubts about whether India is ready to face a greying future.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/8 18:11:13 ( 832 reads )

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Do not be proud of wealth, people, relations and friends, or youth. All these are snatched by time in the blink of an eye. Giving up this illusory world, know and attain the Supreme.
-- Adi Shankara, 9th century Indian philosopher and saint

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Hundreds of Thousands Throng Chennai's Kapaleeswarar Temple for Festival
Posted on 2015/4/7 10:52:06 ( 1042 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, April 4, 2015 (Express News): An air of festivity pervaded over Mylapore on Thursday as lakhs of people from various parts of Chennai and a significant number of them from neighboring districts congregated at the Sri Kapaleeswarar temple to take part in the Arupathu Moovar Festival, the culmination of Panguni Peruvizha. Roads leading to the temple were crowded with people offering buttermilk, rose milk, fruits, biscuits, variety rice, chocolates, cucumber, packaged water, etc., to devotees who visited the temple to witness the procession of the 63 Saivite Saints. There was heavy police bundobust to manage the crowd.

History has it that during the times of one of the four senior Saivite saints -- Thirugnana Sambandar -- one of his devotees, Sivanesan Chettiyar, who lived in Mylapore, wished to give his daughter Angam Poompavai in marriage to Thirugnana Sambandar. However, she died of snakebite and Sivanesan Chettiyar kept the ashes of her daughter in a pot. After some time, when Sambandar visited Mylapore, he handed over the pot containing the ashes to him. The Saivite saint composes 10 songs in praise of the Lord and Angam Poompavai gets her life back. This incident was re-enacted in the temple on Thursday. The main part of the Panguni festival of Kapaleeswarar temple will come to an end on April 4.

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Minister: Hindus in Singapore in a Privileged Position
Posted on 2015/4/7 10:52:00 ( 1057 reads )

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SINGAPORE, April 4, 2015 (by Jeanette Tan, Singapore News): Hindus in Singapore are not only not discriminated against, they are in fact in a "privileged" position, said Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam. In a lengthy status update on his Facebook page on Friday evening, the minister, himself a Hindu, was saying this in response to many questions posed about the long-standing bans on religious foot processions as well as the playing of music during religious processions. Noting that the ban on religious foot processions has been in place since after riots in 1964, Shanmugam said Hindus are the only ones given an exemption for their three processions by foot: namely Thaipusam, Panguni Uthiram and Thimithi.

"When other non-Hindu religious groups apply to hold foot processions, they are usually rejected," he wrote. "On rare occasions when it is given, stringent conditions will be imposed including much shorter routes, unlike Thaipusam which lasts the whole day and goes through major roads." On Thursday, Singapore's Second Minister for Home Affairs S. Iswaran explained that the country's ban on playing music at processions was implemented because of fights between rival groups that disrupted them.

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San Jose Talk by Professors Anantanand Rambachan and Rita Sherma On April 11
Posted on 2015/4/7 10:51:53 ( 902 reads )

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SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, April 7, 2015 (Press Release, Dharma Civilization Foundation): The event will feature talks by Professor Ananatanand Rambachan on transmitting Hindu Dharma across the generations in the diaspora and by Professor Rita Sherma on the progress of activities at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, where she has recently been appointed associate professor of Dharma Studies and director of the Hindu Studies initiative.

Dr. Anantanand Rambachan is a Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College, Minnesota. He was born in Trinidad and is a 4th generation Hindu Trindadian. With his wide ranging travels, teaching and disseminating Hindu Dharma and Civilizational Values, and his upbringing in Trinidad which has preserved the Hindu heritage for many generations, amidst great adversity, Professor Rambachan will share his spiritual journey across the globe and his perspectives on the importance of preserving and passing forward the Hindu heritage.

The event will take place at the Hotel Wyndham Garden, San Jose.

Click source above to register.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/7 10:51:47 ( 860 reads )

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By practicing tolerance of those who insult us, we will feel honor and insult as the same. Just as we feel good when someone praises us, we should feel just as good when we are insulted. Stability in honor or insult is the ability to still have love for our aggressor.
-- Sri Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Spiritual Guru of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha

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The Future of World Religions to 2050: Major Study Released
Posted on 2015/4/6 18:12:52 ( 1011 reads )

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UNITED STATES, April 2, 22015 (Pew Forum): The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world's major religions, as well as by people switching faiths. Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. If current trends continue, by 2050 the number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world. Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion - though increasing in countries such as the United States and France - will make up a declining share of the world's total population. The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than they are today.

Worldwide, the Hindu population is projected to rise by 34%, from a little over 1 billion (currently 15% of the worlds' population) to nearly 1.4 billion (14.9% of worlds' population), roughly keeping pace with overall population growth. In North America, the Hindu share of the population is expected to nearly double in the decades ahead, from 0.7% in 2010 to 1.3% in 2050, when migration is included in the projection models. Without migration, the Hindu share of the region's population would remain about the same (0.8%).

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to have a declining share of the world's population (53% in 2050, compared with 59% in 2010). This will be reflected in the slower growth of religions heavily concentrated in the region. One exception is Hindus, who are overwhelmingly concentrated in India, where the population is younger and fertility rates are higher than in China or Japan. Hindus are projected to roughly keep pace with global population growth. India's large Muslim population also is poised for rapid growth. Although India will continue to have a Hindu majority, by 2050 it is projected to have the world's largest Muslim population, surpassing Indonesia.

Europe is the only region where the total population is projected to decline in the coming decades. However, over the same period, the number of Hindus in Europe is expected to roughly double, from a little under 1.4 million (0.2% of Europe's population) to nearly 2.7 million (o.4%), mainly as a result of immigration.

These are among the global religious trends highlighted in new demographic projections by the Pew Research Center. The projections take into account the current size and geographic distribution of the world's major religions, age differences, fertility and mortality rates, international migration and patterns in conversion.

Much more of this extensive study at source. Also see next article for an Indian assessment.

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By 2050, India to Surpass Indonesia, Will have Largest Muslim Population: Study
Posted on 2015/4/6 18:12:39 ( 999 reads )

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WASHINGTON, U.S., April 3, 2015 (Times of India): Hindus will become the world's third largest population by 2050, while India will overtake Indonesia as the country with the largest Muslim population, according to a new study. According to the Pew Research Center's religious profile predictions assessed data released on Thursday, the Hindu population is projected to rise by 34 per cent worldwide, from a little over 1 billion to nearly 1.4 billion by 2050.

By 2050, Hindus will be third, making up 14.9 per cent of the world's total population, followed by people who do not affiliate with any religion, accounting for 13.2 per cent, the report said. The people with no religious affiliation currently have the third largest share of the world's total population. Muslims are projected to grow faster than the world's overall population and Hindus and Christians are projected to roughly keep pace with worldwide population growth, the report said.

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Oh My Gods: The Triumphs of a Little Brown Kid
Posted on 2015/4/6 18:12:33 ( 733 reads )

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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, April 1, 2015 (Huffington Post by Sutheshna Mani): As a young brown girl growing up in suburban San Diego, I was an anomaly at times, being one of few Hindus in a town that was proudly Judeo-Christian. I wanted to be an "all-theist," dabbling into every religion. I saw myself as the girl version of young Pi Patel, trekking into various religious holdings, finding God in a church, mosque, synagogue and a Buddhist temple. To me, all faiths shared similarities, and my childhood naivete could not comprehend tension and factionalism within and between these religions. I was also incapable of understanding why my teacher went so in-depth with the Abrahamic faiths, but skipped over the eastern religions, including mine.

I was too young to register subtle bigotry exuded by some fellow students. A common form of racial micro-aggression is the "rhetorical question," whereby a peer will ask a question that's meant as a cultural jab, rather than a genuine question. I received many of these growing up: "Don't you pray to cows?" "Why do you guys believe in all these Gods, I mean isn't there just one?"

As I delved deeper into my roots, I realized Hinduism is more of a philosophy than it is a religion. As hackneyed of a notion as this is, there is no absolute fundamental belief in God in Hinduism. In fact, one could be an agnostic and be a Hindu. One can work within the infrastructures of one's faith and choose core values to identify with. Within such a structure, I admired strong female figures like Kali, goddess of strength and empowerment, and Sarasvati, goddess of wisdom and learning.

More at source.


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