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Padma Shri and Sudharak Olwe

Posted on 2016/1/28 20:05:03 ( 494 reads )

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MUMBAI, INDIA, January 27, 2016: As mentioned in our last HPI, photographer Sudharak Olwe was awarded Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honors for his social work. One example, at source above, is his documentation of the work of Mumbai's 30,000 "conservancy workers," or sweepers.


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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/1/28 20:04:52 ( 417 reads )

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I felt great need of a holy pilgrimage, so I sat still for three days and God came to me.
-- Saint Kabir (1440-1518)

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Padma Awards Include Religious Leaders

Posted on 2016/1/26 19:48:10 ( 901 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 25, 2016 (Government of India Press Information Bureau): Padma Awards - one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. 'Padma Vibhushan' is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; 'Padma Bhushan' for distinguished service of high order and 'Padma Shri' for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.

This year's winners for spirituality included Padma Vibhushan for Shri Shri Ravi Shankar, Padma Bhushan for Swami Tejomayananda and Swami Dayananda Saraswati (posthumous).

Smt. Hui Lan Zhang of China and Shri Predrag K. Nikic of the Yoga Federation of Serbia won Padma Shri for their contribution to Yoga.

Hinduism Today took note of the Padma Shri award to Shri Sudhakar Olwe for Social Work in Maharashtra. He served as photographer for our Amarnath Cave feature story, working steadily to produce outstanding photos through the arduous trek on horseback over several days. Download an epub of the April 2013 issue here: http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/ ... nloads/viewcat.php?cid=49

These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year. This year the President of India has approved conferment of Padma Awards to 112 persons as per the list below. The list comprises of 10 Padma Vibhushan, 19 Padma Bhushan and 83 Padma Shri Awardees. 19 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs (include one posthumous) and 4 Posthumous awardees. Click source abo e for the complete list.

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Keep Your Culture The Challenge for South Indians in Fiji

Posted on 2016/1/26 19:48:00 ( 893 reads )

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FIJI, January 18, 2016 (Fiji Times by Prashneel Goundar): South Indians came to Fiji well before 1903 as part of the indenture system. However, on record the first ship from Madras named Elbe III reached Fiji on May 22, 1903. In Fiji, the Sangam has contributed a lot to the Fijian society especially in the education sector. Speaking at the 2013 Annual Sangam Convention Jai Ram Reddy said: "Today Sangam runs 21 primary schools, five secondary schools and one tertiary institution, namely the nursing school in Labasa. Some 10,000 children attend Sangam schools which are open to students of all races without any discrimination whatsoever. Today you will find people educated in Sangam schools in all walks of life, in all professions and occupations.

This year makes it 90 years since the inception of the Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam (TISI) which was formed on May 24, 1926 in Nadi. The Vision of TISI is: "To be a dynamic socio-economic, cultural and educational organisation developing its members to achieve Sangam aspirations through constant interactions and education" (Sangam Fiji, 2015).

Sadly there has been limited success in the interaction with its members in terms of promoting the languages namely Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam and its culture to some extent. The promotion of culture and language is not to be restricted to Sagnam schools only as not every South Indian in Fiji attends its schools because of various reasons, location being one of them and personal choices could also be one of the factors. Furthermore, this phrase of the mission is rather arguable in terms of its achievability over decades "To educate and inspire Sangam members to recognise their identity and contribute to the development of a dynamic society in its cultural heritage." The reason for this is that individuals as well families have yet to recognise the importance of their heritage.

Much more at "source" above.

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JetBlue Brings Yoga Classes To JFK's Airport This Week

Posted on 2016/1/26 19:47:49 ( 878 reads )

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NEW YORK , USA, January 22, 2016 (Yogadork): If you're flying out of JFK Airport this week and happen to be on JetBlue, you're in for a yoga treat. Over the next couple of days, the blue ones are offering some free yoga classes to ticketed guests at their very hip Terminal T5 (so hip they have a farm there and a rooftop terrace...and blue potato chips). The hour-long yoga classes will only be offered to customers who've gone through security and have an hour or so to spare waiting for their flight.

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/1/26 19:47:38 ( 584 reads )

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India has so far demonstrated the capacity to weave together two threads, one an original, primeval, timeless and almost immutable line, and the other a thread of dynamism and change. In India nothing is static. Tradition pulsates with life, while change dances with the ancient.
-- Kapila Vatsyayan, Indian scholar of classical dance, art and architecture, founder of the Indian National Centre of the Arts

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Amarnath Yatra to Commence from July 2

Posted on 2016/1/21 17:43:45 ( 1706 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 21, 2016 (India Today): The annual yatra to the Himalayan cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir will begin from July 2, the governing board said today. The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board approved the pilgrimage this year for 48 days, while the duration was 59 days last year. The board, however, did not specify the reason for curtailing the duration of the yatra. [HPI adds: Inclement weather striking during the yatra is a main concern, as it could trap thousands on the mountainous route.]

"The Board, keeping in view the foremost concern of safety and security of the pilgrims, decided that a 48-day Yatra would commence on 2nd July 2016, an auspicious day (Massik Shivratri) as per the Hindu Calendar and conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandan) on 18th August 2016", the Board's spokesperson said.

Keeping in mind the present capacity of the tracks, available infrastructure in the yatra area and all other relevant considerations the board decided that, excluding yatris who would travel by helicopters on either route to Panjtarni, 7,500 pilgrims would be allowed to register for Yatra 2016 on per-day per-route basis, Chief Executive Officer, P.K. Tripathi said.

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Slow Genocide of Minorities in Pakistan: Farahnaz Ispahani

Posted on 2016/1/21 17:43:35 ( 1748 reads )

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PAKISTAN, January 19, 2016 (Live Mint by Farahnaz Ispahani): From 23% in 1947, Pakistan's minorities today constitute a mere 3-4% of the population, says Farahnaz Ispahani, media advisor to the president of Pakistan from 2008 to 2012 in her book Purifying the Land of the Pure: Pakistan's Religious Minorities.

She blames the successive Pakistan presidents and prime ministers for launching a slow genocide against minorities in the country to shore up their political base. She specifically blames Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the Pak army general who was the country's 6th president, for creating a militant group to target Shias, Ahmadis, Hindus and Christians.

When asked about the title, Purifying the Land of the Pure, Ispahani said, "Pakistan itself means pure land. The reason I chose it is because I have traced in my book, using historical archives, how Pakistan which set out to be a secular, albeit Muslims majority, state, ended up becoming what it is today. When Pakistan was being formed in 1947, Pakistan's population of non-Muslims was 23%, today we are somewhere between 3%-4%. So there has been a purification of minorities."

Much more at "source" above.

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Free Panchangams Available for 284 Cities for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018

Posted on 2016/1/21 17:43:20 ( 1677 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, January 21, 2016: A comprehensive panchangam, Hindu astrological calendar, is now available for free download. For 284 cities, it includes the local year, half-year, season, month (solar and lunar), rasi (moon sign), day (solar and lunar), karana (half day), nakshatra, kalas, yogas, festival days, and auspicious days.

The calendar used by the monastics at Kauai's Hindu Monastery blossomed from humble beginnings in the early 1970s when it was known as the "balanced life calendar." It provided the monks and families a way to plan their daily routine of work and sadhana. For use in the monastery, the panchangam follows a schedule typical of a priestly gurukulam in India, four to six days of service followed by two or three days of retreat during the new, full and quarterly phases of the moon.

Download from "source" above. You can also order a panchangam for a city not on the list of 284 for $2.99, as well as a birth chart for $6.99 (here)


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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/1/21 17:43:09 ( 1517 reads )

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He who befriends a man whose conduct is vicious, whose vision impure, and who is notoriously crooked, is rapidly ruined.
-- Chanakya (350-275 bce), Indian politician, strategist and writer

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Chariots Replace Elephants in Temples

Posted on 2016/1/20 20:04:59 ( 1681 reads )

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THRISSUR, INDIA, January 13, 2016 (Deccan Chronicle): The trend of sparing elephants from temple festivals is catching up in view of the increasing incidents of the animals running amok causing even fatal accidents. A temple owned by a tantric family Kavanattumana in Irinjalakkuda here conducted the festival without elephants and introduced chariots for carrying thidambu (replica of the murthi) for temple ceremonies the other day. The officials of the Kombara Sree Krishna temple told DC that in three other temples owned by the family in Thrissur, they were planning to replace elephants with chariot.

"We had been using an elephant per day during the five-day festival. For the pallivetta ceremony when the murthi is taken out, we used to have three elephants. But considering the safety of devotees on festival grounds and temple premises we decided to move over to a specially designed chariot at a cost of US$3,000," Mr Ravi Namboothiri of Kavanattumana told DC. Tantric scriptures in Vishnusamhita have mentioned that the murthi can be taken out either on the back of an elephant or a chariot, he said.

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Malaysian Temple Turns 100 in Style

Posted on 2016/1/20 20:04:49 ( 1600 reads )

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KAJANG, MALAYSIA, January 17, 2016 (The Star): Old is indeed gold and that proverb rings true of the Sri Subramaniya Swami Temple in Kajang as more than a thousand devotees celebrated its 100th anniversary celebration. The highlight was marked with Lord Murugan adorned in gold-plated armor.

During the prayers, 1,008 pots were filled with holy water and herbs, and passed via a human chain into the temple. Inside the temple, the water was poured over Lord Murugan before it was poured in little bottles or plastic bags to be distributed to the devotees to drink.

Temple management committee president Datuk K. Kirubakaran said, "the beauty of the event is to see the crowd coming to worship, as in Hinduism, vibrations are also created by devotees thronging the temple." The temple is the oldest Hindu place of worship in Selangor. In fact, a shrine was already placed at the site even before 1916, but the century mark is counted from when a group of Hindu pioneers bought the land in Jalan Reko here.

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Spain's Queen Letizia, a Yoga Enthusiast, Visits Madrid Fair

Posted on 2016/1/20 20:04:39 ( 1533 reads )

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MADRID, SPAIN, January 20, 2016 (EFE Estilo): The queen of Spain spent 90 minutes at the inauguration of the 36th edition of the tourism fair in Madrid which expects to receive more than 223,000 visitors. The fair is hosting 9,500 companies, institutions and tourist agencies from 165 countries. The Queen's inaugural tour included stops at five pavilions of different countries involved.

At the "Incredible India" pavilion she was greeted by the Indian Ambassador, Vikram Misri, and also by a young Spanish yoga teacher, Elsa Aguirre, who has had a chance to talk with Letizia on the benefits of yoga and the importance of the unified teaching methods in training courses that have begun to teach at Spanish universities. In front of a large figure representing a yogi under the slogan in English "Yoga is the journey of self, through the self, to the Self," the Queen explained to Elsa that she also practices yoga using the Iyengar technique - which has been popularized in the West by the guru of the same name.

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/1/20 20:04:28 ( 1390 reads )

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In the end, the Great Mystery is known as one, as two, as neither one nor two. Most people try to experience God through other people. Disciples see a guru as God. Wives see their husband as God. Devotees see the Deity in the temple as God. But all the time, behind the eyes of their seeing, is God.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of hinduism today

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Ardh Kumbh Mela Opens to Colorful Start in Haridwar

Posted on 2016/1/19 18:07:46 ( 1777 reads )

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HARIDWAR, INDIA, January 14, 2016 (Hindustan Times): The Ardh Kumbh Mela opened to a colorful start in Haridwar, with thousands of devotees taking part in the first snan or holy dip in the Ganga on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti on Thursday. The Har Ki Pauri - the famous ghat on the banks on the Ganga in Haridwar - witnessed a rush of pilgrims from across the country, with devotees immersing themselves into the icy waters of the Ganga.

The Ardh Kumbh Mela takes place in Haridwar and Allahabad every six years (off the cycle of the Maha Kumbh Mela every 12 years). Attending it is considered to be highly auspicious and a dip in the holy waters of the Ganga is believed to absolve one's sins.

The police and other security forces were seen manning the ghats, with metal detectors, sniffer dogs and tear gas on standby. Aerial drones kept an eye on the activities at the Har Ki Pauri, even as officials at a nearby watch tower were on guard. Deputy mela officer Avdhesh Kumar Singh said that an estimated 500,000 pilgrims had already arrived in the holy city. "The Kumbh Mela has been proceeding peacefully, with no untoward incident having been reported so far. We are keeping a close eye on developments," he said.

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