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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/4/10 19:02:19 ( 3948 reads )


Love gives and gives and gives and seeks no return. Therefore, love has nothing to lose--and consequently, nothing to fear.
-- Dada J.P. Vaswani, spiritual head of Sadhu Vaswani Mission

Shani Temple Lets in Women Devotees

Posted on 2016/4/9 17:46:02 ( 4634 reads )


AHMEDNAGAR, INDIA, April 8, 2016 (Tribune India): In a big victory to the campaign for gender equality, the famed Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra on Friday lifted the centuries-old ban on entry of women at the sanctum sanctorum, yielding to a high voltage crusade by activists and court directions. Soon after the temple trust announced the decision to facilitate unrestricted entry to all devotees to the core area of the shrine in Western Maharashtra, some women devotees entered the sacred spot and offered worship.

Hours after the decision was announced, Bhumata Brigade leader Trupti Desai, who had led a sustained campaign over the issue, reached the Lord Saturn temple in Ahmednagar district and offered prayers. Significantly, removal of the gender barrier came on the auspicious occasion of Gudi Padwa, marking New Year by people across Maharashtra.

Welcoming the decision, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, "discrimination on the basis of caste and gender should be eliminated from the minds of the people keeping with the modern times." Sayaram Bankar, a trustee of the temple, said a meeting of the trustees decided to facilitate unrestricted entry to all devotees, including men and women, in keeping with the Bombay High Court directive.

Reports: Over 60 Dead in Temple Fire in South India

Posted on 2016/4/9 17:45:51 ( 4054 reads )


KOLLAM, KERALA, April 10, 2016 (rt.com): At least 62 people have died and more than 150 were injured after celebratory firecrackers reportedly caused a massive fire at a Hindu temple located in a coastal town near Kollam in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The fire broke out at Puttingal Temple in the town of Paravur early on Sunday, India Today said, reporting that the devastating blaze has completely destroyed the building. Police have confirmed the death toll to local media. While the cause of the fire is not yet clear, local TV channels blamed the accident on firecrackers used in temple celebrations, according to Indian Express.

Paper Released on the Debate within Saiva Siddhantha Between Pluralistic Realism and Monistic Theism

Posted on 2016/4/9 17:45:41 ( 4011 reads )


FLORIDA, April 8, 2016 (Press Release): A new monograph, Monistic Theism of the Tirumandiram (Thirumandiram) and Kashmir Saivism, written by Dr. T.N. Ganapathy, Ph D. and Dr. Geeta Ananda, Ph D. discusses the debate over whether the Tirumandiram advocates pluralistic realism or monistic theism. Essentially the debate boils down to the question of "Are there three eternal realities: God, the soul and the world? Or is there really only One, all else being merely an illusion?" This chapter also compares the school of Kashmir Saivism to the Tirumandiram, the seminal text of Saiva Siddhanta, because both advocate a perspective which bridges the above two competing viewpoints. This chapter contains three parts. The first part contains selected verses to show that the burden of the song of the Tirumandiram is monism only. The second part gives a brief account of Kashmir Saivism representing it as a Saivite model of monism. The third part shows the parallelism between the Tirumandiram and Kashmir Saivism to emphasize the viewpoint that the Tirumandiram advocates monism and monism only. This parallel study is an unexplored field hitherto.

If you wish to receive a complimentary copy of this 34 page monograph, kindly request the same with an e-mail to info stating your full name, city, state or province, and country.

India Declares Dolphins to Be "Non-Human Persons," Bans Dolphin Shows

Posted on 2016/4/9 17:45:31 ( 4179 reads )


INDIA, November 2, 2016 (Earth We Are One): India's Ministry of Environment and Forests have made a groundbreaking decision to completely forbid the keeping of captive dolphins for public entertainment in the entire country. A statement about their new policy was released Friday, the ministry advised the state governments to deny any proposals that requested the establishment of a dolphinarium "by any person/persons, organizations, government agencies, private or public enterprises that involve import, the capture of cetacean species to establish for commercial entertainment, private or public exhibition and interaction purposes whatsoever."

The ministry elaborated their first statement with these words, "Whereas cetaceans, in general, are highly intelligent and sensitive, and various scientists who have researched dolphin behavior have suggested that the unusually high intelligence; as compared to other animals means that dolphins should be seen as non-human persons and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose," the ministry said.

More at "source".

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/4/9 17:45:20 ( 3904 reads )


There the eye goes not, nor words, nor mind. We know not. We cannot understand how He can be explained. He is above the known, and He is above the unknown. Thus have we heard from the ancient sages who explained this truth to us.
-- Sama Veda, Kena Upanishad 1.3

A Yoga Master Stretches Out an Empire

Posted on 2016/4/8 19:55:04 ( 4069 reads )


HARIDWAR, INDIA, April 1, 2016 (New York Times): Baba Ramdev is surrounded by the trappings of any major corporate leader almost anywhere in the world. But Mr. Ramdev is also an Indian swami, having renounced all worldly pleasures and possessions. Famous for bringing yoga to the Indian masses, Mr. Ramdev, 50, is also the leader a group of spiritual men, known here as "babas," who are marketing healthy consumer items based on the ancient Indian medicinal system of herbal treatments, known as Ayurveda. His rapidly expanding business empire of packaged food, cosmetics and home-care products is eating into the sales of both multinational and Indian corporations.

The babas' message about the value of traditional Indian ingredients is particularly resonant in the current environment in India, where a prime minister and his political party have built a narrative around the value of ancient Hindu practices, from yoga to reverence for cows. Mr. Ramdev is the most prominent of a growing group of brand-building babas, whose ranks include Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living, an Indian spiritual practice, who promotes a line of creams, soaps and shampoos also called Ayurveda.

Mr. Ramdev and his friend and business partner, Acharya Balakrishna, 44, run Patanjali Ayurved Limited from a corporate headquarters in Haridwar, an ancient Indian city on the banks of the Ganges River in Uttarakhand State. In 1994, they founded the first of three charitable trusts, to run a hospital and a university dealing in Ayurvedic medicine, and an ashram. There, they held yoga camps and free health checkups at which they dispensed Ayurveda treatments, which are largely herbal. Before long, they had set up a manufacturing plant for Ayurveda products.

More at "source".

No Dress Code for Temple Entry: Madras High Court

Posted on 2016/4/8 19:54:54 ( 3945 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, April 5, 2016 (Deccan Chronicle): The Madras high court set aside an order of a single judge directing the state government to impose a dress code on devotees worshipping in Tamil Nadu temples. Allowing an appeal from the state government, a division bench comprising Justices V. Ramasubramanian and K. Ravichandrabaabu said, "Courts are not expected to adjudicate any matter academically in the absence of any real lis [lawsuit] between parties. Courts are not entitled to create a controversy and adjudicate upon the same. Therefore we respectfully disagree with the directions issued by the single judge and we are constrained to set aside the same and reserve it for an occasion, when a real litigation comes before us".

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/4/8 19:54:33 ( 3872 reads )


Love is seeing and feeling life everywhere. When your heart is full of love, you sense life pulsating through all creation.
-- Mata Amritanandamayi Ma, Kerala-based hugging saint

Time-Lapse Video of Chennai's Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple Festival

Posted on 2016/4/7 20:28:40 ( 4341 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, April 5, 2016 (The News Minute): Kapaleeswarar is one of the prominent Shiva temples in India situated in Mylapore, Chennai. Here Lord Shiva is worshipped as Kapaleeswarar (self-manifested) and Goddess Shakti as Karpagambal. During the Tamil month of Panguni, the traditional brahmotsavam (annual festival) takes place when the entire neighborhood comes alive with a mela-like atmosphere.

Watch this fascinating time-lapse of the festival here:

Decline of Hindus and the Rise of Muslims in Assam

Posted on 2016/4/7 20:28:30 ( 2446 reads )


INDIA, April 5, 2016 (Centre for Policy Studies, Dr. J. K. Bajaj): I have posted our eighteenth note on the Religion Data of Census 2011. This concerns Assam, where the accretion to the Muslim share during 2001-11 has been the highest of all States. Their share in Assam has gone up by 3.3 percentage points, as compared to the national average of 0.8 percentage points. This is also the second highest quantum of rise in Muslim share that Assam has witnessed in any decade since 1901.

Muslim share in Assam had risen by 9.6 percentage points in the pre-Independence period of 1901 to 1951 as a consequence of the British efforts to settle Muslim peasantry from several districts of what is now Bangladesh in the highly fertile Goalpara region of Brahmaputra valley. Their share has increased by the same 9.6 percentage points in the 4 decades since 1971; and more than one-third of this accretion has occurred in the last decade alone.

As a result, Muslims have now acquired a commanding majority in a large and relatively more fertile and densely populated part of Assam. The numbers and the trends indicate that this majority has now become permanent and is going to become more and more entrenched in the coming decades.

More at "source".

Hinduism Today Magazine Preparing Feature Story on Vrindavan

Posted on 2016/4/7 20:28:19 ( 2570 reads )

KAUAI, HAWAII, April 7, 2016 (Hinduism Today): Mr. Rajiv Malik, our Senior Correspondent for Hinduism Today magazine in India, is now in Vrindavan to research a feature story on the sacred area for our next issue.

He will focus on the major temples, the sacred places of the Radha/Krishna tradition, the gurukulams, resident saints, sadhus and sadhvis, and the great Hindu traditions represented there.

If you would like to offer suggestions for the story, or specific contacts for religious leaders or major religious institutions in the town, kindly email Acharya Arumuganathaswami, managing editor, ar@hindu.org, or contact Mr. Malik directly at rajivhtc@gmail.com or mobiles 9312090761/9311190761

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/4/7 20:28:09 ( 2252 reads )


At a national and international level, we will enjoy more peace as we become more tolerant. Religious leaders can help by teaching their congregations how to live in a world of differences without feeling threatened, without forcing their ways or will on others. World bodies can make laws which deplore and work to prevent crimes of violence. It is only when the higher-nature people are in charge that peace will truly come. There is no other way, because the problems of conflict reside within the low-minded group who only know retaliation as a way of life.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

Women Activists Try to Storm Inner Sanctum of Shani Shinganapur Temple

Posted on 2016/4/5 14:59:50 ( 2465 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, April 3, 2016 (Deccan Chronicle): A day after the Bombay High Court ruled that entry to temples was a fundamental right of women and it was the state's fundamental duty to protect it, the activists of the Bhumata Ranragini Brigade led by Trupti Desai tried to gain entry into the core area of the popular Shani shrine in Ahmednagar district where women are traditionally banned, amid a tense face-off. It was the second abortive attempt by the activists in two months.

On reaching the temple, Ms. Desai and her followers tried to scale the sacred platform but members of the local resistance group and temple officials pushed them away. Police then intervened, took the activists to a spot 100 metres away from the platform and threw a protective ring around them.

Upset at her attempt being foiled, Ms. Desai said she would file an FIR against Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis if he fails to honor the Bombay High Court order facilitating entry of women to places of worship. She also demanded Fadnavis' resignation as home minister for failing to honor the High Court order.

Now, Men Too Can't Enter Trimbakeshwar Temple's Sanctorum

Posted on 2016/4/5 14:59:39 ( 2395 reads )


NASHIK, INDIA, April 3, 2016 (Deccan Chronicle): The Trimbakeshwar Temple authorities here Sunday imposed a restriction on men's entry too into the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Shiva shrine with an aim to provide "equal treatment" to both the genders, a trustee said. The decision, which takes effect from tomorrow, comes in the wake of the Bombay High Court verdict giving women equal right to men with regard to entry into temples.

The development comes a day after Bhumata Ranragini Brigade Trupti Desai and 25 other women activists were taken into preventive custody to stop them from entering into the inner sanctum of the famous Shani temple in Ahmednagar's Shignapur village. They were later released. The ancient temple, located 18 miles from Nashik, is a major Lord Shiva shrine of the country, which has one of the 12 jyotirlingas, drawing devotees from far and wide.

At the Shani shrine in Ahmednagar too, the temple management has shunned the practice of special pooja for men from the last two months after agitation demanding women's entry into the garbgriha gained momentum. Now both men and women are offering prayers from an equal distance from the murthi. As of now, only priests are allowed on the sacred sanctum.

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