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UK Yogis Object to Attempt to Regulate Yoga


Posted on 2016/12/18 19:50:32 ( 449 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, December 17, 2016 (by Genevieve Roberts, iNEWS): A controversy is raging in the world of yoga - and many people are getting their yoga pants in a twist over it. The British Wheel of Yoga, appointed by Sports England as the governing group for mind-body workouts, is setting out to offer a minimum benchmark of competence and knowledge for yoga teachers. This won't be compulsory, but Paul Fox, Chairman of the BWY, says he hopes this will "help to protect the public from injury in yoga classes." And it has angered many yogis, upset at the idea of benchmarking the ancient spiritual practice. They argue that this makes yoga teaching comparative to other sports, rather than staying true to its roots. Fox has previously said that if he had the hypothetical power to go into training institutions across the country (something he's not seeking) he would most probably close down 75 per cent of them.

Can you benchmark spirituality? Satish Sharma, General Secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temple wrote to Skills Active, saying: "Unless you can first establish that yoga and the religion of my ancestors are separate, you cannot legally proceed." There are many strands of yoga and different styles of practice, some focusing more on the physical, others that see chanting, meditation and breathing exercises as being equally important. In the West, overall, we place more emphasis on the physical than in India, the birthplace of the tradition. As yoga has boomed in popularity, so has the industry, currently estimated to be worth a billion US dollars a year according to business analysts from Ibis, around it. And that has led to both dubious and brilliant training. Reverend Padma Devi Sumananda says: "I do believe that harmful, discreditable, unqualified yoga teaching schools should be prevented. And to my knowledge, they are prevented by consumer awareness -- anyone taking a teacher training course should always ask, 'Is it accredited and by whom'?" Ultimately, while spirituality cannot be assessed, I do think that the physical side of yoga teacher training should be of the highest standard possible to protect people in class.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/lifesty ... t-benchmark-spirituality/




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2016/12/18 19:50:22 ( 264 reads )

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Everyone wishes to be loved. Only a blessed few wish to love.
-- Dada Vaswani, leader of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission



New Report Shows Disparities in Education Levels of Religious Groups


Posted on 2016/12/17 14:49:41 ( 460 reads )

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WASHINGTON, December 17, 2016 (by Carol Zimmerman, CNS): A new study showing the disparity of education levels among religious groups ranks Jews as the faith group with the most formal education and Muslims and Hindus with the least years of formal schooling. Christians are the second-highest educated religious group in the world, followed by the religiously unaffiliated and Buddhists, according to the global demographic study by the Pew Research Center, released Dec. 13.

The report also showed differences in educational levels among religious groups in the same region. In sub-Saharan Africa, Christians tend to have higher average levels of education than Muslims -- in part because of historical factors that include the work of missionaries. The study's findings do not match the U.S. picture where Muslims and Hindus are often better educated than the Christian majority. Ninety-six percent of Hindus and 54 percent of Muslims in the U.S. have college degrees, compared to 36 percent of Christians. The gaps in education in religious groups around the world are partly the result of where these groups live. For example, the majority of the world's Jews live in the United States and Israel -- economically developed countries with high levels of education -- while 98 percent of Hindu adults live in developing countries of India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

On the good news front, the report showed that many of the disparities in educational levels seem to be decreasing. Muslims and Hindus, the religions with the lowest levels of education, have made the biggest educational gains in recent generations. One takeaway from the study is that even with recent gains by young adults, education around the world lags for many people. The global norm is barely more than a primary education -- an average of about eight years of formal schooling for men and seven years for women. At the high end of the spectrum, 14 percent of adults ages 25 and older have a university degree or other kind of higher education, such as advanced vocational training. An even larger percentage -- 19 percent of adults worldwide, or more than 680 million people -- have no formal schooling at all.



BBC Video Recounts the 1995 Ganesha Milk Miracle


Posted on 2016/12/17 14:49:31 ( 542 reads )

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INDIA, December 17, 2016 (BBC): In the mid-1990s, millions of Hindus around the world were gripped by reports in New Delhi of sacred statues "drinking" milk. In the early morning of September 21, 1995, rumors of the elephant-headed deity Ganesha sipping milk from a spoon spread across the country. Offering food and drink like milk to the gods is an integral part of Hindu rituals.

Huge crowds of people queued at temples to try to catch a glimpse of what many believed was a miracle. Around the world, news quickly spread to other Hindu communities where the same phenomenon was witnessed. Radha Krishna Bharadwaj was a Hindu priest at the Shree Durga Vishnu temple in New Delhi when the rumors first emerged. He spoke to Witness about the day news of the "miracle" brought India to a standstill.




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2016/12/17 14:49:21 ( 318 reads )

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During the Kali Yuga, man, being completely dependent on food to live life, cannot altogether shake off the idea that he is the body. But truly he is Brahman.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836–1886), Indian mystic



Rama in the Museum and in Real Life


Posted on 2016/12/16 20:50:14 ( 447 reads )

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, December 13, 2016 (Creative India Mag, by Vamsee Juluri): Hanuman, the "monkey grammarian" of Octavio Paz's book by the same name, stands beautifully in the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. His eyes look sparkling and alive, his face reveals the enunciation of a word, wonderful and pleasing, no doubt. His body is alert and finger raised. Hanuman is making a point, obviously, and he looks delighted in the act of speaking (to his beloved Ramayya and Sitamma, possibly). We can only wonder at the beauty of the thoughts that must be in his mind.

When I picture Hanuman, it is often in depictions of his physical prowess and accomplishment, in flight usually, with the mountain on his palm. The Hanuman in this particular depiction (above), embodiment of the perfect word, kind, impeccable, the friend who appears and wins Rama over with the perfection of his speech, is how I will now think of him and adore when I write and speak. The speaking Hanuman, and many other treasures on display at the exhibit; painting scrolls with vivid Jatayus, elegantly beautiful and divine Sitas, towering stone Ramas and Hanumans, and numerous pop culture nods as well. Projectors play loops of Ramayanas, as well as Southeast Asian dance drama. A good museum experience.

It is art, sure, but is it just art? Just who is speaking for this living tradition here? What is a living tradition? For one thing, it is right there all around the Asian Art Museum too. Drive a few miles South or East from there, in the Bay Area, and you have one of the largest clusters of Hindu temples in North America, and one of the largest and most eclectic collections of Hindu Americans living here as well. Does the museum acknowledge the existence of this world?

Much more of this interesting article at "source" abovein which the author analyzes and compares the sterile analytical approach of the museum setting to the rich experience of the ordinary Hindu with his Gods.



Seven Pooja Rooms Dedicated to Seven Different Gods


Posted on 2016/12/16 20:50:02 ( 414 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 11, 2016 (Homify by Ritika Tiwari): In Hinduism, each day of the week is dedicated to a God or Goddess. People fast on particular days in order to please the Lords. In this ideabook we present 7 designs of Pooja rooms to appease the Gods this week. Sunday is dedicated to Sun God. Surya Dev is worshiped on Sundays and those who worship the Lord with dedication receive good fortune. The Good of light is known to shun away all the darkness around you. This is the reason why people prefer a sun-facing house. Those who keep the fast of Sunday wear red and offer red flowers to Surya Dev. As red is the color of Lord Surya, it is known for spreading warmth all around.

More at "source" above, including photos in this magazine of home design and decoration.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2016/12/16 20:49:52 ( 309 reads )

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The outer worship is approaching God properly, presenting ourselves acceptably. It is to offer our love, our adoration and then to speak out our prayer, our petition. The inner worship is to enjoy God's presence and not rush away, to stay, to sit, to meditate awhile and bask in the shakti, endeavoring to realize the Self within.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today



Profile of Kauai's Hindu Monastery


Posted on 2016/12/11 13:28:06 ( 854 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, December 7, 2016 (Flux Hawaii by Jon Letman): The monks of Kauai's Hindu Monastery [home of Hinduism Today and HPI] live a quiet life of prayer, meditation, and asceticism in pursuit of divine consciousness, begins this article that recently appeared in Flux Hawaii as part of their "Good Life" series. In 1969, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami set foot on the Garden Isle of Kaua'i. Widely respected in the Hindu world, Subramuniyaswami trained in Sri Lanka under Jnanaguru Yogaswami, a famed mystic. But it was the lush forests of Kaua'i that so captivated Subramuniyaswami, who would, one year later, found Kauai Aadheenam, a 382-acre Hindu monastery on the banks of the Wailua River.

This monastery, which began as a cloistered retreat, has become well-known internationally over the last 15 years. (Despite its remote location, the monks maintain a popular quarterly print magazine, Hinduism Today, which was founded in 1979 by Subramuniyaswami and reaches Hindus around the globe with its online version.) Here, beneath the shadow of Mount Wai'ale'ale, 21 monks from six nations--India, Malaysia, Canada, Singapore, France, and the United States--lead a spartan but fulfilled life, adhering closely to the Tamil culture, traditions, and theology of South India and Sri Lanka, and remaining true to the ideals of simplicity, austerity, and goodness, as defined by Subramuniyaswami

"Perfection isn't measured by intellect or emotion," says Paramacharya Sadasivanatha Palaniswami, a monk with a long gray beard, whose saffron-colored robes indicate his elder rank. "The perfection is our soul." A monk's purpose, Palaniswami says, is to find perfection and to learn to abide there constantly. "Only then can you really share that with others," he says.

For the full article as well as photos, see "source" above.



Hindu University of America Launches Online Master's Degree Program on Conflict, Peace and Hindu Philosophy


Posted on 2016/12/11 13:27:55 ( 826 reads )

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ORLANDO, FLORIDA, December 10, 2016 (Press Release): The Mahatma Gandhi Center for Non-Violence, Human Rights and World Peace at the Hindu University of America is launching an online Master of Arts program in conflict, peace and Hindu philosophy starting in January 2017.

The program aims at enriching the discipline of conflict and peace studies by providing a Hindu perspective. The dominant perspectives in conflict resolution prioritize rigid notions on peace and security, often at the cost of other perspectives from pluralistic cultures and traditions. This program aims to widen the discipline by drawing upon the finer principles of Hinduism. It brings into focus ideas and contributions of the philosophers, leaders and yogis from dharmic traditions. For example, Mahatma Gandhi's principles of ahimsha (non-violence) and satyagraha (love for truth) provide powerful tools to examine global problems, ranging from inter-state and intra-state conflicts, radicalization of religion, degradation of environment and rich-poor divide, and offer ways to address them. The core courses of the program such as principles of Hinduism, Gandhian conflict resolution and introduction to conflict and peace studies are designed to offer an integral approach to conflict and peace in which the best elements from the East and the West are factored. The program will train academicians, professionals and peace activists from across the world to integrate the core principles of Hinduism with other cultures and traditions towards resolving conflicts at various levels.

For further details about the program click "source" above or email Dr. Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra, Director, Mahatma Gandhi Center, Hindu University of America, damahapatra@hua.edu.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2016/12/11 13:27:45 ( 418 reads )

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A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches and thoughts, the consequences of even the least of them is far-reaching.
-- Swami Sivananda, (1887-1963) founder of the Divine Life Society



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2016/12/10 18:13:16 ( 449 reads )

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The mind cannot know what is beyond itself; but the mind is known by what is beyond, that essence of timelessness and spacelessness which makes everything perceivable, yet itself is beyond perception.
-- Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981), Hindu sage



Temple Event Marks Links Between Hindu Community and the Armed Forces


Posted on 2016/12/9 19:02:45 ( 552 reads )

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BOLTON, UNITED KINGDOM, August 9, 2016 (The Bolton News): Bolton made its debut as the venue for a national celebration of the links between the Hindu community and the Armed Forces. Members of Britain's Army, Navy and Air Force, Hindus from Bolton and people who travelled from as far as India, gathered at the Krishna Temple yesterday for a special event.

The Beverly Road temple hosted the start of Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu festival that celebrates bonds of protection. The national event organized by the Armed Forces Hindu Network was held in the town for the first time with the support of the Bolton Hindu Forum. There are about 950 Hindus serving in the Armed Forces, with 900 in the Army, 35 in the RAF and 15 in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

The Armed Forces Hindu Network held its first series of Raksha Bandhan events last year.
Raksha Bandhan, also known as Rakhi, celebrates brotherhood and love, with Raksha meaning protection and Bandhan the verb to tie. For the Armed Forces, the festival is a chance to celebrate its links with the community, as well as improve engagement and emphasize the shared values of commitment, respect, integrity and loyalty.



Himalayan Academy's Annual "Digital Dharma Drive" Almost Half-Way to $70,000 Goal


Posted on 2016/12/9 19:02:34 ( 593 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, December 9, 2016 (HPI): Now five weeks into its two month run, Himalayan Academy's Digital Dharma Drive has raised $33,000. Among several of the Academy's projects supported by the drive is the one you are reading: Hindu Press International, so please donate today at "source" above.

In announcing the drive November 1st, Hinduism Today publisher Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami wrote:

"A number of accomplishments have been achieved since we wrote to you a year ago. Our Hinduism Today website underwent a major upgrade to its look and functionality. Parts Two and Part Three of our movie History of Hindu India were completed and added to our YouTube channel. The pace of the addition of new viewers is impressive. Part One has past 1.5 million views, Part Two 570,000 and Part Three 475,000. Clearly the series is fulfilling a need. Parts Four and Five are in the editing stage. Another accomplishment is our second mobile app. It is available through the Apple and Google stores. The title is 'Spiritual Workout' The app provides a ten-minute routine of spiritual practice with multiple options in each of the five areas of sadhana.

"As you know, following the vision of our Gurudeva, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, all the material on our websites--and now our new mobile apps--is available for free online. However, to cover needed professional fees and to continue to upgrade and expand, we ask for donations the last two months of the year, following the model of Wikipedia. For six years running, you have responded generously, and after another year of working hard to enhance the sites and their resources, we are back again with this appeal.

"In our 'How Your Donations Were Used' page (https://donate.himalayanacademy.com/ddd/ddd-faq.shtml), we detail what we did with your past generosity, and what we hope to accomplish in the coming year. Your contribution this year will go to the enhancement of our websites and their content, and the development of mobile apps. The funds we raise in this drive do not pay staff salaries or administrative overhead, since these sites are created and maintained by selfless monks who work for free and live simply in our remote monastery on the island of Kauai."

Donate today and support us in our efforts to sustain, improve and expand our Hindu digital resources for the benefit of this and future generations.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2016/12/9 19:02:23 ( 343 reads )

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All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.
-- Swami Vivekananda, (1863-1902) founder Ramakrishna Mission

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