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Ford Celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi with Ganesh Statue Artistically Styled from Spare Parts

Posted on 2017/8/19 18:06:23 ( 455 reads )


INDIA, August 18, 2017 (Press Release): With Ganesh Chaturthi just around the corner, Ford is all set to celebrate it in style with a unique installation of Lord Ganesha, made of auto spare parts for the upcoming festive season. Aimed to highlight the importance of using genuine parts, the installation - consisting of disk brakes, fender, spark plugs, and clutch plate among others - will be open for public viewing from August 18-20, 2017 (Friday- Sunday) at the Oberoi Mall in Goregaon.

Created by artist Madhvi Pittie from Workshop Q in collaboration with Nishant Sudhakaran, a metal artist in Mumbai, the 6.5 Feet installation was unveiled by Saurabh Makhija, General Manager, Sales for Ford India. Speaking about the unique installation, Madhvi Pittie from Workshop Q said, "As a green product design company, we often experiment with discarded objects and materials from the city's streets, factories, households and proud to have made a beginning with auto spare parts - thanks to the challenge given by Ford."

Photo at "source" above.

Why is the Betel Leaf So Significant in Hindu Traditions?

Posted on 2017/8/19 18:06:12 ( 447 reads )


INDIA, August 18, 2017 (NDTV by Gunjan Bajaj): A symbol of prosperity, a magical ingredient of Ayurveda and an important part of religious customs and traditions, the refreshing and evergreen creeper, commonly known as Paan Patta, holds a special place in Hindu tradition. Native to South-East Asia, betel leaves are as important as the sacred Tulsi plant which is worshiped in many households. But we never think of the reasons behind the connection of betel leaf with many traditions despite the fact that it is used in almost every religious custom.

In South India in a region known as Old Mysore, it is a tradition to offer two betel leaves to the guests on every auspicious occasion. Also, a betel nut and a coin are placed on a betel leaf to be offered as dakshina for priests and elders in South India. Likewise, Assamese offer a betel leaf to guests after having a meal. It is a custom to chew paan ke patte especially after meals as it acts as a digestive. Betel leaves are also used to embellish the Kalash (pot) used for performing various religious rituals as it purifies the water.

Read more at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/8/19 18:06:02 ( 396 reads )


Can you weep for Him with intense longing of heart? Men shed a jugful of tears for the sake of their children, for their wives, or for money. But who weeps for God?
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

Ganesha Celebrated in Paris

Posted on 2017/8/17 17:44:15 ( 716 reads )


ILE DE FRANCE, FRANCE, August 17, 2017 (by Elsa Marnette): For the first time since the temple of La Courneuve (in the northern Paris suburbs) has been in existence, the God Ganesh was paraded down the street. Several thousand faithful from all over the Paris region rushed to attend this celebration of the elephant-headed God and thank him for bringing them "health, happiness and peace." "I would like to be an Indian," sitting on a bench, a little girl and her companion commented on the colorful parade that passed before their admiring eyes. These were musicians announcing the arrival of Ganesh's chariot, the elephant-headed God, a symbol of wisdom. It is the first time that the favorite God of Hindus appeared in the streets of La Courneuve. "We want to thank him for health, happiness, peace," says a young man. The celebration is part of the temple of Sri Sithi Vinayagar.

"It is a great honor for the mayor to grant us this privilege, for years we have been asking to celebrate outside of the temple premises," says Vithurgashan who draws the chariot of Murugan, brother of Ganesh. "It makes us happy to show everyone our culture." "The population of Paris Hindus is integrated (into French society) to the maximum but we also try to preserve our culture and our language," explains Seyon, one of the organizers of the event. And events like this makes it possible to reunite the diaspora. The Hindu community is estimated at 50,000 to 100,000 people.

Don't Let California's Textbooks Demonize India

Posted on 2017/8/17 17:44:04 ( 890 reads )


SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, August 17, 2017 (by Vamsee Juluri, The Sacramento Bee):Would any sensible teacher or school official in America today use a textbook that mockingly asked African American students, "How's your voodoo doing?" Of course not; it is intellectually and morally unacceptable. Moreover, California law clearly forbids any "descriptions, depictions, labels or rejoinders that tend to demean, stereotype, or patronize minority groups." Take away the word "voodoo" and try it with "karma," directed at Indian American children. Is that acceptable? Believe it or not, a history textbook from a major publisher like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt begins its lesson on India with the ludicrous and offensive phrase, "How's your Karma doing?" The book is set to go Thursday before the state Department of Education's Instructional Quality Commission. Despite past and current lawsuits, petitions signed by thousands of people, and, most importantly, personal testimonies by hundreds of middle and high school students about the inaccurate and offensive nature of the lessons on Indian history, we see little reflection of reality or change in several textbooks being considered.

Ethnic and racial jokes by random bigots and school bullies are one thing. Having them in your textbook is quite another. The argument in these books is a systematic and persistent portrayal of Indians as ignorant, barbaric and violent. The ancestors of Indian American sixth-graders in California, we are told, "enjoyed making war." Their most significant and well-known sacred deities that we can even find in California's many Hindu temples are brushed aside, and a full-page image is devoted instead to an obscure figure called Indra, who is mistakenly described as the "god of war." The lesson also devotes considerable attention to an utterly inane question: "Are unicorns real?" The pattern and intent are unmistakably derogatory and supremacist. Indian culture is portrayed as essentially one of fanciful false beliefs and deep moral turpitude.

This is the Indian American community's civil rights moment. We call on the education department to reject textbooks that refuse to enter along with the civilized world into a decisively post-racist era.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/8/17 17:43:53 ( 401 reads )


Many people are afraid of silence. They have to be doing something all the time. Many people also are afraid of being alone. But actually no one ever is alone. He's always with his great divine Self. Every person has a great, divine Self within him, an absolutely perfect, shining, sublime being of light. The voice of this being is a loud silence. The voice of your soul is a loud silence. Many people have said that the voice of God is a deep, profound silence.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

$2.1 Million -- The British Price of Equality and Moral Values

Posted on 2017/8/13 20:20:57 ( 1118 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, August 10, 2017 (National Council of Hindu Temples UK by Pt Satish K. Sharma): The Bank of England announced its decision regarding the use of tallow in pound notes as follows:- "The Bank is today, Thursday 10 August, announcing that after careful and serious consideration and extensive public consultation there will be no change to the composition of polymer used for future banknotes. The new polymer #20 (US$26) note and future print runs of #5 ($6.50) and #10 ($13) notes will continue to be made from polymer manufactured using trace amounts of chemicals, typically less than 0.05%, ultimately derived from animal products.

The Bank has determined that there is a monetary value to the ethics and morals of a rapidly increasing number of British citizens i.e. the vegan and vegetarian community, and also of the religious and spiritual values of the members of the Dharmic traditions who view all of life as one family. The Bank of England has stated that it has taken account of the Equality legislation but what it has in essence done is established that the spirit of Equalities legislation in the UK does in fact carry a price tag and a level at which the spirit of human rights which is enshrined in Equality legislation, becomes "unaffordable", a paltry #1.65m ($2.147 million) per annum for a decade. Has Great Britain become so poor?

More at "source" above.

Rebuttal to Article "The Holy Cows That Weren't"

Posted on 2017/8/13 20:19:49 ( 769 reads )


TEXAS, U.S., August 10, 2017 (Save Temples, by Prakasarao Velagapudi): [HPI adds: The following rebuttal was written to The Wall Street Journal] On behalf of Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF)and thousands of Hindus, I want to express my surprise and shock that such a vicious and malicious article entitled "The Holy Cows That Weren't" written by one Mr. Tunku Varadarajan was allowed to be published on August 4, 2017 in your newspaper known for fair and balanced reporting.

What is written is unbalanced and negative. This article is written only to demean and degrade the holy cow that has been part of the Indian culture and its history is as ancient as Sanatana dharma. Vedas and other prohibited the killing of cows. One or two statements on beef eating found in the scriptures should not be the basis to attack the sacredness of a cow.

Full rebuttal can be read at "source" above.

Italian Swami Impresses with Recitation of Sanskrit Shlokas

Posted on 2017/8/11 19:23:47 ( 1094 reads )


KUNDAIM, INDIA, August 8, 2017 (Times of India): Shree Kshetra Tapobhoomi, Kundaim, the headquarters of the Padmanabh Shishya Sampradaya, at its Shravani Vidya event held on Monday, played host to 61-year-old Italian national, Proietti Flavio, a yoga exponent, who heads Surya Chandra Yoga Ashram in Rome. Flavio, who embraced Hinduism decades ago, is now referred to as the Mahamandaleshwar, Yogacharya, Srividyaupasaka, Swami Shivanand Saraswati, who now preaches Sanatan Dharma in European countries.

Swami Shivanand is in Goa on the invitation of Swami Brahmeshanandacharya, who heads the Kundaim mutt, to witness and participate in the proceedings of the Shravani Vidya rituals. "During my first meeting with swami Brahmeshandji, I was quite impressed with his erudition in Vedas and scriptures. That kindled in me the desire to learn more about the Sanatan Dharma and that brought me here. Today's event is rooted in the spiritual philosophy of Vasudaiv Kutumbakam (the world is a family), and my participation in this ceremony reinforces the bond shared by me with India and, of course, tapobhoomi," Swami Shivanand, said.

In a Move Away From Tradition, Cremations Increase in the USA

Posted on 2017/8/11 19:23:37 ( 815 reads )


NEW YORK, NEW YORK, August 10, 2017 (New York Times): Now, for the first time, more Americans are being cremated than having traditional burials, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. The cremation rate in 2016 achieved a milestone, edging past 50 percent to 50.2 percent, up from 48.5 percent in 2015, according to a report issued recently by the funeral directors' association. The president of the association, W. Ashley Cozine, predicted that the cremation rate would continue to rise. By 2025, the association is forecasting that 63.8 percent of the people who die in the United States will be cremated, and by 2035, 78.8 percent.

The reasons include the weakening hold of religion on American life as well as a loosening of strictures against cremation by some denominations. The proportion of consumers 40 and older who think it is important to have religion as part of a funeral has dropped by 20 percent since 2012, according to the funeral directors' association. "Most funeral directors have seen a lot of families move away from tradition, move away from ceremony," said R. Bryant Hightower Jr., the secretary of the funeral directors' association, "and in their minds, ceremony and tradition are tied to the burial side more than the cremation side. So they have said, 'If I want it simple and I don't want it in a church or a synagogue and I don't want a rabbi or a minister, then I want cremation.'" In addition, cremation typically costs less than a third of a funeral with a conventional burial.

More at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/8/11 19:23:26 ( 702 reads )


For seven lives in seven bodies the grateful will remember friends who relieved their anguish and affliction.
-- Saint Tiruvalluvar's Tirukkural, verse 107

Atheists Tend to Be Seen as Immoral - Even by Other Atheists: Study

Posted on 2017/8/10 19:42:47 ( 738 reads )


FRANCE, August 7, 2017 (The guardian): Atheists are more easily suspected of evil deeds than Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists -- even by fellow atheists, according to the authors of a new study. The finding suggests that in an increasingly secular world, many -- including some atheists -- still hold the view that people will do bad things unless they fear punishment from all-seeing gods. The results of the study "show that across the world, religious belief is intuitively viewed as a necessary safeguard against the temptations of grossly immoral conduct," an international team wrote in the journal Nature Human Behaviour. It revealed that "atheists are broadly perceived as potentially morally depraved and dangerous".

The study measured the attitudes of more than 3,000 people in 13 countries on five continents. They ranged from "very secular" countries such as China and the Netherlands, to those with high numbers of religious believers, such as the United Arab Emirates, the US and India. "It is striking that even atheists appear to hold the same intuitive anti-atheist bias," the study's co-author, Will Gervais, a psychology professor at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, said.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/8/10 19:42:37 ( 730 reads )

Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination.

Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society

India's Home-Spun Khadi Is in Vogue

Posted on 2017/8/9 19:15:34 ( 683 reads )


INDIA, August 5, 2017 (Government Press Release): More than a century ago, when Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa, he had not seen a spinning wheel- charkha- but during the Swadeshi movement, he meticulously spun khadi into the national life style. Now, khadi is in vogue again. Presenting statistics of khadi products sales, during last three years, the khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has reported nearly 33 per cent growth in sale of khadi products to approx. US$315 million in the fiscal 2016-17 from $237 million a year ago.

Known for natural luster and rough texture, khadi strands of late have turned livewire ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched khadi promotion blitz in his radio talk show three years ago. He has since hardly lost an opportunity to sell the khadi. He frequently articulates his penchant for khadi and directly signals to governments at the Centre and states as well as to the common public that the khadi must be promoted with spirit of nationalism. khadi is a cloth woven by hand using handspun yarn only. Natural fibers namely cotton, wool and silk are used in the production.

World's Largest Holder of Gold? Indian Households!

Posted on 2017/8/9 19:15:24 ( 637 reads )


LONDON, U.K., August 4, 2017 (Bloomberg): The London Bullion Market Association this week lifted the veil on how much gold is stored in vaults in the city, which instantly joined a list of the world's biggest hoards. Their estimated 596,000 bars weigh 7,449 tons, far short of the holdings of "Indian Households," estimated over 22 metric tons. And Fort Knox? The US government is second in world gold holdings, with around 8 thousand metric tons. After London's hoard is thought to be Indian temples, with just under four thousand metric tons.

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