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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/5/25 2:33:55 ( 550 reads )

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The sages, being filled with universal love for all beings, did not want to keep their enlightenment to themselves. They declared to all: "O mortals, striving and struggling upon this Earth plane, weeping, wailing, buffeted by the vicissitudes of life: we have come upon a great discovery. There is something beyond these appearances, these vanishing names and forms that go to make up this universe. There is something beyond, which is the very source and support of all these objects of the phenomenal world. Why do you search in vain for happiness outside? Come, come, happiness resides within."
-- Swami Chidananda (1916-2008), president of Divine Life Society

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Jay Lakhani on BBC Bias Against India
Posted on 2015/5/24 4:00:18 ( 983 reads )

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LONDON, ENGLAND, May 23, 2015 (YouTube): Jay Lakhani, a prominent teacher of Hinduism in the UK, explains why the media--specifically the BBC--is bias against India. He points out that the media only reports on the negative and avoids reporting on the positive, thereby giving a wrong impression of India. The video is short and to the point.

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Event to Launch Hindu Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California
Posted on 2015/5/24 4:00:12 ( 912 reads )

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BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, May 22, 2015 (Press Release): In partnership with Dharma Civilization Foundation, the Graduate Theological Union, has just launched a Master's Degree Program in Hindu Studies. This program will enable the creation of scholars in Hindu Dharma who are also practitioners who will present and teach the perspectives of the insiders to the traditions. In the fullness of time, these scholars will teach courses in Hindu Dharma in many main stream universities. Many thousands of students of future generations will derive immense value from these teachers.

So far, Hindu Studies has been the privilege of outsiders to the tradition itself i.e. those who examine Hinduism academically, and critically i.e. through Marxist, Freudian or otherwise suspicious eyes. South Asian studies Departments have focused on geo-political issues, and have not examined the many gifts of Hindu Dharma to humanity.

The Hindu Studies program aims to change that. A fund-raiser event will be held May 30, 2015, starting at 3 pm at the India Community Center in Milpitas. For more information on this limited-seating event, contact info@dcfusa.org or 614-668-1668.

The event will include talks by Prof. Vamsee Juluri on his new book "Rearming Hinduism" and Prof. Riess Potterveld on the integration of Hindu Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. A preview of activities over the next year will be given, including the continued development of the M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Hindu Studies.



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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/5/24 4:00:07 ( 652 reads )

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In India I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth, but not adhering to it. Inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything but possessed by nothing.
-- Appolonius of Tiana (2-97 ce), Greek philosopher and occultist. His work deeply influenced Western mysticism.

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One Thousand Buddhist Monasteries Collapsed in Nepal Earthquake,
Posted on 2015/5/23 3:53:33 ( 974 reads )

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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, May 22, 2015 (PTI): Around 200 Buddhist monks and nuns were killed when about 1,000 monasteries collapsed in the massive April 25 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in Nepal, according to authorities. Buddhist philosophy promotion and monastery development committee (BPPMDC), under the ministry of federal affairs and local development, said that all 215 monasteries in Sindhupalchok district were flattened due to impact of the earthquake. A total of 150 Buddhist monasteries collapsed in Gorkha, 105 in Dhading, 60 in Rasuwa and 60 in Solukhumbu. Monasteries also collapsed in Nuwakot, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Okhaldhunga, Makwanpur, Lamjung and Syangja districts as well.

Some well-known monasteries include Seto Gumba in Ramkot; Rato Gumba in Sitapaila, both located in the outskirt of Kathmandu; Khumchey Gumba in Gorkha; Chrighyang Gumba in Dolakha and Chirite Gumba in Sindhupalchok. Karma Tsering Tashi Lama, president of the BPPMDC, who recently visited many of the earthquake-hit areas in Sindhupalchok and Rasuwa, said he did not see a single monastery that stands intact.

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For Veterans, Yoga Class at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center Brings Peace of Mind
Posted on 2015/5/23 3:52:48 ( 865 reads )

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OKLAHOMA CITY, U.S., May 18, 2015 (The Oklahoman): Edward Shepherd found himself outside of his apartment in Moore, yelling at a garbage truck. Shepherd had returned from four tours in Afghanistan and Iraq that lasted collectively almost five years. Shepherd is among about 60 veterans who take a yoga class at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center that is aimed at helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Sara Alavi, owner of Yoga Home of Therapeutics, who leads the class, says there's nothing more rewarding than hearing the impact it has on the veterans, many of whom served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some research has shown that breathing-based meditation and yoga can help people with PTSD. A study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress in 2014 said veterans surveyed reported that after participating in a yoga program, they experienced fewer hyperarousal symptoms. They also reported that re-experiencing traumatic memories had less impact on them.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/5/23 3:52:42 ( 718 reads )

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Wealth and happiness are not related to each other as cause and effect. An attempt to secure happiness by securing wealth is as futile as it is absurd.
-- Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal(1912-1954), 34th pontiff of the Sarada Peetham

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Nepal Calls for Return of Stolen Statues
Posted on 2015/5/22 4:11:33 ( 992 reads )

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NEPAL, May 20, 2015 (France 24): The massive earthquakes that recently hit Nepal caused the loss of thousands of lives, but they also destroyed numerous temples. In a strange twist of fate, some holy statues survived the two quakes and their aftershocks... because they were stolen and smuggled abroad several decades ago. Nepalese people are now calling for their immediate return. UNESCO reported that the earthquake had taken a "catastrophic" toll on cultural heritage sites in Nepal: 90% of seven World Heritage sites in Kathmandu Valley were destroyed, including most of their statues. However, some of these temples' original statues were not damaged, because they are no longer in Nepal. More than 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues have disappeared from Nepali temples, fountains and sanctuaries since the country first opened its borders to tourists in 1951.

Between 1960 and the early 1990s, numerous statues were stolen and then sold to private foreign collectors. Others ended up in museums in the United States or Europe. The project "Remembering the Lost" has tracked down about 160 statues that were stolen from Nepal. According to the project's founders, the total number of missing relics - including statues and other religious items - is probably close to 1,000. In Nepal, these religious objects are integral to the spiritual life of the community. Statues are seen as incarnations of divinities and each has a specific task

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Li's Participation in Yoga Meet to Help Its Spread in China
Posted on 2015/5/22 4:11:28 ( 900 reads )

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BEIJING, CHINA, May 19, 2015 (Business Standard): Participation of Premier Li Keqiang in the high profile yoga-tai chi event along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here recently and the permission to set up the first India-assisted yoga college in China is seen as an official sanction for its spread in the communist nation. Li's participation in the colorful yoga-tai chi meeting last week involving 400 Chinese and Indian students along with Modi provides "official seal" to permit practice of yoga in a big way, Indian officials said.

Yoga has become immensely popular in China especially among the educated middle classes who see it as more of a physical exercise. However, this is the first time that a high powered official attended a yoga event sending an official signal to the provinces to encourage it. An MOU to set up a yoga college along with Indian teachers in Yunnan University was signed during Modi's visit which for the first time bring will bring new standards to thousands of yoga teachers and institutions mushrooming all over China.

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Elephant Owners Association Decry Move to Stop Festivals
Posted on 2015/5/22 4:11:22 ( 805 reads )

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INDIA, May 21, 2015 (The Hindu): A special convention of Elephant Owners Association held here on Monday called upon people to protect festivals and cultural heritage of the state. "The people with vested interests have misled the court that elephant owners were misusing elephants for making money. We should try to convince Union ministers about the importance of festivals, including Thrissur Pooram, in Kerala tradition," said T.A. Sundar Menon, President of Elephant Owners Co-operative Sangam..

Cochin Devaswom Board former President Adv. M.A.A Krishnanunny said that the controversy over using elephants for festivals was an ongoing problem. "We should be able to convince the Supreme Court about the facts about festivals and elephant parades," he said. Meeting called up on temple managements to pass resolution against move to ban elephant parades. Elephant Federation has also given instruction to mahouts that the elephants should not be harassed in any way.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/5/22 4:11:17 ( 771 reads )

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You shine, all living things emerge. You disappear, they go to rest. Recognizing our innocence, O golden-haired Sun, arise; let each day be better than the last.
-- Rig Veda (X, 37, 9)

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Ancient Statue Of Hindu God Hanuman Returned To Cambodia
Posted on 2015/5/21 2:24:56 ( 988 reads )

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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA, MAY 17, 2015 (By Sopheng Cheang, The Associated Press): Cambodia welcomed home a 10th century stone statue of a Hindu God that was looted from a temple during the country's civil war and spent the past three decades at an American museum. The sculpture of Hanuman was formally handed over Tuesday at a ceremony in Phnom Penh attended by government officials and the director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, which acquired the sculpture in 1982.

The statue was stolen from the Prasat Chen Temple in the Koh Ker temple complex in Siem Reap province, which is also home to the famed Angkor Wat temples, said Sok An, adding that it was shipped to Europe and then the U.S. Officials at the Cleveland museum found last year that the statue's head and body were sold separately in 1968 and 1972 during the Vietnam War and the Cambodian civil war. An excavation showed the sculpture's base matched a pedestal at the ancient temple.

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Expat Balinese Hindus Celebrate Saraswati in Belgium
Posted on 2015/5/21 2:24:51 ( 948 reads )

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BELGIUM, May 5, 2015 (Dunia News): The celebration of Saraswati by Bali Hindus was held solemnly at Pura Santi Agung Bhuwana in Brugelette, Belgium on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015. At least 500 Balinese Hindus from 12 European countries participated. The event saw a series of ceremonies that began on Friday. A communal prayer ceremony ritual formally began the celebration on Saturday. This celebration was also attended by the Indonesian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Latvia, Dewa Made Juniarta Sastrawan. That afternoon he was asked to give a speech in front of the hundreds of Hindus who had come for the celebration.

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Does India Care About Its Stolen Artifacts?
Posted on 2015/5/21 2:24:46 ( 686 reads )

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INDIA, April 24, 2015 (Swarajya): A few days ago a US official revealed the full extent of "Operation Hidden Idol" which had recovered approximately 2,600 items worth an estimated 650 Crores ($100 million). This brought out the truth about scores of artefacts being stolen by just one disgraced art dealer, Subhash Kapoor. And this was just the number seized from his unsold stock in various storage lockers in America. Apart from this there are between 500-1000 objects held by various American museums, many of which are believed to be with unclear provenances (place of origin/source). It wouldn't be unreasonable then to imagine that are thousands of other such objects, smuggled from India which are held in various museums, in various countries or are with various private collectors. In any other country, information like this would have caused much furore. But in India, only a casual mention of the retrieval of a few pieces from Hawaii was made.

How an entire nation could have missed these important thefts is mind boggling. The arrest of one Vaman Ghiya and his associates in 2002 should have drawn our attention to crimes like this even earlier. Almost 10,000 artefacts are said to have been stolen and sold abroad by Ghiya and his associates. An association with Sotheby's has been mentioned, although their involvement in the case hasn't been determined. Yet, all this was forgotten or ignored when the Rajasthan High court acquitted Ghiya in early 2014.

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Sanskrit Popular in German Universities
Posted on 2015/5/21 2:24:40 ( 634 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, April 14, 2015 (Daily Mail): Will Germans be the eventual custodians of Sanskrit, its rich heritage and culture? If the demand for Sanskrit and Indology courses in Germany is any indication, that's what the future looks like. Unable to cope with the flood of applications from around the world, the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, had to start a summer school in spoken Sanskrit in Switzerland, Italy and - believe it or not - India too. "When we started it 15 years ago, we were almost ready to shut it after a couple of years. Instead, we had to increase strength and take the course to other European countries," said Professor Dr. Axel Michaels, head of classical Indology at the university.

In Germany, 14 of the top universities teach Sanskrit, classical and modern Indology compared to just four in the UK. The summer school spans a month in August every year and draws applications from across the globe. "So far, 254 students from 34 countries have participated in this course. Every year we have to reject many applications," said Dr. Michaels. "Even the core thoughts of Buddhism were in the Sanskrit language. To better understand the genesis of oriental philosophy, history, languages, sciences and culture, it's essential to read the original Sanskrit texts as these are some of the earliest thoughts and discoveries," he added.

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