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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/14 17:46:28 ( 380 reads )

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Do not say that you do not have time for God. The busiest of men will have the most leisure, and the laziest will always be short of time, for the former utilizes time and the latter only wastes it. If you really want God, you will find time for Him.
-- Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati (1912-1954), 34th pontiff of the Sarada Peetham

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Inauguration of BAPS Temple in New Jersey
Posted on 2014/8/13 17:38:45 ( 484 reads )

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, August 12, 2014 (American Bazaar): The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir was inaugurated in Robbinsville, New Jersey, by Pramukh Swami Maharaj and senior Sadguru Swamis of BAPS, on Sunday. The inauguration of this traditional stone mandir marks the completion of the second phase of the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex that is currently planned for the site. The mandir is 133 feet long and 87 feet wide, comprising of 98 pillars and two domes 30 feet wide and 34 feet high, according to a press release. The Mandir is made entirely of Italian marble and was completed in three years at a cost of $18 million.

The inauguration festivities, spanning over two weekends, included a yagna or Vedic ritual for world peace and the murti pratishta rituals or ceremonies to invoke the spirit of the Deity's into the murtis or sacred images. Prior to the consecration ritual that took place on Sunday, after which the murtis were to reside permanently in their shrines, they were taken on a festive procession around the complex. As the culminating event of these celebrations, the Mandir was officially inaugurated in a Vedic ceremony performed by BAPS Swamis in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. It is the sixth traditional BAPS Mandir of its kind in North America.

Two members of Hinduism Today's team, editor Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami and Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami, were guests at the event.

According to one news report out of India, so many people flew to this event in New Jersey from India that airlines had raised ticket prices!

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The Hindu Festival: Sweets, Incense, Colors and Spirituality
Posted on 2014/8/13 17:38:39 ( 421 reads )

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FRESCAROLO, ITALY, August 4, 2014 (Gazzetta Di Parma): The Hindu community of the Parma region celebrated the seventh anniversary of their Shree Nav Durga temple on Saturday evening August 2nd. In a marvelous show of color and warmth, hundreds of people, coming mostly from Punjab, came together in friendship and religious community. They were celebrating the rites of sacred Hindu tradition. Everything was done in a setting that visually unites the two cultures: the bales of hay from our Italian farms and the smoke of the incense of a Indian brazier. [HPI: The temple has been constructed inside a large barn in the middle of farm country.]

In the olden days it was not easy to reach holy places, so it was customary to offer food to those who came. This they are also did on this lovely evening in Frescarolo. Among the many interesting different dishes of food, they served the Jalebi, a sweet made of chickpea flour and baking powder. And to drink, a glass of milk with rose syrup. Ashu, a young man working in Polesine, explained politely how the foods are prepared. "I do not eat meat because we think it is not necessary to kill to feed ourselves," he added.

We also met some Hindu monks, ministers of the religion, including Swami Priyanandagiri, a Ligurian, who lives in the monastery of Altare, near Savona. Embracing the Hindu religion they've forgotten their Italian names. They spoke of "respect and spiritual energies taken from the feet," which are bare inside places of worship. The chief organizer of this event was Lalit Sharma, active in the local Indian community.

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No Go for Cable Car at Batu Caves
Posted on 2014/8/13 17:38:33 ( 424 reads )

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MALAYSIA, July 10, 2014 (The Star): The US$3.1 million Batu Caves Cable Car project will most likely be scrapped as soil studies carried out by experts failed to confirm its feasibility. According to the detailed soil stability report, the upper parts of the limestone karsts of the hilltop caves have been zoned as "high risk", putting a stop to any possibility of development on the 400 million-year-old limestone caves.

A reliable source from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam committee has accepted the fact that the cable car project may not be feasible and will no longer push for it. This was further confirmed when StarMetro visited the project site recently and found it to be cleared of construction equipment. The area had been resurfaced with tar and is now a car park.

Proponents of the cable car line argued that the system would benefit the disabled, senior citizens, and people with health problems. The temple management have, for decades, been trying to build a cable car service at the iconic landmark. Batu Caves, touted as a national treasure, draws millions of people from all over the world each year especially during the annual Thaipusam festival.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/13 17:38:26 ( 357 reads )

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You seek peace? To attain peace, one must be willing to pass through the contrary to peace. Such is the teaching of the sages.
-- Swami Brahmananda (1863-1922), disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and first president of the Ramakrishna Mission

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Flower Festival: Colorful Hindu Procession Causes a Stir in Germany
Posted on 2014/8/12 18:47:20 ( 558 reads )

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PFORZHEIM, GERMANY, August 10, 2014 (PZ News): Many residents leaned out on their windows or balconies with their camera phone and many passers-by watched spellbound at the spectacle. A colorful and solemn procession parading the streets at the conclusion of the festival of the Hindu community caused a stir on Saturday afternoon.

Along the Weiher, Joerg Jahn and Ratgeb roads the believers carried their Mother Goddess. This was the first time that the temple's eleven-day annual festival ended with such a procession.

More than 200 believers, mostly Tamils, some coming from afar, joined the procession and the ceremony, in festive dress, accompanied by music, drum sounds and the smell of incense. A spokesman for the Nagapoosany Amman Aalayam Association thanked the City Council for approving this procession, which has great significance and importance for their community.

Colorful slideshow at "source."

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Yoga in India vs. Yoga in America
Posted on 2014/8/12 18:47:14 ( 452 reads )

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UNITED STATES, August 2, 2014 (Seattle Yoga News by Arundhati Baitmangalkar): A year and a half ago, I moved halfway around the world to the Pacific Northwest from my hometown in South India. It was a big, tumultuous move and the one thing that remained constant for me was yoga. Initially, I had no idea what the yoga scene would be like in Seattle and in the U.S. Every day I learned something new. There is so much yoga around here, that it was and continues to be exciting for a yoga geek like me. America is a nation that seems to have an excess of everything, and yoga is no exception. I couldn't help but be fascinated by the differences between yoga in the U.S. and in India and these are a few of my observations.

First, yoga in America is more popular among the masses than yoga in India. Second, the yoga teacher-student dynamic in India is drastically different than in the US. Third, the teaching styles vary greatly between India and America. Fourth, the combination of yoga & fashion in the US is not present in India. And fifth, the popularity of hot yoga in the US contrasts with its rarity in India.

Even though there are differences, yoga unites people all over the world. We may be different on the surface but we all seek the same goals of good health and liberation. The paths we take towards yoga are many, but in the end they all unite. No path is higher or inferior than another. What I have learned from moving across the globe is that yoga is universal and I've been inspired to see how people around the world have embraced yoga and evolved with it. It is a key to freedom that belongs to all humanity.

More at "source."

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Interfaith Marriage with Equality: a Video
Posted on 2014/8/12 18:47:08 ( 401 reads )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlAuY85RlcE

UNITED STATES, July 31, 2014 (Interfaith Shaadi): Interfaith marriage is becoming increasingly common. About 40% of Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Christians marry outside their faith in America. However, interfaith dating youths face hardships from parents and religious institutions. Information in this video offers one approach to making an informed decision for married life.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/12 18:47:02 ( 397 reads )

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Life is a boomerang. It brings you back what you send out. It is a child, not an old person, who makes progress in life. If you really want to become a child, then you have to feel that there is always something to learn and that God is there to teach you.
-- Sri Chinmoy, renowned spiritual leader, author, poet, artist, musician and athlete

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Francis Ponaman Honored in Guadeloupe for His Contribution
Posted on 2014/8/8 17:50:29 ( 536 reads )

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FRENCH WEST INDIES, July 4, 2014 (Montray Kreyol): The Ganesh D'Or (Golden Ganesh) prize was awarded to Gilbert Francis Ponaman at the Guadeloupe Council for Indian Languages (CGPLI) 12th anniversary celebration on June 27, 2014. The prize, given annually, was created to honor those who have done something significant in the promotion of Indian heritage, culture, religion or language in the French Antilles.

Ponaman was honored as being "the father of Indianness" and for his struggle for the recognition and acceptance of the Indian contribution to the Creole society of the islands. In 1967, encouraged by elders, he began a "back to our roots/Indian pride" movement among a small group of friends. He started the Soleil Indien (Indian Sun) journal in 1973, to define what it meant to be an Indian in a Creole society, through articles about Hindu religion and culture and the history of Indians in the Caribbean.

In 1980 he made his first pilgrimage to India. He spent eight months in Tamil Nadu reconnecting with the traditions of his forefathers and researching the roots of the Hindu traditions that still survived in his island home. Returning to the Caribbean, he began a prolific career sharing his knowledge through lectures and publications. He is still at it today, deep in his research, dividing his time between India, Paris and the French West Indies.

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Bhajan as Therapeutic for Children with Autism
Posted on 2014/8/8 17:50:23 ( 548 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, August 2, 2014 (The Hindu): With the sound of music, we have no trouble locating music therapist Lakshmi Mohan's second-floor house at R.A. Puram. This is not the usual music class where the teacher sings and students repeat after her. For 45 minutes, Lakshmi only sings bhajans and the children come just to listen to her. It's a different kind of after-school activity for these children, who have autism spectrum disorder. They come twice or thrice a week to Lakshmi to listen to the bhajans. "All my children may not speak, but they love, enjoy and respond to music," says Lakshmi, bringing an udukkai drum down from the shelf.

For 12 years now, Lakshmi has shown that bhajans can have therapeutic benefits for children with autism. Lakshmi, who has also authored books on autism, plans to do a thesis on the improvement her students have shown. But, for now, her parents will vouch for the therapeutic effect bhajans have on their children. "My son hardly sits quietly for a minute. But, at last week's performance, he sat for 15 minutes," said a father. Another parent Shoba Kannan said, "It de-stresses and over a period of time, it transforms the inner soul."

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Sydney Murugan Saivaneri Conference 2014
Posted on 2014/8/8 17:50:17 ( 455 reads )

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, August 8, 2014 (Sydney Murugan Temple): The Saiva Manram & World Saiva Council Australia Inc. jointly present the Sydney Murugan Saivaneri Conference 2014. The theme of the conference is Humanitarianism in Saiva Agamas, Thirumurai and Siddhantha Texts. the conference will be held on August 29, 30 & 31, 2014, and tutorials on August 23, 24 and September 6 & 7, 2014. All conference sessions, religious ceremonies, cultural event, and tutorials will be held at the Sydney Murugan Temple Complex, 217 Great Western Hwy, Mays Hill NSW 2145, Australia. The conference is billed as a wonderful opportunity to learn the intricacies and greatness of Saivam.

For more information contact pathivu.saivaneri@gmail.com.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/8 17:50:11 ( 432 reads )

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There are no impediments to meditation. The very thought of such obstacles is the greatest impediment.
-- Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic

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Temple Festival Parade in Schwerte, Germany
Posted on 2014/8/7 16:45:48 ( 513 reads )

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SCHWERTE, GERMANY, August 3, 2014 (Ruhr Nachrichten): The highlight of the ten day annual festival of the Sri Kanakathurga Ampal temple in Schwerte, Germany was a colorful procession on August 3rd. The Goddess, riding on a chariot, and Ganesh, riding on a palanquin, were accompanied by musicians, kavadi bearers and 600 devotees. The mayor of Schwerte, Heinrich Boeckeluehr, along with his young daughter Josefine, removed their shoes to help pull the chariot through the streets surrounding the temple on Robert-Koch Road. Plans for a building a larger temple at a new location are being made.

Accompanying video can be viewed at "source."

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Temple Vandalized in Georgia, USA
Posted on 2014/8/7 16:45:42 ( 529 reads )

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MONROE, GEORGIA, USA, August 4, 2014 (My Fox Phoenix): A Hindu temple was found vandalized over the weekend in Walton County. Members of Vishwa Bhavan Mandir in Monroe found graffiti and profanity displayed on their place of worship early Saturday morning. Spray painted messages included "ha ha" and "LOL." The vandalism included the temple's statue of the Hindu God Lord Shiva. The statue was covered with black spray paint.

Investigators tell FOX 5, less than half a mile away, the same graffiti turned up at a mobile home community and at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness next door.

Temple members tell FOX 5's George Franco vandals struck the same spot this time last year. They damaged air conditioners. Members are wondering if the same vandals have returned.

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