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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/13 17:40:03 ( 1627 reads )

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Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions: Why am I doing it? What might the results be? Can I be successful? Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, then proceed.
-- Chanakya (350-275 bce), Indian politician, strategist and writer

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Amaranth Yatra Halted Due to Bad Weather in Jammu and Kashmir
Posted on 2015/7/12 20:07:25 ( 1822 reads )

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JAMMU, INDIA, July 12, 2015 (India Today): The annual Hindu pilgrimage Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir was stopped on Sunday due to inclement weather, police said. Heavy rainfall triggered landslides leading to the blockade of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway at Gangroo in Udhampur district. It has been raining heavily in the Jammu region and the valley since Sunday morning. Heavy rains have swollen most rivers and water bodies in the region. The yatra from both the north Kashmir Baltal and south Kashmir Pahalgam base camps has been halted.

So far around 150,000 pilgrims have performed this year's Amarnath Yatra by having darshan of the Holy Lingam inside the Himalayan cave shrine situated 14,500 feet above the sea level in south Kashmir Anantnag district. The Yatra which began on July 2 will end on August 29.

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Religious Freedom in Dubai: One Hindu Temple, Half-a-Million Hindus
Posted on 2015/7/12 20:07:15 ( 1935 reads )

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DUBAI, UAE, July 12, 2015 (BBC): There is little outward sign of any religion other than Islam in Dubai, but the city is quietly (and modestly) tolerant of other faiths. Rulers have ensured people with different beliefs have a place to worship. The UAE, of which Dubai is a part, has crippling restrictions on freedom of speech. There's widespread media censorship and dozens of activists are in jail. But it also has a little-known history of religious tolerance.

In 1958 Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, father of Dubai's current ruler, permitted a Hindu temple to be built on the roof of the souk (open-air market place). You reach it today along a lane lined with shops selling figurines of Gods and Goddesses and garlands of roses and marigolds. The only such temple in a country which now holds perhaps half a million Hindus, this little makeshift space, aromatic with sandalwood, hosts tens of thousands of worshippers each week, both Hindus and Sikhs.

Then in 1966, the year oil was discovered in Dubai, Sheikh Rashid donated a pocket of land to a Roman Catholic mission. The city has since grown up around it, and St Mary's now stands beside a busy four-lane road in central Dubai. Beside St Mary's, the Protestant church Holy Trinity stands within another high-walled compound, also built on land donated by Sheikh Rashid. There are more churches across Dubai and the UAE, including several -- and another place of worship for Sikhs -- on land donated by the current ruler, Sheikh Mohammed.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/12 20:07:04 ( 1590 reads )

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The mind alone is man's cause of bondage or release: it leads to bondage when attached to the sense objects, and to release when freed from them.
-- Krishna Yajur Veda, Maitri Upanishad

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The Value of Namaste and Why it Beats the Handshake
Posted on 2015/7/11 18:01:02 ( 2061 reads )

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CHINA, July 6, 2015 (China Post by Raja Murthy): At 3:30 p.m. eastern time on July 3, U.S. President Barack Obama was online on Twitter, taking questions on his new health care and Affordable Care Act. Quite likely Obama is unaware of his importing from his India visit this January a lesser known but significant practice to health care: avoiding the handshake. The farewell to India picture of Obama was my favorite from his visit -- the smiling president and his wife Michelle silently saying "namaste" from the door of Air Force One.

As a greeting or farewell, the sincere "namaste," "namaskar," or "vannakam" (in Tamil) has to rank topmost among the most gracious of human gestures: conveying humility, respect and goodwill to a fellow being. It beats the handshake hollow. I have no idea how, why and when the handshake first became the global gesture of greeting, but I do know it may be time to bid a farewell "namaste" to the handshake.

Medical tests prove it. Handshakes are a dangerous enough transmitter of disease that some U.S. doctors have called for the handshake to be banned in hospitals. The handshake is easy transfer of lethal micro-creatures like the Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteria, found researchers David E. Whitworth and Sarah Mela of the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Wales. The American Journal of Infection Control published their study in July, 2014.

This respectful greeting could be India's next beneficial gift to the world. A New York professional Jalanda James's blog "stophandshaking.com" -- possibly the only one of its kind -- mentions "namaste" among alternatives to the handshake.

More of this entertaining and informative article at source.

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Third Meeting of Hindus Held in Spain
Posted on 2015/7/11 18:00:51 ( 1699 reads )

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MADRID, SPAIN, July 8, 2015 (El Faro Digital): On June 20 and 21 the third convocation of Hindus in Spain took place in Madrid. The meeting was held at the Jhulelal Mandir, a Hindu temple headed by Lal Chandnani, which gave its facilities for free for the event. The meeting was organized by the Hindu priest Juan Carlos Ramchandani (Krishna Kripa Dasa), son of an Indian father and Spanish mother. This year the meeting was attended by presidents and executives of several Hindu religious associations. The working group was composed of eminent persons belonging to various currents within Hinduism: Swami Satyananda, Javier Ruiz Calderon, Oscar Montero, Alvaro Enterria, Hari Das. Also attending were representatives of various associations from Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Pamplona and Madrid itself.

At the meeting the group discussed and approved the statutes of the Federacion Hindu de Espana (Hindu Federation of Spain), which will represent this group of legally registered religious associations to the Spanish Ministry of Justice. Juan Carlos Ramchandani, of Ceuta, was unanimously elected as the first president of the Hindu Federation, a position he will hold for four years. Ramchandani will also be the official spokesperson of the Federation. Swami Satyananda, one of the most important voices of Hinduism in our country, was elected vice president.

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Sneak Peek: Hindu Gods Enliven "Super Team"
Posted on 2015/7/11 18:00:41 ( 1591 reads )

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UNITED STATES, July 5, 2015 (USA Today): Through the big eyes of a little boy, director Sanjay Patel has animated his journey from a California kid watching cartoons to a man respecting his father's Indian traditions. Premiering in front of The Good Dinosaur (in theaters Nov. 25), the Disney/Pixar short film Sanjay's Super Team begins with a scene similar to Patel's own San Bernardino upbringing. Sanjay is glued to the TV and Dad interrupts by ringing his bell for morning meditation. Yet the little Sanjay in Super Team finds something cooler than his superhero show when he joins his father: Three Hindu deities come alive to take care of a pesky monster.

Patel, 41, chose three Deities to reference in Super Team: the monkey-like Hanuman, the Goddess of power and protection Durga, and the blue-skinned Vishnu, who represents preservation. Some might liken them to a Hindu version of the Avengers, or an Indian take on Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, but they're more meaningful than that to Patel. "I kind of have an insider's point of view so I see them a little bit differently," says the filmmaker.

The short doesn't have any dialogue so Patel enlisted the help of Oscar-winning composer Mychael Danna (Life of Pi) for a fittingly non-Western soundtrack. For the moment when little Sanjay meets the Deities, Danna employs a bansuri, a South Asian flute and spiritual instrument associated with Vishnu, Patel says. "It's a choice that only somebody who really understood the culture would make and something for sure my dad would really appreciate."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/11 18:00:30 ( 1595 reads )

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There was once a wise man who lived simply. His spartan food habits reflected this. He had a friend who, being a sycophant of the king, lived in great luxury. One day this friend called on the wiseman while he was eating. Looking at the food, the friend said, "My friend, if you can please the king like me, you will be free from this wretched food." The wise man smiled and replied, "My friend, if you can be pleased with this simple food, you can be free from the wretched job of pleasing the king."
-- Anonymous

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Puri Shankaracharya Blames Chief Administrator for Temple Mess
Posted on 2015/7/11 10:40:27 ( 1260 reads )

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BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, July 10, 2015 (Niti Central): Barely a week before the Nabakalebara Rath Jatra of Lord Jagannath gets underway, Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Nischalananda Saraswati today blamed the chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration for the mismanagement in the 12th century shrine. "I hold Shree Jagannath Temple Administration's chief administrator responsible for all the chaos in the temple. He is responsible for irregularities from the selection of Daru (neem tree) for making new statues of the Lords to the Brahma Paribartan rituals," Saraswati told a hurriedly-convened press conference here.

Coming down heavily on the state government for the Nabakalebara rituals mess, the seer demanded complete overhaul of the temple laws. "Chaos prevails in the Jagannath temple and the rituals are not being followed properly. The government doesn't have the right to interfere in the religious affairs of the temple. There is a need to overhaul the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) laws," the Shankaracharya said. "The government should act as a facilitator and nothing more," he said.

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Before And After Photos Of Nepal's Landmarks Reveal Devastating Impact Of Earthquake
Posted on 2015/7/11 10:40:17 ( 1298 reads )

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NEPAL, April 29, 2015 (sociocheck.com): The massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday, not only killed more than 5000 people but also destroyed some of the country's most iconic landmarks and flattened many of the country's historic structures. The massive earthquake - the worst to hit Nepal in 80 years - devastated the capital of Kathmandu. Its impact can be seen in dramatic before and after photos taken across the capital city shown at source above.

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Putin Says He Has Not yet Tried Yoga
Posted on 2015/7/11 10:40:07 ( 731 reads )

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA, July 9, 2015 (New York Times): President Vladimir Putin avowed on Wednesday that he was ready to add yoga, the ancient discipline of mindfulness and gentle stretching, to his repertoire of strictly macho sports. "I have tried many things, but never yoga, but it cannot fail to attract," Mr. Putin told Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India during a meeting in the southern Russian city of Ufa, according to a transcript on the presidential website. Mr. Putin expressed admiration for yoga after Mr. Modi thanked him for the enthusiasm with which International Yoga Day -- which Mr. Modi helped inaugurate on June 21 -- was greeted in Russia.

Mr. Putin, 62, has not been shy about sharing his athletic prowess with the world. He holds a black belt in judo, has been photographed driving a Formula One race car and has worked assiduously to improve his hockey game since becoming president. Whatever is behind his embrace of yoga, Mr. Putin apparently missed the memo from the central Russian city of Nizhnevartovsk last month announcing that it was booting two yoga studios out of municipal space. The city explained that it was doing so for reasons of public order, "to prevent the spread of new religious cults and movements."


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/11 10:39:55 ( 665 reads )

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Do not be proud of wealth, people, relations and friends, or youth. All these are snatched by time in the blink of an eye. Giving up this illusory world, know and attain the Supreme.
-- Adi Shankara, 9th century Indian philosopher and saint

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/6 19:50:00 ( 961 reads )

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The syllable gu means shadows. The syllable ru, he who disperses them. Because of the power to disperse darkness, the guru is thus named.
-- Advayataraka Upanishad

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2015 Skipping Stones Book Awards Announced
Posted on 2015/7/6 19:50:00 ( 759 reads )

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(Eugene, Oregon. July 2015). Skipping Stones Multicultural Literary Magazine has announced the winners of 2015 Skipping Stones Book Awards in their Summer 2015 issue which may be downloaded from source above. This year, they have selected 25 multicultural and/or nature books and 5 teaching resources. Two of special interest to Hinduism Today readers are: India Unveiled: Spirit, Tradition, People by Robert Arnett (Atman Press) and Mama Yoga and the Story of Namaste by Susanna Strafford, illustr. Alex Langenstein.

The Nepal Benefit event organized by Skipping Stones in Eugene on Sunday, May 24th, to help rebuild lives in Nepal after the recent powerful earthquakes was a huge success. The multicultural music and dance performances helped generate close to $6,000 for relief work in Nepal.

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Twelve-page Sanskrit Daily Newspaper in the Works
Posted on 2015/7/6 19:50:00 ( 786 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 4, 2015 (Sunday Guardian): India may get its first multi-page daily newspaper in Sanskrit this Navratri. A group of enthusiastic Sanskrit lovers, who have been publishing the Sanskrit weekly Sajal Sandesh from Delhi for about the last two years, are working overtime to start the daily. "Currently, the lone Sanskrit newspaper Sudharma is published from Bangalore, but it is only one page. Sajal Sandesh will be a 12-page tabloid," said editor Rakesh Kumar Mishra.

Sajal Sandesh was created in 2013 by Mishra, an MA in Sanskrit, and other spirited persons including D.S. Khatri, Manishi Kumar Sinha, Sunder Lal and Ravindra Nath Pathak. Mishra says 22,000 copies of the newspaper are printed. "Most copies go to Sanskrit institutes around the country. In Delhi, there are 46 gurukuls. There are 62 colleges in Delhi University where Sanskrit is taught. Besides, there are two Sanskrit universities in Delhi--Lal Bahadur Shastri Sanskrit Vidyapeeth (Katwaria Sarai) and Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan (Janakpuri). Besides Delhi, there are seven Sanskrit universities and eight Sanskrit Akademis in other states. These are the places which provide the readers of Sajal Sandesh," Mishra said.

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