Hindu Press International

Hindu Press International (HPI) is a daily summery of world news for Hindus and non-Hindus alike. Sign up to receive to HPI by email

« 1 ... 4 5 6 (7) 8 9 10 ... 996 »

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/7/10 20:33:42 ( 1250 reads )


If you have not seen your own Self, if you have not pierced the knots of your Heart and washed away the filth of your mind, then what does it matter if you are a human being?
-- Kabir

Seers Object to Godavari in Krishna

Posted on 2016/7/8 20:09:10 ( 1535 reads )


VIJAYAWADA, INDIA, July 7, 2016 (Deccan Chronicle): Seers from across the state have suggested that pilgrims avoid the Pavitra Sangamam -- where the Godavari water from the Pattiseema project meets the Krishna -- and areas downstream of the river from that point during Krishna Pushkaralu festival. They raised the issue after the government's decision to release Godavari waters into the Polvaram right canal, through the Pattiseema project, which will ultimately merge with the Krishna. The waters will be released to the Krishna delta for 80 days at the rate of 8.5 cusecs per day.

Though the government says that the Godavari flood water would be diverted to support the west Krishna delta, the same water will end up at the Pavitra sangamam at Ibrahimpatnam, and from there it will reach the Prakasham barrage. Given this, the seers and pundits have urged the government to arrange pushkar ghats in areas like Vedadri and Amaravati, as they are geographically it would be upstream of the Pavitra Sangamam, where the water will be only that of Krishna and not mixed with Godavari waters.

Muhurtha pundit Guntupalli Sairam stated that waters from the "artificial Pavitra Sangamam" can't be considered holy. Devotees who want to have holy bath during the Pushkaralu at Vijayawada will not get desired results as the sangama snana is against "the wishes of Pitru Devathas." He also suggested that devotees opt for the banks of the Krishna in Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra for holy Pushkarlu baths.

Over 71,000 Perform Amarnath Yatra in 5 days

Posted on 2016/7/8 20:09:00 ( 1399 reads )


JAMMU KASHMIR, INDIA July 8, 2016 (Sahara Samay News): Over 71,000 pilgrims have performed the Amarnath Yatra so far as another batch of 1,612 pilgrims left Jammu on Thursday. An official of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) that manages the affairs of the annual pilgrimage said, "A total of 1,612 pilgrims comprising 1,266 males and 346 females left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas on Thursday in 35 buses and 22 light motor vehicles in a convoy escorted by security forces for the Valley."

An ice stalagmite structure inside the cave situated at 3,888 feet above the sea level wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon. Devotees believe the ice stalagmite structure is a Siva Lingam symbolizing mythical powers of Lord Shiva. Pilgrims use the north Kashmir Baltal and the south Kashmir Nunwan (Pahalgam) base camps to reach the cave Shrine. Due to heightened militant activities in the Valley this year, extra security measures have been taken to provide protection to the pilgrims. A three-tier security cover manned by the Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police Force, Central Reserve Police Force and state police are in place to secure the Jammu-Srinagar national highway which is the only surface link used by the pilgrims. The 48-day long Yatra will conclude on August 17 coinciding with Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan festivals.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/7/8 20:08:49 ( 971 reads )


One party says thought is caused by matter, and the other says matter is caused by thought. Both statements are wrong; matter and thought are coexistent. There is a third something of which both matter and thought are products.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

14,500 Acres of Temple Land Encroached in Telangana

Posted on 2016/7/7 17:58:43 ( 1311 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, July 5, 2016 (Deccan Chronicle): Land belonging to temples has become a soft target for encroachers, with a preliminary inquiry by endowments department showing that over 14,500 acres had been encroached upon. The inquiry revealed that large scale encroachments took place in the last 15 years due to the sharp rise in land prices. Lack of coordination between endowments, revenue and stamps and registration departments made the encroachers' job easy.

Neither the revenue nor the endowments department has proper land records of temple land. Taking advantage of this, encroachers bribed officials to encroach land and got them registered to their names. It was found that Nalgonda, with 3,225 acres of temple land encroached, topped the list in the state. Hyderabad follows with 2,000 acres and Ranga Reddy district stood third with 1,800 acres encroached.

"The state governments in undivided AP totally neglected temple lands. There is no clarity on how much land temples own in the state. This gives scope for encroachers to grab these lands easily. Even the existing records are erroneous. Unless these records are rectified immediately, it is not possible to check encroachments," said Mr A. Indrakaran Reddy, minister for endowments.


Amma Canteen: Where an Indian Meal Costs Only Seven Cents

Posted on 2016/7/7 17:58:33 ( 1214 reads )


TAMIL NADU, INDIA, July 7, 2016 (BBC News): The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's "Amma Canteens," which serve cheap meals to hundreds of thousands of people daily, have become immensely popular with the poor and the middle classes. The menu today includes rice cooked with lentils and spices and curd rice. The former is selling for seven cents a plate while the latter costs just around 5 cents, a fraction of what the dishes would cost in any other restaurant. The portions are big and most describe the food as delicious. Diners buy coupons which are then exchanged for plates of rice.

AIADMK party spokesperson CR Saraswathi says Ms Jayalalithaa started the canteens to provide good, cheap food to the people. Today, there are more than 300 such eateries in the state, at least half of them in Chennai alone. They serve simple breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week. "The food is prepared hygienically, it's very well made and it's tasty," says CR Saraswathi, "Our chief minister started these canteens one year back to provide good, cheap food to the people. It has also generated employment for thousands of women. The canteens are run by women who cook, clean and serve." The canteens have helped poor and lower middle-class families massively slash their food bills and freed the womenfolk from the daily drudgery of cooking and cleaning. And their gratitude has often translated into votes for Amma.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/7/7 17:58:23 ( 1087 reads )


They have "Dial-a-Prayer" for atheists now. You call it up, it rings and rings, but nobody answers.

Opposition to Widening of Tiruvannamali Circumambulation Path Gathers Pace

Posted on 2016/7/6 19:57:25 ( 1163 reads )


TIRUVANNAMALAI, TAMIL NADU, INDIA July 2, 2016 (by A.D Balasubramaniyan, The Hindu): Activists in Tiruvannamalai opposing the move to widen the girivalam (circumambulation) path, have decided to come together to protest against the work. Work has begun for the digging of a ditch for a 12-km long drainage line along the proposed foot path. Many activists, environmentalists, pilgrims and sadhus who are against the widening project have started to organise themselves in order to articulate the protest. They plan to form a human chain around Sonagiri forest. Omgaranandha, a Puducherry-based pontiff, expressed his views against cutting of trees openly. Several sadhus, though they don't want to be named for now, feel bad about the project and deem it as unnecessary. On social media, there are a number of discussions that are against the project. More than 5,000 persons signed an online petition initiated against cutting of trees along the girivalam path in Tiruvannamalai.

The petition was initiated by Vellore based Yoga teacher V. Naveen Kumar on Tuesday onchange.org, an online petitioning website. In his petition he said, the proposed widening of the girivalam road will lead to an irreplaceable loss of ancient trees, forest lands, sacred groves, and cause considerable damage to sacred tanks and temples. The farmers whose lands will be acquired for the project will also be severely affected. The project, which in some places involves re-routing of the road, will cause irreparable damage to the Sonagiri sacred grove, the only intact sacred grove on mount Arunachala. Speaking to The Hindu he said that, "This is a pilgrimage centre and why should there be so much damage?"

Life Is Hard for Hindu Tweens--Texas Schoolbooks Make It Worse

Posted on 2016/7/6 19:57:15 ( 1418 reads )


HOUSTON, TEXAS, July 5, 2016 (Houston Chronicle, by Kavita Pallod): For me, as for most tweens, middle school was a time of all-encompassing awkwardness. I didn't know what to do with my oddly proportioned limbs, how to dress while my mom was still shopping for me, what was acceptable to pack for lunch or even how to greet my friends in the morning. I certainly didn't need the help of my teachers or social studies textbooks to feel out of place. But, as so many things are at that age, it was out of my hands.

As a Hindu American growing up in Alief, I was faced with Texas textbooks that made my faith look strange and primitive, even to me. We were taught about a discriminatory caste system that deemed people untouchable, the practice of sati (where widows threw themselves on their husbands' funeral pyres), the lower status of women in ancient and modern India.

All but absent from the textbook were the things I did know about my faith: karma, dharma; the four yogas (the paths to spiritual liberation). And, of course, the teachers had no knowledge of Hinduism outside of the textbooks in front of them, nor a very well-developed sense of cultural sensitivity. My tenth-grade teacher was not trying to be cruel when he had me stand up in front of the class, then asked me what my caste was.

In addition to this, always hovering over me was the specter of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an essentialized character from The Simpsons, who believed odd things and scammed people at his convenience store. Between Apu and the textbooks, misconceptions and prejudice in my classmates was inevitable, as were the isolation and shame that dogged me.

I kept my head down. I passed quizzes and tests by answering questions about caste and rituals in ways I knew to be incorrect. I tolerated classmates who insisted I was going to hell for worshiping idols. I tried, to work up the nerve to speak up about the misrepresentations in my textbook, but I was stymied by shyness and embarrassment.

Unfortunately, the Hindu American Foundation's 2016 Bullying Report shows that I am far from alone in my experience: Half of the students who responded to the survey said that they felt awkward or socially isolated because of their religious identity. Well over half said that their classes focused on caste and included claims about Hinduism that they knew to be inaccurate, in debate, or long debunked. Caste, when presented as a hierarchical and rigid system at the core of the faith, implies that people who follow the faith are inherently oppressive, judgmental, and exclusivist. Dharma is the set of basic principles that most Hindus use as a moral cornerstone to navigate daily decisions. To have it tainted in this way is hugely damaging.

Many Hindus growing up in the United States have little or no attachment to caste, much less any engagement with the caste-based discrimination that is excruciatingly highlighted in textbooks. But it would take a remarkable amount of wherewithal (an amount that cannot be expected from a sixth-, eighth- or even tenth-grader) to dismiss their textbooks and teachers. Worse still, one in eight Hindu students said their teachers have made sarcastic remarks about their faith. It's hard enough to get through a lesson with a teacher who is trying to be sensitive, let alone one who isn't.

Bullying is of course ubiquitous in this age group. Teens can and do make fun of just about anything. But there is something particularly insidious about being attacked for your core beliefs, as opposed to, say, a sweater that can be ditched or a haircut that will grow out.

These days, I work as a therapist in a setting where I see middle and high school students during the school day and help teens navigate a spectrum of challenges: depression resulting from issues at home, anxiety from school and academic pressure, angst about who they are. Across the board, they feel isolated, judged, awkward and alone.

Teenage years are tough. Tough enough that students shouldn't ever feel like their educational institution is attacking them, however subtly -- or unsubtly. For Hindu American students exposed to current social studies textbooks and the problematic understanding of Hinduism that they foster, the challenge is magnified. The textbooks' mistakes aren't the only thing that makes life hard on Hindu students. But those mistakes are something that Texas can -- and must -- remedy.

Kavita Pallod is a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University, studying clinical psychology. She holds psychology and education degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. She is active in the Hindu community of Houston and serves on the steering committee for the Hindu Heritage Youth Camp. She is also the 2011 winner of the Hindus of Greater Houston's Youth Leader award. Kavita's work at Hindu American Foundation is focused on K-12 curricular issues.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/7/6 19:57:04 ( 1072 reads )


When individuals change for the better, then society will change, and when society changes, then the country will change.
-- Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha

Rent Trouble for Temples Pains India's Supreme Court

Posted on 2016/7/5 19:21:59 ( 1314 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 2, 2016 (Prameya News7): The Supreme Court on Friday decided to intervene in an issue described by the Madras high court as "land of lords in trouble" and expressed concern over rampant encroachment, misuse and misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of acres of temple lands. Appearing for the petitioner, advocate K K Mani said Tamil Nadu was known for its temple culture and there were thousands of temples showcasing India's rich cultural heritage. "But most of them are gasping for survival as their incomes have steadily declined. Their properties were rented out decades ago for a pittance. There has been no revision of rent. Temple lands have been encroached upon," Mani said. The bench appeared to subscribe to the view expressed by Mani and issued notice to the commissioner, Hindu religious and charitable endowments department, Chennai.

HC judge Pushpa Sathyanarayana had said, "The lands of the Lords are in trouble! Even Gods and Lords are not spared. The temples in Tamil Nadu are historic symbols of Tamil history, and they are the properties of the community as a whole. But God's money is robbed by the notorious society. The tenants and encroachers are defrauding on rents for the temple land which are taken on lease and breaking of hundis, stealing temple jewels, the value of which are immeasurable and the lifting of antique metal icons to other countries are increasing day by day."

- See more at: http://www.prameyanews7.com/en/jul201 ... .htm#sthash.cbbxSyyV.dpuf

Study on the Power of Ritual

Posted on 2016/7/5 19:21:49 ( 679 reads )


UNITED STATES, July 2, 2016 (NCBI Abstract): HPI note: We found this an interesting investigation into both ritual and placebo effect. It is from a scientific, not mystical viewpoint, obviously, but still food for thought.

Using a comparative analysis of Navajo healing ceremonials, acupuncture and biomedical treatment, this essay examines placebo studies and ritual theory as mutually interpenetrating disciplines. Healing rituals create a receptive person susceptible to the influences of authoritative culturally sanctioned "powers." The healer provides the sufferer with imaginative, emotional, sensory, moral and aesthetic input derived from the palpable symbols and procedures of the ritual process--in the process fusing the sufferer's idiosyncratic narrative unto a universal cultural mythos.

Healing rituals involve a drama of evocation, enactment, embodiment and evaluation in a charged atmosphere of hope and uncertainty. Experimental research into placebo effects demonstrates that routine biomedical pharmacological and procedural interventions contain significant ritual dimensions. This research also suggests that ritual healing not only represents changes in affect, self-awareness and self-appraisal of behavioral capacities, but involves modulations of symptoms through neurobiological mechanisms. Recent scientific investigations into placebo acupuncture suggest several ways that observations from ritual studies can be verified experimentally. Placebo effects are often described as "non-specific;" the analysis presented here suggests that placebo effects are the "specific" effects of healing rituals.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/7/5 19:21:38 ( 661 reads )


"May I take your order?" the waiter asked. "Yes. I'm just wondering, how do you prepare your chickens?" "Nothing special, sir," he replied. "We just tell them straight out that they're going to die."

First Batch of Pilgrims Leaves Jammu for Amarnath Yatra

Posted on 2016/7/2 17:50:14 ( 1087 reads )


INDIA, July 1, 2016 (Times of India): The first batch of 1,138 pilgrims left Jammu on Friday for this year's Amarnath Yatra that begins from Saturday. State deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh, junior minister Priya Sethi and Lok Sabha member Jugal Kishore flagged off the first batch of pilgrims from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in winter capital Jammu at 5 a.m. on Friday. There are 900 males, 225 females and 13 children in the first batch which left in 13 buses, 24 mini-buses and other modes of public and private conveyance in a convoy guarded by the security forces.

Providing security to this year's Amarnath Yatra is a major security and intelligence challenge for state and central agencies because of the spurt in the violence by separatist militants. Union home minister Rajnath Singh will arrive in Jammu on Friday on a two-day visit to review the security situation in the state, especially the security arrangements for this year's Yatra. Beginning from Saturday, this year's 48-day Yatra will end on August 18 coinciding with Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan festivals.

Hindu Priest Comes under Attack in Satkhira

Posted on 2016/7/2 17:50:03 ( 966 reads )


BANGLADESH, July 2, 2016 (The Daily Star): Assailants attacked a Hindu priest leaving him severely injured in Satkhira Sadar Upazila early today, a day into the killing of a Hindu priest in Jhenidah and a Buddhist man in Bandarban. Bhabasindhu Bor, priest of local Sree Sree Radha Govinda temple in Brahmarajpur village of Satkhira Sadar Upazila, is undergoing treatment at Satkhira Sadar Hospital in critical condition, said police. Around 3:30am, seven to eight assailants knocked at the door of the priest's house. When the victim opened the door thinking it was the night guard, they stormed into in the house and attacked him with sharp weapons.

« 1 ... 4 5 6 (7) 8 9 10 ... 996 »
Copyright© 2016 Himalayan Academy. All rights reserved.

Get from the App Store Android app on Google Play