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At Chennai's Cricket Ganesha Temple, Prayers For India to Retain World Cup
Posted on 2015/2/14 17:33:47 ( 1540 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, February 12, 2015 (NDTV): Cricket is a religion in India, quite literally. A cricket-lover in Chennai has built a Cricket Ganesha temple that has statues of Lord Ganesha in several cricketing avatars. Cricket-lovers flock to the temple to pray for the Indian team, as the World Cup kicks off in Australia and New Zealand.

The Sri Palayathamman Cricket Ganesha Temple is located in Chennai's Anna Nagar East area. Eleven Ganeshas welcome devotees and cricket lovers, installed right next to the principal deity, Amman. These include the Square Drive Ganesha swinging his bat, the Spinner Ganesha holding a ball, ready to bowl and the padded Wicket Keeper Ganesha. The star attraction is the 11-headed Ganesha, symbolizing the Indian cricket team.

The founder of this temple, Ramakrishnan, has also composed cricket bhajans, which he recites during his pooja. "Ganesha will bless both right-handed and left-handed players equally in the game, whether he's a batsman or a bowler. So, if devotees worship him sincerely, they will perform better," he says.



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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/2/14 17:33:40 ( 1311 reads )

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We who have come from the East here have been told day after day in a patronizing way that we ought to accept Christianity because Christian nations are the most prosperous. We look about us and see England as the most prosperous nation in the world, with her foot on the neck of 250 million Asiatics. We look back in history and see Christian Spain's wealth beginning with the invasion of Mexico. Such prosperity comes from cutting the throats of fellow men. At such a price the Hindu will not have prosperity.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, at the Parliament of the World's Religions, 1893

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My New Life as an Indian Wife
Posted on 2015/2/13 16:57:58 ( 1508 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, February 1, 2015 (BBC): Two years ago Lauren was living in the south of England and studying pharmacy. Abhiram, originally from India, lived and worked in New Jersey. In December 2012 they made contact on a vegetarian forum online. As they chatted, they fell in love, and within days of that first online conversation decided they wanted to be together.

Just a few weeks later Lauren moved to India and they got married. They now live in Nagpur in central India together with Abhiram's family where Lauren is adjusting to life as a traditional Indian wife.

A charming short video of their story as told to the BBC can be viewed at source.

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Diocese Backs Church over Turning away Yoga Class
Posted on 2015/2/13 16:57:43 ( 1343 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, February 11, 2015 (Christian): St. Michael and All Angels' Church who made a decision last year that ended a yoga class's use of its hall because the activity's roots are "incompatible with the Christian faith" has received support from its diocese.

Church council members informed yoga instructor Naomi Hayama that they were no longer allowing groups linked to "alternative spiritualities" to use their facilities. Hayama held twice-weekly yoga classes for around 30 people in the church building for nine years.

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Bristol said they support the church's stance, as decisions on leasing buildings lie with the relevant parochial church council. A statement from the church said: "The primary purpose of these buildings is the worship of God as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. "Yoga means the union of "mind, body and spirit". By definition, therefore, yoga is a spiritual activity whose roots are not Christ centered.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/2/13 16:57:36 ( 1243 reads )

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He who befriends a man whose conduct is vicious, whose vision impure, and who is notoriously crooked, is rapidly ruined.
-- Chanakya (350-275 bce), Indian politician, strategist and writer

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Hindu Priestesses Consecrated in Bern, Switzerland
Posted on 2015/2/10 16:14:03 ( 2262 reads )

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BERN, SWITZERLAND, February, 10, 2015 (Bluewin): Four women were consecrated as priestesses to serve the Hindu community in Berne in early February. There are virtually no Hindu women priests in India or Sri Lanka, said Sasikumar Tharmalingam, priest of the Saivaneri Koodam community's temple at the House of Religions in Bern, while speaking to the press.

Sasikumar Tharmalingam immigrated to Switzerland from Sri Lanka 14 years ago and the members of his community have researched the subject and studied the scriptures. They did not find any indication that would justify the exclusion of women from the priesthood. They found, on the contrary, many indications of equality between men and women. On a recent trip to India and Sri Lanka, they met with other priests who supported them in this opinion.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/2/10 16:13:57 ( 1956 reads )

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God is with us. It is He only who gives us the strength to work. If we live with this inspiration in our heart, we will surely experience Divinity in our life. Our work will become our devotion, and means of our spiritual progress.
-- Rameshbhai Oza, inspired performer of Vaishnava kathas

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Promoting Sacred Groves
Posted on 2015/2/9 17:53:06 ( 2069 reads )

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BHOPAL, INDIA, February 7, 2015 (Daily Pioneer): Sacred Groves are patches of natural or near-natural vegetation, dedicated by local communities to their ancestral spirits or deities. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya or The National Museum of Humankind is located here on 200 acres of land and is intended to "depict the story of humankind in time and space." It contains, for example, exhibits of tribal habitat, coastal village, himalayan village, etc. Its website, http://igrms.com/vs.html, seems neglected with significant sections not functioning.

This current project's objective is to bring the tradition of Sacred Groves into the cities. Sacred Groves are planted and protected by local communities and tribes usually through customary taboos and sanction with ancestral and ecological implications.

The Museum studied and documented the traditions and ritual for sacred groves in various communities and developed sacred groves with the help of the related communities and tribes. The installed sacred groves in Manav Sangrahalaya are: (Kava) Kerala, (Maw-Bukhar) Meghalaya, (Umanglai) Manipur, (Oran) Rajasthan, (Rajbanshi) West Bengal, (Sarna) Chhattisgarh, (Kovil Kadu) Tamil Nadu, (Devarai) Maharashtra etc.

In course of time, the industrialisation and globalisation affected biodiversity and natural resources to great extent. In a view of the adverse effects of biodiversity degradation, ecologist, environmentalists etc has made conservation of biodiversity as on issue of global significance. Earlier, there were many traditional conservation practices of indigenous communities which contributed to the conservation and protection of biodiversity -- such practices were named as sacred groves.

The program was inaugurated by Dr Ram Prasad (former Principle Chief Conservator of Forests and former VC, Barkatullah University) at lake side of IGRMS at 11.00 am. The local residents of various communities carried out various ritualistic activities at the sacred groves.

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Eight Weeks to a Better Brain
Posted on 2015/2/9 17:52:59 ( 2211 reads )

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UNITED STATES, January 21, 2011 (Harvard): Participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. In a study that will appear in the Jan. 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reported the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain's gray matter.

"Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day," says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology. "This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing."

"It is fascinating to see the brain's plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life," says Britta Hoelzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany. "Other studies in different patient populations have shown that meditation can make significant improvements in a variety of symptoms, and we are now investigating the underlying mechanisms in the brain that facilitate this change."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/2/9 17:52:51 ( 1909 reads )

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As to a mountain that's enflamed, deer and birds do not resort--so, with knowers of God, sins find no shelter.
-- Krishna Yajur Veda, Maitreya Upanishads 6.18

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Kaimur Temple Artefacts Stolen
Posted on 2015/2/8 16:52:37 ( 2193 reads )

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PATNA, INDIA, February 7, 2015 (Times of India): Three artefacts, including a silver canopy kept inside the sanctum sanctorum of the ancient Mundeshwari temple in Kaimur district, the oldest recorded Hindu temple in Bihar, were stolen on Thursday night. The temple, an ASI-protected monument, is one of the oldest living monuments in the country.

The miscreants also took away tikuli made of silver and two eyes of a goddess murthi placed in a corner of the temple's sanctum sanctorum. A chaturmukhi Shivlinga adorns the sanctum sanctorum. An FIR has been lodged with Bhagwanpur police station in Kaimur district.

Immediately after the incident, Bihar State Board of Religious Trusts' chairman Acharya Kishore Kunal informed the DGP and Kaimur DM about the theft. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has also been informed, Kunal told TOI. This is the second incident of theft at the temple which is without any boundary wall. The famous Shivlinga (7th century AD) of the temple was stolen some years back and recovered only due to the pressure of local residents, Kunal said.

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The Story of a Museum Treasure Found on a New York Pavement Decades Ago
Posted on 2015/2/8 16:52:23 ( 1931 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, February 6, 2015 (Telegraph): The treasures in the V&A's Indian collection boast an illustrious past, passing through the hands of sultans and maharajas. Yet one prized item, a wall hanging which will take centre stage at the museum's forthcoming India Festival, has a more lowly history. It was destined for the rubbish bin and only saved by a member of the public who spotted it heaped on a pavement.

The vast work, measuring 56 feet in length, was spotted on the street outside a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, more than 20 years ago by an art appraiser named Jerome Burns who was struck by its beauty. The work was far too large for Mr. Burns to display at home, and in 1994 he contacted the V&A while on holiday in the UK and offered it as a gift.

Textile experts at the London museum identified it as a superior example of Indian folk art. Handmade with fabric designs of elephants, people and Hindu gods appliqued to cotton backing, it was most likely created in 1920s in rural Gujarat. After conservation work, it is to go on display for the first time in The Fabric of India exhibition, which opens on October 3 as part of this autumn's India Festival.

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Archbishop Arthur Roche Cancels Trip to India After Being Denied a Visa
Posted on 2015/2/8 16:52:17 ( 1860 reads )

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INDIA, February 5, 2015 (Catholic Herald): Denial of visas to Vatican officials comes amid heightened tensions over "re-conversion" ceremonies. India's Catholic bishops have protested against a government decision to deny visas to two Vatican officials seeking to visit the country for a gathering. Archbishop Arthur Roche, former Bishop of Leeds and now secretary at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Archbishop Portase Rugambwa, president of the Pontifical Mission Societies, were to leave for India on Monday but were forced to cancel their trip at the last minute.

The two Vatican officials had been expected to address a gathering of Catholic bishops in Bangalore this week on the subject of "life and liturgy". The refusal comes amid heightened tensions over a wave of ceremonies by Hindu groups "re-converting" Christians back to Hinduism. Fr. Stephen Alathara, deputy secretary general of the Catholic bishops' conference of India, said the bishops would take up the matter with state authorities. The visas, he said, had been denied on "technical grounds". An official at Vatican Radio suggested the problem may have been due to communications difficulties with India's ambassador to the Holy See, Chitra Narayanan, who is resident at Bern, Switzerland, not the Vatican.

Last week concerns were raised about re-conversion ceremonies involving Christians from India's poorest communities. It was reported that between 50 and 100 Christians were "welcomed back" to Hinduism in a ceremony in a remote part of West Bengal.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/2/8 16:52:10 ( 1888 reads )

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If you believe in telekinesis - raise my hand!

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Hindu Devotees, People of Other Faiths, Celebrate Thaipusam in Singapore
Posted on 2015/2/7 12:51:34 ( 1944 reads )

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SINGAPORE, February 4, 2015 (Channel News Asia): The Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Singapore was not only observed by Hindus, but also people from other religions. Devotees started to gather at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple at Serangoon Road from Monday night, with some of them bearing kavadis, while others carried milk pots. The devotees took part in the procession to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road, about 4.5 kilometres away, by foot. This is a form of penance or thanksgiving to Lord Murugan.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean graced the event on Tuesday morning. He said festivals like Thaipusam reflect the mutual respect and understanding that the different races and religions have in Singapore.

"Thaipusam is deeply meaningful for the devotees and is a part of our multi-racial, multi-religious landscape in Singapore," said Mr Teo. "I was told the first spike kavadi carrier was actually Chinese. It shows the mutual respect, mutual understanding that we have among all our races and religions in Singapore."

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