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CCB Nabs Antique Smugglers, Finds Three Statues of Chola Era
Posted on 2014/10/11 17:47:27 ( 898 reads )

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INDIA, October 4, 2014 (The Hindu): The Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested three persons and busted a smuggling racket on Saturday. Sleuths recovered three statues said to be from the Chola era that are estimated to be worth over US$5.2 million from the trio.

The arrested are from Mumbai in Maharashtra and Belgaum. They were caught red-handed while waiting to deliver the statues to a client.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Hemanth Nimbalkar said that the three statues -- one of Nataraja and two dancers -- are made of Pancha Loha (an alloy of five metals). He said that based on the stance depicted in the statue, they were able to ascertain that they belong to the Chola era.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/10/11 17:47:20 ( 897 reads )

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When the fundamentalists of any religion teach an unrelenting duality based on good and evil, man and nature or God and Devil, this creates friends and enemies. This belief is a sacrilege to Hindus, because they know that the attitudes which are the by-product are totally dualistic, and for good to triumph over that which is alien or evil, it must kill out that which is considered to be evil. The Hindu looks at nothing as intrinsically evil. To him the ground is sacred. The sky is sacred. The sun is sacred. His wife is a Goddess. Her husband is a God. Their children are devas. Their home is a shrine.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

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Pilgrims Stuck in Near Two-Day Queues at Tirupati
Posted on 2014/10/5 17:23:50 ( 1213 reads )

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TIRUMALA, ANDRA PRADESH, INDIA, October 5, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): With the holiday pilgrim crowd continuing to throng the Tirumala hill shrine on Saturday, a stampede-like situation developed in the queue lines giving tense moments to officials of the TTD. They rushed to the Vaikuntam Q complex to get the situation under control. With absolutely no respite from the heavy influx of devotees due to a string of holidays, the serpentine queues became the order of the day even to get into the Vaikuntam Q complex, at the Kalyanakatta, Annadanam complex, laddu counters and at the reception counters.

However, the alert staff and the vigilance sleuths who realised that the situation was getting worse, tried to stop the devotees and helped them by shifting them to the TTD-run Aswini hospital for first aid with the help of ambulances.

Meanwhile, TTD JEO Mr K.S. Sreenivasa Raju, who rushed to the spot on learning about the developments in the queue lines, decided to immediately cancel the Divya darshan for devotees trekking up the hills through the pedestrian routes owing to the heavy and unprecedented rush atop the hill shrine already. Mr Sreenivasa Raju also added that from now on the Divya darshan would be cancelled during the weekends if the pilgrim influx is heavy. The JEO asked the officials concerned, besides the vigilance staff and policemen to ensure the situation in the queue lines is closely monitored to prevent any untoward incidents.

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Edinburgh, Scotland, to Enjoy 20th Dussehra Festival
Posted on 2014/10/5 17:23:44 ( 1108 reads )

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EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, October 4, 2014 (Edinburgh Evening News): Bagpipes and fiddles will merge with tribal belly dancers and a Bollywood band to celebrate the Capital's 20th Dussehra Festival tomorrow. Around 5000 people are expected to gather for the annual Hindu festival on Calton Hill, which celebrates good conquering evil. Symbolic 25 ft effigies of the demons Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and son Meghnad will be set alight on top of the hill to commemorate the victory, which took place thousands of years ago.

The burning is the climax of a day full of activities celebrating Dussehra, along with a fireworks display which takes place against the spectacular backdrop of the Edinburgh cityscape. It is one of the largest free independent festivals in Scotland - something its organisers are proud they are able to provide to the residents of Edinburgh and further afield.

This year it features a fantastic cultural programme integrating Scottish and Indian music and dance.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/10/5 17:23:37 ( 1080 reads )

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Remain calm, serene, always in command of yourself. You will then find out how easy it is to get along.
-- Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), Founder of Self-Realization Fellowship

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Delhi's Modernized Ramlilas Prove Popular
Posted on 2014/10/4 17:44:02 ( 1122 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, October 2, 2014 (Times of India): Ramlilas in Delhi have come of age. The traditional Ramlilas, where the story evolved through several days of performances, have given way to modern shows presented by professional actors and trained choreographers. Even modern equipment is used in the shows to catch the audience's interest.

Connaught Place's Central Park has come alive with unique enactment of the Ramayana by the Indian Revival Group, a professional dance group. Open to all in the heart of CP, hundreds queued up to see the Ramlila show, which uses theatrical and dance techniques to captivate the audience. The show is unique because classical dance forms are being used in the performances.

"We want to promote our country's rich cultural heritage and we have embraced so many dance and theatrical techniques in our show, it will be a new experience for the audience," said Papiha Desai, the chief choreographer. The show spanning two hours and 15 minutes sees about 30 dancers performing in front of the live audience.

In Shriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra, organizers for the first time are using animations as part of their annual Ramlila show. "Some of the important scenes from the Ramayana which we cannot show on stage are being done through animations, for which we are using special projectors. The audience will get to see scenes like Hanuman flying to Lanka, the epic fight between Ram and Ravan, burning of Lanka, Ram crossing the bridge to Lanka and his final return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravan will come alive through projections," said director and vice-chairperson Shobha Deepak Singh.

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Bronze Statue on Display at Toledo Museum of Art Being Returned to Government of India
Posted on 2014/10/4 17:43:56 ( 1084 reads )

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TOLEDO, OHIO, October 2, 2014 (Toledo Blade): A 1,000-year-old statue on display at the Toledo Museum of Art for almost a decade will be returned to the Government of India, the museum announced today. The sculpture, a bronze statue of the Hindu deity Ganesh, known as the Ganesha, has been the source of an ongoing investigation, after the U.S. Justice Department contacted museum officials regarding the statue's history and documentation.

The museum purchased the Ganesha for $245,000 in 2006 from Subhash Kapoor, a second-generation antiques dealer, who is currently facing trial in India on charges of illegal exportation, conspiracy, and forgery. Between 2001 and 2010, the museum purchased seven other pieces from Mr. Kapoor's Art of the Past gallery in New York City. Mr. Kapoor also gave 56 small terracotta statues to the museum.

While all of the items have been removed from public view, the Museum's Art Committee voted in late August to return the Ganesha, after deciding the statue closely resembles a figure listed as stolen in an Indian police report. "The evidence provided by Indian authorities was convincing. We believe the sculpture was stolen from a temple sometime before 2006," Brian Kennedy, director of TMA said. "Any item that turns out to be stolen will be returned. That's our policy."



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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/10/4 17:43:49 ( 715 reads )

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Seek the Infinite, for that alone is Joy unlimited, imperishable, unfailing, self-sustaining, unconditioned, timeless. When you have this joy, human life becomes a paradise; the light, the grace, the power, the perfections of that which is highest in your inner consciousness, appear in your everyday life.
-- Swami Omkarananda. founder of Omkarananda Ashram, Rishikesh

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The Annual Durga Statue Desecration Festival of Bangladesh
Posted on 2014/10/3 17:31:43 ( 942 reads )

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MUMBAI, INDIA, September 30, 2014 (dna India by Garga Chatterjee): In a few days, I'll go from my city home in Kolkata to my clan-abode in Patuligram village of West Bengal's Hooghly district. Ma Durga, the mother Goddess, will come alive in Patuligram as Moter Ma -- the name by which She is known there. Every year on Bijoya Dashami, Ma Durga is immersed. Her mortal children cheer expectantly 'Ashchhe bochhor abar hobe' ("It will happen again next year.") -- a call of hope and annual return.

In the People's Republic of Bangladesh, another set of annual events centred on statues of Ma Durga start somewhat earlier than the puja itself. This is the widespread desecration and destruction of Ma Durga's statues, always done by an "unidentifiable group of miscreants." The target faith community is always identifiable and predictable. Already, the pre-Puja statue-breaking campaign has picked up. 5 in Kishoreganj district, 6 in Rishipara of Gopalpur, 3 in Joari Bajar of Natore, 4 in Garua of Faridpur, 3 in Protapnagar of Sherpur and so on. Care is taken to attack late in the statue-making process and do a thorough job so that the statue cannot be repaired or replaced.

Every year, the President, Prime Minister and opposition leader will congratulate their Hindu brothers and sisters on the occasion of Durga Puja. They would utter tired phrases about Bangladesh's tradition of communal harmony and religious tolerance. A few bad unidentifiable apples -- the powers-to-be insist. The rest is fine, including those who usurped more than half of all land and property belonging to religious minorities and made them second-class citizen by introducing a State religion in the constitution.

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A Second Request: Did you Study Indian History and Hinduism in California During 6th Grade? If So, We'd Like to Hear from You.
Posted on 2014/10/3 17:31:36 ( 911 reads )



KAUAI, HAWAII, September 25, 2014 (HPI): As readers may know, the California State Board of Education's Instructional Quality Commission set in motion a 60-day review period for the revised Framework for History-Social Studies. In this revised Framework, which sets the classroom curriculum for each grade, the section on India and Hinduism has been extensively changed, in our opinion, often for the worse.

Hinduism Today is working with organizations and scholars to create a set of recommended changes to the revised Framework, and as part of that we need to demonstrate the problems created by the existing one.

We have heard anecdotal reports from Hindu students that they've been humilated in class by the nature of the sections on India, focused as they are almost entirely on caste in most books. One student went home and told his mother, "I don't want to be a Hindu any more." Another was taunted with the question, "What's your caste?"

We've appealed to parents to send us more such reports, but are not getting a big response, we believe because they don't want their school-age children to be brought into a controversy.

However, what is being taught now has been the same since the early 1990s. So you attended sixth grade in California during that time, we'd like to hear what it was like for you during the week India and Hinduism was taught.

It is very important that we collect this data immediately. Your name can be used or not as you prefer.

Send reports to Acharya Arumuganathaswami, Managing Editor, Hinduism Today Magazine: ar@hindu.org

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/10/3 17:31:30 ( 758 reads )

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Of all blessings we know of none greater than the begetting of children endowed with intelligence.
-- Tirukkural

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Durga Puja Begins Today in Bangladesh; Pandals Immediately Attacked
Posted on 2014/9/30 18:20:46 ( 1250 reads )

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DHAKA, BANGLADESH, September 30, 2014 (The Daily Star): The five-day Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of Hindus, begins today with Mahashashthi. This year Mohanabami, alongside Bijoya Dashami, the day the Deities are immersed, will be celebrated on October 3. However, Puja organizers in Dhaka have decided to immerse the Deities on October 4. Around 28,600 altars have been set up in the country, including 221 in Dhaka. Compared to last year, the numbers have increased by around 800 and nine respectively.

Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad stated that miscreants attacked and vandalized at least 23 altars in 14 districts although law enforcers had claimed that adequate security measure were in place. "Five mandaps (altars) in Kishoreganj came under attack on September 18," the parishad President Kajal Devnath told The Daily Star.

Mohanagar Sarbojonin Puja Committee at a press conference yesterday demanded sufficient security measures, uninterrupted electricity and water supply, colorful decorations on government buildings, including Gono Bhaban, Bangabhaban and Nagar Bhaban; adequate measures for the smooth immersion of Deities and announcing a holiday at all educational institutions.

The central altar in the capital is at Dhakeshwari National Temple. Large ones have also been built at Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University, the Ramkrishna Mission, Ramna Kali Mondir, Tanti Bazar, Shankhari Bazar, Bangla Bazar, Banani and Dhanmondi.

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Narendra Modi Asks World Leaders to Adopt International Yoga Day
Posted on 2014/9/30 18:20:32 ( 1072 reads )

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INDIA, September 27, 2014 (Indian Express): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked the world leaders to adopt an International Yoga Day, saying that by changing lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. "Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day," Modi said in his maiden address to the 193-member UN General Assembly in United Nations.

Noting that Yoga is "an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition", he said: "It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature." "Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being," he said. "By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change," he added.

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Help Sought for Directory of Indian Spiritual Organisations Functioning Abroad
Posted on 2014/9/30 18:20:26 ( 989 reads )

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INDIA, September 30, 2014 (Vivekananda Kendra): The booklet titled "The Global Vision and Mission of Swami Vivekananda, and how it inspired the Indian Spiritual Thrust World-wide" (downloadable online at http://tinyurl.com/nta7ocy) highlights the need for a Directory of Indian Spiritual Organisations Functioning Abroad, and presents the details of the Project.

It contains an appeal from the President of Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, the Convener of the Project, who has undertaken it with the blessings and support of the leading spiritual institutions of Bharath:

"We hereby appeal and invite all concerned, world over, to be a part of this important move, for a historic Spiritual Directory, by submitting, at their earliest convenience, all the required particulars through the Form available online, at http://www.disoa.org. The contact info of our Coordinator is given in the booklet. For questions, if any, or for clarifications and further details, please feel free to contact him. We earnestly request your kind participation in this noble venture."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/30 18:20:20 ( 815 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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