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Why the Hindu Spiritual Tradition of Vegetarianism Is Getting a Fresh Start

Posted on 2018/11/11 11:06:48 ( 376 reads )


LANHAM, MARYLAND, November 9, 2018 (RNS) At 4 a.m. on a recent Saturday, two specially trained Hindu cooks arrived at the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. They took a quick look at the menu and got to work preparing four kinds of rice, alongside masala vada, a crispy lentil pancake; sambar vada, a kind of fried doughnut with a lentil base; and idli sambar, a savory rice cake made from a batter of rice and fermented black lentils. All the food they prepared was strictly vegetarian and freshly made. "Food blessed by God stimulates the mind and body with holy thoughts and holy energy and promotes divine qualities," said Sri Narayanachar Digalakote, a priest born and trained in India, who believes this diet, rooted in Hindu sacred text, is God-given.

The Hindu tradition of ahimsa, or nonviolence and compassion, includes a deep commitment to vegetarianism. "Our forefathers started partaking in those foods for which they had no need to kill any sentient being," said the temple's general manager, Atul Rawat. The idea is to bring the wisdom of traditional Hindu culture to address environmental degradation -- specifically greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal waste. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its most recent report recommends "less resource-intensive diets" to keep emissions in check. These findings have spurred a global climate action campaign called "Living the Change." Launched by a coalition of faith partners this September at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, the initiative calls for people from diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds to pledge to live more sustainable lifestyles, including eating less meat.

Much more at "source".

Malibu Hindu Temple Safe for Now

Posted on 2018/11/11 11:06:35 ( 505 reads )

Hindu Temple Society of Southern California

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, November 11, 2018 (bulletin from Nadadur S. Kumar): "Against all odds, I managed to visit the Temple along with my wife this morning. We were quite astonished to see the Temple standing as tall as always in the middle of many other structures destroyed in and around the Temple. The only conclusion that we could come to was to accept that god acts in mysterious ways. We are grateful that the Temple thus far has not suffered any damage as a result of the raging Woolsey fire."

HPI adds: Photos of the temple included with the bulletin indicate no damage, and that trees adjacent to the temple have not burned. However, high winds are again predicted for the area which could still bring fire into its vicinity. There are prescriptions in scripture for this type of natural disaster which prevents the performance of daily puja as the temple staff has been evacuated under government orders. According to Sthapati R. Selvanathan of Chennai (https://ruthaavaree.files.wordpress.co ... stapathi-annualdinner.pdf), the relevant one is called Andharitham. He explains: "Andharitham means rectifying and rejuvenating the disturbed spiritual ambience of theTemple sanctity by the natural and unnatural happenings. Natural disturbances like flood inside the sanctum sanctorum due to unprecedented rain, attack of lightning and thunder on the temple structure etc. The unnatural disturbances are like entry of burglars, military attacks inside the temple, unexpected death incidents and sometimes entry of animals. These will be rectified and the spiritual ambience rejuvenated by reciting agamic mantras for certain aavardhis, performing shanthi homas and so on."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/11/11 11:06:21 ( 318 reads )


He who is called Brahman by the jnanis is known as atman by the yogis and as Bhagavan by the bhaktas. But even That disappears when the aspirant reaches nirvikalpa samadhi.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

Nepal's Kukur Tihar Festival Honors Their Dogs

Posted on 2018/11/10 10:12:38 ( 325 reads )


NEPAL, November 7, 2018 (Pretty 52): Nepal celebrated our fluffy four-legged friends in its Kukur Tihar--Day of the Dogs--on Tuesday, and it looked incredible. The five-day Nepalese Hindu festival of Tihar kicked off earlier this week, and the second day is dedicated entirely to dogs. Pooches are given flower garlands and are blessed with a Tika, which is a red or white mark applied to their forehead. Both stray dogs and pets are doted on and offered delicious food as part of the five day-long festival.

Social media is littered with pictures of pets and stray dogs being honored in the festival, wearing flower garlands and tika, enjoying banquets of food. Other animals are also honored in the festival including crows and ravens, which have sweet foods and delicacies left out for them. Cows are given garlands and tika on the morning of day three, and are allowed to graze on the best grass, and oxen are honored in the same way on day four. Tihar is also known as Deepavali or the festival of lights, and it either comes in November or October, depending on the year.

Photos at "source" above.

Meat Has a Replacement but No One Knows What to Call It

Posted on 2018/11/10 10:12:25 ( 345 reads )


UNITED STATES, November 7, 2018 (Bloomberg): Lab-grown. Cell-based. Clean. In vitro. Cultured. Fake. Artificial. Synthetic. Meat 2.0. These are all terms that refer to the same kind of food, one that's not even on the market yet. But the companies making it have already raised hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investor cash and earned the close attention of U.S. regulators. Rather than methodically slaughtering animals, this industry uses science to grow what it claims is essentially the same thing as traditional meat. Given the planetary damage wrought by mass-market animal husbandry, such cellular agriculture is seen as the future of meat.

But what to name it, and getting people to eat it, is another matter altogether. Crucial to public acceptance of any consumer product, of course, is branding. But no one can agree what to call this stuff. Originally, there was a push for the label "clean meat." This was seen as a better alternative to the more clinical "lab-grown meat," said Bruce Friedrich, co-founder and executive director of the Good Food Institute, which lobbies for these new products. But then the traditional meat industry weighed in, saying the cellular version shouldn't be called meat at all. "We're using the term 'lab-produced cultured protein,'" said Dan Kovich, deputy director of science and technology at the National Pork Producers Council. Other groups representing meat producers, including the North American Meat Institute, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the National Chicken Council, also objected to the "clean meat" label.

Much more on this issue at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/11/10 10:12:12 ( 289 reads )


We are all bubbles in the ocean. The bubble is in the ocean; the ocean is in the bubble.
-- Satguru Siva Yogaswami, (1872-1964) Sri Lankan mystic

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/11/10 10:11:58 ( 324 reads )


Offer oblations in love, light golden lamps. Spread incense of fragrant wood and lighted camphor in all directions. Forget your worldly worries and meditate. Worshiping thus, there is nothing that you cannot attain. Worshiping thus, you shall inherit the wealth of Indra, heaven's king. Worshiping thus, you shall gain miraculous powers. Worshiping thus, you shall attain moksha.
-- Tirumantiram, verses 1005–1006

Malibu Temple Cancels Weekend Activities on Account of Fires, Vacates Temple

Posted on 2018/11/9 12:00:53 ( 1549 reads )

Nadadur S. Kumar

MALIBU, CALIFORNIA, November 9, 2018 (Malibu Hindu Temple press release): "To the members and devotees of the Temple: On behalf of the temple, I wish to convey my regrets to all of the families that have been affected by the fires. I am sure the devotees and visitors to the temple are very concerned about the well-being of all the employees of the temple, including the priests. I want to inform you that all of them have been safely evacuated from the temple premises and the temple has been secured. In the meanwhile, as you may all know, the temple has scheduled events to take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018 and special events scheduled on Sunday, November 11, 2018. In light of the fires in the areas near the temple, we regretfully announce that all of these events stand cancelled for both Saturday, November 10 and Sunday, November 11, 2018. The events scheduled for Sunday, November 11 to celebrate Diwali (Deepavali) will be rescheduled for a future date. I request all of you to pray that the temple will be spared of any damages. We will reopen the temple as soon as it becomes feasible."

For an update on the uncontained Woolsey fire impacting Malibu, just north of Los Angeles, go to:
http://www.malibucity.org/AlertCenter ... lvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
The entire town of Malibu as well as others in the area have been ordered evacuated, with many roads, including those that access the temple, closed.

Dakshineswar Temple Gets Skywalk for Devotees to Walk Straight from Rail Station

Posted on 2018/11/9 11:50:18 ( 351 reads )


KOLKATA, INDIA, November 5, 2018 (Newsmen): On the eve of Kali Puja, the world famous Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Kolkata today got a gift in the form of a skywalk that has been built by the state government. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the US$8.225 million Rani Rashmoni Skywalk that connects Dakshineswar railway station to the main gate of the Temple through an elevated pathway. The arch-shape skywalk made of glass and steel is 1,115 ft. long and 34 ft. wide. There are 14 escalators, four lifts, and eight staircases to enable visitors to embark and disembark at several points including the busy Dakshineswar traffic circle.

Along the center of the skywalk have been set up 137 permanent stalls where the hawkers from the pathway below will be rehabilitated over the next seven days, the Chief Minister said on inaugurating the skywalk. Devotees will be able to buy items for worship from these stalls while proceeding through the walkway on both sides. Going by a rough estimate, around 14 million people from all over India and abroad visit Dakshineswar Kali Temple every year, and the skywalk will be of convenience to them as they will no longer require to negotiate through the busy traffic.

Moringa, the Next Superfood?

Posted on 2018/11/9 11:50:04 ( 368 reads )


DAVIS, CALIFORNIA, October 9, 2018 (Washington Post): There's nothing super-looking about moringa (drumstick, Tamil murungai). It's skinny and sparse in foliage. Its fragile branches sprout puny white flowers and droop with long twisted pods knobby with seeds. But if plants were superheroes, then moringa would be Iron Man. "If there were a top ten list of plants that are going to help feed the world over the next hundred years, I would say moringa should be on that list," said Carrie Waterman, a University of California, Davis, natural products chemist.

Every part of the plant is edible -- leaves, pods, seeds, flowers, even its root. The feathery leaves alone pack a powerful protein punch nearly 30 percent by dry weight. Legumes don't even have that much protein, nor all the essential amino acids. The leaves are high in vitamins A and C, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium. They contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that have been shown in some research studies to reduce chronic inflammation. The plant even has the potential to simultaneously treat both malnutrition and obesity. The moringa tree is also known as the drumstick tree because of its slender foot-long pods and has been consumed mainly in parts of Southeast Asia for centuries.

Much more on the health benefits of moringa at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/11/9 11:49:51 ( 298 reads )


Being upset reflects the lack of a strategy.
-- Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today

Australia Hindu Council Marks Twenty Years

Posted on 2018/10/29 13:39:05 ( 774 reads )


AUSTRALIA, October 25, 2018 (Indian Link): The history of Hinduism in Australia goes back to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1787. It is understood that there were some Indians, possibly Hindus, who arrived with early European settlers [half of them convicts]. A recent study of Indigenous Australian DNA suggests there was some form of migration from India to Australia about 4,000 years ago. The first Hindu association called the Sri Mandir Society, established the first Hindu Temple in 1977 in Auburn NSW in an old Salvation Army Hall. The first Hindu temple built in the traditional Indian architecture was the Sri Venkateswara Temple at Helensburgh NSW which opened its doors to the public in 1985. Since then many Hindu temples have been built in every state in Australia.

The late Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami from Kauai Aadheenam, Hawaii USA visited Sydney in 1989. He suggested to a group of local Hindu leaders that the leaders of all the Hindu associations should meet periodically and discuss matters of mutual interest to strengthen the Hindu group. He suggested that we should get together and celebrate Ganesha Visarjana Festival every year. This was agreed upon and the Ganesha Festival was first celebrated in 1990 at the Sri Venkateswara Temple grounds in Helensburgh. It was a grand success with over 30 different associations taking part with many thousands attending. The Hindu Council has now opened up chapters in all the states, and having become a truly national body, has grown from strength to strength. It speaks on behalf of the Hindus at the national level - with government, with the other associations, and with the public. It takes part in a number of multicultural activities and represents Hindus in many interfaith discussions and dialogue. The population of Hindus in Australia has increased substantially during the last two decades. We are now over 1.9% of Australia's population and approximately 500,000 in number, speaking over 12 of the different languages spoken in India.

Much more at "source" above.

A Fiery Walk of Faith for Hindus

Posted on 2018/10/29 13:38:52 ( 760 reads )


SINGAPORE, October 29, 2018 (Straits Times): Close to 4,500 devotees braved the heat last night at Sri Mariamman Temple in South Bridge Road for the annual fire-walking festival, or Theemithi. Displaying nerves of steel, they strode barefoot across a bed of burning charcoal, before stepping into a pit of milk. The ritual, held a week before Deepavali, is a form of penance or thanksgiving in honour of Hindu Goddess Sri Drowpathai Amman. The pit was lit at 11.30am and the hot coals were continuously stoked throughout the day. Close to 9pm, the first devotee made his way across the pit. The fire-walking ceremony was expected to last till about 4am today. Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam was the guest of honor at last night's event.

Great photo at "source."

Grandest Day as Groton Hindu Temple Opens to Community

Posted on 2018/10/29 13:38:38 ( 760 reads )


GROTON, MASSACHUSETTS, October 15, 2018 (Lowell Sun): Banana bunches and other fruits welcome worshippers at the entrance as they ascend a tall flight of steps to the main hall -- representing the people's rite of passage from the earthly to the divine world. Inside the new 40,000-square-foot, two-floor temple, they see a familiar sight in the lobby: Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed Deity, the remover of obstacles, draped in flowers. The new Hindu temple becomes a holy place as worshippers perform the inauguration rituals at the largest Shirdi Sai temple in North America, highlighted by its three golden-ceramic spires.

Thousands of worshippers on Sunday descended upon New England Shirdi Sai Parivaar Temple in Groton for the opening celebration, including consecration and worship of all the temple Deities. It's dedicated to the late 19th-century Indian spiritual saint Sai Baba of Shirdi. When the temple first formed in 2006, there were 40 families. Now, there are 5,000. The new temple can accommodate as many as 7,800 worshippers across the two-story central area. The groundbreaking took place in August 2015. After three years of extensive design, planning and construction, the temple is officially open with this 12-day celebration.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/10/29 13:38:24 ( 753 reads )


Look at your mind dispassionately; this is enough to calm it. Only when it is quiet can you go beyond it. Do not keep the mind busy all the time, stop it and just be. If you give it a rest, it will settle down and recover its purity and strength.
-- Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981), Hindu sage

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