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One Million expected to Celebrate Mahashivaratri at Nepal's Pashupatinath Temple

Posted on 2020/2/20 13:06:59 ( 142 reads )


KATHMANDU, NEPAL, February 21, 2020 (Himalayan News Service): Pashupati Area Development Trust has said it expects to host around one million Hindu devotees from Nepal and abroad during religious festival o Mahashivaratri. Pradeep Dhakal, PADT member-secretary said all preparations for Mahashivaratri were over. Premises of Pashupatinath temple has been decorated with electric lamps and colorful flowers and welcome gates were erected at entry points of the holy site. Emergency health camps, security posts, information centers and temporary toilets have also been set up for devotees.

More than 6,000 security personnel from Nepal Police and Armed Police Force have been deployed to prevent any untoward incident during the festival. Hundreds of sadhus from various parts of Nepal and India have already started camping on the temple premises. The festival is celebrated with great religious fervor in reverence of Lord Shiva.

"Lines of devotees will be well managed so that they can worship Shiva Linga within 15 minutes from the core area of the temple," said Dhakal. Four lines Mitrapark-Gaurighat-Umakunda, Jayabage- shwori-Intapakha-Bhuwane- shwori, Battisputalu-Gaushala Chowk and Airport Tilganga-Sumargi Bhawan will be arranged for devotees to proceed to the temple. Devotees will exit from the same direction by taking U-turn to avoid line crossing, said Dhakal. All four gates of the temple will remain open for devotees from 3:00am.

Cambodia to Build Rajendra Chola Statue and Introduce Thirukkural in School Syllabus

Posted on 2020/2/20 13:06:46 ( 158 reads )


TAMIL NADU, July 17, 2019 (Tamizhar Media): The Angkor Thamil Sangam and Pannattu Thamilar Naduvam along with The Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and Seenu Gnanam Travels are planning to unveil the statues of Chola emperor Rajendra Chola and Khmer emperor Suryavarman I in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in May 2022 to commemorate the friendship of these two great kings in the region. It was also announced that one of greatest Tamil classic literature, the Thirukkural, will be translated to the Khmer language and introduced into the school syllabus. Around 25,000 Tamils across the world are expected to attend the event which would strengthen India and Cambodia's bilateral relations, a press release said.

Mourn Sopheap and Prom Khemara who work at the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts visited Tamilnadu on the 30th of June for the first time and went to the Kailasanathar temple and Vaikundanathar temple in Kanchipuram, the big temple in Tanjavore, Shri Nataraja temple in Chidambaram and the Mamallapuram temple. They expressed happiness in finding a lot of evidence which is establishing the historical links between the Khmer Dynasty and Pallava Dynasty. After visiting the historical sites, the officials from the Cambodian Ministry expressed that they have strong feelings that The Khmer emperor Mahendravarman in the sixth century has been the ruler of the Pallava Dynasty at the same time as well.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/2/20 13:06:33 ( 129 reads )


The light which shines above heaven, above all the worlds, above everything, that is the same light which is within man. We can perceive it as the warmth in the body. And of it we have this audible proof: when we thus hear, by covering the ears, what is like the rumbling of a carriage, or the bellowing of an ox, or the sound of a blazing fire. One should worship as Brahman that inner light which is seen and heard. He who knows it becomes distinct.
-- Chandogya Upanishad XIII.8

Tamil Temple Begun in West Jakarta after 60 Years

Posted on 2020/2/17 5:12:05 ( 0 reads )


JAKARTA, INDONESIA, February 14, 2020 February 14, 2020 (tanda-baca.co.id): DKI Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, attended the laying of the first stone of a house of worship for Hindus, especially ethnic Tamils, who are on Jalan Bedugul, Kalideres, West Jakarta, Friday (2/14/2020). The event was also attended by the Indian Ambassador to Indonesia, Pradeep Kumar Rawat, and various parties from the ranks of the DKI Provincial Government, DPR RI, DKI DPRD, Gema Sadhana and interfaith leaders.

The program began with remarks from DPP Chairperson Gema Sadhama, AS Kobalen, who explained the long process of establishing the first Hindu temple in Tamils in Jakarta. "Our waiting is very long, we have been fighting for almost 60 years. Today, that (house of worship) was realized, "he said with tears in his eyes. Anies then gave the highest appreciation to the Hindu Tamil community in Jakarta. "Earlier the speech from Mr. Kobalen told the process of waiting for the Hindu community of Tamil descent to have a house of worship. And today, the wait got the answer. The next phase is to build, "Anies said.

According to Anies, the presence of places of worship for Tamil ethnic Hindus was based on the commitment of the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government to bring social justice and equality to all its citizens. "We in DKI have a simple principle, namely that this republic stands for social justice for all Indonesian people. So, taking any decision, we have the responsibility of presenting social justice in the form of equalizing opportunities, one of which is the construction of houses of worship and the celebration of religious holidays in Jakarta. We hope everything goes well and everything is fast. We hope that in the future it will also be finished, we pray that it will run well and we can all be present at the inauguration of this building. We all expect it on schedule, on quality, and on budget," he said.

Forty-Two Day Long Shri Amarnath Yatra to Begin on June 23

Posted on 2020/2/17 5:11:53 ( 241 reads )


JAMMU,INDIA, February 14, 2020 (Daily Excelsior): The 42-day-long annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Shri Amarnath Ji in South Kashmir Himalayas will commence on June 23. This year's pilgrimage will be longer by two days against last year's 40 days. "The board decided that a 42-day yatra would commence on 23rd June, 2020, an auspicious day of Jagan Nath Rath Yatra as per Hindu calendar, and conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on 3rd August, 2020," Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), Bipul Pathak said here. The yatra will conclude on August 3 on the occasion of Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan). The duration and schedule of yatra was based on the approach set by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Committee. The registration for the yatra will begin from April 1.

Considering the success of the pilot project of online registration of a limited number of yatris in 2019, the board decided to increase the quota of online registration, a spokesman of the board said. No person below the age of 13 years and above the age of 75 years shall be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage, he said. The Board directed the CEO to caution all potential pilgrims to particularly take into account the difficult climate and terrain in the high altitude region of the Yatra and prepare themselves fully before embarking on the pilgrimage. The Board also requested the intending pilgrims to make themselves physically fit for the arduous Yatra by taking regular walk and exercise. Instructions were also issued to ensure that the yatra routes and camps remain plastic-free, the spokesman said.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/2/17 5:11:40 ( 288 reads )


With love enshrined in the heart, one truly lives. Without it, the body is but bones encased in skin.
-- Tirukkural 80

BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi: Hindu Temple Not to Use Steel, Iron

Posted on 2020/2/14 10:40:43 ( 432 reads )


ABU DHABI, February 13, 2020 (Gulf News): The first Hindu temple coming up in Abu Dhabi will not use steel or ferrous materials, it was revealed during the first fly ash concrete pouring for its raft foundation on Thursday. A large contingent of expatriates from the Indian diaspora gathered at the site of the BAPS Hindu Mandir to witness the major construction milestone. Describing the ceremony as UAE's largest single pouring of fly ash concrete in 3,000 cubic meters [about 8,000 tons], Ashok Kotecha, spokesperson of the temple committee, told Gulf News: "Usually, [building] foundations have a mix of concrete and steel. However, as per traditional temple architecture in India, no steel or iron reinforcements will be used. Fly ash will be used to reinforce the concrete in the foundation. Throughout the [whole structure of the] temple, the architecture is like several pieces of jigsaw put together without any steel or ferrous materials."

Over 3,000 craftsmen are working tirelessly in India, carving icons and statues with 5000 tons of Italian Carrara Marble and the exteriors will be made of 12,250 tons of pink sandstone. Pavan Kapoor, the Indian ambassador to UAE and Vipul, the Indian Consul General in Dubai, were present along with several prominent members of the Indian business community and members of the Community Development Authority (CDA), Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Dr. Omar Al Muthanna, chief executive officer, CDA, Dubai, the religious observer from the government, said: "Religion is a key factor to feel at home. The UAE is not a passing home. We want you to feel completely at home and this is our commitment to you." The ceremony was conducted by Brahmavihari Das, a senior-most saint of the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple group.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/2/14 10:40:30 ( 353 reads )


About many things in Hinduism I had once been inclined to believe that there was much of dream in it, much that was delusion and maya. But now day after day I realized in the mind, I realized in the heart, I realized in the body the truths of the Hindu religion. They became living experiences to me, and things were opened to me which no material science could explain.
-- Sri Aurobindo (1879-1950)

Bathing the Gods in Bottled Water: An Account of Climate Change and Faith

Posted on 2020/2/12 11:21:47 ( 449 reads )


UNITED STATES, February 4, 2020 (The Revealer, by Tulasi Srinivas): What if you woke up one morning and the pristine, sacred river where you bathed your Gods had turned into an oily, noxious-smelling sewer? What if the sacred water started to melt the stone statues of the Gods? What if it was undrinkable? What would you do? For the past several years I have been exploring the relationship between the practice of Hinduism and the sacred landscape of India. In the United States, belief in biblical inerrancy is related to decreased support for environmental protection policies and correlates with a denial of anthropogenic climate change. But at the same time, religious mobilizations are engaging in a variety of social movements supporting climate justice. From Pope Francis' laudato si to the 2015 "Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change," religious leaders and institutions are increasingly calling for action to curb pollution and reduce our carbon footprint.

Moreover, Hinduism is a religion rooted in natural topography. Gods are found in rocks, hillocks, woodlands and trees, rivers and rills. In religious texts and myths, water bodies in particular have an explicit ability to transform space, to extend or truncate time, and, most significantly, to manifest God's paradoxical nature as simultaneously transcendent and immanent, independent and dependent, formless and formed. In practice, bodies of water are sacred places, held in special regard in processions and festivals not only because they sustain life, but because they are thought to be the seat of the Gods.

Much more of this insightful article at "source" above.

The Hidden Biases That Drive Anti-Vegan Hatred

Posted on 2020/2/12 11:21:34 ( 454 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, February 3, 2020 (BBC Future, by Zaria Gorvett): As the popularity of vegan life continues to gather pace, a tide of vitriol has risen. To eat meat, or not to eat meat: the question has become a battleground, with passionate carnivores and vegan activists deploying some deliciously headline-grabbing tactics. Though it's natural for people to disagree, the passionate rage -- and even mild irritation -- that veganism stirs up seems to defy rational sense. Research has shown that only drug addicts face the same degree of stigma -- and the least popular vegans of all are those who cite animal cruelty as their reason. Given that most of us would probably like to see less suffering in the world, why is there such resentment towards those who do something about it?

Some psychologists take the view -- that far from being driven by factors within our conscious awareness, the widespread resentment we have for vegans is down to deep-seated psychological biases. Hank Rothgerber, a social psychologist at Bellarmine University, Kentucky, thinks it all comes down to answering the question: how do we continue to eat meat? "So basically we live in an era today, at least in the Western world, where there's more and more evidence, more and more arguments, and more and more books about how eating meat is bad," says Rothgerber. "But still, our behavior hasn't changed significantly." He points out that 2018 looks set to be the year with the highest per capita meat consumption in the history of the United States. "So what I'm looking at is, how do people rationalize that, and still feel like they're a good person?"

Much more of this interesting article at "source".

Future Story on the Issue of Fair Skin

Posted on 2020/2/12 11:21:21 ( 426 reads )

KAUAI, HAWAII, February 12, 2020 (HPI): Hinduism Today is seeking testimonials about the tendency in Indian communities to give preference to fair skin, and to attempt cosmetological lightening of natural dark skin. Our main writer will be Anushree Kumar, who is a neuroscientist and writer based in France. It was her HuffPost story that inspired this article. You can read her tale here: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dark-sk ... _5dd6e51fe4b02648edb21d6e

If you have a story about dark skin/light skin, please write it up and send to our editor at sadasivanatha@hindu.org. You can, if you like, submit it anonymously, though openly makes it more compelling.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/2/12 11:21:09 ( 383 reads )


Stop all your attachments to false values. In an ever-changing world there is nothing worthwhile for us to desire or weep for. Joys and sorrows are bound to come in human life; they are just two sides of the same coin.
-- Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1992), founder of the Chinmaya Mission

President Jokowi Creates Indonesia's First Hindu State University

Posted on 2020/2/11 12:00:55 ( 573 reads )


JAKARTA, INDONESIA, February 3, 2020 (Jakarta Post): President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has issued a presidential regulation (Perpres) turning the Hindu Dharma State Institute (IHDN) in Denpasar, Bali, into the country's first Hindu state university. The regulation stated that the new university, named I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa State Hindu University (UHN), would "administer Hindu higher education programs" as well as other types of higher education programs "to support Hindu higher education programs." Through the regulation, which was enacted last week, all current IHDN students are converted to UHN students, and all the institute's assets and employees are transferred to the newly formed university.

"The change in status has been declared through a Perpres and is just awaiting the handover from the central government. I am very happy and thankful," IHDN rector I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana said in a statement on the institute's official website on Friday. The institute itself started out as a state academy for Hindu religion teachers in 1993, before being converted into the Hindu Religion State College in 1999, and then into the IHDN in 2004. Sudiana said the regulation marked a historic moment for the Hindu faithful in Indonesia. "Clearly this shows that President Jokowi has given special attention to Hindu educational institutions in Bali in order to improve the quality of our human capital," he said. "Because of that, we should use this moment to move toward excellent human capital in Bali in the future."

Singapore's Thaipusam Event Sees High Turnout Despite Coronavirus Concerns

Posted on 2020/2/11 12:00:42 ( 487 reads )


SINGAPORE, February 9, 2020 (Straits Times): Stepped-up precautionary measures in the light of the coronavirus outbreak did little to dampen the fervor of thousands of Hindu devotees, who turned out to seek blessings and fulfil their vows at this year's Thaipusam festival. The religious procession went on as usual, drawing some 11,500 devotees -- the highest participation rate since 2013, in part helped by Thaipusam falling on a weekend. It began at 11:30pm on Friday and ended yesterday at 11:30pm. The annual procession was one of the first large-scale events to go ahead after Singapore raised its alert level from code yellow to code orange on Friday in response to the outbreak of the virus which originated in Wuhan, China.

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, who was guest of honor at this year's celebration, joined devotees at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road in the morning yesterday before proceeding to the end point, the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road. Commenting on whether to continue with large-scale events, he spoke of the need to exercise judgment. "We have to make an assessment for each of the activities, whether it is indoor, whether it is outdoor," he said. "It is not so much how many people are involved, but how are the people involved in those activities." Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran told reporters separately that while organizers had to put in place additional measures, devotees took them in their stride.

Ramayana Art Goes on Sale

Posted on 2020/2/11 12:00:30 ( 508 reads )


BURLINGAME, CALIFORNIA, February 11, 2020 (HPI): When artist Ashley Moore found her way to Hinduism through studying Valmiki's Ramayana, she was compelled to express her devotion in the best way she knew how -- painting. It was critical that her interpretation of the epic carried all the spiritual and emotional weight that the narrative demanded. After three years of research and painting, thirty-four works inspired by the epic were completed and she joyously shared them with her local Hindu community. Since then, she has attempted to find interested art lovers or a gallery willing to display them. She is appealing to the global Hindu family and hopes you will take the time to view her work and share it with others. Above is a sample of the art.

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