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Top Five Places in India Where Holi Is Gloriously Celebrated

Posted on 2019/3/19 12:37:06 ( 284 reads )


INDIA, March 18, 2019 (India): Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival celebrated throughout India in the month of March. It is a celebration of good over evil, and the onset of summer all rolled into one. Legend goes that Holi also celebrates the immortal love of Krishna and Radha. People play with colors and flowers on this two-day festival across India, and this year it falls on March 21-22.

Vrindavan is perhaps where Holi is celebrated with the most gusto and fervor in India. The celebrations here are for the advent of spring bidding goodbye to the harsh cold winter season. People especially come together at the famous Banks Bihari Temple and smear each other in different colors while dancing to the tunes of the religious hymns. There's a Phoolon Wali Holi that happens where devotees are strewn with flowers by the temple priests and another unique celebration called the Widow's Holi where the widows are encouraged to play with colors.

Barsana, Manipur, Udaipur and Jaipur round out the remaining top joyous Holi celebrations.

Renowned Scholar Dr. T.N. Ganapathy Passes On

Posted on 2019/3/19 12:36:53 ( 378 reads )


U.S., March 19, 2019 (Babaji's Kriya Yoga): Dr. T.N. Ganapathy, Ph. D, passed away in Chennai, India, after a long illness, at the age of 87. As the Director of the Yoga Siddha Research Project, from the year 2000 to 2013, he and his team of Tamil Yoga Siddha scholars produced the following English language works:

1. The Yoga of Boganathar, volume 1, 2003;
2. The Yoga of Siddha Avvai, 2005;
3. The Yoga of Boganathar, volume 2, 2005;
4. The Yoga of the 18 Siddhas: An Anthology, 2005;
5. The Yoga of Tirumular: Essays on the Tirumandiram, 2006, 2012;
6. The Tirumandiram in 10 volume, 2010, 2013;
7. Monistic Theism in the Tirumandiram and Kashmir Shaivism; 2012
8. The Treasure Trove of Siddha Manuscripts (in Tamil); 2014.

Their work was sponsored by Babaji's Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas, Inc. an educational charity registered in Canada, and published in India by Babaji's Kriya Yoga Trust, Bangalore. Details and photos of participants in this project can be found here:


http://www.babajiskriyayoga.net/engli ... siddharesearch/index.html and in

See the Hinduism Today, July 2010, article, "A Mystical Masterpiece is Unearthed," about Dr. Ganapathy and the above new publication of the Tirumandiram:
http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/ ... tion/item.php?itemid=5105

Dr. Ganapathy was previously a Post-Graduate Professor and Head of the Department of Philosophy, RKM Vivekananda College, Chennai. Subsequently, he was a visiting professor at the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed University), Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh. He has participated in a number of national and international seminars and conferences.

His publications include: Perspectives of Theism and Absolutism in Indian Philosophy (ed. 1978), Mahavakyas (1982), Bertrand Russell's Philosophy of Sense-Data (1984), The Philosophy of the Tamil Siddhas (1993). In recent years he wrote and published an English translation of the Siddha Civavakkiyar's Civavakkiyam with Dr. Geeta Anand.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/3/19 12:36:39 ( 229 reads )


Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin: to say that you are weak, or others are weak.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Goddess Kalikambal Blesses Boston in New Temple

Posted on 2019/3/18 12:26:15 ( 302 reads )


BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, February 8, 2019 (Lokvani): In the heart of Chennai is located a popular centuries old temple known as Sri Kalikambal, where Goddess Mother Kali in her benevolent form of Kalikambal showers divine grace on Her devotees. The temple was visited by the great Maratha Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1677, and was frequented by the great Tamil poet Subramania Bharati who composed many well-known songs in praise of the Goddess of this temple. Two centuries later, thanks to the untiring efforts of Shivacharya Bhairavasundaram, the presence and blessings of Mother Kalikambal in our midst.

Shri Bhairav has established a beautiful temple for Mother Kalikambal in Bellingham, MA. The people of Greater Boston are very fortunate to have among them Shivacharya Bhairav, an alumnus of the Madras Sanskrit College, and an experienced and highly respected priest well-versed in the spiritual traditions of Hinduism, who is well-known in the area, and who is also closely related to the spiritual custodians of the Chennai Kalikambal Temple. In fact, the late Guru Deiva Shri Dr. Sivasri Sambamurthy Sivachariar of the Chennai Kalikambal Temple was Bhairav's primary mentor and guide. His son and disciple Guru Swami Sathasivom Sivacharyar of the Chennai Kalikambal Temple continues to mentor and guide Bhairav in his mission, and sets aside time to visit the Boston Kalikambal Temple to participate in important events. The Boston Kalikambal Temple is currently housed in temporary premises that is part of a shopping plaza on North Main Street in Bellingham. Bhairav recently announced that the acquisition of land on which a new temple will be constructed has been successfully completed.

More on this temple at "source" above.

A Prayer for Bliss in the New Hampshire House of Representatives

Posted on 2019/3/18 12:26:02 ( 319 reads )


NEW HAMPSHIRE, U.S., March 14 2019 (Lokvani): The Hindu Temple of New Hampshire, Nashua, NH, once again had the honor of being invited by the New Hampshire State Legislature to give the opening prayer in the chamber of the House of Representatives on Thursday, March 7th, 2019. Sri Veeramani Ranganathan, co-founder of the Temple, shared ancient Indian wisdom from the Taittiriya Upanishad with those assembled, and prayed for a blissful life for all. This special and unique event was made possible through the kind support and efforts of the New Hampshire State Representative from Nashua, Smt. Latha Mangipudi. The custom of opening legislative sessions with prayer was borrowed from the British Parliament, where the practice of beginning each day with the reading of prayers had already existed for a long time. This custom has been practiced in the United States Congress starting from the first Congress in 1789. Most state legislatures have also adopted this tradition, and many have been practicing this for over a century.

The Honorable Speaker of the House, Mr. Steve Shurtleff, introduced Sri Veeramani Ranganathan as the Guest Chaplain and invited him to deliver the opening prayer. All the assembled members of the House and the guests stood up in respect as Sri Veeramani delivered the prayer which lasted several minutes. Sri Veeramani started by offering pranaams to all assembled, offered salutations to parents and preceptors, and went on to deliver a selection of chants in Sanskrit from the Yajur Veda's Taittiriya Upanishad. The chanting of the Taittiriya Upanishad was followed by a universal prayer in Sanskrit ("sarve bhavantu sukhinah") seeking the well-being of all. Sri Veeramani followed up the chanting with an explanation in English of the meaning of the Vedic hymns that he chanted. The members of the House and the guests gave him a warm applause to express their appreciation.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/3/18 12:25:48 ( 289 reads )


Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too self-full to seek other than itself.
-- Kabir (1440-1518), mystic Indian poet

Discarded Hindu Religious Statues at Auckland Beaches Raise Concern

Posted on 2019/3/15 11:19:19 ( 446 reads )


NEW ZEALAND, March 11, 2019 (NZ Herald): Statues of Hindu Gods, Goddesses and Deities are being discarded at Auckland beaches as part of a religious practice - but concerns are being raised about it posing a risk to beachgoers and wildlife. An Auckland mother who has been cleaning beaches from Okahu Bay to Glendowie says she has been picking up statues and shards of broken pieces - mostly at Biddicks Bay and Mission Bay. Auckland beaches are already facing a dangerous litter problem with broken glass, syringes and dumped asbestos among the rubbish picked up. AUT University Professor of Diversity Edwina Pio said usually after a religious festival or celebration, such as Vinayaka Chaturthi which celebrates the birth of Hindu Deity Ganesha, statues were "released" into the sea or lakes.

Pio said the practice among Hindus originated with clay statues painted with vegetable dyes, but many statue makers now used non-biodegradable material like plaster of paris, paints and dyes which are not soluble and can cause harm to the environment. "Casting away statues is also a stark call for religious leaders, communities, local and government bodies to quicken the pace of framing appropriate guidelines," Pio added. An Auckland Council spokeswoman said it was working with the Hindu Council to develop recommendations on how statues and cultural offerings could be immersed in an eco-friendly manner. Hinduism is the second largest and the fastest growing religion in New Zealand, with more than 90,000 followers according to the 2013 Census.

Why Christianity Poses a Clear Threat to India

Posted on 2019/3/15 11:19:05 ( 478 reads )


INDIA, May 18, 2015 (India Facts by Rakesh Simha): If you could sum up the history of Christianity in India in one word, that word would be ingratitude. Among the earliest refugees to arrive in India were the Syrian Christians, who were facing persecution in their native lands in the Persian Empire in the fourth century CE. The Syrian Christians sought refuge in India. Kerala's Malabar coast attracted them because they had heard of an ancient community of Jews who had been living there since the first century CE, having also fled the turmoil of the Middle East.

How were these Syrian Christians - or Nasaranis as they are still called by the locals - treated? "The Indian king received them with great kindness," George David Malech writes in History of the Syrian Nation and the Old Evangelical-Apostolic Church of the East.

"At the Kotem school in Malabar there are still some copper tablets in existence on which there are written messages from the king to the Christian leader, permitting him and his followers to settle in some places and recommending them to neighboring chiefs."

Around the time (1498 CE) when the Portuguese marauders led by Vasco Da Gama arrived in Malabar, the Syrian Christian community was thriving, with at least 30,000 members. Now, here's how they repaid India's generosity. When Da Gama returned for the second time in 1502, he was met by a delegation of Syrian Christians: "They identified themselves, surrendered their ancient honors and documents, and invited him to make war on their Hindu kings," writes Ishwar Sharan in The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple.

The writer goes on to say why he believes Indian Christians are still a threat to India in this interesting and politicized article at "source" above.

Airport Closed, Tourists Shut Up in Resorts: The Day Bali Was Cut Off from the Outside World

Posted on 2019/3/10 15:17:53 ( 533 reads )


BALI, INDONESIA, March 7, 2019 (The New Daily): Lights on Indonesia's busiest holiday island were blacked out on Thursday night, airports were closed and tourists banned from the beach - ordered instead to hole up in resort rooms. Tens of thousands of security guards patrolled Bali's abandoned streets, pouncing on anyone speaking too loudly or appearing too animated in their homes. Laughing, playing music, using a mobile phone or even switching on a too-bright light could be attract the wrath of traditional guards known as the Pecalang. It may sound like the holiday from hell for some travellers, while others could be charmed by the novelty of experiencing a usually lively island, suddenly deserted.

But for the Balinese it was a solemn time - the one day the population could take a breath to recharge after the frenzy of five million tourist visits in the past year. Mobile phone companies even agreed to switch off their services to ensure no one was distracted in their day of rest. Known as the day of silence, Nyepi is a Hindu celebration with restrictions on activities, noise and eating observed for 24 hours. It was due to finish at 6am on Friday, when the Balinese would then begin New Year's Day celebrations.

If New Bill Is Passed, New York State Would Add Six New Holidays to the School Calendar

Posted on 2019/3/10 15:17:40 ( 583 reads )


HICKSVILLE, NEW YORK, March 6, 2019 (CBSNewYork): New York is a diverse melting pot and now there's a push to make school calendars look that way, too. As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff found out Wednesday, a bill being considered in Albany could add religious holidays to the academic year. "It's only appropriate and fair to extend a holiday like Diwali or Eid or Vaisakhi to people from the South Asian community," said state Sen. Kevin Thomas, D-Garden City. "These are like Christmas and New Year."

Thomas, New York's first senator of Indian descent, is sponsoring a bill to give districts the ability to close on six additional religious holidays -- two Islamic, two Hindu, one Sikh and Christian Good Friday. New York City schools already close on the Lunar New Year and Islamic Eid al-Fitr. The bill allows school closure when at least 7.5 percent of student population is of that faith. New York state education officials say there is nothing in current law that prevents such a move as long as children attend the required 180 days.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/3/10 15:17:25 ( 615 reads )


The wise man should merge his speech in his mind and his mind in his intellect. He should merge his intellect in the Cosmic Mind and the Cosmic Mind in the Tranquil Self.
-- Katha Upanishad 1.3.13

Close to 250 Million Devotees Visited Prayagraj Sangam for Kumbh, over 10 Million on Mahashivratri Alone

Posted on 2019/3/9 10:02:31 ( 526 reads )


PRAYAGRAJ, INDIA, March 5, 2019 (Financial Express): Even before midnight, devotees from different walks of life and parts of the country began to pour into Sangam city to take holy dip on Mahashivratri, the great night of Lord Shiva and the last bathing day in the one-and-a-half-month-long Kumbh Mela. Till Monday evening, more than 10 million devotees had taken a holy dip in the Sangam area, officials said. The bathing ghats brimmed with colour in the morning. Late-night showers in parts of the holy city failed to dampen the spirit of the pilgrims. As the sun came out, devotees enthusiastically greeted the sun, while some offered obeisance to the Sun God with traditional yoga asanas.

"Till evening, as many as 11 million devotees have taken a dip in the Sangam area. With Mahashivratri's snaan, so far more than 240 million devotees have taken a dip during this year's Kumbh," Kumbh Mela Adhikari Vijay Kiran Anand told PTI. Till March 3, the number of devotees who had taken the dip during the Kumbh stood at 230 million, an UP government official said. According to Hindu mythology, Mahashivratri symbolises the last holy bath of Kalpvasis, who spend the month of Magh -- the period of austerity -- in minimal means. Ashutosh Varshney, an astrologer who has set up a camp in Sector-6 of Kumbh Nagri, said, "Mahashivratri marks the culmination of the Kumbh and the prominent bathing days. This year, it fell on a Monday, the day dedicated to Lord Shiva, after a long time." Kumbh is the largest religious gatherings in the world. It is held once in every 12 years.

Amarnath Yatra to begin on July 1, Last 46 days

Posted on 2019/3/9 10:02:18 ( 589 reads )


JAMMU KASHMIR, March 8, 2019 ( National Herald): Amarnath Yatra this year will begin July 1, go on for 46 days and will conclude on August 15. The decision was taken by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik. The SASB said it noted the steps taken by its CEO for registration of pilgrims through 440 designated branches of Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank and directed all steps be taken to begin advance registration on April 1. The board also directed wide publicity, through electronic and print media, of the need by all prospective pilgrims to secure compulsory health certificates from doctors/hospitals nominated by the state or Union Territories where they reside before seeking advance registration from the nearest designated Bank, which would issue a Yatra Permit valid for the specified date and route. It also said that it be widely-known that no one below 13 years of age or above 75 years would be allowed for the pilgrimage, and also appealed to all potential pilgrims to consult their doctors before embarking on the pilgrimage.

"The Board directed its CEO to take timely steps for ensuring uninterrupted telecom connectivity in the Yatra area during Yatra 2019. Appreciating the important services rendered by the Langar organizations, the Board looked to their continued support during Yatra 2018," the statement said. It also said that the awareness campaign would be launched with the cooperation and support of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and all information relating to Yatra will be available on its website (www.Shriamarnathjishrine.com).

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/3/9 10:02:04 ( 634 reads )


Greater than a thousand ghee offerings consumed in sacrificial fires is to not sacrifice and consume any living creature.
-- Tirukural 259

Kumbh Mela 2019: Separating Fact from Fiction

Posted on 2019/3/7 10:40:46 ( 675 reads )


INDIA, February 28, 2019 (First Post by Dhananjay Joshi): A combing operation is conducted to weed out unwanted elements from an area. In our digital age, when narratives are built from keystrokes causing a dissonance between what we hear and what we see, let us comb the Kumbh and separate the unwanted elements from the much-tangled hair of humanity. The Kumbh I had heard of was very different from the Kumbh I saw. The Kumbh I had heard of was supposed to be stiflingly crowded, stinkingly filthy, starkly down-market and swarming with fake unwashed sadhus. So unspeakable it was, that only Indian government TV channels reported it. Civil society was dismissive about it and regaled each other ridiculing the name change from Allahabad to Prayagraj.

The tribute UNESCO paid to the Kumbh as the living heritage of humanity is what I actually saw at Prayagraj. It took us 78 man-hours to criss-cross and soak-in the divinity spread over 7,907 acres. There are no invites, no social media campaigns and no posts that attract the 50 million pilgrims on just that one day of mauni-amavasya alone (incidentally the Kumbh is from 15 January to 4 March, 48 days in total). The Kumbh is a sensory overload. Rising above the cacophony of sounds and sights, I saw a throbbing vibrant mass of consciousness living the timeless ritual just as their ancestors had for eons before them. But this time, there was a difference. This Kumbh was about making a difference. Making a difference to the humblest pilgrim. Making the humblest pilgrim connect with their self. Making the humblest pilgrim proud of their shared heritage. It was about giving the forgiving pilgrim a clean and safe environment.

Much more of the author's positive Mela observations at "source".

And his short video:


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