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Was River Flowing Through Harappa the Mythical Saraswati? Search Brings Scientists to New Proof

Posted on 2019/12/10 12:25:52 ( 57 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 9, 2019 (News 18): With "unequivocal evidence" that the Ghaggar river, where the early Harappans built their settlements, was perennial, a recent study has argued that this is the river known as the Saraswati in the Rig Veda. The hypothesis that modern-day Ghaggar-Hakra river system, which flows intermittently between India and Pakistan, could be the river Saraswati that finds mention in the Rig Veda has been reiterated several times since the 19th century. However, with no proof of the river's uninterrupted flow during the zenith of the civilization, it has been argued that the Harappans depended on monsoonal rains.

In the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports on November 20, scientists from the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad and the Department of Earth Sciences, IIT Bombay presented what they called was "unequivocal evidence for the Ghaggar's perennial past by studying temporal changes of sediment provenance along a 186 mile stretch of the river basin." They argued that "this revived perennial condition of the Ghaggar, which can be correlated with the Saraswati, likely facilitated development of the early Harappan settlements along its banks." The study argues that "Harappans built their early settlements along a stronger phase of the river Ghaggar," during a period 9,000 to 4,500 years ago, "which would later be known as the Saraswati," but "by the time the civilization matured, the river had already lost its glacial connection."

More at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/12/10 12:25:37 ( 47 reads )


See yourself everywhere. You are the whole world.
-- Satguru Yogaswami (1872-1964), Sri Lankan mystic

Modern India Can Learn a Lot from These 20 Traditional Water Conservation Systems

Posted on 2019/12/8 9:45:46 ( 206 reads )


INDIA, July 15, 2016 (The Better India): We all know water is essential, but too many of us think it's unlimited. In reality, fresh water is a finite resource that is rapidly becoming scarce. In India, a warming climate is drying up lakes and rivers, while rapid urbanization and water pollution are putting enormous pressure on the quantity and quality of surface and groundwater. The country's fragile agricultural system still depends primarily on rainfall and a bad monsoon season can wreck havoc on the national economy. Water conservation is a key element of any strategy that aims to alleviate the water scarcity crisis in India. With rainfall patterns changing almost every year, the Indian government has started looking at means to revive the traditional systems of water harvesting in the country. Given that these methods are simple and eco-friendly for the most part, they are not just highly effective for the people who rely on them but they are also good for the environment.

History tells us that both floods and droughts were a regular occurrence in ancient India. Perhaps this is why every region in the country has its own traditional water harvesting techniques that reflect the geographical peculiarities and cultural uniqueness of the regions. The basic concept underlying all these techniques is that rain should be harvested whenever and wherever it falls. Archaeological evidence shows that the practice of water conservation is deep rooted in the science of ancient India. Excavations show that the cities of the Indus Valley Civilization had excellent systems of water harvesting and drainage. Drawing upon centuries of experience, Indians continued to build structures to catch, hold and store monsoon rainwater for the dry seasons to come. These traditional techniques, though less popular today, are still in use and efficient.

For a brief account of the unique water conservation systems prevalent in India, see "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/12/8 9:45:33 ( 179 reads )


When in despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end they always fall--think of it, always.
-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

Spiritual Leader of Dharmapuram Aadheenam Passes Away at 93

Posted on 2019/12/5 10:38:05 ( 310 reads )


NAGAPATTINAM, INDIA, December 5, 2019 (New Indian Express): The 26th Guru Maha Sannidhanam of Dharmapuram Aadheenam Shanmuga Desiga Gnansambandha Paramachariya Swamigal died in a hospital at Thanjavur on Wednesday afternoon. He was 93. The cremation will take place on Thursday. Ilaya Sannithanam Srilasri Maasilamani Desiga Swamigal is expected to take over as Guru Maha Sannidhanam. [An aadheenam is a Saivite Hindu monastic institution.]

Born to Kandasamy Pillai and Kalyani Ammaiyar at Kattumannarkoil in Cuddalore on April 21, 1926, Gnanasambandham, as he was known earlier, studied in Thevara Padasalai in Vriddhachalam and worked as honorary professor in the institute in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He was drawn towards religious work at an early age and was part of the management of Chennai Religious Centre.

Gnanasambandham received Dheeksha in Dharmapuram Aadheenam in 1951 and eventually succeeded the 25th Guru Maha Sannidhanam on November 11, 1971. His contributions include adding hymns to Thevaram. He also established a religious research Centre with Bharatidasan University. DMK president MK Stalin extended condolence over the demise of the Gurumaha Sannidhanam. "He engaged himself in various social services, including religious activities, offering medical service to people and educational assistance to poor," Stalin said. AMMK general secretary TTV Dhinakaran said, "He served Saivites and Tamil."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/12/5 10:37:52 ( 301 reads )


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

India's First Yoga Guru In West

Posted on 2019/12/2 12:29:33 ( 449 reads )


INDIA, November 30, 2019 (Telangana Today): It is a tribute to all that he did and achieved, so painstakingly and with such great devotion, that New Delhi has for a third time honored an Indian who did perhaps more than anyone else to lay the foundation for yoga in the West. The tragedy is that despite his stellar contribution to the spread of yoga in the United States and beyond, Paramhansa Yogananda remains a much lesser-known persona. Yoga may have become universally popular and even fashionable today but none outside of India had any inkling as to what it was all about when a young Yogananda sailed to the United States in 1920 at the urging of his guru. Barring a single visit he made to India in between, Yogananda lived there until his death in 1952, preaching kriya yoga, meditation, karma, reincarnation, mantras and chakras to tens of thousands of Americans. What he achieved as India's first spiritual NRI was as spectacular as the way he died.

The Gorakhpur-born Yogananda, originally Mukunda Lal Ghosh, was India's maiden yoga guru in the West. Yet, whatever popularity he has is mainly because of his iconic and mesmerizing book, Autobiography of a Yogi, and not due to the way he slogged in the United States. The Indian government first released a postage stamp to honor him in 1977. This was followed by another stamp in 2017, marking 100 years of the ashram he set up in Ranchi. And in October 2019, the government announced it would release a commemorative coin of Rs 125 (US$1.75) denomination to mark his 125th birth anniversary. "Here was a yogi who took the (yoga) message which was universal - not based on one school of thought or religion and made it so acceptable for the whole world," declared Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. "India feels strongly about this great son of the universe who brought in harmony to all our hearts and minds."

More at "source".

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/12/2 12:29:21 ( 405 reads )


As long as someone cries out "O God! O God!" be sure that he has not found God, for whoever has found Him becomes still.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

Northeast India's Tribals Struggle to Maintain Ethnic Identities

Posted on 2019/11/28 10:00:52 ( 633 reads )


INDIA, November 25, 2019 (Sentinel Assam): Most ethnic groups and tribal communities across the North-eastern region are currently undergoing a phase where they are struggling to protect their respective identities. Over 200 years ago, majority of the communities across the region had practiced various indigenous faiths, which mostly revolved around worship of Nature. Trees, rocks, rivers, thunder, rain, earth, animals -- Nature was worshipped in various forms, each depicting or denoting a particular aspect or power of Nature. With the expansion of Hinduism in the remote past, as also when groups of people from mainland India started arriving in the region, it led to expansion of various Hindu sects, particularly to the Brahmaputra Valley. The Ahoms, for instance, had brought with them their own Deities when they arrived in Assam in the third decade of the thirteenth century.

But then, while they ruled over the larger portion of present-day Assam, hardly did they try to enforce their original faith upon the subjects. Instead, the Ahoms, who had first adopted and enriched the local Assamese language, later also adopted Hinduism, in the process getting Brahmin priests from Bengal and central India to run Hindu temples that they established and began patronizing. When Srimanta Sankaradeva propounded his Ek-sarana naam-dharma, he too did not enforce it on others, but adopted a rather democratic and open strategy. Things however drastically began to change with the arrival of the Christian missionaries in the region, beginning with the American Baptist Mission within less than a decade of the annexation of Assam to British India. The British did invite evangelists to win over the wild tribals with the message of the gospel and it took hardly one hundred years for most tribals of the region, barring those of Tripura and present-day Arunachal Pradesh, to owe allegiance to a new faith.

More at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/11/28 10:00:39 ( 541 reads )


The fragrance of the flower is never borne against the breeze, but the fragrance of human virtues diffuses itself everywhere.
-- Ramayana

Exhibition Celebrates Temples of Odisha

Posted on 2019/11/27 10:17:47 ( 540 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 24, 2019 (Outlook India): An ongoing exhibition here showcases the intricate richness of revered Hindu temples and architecture marvels Jagannath and Lingaraj through an array of miniature stone and wooden models put together with finely detailed engravings and paintings. The exhibition, "Interpreting Temples" by Siddhartha Das Studio, was inaugurated by eminent photographer Raghu Rai, renowned painter Jatin Das and actor-director Nandita Das, among others on Saturday at the India International Centre here. On display are the exquisite objects ranging from miniature stone and wooden models to engravings, paintings and documentaries, all intended to depict the ancient Vedic text and many rituals and festivals related to the centuries-old Jagannath and Lingaraj temples.

"The Jagannath and Lingaraj temples in Odisha, built almost a thousand years ago are iconic examples of Kalinga temple architecture. They have withstood vagaries of time and nature. "To appreciate the temples in their context, through the exhibition a narrative has been created that brings to life the sacred architecture while making apparent the living traditions connected to the Temples. Also, all exhibits have been conceived by the studio and fashioned by skilled crafts people of Odisha," said Sidhartha Das. "Odisha temples have the history approximately 2,000 years old. The exhibition will act as a medium through which people can learn about these temples," he said. The exhibition will remain open to public till December 6.

Pawan Questions: Why Only Taxes on Hindu Temples?

Posted on 2019/11/27 10:17:34 ( 716 reads )


INDIA, November 24, 2019 (Gulte): Quoting Chilkur Balaji Temple's head priest Shri Rangarajan as saying, Janasena chief Pawan Kalyan has questioned the governments of AP and Telangana for collecting taxes from Hindu temples alone. Echoing the similar views of Shri Rangarajan, Pawan Kalyan said how the secular governments are charging one-third of temples revenue as taxes. He said on the contrary neither Churches nor any other community is paying a single rupee as tax. Stating no objection to the state governments increasing subsidies to Jerusalem pilgrims and Haj pilgrims, Shri Rangarajan and Pawan Kalyan are questioning the state governments for charging huge taxes on temple revenues.

The duo said 23.5 percent taxes are being levied on temple revenues. 15 percent as Endowment Tax, 2 percent Audit Fee and another 2 percent Common Good Fund. In addition to these, Priests Welfare Fund and other taxes are cutting down the incomes of temples. Shri Rangarajan said, "As per Article 26 and 27, the governments should not tax on revenues of Religious Organizations. Then why only temples are being taxed. Please answer to this simple question."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/11/27 10:17:21 ( 535 reads )


This body of mine brought seeds with it. Illness is one of them. Activity passes on and so does the body. Of what concern is it to us? All this was settled long ago. Don't be afraid of anything.
-- Satguru Siva Yogaswami (1872-1964), Sri Lankan mystic

Vegan Man Claims Burger King Cooked His "Impossible Whopper" Alongside Meat

Posted on 2019/11/23 10:37:38 ( 683 reads )


UNITED STATES, November 19, 2019 (CNN): A man is suing Burger King because the meatless Impossible Whopper is cooked on the same grill as meat, the lawsuit alleges. Phillip Williams, the plaintiff in the case, is a vegan who does not eat or drink anything that uses animal by-products. He purchased an Impossible Whopper at a location in Atlanta in August after seeing advertisements and paid "premium price" for the meatless option, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that if he had known the burger would be cooked in such a manner, he would have not purchased it.

Burger King's website describes the Impossible Whopper as "100% Whopper, 0% Beef." The site also notes, "For guests looking for a meat-free option, a non-broiler method of preparation is available upon request." The Burger King that Williams visited did not have signage at the drive-thru indicating that the plant-based burger would be cooked on the same grill as meat, the suit says. The lawsuit indicates that several other consumers have made similar complaints online about the chain's practice surrounding the sale of the Impossible Whopper.

Dealing with Campus Christian Missionaries

Posted on 2019/11/23 10:37:25 ( 709 reads )


EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, USA, November 22, 2019 (Daily Northwestern, by Tanisha Tekriwal): I don't know how many people on the campus of Northwestern University have been roped into a conversation about "spirituality" that ended up feeling like an attempt at conversion. As an international student, the title "Cru" meant nothing to me, and I suspect there are many domestic students, too, who might not have known much about it before coming to Northwestern. Cru is a religious organization, which used to be called "Campus Crusade for Christ," and some years ago decided to change its name to be able to have "discussions about Christ with people who might initially be turned off by a more overtly Christian name," according to the organization's spokesperson who discussed the topic with ABC News.

My encounter with the organization seemed like an isolated experience that was uncommon on campus. Until I asked my friends and they asked theirs and I realized many more stories with more troubling particulars than mine than I had initially anticipated existed. So my question remains why missionaries trained to trap one in subtle turns of language and behavior are allowed to conduct activities that in exercising their religious rights simultaneously encroach on others' rights on a secular campus like Northwestern. I question how we can allow "Crusaders" to flourish in a space where we know what the historical and brutal connotations of that term are. The word jihad roughly translates to "the Crusade for a principle or belief," not the ugly definition it has devolved to in contemporary context. Yet, the idea of having a group on campus named Jihadists seems insane.

More of this insightful editorial at "source".

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