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International Yoga Day--Rajasthan Records Biggest Yoga Gathering

Posted on 2018/6/24 13:11:22 ( 149 reads )


INDIA, June 21, 2018 (The HIndu): June 21 is being observed as International Yoga Day every year, after the United Nations accepted India's proposal in 2014. This year, the national event was held at Dehradun's Forest Research Institute with the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr. Modi highlighted the importance of yoga, a gift from India to the world. "Yoga has the perfect solution to the problems we face, either as individuals or in society. Yoga is beautiful because it is ancient yet modern," he said.

Events were organized across the country, including Rajpath, where as many as 15,000 people took part in a mass yoga session headed by Union Minister Harsh Vardhan. Rajasthan created a world record bringing over 100,000 people together at a yoga session to mark the International Day of Yoga. Two representatives from Guinness World Records, watched as yoga guru Ramdev put the gathering, which included Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, through a series of asanas. The organisation then handed over a certificate to Ms. Raje and Mr. Ramdev, saying it had been the largest gathering worldwide of people performing yoga.

Monkeys Live Like Kings in Thailand's Lopburi

Posted on 2018/6/24 13:11:11 ( 211 reads )


LOPBURI, THAILAND, June 2, 2018 (Latin American Herald Tribune): Monkeys, said to be descendants of the Hindu God Hanuman, continued to live a life fit for kings on Saturday in the Thai city of Lopburi, where local authorities give them food twice a day by and allow them to roam freely in the streets and around temples. An estimated 3,000 macaques - Macaca fascicularis - live in the city, situated around 93 miles north of Bangkok, although their biggest colonies are found in the Khmer-style Prang Sam Yot temple and the Phra Kan shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

"We have lived together for a long time. I have spent 40 years here, and there have always been monkeys. However, their number has grown in recent years. When I arrived, there were less of them," Taveesak Srisangnan, a 74-year resident, told EFE. The reason why the primates are tolerated and even cared for is related to a legend which says they are descendents of Hanuman, who helped the prince Rama - an incarnation of Vishnu - kill a giant, Thotsakan, according to the epic poem Ramakien, the Thai version of India's Hindu epic Ramayana. Lopburi's name is also inspired by a character in the Ramakien, a reflection of the eclectic religious atmosphere in Thailand, where the majority practices a form of Buddhism mixed with Hindu and animistic beliefs.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/6/24 13:11:00 ( 156 reads )


Devotion must not be like the flood of the rainy season in which all get washed away. Devotion should be like the river that retains water even in the hottest season.
-- Saint Kabir (1440-1518)

Harappan Site of Rakhigarhi: DNA Study Finds no Central Asian Trace

Posted on 2018/6/22 20:09:14 ( 309 reads )


INDIA, June 18, 2018 (Economic Times): The much-awaited DNA study of the skeletal remains found at the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi, Haryana, shows no Central Asian trace, indicating the Aryan invasion theory was flawed and Vedic evolution was through indigenous people. The lead researchers of this soon-to be published study -- Vasant Shinde and Neeraj Rai -- told ET that this establishes the knowledge ecosystem in the Vedic era was guided by "fully indigenous" people with limited "external contact".

"The Rakhigarhi human DNA clearly shows a predominant local element -- the mitochondrial DNA is very strong in it. There is some minor foreign element which shows some mixing up with a foreign population, but the DNA is clearly local," Shinde told ET. He went on to add: "This indicates quite clearly, through archeological data, that the Vedic era that followed was a fully indigenous period with some external contact."

The Dedication of the Chaudron Temple

Posted on 2018/6/22 20:09:03 ( 255 reads )


REUNION ISLAND, June 18, 2018 (France TV Info, translated from French): The Hindu Temple of the Chaudron district of Saint-Denis is getting a new look. On the eve of its centenary, this place, deeply linked to the history of the importation of indentured labor from India and of the Chaudron district, is open again, after a little more than two years of work. As it prepares to celebrate its centenary, the Hindu temple of Cauldron has been totally renovated. Since 2016, the place has been under reconstruction. The work has been done by artists from India with the assistance of young people from the neighborhood.

It must be said that the temple, built in 1920, is an important element of the neighborhood. It would have been built in the manner of those in southern India by Indian laborers who worked at the Domaine du Chaudron sugar plantation located nearby. The latter settled in the surroundings of the estate once the sugar factory closed. After 5 days of prayers, the temple has welcomed many devotees this Sunday, for this final day of ceremonies in honor of its consecration. It remains an important cultural heritage for the generations of today.

Short video at "source".

Bhaiyyu Maharaj Suicide: Do not Recognise Concept of Grihasth Sant, says Akhada Parishad

Posted on 2018/6/22 20:08:53 ( 351 reads )


INDORE, INDIA, June 17, 2018 (Times of India): Opposing the concept of "grihasth sant", or householder saints (ie, married men who claim to be sadhus), the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad has said that they do not accord "saint" status to married persons. The ABAP is an apex body of 13 major akhadas, or religious orders, of Hindu saints and seers. The statement from the ABAP comes amidst a debate on saints following the alleged suicide of spiritual leader Bhaiyyu Maharaj on June 12. Bhaiyyu Maharaj, who was reverentially called "rashtra sant" by his followers, committed suicide allegedly due to stress from a family dispute, a preliminary probe has revealed.

Mahant Narendra Giri, Akhada Parishad president, told PTI that it did not recognize the concept of grihasth sant, adding that such people were not considered seers till about 50 years ago. "We are grieved at the death of Bhaiyyu Maharaj. He was a respected person. But we clearly believe that, in religious and spiritual fields, married persons should not be called saints. We do not give any recognition to the concept of grihasth sant," he said. "Personalities from religious and spiritual fields should decide whether they want sainthood or they want to be part of a family. They should not ride on two boats at the same time, otherwise they will naturally be affected by family discord," Giri said.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/6/22 20:08:42 ( 245 reads )


Look at the man who walks on a tight rope. He is performing various tricks, but his mind is only on the rope. So also, we may be doing various things, but our minds must be on God." Sri Sri Sri Sivaratnapuri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal ("Trichyswami") founder of Kailasa Ashram, Bangalore

First Batch Of Pilgrims Departs on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

Posted on 2018/6/15 19:56:10 ( 713 reads )


UTTARAKHAND, INDIA , June 15, 2018 ( Daily Pioneer): The first batch of pilgrims undertaking the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra from India this year proceeded on the pilgrimage after arriving in Kathgodam on Tuesday. The first batch consisting of 59 pilgrims including 17 women was welcomed in traditional Kumaoni style on their arrival here. After being received in Kathogadam where the pilgrims spent some time, they departed for Almora on the same day. After spending the night at Almora, the pilgrims will reach Dharchula in Pithoragarh district on Wednesday. From there they will move onward to Gunji where a medical camp has also been organized for the pilgrims.

The Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) managing director Trilok Singh Martoliya informed that one batch of pilgrims will take 25 days to complete the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. The pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar this year will continue till September 8 with a total of 1080 pilgrims slated to undertake it. [HPI note: this pilgrimage is organized by the Government of India and takes two routes through India to Tibet, whereas most pilgrims go via Nepal, which is easier. The Ministry of External Affairs website for the yatra is https://kmy.gov.in/kmy/?lang=en.]

ASI Finds Chariots at Contemporary Harappan Site

Posted on 2018/6/15 19:56:00 ( 554 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 5, 2018 (The Print): The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has claimed to have found the remains of two chariots and eight well-preserved bodies in a burial chamber in Sinauli, Uttar Pradesh. Sinauli is considered an important contemporary Harappan burial site in Bagphat district. The team, according to ASI director (excavations), Sanjay Manjul, found three of the bodies placed in pedestaled coffins, and recovered remains of the two chariots such as wheels, axles and poles, leading to speculation that those buried in the chambers may have been royalty.

The new discoveries, especially those of the chariots are a landmark moment since no such physical evidence has been found at a contemporary Harappan site, Manjul said. "This is the very first time such evidence has ever been recovered. The coffins and chariots are something we haven't encountered before. This discovery is not only important in the context of India, but the world," Manjul said. "The artefacts probably belong to a period between 2000-1800 BCE. It can help us determine how those people lived. It may help re-evaluate how we understood the late Harappan contemporary culture. It is a significant development in the Ganga-Yamuna doab," Manjul told the ThePrint.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/6/15 19:55:49 ( 556 reads )


Parents must teach children to appreciate those who are different, those who believe differently; teach them the openness that they need to live in a pluralistic world where others have their unique ways, their life and culture; teach them the value of human diversity and the narrow-mindedness of a provincial outlook; give them the tools to live in a world of differences without feeling threatened, without forcing their ways or their will on others; teach them that it never helps to hurt another of our brothers or sisters.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

State Plans to Take over Shani Shingnapur Temple

Posted on 2018/6/11 19:25:38 ( 767 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, June 10, 2018 (Mumbai Mirror): The state government has announced its plan to take over the Shani Shingnapur shrine and create a special legislation for the temple on the lines of the Mahalaxmi temple in Kolhapur. The proposal will soon be tabled before the state cabinet for approval. Speaking to Mirror, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said, "In the state Assembly, we had promised a law for transparency in the temple trust management. It's a popular religious destination in India, so it requires facilities and management of that level." However, spokesperson of the Shani Shingnapur trust, Anil Darandale, said that they were unaware of the new proposal.

After the state government takes over the temple, a chief officer will be appointed to look into its day-to-day administration. While the temple trust will have its own staff, the state will appoint its own chairperson, deputy chairperson and trustees. As part of the proposal -- like the Siddhivinayak temple trust and the Shirdi Sai Sansthan trust - the Shani Shingnapur temple trust will have to report to the state law and judiciary department. While the principal secretary of law and judiciary department N. Jamadar did not comment on the government's plan, a senior officer said, "After the takeover, the government wants to have an Act to govern the temple. Not only will we build residential quarters for pilgrims, we will also develop the roads and provide infrastructure like the waiting hall for darshan. This will streamline facilities for pilgrims -- especially on Saturdays when huge crowds throng the pilgrimage site."

How Christians Destroyed the Ancient World

Posted on 2018/6/11 19:25:28 ( 997 reads )


UNITED STATES, June 8, 2018 (New York Times, by Bettany Hughes): Vandalizing the Parthenon temple in Athens has been a tenacious tradition. Most famously, Lord Elgin appropriated the "Elgin marbles" in 1801-5. But that was hardly the first example. In the Byzantine era, when the temple had been turned into a church, two bishops -- Marinos and Theodosios -- carved their names on its monumental columns. The Ottomans used the Parthenon as a gunpowder magazine, hence its pockmarked masonry -- the result of an attack by Venetian forces in the 17th century. Now Catherine Nixey, a classics teacher turned writer and journalist, takes us back to earlier desecrations, the destruction of the premier artworks of antiquity by Christian zealots (from the Greek zelos -- ardor, eager rivalry) in what she calls "The Darkening Age."

Using the mutilation of faces and arms on the Parthenon's decoration as one of her many, thunderingly memorable case studies, Nixey makes the fundamental point that while we lionize Christian culture for preserving works of learning, sponsoring exquisite art and adhering to an ethos of "love thy neighbor," the early church was in fact a master of anti-intellectualism, iconoclasm and mortal prejudice. Nixey is transparent about the particularity of her motivation. The daughter of an ex-nun and an ex-monk, she spent her childhood filled with respect for the wonders of post-pagan Christian culture. But as a student of classics she found the scales -- as it were -- falling from her eyes.

Much more of this book review at "source".

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/6/11 19:25:17 ( 642 reads )


Hindu society has been the meeting point as well as the melting pot of as many spiritual visions as the human psyche is capable of springing up spontaneously. It has been a willing and welcoming platform for as many seers, sages, saints and mystics as have responded to the deeper stirrings in the human soul. It has been a repository of as many metaphysical points of view as human reason can render in human language.
-- Sita Ram Goel (1921-2003), Hindu renaissance thinker and writer, founder of Voice of India

Malaysia Hindu Sangam: "No" to Hindu Endowment Board!

Posted on 2018/6/10 17:56:47 ( 722 reads )


PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA, May 28, 2018 (Malaysia Hindu Sangam): Hindu organizations and Hindu temples are dissatisfied with the proposal of the present Pakatan Harapan government to establish the Hindu Endowment Board. The view that Hindu temples and Hindu temple managements could be controlled through the Hindu Endowment Board (HEB) is not the solution to the issue faced by the temples. Earlier, on 19 May 2018, Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) had called for a meeting with the Hindu Advisory Board, prominent Hindu organizations and Hindu temples for a discussion on the proposed HEB. During the meeting, it was unanimously decided that MHS will spearhead the protest against the formation of HEB in any other states. Following this, a memorandum was submitted to the Prime Minister's Department and YB Kulasegaran, Minister of Human Resources.

In Malaysia, though Islam is a major religion, other religions are allowed to practice their religion. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, among other religions, Buddhists make up 19.8%, Christians 9.2%, and Hindus 6.3%. When there is no government intervention in any other religion or places of worship, why the Hindu religion, which is the smallest group alone should be subjected to control? The proposed model of Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) has many flaws. The PHEB is under the full control of the State Government. The appointment of the management committees of the temples under the PHEB are not elected by the Hindu community but appointed by the state government. The Hindus or the members of the temples have no say in the management.

Since 1964, MHS as the mother body for the Hindu temples and organizations had fought to protect the religion and the rights of the Hindus.

Fight for Control over Ahobilam Temple Continues

Posted on 2018/6/10 17:56:37 ( 666 reads )


KURNOOL, INDIA, June 9, 2018 (Deccan Chronicle): The fight for control over Ahobilam temple in Kurnool district continues as tourism minister Bhuma Akhila Priya is determined to leave her stamp on this ancient shrine. The Union government has sanctioned US$2.5 million to renovate the dilapidated structures and improve amenities for pilgrims. But politicians allegedly are trying to grab the contracts for the work. The Ahobilam temple is under the trusteeship of the 625-year-old Ahobilam Mutt. It has never seen such intense activity to dislodge the hereditary archakas and make it into a tourist attraction. The tourism minister, on a recent visit to the temple, said she would build a shopping complex and develop road infrastructure.

"If resorts are allowed to come up near Sri Ahobilam, it may spoil the sanctity of the sacred region as any entity with commercial interests will try to promote itself at the cost of others," said a temple employee. Rangarajan, a descendant of the archakas who also run the Chilkur Balaji temple, says the government is trying to vitiate the religious atmosphere of the temple. Mr. Rangarajan says he is hopeful that a petition pending before the Supreme Court, filed by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi, will come up for hearing in July and bring clarity on the issue of maintaining the pristine purity of temples.

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