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Odisha's Konark Sun Temple and Town To Go 100% Solar

Posted on 2020/5/23 11:00:51 ( 215 reads )


ODISHA, INDIA, May 21, 2020 (PV Magazine): The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has taken up the complete solarization of Konark Sun Temple and Konark town in Odisha. The scheme envisages setting up of 10 MW grid-connected solar project and various solar off-grid applications like solar trees, solar drinking water kiosks, off-grid solar power plants with battery storage. The project will be done by Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency with 100% central financial assistance (CFA) of around US$3.3 million through MNRE. The scheme will meet all the energy requirements of Konark town with solar energy. Speaking about the scheme, power minister R.K. Singh said, "The government of India launched the scheme with an objective to take forward the Prime Minister's vision to develop the historical Sun Temple town of Konark in Odisha as Surya Nagri, to convey a message of synergy between the modern use of solar energy and the ancient Sun Temple and the importance of promoting solar energy."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/5/23 11:00:38 ( 187 reads )


All this universe is in the glory of God, of Siva, the God of love. The heads and faces of men are His own, and He is in the hearts of all.
-- Krishna Yajur Veda, Svetasvatara Upanishad 3.11

Tirumala Temple to Sell Its Famed Laddu Sweets at 50% Discount

Posted on 2020/5/21 5:23:46 ( 233 reads )


TIRUPATI, INDIA, May 20, 2020 (Newsd): With uncertainty continuing as to when the temple will open, Sri Venkateswara temple authorities on Wednesday decided to sell Tirupati laddu Prasadam or the sacred offering among devotees at 50 percent discount across Andhra Pradesh and in state capitals of neighboring states. The laddu, weighing 6 oz, will be sold for US$0.33, against its normal price of $0.66. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of the world's richest Hindu temple, took the decision in view of the continuing uncertainty over resumption of darshan.

It has been two months since darshan was stopped for the devotees at the hill shrine in view of the lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19. TTD Trust Board Chairman Y.V Subba Reddy said the laddu prasadam will be made available shortly at all TTD Kalyana Mandapams and information centers present in all the 13 district headquarters in Andhra Pradesh along with Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru. Reddy said responding to devotees' generous contributions to its e-Hundi, TTD decided to resume laddu prasadam sale at the 50% discount.

Vat Savitri Puja 2020: History, Date, Significance and Puja Vidhi

Posted on 2020/5/21 5:23:33 ( 190 reads )


INDIA, May 20, 2020 (Newsd): Vat Savitri Puja or Vat Savitri Poornima is observed by married Hindu women in North India for the well-being, prosperity, and longevity of their husbands. This year the festival will be celebrated on May 22. Women fast for the whole day and wear new clothes and accessories. The prayer and pujas associated with Vat Savitri are observed at the community level or individually at home. Vat Savitri is widely celebrated in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana, and Punjab.

On this day, women usually worship the Banyan tree as it represents Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The root represents Lord Brahma, the stem represents Lord Vishnu and the upper portion is Lord Shiva. Vat Savitri Vrat Fasting begins on the Trayodashi day of Jyeshtha month and ends on Purnima. The fast is broken on the fourth day. Nowadays, many women observe the fasting only on the day of Purnima.

More at "source".

The End of Plastic? New Plant-Based Bottles Will Degrade In a Year

Posted on 2020/5/21 5:23:21 ( 213 reads )


NETHERLANDS, May 16, 2020 (The Guardian): A biochemicals company in the Netherlands is seeking investment in a pioneering project that hopes to make plastics from plant sugars rather than fossil fuels. The plans, devised by renewable chemicals company Avantium, have already won the support of beer-maker Carlsberg, which hopes to sell its pilsner in a cardboard bottle lined with an inner layer of plant plastic. Avantium's chief executive, Tom van Aken, says he hopes to greenlight a major investment in the world-leading bioplastics plant in the Netherlands by the end of the year.

The project, which remains on track despite the coronavirus lockdown, is set to reveal partnerships with other food and drink companies later in the summer. The project has the backing of Coca-Cola and Danone, which hope to secure the future of their bottled products by tackling the environmental damage caused by plastic pollution and a reliance on fossil fuels. Globally around 300 million tons of plastic is made from fossil fuels every year, which is a major contributor to the climate crisis. Most of this is not recycled and contributes to the scourge of microplastics in the world's oceans. Microplastics can take hundreds of years to decompose completely.

More on this significant development at "source."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/5/21 5:23:07 ( 172 reads )


One must seek the shortest way and the fastest means to get back home--to turn the spark within into a blaze, to be merged in and to identify with that greater fire which ignited the spark.
-- Swami Nityananda of Ganeshpuri (1885-1961), South Indian Mystic

Tirupati Temple Chairman Dismisses Reports of Fund Crunch

Posted on 2020/5/16 7:27:33 ( 263 reads )


VIJAYAWADA, INDA, May 13, 2020 (New Indian Express): Though Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the chief custodian of the world's richest temple of Lord Venkateswara atop Tirumala, is facing financial problems like any other organization during the lockdown, it is confident of paying salaries to its employees on time. "It is not just TTD, but organizations, small and large, in the country and across the world are facing financial crunch due to inactivity. However, we have paid salaries to our employees for the months of March and April on time and are quite confident of paying salaries for the month of May (payable in June) without touching the corpus, gold, or fixed deposits.

"Provisions are being made in that direction," TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy told TNIE. Tirumala temple, like other temples, was closed for more than 50 days due to the lockdown and it is said to have lost an estimated US$53 million revenue during this period. The TTD has a workforce of 7,400 regular employees and nearly 14,000 contract and outsourced employees. According to a TTD higher official, TTD has the ability to deal with its monthly expenditure, including monthly wages of around $10 million per month on an average.

Badrinath Temple to Reopen on May 15 With Only 27 People; No Devotees Allowed

Posted on 2020/5/16 7:27:20 ( 205 reads )


UTTARAKHAND, INDIA, May 13, 2020 (Times of India): Today, amid Coronavirus lockdown, devotees took out processions from the Narsingh Temple in Joshimath to Badrinath Temple, ahead of opening the portals of the shrine. Badrinath portals are due to open on May 15, i.e., two days before the ongoing nationwide lockdown is scheduled to end. Religious ceremonies were also held at the Narsingh Temple. Other ceremonies and pujas of Gadu Ghada, the ritual of extracting sesame oil, and the gaddi (seat) of Adi Shankaracharya were performed in Joshimath, after which the Rawal departed for Pandukeshwar today.

As per the news reports, special ceremonies have also been scheduled to take place tomorrow in the Yog Dhyana Badri Temple in Pandukeshwar, following which the statues of Hindu Deities Badrinath, Uddhav and Kuber will be taken to the Badrinath Temple. When the portals of Badrinath Temple open on May 15, only 27 people will be allowed to be present during the opening along with the head priest according to officials. The portals of Badrinath and Kedarnath temples reopen during this time of the year after a six-month winter break, i.e., after clearing of snow along the track leading to the temples is completed. Also, before taking the decision of re-opening the shrines this year, a high-level meeting was held at the Chief Minister's residence in view of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/5/16 7:27:07 ( 230 reads )


The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him--that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

India: Richest Hindu Temple Runs Out of Cash Due to COVID-19 Lockdown

Posted on 2020/5/12 7:57:03 ( 389 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, May 11, 2020 (Gulf News): The world's richest Hindu temple management body, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), has expressed its inability to pay salaries to its employees and bear the day-to-day expenses of running the temples' affairs. TTD, whose main source of income is Sri Venkateshwara Temple atop the Tirumala Hills in Andhra Pradesh, has informed its employees that it would not be able to pay this month's salary on time. TTD officials said that it has already incurred a revenue loss of US$53 million due to the closure of Tirumala temple due to the COVID-19 related lockdown since March 20. "The average monthly income of Tirumala temple alone is $26.6 to $29 million. But since the temple was closed due to lockdown, there has been no revenue," said YV Subba Reddy, chairman of TTD.

Earlier, the TTD had discontinued the services of 1,300 contract workers in its sanitation and other wings on the grounds of cash crunch and its income from the offerings of the devotees and other services had come down to zero. TTD officials said that without any income for nearly two months, it has already incurred an expenditure of $40 million on salaries, pension and other recurring expenses. With huge gold reserves of 8 tons (worth today US$429 billion) and fixed deposits of approx. $1.85 billion, managing the situation should not have been a problem for the Trust, but officials said they wanted to overcome the present crisis without touching any of its reserves. The temple, situated atop the seven hills near Tirupati, has never faced this kind of financial crisis in its more than 1,000 year history. Now either the government has to ease the lockdown and allow the pilgrims into the temple or the TTD will have to break its fixed deposits and withdraw money, an official said.

Devotees Set for New Normal; SOP for Hindu Temples Submitted

Posted on 2020/5/12 7:56:50 ( 263 reads )


KUANTAN, MALAYSIA, May 10, 2020 (New Strait Times): Temple visits could soon be a whole new experience for Hindu devotees nationwide as they embrace the new normal adopted at the house of worship. The Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) last week submitted a set of guidelines and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to the National Security Council (NSC) to get their views on reopening temples. MHS president Datuk RS Mohan Shan said the SOP prioritized the safety of devotees during their temple visits and was done in accordance with advice from the Health Ministry.

He said among the proposals included in the SOP are for devotees to wear face masks, wash their hands or temples to provide hand sanitizers for devotees before entering the premises. "All temple staff and devotees will be required to have their temperatures taken. Others include floor markings for devotees to maintain social distancing during prayers, limited number of people inside the premises depending on the compound size, separate entrance and exit, while devotees will have to also provide their full details for record." Meanwhile, Mohan said when temples are allowed to open, the Thiruvizha (an annual celebration), Maha Kumbhabhisekam (a consecration ceremony) and chariot procession might still not be allowed.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/5/12 7:56:37 ( 430 reads )


Meet life as it comes, with or without the things that your mind is demanding from it.
-- Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), founder of Chinmaya Mission

Nepal and India in Row Over Road to Hindu Holy Site in Tibet

Posted on 2020/5/11 7:26:48 ( 335 reads )


NEW DELHI/BEIJING/KATHMANDU, May 10, 2020 (The Star): Nepal has asked India "to refrain from carrying out any activity inside its territory" after expressing regret over New Delhi's inauguration of a link road in the disputed territory at a strategic three-way junction with Nepal and Tibet at Lipulekh Pass. "This unilateral act runs against the understanding reached between the two countries including at the level of prime ministers that a solution to boundary issues would be sought through negotiation," Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Saturday. Nepal's statement comes a day after Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a 50-mile link road to Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra Route through Lipulekh Pass, a disputed territory currently under control of Indian border security forces. Kailash-Mansarovar is an important Hindu religious site in Tibet.

Replying to Nepal's statement, India's Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday said that the road "lies completely within the territory of India." "India is committed to resolving outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue and in spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations with Nepal," a ministry spokesperson said. Kathmandu has long maintained claims over the highly strategic areas of Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh although the areas have been policed by Indian troops since India fought a brief war with China in 1962.

The Indian Revolutionary who Fought to 0verthrow British Rule While Living in Japan

Posted on 2020/5/11 7:26:35 ( 413 reads )


TOKYO, JAPAN, May 9, 2020 (CNN, by Emiko Jozuka): On December 23, 1912, an explosion rocked Delhi just as Lord Hardinge, the British viceroy of India, entered the new capital on the back of an elephant. The bomb was meant to kill him, but instead it peppered Hardinge's back with shrapnel, killed his attendant and cast a shadow over a day that was meant to mark the transition of India's capital to Delhi from Kolkata. The mastermind of the attack was Rash Behari Bose, a 26-year-old Bengali revolutionary who initially posed as a British loyalist while secretly working to overthrow colonial rule. The attack failed, but it gave Bose the opportunity to show the hundreds of people in attendance -- and the world -- that some Indians were prepared to expel the British by force.

With a bounty on his head, Bose managed to flee India in 1915 to Japan, where he became a significant activist, reportedly introduced one of the country's most popular curries and laid the foundations for the Indian National Army. Today, the names of prominent Indian freedom fighters such as Mohandas Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose have found their place in world history, but few have heard of Rash Behari Bose (though Subhas Chandra Bose built upon his work). Yet in Japan his story has become something of a legend. As a British ally, Japan may seem like an odd safe haven for a Bengali freedom fighter fleeing British retribution. But Japan had a long history of pro-Indian sentiment, dating back to India's exportation of Buddhism to Japan via the Korean peninsula in the 6th century. Even though Japan was a British ally between 1902 to 1923, it had kept its doors open to revolutionaries who wanted to end British rule in India.

Much more of this interesting account at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/5/11 7:26:22 ( 279 reads )


The intellect in its capacity to contain Truth is a very limited tool, while faith is very broad, accommodating and embracing faculty. The mystery of life and beyond life, of Siva, is really better understood through faith than through intellectual understanding.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

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