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First Batch Of Pilgrims Departs on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra


Posted on 2018/6/15 19:56:10 ( 486 reads )

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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 ( 339 reads )

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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 ( 349 reads )

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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 ( 577 reads )

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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 ( 774 reads )

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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 ( 483 reads )

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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 ( 556 reads )

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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 ( 512 reads )

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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.



SC Makes Jagannath Puri Visit Hassle-Free


Posted on 2018/6/10 17:56:27 ( 633 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 9, 2018 (Daily Pioneer): Paying a visit to the Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri may now become easier for devotees who have to face extreme hardship in offering prayers there. The Supreme Court on Friday directed both the Odisha Government and the Centre to set up separate committees to study the best management practices followed by shrines of national importance across the country and recommend changes to be carried out in administration of the temple by June 30. The direction came on a PIL that highlighted poor hygiene, harassment faced by devotees, malpractices by sebayats (sevaks) who perform rituals, and misappropriation of offerings made to the temple offertory.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Adarsh K Goel and Ashok Bhushan ordered a probe by the District Judge, Puri, into these allegations and sought an interim report from him by July 5. For suggesting measures to reform the existing practices followed in the temple, the Bench directed both the Odisha Government and the Centre to set up separate committees to study the best management practices followed by shrines such as Vaishno Devi in Jammu & Kashmir, Somnath temple in Gujarat, Golden Temple in Punjab, Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh and Dharamsthala temple in Karnataka. The temple being one of the four great Char Dham pilgrimage sites (four divine sites) comprising of Rameswaram, Badrinath, Puri and Dwarka, considered sacred to Hindus, the Bench said, "These centres are of undoubted religious, social, historical, and architectural importance, representing cultural heritage of the country."




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/6/10 17:56:16 ( 548 reads )

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Like treasure hidden in the ground, like flavor in the fruit, like gold in the rock, and oil in the seed, the Absolute is hidden in the heart.
-- Akka Mahadevi, twelfth-century Vira Saiva saint



ABC Apologizes for Hindu Terror Plot in Quantico after Backlash


Posted on 2018/6/9 19:59:13 ( 539 reads )

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UNITED STATES, June 9, 2018 (MSN): U.S. television studio ABC has apologized to Indian fans of its crime drama "Quantico" after an episode featuring Indian "nationalists" trying to frame Pakistan in a terrorist plot sparked online outrage against Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra, who plays a lead role in the show. "The episode has stirred a lot of emotion, much of which is unfairly aimed at Priyanka Chopra, who didn't create the show, nor does she write or direct it," said Walt Disney-owned ABC in its statement.

After the recent Quantico episode, Chopra has faced online attacks at home, and even some calls to boycott her work and the brands that she endorses. Others called on the government to black out the scene where Chopra, who stars as an FBI agent in the series, holds up sacred Hindu prayer beads as evidence that the plotter in the episode, planning to detonate a nuclear bomb in New York, was an Indian nationalist. "The show has featured antagonists of many different ethnicities and backgrounds, but in this case we inadvertently and regrettably stepped into a complex political issue. It was certainly not our intention to offend anyone," ABC said in a statement on Friday.



UP to Ban Liquor Sales in Six Spiritual Towns


Posted on 2018/6/9 19:59:02 ( 491 reads )

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LUCKNOW, INDIA, June 6, 2018 (Times of India): The UP government on Tuesday extended the status of sacred pilgrimage sites to five towns of Mathura district, thereby restricting the sale and consumption of alcohol in these places. The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet which also okayed a modern Ram Katha Centre and art gallery in Faizabad, next to Ayodhya and memorial academy in remembrance of 15th century poet-saint Kabir at Maghar, place of nirvana, in Sant Kabir Nagar district. Baldev, Gokul, Govardhan, Nandgaon and Radha Kund were added to the existing list of spiritual towns with no alcohol strictures in Mathura. In October 2017, Barsana and Vrindavan were announced as the sacred pilgrimage sites. Sources in the government said that sale of meat and eggs may also be included in the list of prohibited items considering the strong religious beliefs of these sites. Priests in Mathura were overjoyed with the move.




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/6/9 19:58:52 ( 623 reads )

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You shine, all living things emerge. You disappear, they go to rest. Recognizing our innocence, O golden-haired Sun, arise; let each day be better than the last. Rig Veda (X, 37, 9)



Odisha: Missing Keys of Jagannath Temple Treasury Triggers Demand for Audit


Posted on 2018/6/8 17:59:06 ( 511 reads )

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INDIA, June 6, 2018 (Swarajyamag): A judicial probe ordered by Odisha Chief Minister (CM) Naveen Patnaik into the mysterious case of keys to the inner chambers of Puri Jagannath Temple's ratna bhandar going missing has failed to put a lid on a raging controversy over the temple's treasures. Amidst growing rumors of, and public unrest over, the missing jewels and ornaments from the temple's treasury, the opposition BJP has demanded a comprehensive audit of all items in the ratna bhandar. Puri Shankarancharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati too has demanded a thorough review of the temple treasury's management. The controversy has arisen because the judicial probe was ordered by Patnaik a full two months after it was discovered that the keys to the inner chambers of the twelfth century temple were missing. The keys are kept at the district treasury, and the loss of the keys was discovered only when Puri district magistrate Aravind Agarwal was to have taken them along with him for a Odisha High Court-mandated inspection of the ratna bhandar on 4 April. That day, the treasury was opened for the first time after 34 years.

Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra said it was surprising that it took two months for the CM to order an enquiry into the case of the missing keys. A through audit of the treasury needs to be conducted in the presence of the Gajapati Maharaja of Puri and the Shankaracharya in view of the situation, Mohapatra added. The last audit of the ratna bhandar's treasure was carried out in 1978 had listed gold ornaments weighing 282 lbs, besides precious stones, jewels and silver ornaments and items.



Hindu Community Celebrates Ceremony


Posted on 2018/6/8 17:58:56 ( 516 reads )

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BREMEN, GERMANY, June 5, 2018 (Kreiszeitung, translated from German): It was a moving day for the approximately 60 families of the Bremen Hindu community on Monday. Many of the community members , with their guests, gathered to celebrate a special ceremony in Osterholz on the grounds of the Ellener Village retirement home run by the Bremen Heimstiftung elder-care foundation. Where there is now an unlevel meadow, a Hindu temple is to be built on about 1,400 square meters, dedicated to the God of fortune Ganesha. In order to successfully initiate this construction project of the Bremen Sri Varasiththivinayakar Temple association, a black and white dairy cow named Madel paid an extraordinary visit in January of this year. By watching the cow's reaction to the place, the Hindu community concluded that is the right location for a temple. Now other sacred actions are being done to bless the spot.

"In order to purify and consecrate the place where the temple's altar will be built, we have a pit about 20 feet by 26 feet in size. It contains a small copper plate with a picture of Ganesha, a shell, various foods, flowers, stones and also earth from a piece of land where elephants live and other objects," says Pathmakaran Pathmanathan, treasurer of the Bremen Hindu association and one of the initiators of the temple project. Many of the essentials for the ceremony were brought back by the 45-year-old Tamil from a trip to his homeland. "We are very pleased to be able to create a new center for ourselves and our faith - right in the middle of and with the people here in Osterholz," says Pathmanathan. For many members of his community, this temple will soon be in their neighborhood.

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