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The Mauritius Declaration Against Conversion


Posted on 2018/8/19 18:43:42 ( 48 reads )

Source

MAURITIUS, July 20, 2018 (Bharata Bharati, World Hindu Foundation): We proclaim and affirm our acceptance of the unity of life and the relationship of all beings as divine and the Dharmic way of life as the way to tranquillity of the individual, family, community and world. The Dharma Shastras of Sanatana Dharma recognize that divinity resides in the heart of all peoples and that this divinity is the same Paramatma in all. As members of the oldest thriving continuous indigenous civilization, a civilization whose scriptures have for thousands of years enshrined the highest principles of human rights and ecological rights, our communities accept responsibility to act according to the scriptures and to actively remind other members of our communities, and of other communities of this scriptural wisdom.

1) We assert that our Dharmic traditions rest upon the protection of freedoms to think without constraint and engage in respectful free speech as given in many of our Shastras and also in international instruments.

2) We assert that conversion is an act of adharma, of violence and is destructive of family, community and civilizational cohesion and is diametrically opposed to the identity specific rights of indigenous civilizations as enshrined in the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

3) We assert that the principle of conversion assumes superiority of one religious belief system over indigenous spiritual traditions, an assumption which is based solely upon supremacist prejudices. This assumption of superiority is specifically rejected in the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples: "Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust."

4) We assert that the doctrine of conversion perpetuates the tenets of colonialism, i.e. the destruction of indigenous identities and the acquisition of indigenous assets, human, tangible and intangible. As such it is contrary to the word, spirit and intention of the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For the remaining 8 points of this declaration made on the 20th day of May 2018, at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture, Phoenix, Mauritius by the delegates of the World Hindu Foundation Mauritius Summit and Hindu organisations, see "source" above.



New Law Being Drafted to Protect Interests of Hindus


Posted on 2018/8/19 18:43:31 ( 57 reads )

Source

GEORGE TOWN, MALAYSIA, August 15, 2018 (Free Malaysia Today): Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy said a draft law to oversee interests of Hindus in the country will be presented to the country's top leadership so that it can be enacted in Parliament. Ramasamy said the proposed federal law will see the creation of Hindu Endowment Boards (HEBs) in states with large Hindu communities. He said the drafting of the Hindu Endowments Act was being studied by a high-powered team in keeping with a Pakatan Harapan election promise to create HEBs throughout the country.

"Since the Federal Constitution does not allow the formation of HEBs at the state level, a body formed through an Act in Parliament would be the best way to do so. HEB will protect the existing temples, resolve temple-related problems, and take over Hindu properties that have been abandoned. "But more importantly, the HEB will work out the mechanism for the advancement of the socio-economic interest of Hindus in general," Ramasamy said in Komtar today.




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/8/19 18:43:20 ( 47 reads )

Source

That which we call the Hindu religion is really the Eternal Religion because it embraces all others.
-- Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950)



Japanese Town near Tokyo Named After Hindu Goddess Lakshmi


Posted on 2018/8/15 18:30:17 ( 550 reads )

Source

BENGALURU, INDIA, August 12, 1018 (Yahoo News): Speaking here on Sunday to students and faculty of Dayanand Sagar on their graduation day, Takayuki Kitagawa, Consul General of Japan, stated, "You will be surprised to know that the town near Tokyo has its origin from Lakshmi temple. Kichioji means Lakshmi temple in Japanese." Recalling the influence of India on Japanese culture and society, Kitagawa said many think Japan and India were very different, though they are not, as is evident from the many temples in Japan being dedicated to Hindu Gods.

"There are many more Hindu Gods who are revered in the Land of the Rising Sun. For ages, we have been praying to Hindu Gods," said the diplomat, who began his delightful speech in Kannada, leaving the audience spellbound. Noting that even Japanese language was influenced by Indian languages, Kitagawa said there were many words from Sanskrit in Japanese script."It is not just the Indian culture, but even Indian languages had a great influence on our language and tradition of worship," added Kitawaga. The privately-run group of educational institutions signed an agreement with the Japanese government to train its students in Japanese language. As there is a great demand for skilled professionals in Japan, knowledge of its language will help Indian graduates find jobs in the land of rising sun.



What Was the Spoken Language of Ancient India if Sanskrit Was Never Spoken By the Masses?


Posted on 2018/8/15 18:30:06 ( 412 reads )

Source

INDIA, April 16, 2018 (Quora, by Ram Abloh): Sanskrit was the spoken language of ancient India, in spite of what the modern miscreants would like you to be indoctrinated with. The feature that distinguishes a spoken language from a purely literary or artificially constructed language is that the former quickly develops variants, whereas the latter is frozen forever. All other great languages in the history of the world have had variants - such as accents (variants in pronunciation), lexicons (variants in choice of vocabulary), registers (variants in style based on purpose or social setting), and dialects (variants that are geographical with a combination of one or more of accent, lexicon and register). English, for example, has 28 variants just within England! (not including Scotland, Ireland, Wales, North America and Australia). Now, English was born around the 7th century AD, so it has been active for about 1400 years.

Sanskrit has been around since at least 3000 BC (based on astronomical evidence in Vedic & post-Vedic literature), so it was the de facto language of a vast portion of the Indian subcontinent. It was actively spoken well into the early centuries AD. So it has been active for at least 3500 years. Also, India is about 30 times the size of England. So I don't think it is unreasonable to allow for a few regional variants to sprout up through 3500 years and a vast landmass.

Evidence for Sanskrit having been a spoken language is abundant. There are hundreds of everyday words in the Vedas that do not serve any religious purpose. Similes and metaphors use everyday words. If Sanskrit was not a commonly spoken language but only a strictly liturgical language, such everyday words would not exist, as they would not serve any religious function. So you see, a great living tradition such as the Vedic culture cannot have thrived if Sanskrit was a sterile language that was only used by "priests in temples." Sanskrit was the language of the streets and the elites, of traders and philosophers, of prostitutes and saints, of farmers and kings, of housewives and warriors.

Much more of this discussion at "source" above.



Philosophically Astute Book Reviewer Sought


Posted on 2018/8/15 18:29:55 ( 287 reads )



KAUAI, HAWAII, August 15, 2018 (HPI): Hinduism Today is seeking a philosophically astute book reviewer to undertake writing a 1,200 word review of the newly released book by Swami Paramtattvadas of the Swaminarayan Fellowship. It is a scholarly work that presents the unique Vedanta of BAPS in an idiom the author developed at Oxford. A modest remuneration and full attribution are offered. Contact Hinduism Today's editor, Sadasivanathaswami, at sadasivanatha@hindu.org



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/8/15 18:29:43 ( 270 reads )

Source

One who is established in a comfortable posture while concentrating on the inner Self naturally becomes immersed in the Heart's ocean of bliss.
-- Siva Sutras III, 16



Singapore Firm to Lead Design of First Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi


Posted on 2018/8/13 19:50:33 ( 448 reads )

Source

ABU DHABI, August 11, 2018 (Khaleej Times): Marking an important milestone on its path to constructing the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, Mandir Limited, along with BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, announced the project's lead consultant and designer. Raglan Squire and Partners (RSP), an architectural practice based in Singapore, has been chosen to lead and oversee the design and construction of the much-anticipated temple complex in Abu Dhabi. The signing event was held with volunteers and community leaders who had contributed to the project. The guests of honor were Navdeep Singh Suri, Ambassador of India to the UAE and His Excellency Samuel Tan Chi Tse, Ambassador of Singapore to the UAE.

The temple project has long been one founded in the core mission of harmony, tolerance and happiness of the UAE government. In this project, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha's traditional architects (known as sompuras) and engineers will design the stone temple or mandir as it is known in Sanskrit. The exterior of the mandir will be made of pink sandstone from Rajasthan and the interior from white marble that will be handcrafted by artisans in India. RSP's experts from Singapore, India and the UAE will form a team with BAPS's core team and other respected sub-consultants like Ramboll to develop a vibrant cultural and spiritual centre.



Manobo Woman's Kin Want Golden Tara Returned


Posted on 2018/8/13 19:50:22 ( 464 reads )

Source

BUTUAN CITY, PHILIPPINES, August 13, 2018 (Philstar): As the United States government plans to return the historic Balangiga bells to the Philippines, relatives of the Manobo woman who found the Golden Tara in 1917 along Agusan River want the relic returned too. The 13th century 21-karat Golden Tara, considered as one of the most important archeological discoveries in the Philippines, is now displayed at the Chicago Fields Museum in the US. It weighs approximately four pounds. In an exclusive interview yesterday, Constancia Guiral and Danilo Isid, great grandchildren of Belay Campos--the woman who found the relic in 1918 along the Agusan River in Esperanza town, Agusan del Sur, said they want to have the artifact returned to the country and preferably kept and safeguarded at the National Museum in Manila or at the regional museum here "so the Filipino people can see it and will know."

Guiral, now 66, said their family also wants a "finder's fee" for the Golden Tara, an image of a Hindu Goddess believed to be proof that Hinduism was existent in the Philippines before Ferdinand Magellan arrived. A group calling itself Golden Tara Community of Agusan organized by Filipino Lama Yeshe Lhundrup, a practitioner and devout Tibetan Buddhist, is planning a centennial celebration this year to commemorate the 100th year of discovery of the relic, which the Field Museum of Chicago renamed as Agusan gold image. Lhundrup told The STAR that the Golden Tara is not just an ordinary golden relic but has spiritual value that includes spiritual awakening and cleansing.

Photo at "source" above.




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/8/13 19:50:11 ( 335 reads )

Source

When the Creator dances, the worlds He created dance. To the measure that He dances in our knowledge, our thoughts, too, dance. When He in heart-endearing dances, the several elements, too, dance. Witness in rapture surpassing the dance of that One who is a glowing flame.
-- Tirumantiram, 2786



Kawad Pilgrimage 2018


Posted on 2018/8/9 19:19:15 ( 523 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, August 7, 2018 (Indian Express): During the holy month of Savana, millions of pilgrims carry the auspicious Ganga water to worship Lord Shiva and start their journey of Kanwar Yatra. The saffron clad devotees, popularly known as "kanwariyas", collect the Ganga Jal from Hindu pilgrimage centers and proceed to the temples of Lord Shiva to offer the holy water. As per Hindu puranas, the history of Kanwar yatra is associated with Samudra Manthan -- the churning of ocean by the devas and the asuras -- which helped to remove the poison out of the ocean. To protect everyone else, Lord Shiva consumed that poison and his throat turned blue. From then on, he was known as Neel Kantha.

All schools and colleges of Ghaziabad in Delhi NCR will be closed from August 6 to 9 due to the journey of Kannur. Along with schools, wine shops falling on the Kaward road will be closed from August 7 to 9. The day of Shravan Shivaratri is considered to be the best day to offer the Gangajal to Lord Shiva. It will be observed on August 9 this year and the shubh muhurta for the Shivaratri puja is from 12:05am to 12:48am on the night of Shivaratri. Devotees offer the Ganga Jal, Bel Patra, milk or panchamrit (a mixture of milk, curd, ghee, honey, and the Ganga Jal). On the next day after sunrise, the devotees break their fast on the day of Shivaratri.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/8/9 19:19:05 ( 520 reads )

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Those who patiently endure rude remarks possess the rare purity of an ascetic.
-- Tirukkural



Hindus Need to Join the Debate About How to Define Death


Posted on 2018/8/8 19:30:00 ( 588 reads )

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UNITED STATES, August 8, 2018: Hinduism Today invites Hindus to send us their thoughts and research to letters@hindu.org on how to define "death" of the physical body in the Hindu tradition. As the following article by Radhika Viswanathan explains, it is a complex issue in today's technologically advanced medical world and an issue--like taxes--that none of us will escape.

By Radhika Viswanathan, Vox.com
Turns out there's no true consensus among doctors, bioethicists, and philosophers. The way death is determined can even change as you cross state lines. Is it when our brains completely shut down? Is it when parts of our brains stop working? Is it when our hearts or lungs stop working? Is it when we lose the ability to think? The line can be blurry, especially now that we have technology to keep organs functioning. Because of these artificial ways of sustaining life, differentiating death from life sometimes falls outside of the boundaries of science, according to Robert Veatch, professor emeritus of medical ethics at Georgetown University and the senior research scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. "It reflects the intersection of medical science and philosophy and religion," he said. Most recently, there was the case of 17-year-old Jahi McMath, who was first pronounced dead five years ago after a tonsillectomy in 2013 went awry and left her brain-dead. But McMath was connected to a ventilator, and her heart continued to beat (the heart has an internal pacemaker, so it needs only regular oxygen to beat). Her mother, grandmother, and other family members believed that this meant she was still alive, and fought to keep her connected to a ventilator. The story became the subject of a lengthy New Yorker profile by Rachel Aviv.

After doctors in California declared her dead, McMath was transported to a hospital in New Jersey, which kept her on the life-sustaining treatment until she finally died of liver failure on June 22. But the battle is not over yet. According to the New Yorker, the family, who is African American, felt they were discriminated against (racism, no doubt, runs deep through the American medical system). McMath's family is currently planning to file a wrongful-death suit against the hospital that declared her brain-dead, as well as a federal civil rights case. Over the past few decades, other cases -- like those of Terri Schiavo, Nancy Cruzan, Karen Ann Quinlan, and Marlise Munoz -- have sparked similar national debates about what rights an unresponsive person has, what rights their families have, and what a hospital's responsibility is.

Most death determination is left to medical professionals, as it should be. But in these rare cases of uncertainty, when death actually has room for interpretation and the patient's wishes are unclear, family members sometimes feel doctors don't give their opinions enough respect. Trying to understand what death means can help decide the best way to determine when someone has died. And beyond the medical ramifications, it turns out that untangling death actually tells us a lot about what it means to be alive.

For more, go to source



American Red Cross Awards $500,000 Grant to Sewa International:


Posted on 2018/8/8 19:30:00 ( 598 reads )

Source

HOUSTON, TEXAS, August 6, 2018 (Press Release): The American Red Cross awarded Sewa International a US$500,000 grant to rebuild homes of the economically underprivileged devastated by Hurricane Harvey in Rosharon Village, Brazoria County, Texas. Since day one of Hurricane Harvey's sweep across Southern Texas damaging property and destroying lives, Sewa International has been at the forefront of rescue operations initially, and then in relief and rehabilitation efforts. See Hinduism Today's report at: https://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/ ... tion/item.php?itemid=5832

One of the most affected communities was Rosharon in Brazoria County which suffered major damage. Known as Little Cambodia, Rosharon with a population of approximately 1,400, is 30 miles south of Houston in an underserved rural area. Home to predominantly Cambodians refugees, and some Laotian and Mexican refugees, the majority eke out a livelihood in this insular setting through subsistence farming. Families here had fled Cambodia in the late 1970s escaping the genocidal regime of the Khmer Rouge. Nearly fifty percent of the families are involved in growing water spinach, a staple of Asian cuisine. When Hurricane Harvey roared through South Texas it devastated Little Cambodia, bringing down houses rendering people homeless, and leveling greenhouses thus destroying livelihoods.

The Sewa International team members in Houston raised over $2 million for disaster recovery in less than a year since Hurricane Harvey hit, including the latest American Red Cross grant of $500,000. Sewa was the recipient of a $397,000 grant awarded by the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF) in December 2017, providing case management help for 600 individuals. Completing the work in record time, Sewa International ended up helping 1,600 individuals from minority and underprivileged communities, earning kudos from GHCF. Thus, this grant from the American Red Cross is an affirmation of the good work done by Sewa as well as acknowledgement of the can-do spirit of this Hindu faith-based charitable organization standing out amongst its mainstream peers. Gitesh Desai, President of the Houston Chapter of Sewa International who has for months lived in a hotel room as his house was flooded, said "We are honored for the recognition by American Red Cross, a major humanitarian organization. We are grateful to them for reposing their trust and confidence in us through this amazing gift. The grant further strengthens Sewa International's resolve to fulfill our mission of giving back to the society through selfless service - a cornerstone of our Hindu faith."



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/8/8 19:22:25 ( 529 reads )

Source

It is always good to endure injuries done to you, but to forget them is even better.
-- Tirukkural

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