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How Hindu Spiritual Practices Can Help Manage Your COVID-19 Anxiety

Posted on 2020/3/28 11:43:52 ( 484 reads )


UNITED STATES, March 21, 2020 (hinduamerican.org, by Kavita Sekhsaria): In the last few weeks many have tried to explain how all of the disruptions from COVID-19 have felt to them. There has been an overwhelming feeling of unfairness, as people have cancelled everything from weddings to funerals. The sacrifices required have been big, whether risking personal health and safety to provide for others, losing the opportunity to celebrate once in a lifetime events or, increasingly, losing your job. Given the level of ambiguity and uncertainty about how life will look tomorrow, next week or a month or two from now, the level of anxiety many of us have had to process has been high. In the face of the financial and physical stress brought on by COVID-19, it can be difficult to consider our emotional and spiritual health. However, in a world of uncertainty, Hindu teachings and practices are helpful in taking care of ourselves in the most essential and basic of ways.

Hindu teachings and spiritual practices offer many ways for us to bring ourselves back to the here and now, and release ourselves from the pain and regret around thinking about that which has already passed, and the anxiety and fear around thinking about the future which we cannot predict or control. Use hatha yoga and pranayama to ground yourself in the moment. We can use jnana yoga to engage in reading scripture. Raja yoga, or meditation, is an option for those of us who can simply look within to find calm. Hindu rituals can also help ground us in the here and now. Though many mandirs (temples) are currently closed to devotees, many are also using streaming services to help people feel spiritually connected. Puja in particular can call upon all the senses: the smell of agarbatti (incense), the reverberation of a bell, visually pleasing murtis, the sensation of bringing our palms together--all can be lovely ways to set aside stress and center ourselves.

Much more of this insightful article at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/3/28 11:43:39 ( 168 reads )


Attach yourself to Him who is free from all attachments. Bind yourself to that bond so all other bonds may be broken.
-- Tirukkural 350

Construction of Grand Ram Temple In Ayodhya Begins with Special Prayers; Deity's Statue to Be Shifted Tomorrow

Posted on 2020/3/27 11:58:35 ( 173 reads )


AYODHYA, INDIA, March 24, 2020 (Swarajyamag): In a significant development, the construction of a grand temple of Lord Ram began in the ancient city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh on March 23rd with special prayers being initiated to shift the statue of the Deity to a temporary structure, reports Hindu Businessline. Special prayers will continue even today, after which the statues will finally be moved to the temporary structure on Wednesday morning. Once shifted, the Diety's statues will remain at the temporary structure until the construction of the grand temple is completed. Meanwhile, it should be noted that the construction activity for the grand Ram temple has begun amid restrictions that are in place in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Bali's Day of Silence Hit by Virus Fears

Posted on 2020/3/27 11:58:22 ( 177 reads )


BALI, INDONESIA, March 24, 2020 (Yahoo): Bali's "Day of Silence" was even quieter than usual this year as coronavirus fears prompted authorities to scale back an annual celebration that sees the Hindu-majority island in Indonesia come to a near standstill. Known as Nyepi, the festival calls on locals to stay at home for 24 hours and reflect in a self-imposed lockdown. Flights and Internet connections are temporarily halted while tourist attractions are closed to allow time for meditation and introspection. But the celebration, which was marked Wednesday, is usually preceded by street parades featuring colorful effigies known as Ogoh-Ogoh which are later burned, representing renewal and purification.

The parades were drastically scaled back Tuesday evening over fears of spreading the deadly virus, while authorities have also called off a related celebration featuring kissing couples. Social distancing measures were in place for some traditional ceremonies that went ahead -- with mixed results -- and many gave offerings in hopes of warding off the virus. "We hope the universe will help protect people from the outbreak," said Nyepi organizer Cokorda Putra Wisnu Wardana. "The offerings will be placed in the river to symbolize our wish that all illness, viruses and things that make us fearful will be swept away," he added. More than 80 percent of Bali's population identify as Hindu and practice a local version of the religion.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/3/27 11:58:09 ( 149 reads )


We want to claim that which we already are. You are already the Self. You are just not aware of it. Do not put it off based upon some concept that we are not ready, we are not worthy, we need more of this or that. None of those principles apply when it comes to Self-realization.
-- Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today magazine

The Story of a Remarkable Hindu Temple in Pretoria's Inner City

Posted on 2020/3/25 12:30:18 ( 244 reads )


PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA, March 22, 2020 (The Conversation): Apart from Pretoria's legacy of grand institutional buildings, South Africa's capital city and historical seat of the apartheid government, also contains some unique architectural masterpieces that have been built and cared for by various religious communities. These buildings reflect the stories, traditions and resilience of diverse community groups. Perhaps the most remarkable of the religious sites, though, is the Mariamman Temple, the home of Pretoria's Tamil League and located in the historical and turbulent suburb of Marabastad. The Mariamman Temple is a small complex of buildings constructed from 1928 onwards within the fine urban grain of the Asiatic Bazaar. This is a historical part of Marabastad that managed to survive apartheid-era clearances in the area. A visible landmark is the gopuram or entrance portal on 6th Street, considered the most impressive of its kind in South Africa. Especially since its renovation in the early 1990s and the subsequent reintroduction of color and detail by the Tamil community.

Groups from India arrived in the Natal Colony on South Africa's east coast as indentured laborers as early as the 1860s, and settled in the Pretoria region in central South Africa from the 1880s onwards. After its establishment in the early 1890s, the Asiatic Bazaar became home to most of Pretoria's Indian communities. The Tamil-speaking Hindu community founded the Pretoria Tamil League here in the early 20th century. They developed the temple complex as the heart of their community life and still act as custodians. The temple was dedicated to the Goddess Mariamman. It was built in the south Indian Dravida Style known for its large tiered gopurams (entrance portals). The Tamil community built a new temple when they were relocated to Laudium. But the Mariamman Temple remained in use, even as parts of the building fell into disrepair. In the early 1990s, an academically researched restoration was executed by architects Schalk le Roux and Nico Botes.

How the Internet is Bringing Comfort to Faith Communities during Coronavirus Social Isolation

Posted on 2020/3/25 12:30:06 ( 200 reads )


AUSTRALIA, March 23, 20202 (ABC National Radio): Hemangini Patel has been attending her temple every Sunday for as long as she can remember. As a devout Hindu, and member of Sydney's Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) community, the weekly "sabha" or congregation is a routine she looks forward to each week. But for the past two Sundays, the religious ritual has looked slightly different. Responding to the government's restrictions on public gatherings to curb the spread of COVID-19, her local BAPS temple replaced the in-person assembly with a live stream.

"Our regular Sunday assemblies tend to confabulate messages of hope, unity and fraternity, so to have those messages as a reminder of what our priorities are in these times, it really helps to keep everyone calm, says Patel." According to Kunal Patel, BAPS's national community relations volunteer, the first online assembly was live streamed to 4,500 devices across Australia and New Zealand. "We anticipate that there would've been one family per device, so if you take three people per family as conservative estimate, that's 10 to 11,000 people that would have accessed the stream," he says. "The most important feedback we received was that for practicing Hindus this is an important milestone, to attend a congregation on a weekly basis, and the fact it's still accessible puts people at ease."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/3/25 12:29:53 ( 161 reads )


Discipline your speech. Speak the truth at all costs. Speak little. Speak sweetly. Always utter encouraging words. Never condemn, criticize or discourage. Do not raise your voice and shout at little children or subordinates.
-- Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh (1887-1963)

All Hindu Observances in Mandirs are Cancelled in Trinidad

Posted on 2020/3/22 12:06:03 ( 307 reads )

HPI/Paras Ramoutar

PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD/TOBAGO March 22, 2020 (Hpi by Paras Ramoutar): Because of the unpredictably of the Covid 19 spread, Hindu major organizations have cancelled all religious and social observances starting with Nau Raatri, Lord Rama Naumi and Lord Hanuman Jayanti. Spokesman for the major Hindu organization, the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha(SDMS) has ordered all mandirs under its jurisdiction to cease holding their weekly and daily religious services to the general public with immediate effect, following the announcement by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley that there must not be any gathering of more than ten persons.

Devotees are urged to perform their religious services in the privacy of their homes or mandirs in order to ward off the potential of the spread of Covid 19. There has been police surveillance at several religious organizations in order to obey the injunctions of the Government as the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is leaving no stone unturned to contain its spread. This is one of several orders calling on the national populace to keep in mind the seriousness of the pandemic.

The usual observance of Nau Raatri which starts on Tuesday March 24 and which will last for a nine-day period has hit Hindu women seriously as they are accustomed to keep vigil at mandirs paying obeisance to Mother Durga, Mother Lakshmi and finally to Mother Sarsawati. Then Lord Rama Naumi will take place on April 1, followed by Lord Hanuman Jayanti on April 7. There are over 400 mandirs dotting the Trinidad landscape, which host daily and weekly religious services. Additionally, all religious groups have been offering special prayers and benediction to stop Covid 19 as a nightmare to the populations of 1.4 million people, of which 44 per cent are of East Indian stock, but approximately 25 per cent are devout Hindus.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/3/22 12:05:50 ( 306 reads )


Man needs a guru. But a man must have faith in the guru's words. He succeeds in spiritual life by looking on his guru as God Himself. Therefore the Vaishnavas speak of guru, Krishna and Vishnu equally.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

Ayodhya Rama Festival Cancelled

Posted on 2020/3/21 11:52:06 ( 232 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 20, 2020 (Sputnik News): Hindus in a northern Indian state were excited about the upcoming Ram Navami, a nine-day festival to mark the birth anniversary of the important Hindu Deity Lord Rama. This year, the celebrations were special due to the Ayodhya verdict, which allowed Hindus to retain disputed land to build a temple dedicated to Lord Rama. A day after receiving a nod from the government to celebrate the nine-day religious fair from 25 March to 2 April, Vishwa Hindu Parishad cancelled the rallies to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Rama against the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak on Friday. The decision comes amid the health hazard posed by the coronavirus outbreak, where authorities have banned social gatherings of people to control the spread of the disease. A Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh-affiliate will observe a quiet ceremony for shifting Lord Rama to a new fiberglass structure so that construction of the temple can be expedited.

See also: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/k ... itors/article31132051.ece

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/3/21 11:51:53 ( 313 reads )


The secret of the true life is to remain still in the midst of activity and vibrantly awake while in meditation.
-- Dada Vaswani, Sindhi spiritual leader, head of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission and nonagenarian

Tirumala Temple Shuts Doors for Devotees

Posted on 2020/3/20 11:05:09 ( 280 reads )


TIRUPATI, INDIA, March 20, 2020 (The Hans India): The famed 2000-year-old Tirumala temple will remain closed for darshan to pilgrims from Friday afternoon for a week, which is the first time in the history of the most popular Hindu temple in the world. Keeping in view the Covid-19, which had become a pandemic, the temple authorities have decided that the temple be closed for darshan from Friday noon, after allowing the pilgrims who had already purchased the darshan tickets. The daily Kainkarayams (worship ceremonies) like Dhoopa Deepa Naivaidyam to the presiding Deity, Lord Venkateswara, will continue. All reception counters, Kalyanakatta, Anna Prasadam Complex, Laddu Complex are set to close from 12 noon on Friday.

Religious Gatherings Cancelled

Posted on 2020/3/20 11:04:57 ( 200 reads )


DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, March 19, 2020 (IOL): Religious and cultural organizations have made an unprecedented call to cancel all Easter gatherings and services as the government imposes stringent regulations to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of people with Covid-19 in the country has risen to 116 from 85 in 24 hours, the government said. The Commission for Cultural and Religious Rights has appealed to churches and religious organizations to adhere to President Cyril Ramaphosa's instruction that services or gatherings remain below 100 people.

The SA Hindu Maha Sabha said many Hindu religious and cultural organizations had postponed their important celebrations in response to the threat of the spread of Covid-19, The Brake Village Sri Siva Soobramaniar Alayam in Thongathi posted on its Facebook page that it had cancelled its Kavady celebrations and had suspended all major religious festivals and prayer services until further notice. The Mount Edgecombe-based Shri Mariammen Temple also announced its annual prayer festival had been cancelled, but remain open. "The temple management committee will take all necessary precautions and hygiene control measures, but it is advised that the onus is upon all those who will be coming to the temple to pray to exercise precautionary measures to protect themselves," said the temple.

Maran Panguni Uthiram Temple Fest Cancelled this Year

Posted on 2020/3/20 11:04:44 ( 207 reads )


MARANM, MALAYSIA, March 19, 2020 (NST): The annual Panguni Uthiram festival at the prominent Sri Marathandavar Aalayam temple in Sungai Jerik near here, next month, has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. District police chief Deputy Superintendent Norzamri Abd Rahman said a meeting was held with the temple committee on Wednesday to inform them to cancel the festival scheduled to take place between April 6 and 7.

The 129-year old temple which is surrounded by an oil palm plantation attracts some 450,000 Hindu devotees including tourists annually for its Panguni Uthiram festival, which is also dubbed as a mini-Thaipusam and which is usually held between March and April every year. The festival which marks Panguni Uthiram - the last month of the Tamil calendar, will also see devotees walking 126 miles from Batu Caves, Selangor to attend the two-day festival at the octagon-shaped temple. "This is a religious festival and we cannot postpone it to another date. The priest will conduct the pooja (prayer) as scheduled during the prayers but no crowd is allowed," he said.

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