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Puri's Govardhan Mutt Moved out of Odisha Government's Control

Posted on 2019/11/18 12:46:44 ( 235 reads )


BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, November 16, 2019 (Hindustan Times): The Odisha government passed an amendment to free Puri's famous Govardhan Math from state control on Saturday following persistent demands by the Puri Shankaracharya. The amendment gives Puri Math parity with the other three Hindu monasteries of Dwarka, Shringeri and Joshimath, all established by Adi Shankaracharya and managed without government interference. Law minister Pratap Jena said the amendment to the Hindu Religious Endowment Act, 1951 was made keeping in mind the "religious pre-eminence and importance" of the Govardhan Math and will exclude it from the "religious institutions" defined under the act. Set up in the 9th century, the Govardhan Math is the oldest Math in Puri and one of the four important Hindu dhamas (holy abodes) established by Adi Shankaracharya.

The State government indirectly controlled the Puri Math since Lord Jagannath, who is the religious owner of the Math's properties, is considered a perpetual minor. The state controls over 16,000 temples and 450 Maths or Hindu monasteries through government appointed trustees and Mahants (priests) for the day-to-day management and is the sole arbiter as regards to the sale of Math properties. The state government's decision follows criticism of the recent demolition of several ancient Puri Mutts associated with the Jagannath temple, including the ancient Vaishnavite monasteries-- the 700-year-old Emar Math, 300-year-old Languli Math and 521-year-old Bada Akhada Math. The Puri Shankaracharya has been against the demolition of the monasteries.

Sat Maharaj of Trinidad Passes On

Posted on 2019/11/18 12:46:31 ( 206 reads )


TRINIDAD/TOBAGO, November 16, 2019 (Trinidad Express): Champion of many Hindus and Indians in Trinidad and Tobago Satnayaran Maharaj died clasping the Hanuman Chalisa. "In his dying moments he clasped a copy of the Hanuman Chalisa which he always kept in his possession when he was alive," stated a release from the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) executive and Maharaj's family just after 1 a.m. today. Maharaj, the SDMS Secretary General suffered a stroke last Thursday at his Champ Fleurs home and was being treated at the Medical Associates hospital in St Joseph where he died on Friday night. The Hanuman Chalisa is a popular sacred Hindu hymn devoted to Lord Hanuman, himself a devotee of Lord Rama.

The SDMS stated that there will be three days of mourning and funeral arrangements have already begun and will be announced within 24 hours. The release stated he achieved immense success in his battles for our enhanced welfare. "Each and every one of us identify with him on an individual level. His legacy will certainly continue through all of us and the collective starting point will be the manner in which we honor him at this time," The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha is the major Hindu organization in Trinidad and Tobago. It operates 150 mandirs, over 50 schools, and has it very own radio station, Radio Jaagriti 102.7 FM, and TV channel, TV Jaagriti Trinidad and Tobago.

More at "source".

The Meat Question: Animals, Humans and the Deep History of Food

Posted on 2019/11/18 12:46:18 ( 228 reads )


USA, November 18, 2019 (Mitpress): Humans are eating more meat than ever. Despite ubiquitous Sweetgreen franchises and the example set by celebrity vegans, demand for meat is projected to grow at twice the rate of demand for plant-based foods over the next thirty years. Between 1960 and 2010, per capita meat consumption in the developing world more than doubled; in China, meat consumption grew ninefold. It has even been claimed that meat made us human--that our disproportionately large human brains evolved because our early human ancestors ate meat. In "The Meat Question," Josh Berson argues that not only did meat NOT make us human, the contemporary increase in demand for meat is driven as much by economic insecurity as by affluence. Considering the full sweep of meat's history, Berson concludes provocatively that the future is not necessarily carnivorous.

Berson, an anthropologist and historian, argues that we have the relationship between biology and capitalism backward. We may associate meat-eating with wealth, but in fact, meat-eating is a sign of poverty; cheap meat--hunger killing, easy to prepare, eaten on the go--enables a capitalism defined by inequality. To answer the meat question, says Berson, we need to think about meat-eating in a way that goes beyond Paleo diets and PETA protests to address the deeply entwined economic and political lives of humans and animals past, present, and future.

Ontario Passes Proclaims November Hindu Heritage Month

Posted on 2019/11/18 12:46:06 ( 203 reads )


ONTARIO, CANADA, November 18, 2019 (Legislative Assembly of Ontario): Ontario is home to a large and vibrant Hindu community. Since the first Hindu immigrants arrived in Canada at the beginning of the 20th century, Hindu Canadians from across Ontario have made significant contributions across all fields: science, education, medicine, law, politics, business, culture and sports. They have helped build Ontario into the multicultural success story that it is and have helped to build this province into the best place to live, work and raise families. They continue to help foster growth, prosperity and innovation throughout Ontario.

"Deepawali" or "Diwali" is the biggest of all celebratory festivals that members of the Hindu community celebrate. It falls in either November or October each year, depending on the cycle of the moon. It's observed on the 15th day of Kartik, the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar. Diwali commemorates the victory of good over evil. In addition, during this time of the year, Hindus also celebrate other significant festivals such as Navratri and Durga Puja. By proclaiming the month of November as Hindu Heritage Month, the Province of Ontario recognizes the important contributions that Hindu Canadians have made to Ontario's social, economic, political and cultural fabric. Hindu Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about Hindu Canadians and the important role that they have played and continue to play in communities across Ontario.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/11/18 12:45:53 ( 267 reads )


All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything. All is God. But you cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), disciple of Sri Ramakrishna

Ekal Vidyalaya Makes History With 100,000-School Milestone

Posted on 2019/11/17 11:36:41 ( 266 reads )


NEW YORK, NEW YORK, November 14, 2019 (India Life): November 9, 2019 will remain as the historic day in the annals of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation. On this day, in star-studded, glamour-filled "Future of India" Gala in New York City, Ekal reached a 100,000-schools milestone fund-raising within minutes of its beginning. Going into the gala, Ekal had 99,200 schools and so the evening was full of anticipated excitement to ring the bell for a magical 100,000-school landmark. As soon as Mohan Wanchoo, took the reins of the evening as the chairperson of the gala, he took everyone by surprise with his trailblazing announcement. He pledged $1 Million over a period of 5 years, patching, with immediate effect, a shortfall amount for 800-schools to reach the magical figure of 100,000-schools.

These additional schools will be established shortly and will benefit 25,000 children bringing annual literacy total to 2.7 Million children. Mohan Wanchoo's pronouncement was not only celebrated with thunderous applause and sparkling fireworks, but it also set in motion an exuberant outpouring of generosity, for the rest of the evening. By the end of the evening $3.1 million was raised. This was in addition to Los Angeles Gala where $2 Million was raised.

[HPI adds: The Ekal movement is the largest grassroots, non-government education in India, operating schools in 96,000 villages and providing free education for over 2.2 million children annually in the poorest and remote corners of India.]

Read more at "source".

How the US Military Has Embraced Growing Religious Diversity

Posted on 2019/11/17 11:36:28 ( 238 reads )


WASHINGTON, D.C., November 12, 2019 (Religion News by Ronit Stahl): In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, chaplaincy was a majority white and fully Christian organization. No law specifically stated the acceptable religious backgrounds of military chaplains, but only mainline Protestant ministers and Catholic priests wore the insignia of the military's religious officers. American military chaplains predate the founding of the republic. The Continental Congress, which served as the government for 13 American colonies, authorized military chaplains to minister to soldiers in 1775. The armed forces have employed clergy ever since. It was not until the early 20th century, however, that the chaplain corps professionalized and became fully integrated into the military's organizational structure. At the same time, the variety of religions represented in the corps increased significantly.

The government did not spontaneously decide to make the chaplaincy more religiously diverse. Rather, the draft conscripted millions of young men from varied religious backgrounds to fight for the United States in World War I. In 1994, the military appointed its first Muslim chaplain. Hindu and Buddhist chaplains followed in 2004 and 2011, respectively. In 2017, the Department of Defense released a new table of "Faith and Belief Codes" listing over 200 denominations and religious groups that includes Sikhs, Wiccans and Atheists. The five-page inventory earned applause for its wide-ranging inclusivity from some quarters and resistance from others wary of the acceptance of atheists and humanists.

More of this history can be read at "source".

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/11/17 11:36:14 ( 289 reads )


When I think of myself as a body, I am your servant, my Lord; when I think of myself as an individual soul, I am part of you; but when I realize I am atman, you and I become one.
-- Lord Hanuman in the epic Ramayana

Develop Temples as Cultural Heritage Centres

Posted on 2019/11/16 11:27:41 ( 287 reads )


INDIA, November 12, 2019 (The Hindu): Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya dispute, Pujya Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam on Sunday called for developing temples as centers of cultural heritage. In a statement issued in connection with the verdict, he said, "After many years, with the collective devotion, dedication, servitude, wishes, sacrifice, tolerance, unstinting efforts, ability of many people and with divine benedictions of Sant Mahatmas, this situation has advanced. With the blessings of Kanchi Paramacharya, the interest and efforts of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal in this endeavor is very significant and important.

"Going forward, temples across India need to be developed in such a way, wherein they are centers of culture, spirituality, heritage and harbingers of divine blessings. To achieve this, everyone including government, private and individuals must participate and devote adequate attention. For temples to attain its fullest potential, we must evince interest to positively develop them with necessary financial help, spiritual education, proper religious framework and sound administrative mechanism."

Book Review: Western Foundations of the Caste System

Posted on 2019/11/16 11:27:28 ( 362 reads )

http://indiafacts.org/book-review-wes ... ions-of-the-caste-system/">Source

INDIA, December 29, 2018 (India Facts): "Western Foundations of the Caste System" by Martin Farek, Dunkin Jalki, Sufiya Pathan, and Prakash Shah has been published by Palgrave Macmillan. The editors challenge the claim that the caste system was devised by self-serving Brahmans. How could, they ask, a small number of Brahmans be so successful in propagating the caste system across the country? Caste, they correctly point out, was a category in the census for a mere sixty years (from 1871 to 1931).

The book argues that the dominant descriptions of the caste system that we have today are results of originally Christian themes and questions. The authors of this collection show how this hypothesis can be applied beyond South Asia to the diasporic cultures that have made a home in Western countries, and how the inheritance of caste studies as structures by European scholarship impacts on our understanding of contemporary India and the Indians of the diaspora.

This lengthy review of the book and the subject of caste can be read at "source" above.

Lord Shiva Bathed with Rice at Gangaikondacholapuram

Posted on 2019/11/16 11:27:15 ( 259 reads )


JAYANKONDAM, INDIA, November 12, 2019 (Deccan Chronicle): The annual Aippasi Pournami Annaabishekam was performed on the massive Shiva Lingam at the Sri Bragateeshwarar temple at historic Gangaikondacholapuram near Jayankondam in Ariyalur district on Monday. In all 5,500 lbs. of raw rice was cooked for this purpose and poured on the Shiva Lingam and Maha Deepaaraathanai was performed to Lord Shiva here tonight, in which thousands of devotees from far and near took part.

Similar Annaabishekam was also performed at almost all the popular Shiva temples in Tiruchy, Karur, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Pudukkottai, Tiruvarur, and Nagapattinam districts today, while some of the Shiva temple authorities in these districts have planned to perform the Annaabishekam on Tuesday. This is a unique festival celebrated every year. Priests perform the special ritual of bathing the Shiva Linga at the famous temple in Gangaikondacholapuram in connection with the Ippasi Pournami festival. Hundreds of devotees including some foreigners witnessed the grand spectacle of huge quantities of cooked rice being poured on the Deity. The rice is later distributed to all devotees.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/11/16 11:27:02 ( 270 reads )


Bliss is the dance-stage, bliss is the lyric; bliss are the diverse instruments, bliss is the meaning. The supreme felicity of the universe is bliss for he who yearns for His dance of bliss.
-- Tirumantiram, a sacred mystical treatise by Rishi Tirumular, verse v. 2725

In Ayodhya, Devotees Rejoice at Supreme Court Verdict

Posted on 2019/11/15 11:19:56 ( 320 reads )


AYODHYA, INDIA, November 9, 2019 (News 18 ): A sense of relief prevailed on Saturday evening among residents of Ayodhya, irrespective of their faith, with many saying that the Supreme Court verdict has finally ended the uncertainty that plagued the temple city due to the highly-polarizing Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute. Tight security arrangements had been made and most people preferred to stay indoors this morning. But as the judgement was declared and the day passed off peacefully, the hustle and bustle returned to the temple city with devotees flocking to various temples.

While the verdict was greeted with chants of Jai Sri Ram in temples and sweets were distributed by some, there was an absence of any loud celebrations following repeated appeals by authorities as well as political and spiritual leaders to exercise restraint and not indulge in any celebratory frenzy. Anand Kumar, a resident of the temple town and a social worker, said local people were hoping for long that the dispute will be resolved. Pointing towards the flurry of shopping activities in the vicinity of the Naya Ghat, he said, "Most of the devotees are feeling happy as the lingering Ayodhya dispute eventually reached its logical conclusion."

Why Ayodhya Disputed Land Was Handed Entirely To Ram Lalla

Posted on 2019/11/15 11:19:43 ( 324 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 9, 2019 (NDTV): The Supreme Court today ruled in a unanimous verdict that the disputed land in Ayodhya belongs entirely to the Deity Ram Lalla or infant Lord Ram, paving the way for the construction of a temple. The court also ordered that a five-acre plot at a prominent site in Ayodhya would be given to Muslims to build a new mosque. On the disputed site claimed by both Hindus and Muslims for decades, the court said "...on a balance of probabilities, the evidence in respect of the possessory claim of the Hindus to the composite whole of the disputed property stands on a better footing than the evidence adduced by the Muslim."

The Hindus, said the Supreme Court, "have established a clear case of a possessory title to the outside courtyard by virtue of long, continued and unimpeded worship at the Ramchabutra and other objects of religious significance." The court said: "on the balance of probabilities, there is clear evidence to indicate that the worship by the Hindus in the outer courtyard continued unimpeded in spite of the setting up of a grill-brick wall in 1857. Their possession of the outer courtyard stands established together with the incidents attaching to their control over it." On the inner courtyard, said the court, "there is evidence on a preponderance of probabilities to establish worship by the Hindus prior to the annexation of Oudh by the British in 1857. The Muslims have offered no evidence to indicate that they were in exclusive possession of the inner structure prior to 1857 since the date of the construction in the sixteenth century."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/11/15 11:19:30 ( 386 reads )


I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, and that the living spring from the dead.
-- Socrates, (470-399 bce) Greek philosopher

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