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70,000 Devotees Visit Pashupati on Teej

Posted on 2018/9/15 13:48:07 ( 242 reads )


KATHMANDU, NEPAL, September 13, 2018 (Kathmandu Post): According to the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), nearly 70,000 devotees stood in queues to enter the Pashupati Temple from early morning. The PADT had assigned three routes leading to the main temple complex this year. The temple gates were opened for devotees from 3 am. Teej is celebrated by Hindu girls and women to celebrate the union of Goddess Parvati with Lord Shiva. They observe a day-long fast on the day which is believed to bring prosperity, good health and blessings. Devotees also perform songs and dances to celebrate the holy union Parvati and Shiva.

The lines of worshippers at the Pashupati temple were well organized and managed this year, claimed Pradeep Dhakal, the member secretary of PADT. According to the PADT, 4,000 security personnel were deployed in and around the temple premises to manage the crowd and to ensure the safety of visitors. "We wanted to ensure the safety and comfort of visitors since Teej draws the second largest crowd to Pashupati after the Maha Shivaratri festival," said Dhakal. Girls and women in other parts of the country also observed Teej by observing fast and offering prayers at temples close to their homes.

Vivid photos at "source" above.

Devotees Bring Ganapati Statues ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi--Slide Show

Posted on 2018/9/15 13:47:54 ( 293 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, September 11, (News 18) Devotees carry Ganesha statues from studios to temporary places of worship for the upcoming Ganesha Chaturthi festival in Mumbai. Must see slide show at "source" above.

Preservation of India's Heritage is Nationalism, says Vice-President Naidu

Posted on 2018/9/15 13:47:40 ( 246 reads )


INDIA, September 15, 2018 (India Post): India's Vice President Venkaiah Naidu renewed Swami Vivekananda's message to the World Parliament of Religions in 1893 and appealed to the second World Hindu Congress delegates to follow the ideals of the great saint of India. Naidu was delivering the keynote address at the concluding session of the congress, on the eve of the 125th anniversary of the Hindu monk's exposition of Hinduism to the Western world in Chicago on Sunday. Swami Vivekananda was the embodiment of Hindu culture. "Let us rededicate ourselves to the thoughts (of Vivekananda) for the greatness of mankind," Naidu said.

Naidu peppered his speech with generous Sanskrit and Telugu quotes. He told the gathering though he was not in politics anymore, he was glad to come to Chicago and felt it was his duty to attend the great event happening in the name of Swami Vivekananda. Naidu extensively referred to Swami Vivekananda's epoch-making address, which described Hindu philosophy as "discovering of spiritual well springs" that have sustained the world for many centuries. The philosophy of tolerance and acceptance of all religions, was an essential part of the timeless, eternal, holistic, integrated and universal worldview of Hinduism. Naidu elaborated on some of the essential elements of Hinduism namely the breadth of its vision in treating the world as one family, tolerance and acceptance of plurality, unity in diversity, and that truth is one though wise men describe it in different ways.

More at "source".

Maharudram Ceremony Held in Canada

Posted on 2018/9/15 13:47:26 ( 216 reads )


TORONTO, CANADA, August 23, 2018 (Bangalore Mirror): Toronto's growing Sringeri community, mostly comprising professionals from Bengaluru and other cities, celebrated its biggest event of the year at the country's only Sringeri temple this weekend. The two-day Maharudram in praise of Lord Shiva attracted Sringeri followers from across Canada and the US. Federal science minister Kirsty Duncan and the local MP joined in the celebrations as the temple turned into a mini-South Indian enclave, with mantra chants and rituals by 130 priests trained by the Shankaracharya.

"This was our second Maharudram," says clean technology scientist Dr. Lucky Lakshmanan, chairman of the Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation (SVBF) that runs the Toronto temple. "The temple and religious-cum-cultural activities here symbolize that our community is now in the stage of institution building," adds Dr Lakshmanan, who was instrumental in setting up the temple. Mangaluru-born nuclear engineer Param Bhat, who looks after religious affairs at the temple, says the activities at Sringeri have rejuvenated their growing community. "When I landed here in 1978, there were just a handful of Kannada families. Today, there are over a thousand families in the Greater Toronto Area alone," says Bhat. "Seeing the ritwiks (priests) chanting rudram in praise of Lord Shiva more than 1,331 times was such a learning experience for us and our new generation."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/9/15 13:47:12 ( 218 reads )


"I went to the root of things, and found nothing but Him alone."
-- Mira Bai (1500-1550), princess of Rajasthan, Northwest India, a saint celebrated for her lyrical poetry dedicated to Krishna

Victoria Hammah Represents Africa at World Hindu Congress

Posted on 2018/9/14 11:42:45 ( 274 reads )


AFRICA, September 9, 2018 (Modern Ghana): The September 7-9 World Hindu Congress (WHC-18) in Chicago included a delegation from the Hindu Monastery of Africa headed by a former Communications Minister, Victoria Hamah. Victoria Hammah also happens to be the representative of the Women and Female Youth of the Monastery. Other members of the delegation were Mr. Attoh - the President, and Mr. Sarpong, youth leader of the Monastery. The Hindu Monastery of Africa was established in 1975 under the auspices of His Holiness Swami Krishnanand Saraswati. The Hindu Monastery of Africa observes most of the major auspicious days and festivals in the Hindu mythology such as Ayyappa, Maha Shivaratri, Krishna Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Gayatri, Jayanti, etc.

A Place to Call Home for Hindus in the Sioux Empire

Posted on 2018/9/14 11:42:32 ( 277 reads )


TEA, SOUTH DAKOTA, August 26, 2018 (KDLT News): The Hindu Temple of Siouxland has been working to open a new place to worship for nearly a decade. Last spring, the group broke ground in Tea. "This community has been trying to build this temple since 2009 and it's really a community dream that's going to come true very soon. So we are all tremendously excited and happy about it," says Chair of the Hindu Temple of Siouxland Archana Chatterjee.

There are around 2,000 families that identify as Hindu in the Sioux Empire and Hinduism is continuing to grow throughout the region. Officials with the temple say this new facility is much needed, as there's been a considerable growth of Hindu populations in the Dakotas. "We wanted to have a temple where we could all just come together and pray together," says Hindu Temple of Siouxland President Ramesh Singh. They'll soon have a new place to call home, and they encourage the community to come learn about their faith. The temple was set to open this weekend, however recent rains delayed the opening to sometime in October. The nearest Hindu temples in this region are located in Omaha and Minneapolis.

Short video at "source" above.

Houston Hindus to Honor Beth Kukarni for Decades of Volunteer Service

Posted on 2018/9/14 11:42:18 ( 239 reads )


HOUSTON, TEXAS, August 23, 2018 (Indo American News): : Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) presented their 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award to Beth Kulkarni for her volunteerism and inspirational service to the community for nearly four decades. The award was presented on August 25 at the Janmashtami celebrations at George Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. Bollywood legend Anupam Kher was the star attraction this year at HGH's signature event from 6 p.m. to midnight.

"She is second to none in doing years of selfless service to the community," said Pundit Bhargava Sarma, a former priest at the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands. "Her dedication in promoting Sanatana Dharma, devoted participation in puja rituals, and commitment shown as a medium between Eastern and Western cultures are highly commendable. We believe she truly deserves this award." Beth Kulkarni has been associated with almost all Hindu organizations in Greater Houston area in a leadership role, or as an advisor or volunteer during different periods of time. These include Hindu Worship Society, VHPA, HSS, and Sri Meenakshi Temple. She was also President of VHPA Texas chapter. She is one of the founding members of Hindus of Greater Houston and the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands and is actively associated with these organizations, including HTW's Senior Forum.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/9/14 11:42:04 ( 226 reads )


What has learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the Good Feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
-- Tirukkural

World's Largest Shirdi Sai Temple Outside India to Hold Grand Opening on Oct. 9-21 in Groton,MA

Posted on 2018/9/13 7:41:29 ( 319 reads )


GROTON, MASSACHUSETTS, September 9, 2018 (India New England): After almost three years of extensive design, planning and construction, the New England Shirdi Sai Parivaar Temple (NESSP) announced that the world's largest temple outside India dedicated to late 19th-century Indian spiritual saint Sai Baba of Shirdi will hold its grand opening ceremony on Oct. 9-21, 2018, in Groton, MA. The temple received its occupancy permit on August 9, 2018, allowing Sai Baba devotees across North America and globally to worship at the temple.

Braintree, MA-based architect B.D. Nayak FAIA provided pro bono architectural and construction supervisory services for the design and erection of the 40,000-square-foot polished concrete edifice on 28 acres. Designed in a traditional Indian temple style with a symmetrical trio of gilded conical gopurams, the building follows Vastu Shastra, a Hindu system of harmonizing architecture with nature according to ancient Hindu rules of geometric symbolism in temple architecture. "It is not often that one gets to participate in the Kumbhabhishekham and Pranapratishtha festivities of a temple. This festival, spread over 12 days, will include the consecration and worship of all the temple Deities," NESSP said in a statement.

Temple Inscriptions Getting Wiped Out

Posted on 2018/9/13 7:41:15 ( 296 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, August 24, 2018 (The Hindu): A majority of temples in and around Chennai have undergone restoration and a lot of inscriptions have been lost in the process, according to historian Chitra Madhavan. Delivering a talk on Temples in and around Chennai, she lamented the "lack of sensitivity and the lack of knowledge of the importance of inscriptions and sculptures". "Many of the inscriptions have been lost. There is a need to preserve our inscriptions as they tell us not only about our religion but also about political, social, economic and cultural history," she noted.

She described in great detail the various temples in the Tiruvallur and Sriperumbudur belt including Siddharkadu, Adikesava Perumal temple in Vadamadurai and Soundarya Narayana Perumal temple in Pattarai Perumbudur. She noted that the temples were authentic windows to our past. "By obliterating them, we are closing certain chapters."

The World's First Ganesha Statue that Grows into a Tree

Posted on 2018/9/13 7:41:02 ( 321 reads )


INDIA, September 6, 2018 (Tree Ganesha): The Tree Ganesha is made of red soil, organic fertilizer, natural color and seeds. This unique statue is designed to grow into a tree after immersion. The creator and founder, Dattadri Kothur, believes the Ganesha festival is the celebration of nature and strongly supports the cause of environment friendly celebrations. He has been successfully using the festival as a platform to raise awareness about the problem of pollution.

Much more, including many colorful photos at the company's website above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/9/13 7:40:48 ( 271 reads )


-- "A" is the first and source of all the letters. Even so is God Primordial the first and source of all the world.

World Hindu Congress a Success

Posted on 2018/9/12 12:45:38 ( 535 reads )


CHICAGO, September 12, 2018 (dailyo.in, by Avatans Kumar): "It was like a mini Kumbh," is how one of the 3,000 participants of the recently concluded World Hindu Congress (WHC) in Chicago described her experience. The World Hindu Congress, about which there was very little known just a few months ago, turned out to be a major rallying point for Hindus from across the world. The follower count of its Twitter handle swelled from a meagre 3,000 or so in late August to 15,000 by the end of its concluding session. Initially, only one hotel was booked for the event, but as word spread, the number of participants started increasing and finally, the number of delegates swelled to over 2,500 from more than 60 countries. That forced the organizers to book two more hotels to lodge the delegates and add an additional 'overflow room' for its plenary sessions.

The first WHC was held in New Delhi four years ago. Though it created quite some buzz in India, the impact of the Chicago Congress was much more intense. Primarily because it had the emotional connect with this American city -- the place where Swami Vivekananda had delivered his historic speech at the Parliament of Religions, 125 years ago.

The recent past has seen an unprecedented political consolidation of Hindus. At the same time, many historical facts pertaining to Hindu civilisation that were either hidden or marginalized in academic discourse started to spring up, thanks to wider and instant internet access. Old myths have been busted. New facts emerge on a daily basis. This has helped embolden the confidence of Indians in general and Hindus in particular.

In this background of Hindu resurgence, politically and otherwise, the WHC has achieved its major objective -- of consolidating Hindus.vApart from bringing together prominent Hindu think tanks, sects and organisations under one umbrella, the meet was successful in sending out a clear message, especially to India, that an alternative narrative has emerged and is taking a crystal-clear shape worldwide. This new narrative, based on dharma, is as modern as it is scientific, progressive and liberal. But at the same time, it is also firmly rooted in Indian culture and traditions. This narrative is based on the concept of equal treatment and mutual respect, and it proudly underlines the contributions of Indian civilisation to the world.

The conference attracted well-known academics like Professor Arvind Sharma (McGill University), Professor Makarand Paranjape (Jawaharlal Nehru University) and Professor Subhash Kak (Oklahoma, State University). These scholars not only emphasized these points, but also deliberated about the path forward.

The speech by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in the inaugural session set the tone of the conference. His speech, delivered mostly in English, was a sort of a primer of the Hindu civilisation dealing with its ups and downs, strengths and weaknesses, disappointments and hopes. Bhagwat emphasized the need to seize the moment. "It is an opportune moment. We have stopped our descent. We are contemplating how to ascend. We are not an enslaved, downtrodden nation. People are in dire need of our ancient wisdom," he said.

SP Kothari, a professor at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), stepped right into it. Among the dignitaries who attended the conference was Ashwin Adhin, the vice-president of Suriname and US House Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi and Bill Foster. Bruce Rauner, the Governor of the State of Illinois, sent his message to the Congress and the Lt Governor of Illinois Evelyn Sanguinetti delivered a live speech.

The governor also issued a written proclamation, declaring September 11 as Swami Vivekananda Day in Illinois that was read out during the concluding session.

A positive and significant feature of the event was the thought-provoking discussions on economy, youth, women, Hindu organisations and temples, media, etc., which witnessed many meaningful discussions. There was a separate poster session, in which issues related to the Hindu community were depicted creatively. There were some concrete suggestions to support Hindu entrepreneurs as well. Taking a cue from Swami Vivekananda's thoughts, it was decided to build a strong global network and help each other, so that India becomes an economic power in future.

During the event, it was announced that the next WHC would be held in Bangkok in 2022. It is expected that the Bangkok event will have significant impact as there is likely to be more participation of people from India due to the regional proximity.

Moreover, since Thailand is the gateway to ASEAN countries, the event is likely to create a bigger buzz in the region. There are many countries in the region that share historical and culture links with India and this is thus likely to strengthen these bonds.

Nepal's Krishna Temple Reopens 3 Years after Quake

Posted on 2018/9/12 12:45:25 ( 362 reads )


KATHMANDU, NEPAL, September 2, 2018 (Tribune India): Nepal's famous Krishna temple built in Indian Sikhara style was reopened for the public on Sunday for the first time after 3 years after a deadly 2015 earthquake that left much of the country's cultural heritage in ruins. The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit on April 25 killed more than 8,700 people and levelled homes and monuments in the valley, home to the three former kingdoms of Patan, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. Thousands of devotees thronged to the 17th century temple of Lord Krishna situated in Lalitpur Municipality of Kathmandu from early morning Sunday.

The artistic temple, built by Siddhi Narsingh Malla of Lalitpur, was partially damaged during the earthquake. There is a legend about the temple. One night the Malla king had a dream in which he saw Lord Krishna along with his consort Radha and Krishna ordered him to build the temple in front of his palace. The king ordered to build the temple in the same place. The king also built a replica of the temple inside the palace courtyard. The whole of the Kathmandu Valley is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site for seven separate groups of monuments, including the Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan. The country which relies heavily on tourism has reopened many of its popular sites, hoping for a return to normalcy after the disasters.

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