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Lockdown: Lord Lingaraj's Chariot Festival Not to Roll This Year

Posted on 2020/4/9 11:22:41 ( 44 reads )


BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, March 30, 2020 (PTI): The annual car festival of Lord Lingaraj, known as Rukuna Rath Yatra, will not roll on the grand road in Bhubaneswar this year in view of the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, an official said on Monday. "We have informed the temple authorities that the Rukuna Rath celebration may not be possible this year as the government has banned congregations of more than seven persons as part of the social distancing measure against COVID-19," Khurda District Collector S. K. Rout told PTI.

The annual Rukuna Rath Yatra of Lord Lingaraj, the presiding Deity of Bhubaneswar, is held on the occasion of Ashokashtami, which falls on April 1 this year. The age-old tradition of Lord Lingaraj that has been celebrated at Ekamra Kshetra (the ancient name of Bhubaneswar) will be interrupted due to coronavirus scare, an official said. The construction of the chariot was on the verge of completion before the decision was taken, said chief carpenter Bata Krushna Maharana. Raja Garabadu, a priest of the temple said the devotees of Lord Lingaraj consider the Rukuna Rath Yatra as the Papa Binashakari Yatra (a journey that eradicates all sins). On the occasion, statues of Lord Lingaraj along with Gopalini (Parvati), Kumara and Nandikesvara and an image of Govinda are taken out in a chariot from Lingaraj temple to Rameswar temple.

How Technology and Faith are Helping Hindus in Britain Through Covid-19

Posted on 2020/4/9 11:22:28 ( 55 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, April 7, 2020 (The Tablet): The social and spiritual connection that members of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in the UK, headquartered at its Neasden Temple in London, enjoyed at mandirs (Hindu temples) and centers across the country, is not possible in the same manner as it was previously. The temples provide a sense of belonging for many worshippers -- a place where they can interact with others -- a source of unparalleled spiritual strength and connection with God. However, as part of the collective responsibility to reduce the spread of the global pandemic, BAPS mandirs and centers across the UK closed on 13 March.

BAPS remains committed to fulfilling the spiritual needs of people in the local community, recognizing that such challenging times call for innovative ways of meeting those needs. Weekly religious assemblies for children, teens and adults are now being webcast live every weekend to ensure all generations continue to benefit from spiritual wisdom. Darshan, spiritual viewing, of the murtis at the Neasden Temple is available every morning from the Mandir's website, while the arti ceremony (ritual waving of lighted wicks before the Deities) is also available to view each evening through a live web stream. A daily message of strength as well as important guidance and information on how to stay safe and stable from Swami Yogvivekdas, the head swami of the Neasden Temple, during these daily web casts provides a source of comfort to all.

More at "source."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/4/9 11:22:15 ( 43 reads )


By practicing tolerance of those who insult us, we will feel honor and insult as the same. Just as we feel good when someone praises us, we should feel just as good when we are insulted. Stability in honor or insult is the ability to still have love for our aggressor.
-- Sri Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Spiritual Guru of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha

Dedicated Sewa International Volunteers Keep the Spirit of Service Alive

Posted on 2020/4/6 12:06:12 ( 82 reads )


UNITED STATES, April 3, 2020 (Indiaspora by Arun Kankani): COVID-19 has caused unprecedented global challenges and has many unique aspects. It's a global health and economic disaster along with being an invisible and seemingly invincible enemy. The coronavirus has leading authorities and administrations scrambling to find solutions against this novel threat. It's during this time of confusion, that Sewa International's volunteers have once again come together to provide relief, information, and more to the community. I am immensely happy and proud that I work with a dedicated group of volunteers across the 43 Sewa chapters in the USA that have been able to provide much needed services to the community. In less than two weeks, the whole organization was working together effectively in multiple cities across the country.

More than 15 webinars have been conducted by renowned doctors, global health experts, family counsellors and legal experts and have been viewed by more than 50,000 people so far. More than 20,000 masks have been distributed to first responders, doctors, medical facilities, and hospitals. Services have been provided to seniors and free meals provided to first responders. These are just a few of the efforts Sewa has made to date. In the next two weeks, we are planning to reach out to over 1000 organizations in more than 50 cities with the campaign "Pledge for Service" (Sewa Sankalp) to build confidence which is the antidote to fear.

More at "source" or go to: https://www.sewausa.org/covid-19

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/4/6 12:05:59 ( 75 reads )


God is within you. He has no eyes, no ears, but we place Him outside and worship. God has become father, mother and guru. God has become this mango tree also. God has become you and He has become I.
-- Satguru Yogaswami (1872-1964), Sri Lanka's most revered contemporary mystic

Famous Hanuman Temples Outside India

Posted on 2020/4/5 13:41:15 ( 168 reads )


INDIA, April 4, 2020 (Tantaran): Lord Hanuman or the Monkey God is one of the most popular of Hindu Gods. The popularity of Hanuman is not limited to India and you will find Hanuman devotees in almost all parts of the world. Likewise, Hanuman temples are not limited to India but there are various temples, some of them very popular, across the world.

The Sri Anjaneyar Temple, located in Port Dickson, Kuala Lumpur, has a very unique story. It is believed that when the statue of Hanuman was installed in the temple, the statue sat straight. However, after some time it changed its position and turned slightly towards the left, facing the sea. People from all over the world visit this temple to seek the blessings of Lord Hanuman.

Trinidad has the largest Hanuman Temple in the world (outside India). The temple has a 279 ft. tall statue of Lord Hanuman. The statue is painted in pink and orange with golden accessories. The statue was designed and constructed by the Chief Architect T. Subramanian Sthapathi from Chennai.

More at "source" including several photos.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/4/5 13:41:01 ( 133 reads )


India has come to preserve spiritual traditions which many ancient cultures and countries have lost. Today Hinduism represents not only India but the ancient wisdom of humanity. In Hinduism many ancient countries can still rediscover their religious past, their old Gods and their old spiritual traditions.
-- Ram Swarup (1920-1998), Indian writer and scholar

Culture vs Corona: How Balinese Hindus are Responding to Restrictions on Ceremonial Life

Posted on 2020/4/4 5:37:36 ( 211 reads )


BALI, INDONESIA, April 3, 2020 (Coconuts): The phrase "Bali tak pernah sepi dari suara upacara," which loosely translates as "Bali is never silent from the sounds of ceremonies," was once used to describe the island's constant ceremonial life. Even on Nyepi, the most sacred day in the Balinese Saka calendar, the silence resulting from the island-wide shutdown affirms the perpetual rhythm of Balinese Hindu rituals. As COVID-19 has changed the way we can safely physically interact, restrictions on ceremonies are a challenging new reality for Bali's 93 percent Hindu population.

On March 20, five days after President Joko Widodo advised the nation to "work from home, study from home, [and] pray from home," Bali Governor Wayan Koster limited attendance at Melasti, a major purification ritual, to 25 people per village. Not since the 1963 eruption of Mount Agung, which killed between 1,000 and 1,500 people, had ceremony attendance numbers been restricted. Koster also prohibited the parading of all Ogoh-ogoh for Pengrupukan, the purpose of which is to scare away the spirits of the underworld on the night before Nyepi. Although the parade has been postponed until August, some Ogoh-ogoh were abandoned mid-construction. The Ogoh-ogoh parade is one of Bali's biggest Hindu festivals.

More at "source".

Hinduism Today's April/May/June Issue Goes On-Line

Posted on 2020/4/4 5:37:23 ( 180 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, USA, April 4, 2020 (HPI): Hinduism Today's latest issue has gone to press and is now available online free of charge at www.hinduismtoday.com. You can also download our free Hinduism Today app and get the entire magazine in a mobile-friendly format for your device at bit.ly/HT-APP.

Money is a powerful force in the world and worthy of deep thought and discussion. In this issue we explore Dharmic Investing in detail. First, we ask the question "Does anyone make money investing ethically?" then move on to show just what is happening in the "money used for good" world. We also invite savvy millennials to speak of their concerns, which are different from those of previous generations. We offer choices to investors seeking to sleep well at night, and unpack the Beyond Burger movement.

Our publisher, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, offers ways that we can integrate our spiritual ambitions with the more mundane chores of the day. He proposes that we don't have to make a radical division between the two, then gives us ways to resolve karmas, do inner yogas and build our character in the midst of outer life and its demands.

The Hindus of America have continued to grow in prominence, and for the first time their history and influence were showcased at the THREADS conference in Boston. Our writer flew there to report on the event. We present a summary of the nine panels and what they mean for Hinduism's future.

This issue's 16-age educational section is about the lives and teachings of seven North Indian bhakti saints. Writer Lakshmi Subramanian focuses on their lives, languages and history-altering works. These great souls, living 400-700 years ago, are responsible for the survival of Hinduism during times of invasion and forced conversion. Their love of God was almost equaled by their poetic inspirations, which are excerpted to give a sense of why they were so influential. Baani Sekhon of India painted seven original canvases to capture their spirit.

Journey with us to the famed Pashupatinath Siva Temple of Nepal, built in the first century and supported by Nepal's kings for 2,000 years. The history is summarized, but more interestingly the modern practices and festivals are revealed. Photographer Thomas Kelly captures the elaborate facility and the sadhus and devotees in trenchant images. Amazingly, the entryway to the temple passes 18 cremation platforms, and each day pilgrims entering are reminded of the transience of life.

Among Malaysia's strong Hindu communities are the Melaka Chetti clan, who are thriving there many centuries after their arrival from India. They rank with the oldest Hindu communities in Southeast Asia. One of their signature features is a strong sense of the past and committed honoring of ancestors. Their successes and challenges are all brought forward by journalist Kamalavali Nagappan.

Swami Avdeshanand Giri gives a Minister's Message on the importance of knowing the Self within, for both liberation and success in the temporal world. To embark on the search for truth, he says, one must commit deeply to sadhana and the development of spiritual knowledge and character.

"Ancient Philosophy, Modern Mind" is the name of Shivali Bhammer's opinion piece. She is a modern London-based writer who has woven together traditional knowledge with the nearly endless stream of information that threatens to flood the mind today. Her insights will guide us all to a better balance.

There is more, of course, including the popular Quotes & Quips section with humor, cartoons and pithy sayings, Global Dharma with mini-stories from around the world, and Digital Dharma, which tells the story of how QR codes have been incorporated in the pillars of a Minnesota temple to educate visitors. It's a rich issue, with something for everyone.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/4/4 5:37:10 ( 211 reads )


Other religions have all been founded by individuals, but Hinduism is not based on the teachings of any one single person. Before any prophet was born, the Sanatana Dharma was there.
-- Swami Rama Thirtha (1873-1906)

As India Fights Wuhan Coronavirus, Here is a List of Prominent Hindu Temples and Religious Leaders Helping India Through Donations and Welfare

Posted on 2020/4/3 11:20:32 ( 202 reads )


INDIA, March 31, 2020 (Opindia): In the wake of the Coronavirus crisis, numerous temples across the country have come forward to contribute generously, both in terms of food and welfare, to help the country. Despite their great contributions, they hardly ever receive the credit and as a consequence, a myth has spread that Hindu temples do not contribute enough to charity. This, of course, has nothing to do with reality. Therefore, we decided to compile a list of temples and Hindus associated with prominent mathas and institutions who have come forward to assist the country in these tough times. This is by no means a comprehensive list as there are numerous small temples that are contributing to the battle against the Chinese Coronavirus in their own way.

Seven Swaminarayan Temples across Gujarat cumulatively contributed a total of $249,560. Furthermore, food is being distributed and five hundred rooms have been provided for isolation by various temples run by the Vadtal Swaminarayan temples across Gujarat.

Many more generous donations listed at "source" above.

Over 12,000 Indian American Families Join BAPS Hindu Mandirs in Online Prayer

Posted on 2020/4/3 11:20:19 ( 378 reads )


UNITED STATES, April 1, 2020 (India West): As Indian Americans grapple with the financial, social, emotional and spiritual ramifications of Coronavirus, the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha hosted a special prayer known as Mahapuja at each of its six Shikkarbaddh (traditional stone) mandirs in North America March 29. The Mahapuja, according to a press release, was held for the well-being of all people, regardless of religion, nationality, race, or beliefs, and a quick resolution to the pandemic. Although these mandirs locally host such Mahapujas on a smaller scale once a month, the pujas performed this past Sunday were done via live webcast with over 12,000 families across North America participating in the rituals from the safety of their homes.

BAPS Charities, the organization's humanitarian arm, has donated nearly 19,000 N95 respiratory masks to some of the hardest hit healthcare facilities in the New York metropolitan area and Canada, noted the release. Additionally, other volunteer efforts have been mobilized including donating and delivering food to local hospitals and first responders as well as safely delivering food to significantly impacted households. BAPS Mandirs are lit in blue to show support, solidarity to doctors, nurses, paramedics, public safety officers, and other frontline workers, the release said. On a daily basis, BAPS is webcasting the Shri Swaminarayan Arti live from the six Shikkarbaddh mandirs, as well as other events.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/4/3 11:20:06 ( 196 reads )


How can one realize that which alone is real? All we need to do is to give up our habit of regarding as real that which is unreal. Reality alone will remain, and we will be That.
-- Sri Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic

Ramayana To Re-Run on Indian Television from March 28

Posted on 2020/4/2 12:28:32 ( 234 reads )


INDIA, March 29, 2020 (Gadget Freeks): Ramayana is a television series which follows the events of the famous Hindu epic. The show aired on TV during the late 80s and gained immense popularity. At that time, it broke all viewership records for Indian television and became the most-watched Indian television series by a mile. The series was created by Ramanand Sagar and starred Arun Govil, Sunil Lahri, Deepika Chikhalia, and Dara Singh in pivotal roles. This series is a reservoir for social and moral values and sends out many positive messages that we all should listen to.

Since the country is going through a 21-day lockdown to contain the coronavirus, many people started tweeting demanding reruns of the popular television show. The production activities of television and films have been halted because of the global pandemic, and this has caused channels to replay old episodes. The Information and Broadcast ministry relented and Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the show will return on TV from March 28, 2020. This is a brilliant decision because it will help reduce the stress of those who cannot venture outside during these trying times. Besides, airing this popular show might convince people to stay inside their homes and prevent the virus from spreading. The reruns of Ramayana will begin from March 28, and you can watch the show from 9 AM to 10 AM in the morning, or from 9 PM to 10 PM in the night.

Hospital Workers in Madrid Singing Yoga Mantra

Posted on 2020/4/2 12:28:19 ( 327 reads )


MADRID, SPAIN, March 28, 2020 (Facebook): Medical personnel in a Madrid hospital take time to sing a yoga mantra to raise the vibration. View inspiring video at "source" above.

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