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Mahant Swami Maharaj of BAPS and leaders of the UAE Lay Foundation of Country's First Hindu Temple

Posted on 2019/4/22 12:20:59 ( 317 reads )


UAE, April 20, 2019 (Press Release): Thousands of Indians living in the UAE and around the world rejoiced as the foundation stone ceremony of the first traditional stone mandir in the UAE took place on April 20, 2019. Marking a significant Millennial Moment in the history of the UAE, the event took place in the presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj (head of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha), Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi and Dr. Ahmad Bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi. Also present were Navdeep Suri, Indian Ambassador to UAE, Vipul, the Consul General of India, and Dr. B.R. Shetty, Chairman of Mandir, Ltd.

Video of event:

Hanuman Chalisa Resonates Throughout Trinidad

Posted on 2019/4/22 12:15:00 ( 328 reads )


TRINIDAD/TOBAGO, April 21, 2019 (HPI/Paras Ramoutar): The chanting of the "Hanuman Chalisa" resonates throughout Trinidad, as indeed around the globe, as Hindus here observed the annual observance of Lord Hanuman Chalisa on Friday April 19. The atmosphere was filled with the aura of incense and other religious ingredients. Hindus in all their eagerness kept vigil at homes, temples and other public places where thousands of devotees chanted the Hanuman Chalisa, listened to excerpts from the Holy Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, and other religious texts, all praising and glorifying the spiritual virtues, bravery, wisdom and power of Lord Hanuman. Lord Hanuman plays a pivotal role in the Ramayana as an intermediary. He is considered the greatest bhakti of Lord Rama.

Pundit Seereeram Maharaj, spiritual leader of the Mt. Kailash Shiva Temple, of Santa Phillipa Road Caparo, Central Trinidad, who hosted a three-night Lord Hanuman Yagna in honor of the observance, called on devotees and people of all religious and ethnic stocks, "to become disciplined devotees and you must adhere fully to the life and times of Lord Hanuman." In these trying times, "we all must emulate the teachings and practices of Lord Hanuman. If at no other time today, we need the blessings of Lord Hanuman to face the economic, social and spiritual challenges we all face." Hindus comprise of 25 percent of Trinidad and Tobago population of 1.4 million.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/4/22 12:14:46 ( 301 reads )


Many there are who do not even hear of Atman; though hearing of Him, many do not comprehend. Wonderful is the expounder and rare the hearer; rare indeed is the experiencer of Atman taught by an able preceptor.
-- Katha Upanishad, 1.2.7

Calm, the 7-Year-0ld Meditation App, Says It's Now Valued at $1 Billion

Posted on 2019/4/17 12:37:18 ( 517 reads )


UNITED STATES, February 6, 2019 (Business Insider): On Wednesday, meditation app Calm announced it has raised $88 million in a Series B financing round -- taking its current valuation to $1 billion and making it the first so-called unicorn startup focused on meditation. The round brings Calm's total funding to date to $116 million. Calm, which launched in 2012, aims to quell issues of the modern age including anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It's a crowded market with rival apps including Headspace and special gadgets like the Muse meditation headset.

More so than many other types of subscription services vying for consumer dollars, meditation and mental wellbeing appears to be an area that consumers are comfortable paying for. Calm says it has well over 1 million paying subscribers and over 40 million downloads worldwide. Calms' Sleep Stories feature offers subscribing listeners bedtime stories (for adults, per the company) read aloud. It also includes guided meditations and calming sounds, like pouring rain and white noise. In 2017, Calm was named Apple's iPhone App of the Year and has since become the top-grossing health and fitness app, according to App Annie.

Vegan and Meat-Free fast-Food Options are Growing: Here's Where to Find Them.

Posted on 2019/4/17 12:37:04 ( 587 reads )


UNITED STATES, April 15, 2019 (USA Today): Two weeks after Red Robin became the largest restaurant chain to serve The Impossible Burger [a plant-based meat substitute] and Burger King announced the pilot of the Impossible Whopper [likewise] in St. Louis, two more restaurants announced Monday that they are joining the growing plant-based foods movement. Blaze Pizza is adding a vegan Spicy Chorizo topping at its 300-plus restaurants nationwide Tuesday. Then on April 25, Del Taco will become the first national Mexican fast-food chain to offer plant-based meat across all 580 locations with two new meatless tacos, officials told USA TODAY. Chipotle Mexican Grill is considered the first major chain to offer a vegan option when in 2014 it introduced its Sofritas, a spicy, shredded, organic tofu. That same year, White Castle released its first vegan veggie slider. Last year, KFC announced it was testing a vegetarian equivalent of its famous chicken in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In January, Carl's Jr. added the plant-based Beyond Burger to its menu and Taco Bell announced it would test a dedicated vegetarian menu.

The demand for plant-based products is growing as more people want to reduce meat consumption because of health concerns, said Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat's founder and CEO. "We are about accessibility and meeting people where they're at in their journey - whether you're a hardcore carnivore or a strict vegan, you should be able to have our tacos, enjoy what you're eating and feel great afterward," Brown said. According to a June 2018 Nielsen report, while only 6% of Americans said they follow a strictly vegetarian lifestyle and 3% a strictly vegan lifestyle, 39% of Americans said they were trying to eat more plant-based products. To Michele Simon, executive director of the Plant Based Foods Association, the growth of plant-based products in restaurants and stores isn't a trend, but a movement. "We're talking of a mainstreaming of this way of eating," Simon said, adding meat and dairy alternatives are growing in popularity. "You can't get more mainstream than Burger King and Carl's Jr."

The Two MPs of British Descent Who Do not Have to Stand in Indian Election

Posted on 2019/4/17 12:36:51 ( 575 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 15, 2019 (The Guardian): Winning a seat in India's parliament can take months of gruelling campaigning across vast electorates, often in stifling heat. Unless you are George Baker. The award-winning actor from eastern India is one of just two members of the country's 545-seat lower house whose name will not appear on any ballot in India's six-week election season, which kicked off on Thursday. A vestige of India's colonial history, and a sign of the magnanimous spirit with which the country said goodbye to its British former masters, his is one of two seats in the country's parliament still reserved for Anglo-Indians: Indian citizens of European descent.

Along with another Anglo-Indian, Richard Hay, Baker was appointed to parliament in 2015, where he has the same powers as any MP to vote and spend money on the development of the estimated 150,000 members of his community who remain. Their terms last until 2020. Anglo-Indians are distinct from Indian Christians, who have existed in the country since shortly after Jesus's reputed death. Nor were they British citizens, who were free to return home after India became independent in 1947. The community who have been called "Midnight's Orphans" were caught in the middle: descendants of Europeans who had married Indians or else migrated and settled in the country; Christians who spoke English and cultivated British lifestyles but with Indian lineages stretching back hundreds of years, in some cases.

More at "source".

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/4/17 12:36:37 ( 531 reads )


There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point; that is the secret.
-- Swami Vivekananda

New Crematoria Provisions for the UK Hindu Community Announced

Posted on 2019/4/16 12:13:05 ( 488 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, April 16, 2019 (Press release from Hindu Forum of Britain): On April 8, the Government Ministry of House, Communities and Local Government issued their response to the Crematoria Provision and Facilities consultation. As a result of this response and the consultation which had been carried out earlier in 2016, the Ministry has presented a series of measures designed to meet the needs of users of crematoria. This has been a pressing issue for the Hindu community in the UK for a long time and the review states that the majority of the users were Hindus with 28.1% concentrated mainly in North West Boroughs of London and in the city of Leicester.

In 2015, the President of the Hindu Forum Britain, Mrs Trupti Patel had said, 'We at the HFB have been campaigning for culturally sensitive crematorium facilities for many years. It is indeed good news that the present Conservative Government has recognised this very important issue and will be conducting a major consultation exercise that we hope will result in meeting the needs of our community." She stated that the Forum has been at the forefront of this issue for more than a decade, demanding from the Government specific measures to meet the needs of the Hindu community who have rituals and ceremonies performed pre and post mortem which are very important for the departed and the families of the departed. When these are not carried out according to religious and cultural norms can create distress to family and friends of the departed. This is the time when large numbers of family, relatives and friends of the family come to attend the final rites and the crematoria are not adequate for all mourners to be accommodated, sometimes having to stand outside the main hall.

Down load the government's report here: https://www.public-sector.co.uk/articl ... w-government-response.pdf

Venture Capitalists Put Their Money Into Astrology

Posted on 2019/4/16 12:12:52 ( 479 reads )


NEW YORK, NEW YORK, April 15, 2019 (New York Times, by Erin Griffith): As an Aquarius, David Birnbaum is naturally skeptical of astrology. But as an investor, he has zero doubts about the business potential of the $2.1 billion "mystical services market." It's an area that he has been trying, unsuccessfully, to invest in for nearly two decades. Now he's found one, Sanctuary, an app that can be described as "Uber for astrological readings." For $19.99 a month, you can receive a monthly one-on-one chat consultation with an astrologer. (The app also provides free daily horoscopes.) Mr. Birnbaum's decision to back a horoscope company through Five Four Ventures, the incubator he runs, "gets a lot of grins" from people in the finance world, he said. But they get it. Astrology is having a cultural moment, and for investors, that translates to dollar signs.

The article, which definitely takes a skeptical view of astrology, goes on to describe other apps, such as Co-Star and Pattern, but none that appeared based in India or on Indian astrology.

Hinduism Today Seeks On-Line Sanskrit Learning Teachers and Tools

Posted on 2019/4/16 12:12:38 ( 489 reads )

KAUAI, HAWAII, April 16, 2019 (HPI): Hinduism Today magazine is doing a piece on the on-line presence of tools, teachers and organizations for learning Sanskrit. Kindly share with us any app you're aware of that help you learn Sanskrit as well as any Web sites that feature Sanskrit or Devanagari learning. Email to: ar@hindu.org.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/4/16 12:12:25 ( 514 reads )


To trust a man who has not been tested and to suspect a man who has proven trustworthy lead alike to endless ills.
-- Tirukural 510

Shankaracharya of Gobardhan Peeth Concerned about Jagannath Temple Management

Posted on 2019/4/15 13:47:27 ( 540 reads )


PURI, INDIA, April 10, 2019 (Odisha Bytes): In the wake of Supreme Court's proposal to hand over the management of the Jagannath temple to the Shankaracharya of the Gobardhan Peeth in its recent hearing, the latter is of the view that from the spiritual and religious perspective, the management of the temple should remain in his charge. "There will be no disparity if the management adheres to the ethics and rituals specified under the record of rights and Shree Jagannath Temple Act," Shankaracharya of Gobardhan Peeth, Swamy Nischalalanda Saraswati, told the media here on Wednesday.

Taking a dig at the state government, the seer said that the senior bureaucrats, appointed as the chief administrators of the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) have tarnished the rich and pristine tradition of the temple with mindless governance. "No one should forget that the Adi Shankaracharya had reinstalled the statue of Lord Jagannath in the Srimandir 2503 years ago," he pointed out. Notably, the Supreme Court while hearing a PIL on mismanagement and exploitation of devotees in Jagannath temple in Puri on April 8 had questioned the role of the government authorities in taking over the administration of religious places. The apex court had observed that the task should be entrusted to devotees as it expressed concern over the failure of various state governments in managing temple affairs. Appearing on behalf of the Puri Shankaracharya, advocate Suchit Mohanty had told the bench that the spiritual guru had filed an application in the case to assist the court in deciding the issue.

There are now as many Americans Who Claim no Religion as there are Evangelicals and Catholics, a Survey Finds

Posted on 2019/4/15 13:47:14 ( 480 reads )


UNITED STATES, April 13, 2019 (CNN): For the first time "No Religion" has topped a survey of Americans' religious identity according to a new analysis by a political scientist. The non-religious edged out Catholics and evangelicals in the long-running General Social Survey. Ryan Burge, a political scientist at Eastern Illinois University and a Baptist pastor, found that 23.1% of Americans now claim no religion. Catholics came in at 23.0%, and evangelicals were at 22.5%. The three groups remain within the margin of error of each other though, making it a statistical tie. Over 2,000 people were interviewed in person for the survey. "Religious nones," as they are called by researchers, are a diverse group made up of atheists, agnostics, the spiritual, and those who are no specific organized religion in particular. A rejection of organized religion is the common thread they share.

"It is the first time we have seen this. The same questions have been asked for 44 years," Burge told CNN. The meteoric rise of religious nones began in the early 1990s and has grown 266% since 1991, he said. Burge estimates that 'No Religion will be the largest group outright in four to six years. Experts still debate the factors behind this wave of Americans declaring no religion. One reason could be the internet, says Nick Fish, the president of American Atheists. It provides a place for nonbelievers to find each other. Whatever the causes, the non-religious represent a growing constituency. Yet this demographic is greatly underrepresented in Washington's halls of power. There is not a single open atheist amid the most diverse Congress in history, according to a Pew study.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/4/15 13:47:00 ( 559 reads )


The mind turned inwards is the Self; turned outwards, it becomes the ego and all the world. Cotton made into various clothes we call by various names. Gold made into various ornaments we call by various names. But all the clothes are cotton and all the ornaments gold. The one is real; the many are mere names and forms.
-- Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), Indian guru

What the Indian State Known as God's Own Country Can Teach Us about Eating to Our Health

Posted on 2019/4/14 11:27:52 ( 624 reads )


INDIA, April 11, 2019 (CNN by Dr. Sanjay Gupta): As an Indian kid growing up in the States, my parents did everything they could to create a little feeling of their ancestral land in our small Midwestern town. And, although neither of my parents was a doctor, they often treated me and my little brother with home remedies passed down to them over many generations. For example, to get us to calm down, my mom taught us an alternate nostril breathing technique. It's called Nadi Shodhana, and my mom, who is an engineer, had a very precise way of demonstrating it. Another was the regular use of a tongue scraper, which was as common in our childhood home as a toothbrush and is something I still use today. Truth is, all of my mom's remedies worked for us. Still, as I progressed through my own medical training in neurosurgery, I wondered how much scientific evidence really existed for these ancient home remedies. So last summer, while filming "Chasing Life," I traveled to the birthplace of many of these techniques and practices, a place known to locals and visitors as "God's own country": the state of Kerala.

As soon as I landed, I was reminded of the remarkable diversity of India. Four world religions originated there: Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. There are over 22 languages and hundreds more dialects spoken in India, and the culture is wildly different in the north vs. the south, east vs. west. Kerala is a part of India, but it very much feels like a completely different country, with lush green tropics filled with backwater brackish lagoons running in parallel to the Arabian Sea, near 100% literacy rates and a focus on health that has become the envy of the world. Thousands of years ago, in this tiny coastal state, began what some believe is the oldest medicine practice in the world. It is called Ayurveda, which means the science of life. All those home remedies my mom imported into our home on the other side of the world probably had their origins in Kerala. The region is believed to have given us breathing practices, meditation, tongue scrapers, massage and, perhaps most important, the Ayurvedic diet.

More at "source."

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