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America's Fastest Growing Religion Is "None"

Posted on 2018/11/17 10:04:59 ( 49 reads )


MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, November 11, 2018 (Star Tribune): The men and women relaxing on yoga mats recently at a Minneapolis meditation center didn't know it, but most belonged to the fastest-growing religion in America -- none at all. They included a former Lutheran who left the church because the Bible clashed with science, a former Catholic who became leery of its teachings, a former Baptist uninspired by Sunday services, a young man raised with no religion. They reveal a major force behind the empty pews in churches across Minnesota and the nation. Nearly one in four Americans now declare themselves unaffiliated with any organized religion. An estimated 56 million strong, and growing, there are more of them than all mainline Protestants combined.

The surge has Minnesota religious leaders wrestling with implications for the future of their churches, the future of Christianity. More than half of U.S. churches now see fewer than 100 worshipers on weekends, and they're getting older, reports the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. Particularly alarming is the plunge in church membership by people in their 20s and 30s. One in three are now churchless, according to the Pew Research Center. This disconnect between core Christian teachings and real life was cited frequently in interviews with more than 30 Minnesotans who have left the church. The church rituals fell flat, they said. And many reported taking voyages of spiritual discovery on their own, aided by friends, YouTube and podcasts. Church leaders find a ray of hope in the trend. Most of the unaffiliated have not ruled out a higher power or God. Only a fraction, about 3 percent, are atheists, according to Pew researchers. "Religious Nones are not all nonbelievers," said Greg Smith, associate research director at the Pew Research Center. "More than a third say they believe in God with absolute certainty."

More at "source."

Bronze Avudaiyar Arrives at Iraivan Temple

Posted on 2018/11/17 10:04:46 ( 43 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, November 12, 2018 (Himalayan Academy--home of HPI and Hinduism Today): On the favorable day of Skanda Shasti, the bronze Avudaiyar, the solid metal base for the temple's 700-pound crystal Sivalingam, was transported to Iraivan Temple and moved partway into the inner sanctum where it will eventually be installed. Watch as the silpis temple craftsmen deftly maneuver this 11,000 pound avudaiyar first with a crane and then by hand with rollers and levers in the unusual short video at "source". It's a rarely seen part of new temple construction.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/11/17 10:04:32 ( 43 reads )


A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the Sun makes the world active with its rays, so does self-awareness change the mind. In its light, energies wake up and work miracles without effort on your part.
-- Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981), Hindu sage

Why the Hindu Spiritual Tradition of Vegetarianism Is Getting a Fresh Start

Posted on 2018/11/11 11:06:48 ( 463 reads )


LANHAM, MARYLAND, November 9, 2018 (RNS) At 4 a.m. on a recent Saturday, two specially trained Hindu cooks arrived at the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. They took a quick look at the menu and got to work preparing four kinds of rice, alongside masala vada, a crispy lentil pancake; sambar vada, a kind of fried doughnut with a lentil base; and idli sambar, a savory rice cake made from a batter of rice and fermented black lentils. All the food they prepared was strictly vegetarian and freshly made. "Food blessed by God stimulates the mind and body with holy thoughts and holy energy and promotes divine qualities," said Sri Narayanachar Digalakote, a priest born and trained in India, who believes this diet, rooted in Hindu sacred text, is God-given.

The Hindu tradition of ahimsa, or nonviolence and compassion, includes a deep commitment to vegetarianism. "Our forefathers started partaking in those foods for which they had no need to kill any sentient being," said the temple's general manager, Atul Rawat. The idea is to bring the wisdom of traditional Hindu culture to address environmental degradation -- specifically greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal waste. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its most recent report recommends "less resource-intensive diets" to keep emissions in check. These findings have spurred a global climate action campaign called "Living the Change." Launched by a coalition of faith partners this September at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, the initiative calls for people from diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds to pledge to live more sustainable lifestyles, including eating less meat.

Much more at "source".

Malibu Hindu Temple Safe for Now

Posted on 2018/11/11 11:06:35 ( 589 reads )

Hindu Temple Society of Southern California

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, November 11, 2018 (bulletin from Nadadur S. Kumar): "Against all odds, I managed to visit the Temple along with my wife this morning. We were quite astonished to see the Temple standing as tall as always in the middle of many other structures destroyed in and around the Temple. The only conclusion that we could come to was to accept that god acts in mysterious ways. We are grateful that the Temple thus far has not suffered any damage as a result of the raging Woolsey fire."

HPI adds: Photos of the temple included with the bulletin indicate no damage, and that trees adjacent to the temple have not burned. However, high winds are again predicted for the area which could still bring fire into its vicinity. There are prescriptions in scripture for this type of natural disaster which prevents the performance of daily puja as the temple staff has been evacuated under government orders. According to Sthapati R. Selvanathan of Chennai (https://ruthaavaree.files.wordpress.co ... stapathi-annualdinner.pdf), the relevant one is called Andharitham. He explains: "Andharitham means rectifying and rejuvenating the disturbed spiritual ambience of theTemple sanctity by the natural and unnatural happenings. Natural disturbances like flood inside the sanctum sanctorum due to unprecedented rain, attack of lightning and thunder on the temple structure etc. The unnatural disturbances are like entry of burglars, military attacks inside the temple, unexpected death incidents and sometimes entry of animals. These will be rectified and the spiritual ambience rejuvenated by reciting agamic mantras for certain aavardhis, performing shanthi homas and so on."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/11/11 11:06:21 ( 400 reads )


He who is called Brahman by the jnanis is known as atman by the yogis and as Bhagavan by the bhaktas. But even That disappears when the aspirant reaches nirvikalpa samadhi.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

Nepal's Kukur Tihar Festival Honors Their Dogs

Posted on 2018/11/10 10:12:38 ( 400 reads )


NEPAL, November 7, 2018 (Pretty 52): Nepal celebrated our fluffy four-legged friends in its Kukur Tihar--Day of the Dogs--on Tuesday, and it looked incredible. The five-day Nepalese Hindu festival of Tihar kicked off earlier this week, and the second day is dedicated entirely to dogs. Pooches are given flower garlands and are blessed with a Tika, which is a red or white mark applied to their forehead. Both stray dogs and pets are doted on and offered delicious food as part of the five day-long festival.

Social media is littered with pictures of pets and stray dogs being honored in the festival, wearing flower garlands and tika, enjoying banquets of food. Other animals are also honored in the festival including crows and ravens, which have sweet foods and delicacies left out for them. Cows are given garlands and tika on the morning of day three, and are allowed to graze on the best grass, and oxen are honored in the same way on day four. Tihar is also known as Deepavali or the festival of lights, and it either comes in November or October, depending on the year.

Photos at "source" above.

Meat Has a Replacement but No One Knows What to Call It

Posted on 2018/11/10 10:12:25 ( 421 reads )


UNITED STATES, November 7, 2018 (Bloomberg): Lab-grown. Cell-based. Clean. In vitro. Cultured. Fake. Artificial. Synthetic. Meat 2.0. These are all terms that refer to the same kind of food, one that's not even on the market yet. But the companies making it have already raised hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investor cash and earned the close attention of U.S. regulators. Rather than methodically slaughtering animals, this industry uses science to grow what it claims is essentially the same thing as traditional meat. Given the planetary damage wrought by mass-market animal husbandry, such cellular agriculture is seen as the future of meat.

But what to name it, and getting people to eat it, is another matter altogether. Crucial to public acceptance of any consumer product, of course, is branding. But no one can agree what to call this stuff. Originally, there was a push for the label "clean meat." This was seen as a better alternative to the more clinical "lab-grown meat," said Bruce Friedrich, co-founder and executive director of the Good Food Institute, which lobbies for these new products. But then the traditional meat industry weighed in, saying the cellular version shouldn't be called meat at all. "We're using the term 'lab-produced cultured protein,'" said Dan Kovich, deputy director of science and technology at the National Pork Producers Council. Other groups representing meat producers, including the North American Meat Institute, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the National Chicken Council, also objected to the "clean meat" label.

Much more on this issue at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/11/10 10:12:12 ( 367 reads )


We are all bubbles in the ocean. The bubble is in the ocean; the ocean is in the bubble.
-- Satguru Siva Yogaswami, (1872-1964) Sri Lankan mystic

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/11/10 10:11:58 ( 402 reads )


Offer oblations in love, light golden lamps. Spread incense of fragrant wood and lighted camphor in all directions. Forget your worldly worries and meditate. Worshiping thus, there is nothing that you cannot attain. Worshiping thus, you shall inherit the wealth of Indra, heaven's king. Worshiping thus, you shall gain miraculous powers. Worshiping thus, you shall attain moksha.
-- Tirumantiram, verses 1005–1006

Malibu Temple Cancels Weekend Activities on Account of Fires, Vacates Temple

Posted on 2018/11/9 12:00:53 ( 1677 reads )

Nadadur S. Kumar

MALIBU, CALIFORNIA, November 9, 2018 (Malibu Hindu Temple press release): "To the members and devotees of the Temple: On behalf of the temple, I wish to convey my regrets to all of the families that have been affected by the fires. I am sure the devotees and visitors to the temple are very concerned about the well-being of all the employees of the temple, including the priests. I want to inform you that all of them have been safely evacuated from the temple premises and the temple has been secured. In the meanwhile, as you may all know, the temple has scheduled events to take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018 and special events scheduled on Sunday, November 11, 2018. In light of the fires in the areas near the temple, we regretfully announce that all of these events stand cancelled for both Saturday, November 10 and Sunday, November 11, 2018. The events scheduled for Sunday, November 11 to celebrate Diwali (Deepavali) will be rescheduled for a future date. I request all of you to pray that the temple will be spared of any damages. We will reopen the temple as soon as it becomes feasible."

For an update on the uncontained Woolsey fire impacting Malibu, just north of Los Angeles, go to:
http://www.malibucity.org/AlertCenter ... lvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
The entire town of Malibu as well as others in the area have been ordered evacuated, with many roads, including those that access the temple, closed.

Dakshineswar Temple Gets Skywalk for Devotees to Walk Straight from Rail Station

Posted on 2018/11/9 11:50:18 ( 425 reads )


KOLKATA, INDIA, November 5, 2018 (Newsmen): On the eve of Kali Puja, the world famous Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Kolkata today got a gift in the form of a skywalk that has been built by the state government. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the US$8.225 million Rani Rashmoni Skywalk that connects Dakshineswar railway station to the main gate of the Temple through an elevated pathway. The arch-shape skywalk made of glass and steel is 1,115 ft. long and 34 ft. wide. There are 14 escalators, four lifts, and eight staircases to enable visitors to embark and disembark at several points including the busy Dakshineswar traffic circle.

Along the center of the skywalk have been set up 137 permanent stalls where the hawkers from the pathway below will be rehabilitated over the next seven days, the Chief Minister said on inaugurating the skywalk. Devotees will be able to buy items for worship from these stalls while proceeding through the walkway on both sides. Going by a rough estimate, around 14 million people from all over India and abroad visit Dakshineswar Kali Temple every year, and the skywalk will be of convenience to them as they will no longer require to negotiate through the busy traffic.

Moringa, the Next Superfood?

Posted on 2018/11/9 11:50:04 ( 436 reads )


DAVIS, CALIFORNIA, October 9, 2018 (Washington Post): There's nothing super-looking about moringa (drumstick, Tamil murungai). It's skinny and sparse in foliage. Its fragile branches sprout puny white flowers and droop with long twisted pods knobby with seeds. But if plants were superheroes, then moringa would be Iron Man. "If there were a top ten list of plants that are going to help feed the world over the next hundred years, I would say moringa should be on that list," said Carrie Waterman, a University of California, Davis, natural products chemist.

Every part of the plant is edible -- leaves, pods, seeds, flowers, even its root. The feathery leaves alone pack a powerful protein punch nearly 30 percent by dry weight. Legumes don't even have that much protein, nor all the essential amino acids. The leaves are high in vitamins A and C, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium. They contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that have been shown in some research studies to reduce chronic inflammation. The plant even has the potential to simultaneously treat both malnutrition and obesity. The moringa tree is also known as the drumstick tree because of its slender foot-long pods and has been consumed mainly in parts of Southeast Asia for centuries.

Much more on the health benefits of moringa at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/11/9 11:49:51 ( 367 reads )


Being upset reflects the lack of a strategy.
-- Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today

Australia Hindu Council Marks Twenty Years

Posted on 2018/10/29 13:39:05 ( 840 reads )


AUSTRALIA, October 25, 2018 (Indian Link): The history of Hinduism in Australia goes back to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1787. It is understood that there were some Indians, possibly Hindus, who arrived with early European settlers [half of them convicts]. A recent study of Indigenous Australian DNA suggests there was some form of migration from India to Australia about 4,000 years ago. The first Hindu association called the Sri Mandir Society, established the first Hindu Temple in 1977 in Auburn NSW in an old Salvation Army Hall. The first Hindu temple built in the traditional Indian architecture was the Sri Venkateswara Temple at Helensburgh NSW which opened its doors to the public in 1985. Since then many Hindu temples have been built in every state in Australia.

The late Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami from Kauai Aadheenam, Hawaii USA visited Sydney in 1989. He suggested to a group of local Hindu leaders that the leaders of all the Hindu associations should meet periodically and discuss matters of mutual interest to strengthen the Hindu group. He suggested that we should get together and celebrate Ganesha Visarjana Festival every year. This was agreed upon and the Ganesha Festival was first celebrated in 1990 at the Sri Venkateswara Temple grounds in Helensburgh. It was a grand success with over 30 different associations taking part with many thousands attending. The Hindu Council has now opened up chapters in all the states, and having become a truly national body, has grown from strength to strength. It speaks on behalf of the Hindus at the national level - with government, with the other associations, and with the public. It takes part in a number of multicultural activities and represents Hindus in many interfaith discussions and dialogue. The population of Hindus in Australia has increased substantially during the last two decades. We are now over 1.9% of Australia's population and approximately 500,000 in number, speaking over 12 of the different languages spoken in India.

Much more at "source" above.

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