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How Stolen Hindu Statues Were Discovered in UK

Posted on 2020/9/20 11:00:18 ( 144 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, September 19, 2020 (BBC): Three bronze sculptures stolen from a southern Indian temple more than 40 years ago were found in the UK and returned to Indian government officials this week. The bronze sculptures represent some of Hinduism's most revered Deities -- Lord Ram, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshman, all part of the same set of statues. They belong to a 15th Century temple built during the Vijayanagara empire, located in Anandamangalam village in Tamil Nadu state, and were stolen in 1978. Vijayanagara was once one of the most important trading centers in the world.

It's taken years of work by a group of art enthusiasts, investigations by police teams in two countries, and efforts from Indian diplomats in the UK, to help bring them back. Four years ago, a photograph of one of the sculptures was spotted on the website of the British Antique Dealers' Association by a member of India Pride Project, which works to bring stolen statues back to India. S. Vijaykumar, who co-founded the project says: "We got leads [which took us] to districts and temples with similar styles, but we could not come up with any firm matches for three years." They restarted their search, and found a crucial piece of the puzzle in the archives of the French Institute of Pondicherry in southern India. A photograph taken on 15 June 1958, showed the full set of statues in the Sri Rajagopala Swamy Temple in Anandamangalam village. Armed with evidence, the group approached the High Commission of India in the UK.

More on this discovery at "source."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/9/20 11:00:05 ( 100 reads )


On the pathway of spiritual excellence, words that discourage and those that publicize faults of others are lethal poisons.
-- His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, spiritual head of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha

Divinity Consultants Bring Spirituality to the Corporation Environment

Posted on 2020/9/19 12:33:47 ( 154 reads )


UNITED STATES, August 28, 2020 (New York Times): Divinity consultants are designing sacred rituals for corporations and their spiritually depleted employees. Blending the obscure language of the sacred with the also obscure language of management consulting, the agencies provide corporations a range of spiritually inflected services. A new corporate clergy has arisen to formalize the remote work life. They go by different names: ritual consultants, sacred designers, soul-centered advertisers. They have degrees from divinity schools. Their business is borrowing from religious tradition to bring spiritual richness to corporate America.

In simpler times, divinity schools sent their graduates out to lead congregations or conduct academic research. Now there is a more office-bound calling: the spiritual consultant. Those who have chosen this path have founded agencies -- some for-profit, some not -- with similar-sounding names: Sacred Design Lab, Ritual Design Lab, Ritualist. They blend the obscure language of the sacred with the also obscure language of management consulting to provide clients with a range of spiritually inflected services, from architecture to employee training to ritual design. Their larger goal is to soften cruel capitalism, making space for the soul, and to encourage employees to ask if what they are doing is good in a higher sense. Having watched social justice get readily absorbed into corporate culture, they want to see if more American businesses are ready for faith.

For more on this interesting concept, see "source" above.

Remedying Negationism in Indian History - An On-Line Course for Fall 2020

Posted on 2020/9/19 12:33:35 ( 126 reads )


UNITED STATES, September 18, 2020 (Indology Academy): (HPI note: Wikipedia defines "negationism" as "a distortion of the historical record.") Indology Academy is offering a one credit hour academic equivalent course titled "Rectifying Historiography: Diagnosing and Remedying Holy War Negationism in India". A brief description states: Dr. Koenraad Elst teaches a course focusing on the willful distortions in the recent and contemporary writing of Indian history, specifically pertaining to the whitewashing or denial of crimes and discriminations motivated by religion. You will get a description of the phenomenon of history denial, with some case studies; the story of how and why it started and then was promoted to state policy; how it compares technically and morally with famous cases of the denial of massacres elsewhere; and how it has come to determine India's image worldwide. The question is also pursued how these distortions and their rectification affect the coexistence between victim groups and perpetrator groups today. During the course the students-participants will get an overview of the field of Negationism Studies and its application to the intersection of Indology and History.

For any further information regarding the course, curriculum, program or administration, see "source" above or contact:
Rajiv Varma, rajiv.varma@indologyacademy.org, 1 (832) 736-5643 (Contact via Whatsapp)

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2020/9/19 12:33:22 ( 142 reads )


Just as a big banyan tree sprouts from a tiny seed, so the wide universe with names and forms sprouts forth from the heart.
-- Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic

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