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SC Makes Jagannath Puri Visit Hassle-Free


Posted on 2018/6/10 17:56:27 ( 767 reads )

Source

NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 9, 2018 (Daily Pioneer): Paying a visit to the Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri may now become easier for devotees who have to face extreme hardship in offering prayers there. The Supreme Court on Friday directed both the Odisha Government and the Centre to set up separate committees to study the best management practices followed by shrines of national importance across the country and recommend changes to be carried out in administration of the temple by June 30. The direction came on a PIL that highlighted poor hygiene, harassment faced by devotees, malpractices by sebayats (sevaks) who perform rituals, and misappropriation of offerings made to the temple offertory.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Adarsh K Goel and Ashok Bhushan ordered a probe by the District Judge, Puri, into these allegations and sought an interim report from him by July 5. For suggesting measures to reform the existing practices followed in the temple, the Bench directed both the Odisha Government and the Centre to set up separate committees to study the best management practices followed by shrines such as Vaishno Devi in Jammu & Kashmir, Somnath temple in Gujarat, Golden Temple in Punjab, Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh and Dharamsthala temple in Karnataka. The temple being one of the four great Char Dham pilgrimage sites (four divine sites) comprising of Rameswaram, Badrinath, Puri and Dwarka, considered sacred to Hindus, the Bench said, "These centres are of undoubted religious, social, historical, and architectural importance, representing cultural heritage of the country."




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/6/10 17:56:16 ( 705 reads )

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Like treasure hidden in the ground, like flavor in the fruit, like gold in the rock, and oil in the seed, the Absolute is hidden in the heart.
-- Akka Mahadevi, twelfth-century Vira Saiva saint



ABC Apologizes for Hindu Terror Plot in Quantico after Backlash


Posted on 2018/6/9 19:59:13 ( 663 reads )

Source

UNITED STATES, June 9, 2018 (MSN): U.S. television studio ABC has apologized to Indian fans of its crime drama "Quantico" after an episode featuring Indian "nationalists" trying to frame Pakistan in a terrorist plot sparked online outrage against Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra, who plays a lead role in the show. "The episode has stirred a lot of emotion, much of which is unfairly aimed at Priyanka Chopra, who didn't create the show, nor does she write or direct it," said Walt Disney-owned ABC in its statement.

After the recent Quantico episode, Chopra has faced online attacks at home, and even some calls to boycott her work and the brands that she endorses. Others called on the government to black out the scene where Chopra, who stars as an FBI agent in the series, holds up sacred Hindu prayer beads as evidence that the plotter in the episode, planning to detonate a nuclear bomb in New York, was an Indian nationalist. "The show has featured antagonists of many different ethnicities and backgrounds, but in this case we inadvertently and regrettably stepped into a complex political issue. It was certainly not our intention to offend anyone," ABC said in a statement on Friday.



UP to Ban Liquor Sales in Six Spiritual Towns


Posted on 2018/6/9 19:59:02 ( 563 reads )

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LUCKNOW, INDIA, June 6, 2018 (Times of India): The UP government on Tuesday extended the status of sacred pilgrimage sites to five towns of Mathura district, thereby restricting the sale and consumption of alcohol in these places. The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet which also okayed a modern Ram Katha Centre and art gallery in Faizabad, next to Ayodhya and memorial academy in remembrance of 15th century poet-saint Kabir at Maghar, place of nirvana, in Sant Kabir Nagar district. Baldev, Gokul, Govardhan, Nandgaon and Radha Kund were added to the existing list of spiritual towns with no alcohol strictures in Mathura. In October 2017, Barsana and Vrindavan were announced as the sacred pilgrimage sites. Sources in the government said that sale of meat and eggs may also be included in the list of prohibited items considering the strong religious beliefs of these sites. Priests in Mathura were overjoyed with the move.




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/6/9 19:58:52 ( 715 reads )

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You shine, all living things emerge. You disappear, they go to rest. Recognizing our innocence, O golden-haired Sun, arise; let each day be better than the last. Rig Veda (X, 37, 9)



Odisha: Missing Keys of Jagannath Temple Treasury Triggers Demand for Audit


Posted on 2018/6/8 17:59:06 ( 585 reads )

Source

INDIA, June 6, 2018 (Swarajyamag): A judicial probe ordered by Odisha Chief Minister (CM) Naveen Patnaik into the mysterious case of keys to the inner chambers of Puri Jagannath Temple's ratna bhandar going missing has failed to put a lid on a raging controversy over the temple's treasures. Amidst growing rumors of, and public unrest over, the missing jewels and ornaments from the temple's treasury, the opposition BJP has demanded a comprehensive audit of all items in the ratna bhandar. Puri Shankarancharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati too has demanded a thorough review of the temple treasury's management. The controversy has arisen because the judicial probe was ordered by Patnaik a full two months after it was discovered that the keys to the inner chambers of the twelfth century temple were missing. The keys are kept at the district treasury, and the loss of the keys was discovered only when Puri district magistrate Aravind Agarwal was to have taken them along with him for a Odisha High Court-mandated inspection of the ratna bhandar on 4 April. That day, the treasury was opened for the first time after 34 years.

Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra said it was surprising that it took two months for the CM to order an enquiry into the case of the missing keys. A through audit of the treasury needs to be conducted in the presence of the Gajapati Maharaja of Puri and the Shankaracharya in view of the situation, Mohapatra added. The last audit of the ratna bhandar's treasure was carried out in 1978 had listed gold ornaments weighing 282 lbs, besides precious stones, jewels and silver ornaments and items.



Hindu Community Celebrates Ceremony


Posted on 2018/6/8 17:58:56 ( 590 reads )

Source

BREMEN, GERMANY, June 5, 2018 (Kreiszeitung, translated from German): It was a moving day for the approximately 60 families of the Bremen Hindu community on Monday. Many of the community members , with their guests, gathered to celebrate a special ceremony in Osterholz on the grounds of the Ellener Village retirement home run by the Bremen Heimstiftung elder-care foundation. Where there is now an unlevel meadow, a Hindu temple is to be built on about 1,400 square meters, dedicated to the God of fortune Ganesha. In order to successfully initiate this construction project of the Bremen Sri Varasiththivinayakar Temple association, a black and white dairy cow named Madel paid an extraordinary visit in January of this year. By watching the cow's reaction to the place, the Hindu community concluded that is the right location for a temple. Now other sacred actions are being done to bless the spot.

"In order to purify and consecrate the place where the temple's altar will be built, we have a pit about 20 feet by 26 feet in size. It contains a small copper plate with a picture of Ganesha, a shell, various foods, flowers, stones and also earth from a piece of land where elephants live and other objects," says Pathmakaran Pathmanathan, treasurer of the Bremen Hindu association and one of the initiators of the temple project. Many of the essentials for the ceremony were brought back by the 45-year-old Tamil from a trip to his homeland. "We are very pleased to be able to create a new center for ourselves and our faith - right in the middle of and with the people here in Osterholz," says Pathmanathan. For many members of his community, this temple will soon be in their neighborhood.



Madhu Kishwar: Why Christian Missionaries Hate Modi and RSS so Much


Posted on 2018/6/8 17:58:45 ( 453 reads )

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INDIA, June 1, 2018 (Swarajyamag, by Madhu Purnima Kishwar): As someone who studied in a convent school and whose mother also studied in a school run by Irish nuns in Peshawar, one could not help but have a benign view of the Christian community. Most middle-class people of our generation grew up believing that the Christian missions were sincerely committed to the spread of education and healthcare. However, even as a schoolgirl, I resented the subtle indoctrination inflicted on us by converting the "Moral Science" class into a Bible study class. Our Moral Science book had stories only from the Bible. There was no mention of Hindu faith traditions, leave alone study of the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas or the Ramayana. It is noteworthy that Hindu and Sikh parents, whose children studied in that or countless other missionary schools never objected to this daily dose of Christianization and systematic attempt to inculcate "love of Jesus" in our impressionable minds. For the record, no pressure was ever exerted on us to "convert" because the school authorities knew that trying the conversion game with middle and upper middle class/caste families was bound to backfire. However, it was well-known that the same order of nuns ran special schools in Punjab villages and in urban bastis, targeting children of the poor and "lower castes." These schools had been established mainly for the purpose of getting converts and "harvesting souls" for the Church. But in those innocent days, nobody seemed to mind or care, leave alone sense any sinister agenda.

The BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in general and Narendra Modi in particular become objects of hate and are perceived as threats not because they want to smash churches and attack or kill Christians or shut down schools. They are hated because, unlike the Congress and Communist parties, the Sangh parivar is not willing to go out of its way to assist Christian missionaries in harvesting souls. Modi became the bete noire of the Christian community despite being very liberal in yielding to the reasonable demands of Christian organisations, and seeking a relationship of cooperation with them and not confrontation. In the very first year of his tenure, his government passed a law entitled Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003. As per this law, anyone who wants to change his/her religion has to first report to the civil authority, namely the deputy commissioner of the district.

Much more of this lengthy and insightful article on the subject at "source" above.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/6/8 17:58:35 ( 421 reads )

Source

Austerity is the powerful bath of fire and bright rays of showering light that washes the soul clean of the dross of its many past lives, and of the current life, which have held it in the bondage of ignorance, misgiving, unforgivingness and the self-perpetuating ignorance of the truths of the Sanatana Dharma.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today



Sri Krishnan Temple Re-sanctified after Restoration


Posted on 2018/6/5 14:14:16 ( 643 reads )

Source

SINGAPORE, June 4, 2018 (The New Paper): Waterloo Street was filled with the beating of drums and the patter of barefoot dancers yesterday morning as the Sri Krishnan Temple was unveiled in its fully restored glory after four years of works costing US$3 million. The 148-year-old Hindu temple, one of the oldest in Singapore, was re-sanctified in a consecration ceremony called Maha Samprokshanam, done every 12 to 15 years. The ritual marked the start of the 48-day consecration process.

The event was attended by some 10,000 devotees, with Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran as guest of honor and MPs Denise Phua and Edwin Tong in attendance as well. At 9.15am, an auspicious time chosen by the temple, holy water was sprinkled on the main entrance and temple dome by priests flown in from India.The shrines, pillars, ceilings and temple dome were upgraded in the renovation, which started in 2014. The dome and the statues around it were clad in gold-plated copper, while decorative works on the pillars required two sculptors crafting them on site over three years.



Indian Painters Give a New Look to Hindu Temple in Singapore


Posted on 2018/6/5 14:14:05 ( 437 reads )

Source

SINGAPORE, June 4, 2018 (Little India): India had a big role to play in the renovation and the consecration ceremony of the 148-year-old Sri Krishnan temple. Priests have been flown in from India for the ritual, which marks the start of the 48-day consecration process. Stones were also sourced from India to renovate the temple. Indian painters provided a facelift to the temple's ceiling. Two hour video of festivities can be viewed at "source" above.



The Shiva Temple Rebuilt by a British Couple.


Posted on 2018/6/5 14:13:55 ( 688 reads )

Source

MALWA, INDIA, January 17, 2018 (Hindu Existence): The British ruled the Indian subcontinent for hundreds of years, and built many churches and cathedrals. But in the 1880s, a Shiva temple in Agar Malwa, Madhya Pradesh, was renovated by Lt. Col. Martin as per the wish of his wife -- the only Shiva temple ever made by an Englishman in India. In 1879, when there was British were ruling in India, Lt. Col. Martin of Agar Malwa was leading the British army in the war against Afghanistan. Col. Martin used to regularly send messages of his well-being to his wife. The war continued for long & Lady Martin stopped getting messages. She was very upset in the vicinity of Malwa far away from Kabul or Afghanistan.

Once riding on her horse, she was to pass by the temple of Baijnath Mahadev. She was quite attracted to the sound of conch and mantra. She went inside the temple and came to know that the brahmanas were worshipping Lord Shiva. They told her that Lord Shiva listens to the prayers of devotees and takes them out of difficult situations in no time. With the advice of the Brahmanas she started the Laghurudri Anushtthan of the Mantra: "Om Namah Shivaya" for 11 days. She prayed to Lord Shiva that if her husband reaches home safely, then she would get the temple renovated. After a few weeks Col. Martin returned, recounting a miraculous escape attributed to a trident wielding sadhu. Now both husband & wife became devotees of Lord Shiva. In 1883 they donated US$225 for renovating the temple. The information engraved slab for the same is still there in the Baijnath Mahadev Temple of Agar Malwa. This is the only Hindu temple built by the British.

More of this account at "source" above.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/6/5 14:13:44 ( 473 reads )

Source

He is the Supreme Brahman, the Self of all, the chief foundation of this world, subtler than the subtle, eternal. That thou art; thou art That.
-- Atharva Veda, Kaivalya Upanishad



Non-Indian Hindus


Posted on 2018/6/2 20:02:17 ( 620 reads )

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UNITED STATES, May 22, 2018 (Patheos, by Mat McDermott): The phenomenon of non-Indians adopting Hinduism is not new. However, the stories of how individuals came to the religion have not been regularly recorded. I hope to rectify that by time to time publishing interviews with those people who weren't raised Hindu but now publicly identify as such, in the hopes of shedding some light on what drew them to Sanatana Dharma. The following is an interview with Ram Goodman, a yoga teacher and student of Vedanta, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

"I grew up in Kentucky in the late sixties and early seventies and I did not personally know any Hindus. My first exposure to Hinduism was through Theosophy, which is a mix of Eastern and Western spirituality, much of it borrowed from Hinduism. By age twelve I was familiar with reincarnation, karma, meditation, and hatha yoga. Over the years I continued an interest in various spiritual practices, but felt particularly drawn to yoga. I practiced yoga asanas and meditation, learning mostly from books and VHS tapes. In the early 1990s, after reading Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's book "Dancing With Siva" I decided to visit a Hindu temple. Through the temple I met Swamini Krishna Kanta. I visited her ashram in Kent, Ohio a few times and decided I wanted to become a yoga teacher."

Much more at "source".



An Indian State Banned Pesticides. Tourism and Wildlife Flourished. Will Others Follow?


Posted on 2018/6/2 20:02:06 ( 599 reads )




SORENG, INDIA, May 31, 2018 (Washington Post): Fifteen years ago, the tiny Indian state of Sikkim (population 610,000) launched a radical experiment: Its leaders decided to phase out pesticides on every farm in the state, a move without precedent in India -- and probably the world. The change was especially significant for India, a country whose progress in agriculture was defined by the introduction of fertilizers and pesticides that rapidly boosted food production across the country, staving off famine and reducing the country's reliance on foreign aid. But with the indiscriminate use of pesticides came a spike in cancer rates in industrial farming areas. Rivers became polluted and soil infertile. Sikkim's leaders say they were driven to go all-organic by those concerns and because pesticide residue -- including from some chemicals banned in other countries -- was tainting fish, vegetables and rice.

The cloud-wreathed Himalayan state is starting to see the dividends. Overall health has increased in the state, leaders say, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has embraced Sikkim and organic farming throughout India, pouring about $119 million into supporting organic farmers nationwide. India is betting that Sikkim can be the global model for other jurisdictions around the world that want to go all-organic. In the years since the shift to organic, Sikkim has outlawed pesticides and chemical fertilizers, aided farmers in certifying about 190,000 acres of farmland as organic and on April 1 banned the import of many non-organic vegetables from other states. The transition has not always been easy: Some farmers have complained that their crop yields have decreased and that they haven't gotten enough support from the government.

Much more at "source" above.

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