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Following Path of Swami Vivekananda, World Hindu Congress Aims to Unite One Billion Hindus Around the Globe


Posted on 2018/9/11 4:49:44 ( 292 reads )

Source

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, August 31, 2018 (India West by Ashok Easwaran): -- A century-and-a-quarter after Swami Vivekananda's rousing speech to the World Parliament of Religions here in 1893, the World Hindu Congress has declared its objective to re-connect the 1.1 billion Hindus worldwide with their common heritage and their spiritual link to people of all other denominations. For three days, beginning Sept. 7, about 2,300 delegates will converge at the Westin Hotel in Lombard, a Chicago suburb, to deliberate, introspect and draw out a plan of action in keeping with the World Hindu Congress conference motto derived from Chapter 37 of the Hindu epic Mahabharata: Think Collectively, Act Valiantly and from the Rig Veda: Stay Together, Express Together.

Many religious leaders are scheduled to attend the Hindu Congress conference. A video message from the Dalai Lama, who had to drop out due to frail health, will be screened. Speakers in the various events include Indian American Prof. Ved Nanda of the University of Denver; Lord Jitesh Gadhia, the youngest Briton of Indian origin in the House of Lords; Swati Dandekar, a former legislator from Iowa; Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois; Columbia Prof. Arvind Panagariya, a former economic advisor to the Indian government; and actor Anupam Kher. Organizers of The Hindu Congress conference indicated that Hinduism's core message is timeless and unchanging. "There will be no spiritual discourses," conference convener Abhaya Asthana said in an interview. "The aim is to use the essence of Hindu philosophy, dharma, to inform how we come together (in the diaspora) as men, women and youth -- in politics, education and commerce."

More at "source" above.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/9/11 4:49:32 ( 247 reads )

Source

If you have not seen your own Self, if you have not pierced the knots of your Heart and washed away the filth of your mind, then what does it matter if you are a human being?
-- Kabir




Malaysian Batu Caves Temple Steps Gets Technicolor Paint Job


Posted on 2018/8/30 10:47:04 ( 572 reads )

Source

MALAYSIA, August 31, 2018 ( South Chinese Morning Post):The Batu Caves complex, a series of caverns set in a limestone hill on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, is popular with devotees from Malaysia's ethnic Indian minority and tourists, with a regular stream of people clambering up the 272 steps to reach the temples. The steps have been painted in a kaleidoscope of bright colors ahead of a Hindu ritual that is conducted in temples every 12 years, which will take place Friday. But the temple management committee has found itself in hot water with the government heritage department, after allegedly failing to seek permission to paint the steps. The committee will receive a warning letter from the department, while deputy culture minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said he was "very disappointed" and the work had "disturbed the harmony, integrity and originality of Batu Caves", The Star newspaper reported. The newly painted steps of the famed Batu Caves complex have impressed visitors but angered officials who oversee heritage sites.

Batu Caves is an important religious site for Tamil Hindus. Most of Malaysia's roughly 32 million people are Muslim, but the country also has around two million ethnic Indians and nearly seven million ethnic Chinese.



These Swirls of Light Could Be Signs of a Previous Universe Existing Before Ours


Posted on 2018/8/30 10:46:54 ( 611 reads )

Source

UNITED STATES, August 16, 2018 (Science Alert by Mike McRae): If our Universe happened to be locked in an eternal heartbeat of expansion and collapse, black holes would leave an impression. And it could look just like a number of swirls recently detected in the faint echo of light at the edge of space. It's hardly the smoking gun for what's called the conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC) model, especially given other things that could also explain these scars. But it's definitely worthy of serious consideration. As it stands, most cosmologists agree we live in an expanding universe that started as a homogeneous point called a singularity, and we don't know what happened before it, or what could lie in our future.

Mathematical physicist Roger Penrose has a reputation on par with the likes of Stephen Hawking and Leonard Susskind. His model of a pulsating universe with no beginning or end isn't everybody's cup of tea, but it is a contender for explaining the fate of everything. Penrose's idea suggests the future isn't destined for a collapse - we'll keep expanding until everything evaporates into light and the very concept of space and time is made moot by the insane distances that exist. At that point, our Universe is indistinguishable from a singularity, out of which another one might emerge.

More at "source" above.

HPI Adds: In Hindu thought, the Universe goes through endless cycles of creation, preservation, and dissolution when all is absorbed back into the source only to be issued forth anew in the next cycle of creation.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/8/30 10:46:43 ( 548 reads )

Source

One party says thought is caused by matter, and the other says matter is caused by thought. Both statements are wrong; matter and thought are coexistent. There is a third something of which both matter and thought are products.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)



How Indian Names are Evolving in South Africa


Posted on 2018/8/24 12:51:22 ( 845 reads )

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, August 21, 2018 (IOL, by Yogin Devan): The first names of Indians are fast losing their Indian identity to modernization. This is so especially to a large extent within the Tamil community and to a lesser extent among those of Hindi background. The bestowal of non-traditional names is not an act of cultural betrayal. Creativity, modernization and mediation between the old and the new have led to the onset of a new collection of Indian names. These are the findings of a seminal study by linguistics guru Professor Rajend Mesthrie whose many decades of work in language and linguistics has focused on the significance of sociolinguistics in understanding heritage, culture and social change in a multilingual society.

The professor of linguistics and research chair in the School of African and Gender Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Cape Town recently presented a paper based on his study of changes in personal names among Indian South Africans at the International Congress of Historical Linguistics in San Antonio, Texas. Professor Mesthrie's study has found that first name choices within the Indian community are influenced by social variables like tradition versus modernity, gender, and class. The naming patterns reflect the intricacies of heritage, change, and identity. The research shows that since the 1970s, the effects of education and urbanisation have led to linguistic assimilation as the new generation gradually, imperceptibly and involuntarily shifted to English as the dominant language.

One of the most striking characteristics that emerged from the data base is the use of neo-Indian names. Parents from the 1980s onwards created new names (wittingly or unwittingly) by processes of rhyme and analogy. An established name that was felt to be "modern" was used as a prototype to generate new names. Once a new name proved attractive, it spawned a set of analogical rhyming and other variants. These suggest a kind of linguistic competition and dialogue between names, or at least among those bestowing them on children. Some examples of such new North Indian names are Rivania, Ruvanya and Ravanya; Livania, Luvanya and Lavanya; and Sivanya, Suvanya and Savanya. Innovative names, mainly in South African Tamil and Telugu communities, include Terisha, Terusha and Tirosha; Lerisha, Lerusha and Lerosha; and Verisha, Verusha and Verosha.

More of Professor Mesthrie's findings at "source" above.



Odds of Escaping Poverty in India, U.S. Same: World Bank


Posted on 2018/8/24 12:51:11 ( 814 reads )

Source

NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 5, 2016 (The Hindu): A World Bank report has challenged the conventional understanding of India's inequality. The report, "Addressing inequality in South Asia," has found that the probability of a poor person moving out of poverty in India in 2014 was as good as that in the U.S. "There is good news -- India is no longer the land of extremes and there are some bright spots," said Martin Rama, one of the authors of the report and World Bank Chief Economist for South Asia. The report has found that sons from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe households are no longer stuck in the jobs done by their fathers. Across generations, mobility of occupational profiles among Muslims has been similar to that of higher caste Hindus, whereas mobility among Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes has become higher than that of upper caste Hindus over time.

The report shows that one of the main drivers of upward mobility is the increase in number of non-farm jobs in rural India. A World Bank report has found that between 2004-05 and 2009-10, 15 percent of India's population, or 40 per cent of the poor, moved above the poverty line. In the same period, a sizable portion of the poor and the vulnerable -- over 9 percent of the total population or about 11 per cent of the poor and vulnerable -- moved into the middle class. However, over 9 percent of the total population, or about 14 percent of the non-poor group, slipped back into poverty, revealing the greater risks faced by the vulnerable and even the middle class than in other countries, the report said.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/8/24 12:51:00 ( 683 reads )

Source

They have "Dial-a-Prayer" for atheists now. You call it up, it rings and rings, but nobody answers.



Ganesha Procession Supporters Honored for Their Commitment


Posted on 2018/8/23 13:25:17 ( 770 reads )

Source

SOUTH AFRICA, August 21, 2018 (Rising Sun Overport): The Lord Ganesha Float Procession held its annual awards and launch at the Shri Mariammen Temple in Mount Edgecombe on Friday. The organization awarded various devotees and sponsors for their dedication to the Ganesha festival over the years. This year marks the 12th procession for Lord Ganesha. Devotees and organisations who volunteered and participated for the past 10 years were awarded with a certificates of appreciation. The sponsors received the Lord Ganesha award which was comprised of a certificate, the Ganesha award murthi and a Ganesha shawl. The new participating temples also received a certificate for their participation.

The invocation of the three Ganesha murthis which will go on a pilgrimage to 27 temples will be held at the Durban Hindu Temple, in Somtseu Road, on August 30, at 6pm. Devotees are invited to attend. The Lord Ganesha Float Procession will held for the first time at night. This will allow the floats to brighten up their floats with lights. The procession will start and finish at the Durban Hindu Temple in Somtseu Road in Durban. Devotees are invited to come with some sort of light or lamps to carry on the parade. The Lord Ganesha Float Procession Festival will take place on September 8 and 9.



Bengaluru to have 150 Mobile Tanks for Ganesha Statue Immersion


Posted on 2018/8/23 13:25:07 ( 754 reads )

Source

BENGALURU, INDIA, August 20, 2018 (New Indian Express): The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is planning to launch a crack down on the use of statues made of plaster of paris to minimise the environmental impact of the Ganesha festival on September 13. Commissioner Manjunath Prasad said the civic body has joined hands with the pollution control board to spread awareness on the issue in schools and colleges. "BBMP will have 150 mobile immersion tanks across the city on the first day of the Ganesha festival. Those making statues of plaster of plaster will be penalized," he said. Written instructions have been sent to several manufacturing units regarding it.

As per a recent circular issued by the civic body, the public will be informed about the immersion tanks available in the area. As many as four temporary mobile immersion tanks will be placed in every ward of the city. Help desks will be available at all the immersion points. Policemen will be deployed to avoid any untoward incidents. A vigilance team consisting of volunteers, PCB officials and BBMP officials would be formed. For immersion of large statues, cranes would be made available to the devotees.





Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/8/23 13:24:56 ( 657 reads )

Source

It is very important to give light and love to everyone, because everyone needs affection. Let light, love and peace live today and always in our hearts. Let these words not just be words pouring out of our lips. Let light invade your whole being so that everyone may be able to love.
-- Mataji Indra Devi



Consecration of Kasi Viswanath Temple: Where North and South Merged


Posted on 2018/8/21 12:36:35 ( 798 reads )

Source

INDIA, July 27, 2018 (The Hindu): News of the Mahakumbabishekam of Sri Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi came as a surprise. And it was happening after two centuries, 238 years to be precise. History has it that Rani Ahalyabai Holkar of Indore built the present temple and dedicated it without much fanfare in 1780. Ever since no consecration has been done. Even more surprising was the fact that a person from the South was at the helm, supported by the Pandas, including Sri Srikanth and Sri Raman -- both scholars. The story, as narrated by Chennai couple Subbusundaram and Annapoorani makes for a fairytale, only this one is divine. Its location between the river Varna and the stream Asi gives the sacred city its name. The Ganges with the 84 ghats on her banks has spawned thousands of stories and songs, being the muse for poets, artists and composers.

"I'm not a religious kind of person," begins Subbusundaram. His track record, however, belies his words. Belonging to Nattukottai, Subbusundaram is the patron of several temples, including those in the Nagarathar belt. As secretary of the Nagarathar Chatiram in Varanasi, Subbusundaram is a frequent visitor to the place and does not fail to worship at the Vishwanath Temple. He would offer suggestions to the authorities regarding improvements, often referring to the way temples are maintained down South. "In this context, I mentioned kumbabhishekam and they wanted to know more about it. As I described what it was and why it was done, they asked whether I could help them conduct one at the temple. "It was indeed magical," he asserts. Between the day he got the official letter -- February 22 -- and the date of the consecration -- July 5 -- it was a race against the clock. But the arrangements, which included getting official permission for every little thing because of high security, fell in place neatly. As many as 50 priests, led by Pichai Gurukkal of Pillaiyarpatti, arrived at Varanasi. None of them accepted money for their service.

Much more of this account as well as photos and a short video at "source" above.



California's Instructional Quality Commission Recruiting New Members


Posted on 2018/8/21 12:36:23 ( 731 reads )

Source

CALIFORNIA, U.S., August 21, 2018 (CDE): The State Board of Education is seeking applications to fill three vacancies on the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC). The Invitation for Application to the IQC and the online application is available on the SBE Application Information webpage at "source above". The IQC is responsible for advising the SBE on matters related to curriculum and instruction. This is an opportunity to be part of the system and have a voice. Those interested, please apply. The deadline for submittal of the application and all requested supporting documents is noon on October 10, 2018.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2018/8/21 12:36:12 ( 702 reads )

Source

When individuals change for the better, then society will change, and when society changes, then the country will change.
-- Pramukh Swami Maharaj, fifth guru of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha



The Mauritius Declaration Against Conversion


Posted on 2018/8/19 11:43:42 ( 1052 reads )

Source

MAURITIUS, July 20, 2018 (Bharata Bharati, World Hindu Foundation): We proclaim and affirm our acceptance of the unity of life and the relationship of all beings as divine and the Dharmic way of life as the way to tranquillity of the individual, family, community and world. The Dharma Shastras of Sanatana Dharma recognize that divinity resides in the heart of all peoples and that this divinity is the same Paramatma in all. As members of the oldest thriving continuous indigenous civilization, a civilization whose scriptures have for thousands of years enshrined the highest principles of human rights and ecological rights, our communities accept responsibility to act according to the scriptures and to actively remind other members of our communities, and of other communities of this scriptural wisdom.

1) We assert that our Dharmic traditions rest upon the protection of freedoms to think without constraint and engage in respectful free speech as given in many of our Shastras and also in international instruments.

2) We assert that conversion is an act of adharma, of violence and is destructive of family, community and civilizational cohesion and is diametrically opposed to the identity specific rights of indigenous civilizations as enshrined in the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

3) We assert that the principle of conversion assumes superiority of one religious belief system over indigenous spiritual traditions, an assumption which is based solely upon supremacist prejudices. This assumption of superiority is specifically rejected in the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples: "Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust."

4) We assert that the doctrine of conversion perpetuates the tenets of colonialism, i.e. the destruction of indigenous identities and the acquisition of indigenous assets, human, tangible and intangible. As such it is contrary to the word, spirit and intention of the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For the remaining 8 points of this declaration made on the 20th day of May 2018, at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture, Phoenix, Mauritius by the delegates of the World Hindu Foundation Mauritius Summit and Hindu organisations, see "source" above.

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