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Studio Connects Yoga and Meditation to Nature in UAE

Posted on 2019/2/2 11:08:31 ( 366 reads )


DUBAI, UAE, February 1, 2019 (Gulf News): While meditation has been around since 1500 BC, it has recently been reintroduced into mainstream culture becoming the latest craze among fitness geeks and celebrities alike on social media. Considered an important part of yoga, the practice, which was born thousands of years before the birth of modern civilisation, is now offered in yoga studios and self-observed through various meditation apps that help with issues such as sleep, anxiety, and stress. The earliest records of meditation practices go back to the Vedic or Hindu schools in India, while the word meditation, is from the Latin word meditatum meaning to ponder. Dubai is no exception to the growing trend that has many people allocating from as little as five minutes to an hour a day of silence and self-reflection.

Meet certified yoga instructor Lina Zoghaib, founder of Yogi Truck, a mobile studio that connects the practice of yoga and meditation to nature. "It allows nature lovers to practise everything from yoga and meditation to outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing and cycling in serene areas all around the UAE," she said. Launched in 2015, the Yogi Truck is a project that aims to "get people in the UAE off their sofas and into the great outdoors," she added. After being diagnosed with cancer and completing her treatment in early 2018, Zoghaib took a course and has also become certified to teach yoga to cancer patients. "Meditation helps participants be mindful and present in the moment, while helping them increase positive thoughts, awareness, focus, and self-connection," she explained.

Several photos at "source."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/2/2 11:08:15 ( 381 reads )


If an earthquake does you harm, do you try to harm it in return? Just keep quiet. Let everyone mind their own business.
-- Satguru Siva Yogaswami (1872–1964), Sri Lankan mystic

How Britain Stole $45 Trillion from India

Posted on 2019/2/1 12:03:57 ( 729 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, December 19, 2018 (Al Jazeera by Jason Hickel): There is a story that is commonly told in Britain that the colonization of India - as horrible as it may have been - was not of any major economic benefit to Britain itself. If anything, the administration of India was a cost to Britain. So the fact that the empire was sustained for so long - the story goes - was a gesture of Britain's benevolence. New research by the renowned economist Utsa Patnaik - just published by Columbia University Press - deals a crushing blow to this narrative. Drawing on nearly two centuries of detailed data on tax and trade, Patnaik calculated that Britain drained a total of nearly $45 trillion from India during the period 1765 to 1938. It's a staggering sum. For perspective, $45 trillion is 17 times more than the total annual gross domestic product of the United Kingdom today.

It happened through the trade system. Prior to the colonial period, Britain bought goods like textiles and rice from Indian producers and paid for them in the normal way - mostly with silver - as they did with any other country. But something changed in 1765, shortly after the East India Company took control of the subcontinent and established a monopoly over Indian trade. The East India Company began collecting taxes in India, and then cleverly used a portion of those revenues (about a third) to fund the purchase of Indian goods for British use. In other words, instead of paying for Indian goods out of their own pocket, British traders acquired them for free, "buying" from peasants and weavers using money that had just been taken from them. On top of this, the British were able to sell the stolen goods to other countries for much more than they "bought" them for in the first place, pocketing not only 100 percent of the original value of the goods but also the markup. After the British Raj took over in 1858, colonizers added a special new twist to the tax-and-buy system. As the East India Company's monopoly broke down, Indian producers were allowed to export their goods directly to other countries. But Britain made sure that the payments for those goods nonetheless ended up in London.

Much more at "source" above.

Kentucky Hindu Temple Vandalized with Crosses, Christian Phrases

Posted on 2019/2/1 12:03:44 ( 490 reads )


LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, February 1, 2019 (Huffington Post): A Hindu temple in Kentucky was vandalized this week with hateful messages, including some promoting Christianity, in an incident local police are calling a hate crime. Sometime between Sunday and Tuesday morning, a vandal or vandals broke through a window at Louisville's Swaminarayan Temple, the Courier Journal reports, leaving glass shattered on the floor. Black paint was sprayed onto a poster depicting a religious figure, and the temple's walls were covered with black crosses and phrases such as "Jesus Is The Only Lord" and "Jesus Is All Mighty." A knife was reportedly plunged into a chair in the temple.

A message spray-painted onto a bulletin board at the temple read had the word "foreign" followed by an expletive, Fox affiliate WDRB reports. Temple spokesperson Raj Patel told the news station that this last message indicates that the vandalism was "not about just a god." "It's about a race or someone's skin color," he said. Patel said his community, consisting of 60 to 100 Sunday worshippers, is deeply saddened by the incident. The community has been meeting in the building, a former church, for about five years. Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad described the vandalism as a "hate crime" during a press conference on Wednesday. He said investigators have not yet identified any suspects. Police will be at the temple on Sunday to ensure that worshippers are safe, he said.

More at "source" including a short local news video.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/2/1 12:03:30 ( 308 reads )


God's omnipresent consciousness exists within each individual. Imagine a japa mala: every person is a bead, but the string that goes through the center of each bead--God's consciousness--permeates us all. By looking deeply inside ourselves, we can experience our oneness with God.
-- Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today

British Museums to Be Transparent About Colonial Artefacts

Posted on 2019/1/31 11:31:43 ( 374 reads )


LONDON, U.K., January 27, 2019 (Times of India): Three British museums have embarked on an exercise to confront the colonial legacy of their artefacts by being more transparent about the items' provenance. British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and Pitt Rivers Museum are reviewing the labels on thousands of their objects, particularly those plundered during colonial times. "We are looking into and researching collection histories. This is an ongoing process, so I am unable to give the number of Indian objects that might be relabelled," a British Museum spokeswoman said, adding that objects in historic collections have been acquired "in many circumstances as a result of punitive expeditions, forced acquisitions and colonial collecting but also as diplomatic gifts, donations and objects that have been given or sold with conscious intent".

"V&A is not embarking on a relabelling project in isolation, but exploring a variety of programs through which we hope to re-contextualize the histories of some objects in our collection," its spokeswoman said. Pitt Rivers Museum, which has an Indian collection comprising 25,000 items, keeps historic labels on display, in addition to contemporary ones. "Some of the historic labels are problematic," said its director Dr Laura Van Broekhoven. "Some have very derogatory words on them which are racist or sexist. In the case of others, we feel we are not being upfront about the problematic history. Some objects came to the museum as the result of plunder and looting. The project is to find ways forward. In some cases, we might take the label off, in others we might keep it on. It is all part of a process of decolonizing museums," she said.

More at "source" and https://www.telegraphindia.com/world/b ... ial-treasures/cid/1682545

In Japan, a Debate About Swastikas Takes on a New Urgency

Posted on 2019/1/26 1:51:32 ( 524 reads )


JAPAN, January 24, 2019 (The Outline): Around the world, symbols hold disparate meanings based on cultural relevance. For some Westerners, the swastika induces feelings of disgust and remorse; the tacit acknowledgement that we must not let evil consume us again. It may be impossible for those aware of Nazi Germany to ever be able to overcome the symbol's horrific significance. In Japan, however, as well as other countries with large Jain, Hindu, or Buddhist populations, the symbol still appears on maps and buildings, in its original unflipped form, as a way of designating a variety of positive meanings including good luck, prosperity, and eternity. But in 2016, the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan posed a fairly radical idea: replacing the swastika -- or manji, as it's called in Japanese -- with a three-story pagoda, to indicate Buddhist temple locations on non-Japanese and foreign-language maps.

This caused quite a bit of controversy: According to The Japan Times, a Change.org petition was implemented to prevent the modification. Others took to Twitter to air their dismay about the symbol's removal. The proposed shift would coincide with the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, so as not to offend the onslaught of Western visitors and tourists unaware of its non-Eurocentric and pre-WWII meaning. However, the swastika would continue to appear on Japanese-language maps as well as Buddhist structures, so tourists would still spot the symbol in public spaces. It is unclear what progress has been made to remove the swastika from non-Japanese language maps. But the issue still raises questions about the difficulty of cultural translation. T.K. Nakagaki, a Buddhist priest and interfaith leader in New York, would rather the Japanese government take the time to educate foreigners than dispel the symbol entirely.

Help Hinduism Today Cover the Kumbha Mela Right Now

Posted on 2019/1/25 11:22:09 ( 540 reads )

KAUAI, HAWAII, USA, January 17, 2019: Our chief India correspondent, Mr. Rajiv Malik along with photographer Pramil Dwivedi, are covering the Kumbha Mela from January 24th to 29th. We request any of our HPI readers who might arrange interview time with any of the prominent or not-so-prominent saints, swamis or sadhus at the event to write the managing editor, Acharya Arumuganathaswami, at ar@hindu.org. A special focus of our report will be soliciting the advice of the saints on pressing questions from the Hindu community. They will be active just a few more days.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/1/25 11:21:56 ( 572 reads )


Bhakti is nothing but the devotion we show to the divinity that resides within us. Once we regard the divinity within us with devotional fervor, we are bound to develop the same affection towards everything outside, for the same divine truth runs through all things.
-- M.S. Subbulakshmi (1916-2004), renowned Carnatic singer

Spirituality as India's Soft Power

Posted on 2019/1/24 11:22:00 ( 618 reads )


INDIA, January 23, 2019 (India Facts by Maria Wirth): Spirituality is in all likelihood India's most important soft power because it gives answers to the basic questions of human beings regarding the meaning of life, and most importantly, who we essentially are. The truth that we all are essentially the same invisible spirit was discovered by the Rishis in India. This knowledge is of immense value. It naturally resonates with anyone who is open-minded and wants to know the truth. The rishis also made it clear that we can realize what we are, because we ARE it.

Yet this knowledge is also the reason why India is so much opposed. News about India in mainstream media is mainly negative. Why? Because the West and particularly the Church don't want people to get interested in India. If someone is interested and becomes familiar with India's wisdom, he is likely to lose faith in dogmatic religions, because Sanatana or Hindu Dharma makes sense - and the Church loses its hold. For India's soft power to have a chance to influence the world, one issue needs to be urgently addressed. This issue is the claim that Hindu civilisation is not respectable, that Hinduism is wrong and Hindus, being idol-worshippers, will go to hell, unless they convert. It is incomprehensible why such wrong, unacceptable teaching has not yet been strongly condemned by Hindus.

Much more at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/1/24 11:21:46 ( 636 reads )


All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.
-- Kabir (1440-1518), Indian Saint

Siddaganga Mutt Seer Passes Away

Posted on 2019/1/23 10:50:00 ( 563 reads )


KARNATAKA, INDIA, January 21, 2019 (The Hindu): Dr. Shivakumara Swamy, the 111-year-old seer of Siddaganga Mutt, died on Monday at the Mutt in Tumakuru. The death of the seer, who had braved many medical procedures despite his advanced age, was announced by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. Popularly known as Nadedaaduva Devaru (Walking God), Shivakumara Swami was initiated into Viraktha Ashrama in 1930. Before becoming the seer, he went by his name Shivanna, and was born on April 1, 1908, at Veerapura, Magadi taluk, Ramanagara district. The swami was the head of Siddaganga Education Society, which runs about 125 educational institutions in the state -- from engineering colleges to business schools. Many of the institutions offer free education and boarding facilities to poor students.

"His Holiness Dr. Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu lived for the people, especially the poor and vulnerable. He devoted himself towards alleviating ills like poverty, hunger and social injustice. Prayers and solidarity with his countless devotees spread all across the world," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. Recalling his interactions with the seer, Mr Modi said, the wide range of community service initiatives being done there are outstanding and are at an unimaginably large scale. Karnataka government has declared three-day mourning and a public holiday on Tuesday. The seer will be laid in state at the Mutt for the public to pay homage. A holiday has been declared on Monday in Tumakuru as well. The last rites are expected to be held on Tuesday evening.

Many more tributes at "source".

Thaipusam Gets Off to a Golden--and Silver--Start in George Town

Posted on 2019/1/23 10:49:05 ( 545 reads )


GEORGETOWN, MALAYSIA, January 20, 2019 (Straits Times): For the third year running, two chariots took to the streets here to mark the commencement of the three-day state-level Thaipusam celebration. Over a thousand devotees thronged Little India here to witness the start of the annual procession, the highlight of the festivities. The Penang Hindu Endowment Board's golden chariot kicked things off by departing from the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Lebuh Queen. The Nattukottai Chettiar Temple Trustees' silver chariot left about two hours later from Kovil Veedu in Lebuh Penang.

Both the chariots, bearing Lord Muruga, will pass through Lebuh Queen, Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Victoria, before entering Jalan Magazine to Jalan Datuk Keramat, Jalan Utama and to Jalan Kebun Bunga. The golden chariot will be kept at Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple (Hilltop) while the silver one will be at Nattukottai Chettiar Temple before it makes its way back on Tuesday. Thousands of devotees smashed coconuts and chanted "Vel vel" along the 5 mile route. Thaipusam commemorates the day when, according to Hindu belief, the Goddess Parvathi gave Lord Muruga a lance to slay demons. Tomorrow, hundreds of devotees will be bearing kavadis or carrying milk pots and walk thee miles to the temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga.

Short video at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/1/23 10:48:37 ( 596 reads )


Awareness is ever there. It need not be realized. Open the shutter of the mind, and it will be flooded with light.
-- Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897–1981), Hindu sage

Kumbh In Prayagraj Begins with A Grand Gathering: Over 12.5 Million Devotees Take Holy Snan On Makar Sankranti

Posted on 2019/1/17 10:02:24 ( 690 reads )


PRAYAGRAJ, INDIA, January 16, 2019 (Swarajyamag): Over 12.5 million devotees took a holy dip yesterday at the Sangam, heralding the 50-day Kumbh Mela taking place in Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. The devotees participated in the shahi snan at the confluence of the sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythological Saraswati on Makar Sankranti reports The New Indian Express. Mela authorities have estimated that total number of pilgrims who took the holy bath at the Sangam touched the 20 million mark between 14 and 15 January, with people approaching bathing ghats even till late in the evening. Taking a holy dip at the Sangam is believed to wipe away all the sins of a person, while also emancipating him or her from the cycle of reincarnation.

The Ardh Kumbh at Prayagraj is held every six years. It is likely to be the largest congregation of humanity on the planet with 150 million people expected to participate in the mela during the 50 days. The first groups of people reaching the Kumbh were huge processions of 13 akharas or religious orders in accordance with time slots given to them. Five more shahi snans will take place on the following occasions: Paush Porrima (21 January), Mauni Amavasya (4 February), Basant Panchami (10 February), Maghi Poornima (19 February) and Mahashivratri (4 March). The year's Kumbh is much grander than previous ones, with an increase in the area of the mela as well as the budget.

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