Hindu Press International

Hindu Press International (HPI) is a daily summary of world news for Hindus and non-Hindus alike. Sign up to receive to HPI by email

Submit an HPI News Item

« 1 2 (3) 4 5 6 ... 1079 »

A Prayer for Bliss in the New Hampshire House of Representatives

Posted on 2019/3/18 12:26:02 ( 896 reads )


NEW HAMPSHIRE, U.S., March 14 2019 (Lokvani): The Hindu Temple of New Hampshire, Nashua, NH, once again had the honor of being invited by the New Hampshire State Legislature to give the opening prayer in the chamber of the House of Representatives on Thursday, March 7th, 2019. Sri Veeramani Ranganathan, co-founder of the Temple, shared ancient Indian wisdom from the Taittiriya Upanishad with those assembled, and prayed for a blissful life for all. This special and unique event was made possible through the kind support and efforts of the New Hampshire State Representative from Nashua, Smt. Latha Mangipudi. The custom of opening legislative sessions with prayer was borrowed from the British Parliament, where the practice of beginning each day with the reading of prayers had already existed for a long time. This custom has been practiced in the United States Congress starting from the first Congress in 1789. Most state legislatures have also adopted this tradition, and many have been practicing this for over a century.

The Honorable Speaker of the House, Mr. Steve Shurtleff, introduced Sri Veeramani Ranganathan as the Guest Chaplain and invited him to deliver the opening prayer. All the assembled members of the House and the guests stood up in respect as Sri Veeramani delivered the prayer which lasted several minutes. Sri Veeramani started by offering pranaams to all assembled, offered salutations to parents and preceptors, and went on to deliver a selection of chants in Sanskrit from the Yajur Veda's Taittiriya Upanishad. The chanting of the Taittiriya Upanishad was followed by a universal prayer in Sanskrit ("sarve bhavantu sukhinah") seeking the well-being of all. Sri Veeramani followed up the chanting with an explanation in English of the meaning of the Vedic hymns that he chanted. The members of the House and the guests gave him a warm applause to express their appreciation.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/3/18 12:25:48 ( 1102 reads )


Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too self-full to seek other than itself.
-- Kabir (1440-1518), mystic Indian poet

Discarded Hindu Religious Statues at Auckland Beaches Raise Concern

Posted on 2019/3/15 11:19:19 ( 988 reads )


NEW ZEALAND, March 11, 2019 (NZ Herald): Statues of Hindu Gods, Goddesses and Deities are being discarded at Auckland beaches as part of a religious practice - but concerns are being raised about it posing a risk to beachgoers and wildlife. An Auckland mother who has been cleaning beaches from Okahu Bay to Glendowie says she has been picking up statues and shards of broken pieces - mostly at Biddicks Bay and Mission Bay. Auckland beaches are already facing a dangerous litter problem with broken glass, syringes and dumped asbestos among the rubbish picked up. AUT University Professor of Diversity Edwina Pio said usually after a religious festival or celebration, such as Vinayaka Chaturthi which celebrates the birth of Hindu Deity Ganesha, statues were "released" into the sea or lakes.

Pio said the practice among Hindus originated with clay statues painted with vegetable dyes, but many statue makers now used non-biodegradable material like plaster of paris, paints and dyes which are not soluble and can cause harm to the environment. "Casting away statues is also a stark call for religious leaders, communities, local and government bodies to quicken the pace of framing appropriate guidelines," Pio added. An Auckland Council spokeswoman said it was working with the Hindu Council to develop recommendations on how statues and cultural offerings could be immersed in an eco-friendly manner. Hinduism is the second largest and the fastest growing religion in New Zealand, with more than 90,000 followers according to the 2013 Census.

Why Christianity Poses a Clear Threat to India

Posted on 2019/3/15 11:19:05 ( 1030 reads )


INDIA, May 18, 2015 (India Facts by Rakesh Simha): If you could sum up the history of Christianity in India in one word, that word would be ingratitude. Among the earliest refugees to arrive in India were the Syrian Christians, who were facing persecution in their native lands in the Persian Empire in the fourth century CE. The Syrian Christians sought refuge in India. Kerala's Malabar coast attracted them because they had heard of an ancient community of Jews who had been living there since the first century CE, having also fled the turmoil of the Middle East.

How were these Syrian Christians - or Nasaranis as they are still called by the locals - treated? "The Indian king received them with great kindness," George David Malech writes in History of the Syrian Nation and the Old Evangelical-Apostolic Church of the East.

"At the Kotem school in Malabar there are still some copper tablets in existence on which there are written messages from the king to the Christian leader, permitting him and his followers to settle in some places and recommending them to neighboring chiefs."

Around the time (1498 CE) when the Portuguese marauders led by Vasco Da Gama arrived in Malabar, the Syrian Christian community was thriving, with at least 30,000 members. Now, here's how they repaid India's generosity. When Da Gama returned for the second time in 1502, he was met by a delegation of Syrian Christians: "They identified themselves, surrendered their ancient honors and documents, and invited him to make war on their Hindu kings," writes Ishwar Sharan in The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple.

The writer goes on to say why he believes Indian Christians are still a threat to India in this interesting and politicized article at "source" above.

Airport Closed, Tourists Shut Up in Resorts: The Day Bali Was Cut Off from the Outside World

Posted on 2019/3/10 15:17:53 ( 1064 reads )


BALI, INDONESIA, March 7, 2019 (The New Daily): Lights on Indonesia's busiest holiday island were blacked out on Thursday night, airports were closed and tourists banned from the beach - ordered instead to hole up in resort rooms. Tens of thousands of security guards patrolled Bali's abandoned streets, pouncing on anyone speaking too loudly or appearing too animated in their homes. Laughing, playing music, using a mobile phone or even switching on a too-bright light could be attract the wrath of traditional guards known as the Pecalang. It may sound like the holiday from hell for some travellers, while others could be charmed by the novelty of experiencing a usually lively island, suddenly deserted.

But for the Balinese it was a solemn time - the one day the population could take a breath to recharge after the frenzy of five million tourist visits in the past year. Mobile phone companies even agreed to switch off their services to ensure no one was distracted in their day of rest. Known as the day of silence, Nyepi is a Hindu celebration with restrictions on activities, noise and eating observed for 24 hours. It was due to finish at 6am on Friday, when the Balinese would then begin New Year's Day celebrations.

If New Bill Is Passed, New York State Would Add Six New Holidays to the School Calendar

Posted on 2019/3/10 15:17:40 ( 939 reads )


HICKSVILLE, NEW YORK, March 6, 2019 (CBSNewYork): New York is a diverse melting pot and now there's a push to make school calendars look that way, too. As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff found out Wednesday, a bill being considered in Albany could add religious holidays to the academic year. "It's only appropriate and fair to extend a holiday like Diwali or Eid or Vaisakhi to people from the South Asian community," said state Sen. Kevin Thomas, D-Garden City. "These are like Christmas and New Year."

Thomas, New York's first senator of Indian descent, is sponsoring a bill to give districts the ability to close on six additional religious holidays -- two Islamic, two Hindu, one Sikh and Christian Good Friday. New York City schools already close on the Lunar New Year and Islamic Eid al-Fitr. The bill allows school closure when at least 7.5 percent of student population is of that faith. New York state education officials say there is nothing in current law that prevents such a move as long as children attend the required 180 days.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/3/10 15:17:25 ( 1072 reads )


The wise man should merge his speech in his mind and his mind in his intellect. He should merge his intellect in the Cosmic Mind and the Cosmic Mind in the Tranquil Self.
-- Katha Upanishad 1.3.13

Close to 250 Million Devotees Visited Prayagraj Sangam for Kumbh, over 10 Million on Mahashivratri Alone

Posted on 2019/3/9 10:02:31 ( 890 reads )


PRAYAGRAJ, INDIA, March 5, 2019 (Financial Express): Even before midnight, devotees from different walks of life and parts of the country began to pour into Sangam city to take holy dip on Mahashivratri, the great night of Lord Shiva and the last bathing day in the one-and-a-half-month-long Kumbh Mela. Till Monday evening, more than 10 million devotees had taken a holy dip in the Sangam area, officials said. The bathing ghats brimmed with colour in the morning. Late-night showers in parts of the holy city failed to dampen the spirit of the pilgrims. As the sun came out, devotees enthusiastically greeted the sun, while some offered obeisance to the Sun God with traditional yoga asanas.

"Till evening, as many as 11 million devotees have taken a dip in the Sangam area. With Mahashivratri's snaan, so far more than 240 million devotees have taken a dip during this year's Kumbh," Kumbh Mela Adhikari Vijay Kiran Anand told PTI. Till March 3, the number of devotees who had taken the dip during the Kumbh stood at 230 million, an UP government official said. According to Hindu mythology, Mahashivratri symbolises the last holy bath of Kalpvasis, who spend the month of Magh -- the period of austerity -- in minimal means. Ashutosh Varshney, an astrologer who has set up a camp in Sector-6 of Kumbh Nagri, said, "Mahashivratri marks the culmination of the Kumbh and the prominent bathing days. This year, it fell on a Monday, the day dedicated to Lord Shiva, after a long time." Kumbh is the largest religious gatherings in the world. It is held once in every 12 years.

Amarnath Yatra to begin on July 1, Last 46 days

Posted on 2019/3/9 10:02:18 ( 667 reads )


JAMMU KASHMIR, March 8, 2019 ( National Herald): Amarnath Yatra this year will begin July 1, go on for 46 days and will conclude on August 15. The decision was taken by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik. The SASB said it noted the steps taken by its CEO for registration of pilgrims through 440 designated branches of Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank and directed all steps be taken to begin advance registration on April 1. The board also directed wide publicity, through electronic and print media, of the need by all prospective pilgrims to secure compulsory health certificates from doctors/hospitals nominated by the state or Union Territories where they reside before seeking advance registration from the nearest designated Bank, which would issue a Yatra Permit valid for the specified date and route. It also said that it be widely-known that no one below 13 years of age or above 75 years would be allowed for the pilgrimage, and also appealed to all potential pilgrims to consult their doctors before embarking on the pilgrimage.

"The Board directed its CEO to take timely steps for ensuring uninterrupted telecom connectivity in the Yatra area during Yatra 2019. Appreciating the important services rendered by the Langar organizations, the Board looked to their continued support during Yatra 2018," the statement said. It also said that the awareness campaign would be launched with the cooperation and support of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and all information relating to Yatra will be available on its website (www.Shriamarnathjishrine.com).

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/3/9 10:02:04 ( 712 reads )


Greater than a thousand ghee offerings consumed in sacrificial fires is to not sacrifice and consume any living creature.
-- Tirukural 259

Kumbh Mela 2019: Separating Fact from Fiction

Posted on 2019/3/7 10:40:46 ( 800 reads )


INDIA, February 28, 2019 (First Post by Dhananjay Joshi): A combing operation is conducted to weed out unwanted elements from an area. In our digital age, when narratives are built from keystrokes causing a dissonance between what we hear and what we see, let us comb the Kumbh and separate the unwanted elements from the much-tangled hair of humanity. The Kumbh I had heard of was very different from the Kumbh I saw. The Kumbh I had heard of was supposed to be stiflingly crowded, stinkingly filthy, starkly down-market and swarming with fake unwashed sadhus. So unspeakable it was, that only Indian government TV channels reported it. Civil society was dismissive about it and regaled each other ridiculing the name change from Allahabad to Prayagraj.

The tribute UNESCO paid to the Kumbh as the living heritage of humanity is what I actually saw at Prayagraj. It took us 78 man-hours to criss-cross and soak-in the divinity spread over 7,907 acres. There are no invites, no social media campaigns and no posts that attract the 50 million pilgrims on just that one day of mauni-amavasya alone (incidentally the Kumbh is from 15 January to 4 March, 48 days in total). The Kumbh is a sensory overload. Rising above the cacophony of sounds and sights, I saw a throbbing vibrant mass of consciousness living the timeless ritual just as their ancestors had for eons before them. But this time, there was a difference. This Kumbh was about making a difference. Making a difference to the humblest pilgrim. Making the humblest pilgrim connect with their self. Making the humblest pilgrim proud of their shared heritage. It was about giving the forgiving pilgrim a clean and safe environment.

Much more of the author's positive Mela observations at "source".

And his short video:


Bali's HIndu New Year , A Day of Silence

Posted on 2019/3/7 10:40:32 ( 764 reads )


BALI, INDONESIA, MARCH 7, 2019 ( Daily Mail): Bali's airport will close for 24 hours, the Internet will be turned off and streets emptied as the predominantly Hindu island in Indonesia observes its New Year with an annual day of silence.The Day of Silence, Nyepi to the Balinese, is a day of reflection and TV and radio broadcasts also stop. Nyepi begins at 6.00 am, clearing beaches and all public spaces of people except for special patrols to ensure silence is observed. For the second year, phone companies will turn off the mobile Internet on the island, home to more than four million people.

Balinese will stay indoors, covering windows and keeping lights off for the day of reflection that is the most sacred in Balinese Hinduism. "A day of silence to mark Saka (Balinese calendar) New Year for us Balinese Hindus is an opportunity to restart life with a pure heart," said Wayan Gota, a hotel manager in Kuta, one of the island's tourist hotspots. "For me, through the ritual of observing thoughts while meditating on Nyepi, in essence I get the opportunity to evaluate my achievements for the past year and rearrange the plan of life for the next year," he said.

See also:

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/3/7 10:40:19 ( 661 reads )


When I look inside and see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I look outside and see I am everything, that is love.
-- Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981), Hindu spiritual teacher

California Board of Education Defeats Claims of Anti-Hindu Bias in Education Standards

Posted on 2019/3/3 11:44:54 ( 771 reads )


SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, February 28, 2019 (courthousenews.com): California's State Board of Education Thursday defeated a lawsuit claiming it treats Hinduism unfavorably compared to Western religions in its educational standards and curriculum. "A reasonable observer would not view the standards and framework as primarily denigrating Hinduism," U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer wrote in his 33-page ruling.
(click to download: http://www.courthousenews.com/wp-cont ... indu-education-ruling.pdf).

Glenn Katon, an Oakland-based attorney representing the plaintiffs, said his clients plan to appeal the ruling, adding he believes it's high time that courts revisit a 48-year-old legal precedent that makes it harder for plaintiffs to prevail in Establishment Clause cases. Under a three-pronged test created in the 1971 Supreme Court ruling Lemon v. Kurtzman, a government policy or law must have a secular purpose, a primary effect that does not promote or inhibit religion, and it must not encourage "excessive entanglement with religion." It's the "primary effect" prong that Katon believes requires reconsideration, given the difficulty of proving that hundreds of pages of educational guidelines have a principal effect of endorsing or disparaging a religion.

Katon represents California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials, a group that promotes the accurate portrayal of Hinduism in schools, and three Hindu parents suing on behalf of their children, who filed their complaint in February 2017. The plaintiffs claim the state Board of Education adopted recommendations from an anti-Hindu group of history teachers called the South Asia Faculty Group when it drafted new education guidelines in July 2016.

But Breyer rejected those claims Thursday, finding the plaintiffs relied on hearsay [used in a technical legal sense] and picked lines from emails out of context to support their contention that the faculty group harbored anti-Hindu bias. The judge also found allegations that the state over-emphasized negative aspects of the caste system and singled out Hinduism as "a contributor to patriarchy" unfounded. The guidelines included language to clarify that the caste system and male-dominated structure were not unique to Hinduism or ancient India, Breyer wrote.

The judge further rejected complaints that the state promotes a "debunked, Orientalist theory" that present-day India and Pakistan were invaded in 1500 B.C. by Aryans, "a tribe of European origin" that "became the creators of Hindu civilization." Because the framework states that another view holds the language was "indigenous to India and spread northward," Breyer found the state did not endorse the disputed Aryan invasion theory. "This language deals with history--contested history, but history all the same," Breyer wrote. "Whether or not there was an influx of Aryans into South Asia in 1500 BCE is appropriately the subject of a history and social science curriculum, and not actually a positive or negative statement about Hinduism."

Because the Supreme Court is currently reviewing whether to alter the 48-year-old legal precedent established in Lemon, Katon predicted "it's entirely possible that by the time we get to the 9th Circuit, there will be a shift in the standards that apply to whether the state violated the Establishment Clause in this case."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/3/3 11:44:39 ( 707 reads )


Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them.
-- Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

« 1 2 (3) 4 5 6 ... 1079 »
Copyright Himalayan Academy. All rights reserved.

Get from the App Store Android app on Google Play