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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/8/14 13:38:35 ( 642 reads )


Hinduism is wholly free from the strange obsession of some faiths that the acceptance of a particular religious metaphysics is necessary for salvation, and non-acceptance thereof is a heinous sin meriting eternal punishment in hell.
-- Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975), Philosopher, statesmen and second president of India

Ganesh Festival in La Courneuve: "It's Important to be able to Practice our Religion Here"

Posted on 2019/8/13 11:02:42 ( 634 reads )


LA COURNEUVE, FRANCE, August 11, 2019 (Le Parisien, translated from French): Prayers and songs in Tamil resound in the procession advancing through the streets of La Courneuve. Dressed in traditional dress, several hundred people participated this past Sunday in the celebrations of their God Ganesh. The event was organized for the third time in a row in the municipality. The ceremony for the famous elephant-headed God was organized by the Sri Sithi Vinayagar temple, in this commune which, after Paris, has the largest Hindu community in France.

"The festival of Ganesh has existed since the beginning of time. It's a tradition and it's great to be able to organize it in France," insists Pheepa, a resident of Aulnay-sous-Bois who arrived from Sri Lanka in 2010." This is a great moment that allows us to share our culture," adds Sophie, 26, who lives with her family in La Courneuve. For its part, the municipality (PCF) explains that it is committed "to allow all residents to practice their religion in good conditions, within the framework of secularism," says Rachid Maiza, deputy mayor of La Courneuve.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/8/13 11:02:27 ( 651 reads )


It is the duty of parents to safeguard the spiritual interests of their child. As the parents have to feed a child which cannot feed itself, so have they to look after its spiritual interests also till it is able to take care of them.
-- Chandrashekara Bharathi Mahaswami (1892-1954), 34th Jagadguru of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham

The Festival of Sacred Thread

Posted on 2019/8/12 11:57:35 ( 652 reads )


INDIA, August 11, 2019 (Daily Excelsior by Ashok Sharma): India is famous for various festivals which reflect our rich culture and heritage. There are festivals for almost every religious and social occasion in our country. We have festivals associated with seasons, human bonds, harvest of crops, glory of Gods and Goddesses etc. One such eagerly awaited function named Rakshabandhan, literally meaning the Bond of Protection, is celebrated to mark the unconditional love of brothers and sisters. Primarily a North Indian festival, it symbolizes the subliminal bond of unconditional love and affection between a brother and a sister. This day is also known as Rakhi Poornima, falls on the Full Moon day, in the Month of Shravan as per the Hindu Lunar Calendar.

This is a secular festival celebrated irrespective of caste, religion, state and is also popular in our neighboring countries such as Nepal and Mauritius. On this day, sisters tie a sacred thread on the wrist of their brothers, male cousins, and adopted brothers who promise them protection from untoward happenings and assure them their unconditional love. The sisters, in turn, pray for a long and happy life of their brothers. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Preparations for the celebration of this festival start many days in advance. Sisters start buying raakhis as per the age and taste of their brothers and their own budgets while the brothers start surveying the markets for gifts to be presented to their sisters on this pious occasion. As the day of Raakhi comes, there is an atmosphere of joy and festivity in each and every household.

More on the festival at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/8/12 11:57:19 ( 539 reads )


The knowing Self is not born; It does not die. It has not sprung from anything; nothing has sprung from It. Birthless, eternal, everlasting and ancient, It is not killed when the body is killed.
-- Yajur Veda, Katha Upanishad, 1.2.18

Arumugaswamy Parades in a Newly Built Chariot in Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Kovil after 29 Years

Posted on 2019/8/11 12:40:00 ( 488 reads )


SRI LANKA, August 1, 2019 (Facebook): Arumugaswamy, the six-faced Lord Murugan, paraded in a glorious, newly built chariot at the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Kovil in northern Sri Lanka on July 30, 2019. Thousands of devotees gathered on the Chariot Festival day, or Ther Thiruvizha as it is known in Tamil, after twenty-nine years. The festival saw pilgrims flock to Maviddapuram from all over the island and even from continents away, to get the blessings of Lord Skanda, destroyer of evil. The annual high festival of the temple, which lasts for twenty-five days, commences on the fifth day, after the new moon of the Hindu month of Aani (June 15 to July 15), with the Chariot Festival on the twenty fourth day.

Those lucky enough to witness the inaugural parade of the chariot, with its brilliant construction, stood in awe of its commanding forty-five feet of grandeur. The base, a perimeter of nuanced carvings, represents the Gods and Goddesses in Skandapuranam, the holy scripture of God Skanda, while the midsection of the chariot pays homage to the Peedam. In the heart of the chariot sits Arumugaswamy, surrounded by meticulously painted wooden pillars. The roof of the chariot is covered with colourful, bright fabric on top of which sits the gleaming silver Kalasam. On the day of the Chariot Festival, Hindu Gods, Ganapathy, Sivan, Muthukumaraswamy, Arumugaswamy and Sandiheswarar parade in their five respective chariots. The last time all five chariots came together was in July 1990.

A short video can be viewed at "source" above.

A Traditional Craft Material is Trying to Transcend its Regional Boundary and Enter the International Market

Posted on 2019/8/11 12:34:53 ( 392 reads )


INDIA, August 11, 2019 (Outlook India): Shola, the white soft core obtained from the stem of the Shola plant (also known as Indian Cork; scientific name, Aeschynomene aspera), has been in use in Bengal since time immemorial. Traditionally, owing to its divine origin and white color, the substance is considered auspicious, pure, and hence used during religious and social functions. Being soft and light-weight, shola is often used for making the attire, ornaments and other decorations of statues. What most people do not realise is that shola being a natural product is easy to dispose as it is biodegradable. Therefore, even if local customs require you to throw shola products in the water, for example during the Durga puja immersion in the rivers, it will not pollute the water.

Probably influenced by the Mughal court, craftsmen in Murshidabad (capital of the independent Bengal province prior to the decisive Battle of Plassey) had mastered the fine art of ivory carving. But the lack of patronage after the capital's fall from grace and later the ban on ivory trade may have led to the end of this craftsmanship if the artisans had not chanced upon a substitute, the shola. Owing to the whiteness of the material and the fine craftsmanship, you may mistake the shola handicraft for ivory. With the passage of time, like many other traditional handicrafts, the shola craft is also on the wane. The shola plant grows in marshy water bodies. With the decline in the number of wetlands in the rural areas, the supply of the plant has reduced to a large extent.

More at "source".

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/8/11 12:34:39 ( 479 reads )


Let there be no neglect of the duties to the Gods and the fathers. Be one to whom the mother is a God. Be one to whom the father is a God. Be one to whom the teacher is a God. Be one to whom the guest is a God.
-- Krishna Yajur Veda, 1.11.1

Lord Ganesha Float Procession Launched

Posted on 2019/8/9 10:49:10 ( 478 reads )


SOUTH AFRICA, August 5, 2019 (Rising Sun): The Lord Ganesha Float Procession held its launch at the Shri Mariammen Temple Cultural Centre in Mount Edgecombe on Friday. The event was well-attended by devotees from various participating temples and the students from RAFAL, an adult learning academy run by Roslyn Narain-Mohan. Leader of MF, Mrs Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi, who is also a devotee of Lord Ganesha, attended the launch. The organisation awarded participants of the 2108 float procession with certificates. The organisation thanked devotees, who helped make the awards and launch day, a massive success. The preparation for the massive event is now in full swing in preparation as the time is nearing for the biggest float procession for Lord Ganesha in South Africa.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/8/9 10:48:33 ( 495 reads )


Stop dreaming that you are just an ordinary mortal, constantly going through mental ups and downs. No matter what happens, remember always that you are made in the true image of Spirit.
-- Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), disciple of Sri Yukteswar

Slide Show: Hindu Devotees Take Part in Shravan Festivities in India

Posted on 2019/8/6 13:19:40 ( 514 reads )


KOLKATA, INDIA, August 5, 2019 (Xinhua Net): Hindu devotees carry holy water collected from the Ganges River to offer prayers to Lord Shiva during Shravan festivities. Devotees worship Lord Shiva on every Monday of Shravan (a holy month of Bengali calendar), taking the long strenuous journey on bare feet. Colorful slide show at "source" above.

Video on Kauai's Hindu Monastery, Home of Hinduism Today and HPI

Posted on 2019/8/6 12:50:00 ( 607 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, August 2, 2019 ("Hindu Monks in America," a YouTube by Karolina Goswami): From the video: In Hawaii, under the guidance of Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, two dozen monks practice a spiritual and a sustainable lifestyle. The Hindu monastery is located in the tropical Garden Island of Kauai, which is the oldest of the main Hawaiian islands. These monks grow most of the food they consume; they do yoga and meditation and spend their nights in small concrete structures with no electricity. But the monks can also be found designing websites and creating smartphone apps. From raising the California textbook issues and participating in local community service programs to running a digital enterprise that publishes a global magazine, the monks serve in diverse ways. Goswami, whose YouTube channel presents the beauty of India and Indians, interviews several monks of Kauai monastery in this beautifully filmed video at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2019/8/6 12:43:42 ( 567 reads )


Hinduism is not just a faith. It is the union of reason and intuition that cannot be defined but is only to be experienced. Evil and error are not ultimate. There is no Hell, for that would mean there is a place where God is not and there are sins which exceed His love.
-- Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975), first Vice President of India

Indonesia's Haul Festival Recalls Pre-Islamic Culture

Posted on 2019/8/4 12:14:30 ( 618 reads )


WONOTIRTO, INDONESIA, July 29, 2019 (RNS) Across this majority-Muslim country, the end of Ramadan is an occasion for celebration. But in this small village in Central Java, it is also an auspicious time to honor one's ancestors in a festival called Haul. As is often the case in Javanese culture, the celebration is a mixture of Islam, Hinduism and animist traditions. Haul honors all the village ancestors, as well as Kyai Iriq, who founded the Wonotirto community hundreds of years ago. The ancestral spirits are invited to the Haul celebration through a dance called the Jaran Kepang (Kuda Lumping, Kuda Kepang or Jathilan in other regions). Jaran Kepang dances re-enact the great deeds of local ancestors with the dancers sometimes entering trances during the performance, their bodies believed to be temporarily inhabited by ancestral spirits.

The Jaran Kepang is an ancient ritual dance in which dancers ride painted horses made from woven bamboo. Its origins can be traced back to the Hindu communities in Bali and a ritual named Sang Hyang, during which the people were possessed by spirits. "Along with the spread of Hinduism to Java, the Sang Hyang evolved to become part of the Javanese traditions," explained Santino Kuswarsantyo, who studies Jaran Kepang at an arts institute in Yogyakarta. The dance is popular in Java and Bali and several regions of Malaysia, where it was brought by Javanese settlers. In Malaysia it is now forbidden by the Shariah law in its ritual form. Malaysians still perform the spiritual version in underground celebrations, but those are quickly disappearing.

Colorful photos and a wonderful short video at "source" above.

Spiritual Dialogue Between the Federation of Russia and BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Moscow, Russia

Posted on 2019/8/4 12:14:15 ( 650 reads )


MOSCOW, RUSSIA, July 26, 2019 (BAPS): A high-level official spiritual dialogue with senior swamis of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) was organized by the Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Parliament of Russia, Mr Iliyas Umakhanov on 26 July, 2019. With the blessings of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha was represented by senior swamis from India and the UK, Pujya Brahmavihari Swami and Pujya Yogvivek Swami, while The Russian Federation delegation included seven prominent national thinkers and officials.

The dialogue, perhaps the first of its kind, began with brief introductions and focused on various aspects of the rich cultures of Russia and India as well as the common values of humanity and spirituality that shape the character and quality of life in the world today. Through inspirations from the work, values and vision of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj (1921-2016), the previous guru of BAPS, special emphasis was placed on how humans can collaborate to transcend the divisions of culture, country, race and religion, thereby overcoming the challenges facing peaceful global coexistence.

On Saturday 27 July 2019, a historic spiritual assembly was held at the Indian National Cultural Centre SITA in Moscow, Russia, in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami and other senior swamis from India and the UK. The assembly, attended by over 100 devotees and guests, was themed In the Joy of Others - the spiritual ethos that His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj embodied throughout his life. This additional article can be read here:
https://www.baps.org/News/2019/Histori ... itual-Assembly-16954.aspx

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