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Tirumala Chief Priest Who Accused State Government of Misusing Temple Funds Removed

Posted on 2018/5/23 19:10:00 ( 538 reads )

http://zeenews.india.com/andhra-prade ... unds-removed-2110149.html

TIRUPATI, INDIA, May 21, 2018 (Zee News): A controversy has broken out over the removal of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) chief priest AV Ramana Deekshitulu. The move came days after he alleged that the administrators of the temple were swindling money. The decision to remove Ramana was taken after the TTD Trust Board passed a resolution on Wednesday to state that all mirasi archakas (hereditary priests) must be retired on reaching the age of 65. In his place, Venugopala Deekshitulu has been hired as head priest at the Lord Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala.

Ramana has alleged that the Tirupati temple administration misuses the offerings, as per Zee Media reports. He has also leveled allegations against Andhra Pradesh's Chief Minister, saying that that the he chooses the board members and has diverted approximately US$14.7 million of temple funds for his political use. TTD is an independent trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. It also manages many other temples in Tirupati and all around the world.

"TTD Action Grossly Illegal": Swamy to Approach Supreme Court over Sacking of Tirumala Chief Priest

Posted on 2018/5/23 19:06:34 ( 490 reads )


INDIA, May 22, 2018 (The News Minute): BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has waded into the issue of the sacking of Tirumala chief priest Dr. A.V. Ramana Deekshitulu, saying that he has decided to approach the Supreme Court to quash the dismissal by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD). "I have decided after seeing the grossly illegal exercise of power of TTD in sacking the Head Priest Ramana Dikshitalu. Hence I will move the SC for quashing the sacking and seek also a Court monitored CBI investigation into the financial misappropriation of Temple funds by TTD," Swamy tweeted.

This comes after Deekshitulu addressed the media last week in Chennai where he disclosed that the priests have filed a petition against the administrators demanding transparency pertaining to donations and jewelery. A few Hindu organisations have also held protests and staged a demonstration against the TTD on Saturday, questioning its decision to remove Deekshitulu after he made serious allegations against the governing board of the temple.

Should Indian Education Be Secular?

Posted on 2018/5/23 19:06:24 ( 605 reads )


INDIA, May 19, 2018 (New Indian Express by Michel Danino): A retired computer scientist who regularly visits an Indian institution of higher education recently told me how, in the course of his schooling in erstwhile Yugoslavia, he had studied the outline of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. He was shocked when I answered that Indian schools can do no such thing: anyone attempting to do so would immediately be branded "communal" and accused of undermining the "secular" principles of Indian education.

Who determined these principles? Why should there be such a total neglect of ancient India's genuine, well-researched and well-documented knowledge systems in the first place? Why should an Indian student be allowed to learn nothing of ancient Indian mathematics, astronomy, medicine, water management, town planning, construction techniques, agriculture, environmental conservation, martial arts or board games? Nothing of Indian systems of philosophy, of psychology based on methods of self-exploration and self-fulfilment that go by the name of yoga? Nothing of systems of governance, polity, education, business, management, trade practices, ethics?

More of this essay at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/5/23 19:06:12 ( 477 reads )


Those from a religious background who believe that "There is only one life and when it's over, it's over " generally cry and have a very unhappy time over the departure of a loved one. This is very disturbing to the loved one from where they are in the inner world wondering, "Why the grief?" Because they are fine. They are happy, and they are free of a lot of karmas, a lot of worries, a lot of conflict, ready to start a new life. Those with a pure Asian religious background, who understand reincarnation, dharma, karma and the existence of God everywhere, will smile contentedly and say to themselves, "What a wonderful life the departed had!" and be joyous in the new world that the departed loved one is now experiencing.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

Amarnath Yatra: Nearly 170,000 Pilgrims Registered

Posted on 2018/5/18 19:24:20 ( 832 reads )


JAMMU, INDIA, may 16, 2018 (Deccan Chronicle): Nearly 170,000 people have so far registered for the pilgrimage to cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, set to begin for a 60-day long period from Jammu on June 28. Over 169,000 pilgrims have been registered at various counters across the country and the registration is going on in full swing, officials associated with registration of the yatra said on Wednesday. Of these, 139,000 pilgrims have been registered across country, 28,516 pilgrims have been booked for yatra through helicopters apart from registration of 2,122 foreign tourists, they said.

The 60-day long annual yatra to the shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas will commence on June 28 and the yatra will be longer by 20 days this year. Yatra will culminate on Raksha Bandhan day on August 26. The registration is being done at 440 branches of the Punjab National Bank, the Jammu and Kashmir Bank and the YES Bank across the country. No person below the age of 13 years or above 75 years is registered even though he or she might have obtained the compulsory health certificate.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/5/18 19:24:09 ( 815 reads )


Just as a big banyan tree sprouts from a tiny seed, so the wide universe with names and forms sprouts forth from the heart.
-- Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic

Pakistan Seeks India's Help for Conservation, Excavation of Mohenjo Daro

Posted on 2018/5/17 20:48:25 ( 800 reads )


PAKISTAN, May 17, 2018 (Indian Express): Pakistani archaeologists excavating the Harappan site of Mohenjo Daro have sought help from their Indian counterparts for carrying out conservation works and planning future excavations at the site. The site, in present-day Sindh, Pakistan, was likely the world's largest settlement between 2600 and 1900 BC. Vice-Chancellor of Pune's Deccan College and a leading scholar on Harappan civilization, Vasant Shinde was among the few foreign archaeologists who were recently invited to visit Mohenjo Daro. "We have realized that we need to work hand-in-hand. The Pakistani side is very keen and we also want that the two countries must come together...because, the remaining half of the Harappan sites lie on the other side of the Indian border and without understanding the entire region, we cannot really get a holistic picture about the civilization," said Shinde.

When efforts by Pakistani archaeologists to carry out initial conservation works at Mohenjo Daro failed, the Pakistani team sought suggestions from India. "They (Pakistani archaeologists) wanted to know, if there was any way in which India could help them carry out conservation activities at the site," Shinde said. Earlier, the Pakistani side had collaborated with European and American archaeologists. "But, what we now understand is that the methodology developed by the Westerners... did not suit the climatic conditions or help excavate the materials used for construction in this part of the world," Shinde said, adding that this had led to further damages to the historic site.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/5/17 20:48:14 ( 690 reads )


The atman in you is that which indwells all things." "Tell me, Yajnavalkya, about this atman that indwells all things." "It is that which transcends hunger and thirst, sorrow and delusion, old age and death."
-- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad III, 5A

Chief Priest Slams Tirumala Administration

Posted on 2018/5/16 19:53:48 ( 633 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, May 15, 2018 (Deccan Chronicle): Chief Priest Ramana Deekshithulu of the Lord Venkateswara shrine at Tirumala on Tuesday accused the Tirumala-Tirupati Board (TTD) of serious malpractices and demanded CBI probe into its administration, which he said should be taken over by an expert panel appointed by the Union Government "to ensure that the Agama Sastra and other Vedas are strictly followed and the Lord's divine belongings are not squandered away." Addressing a select press conference at his son's residence here, Ramana Deekshithulu said, "We are deeply anguished at what's going on there. The TTD administered by IAS officers is dictated to by their political bosses. They are not even allowing the sevas (poojas) to be performed as per the Agama Sastra and are rushing us to finish them in quick time to please the visiting VIPs, including politicians and film stars". Whereas earlier, the Board had only Hindu members on it, there were now complaints that even non-Hindus have been appointed.

The chief priest, known as Pradhana Archakulu and also the Agama Sastra adviser for the TTD, said until 1996, Lord Balaji and other deities in the shrine had been adored with the invaluable jewels gifted by kings and other wealthy devotees. The Pradhana Archakulu was in charge of the jewels. "He kept a record of all the valuables and made sure they were safe. But now we do not know where all those old jewels have gone as we find only the jewels given by the devotees subsequently are being used for adorning the Lord", he said, demanding a "comprehensive CBI probe into the hundial collections, the jewels as well as the mode of administration at the TTD".

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Trust Board Decides to Retire Archakas at Age of 65

Posted on 2018/5/16 19:53:37 ( 685 reads )


TIRUPATI, INDIA, May 16, 2018 (New Indian Express): The newly constituted Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Board of Trustees which met for the first time in Tirumala on Wednesday, decided to retire archakas who have crossed 65 years of age. The decision comes a day after Tirumala Temple chief priest AV Ramana Dikshitulu leveled allegations of impropriety, corruption, and lack of commitment among TTD administrators in upholding the traditional ethos and sanctity of the temple during a press conference in Chennai. Hitting out at TTD Board of Trustees for its decision to retire archaks of the temple who crossed 65 years of age, Ramana Deekshitulu told TNIE that he will move the Court against the decision of the TTD.

The TTD Board's decision invoked an immediate response from various quarters. Former Chief Secretary IYR Krishna Rao, who also served as TTD EO in the past, found fault with TTD Board's decision. "Kainkaryam is a lifelong duty which a person performs as long as he is physically and mentally active. There cannot be a retirement for such kainkaryams since it's not a secular duty. Further priests of Tirumala temple have not opted for a scale of pay with promotion benefits and are also not eligible for any post-retirement benefits. That being the case without the benefits of regular employment it would be unfair to insist on their retirement. TTD board has no powers to retire them. They are continued under a scheme approved by the dharmic Parishad as under the Act. Present government for reasons best known has not constituted the dharmic Parishad. In the absence of the dharmic Parishad, the board cannot retire the priests. The message seems to be if you question on relevant issues you are out," he said.

More at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/5/16 19:53:26 ( 521 reads )


Peace comes first from the individual. It is unrealistic to expect peace from our neighbors unless we are peaceful first, unless we make ourselves peaceful through right living, right worship and right religious culture in the home.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

The History of Hindu India Parts Four and Five Released (Corrected URL)

Posted on 2018/5/14 18:53:03 ( 676 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, May 11, 2018: Hinduism Today is delighted to announce the completion of its five part video documentary series, "The History of Hindu India," based on the book of the same title. Both are available now on YouTube, Part Four at "source" above or https://youtu.be/nx_vSuduwAk (correction from earlier HPI post) and Part Five at https://youtu.be/eVnqJHO3PcY. Parts One (posted in 2014), Two and Three (both posted in 2015) have been very popular on YouTube, receiving respectively, 2.6 million hits, 1.3 million hits and 965,000 hits along with tens of thousands of "thumbs up" and hundreds of positive comments. The whole series is available on the playlist at "source" above

The History of Hindu India series was developed by the editors of Hinduism Today magazine in collaboration with Dr. Shiva Bajpai, Professor Emeritus of History, California State University Northridge. It is intended to provide an authentic presentation of the history of India and Hinduism for use in American middle and high school classes, as well as Hindu temple study groups and general presentations on the Hindu religion and history.

Part Four is based on the fourth chapter of the textbook, "The History of Hindu India," published in 2011. It covers Indian history from 1850 to 1947, from when the British Crown took over direct control of India from the East India Company to Independence. Under British rule, economic exploitation of the subcontinent increased, resulting in frequent famine and deprivation across the once wealthy land. A determined and mostly nonviolent freedom movement emerged and finally succeeded, resulting in the formation of modern India and Muslim Pakistan in 1947.

Part five is based on the fifth chapter of the textbook. It covers Indian history from 1947 to the present day. Opening with Nehru's famed speech on August 15, 1947, it describes the formation of the new government, development of the constitution, invasion of Kashmir by Pakistan, the horrors of partition, formation of states along linguistic lines, and efforts to uplift the lower classes. It covers the religions of India along with religious strife and its causes, Hindu pilgrimage using Rameswaram as an example, Ayurveda, the impact of Hinduism in the modern world and finally a nod to the popularity of Bollywood and Indian cuisine.

For more information and for class lesson plans based on the book, visit www.hinduismtoday.com/education/. This documentary is directed and produced by Sushma Khadepaun. Narrated by Roger (Raj) Narayan. Post Production Jalebi Khao LA. Funded by the Uberoi Foundation, Institute for Curriculum Advancement.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/5/14 18:52:52 ( 564 reads )


Like the household fire, devotees seek the glory of the Lord even from afar and enshrine it in their inner chamber for enlightenment. The glory of our Lord is full of splendor, all-illuminative and worthy to be honored in every heart.
-- Rig Veda 7.1.2

Schedule for Prayag Ardha Kumbh Mela Announced

Posted on 2018/5/13 20:19:59 ( 625 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 10, 2018 (Daily Addaa): The dates for the major bathing days when millions will take a dip in the sacred waters of the Ganga during the 50-day Ardha (half) Kumbh Mela in January next year in Uttar Pradesh's Allahabad has been announced. The Prayagraj Mela Pradhikaran, a committee formed by the state government for managing the annual Magh, Ardh Kumbh ("half" mela, every 12 years) and Kumbh Melas (every 12 years, off cycle of the half melas), said the religious gathering will start from January 14, 2019, with the first official bathing of Makar Sankranti and conclude with the last official bathing of Maha Shivaratri on March 4. The other official bathing days in the mega religious fair include bathing of Paush Purnima on January 21, Mauni Amavasya on February 4, Basant Panchami on February 10 and Maghi Purnima on February 19.

At least 150 million devotees and tourists are expected to attend the Kumbh Mela, which is among the 13 elements from India on UNESCO's list of "intangible heritage". Preparations are underway for the Kumbh mela for which US$371 million has been allocated by the Union and state governments. The Union tourism ministry is organizing roadshows and participating in events especially in European countries to raise awareness about the mega religious fair overseas. The festival is held in the cities of Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. The Kumbh Mela is held at one of these spots every four years, with the festival at Allahabad the holiest of them all.

Why Ashrams Matter so Much in This Karnataka Election

Posted on 2018/5/13 20:19:48 ( 777 reads )


INDIA, May 10, 2018 (Times of India): Karnataka's mutts (monastic centers, ashrams) are power centers, each followed by a particular caste and can swing votes of entire communities. Though mutts claim they stay away from politics, most leaders endorse candidates for elections. Not just religious centres, they also run educational institutions, hospitals, orphanages, and are central to community life. Both Congress and BJP leaders packed mutt visits into the campaign trail. For an extensive list of mutts and their significance, see "source" above.

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