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Hindu Temple in Sindh Reportedly Attacked, Holy Scriptures Desecrated


Posted on 2019/2/7 10:16:53 ( 627 reads )

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PAKISTAN, February 4, 2019 (Pakistan Today): A Hindu temple in Kunbh, Sindh was attacked by vandals, according to reports. According to images doing rounds on the social media, the temple in Sindh was attacked with holy scriptures and statues housed within it desecrated. "Strongly condemn the attack on temple in Kunbh, Khairpur (Sindh). Reportedly, some miscreants set holy books on fire. Such incidents will harm exemplary interfaith harmony of Sindh. Govt. need to take action against the miscreants," tweeted a user with images of the damage caused to the temple.

There was no official confirmation about the incident at the time of filing of this report. According to a report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released last year, banned outfits continue to target minorities in Pakistan. "In 2017, religious minorities in Pakistan, including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmedis...continued to face attacks and discrimination from extremist groups and society at large," the report states, adding that as many as 231 people were killed and 691 injured in such incidents in Pakistan in 2017. The report states that the government of Pakistan "failed to protect these groups adequately, and it perpetrated systematic, ongoing, egregious religious freedom violations." Last year, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that the nation has failed to make progress on a myriad of issues, ranging from forced disappearances to women's rights and protection of religious minorities.



The Meditation Unicorn: Calm Raises $88 Million at $1 billion Valuation


Posted on 2019/2/7 10:16:39 ( 623 reads )

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, February 6, 2019 (Venture Beat): Meditation and mental health-focused startup Calm has raised $88 million in a series B round of funding led by TPG Growth, with participation from Insight Venture Partners, Ashton Kutcher's Sound Ventures, and Creative Artists Agency (CAA). This takes Calm's total funding past the $115 million mark and elevates the San Francisco-based company to the prestigious "unicorn" club -- it now has a valuation of exactly $1 billion. Founded in 2012 by Michael Acton Smith, Calm is one of a number of "mindfulness" startups to attract the attentions of VCs in recent times. In the past year alone, we've seen Shine raise $5 million for its motivational messaging app, while Simple Habit secured $10 million for its "bite-size" audio meditation plans and BioBeats nabbed $3 million to combat stress with meditation and breathing exercises. Other notable players in the space include Headspace, which has also attracted vast chunks of venture capital funding.

Not only has Calm been profitable for several years already, it can now lay legitimate claim to being the first mental health-focused unicorn, which is quite a remarkable feat when you consider it has a team of just 50. But its growth is perhaps a sign of the times -- the meditation industry is reportedly worth more than $1 billion in the U.S. alone, while the broader "wellness" sector is estimated at several trillion dollars, according to the Global Wellness Institute. "We started as a meditation app, but have grown far beyond that," added Acton Smith. "Our vision is to build one of the most valuable and meaningful brands of the 21st century. Health and wellness is a $4 trillion industry, and we believe there is a big opportunity to build the leading company in this fast-growing and important space."



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2019/2/7 10:16:26 ( 479 reads )

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When we think about someone, we'e sending a thought form to that person, and that thought form is affecting them. If it is a positive, uplifting thought, it affects them in a positive, uplifting way. If it is a critical thought, it affects them in a negative way.
-- Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today



Kumbh Mela 2019: Millions of Hindu Pilgrims Take Holy Dip at Prayagraj on Mauni Amavasya


Posted on 2019/2/6 9:40:26 ( 786 reads )

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PRAYAGRAJ, INDIA, February 4, 2019 (Swarajyamag): Braving the cold and fog, over 18 million pilgrims took a holy dip in the Sangam, the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, in the early hours of Monday (4 February) on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, as reported by The Tribune. According to the report, hundreds of thousands started arriving at the Kumbhnagar from Sunday (3 February) to take a dip on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya. Many religious leaders and spiritual gurus along with their disciples also participated in the third Shahi Snan (Royal bath) of Kumbh.

As per the report, the Kumbh Mela administration had made elaborate arrangements for the occasion and prepared a time table for the holy dip. As per the time table, Panchayati Akhada Mahanirvani was the first to go to the rivers and take a dip at 6.15 am. The Panchayati Akhada was followed by the vairagis in sequence of Shri Panchayati Niranjani Akhada, Shri Panch Dashnam Akhada, Akhil Bharatiya Shri Panch Nirvana Akhada, Shri Panchayats Digambar Ani Akhada and Shri Panch Nirmohi Ani Akhada followed by Shri Panchayati Akhada Naya Udaseen and others, officer Vijay Kiran Anand was quoted in the report as saying.

More Photos: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/ ... gious-gathering-pictures/



Most Incredible Aerial Photos Captured at Kumbh Mela 2019


Posted on 2019/2/6 9:40:13 ( 685 reads )

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PRAYAGRAJ, INDIA, February 5, 2019 (News 18): Photos at "source" show several vivid aerial views of pilgrims and tents at Sangam during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.



Concord Murugan Temple Yatra: Unique Feat


Posted on 2019/2/6 9:40:00 ( 468 reads )

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CONCORD, CALIFORNIA, February 5, 2019 (India Currents): Walking to a temple to celebrate devotional fervor is a well-understood facet of Hinduism in India. This very devotion drove over 6,000 Indian-Americans to walk together to celebrate the festival of Thaipoosam with great fervor. Thai is the Tamil name for the month that extends between January 16th to February 15th each year, while Poosam is the name of the star Poosam in the astrological chart. Bay Area devotees undertook a walk from San Ramon to the Shiva Murugan temple at Concord. The walk has grown exponentially since its start in 2011. Says Solai Alagappan, the founder-organizer, "In 2011, I participated in a kavadi walk in Singapore, and that was the primary inspiration. With the help of a few friends, we found the trail (Iron Horse regional trail) by biking throughout to make sure that we could navigate the way from San Ramon to Concord without hitting highways or crowded roads. About 150 of us walked in 2011, and this year, we had over 6,000 people participating."

Excellent arrangements through the tireless work of volunteers helped support the devotees. Over 100 volunteers had signed up for various tasks to support the 20 mile walk. There was a bike patrol, car parking patrol, and several volunteers who helped serve breakfast, lunch snacks and water along the way. Breakfast was served in San Ramon. After walking eleven miles to Las Lomas high school in Walnut Creek, a traditional hot lunch was served on banana leaves and plates to over 2500 people. The lines were orderly and were kept moving smoothly thanks to the volunteers who worked tirelessly. When they reached the temple, the devotees received darshan of Lord Muruga, and shuttles ferried them back to their original parking spots after a long day.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2019/2/6 9:39:46 ( 432 reads )

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There is nothing higher than dharma. Verily, that which is dharma is truth.
-- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.14



India Has the Lowest Divorce Rate In the World


Posted on 2019/2/5 9:54:54 ( 581 reads )

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INDIA, February 1, 2019 (Storypick): Frequently we find news of celeb divorces popping up on our social media feeds. That makes us look around a little, and we see that marriages are literally falling apart these days! Marriages are decreasing in popularity while divorce rates are skyrocketing. But quite shockingly, a study submitted by Unified Lawyers reveals that India has the lowest divorce rate in the world. Only 1% of Indian marriages end in divorce.

According to reports, divorce cases in India happen in "love marriages" as compared to "arranged marriages" at most times. The study also reports that according to religion, Hindus in India have the least number of divorces while Christians in India have the most at 37%. "Indians abide by the principles of Hinduism, which suggests a one man, one woman policy. Indian weddings, no matter the religion, take months of pre-marital rituals and a lot more days before the actual wedding. The whole marriage process, with the parents of both parties involved, establishes a psychological bond between the couple."

The study has stirred a debate which can be read in many of the Twitter responses at "source."



Hampi World Heritage Site Vandalized by Hooligans, Video Goes Viral


Posted on 2019/2/5 9:54:41 ( 522 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, February 3, 2019 (India Today): After a video showing some youths vandalizing ancient pillars at the world heritage site in Hampi, Karnataka, went viral on the social media on Friday, police said they have sped up the investigation and will soon arrest the guilty. Superintendent of Police, Bellary, Arun Rangarajan said the accused will be arrested and prosecuted soon. On Friday, some youths were seen vandalizing the pillars at the historic site in Hampi. In the video, one can see the youth pushing the pillars and overturning them. The pillar, part of a valuable ancient structure, tilts and falls before breaking into pieces. The site in Hampi has been declared a World Heritage by the Unesco.

The relics in Hampi are important as they date back to the prosperous Vijayanagara empire. The empire, founded in the 14th century AD, was one of the most powerful empires of the time in Southern Indian. The village has beautiful structures with immense historical significance. The New York Times had recently declared the heritage site at Hampi as a second must-see place in 2019. The video of the vandalism has triggered outrage. People have expressed concern and anger about the lack of adequate security arrangements at such historic sites. On Saturday, angered over the incident, locals took to the streets and demanded better security at the ancient site in Hampi.

See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDyhNhlXEyg&feature=youtu.be



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2019/2/5 9:54:27 ( 443 reads )

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Hindus profoundly know that God is the same Supreme Being in whom peoples of all faiths find solace, peace and liberation. Nonetheless, we realize that all religions are not the same, and the doctrines of one often conflict with those of another. Even this should never be cause for religious tension or intolerance.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927–2001)



Federal Court Unseals Records in California Department Of Education Lawsuit by Hindu Organization


Posted on 2019/2/2 11:08:44 ( 751 reads )

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FREMONT, CALIFORNIA, February 2, 2019 (press release by capeem.org): Judge Charles Breyer has unsealed emails showing Department of Education officials soliciting and coordinating professors' anti-Hindu reports on 2016 drafts of the California-History Social Science Framework that were falsely presented as "public comment." [Go to https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/cf/documents/hssframeworkwhole.pdf for the final version of the Framework].

Tom Adams, the Deputy Superintendent at the California Department of Education, who has a history of working behind the scenes with professors who create anti-Hindu curriculum content, secretly contacted a group of professors with whom he had worked in the past. One of the professors, Jonathan Kenoyer of the University of Wisconsin, had co-authored a textbook the Curriculum Commission had rejected in 2005 for mocking Hinduism. Adams had then organized a group of professors who had not read this book to protest its rejection and used their protests to manipulate the State Board of Education into overruling the Commission's decision to reject the textbook.

The scheme by Adams to avoid the process for retaining experts as contemplated by California Department of Education regulation and secretly recruit professors who could be relied upon to provide content derogatory of Hinduism during the Framework adoption process in 2016 was revealed through a subpoena on Kenoyer in the case of California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials (CAPEEM) v. Torlakson, No. 3:17-cv-00635, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The emails among the professors show they understood they were to use "smoke and mirrors" to address the input of Hindu groups and one of the professors recognized that "readers of our report can imagine that [the report] is meant to undermine the legitimacy of Hinduism as a religion (and Hinduism uniquely among religions, at that)." One comment that shows the hostility of the professors accuses Hindus of appropriating the Vedas, Upanishads and the Gita and calling it the foundation of Hinduism.

The emails had been filed under seal until Thursday, when Judge Breyer agreed with the plaintiffs and ruled that neither the Regents of the University of California nor Professor Kenoyer had shown "compelling reasons" to keep the records under seal. "This is an important ruling that rejects the notion that government officials and professors can hide behind the label 'academic freedom' and allows all Californians to better understand how their government develops the public school curriculum," noted Arvind Kumar, a board member of the Fremont-based CAPEEM. "Unfortunately, the emails reveal secrecy and doublespeak," he added.

The court made clear that unsealed records may well be relevant to the claims brought by CAPEEM and Bay Area parents that the Framework is derogatory to Hinduism, since they argue that state officials coordinated with the professors to provide reports on the curriculum was falsely construed as public comment. "We knew that the content of the Framework treats Hinduism differently from other faiths but the emails show the bad faith by the officials who created that content," said Glenn Katon, an Oakland civil rights lawyer representing CAPEEM and the parents. "This is another strong indication of the State's violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution."

The Court has yet to rule on motions filed by both sides arguing they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The order and unsealed documents and can be downloaded at https://capeem.us14.list-manage.com/tr ... d=3ae581907a&e=6e315cbb3d.

For media inquiries, contact media@capeem.org.



Studio Connects Yoga and Meditation to Nature in UAE


Posted on 2019/2/2 11:08:31 ( 385 reads )

Source


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 ( 401 reads )

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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 ( 764 reads )

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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 ( 519 reads )

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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.


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