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Tirupati Temple Chief Priest Charges Administration with Interference in Rituals


Posted on 2017/11/21 20:00:00 ( 1339 reads )

Source

INDIA, November 21, 2017 (Swarajyamag): Dr. A.V. Ramana Dikshitulu, head priest of the Lord Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, has stacked scathing charges against the management of the country's richest temple, accusing them of blatant interference that is violating the sanctity of the temple. A report in Firstpost said what started as a clash between the priests and the temple management manned by Indian Administrative Service officers, has now degenerated into trading insults by the officers in charge of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) and the head priest.

Dikshitulu, who is also one of the four agama advisors of TTD, has been at the centre of controversies for taking on the administration over issues like VIP darshans, shortening of rituals and alleged commercialization of the temple. The latest row is over Dikshitulu taking his grandson into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple for which he was issued a show cause notice by the TTD. Though Dikshitulu did not give an official clarification, he asked Firstpost unofficially that when the relatives of TTD officials can go anywhere at any time, what is wrong with children of priests, who are also practicing archakas (priests), to visit the abode of Lord Venkateswara? The Firstpost report said the TTD is now entertaining Andhra Pradesh MLAs and MPs by sending their voters on a pilgrimage to Tirumala -- with food, entertainment, travel and darshan, all free of cost.

More at "source" above.




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2017/11/21 19:58:15 ( 1054 reads )

Source

A drop melting into the sea, this everyone can see. But the sea absorbed in a drop--this only a rare one can follow!
-- Saint Kabir (1440-1518)



Reconfiguring Kerala's Brahmin Castes


Posted on 2017/11/19 19:24:49 ( 1009 reads )

Source

INDIA, November 18, 2017 (EPW by O.B. Roopesh): The appointment of Dalit priests to temples in Kerala has been engendered by the growing departure of Brahmin youth from priestly jobs, coupled with existing aspirations of the lower castes to become priests in Brahminical temples. This move is aimed at the formation of a cohesive "Hindu community" through the reconfiguration of caste practices, not the eradication of caste. On 9 October 2017, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) in Kerala decided to appoint 36 non-Brahmin priests, including six Dalits (from different Dalit castes), to the Brahminical temples of Travancore (Hindu 2017). The majority among the 36 priests are Ezhavas (belonging to the Other Backward Classes [OBCs] group). The TDB has decided to introduce a reservation policy in the recruitment of temple priests, a decision that has garnered attention across India for its "radical" nature. It is being celebrated as a revolutionary decision taken by the Kerala government and an indication of the progressive nature of Malayali society.

Caste is constantly being reconfigured in relation to the social conditions of Kerala. It increasingly makes visible the limitations of old categories. This is evident not only in the ascent of lower castes to spaces dominated by the upper castes, but also the changing caste practices of the upper castes. Thus, this is a reconfiguration, even contestation, of caste practices, but surely not the annihilation or eradication of caste. The formation of a cohesive "Hindu community" is a vital objective being pursued through such a reconfiguration of caste, not the annihilation of the system. This process began in the early decades of the 20th century and continues to date. Temples have become the centre of such discourses and a constitutive process of becoming Hindu in contemporary Kerala.

Much more of this long and scholarly account at "source" above.



IIT Kanpur Announces Scripture Website


Posted on 2017/11/19 19:24:38 ( 1143 reads )

Source

KANPUR, INDIA, November 19, 2018: IIT Kanpur has developed a website on our treasures of Vedas, Shastras etc. Finally someone from today's science & technology field, is digging into what has already been done many many years ago. Each shloka is rendered in various languages and scripts, often with commentary and even audio rendering. Currently the site has Srimad Bhagavad Gita and other gitas, Valmiki Ramayanam, Brahma Sutra, Ramacharitmanas, Yoga Sutra, Shri Ram Mangal Dasji, Upanishads and more.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2017/11/19 19:24:27 ( 884 reads )

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Rise above the cycle of unhappiness, desire, acquisition, excitement and unhappiness again.
-- Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of hinduism today



Musical Play Based on Ramayana Enthralls Leaders at ASEAN Opening Ceremony


Posted on 2017/11/15 19:59:05 ( 1031 reads )

Source

MANILLA, PHILIPPINES, November 13, 2017 (Economic Times): A musical performance based on the epic Ramayana today drew loud applause from world leaders and delegates at a grand opening ceremony of the two- day ASEAN summit. The play reflected India's cultural linkages with the Philippines and several member countries of the 10-member powerful bloc. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and several other leaders from ASEAN's partner countries attended the glitzy opening ceremony at the highly fortified Cultural Centre in this bustling metropolis.

The Ramayana in the Philippines is called Maharadia Lawana which means king Ravana. The Philippines' famous dance is called Singkil which is based on the Ramayana. "You would be happy to know that the @ASEAN opening ceremony included excerpts from the musical Rama Hari, based on the Ramayana. Various parts of the Ramayana were beautifully highlighted in the Rama Hari. his shows our deep historical bonds and shared heritage," Modi tweeted.



The Forgotten People: On Sri Lankan Refugees


Posted on 2017/11/15 19:58:55 ( 1033 reads )

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INDIA, November 14, 2017 (The Hindu by T. Ramakrishnan): India and Sri Lanka should take up repatriation of Tamil refugees at the earliest. In recent months, the focus of the media has been on the Rohingya refugees in India. But the plight of Sri Lankan refugees, who have been here for nearly 35 years, appears to have gone out of the public consciousness. The pathetic condition of shelters, restrictions on movement, and limited scope of livelihood opportunities affect the community of one hundred thousand-odd Sri Lankan refugees, who have been living in Tamil Nadu ever since the anti-Tamil pogrom in Sri Lanka in July 1983. Besides, statelessness is a major problem for a section of refugees whose roots are from central parts of Sri Lanka, generally called hill country. [These tea plantation workers came from India in the 19th century under the British and were never granted Sri Lanka citizenship, yet are not Indian citizens either.]

The refugees also suffer from social and psychological problems as reports of suicides, school dropouts and child marriage show. Many middle-aged refugees worry about their children's future, given the fact that 40% of camp refugees are below 18 years. As 28,500 refugees are said to be stateless, the Sri Lankan government, in 2003 and 2009, amended its laws to enable easier repatriation. Tamil political parties on the other side of the Palk Strait would love the refugees to return so that the strength of elected representatives from the Tamil-majority Northern Province will go up in the Sri Lankan Parliament. Yet, the voluntary reverse flow of refugees has happened only incrementally.

More at "source" above.




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2017/11/15 19:58:44 ( 1022 reads )

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India has come to preserve spiritual traditions which many ancient cultures and countries have lost. Today Hinduism represents not only India but the ancient wisdom of humanity. In Hinduism many ancient countries can still rediscover their religious past, their old Gods and their old spiritual traditions.
-- Ram Swarup (1920-1998), Indian writer and scholar



Devotees Banned from Climbing Annamalai Hills During Annual Festival


Posted on 2017/11/14 20:21:21 ( 1025 reads )

Source

TIRUVANNAMALAI INDIA, November 8, 2017 (The Hindu): This Karthigai Deepam (December 2), devotees will not be allowed to climb up the Annamalai Hills in Tiruvannamalai during the festival of Karthigai Deepam which attracts hundreds of thousands of worshippers. Collector K.S. Kandasamy said this decision was taken keeping in mind the safety of devotees. "Every year, at least five to 10 devotees die after climbing the hill in incidents such as stampede. We do not want accidents to take place. We will be closing the official routes to climb up the hill, and also check on the unofficial routes. There are nine check points that will be closed, and no devotee will be allowed to climb the hill on Karthigai Deepam," he said. The Collector observed that there were instances of forest fires due to carrying of torches. "Now, there is more green cover on the hill," he added. A total of 300 personnel of the Forest Department will be deployed around the Annamalai Hills.

See an older report on reforestation efforts for the famed hill where Ramana Maharishi meditated for years:
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed ... malai/article17752738.ece



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2017/11/14 20:21:10 ( 943 reads )

Source

Other religions have all been founded by individuals, but Hinduism is not based on the teachings of any one single person. Before any prophet was born, the Sanatana Dharma was there.
-- Swami Rama Thirtha (1873-1906)



In India, the Secret of Arranged Marriage


Posted on 2017/11/13 20:12:53 ( 1103 reads )

Source

NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 12, 2017 (Le Temps, translated from French): In Murugavel Janakiraman's office, drawings of his daughter are pinned next to the family photos. He proudly presents the portraits of his children Arjun and Anisha, his mother, who lives under his roof, and Deepa, his wife, whom he married through Matrimony.com, the most popular matrimonial site in the country--and founded by Janakiraman himself in 2000. The site is now showing tremendous growth and in September it made a notable IPO.

The businessman embodies what he sells: arranged marriages that are woven on the Web, the association of traditional values with pure technology. This self-taught 46-year-old Tamil man has earned a golden place in the marriage market, a sacrosanct event for India's 1.3 billion people. Its site, which employs 750 people, occupies the top floor of a Chennai tower. The originality of Matrimony.com is to propose sites adapted to each social category. "In India, 95% of marriages take place within a caste or a community," explains Murugavel Janakiraman. Under the umbrella of the site, it offers more than 300 marriage platforms by language, religion, caste, country, even "status," such as "divorced."

Much more at "source" above.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2017/11/13 20:08:15 ( 1013 reads )

Source

How can one realize that which alone is real? All we need to do is to give up our habit of regarding as real that which is unreal. Reality alone will remain, and we will be That.
-- Sri Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic



Mob Torches 30 Hindu Houses in Bangladesh over Alleged Facebook Post


Posted on 2017/11/12 18:58:07 ( 829 reads )

Source

BANGLADESH, November 11, 2017 (Outlook India): A mob of protesters has set on fire to at least 30 houses of Hindus in Bangladesh following rumors that a youth from the minority community published an offensive Facebook status, media reports said today. One person was killed when police opened fire to disperse the crowd that launched the arson attack on the houses of Hindus yesterday, Dhaka Tribune reported.

The incident took place in Rangpur district's Thakurpara village, about 186 miles from Dhaka. At least five persons were injured when police fired rubber bullets and lobbed tear gas shells to bring the situation under control, it said. A crowd of 20,000 people had reportedly gathered from six to seven neighboring villages before the attack was launched by a group of people, it said. The police had a tough time dealing with the protesters and restoring the law and order situation in the area, the report said.



Hindu Americans Win Historic Victory in California Textbooks


Posted on 2017/11/12 18:57:57 ( 896 reads )

Source

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, November 10, 2017: After more than a decade of constructive civic engagement with the California Department of Education, the Hindu American community won a significant victory yesterday in its quest for an accurate, equitable, and culturally competent portrayal of Hinduism and India in California textbooks. In its final public hearing, the Department's State Board of Education (SBE) voted unanimously to approve positive edits submitted by Hindu American community groups to improve the portrayal of Hinduism and India in 10 textbooks. The board also voted to reject two deeply problematic textbook programs from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Grades K-6 and Grades 6-8) for adversely reflecting on Hinduism and other diverse communities.

"This is truly historic. After many years of civic engagement, Hindu-Americans have started to make themselves heard," said Shantharam Nekkar of Hindu Education Foundation USA, an organization dedicated to enriching the understanding of Indian civilization and Hinduism in America. "We will continue to engage constructively and fight biases and prejudices against Hinduism and India." The SBE's decision came after hearing testimonies and receiving letters from thousands of Hindu American parents, children, educators and community members from across California, including immigrant Hindus from Fiji, Caribbean and India, as well as letters from a broad coalition of more than 75 interfaith and community groups, 17 state and federal elected officials, and 38 leading academics.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 2017/11/12 18:57:45 ( 773 reads )

Source

It is impossible for me to reconcile with the idea of conversion as it happens today. It is an error and perhaps the greatest impediment to the world's progress toward peace. Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man?
-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

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