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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2010/2/18 8:00:01 ( 1003 reads )

Source: www.hinduismtoday.com

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
   Siddhartha Gautama (ca 566-486 bce)

A Red List to Aid in Combating Art Theft

Posted on 2010/2/17 8:04:01 ( 1099 reads )

Source: www.phnompenhpost.com

CAMBODIA, February 15, 2010: Archaeologists and government officials have high hopes that a new watch list of endangered antiquities will prevent them from being traded illegally. The International Council of Museums (ICOM) this week published its Red List of at-risk Cambodian antiquities, which are commonly looted, trafficked and then sold on the illicit art market. Items on the list range from the mundane to the divine. Everyday objects like spoons, teapots and axes share space with detailed sandstone sculptures of the Hindu deities Vishnu and Ganesha. But the objects all share one thing in common: they are highly coveted in the illegal art world, one of a series of factors motivating looters and fueling what observers say has been a decade-long surge in the destruction of invaluable prehistoric sites in the Kingdom.

"It is a big problem," said Hab Touch, director of the National Museum of Cambodia. "Illegal excavations and the illicit trafficking of our Cambodian cultural heritage is still going on. It is important to stop that." Internationally, it is hoped that museums, collectors and others who deal in art and antiquities will consult the list and ensure they have thoroughly checked for authenticity and legal documentation before buying Cambodian artifacts. Within Cambodia, the Red List will be distributed to heritage police, local authorities and customs officials stationed at border crossings, through which the tide of the illegal art trade flows.

Astrology Meets Caesareans to Deliver Astrologically Auspicious Babies

Posted on 2010/2/17 8:03:01 ( 1090 reads )

Source: www.thenational.ae

KOLKATA, INDIA, February 16, 2010: When Kanwal Preet was told by her doctor she was due to give birth on January 22 she could not hide her disappointment. The date came more than a week after the Hindu festival of Makar Sankranti. Instead, she demanded that her obstetrician arrange to have the baby delivered by Caesarean section, and on January 13 in the BL Kapur Memorial Hospital in New Delhi her baby girl was brought into the world on the day the sun moved into Capricorn according to Hindu astrology.

Across India, Hindu couples are increasingly consulting their astrologers to arrange the timing of births to correspond with favorable dates on the astrological calendar. The parents-to-be believe an "astrochild" will enjoy good health, happiness and success in the future. Dr.Dinesh Kansal, a senior physician at the hospital, said Mrs. Preet had been medically ready to undergo the caesarean any day after January 8 and when she chose the day of the Makar Sankranti as the date of delivery, the doctors were happy to fulfill her wish.

Dr. Nistar Ahmed, an obstetrician in the Kolkata hospital, said he regularly receives requests to carry out Caesarean sections to coincide with astrological dates and times. In most cases, he said, he agrees to carry out the operation. "If parents insist on some auspicious time for the delivery of their children we usually oblige if from a medical point of view it does not expose the baby and the would-be mother to an increased level of risk," Dr Ahmed said. "On certain dates... I see a four- or five-fold increase in the number of requests for Caesarean sections."

Featured Temple: Mwanza Sanatan Dharma Mandir, Tanzania

Posted on 2010/2/17 8:02:01 ( 3239 reads )

Source: mailto:regentauto@barmedas.com

MWANZA, TANZANIA (AFRICA), February 17, 2010: Mwanza is a city in northwest Tanzania and a southern port of Lake Victoria. The city handles much of Tanzania's lake trade with Kenya and Uganda. Central Mwanza has an Oriental feel due to its many mosques and Hindu temples, and is well worth a stroll, particularly the area around Temple St, where Mwanza's strong Indian influence is particularly evident, with Indian trading houses and pan shops lining the streets. Mwanaza is one of the gateway airports for the Serengeti National Park.

The Mwanaza temple was started in 1958 by the Gujarati trading community in Mwanza. Their community services are health and education at their Hindu Union Hospital. Eye clinics, basic diagnosis and diabetes awareness are free services. A new hospital building project is underway.

See a video about the temple here.

Climate Negotiations Impasse Leads to U.N. Climate Chief Resignation

Posted on 2010/2/17 8:01:01 ( 1237 reads )

Source: www.nytimes.com

UNITED NATIONS, February 18, 2010: The sense of disarray in the global effort to address climate change deepened Thursday with the resignation of Yvo de Boer, the stolid Dutch bureaucrat who led the international climate change negotiations over four tumultuous years.

His departure, which takes effect on July 1, comes after a largely unsuccessful meeting in Copenhagen in December that was supposed to produce a binding international treaty but instead generated mostly acrimony and a series of unenforceable pledges by nations to reduce their global warming emissions.

"We have seen a situation where the politics of climate change are really, really difficult among a number of key actors and nobody, not even Mr. de Boer, was able to cut through that," said Kim Carstensen, the director of the Global Climate Initiative of the World Wildlife Fund.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2010/2/17 8:00:01 ( 1110 reads )

Source: www.hinduismtoday.com

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
   Siddhartha Gautama (ca 566-486 bce)

UK Hindus and Scotland Yard Launch Hindu Forum

Posted on 2010/2/16 8:04:01 ( 1092 reads )

Source: www.southasiamail.com

LONDON, UK, February 15, 2010: The Scotland Yard has joined forces with London's Hindu community to "discuss the safety concerns of Hindus in the UK". Over 100 people representing London's Hindus joined Scotland Yard officers and members of parliament last week to mark the inauguration of the Hindu Consultation Forum. The meeting, held in Northwest London, home to one of the largest communities of Hindus in Britain, was told the Hindu community does not put demands on the police or any other government department.

The Hindu Consultation Forum was set up last year to tackle the crime and safety concerns within Hindu communities in London and to help improve its confidence in Scotland Yard. According to police, it has marked "a significant milestone" in the relationship between Scotland Yard and London's Hindus. Joint Chair of the HCF, Denise Milani, who is also Director of Diversity in the police force: "There are over 300,000 people from the Hindi community in London so they are a very important part of our city's vibrant diversity. He said Scotland Yard will continue to meet with the forum to discuss "what can be done to help improve the safety of Hindu people in London".

The joint chair of the forum Gulzari Babber said apart from safety issues, the forum will also discuss how to increase the number of Hindus in the force, which is responsible for policing the British capital and its surrounding areas. "The purpose of the formation of the Forum is to promote positive relationship and engagement between the Metropolitan Police Service and London's Hindu communities and to work in partnership to deliver the Met's Equality Scheme," Babber said.

Tamil Temple Consecrated In Myanmar

Posted on 2010/2/16 8:03:01 ( 436 reads )

Source: www.tamilnet.com

MYANMAR, January 30, 2010: Tamils in Myanmar consecrated a renovated Perumaal temple in Yangon on Wednesday morning. Several thousand Tamils participated in the ceremonies. A 13th century Tamil inscription in Myanmar records that a Perumaal temple patronized by Tamils existed at the earlier capital at Pagan.

The temple for Kalyaana Vengkadeasap Perumaal (Thirumaal or Vishnu in his form found at Thiruppathi), accompanied by Alarmeal Mangkai (the lady on the flower: Thirumakal or Lakshmi), is situated 6 miles from Yangon at a place called Thirukkampai, which is known as Little Tamil Nadu.

Seven Paddaachchaariyaars, who came from Tamil Nadu performed the ceremonies. Paddaachchaariyaars are authorities in performing consecration of Vaishnava temples of the Dravidian style in the Agamic way of South India (it is Sivaachchaariyaars in the case of Saiva temples).

The interaction between Myanmar and Tamils go back to the times of the advent of maritime activities in the Bay of Bengal, as trade winds and currents were particularly conducive for swift and direct communication between Myanmar which was known in Sanskrit as Swarna Bhumi (the land of gold) and the ancient Tamil country.

For more on the Tamil/Myanmar connection click on the url above.

Security Tightened At Kumbh Mela After Pune Blast

Posted on 2010/2/16 8:02:01 ( 944 reads )

Source: www.indianexpress.com

HARIDWAR, INDIA, February 15, 2010: Security has been tightened at the Kumbh Mela following the deadly bomb blast in Pune. Kailash Keswani, District President of the Business Forum of Haridwar, said the heightened safety measures were essential as the city is a holy place.

"Like the Catholics have Vatican City and the Muslims have Mecca, for many Hindus the most holy place is Haridwar. I think the three are very sensitive locations and individuals who have bad intentions will target these places," said Keswani. Devotees said the extra security measures have not dampened their spirits.

A Vegetarian Supper Club Where You Eat With Your Hands

Posted on 2010/2/16 8:01:01 ( 1257 reads )

Source: washington.bizjournals.com

WASHINGTON D.C., January 27, 2010: An intriguing secret supper club which has launched in D.C. Called "Hush," it blends storytelling with organic and vegetarian Indian cooking from the area of Gujarat. Its gatherings have a number of mysterious rules: you sign up in advance, find out the exact location just 48 hours ahead of time. Similar types of clubs have taken off in various cities nationwide.

The club's website says, "The Washington, DC restaurant scene sorely lacks the kind of authentic, filling, and unique meals that only home kitchens can provide. HUSH wants to add spice, both literally and figuratively, to your DC dining experience. So I have opened my home to hungry, adventurous mouths. I will cook up Indian vegetarian meals, made from family recipes with generations of flavor. My mother is my guru and guide. The menus will vary by season, but you will not find most dishes in any restaurant. But HUSH is about more than home-cooking. With every meal, I will tell the tale of its origins. I will even show you the art of eating with your hands."

The group's Web site further outlines details. http://hushsupperclub.wordpress.com/

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2010/2/16 8:00:01 ( 1100 reads )

Source: www.hinduismtoday.com

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.
   Rabindranath Tagore, (1861-1941) celebrated Bengali writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.

Hindu Maha Sammelan at Sabarimala

Posted on 2010/2/15 8:05:01 ( 1265 reads )

Source: www.organiser.org

SABARIMALA, INDIA, February 16, 2012: Along the banks of the Pampa River, where lies the famous Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, annualy massive gathering of Hindus happens for the week long Hindu Maha Sammelan at Ayroor.

This year the Sammelan was inaugurated by H.H. Jagadguru Sri Sivarathri Desikendra Swamiji of Suttur Mutt, Mysore. Swamiji organizes many Hindu activities in Karnataka as well as running 300 educational institutions, including medical and engineering colleges.

Delivering his speech, Swami spoke against conversions, saying, "Hinduism is surviving due to the wealth of Puranas, Upanishads, Vedas and saints who appear periodically whenever dharma is in danger. Also, our worship of nature, trees, water sources have great relevance in the global warming context".

The Sammelan concluded February 14.

Jay Lakhani Questions the Case of Open Air Cremations

Posted on 2010/2/15 8:04:01 ( 1063 reads )

Source: www.hinduacademy.org

LONDON, ENGLAND, February 14, 2010: (Following is an editorial comment by Jay Lakhani of the hindu Academy, UK). The court of appeal has ruled in favor of a Hindu man in that it is his right to insist on an open air cremation. It is one thing to insist that the individual should have the full right to dispose of his body in a manner that suits his belief system, but then if what he is insisting upon raises concerns about public health and safety, the Hindu religion would suggest that the greater good, rather than an individual's wishes, should be taken into account.

To a Hindu like me, what was worrying in the earlier hearing was the insistence that unless cremation takes place in open air, the soul remains trapped in the body. Such insistence would undermine the whole premise of Hinduism. Hinduism clearly teaches that at death (not at the time of cremation) the soul departs from the body (Bhagavad Gita 2.22).

The second argument offered in favor of open air cremations was to do with maintaining hard and fast liturgy. If this is the case, then the same scriptures that prescribe the complicated cremation liturgy also insists that the only fire that can be used to light the funeral pyre must come from the sacrificial fire which is kept lit in the individual's home. I know of no Hindu home in the UK that has a sacrificial fire!

It is one thing for the Hindus to insist on their human rights in keeping some of their traditions alive but they sometimes do not realize that this can show Hinduism in a poor light and can undermine its potency. Such dogmatism by some Hindus undermines the claim of this religion to being a living religion prepared to evolve with the times.

What worries a Hindu like me is that the real motives behind such insistence may not be protecting human rights, but serving the self-interest of a few priests. Hindu priests who are in charge of such liturgy should realize that though the rituals they are insisting upon are important, they should evolve with the times. Unfortunately there are some who are not prepared to do this - this turns into stubborn insistence on rituals over common sense. Hinduism would insist that rituals should not be allowed to overwhelm or displace the philosophic foundation of religion.

The reason why Hindus in India continue to cremate their dead in open air is not because there is some theological significance to it, but simply because they do not have the less gruesome alternative we have in the UK. In fact, evidence suggests that Hindus in India are now setting up gas fired crematoriums, and to little opposition.

If this appeal is upheld then I suspect many gullible Hindus would be prodded into re-adopting open-air cremation over less gruesome indoor cremation in the UK. It is one thing to insist upon Human Rights but if this is carried out at the cost of sacrificing the credibility of Hinduism as a living, constantly evolving religion, then I have to oppose it.

Blue Aliens? No, Orissa Tribals

Posted on 2010/2/15 8:03:01 ( 1656 reads )

Source: beta.thehindu.com

ORISSA, INDIA, February 15, 2010: They are an indigenous people struggling to defend their land against mining interests who threaten their homes, culture and sacred Deity.

Sounds familiar? No, they are not blue-skinned aliens and this is not the plot for the blockbuster film Avatar. Instead, it is the real life story of the Dongria Kondhs, a tribe of about 8,000 people in Orissa. Many of them are protesting the plans of mining giant Vedanta Resources and its subsidiary Sterlite Industries to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills, which they worship as their ancestral Deity, or gramatadevata.

In an advertisement in Monday's edition of the film industry magazine Variety, tribal rights organization Survival International appealed to Avatar director James Cameron on behalf of the Dongria Kondhs. " Avatar is fantasy... and real," reads the advertisement. "We've watched your film -- now watch ours," it says, with a link to Survival's 10-minute film 'Mine: story of a sacred mountain,' narrated by British actress Joanna Lumley.

Survival's director Stephen Corry says: "Just as the Na'vi [of Avatar] describe the forest of Pandora as 'their everything,' for the Dongria Kondh, life and land have always been deeply connected. The fundamental story of Avatar -- if you take away the multi-colored lemurs, the long-trunked horses and warring androids -- is being played out today in the hills of Niyamgiri."

S. Rajam, a Slideshow

Posted on 2010/2/15 8:02:01 ( 1361 reads )

Source: beta.thehindu.com

INDIA, February 12, 2010: The Hindu newspaper has prepared a slideshow in honor of S. Rajam, the extraordinarily talented artist who collaborated with Hinduism Today and Himalayan Academy over the years. You can see it by clicking on the source link, above.

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