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Singapore's Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

Posted on 2017/4/22 19:42:40 ( 502 reads )


SINGAPORE, April 17, 2017 (The Statesman): The Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, perched along Serangoon Road, has welcomed people from all walks of life since it first opened its doors in 1855. Indian immigrants, British colonial rulers, devotees of Lord Vishnu, tourists and Singaporeans have all gathered, admiring the place of worship.

At the weekends, the temple bursts into life with about 2,000 devotees gathering for prayers. During the Thaipusam festival, between January and February each year, thousands of Hindus and non-Hindus gather along Serangoon Road to watch a procession of worshippers walk nearly 4 miles from the temple to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road. "About 10,000 devotees carry elaborate kavadis and milk pots, and on Thaipusam day, we get around 30,000 onlookers from friends to family and curious onlookers," said K. Vellayappan, 72, chairman of the temple management committee.

The temple was built in 1855 after a group of Indian community leaders purchased the land for about 26 rupees (50 cents today) from the British East India Company. To get to the old temple in the 1950s, known as Narasinga Perumal Kovil, devotees had to walk along a narrow lane that ran through a garden. When the temple was reconstructed in 1966, its chief deity was changed from the lion-headed avatar, Narasimha Perumal, to Srinivasa Perumal. The temple was also renamed accordingly.

More at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/4/22 19:42:29 ( 277 reads )


If you desire the world, you may try to renounce it in order to escape sorrow. Instead, renounce desire! Then you will be free of sorrow, and the world will not trouble you.
-- Ashtavakra Gita 16.9

Seeds of India in the Rich Soil of Thai Magic and Folklore

Posted on 2017/4/21 19:41:33 ( 497 reads )


THAILAND, April 19, 2017 (The Asian Age): Last week's full moon, dubbed the "Pink Purnima" by a Indian bistro in Bangkok, marked the Vernal Equinox and New Year celebrations: Vilambi in Tamil Nadu, Vaisakhi in Punjab, Bikram Sambat in Kathmandu and Songkran, Thailand's Holi. Public squares hosted water parties with live bands, overhead sprinklers, water cannons and buckets, which spared neither pedestrian nor motorist.

Songkran derives from the Sanskrit word Samkranti, "astrological passage," which denotes transformation. Songkran evolved from India's Makar Sankranti January harvest festival, which aligns with the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar, thus Songkran is both an astrological passage and symbolic of the evolution of spiritual practice. Across Thailand water parties blend with ceremonial merit making: bathing Buddha images, honoring relics of ancestors, pouring water over senior relatives and monks. The Indian embassy invited Bangkok residents to pay special New Year homage by making floral offerings and pouring water on the nine Navagraha celestial Hindu deities enshrined at the National Museum's Samranmukhamat Pavilion for the three-day holiday.

Throughout Thailand seeds of India are seen in language, astrology, ritual and art, fertilized in the rich soil of Thai magic and folklore, refined to perfection in the Ayutthayan period, still potent in the 21st century. The Mahabharata tells of how Brahma was cursed that his worship would die in India, and so it did, but Brahma now dwells in Thailand, alongside Lord Buddha. Every mall, bank, hotel and home has a shrine to Phra Phrom, Lord Brahma, whose four heads offer specific blessings and are daily worshipped with flowers, incense, fruits and candle flames. The rites and symbols of Siamese kingship evolved from ancient India, Thai government buildings are adorned with red Garudas, the emblem of the Chakri Dynasty, an 800-year-old lineage established in the 12th century by the Kingdom of Sukhothai.

Vice President Pence Meets with Religious Leaders in Indonesia

Posted on 2017/4/21 19:41:22 ( 325 reads )


JAKARTA, INDONESIA, April 20, 2017 (White House Press Release): Today, Vice President Mike Pence participated in an interfaith dialogue with faith leaders of Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Confucianism at the conclusion of his tour of the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia. Vice President Pence expressed appreciation to Indonesia for its shared commitment to religious freedom and reaffirmed that the United States will continue to defend this fundamental freedom, at home and abroad.

The list of dialogue participants included, in part: Dr. Nasarudin Umar, Grand Imam of Istiqlal Mosque; Rev. Dr. Henriette-Lebang, General Chairperson, Communion of Churches in Indonesia (CCI/PGI); KS Arsana - Chairman for International Affairs, Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI); Dr. Uung Sendana L. Linggaraja, General Chairman of Supreme Council of Confucian, Religion in Indonesia (MATAKIN); Prof. Dr. Philip Wijaya, Former Secretary General, Indonesian Buddhists Association (Walubi).

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/4/21 19:41:12 ( 296 reads )


Devotion to the satguru is the one main prescription. Without this, all learning, all austerity, family status and observances are useless. They are only decorations, pleasing to the worldly eye.
-- Kularnava Tantra

Bangladesh New Year Festival Unites

Posted on 2017/4/20 19:49:53 ( 371 reads )


DHAKA, BANGLADESH, April 16, 2017 (Dhaka Tribune, editorial by Syed Zakir Hossain): The clerics have already denounced the festival of Pohela Boishakh, Bengali New Year, as a Hindu festival and they don't want others to celebrate it. They had elaborated and insisted that it is indeed a Hindu ritual with so much fervor that, as a result, many people over the years have distanced themselves from the festival.

From my own experiences, I've seen the number of participants in the festival decline over recent years. One major reason for this decline is the argument of whether the Boishakh festival is Islamic or un-Islamic. These clerics are solely responsible for turning this vibrant cultural celebration into an un-Islamic festival. Not to forget, the Boishakh festival is the only festival in Bangladesh where people from all religions, classes, sexes participate together. Now imagine what most of the clerics have done across the country with their acrimonious sermons against an innocent cultural festival like Pohela Boishakh.

Many people are now ambivalent about Boishakh's celebrations. This ambivalence forecasts a dangerous future, because it can possibly lead to a gradual reluctance to engage in all things Pohela Boishakh -- even a complete rejection of the festival is foreseeable.

Divorce Vastu Studies from Religion: "Experts"

Posted on 2017/4/20 19:49:43 ( 355 reads )


KOLKATA, INDIA, April 18, 2017 (Times of India):

HPI Note: We run this article only as an example of the Hindu bashing one can find in the Indian press. Vastu Shastra is unquestionably Hindu, encompassing not only the architecture of temples, palaces and houses, but town and village planning in such scriptures as the Saiva Kamika Agama, and in a thoroughly religious manner.

The article reads in part:

"There is no reason to think that teaching rudiments of Vastu Shastra in architecture classrooms is akin to saffronisation, felt teachers of the subject at top institutions of the state. In fact, Vastu studies should be consciously divorced from religion, they argued.

"Applauding IIT-Kharagpur's decision to introduce Vastu studies in its curriculum, leading architects said the knowledge of Vastu was essential especially in the context of global warming. The very word Vastu smacks of Hindu fundamentalism because this ancient Indian science has been hijacked by religious pundits, senior faculty members felt, but there's definitely a scientific basis to this ancient Indian knowledge, which should be promoted for the sake of environment protection.

"TOI on Monday reported how the country's oldest and largest IIT will be softly introducing budding architects of the undergraduate first and second-years to Vastu in the design and history of architecture classes. To the post-graduate students and research scholars of infrastructure at the Ranabir and Chitra Gupta School, a premier design school on campus, Vastu will be taught more intensively and in a phased manner, confirmed senior faculty Joy Sen."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/4/20 19:49:33 ( 253 reads )


We who have come from the East here have been told day after day in a patronizing way that we ought to accept Christianity because Christian nations are the most prosperous. We look about us and see England as the most prosperous nation in the world, with her foot on the neck of 250 million Asiatics. We look back in history and see Christian Spain's wealth beginning with the invasion of Mexico. Such prosperity comes from cutting the throats of fellow men. At such a price the Hindu will not have prosperity.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, 1893

Benedictine College to Do Away with Academic and Recreational Yoga

Posted on 2017/4/15 19:40:40 ( 727 reads )


ATCHISON, KANSAS, April 5, 2017 (The Circuit): Benedictine College Administration just announced that the campus is no longer offering academic or recreational yoga classes after spring semester 2017. The decision was made in response to a growing number of concerns from students, alumni and faculty and by the request of Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Abbot James Albers.

"Yoga as created has some potential for eastern mysticism which has caused concern among members of the Catholic Church," said Stephen Minnis, president of the college. "[Archbishop Naumann] has expressed his concerns and the issues surrounding that. We asked ourselves if there was a way to bring those yoga benefits to our students and faculty without the possible effects of eastern mysticism and are currently investigating other alternatives." Starting in fall 2017, the college will be offering a "stretching and breathing" class called "Lifestyle Fitness" in replacement of what is traditionally called yoga. Minnis believes students are still hoping to reap the physical benefits of yoga and is currently searching for close alternatives.

"Throughout the country there is a huge increase in mental illness, anxiety and depression and Benedictine is not immune to that," Coordinator for Disability Services, Julie Romano said. "There are students who suffer from things that yoga could help with. I think it would have been beneficial to our students to have someone teach them these things [to help manage their mental health]." Romano has been practicing yoga for over ten years and feels it has been beneficial to every aspect of her life. She suggests that people are intelligent enough to make the decision for themselves whether or not yoga is a good fit.

For reference to Catholic doctrine discouraging "eastern methods of prayer," see:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/con ... tazione-cristiana_en.html

"Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation" by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/4/15 19:40:19 ( 357 reads )


Each today, well-lived, makes yesterday a dream of happiness and each tomorrow a vision of hope. Look, therefore, to this day, for it and it alone is life.
-- Kalidasa (5th century AD), Classical Sanskrit writer and poet

Hindu University of America Offers On-Line Hindu Chaplaincy Training

Posted on 2017/4/15 19:40:00 ( 399 reads )


UNITED STATES, April 14, 2017 (HUA): The Hindu University of America in conjunction with Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America is pleased to present the first Training Course for American Hindu Leaders. "Introduction to Hindu Chaplaincy" is the first of the two courses required to become a Certified Chaplain of the Hindu Faith.

A Hindu Chaplain affiliated with an institution in an official capacity where there are either patients, residents, inmates, employees or students, is an essential part of the Chaplaincy or the Spiritual and Religious Care Department in the institution and should be directly involved in the provision of appropriate, adequate and timely spiritual and religious care for Hindus, those who consider themselves Hindus and any other individuals. The Hindu Chaplain will be involved in a variety of religious, spiritual, educational, administrative and social activities within and outside the institution.

The specialized spiritual and religious needs of those who are either patients, residents, inmates, employees or students and who consider themselves Hindus must be provided by a qualified Hindu Chaplain officially affiliated with the institution housing these individuals. The introductory certification course will be offered as an online course and students will be able to participate in weekly sessions through our state of the art virtual class software. The course will have 12 weeks of online lectures and reading materials which will be posted on a regular basis.

The Certification is comprised of two courses: HNP 6201 Introduction to Hindu Chaplaincy and HNP 6202 Pastoral and Spiritual Counseling Basics. For further information, see "source" above.

Ancient Temples Renovated in Talur Village

Posted on 2017/4/14 19:39:39 ( 430 reads )


KARNATAKA, INDIA, Spril 11, 2017 (The Hindu): Three ancient temples -- Kalgudi Eshwara Temple, Beeralingeshwar Temple and Hanuman Temple -- in Talur village in Sandur taluk of Ballari district, were rejuvenated by the JSW Foundation under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. The temples, spread across 1.25 acres of land, date back to the pre-Vijayanagar period.

Before taking up the work as per the request of the villagers, the foundation roped in the Dharmothanna Trust of Dr. Virendra Hegadde, of Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala, a pioneer in temple restoration activities. This was done keeping in mind the challenge of maintaining the archaeological fabric of the temples. The architecture of the temples, built in the Kalyan Chalukya style, had been worn out by time and natural forces such as rain and heat. In order to maintain the originality of the structure, the stones and material used in the restoration were the same as the ones in the original structure.

Three-Year Training Scholarship Available in Agama Studies at French Research Institutions in Pondicherry

Posted on 2017/4/14 19:39:29 ( 463 reads )


PONDICHERRY, INDIA, April 13, 2017 (IFP): The French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) and the Pondicherry Centre of the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient (EFEO) have been engaged in the critical editions and studies of the Saiva Agamas for some fifty years. The French Institute of Pondicherry possesses a collection of nearly 10,000 manuscripts (palm-leaf and paper) that was recognized by UNESCO in 2005 as a "Memory of the World" collection. During the same period, some of these Saiva Agamas have been critically edited and published on the basis of these manuscripts which were transmitted for many centuries only through hand-written copies. All these manuscripts have been fully digitized and are available for consultation online.

As a further measure it is essential also to train the next generation of scholars in reading these ancient manuscripts. Many old texts are transmitted in several hand-written copies, each of which contains many differences due to damage, copying mistakes, muddled leaves or deliberate modifications. In order to work with these materials that are written in different scripts such as Grantha, Telugu, old Devanagari, Tigalari, Sharada, etc. intensive training is required. With the team of scholars at present we are planning to offer training for young scholars in this area. One three-year scholarship is being offered.

For more details and contact information, see "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/4/14 19:39:18 ( 309 reads )


Ever afterward, though the dance of creation changes around me in the hall of eternity, I shall be the same.
-- Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), God-intoxicated yogini and mystic Bengali saint

PM Narendra Modi and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull Take Metro Ride to Akshardham

Posted on 2017/4/13 19:59:11 ( 388 reads )


INDIA, April 10, 2017 (Narendra Modi): Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull (on a state visit to India) took a metro ride from Mandi House metro station to Akshardham Temple. The leaders visited the temple and offered prayers. Several wonderful photos at "source" above.

See also: http://indianexpress.com/article/indi ... kshardham-temple-4607496/

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