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Applications Now Being Taken for HAF Congressional and Advocacy Internship, Summer 2015
Posted on 2014/12/21 12:10:00 ( 250 reads )

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WASHINGTON DC, December 19, 2014(HAF Press Release): Are you interested in public policy? Are you passionate about being an advocate for the Hindu American community? If so, HAF's 2015 summer internship is for you! Learn more about the program and download the application by clicking here. Applications are due by Tuesday, January 6, 2015.

The Hindu American Congressional & Advocacy Internship is a unique opportunity for select undergraduate and graduate students to spend eight exciting weeks over the summer in our nation's capital. HAF is offering two tracks for the internship: Congressional Intern Track and Advocacy Intern Track. Each track has three (3) intern spots, for a total of six (6) interns.

The HAF Congressional Intern Track is geared towards applicants who are primarily interested in representing the Hindu American community by working in a Congressional office. Selected applicants will work with HAF to secure an internship spot in a Congressional office and will intern full-time in the Congressional office for the eight weeks. This track is open to all majors although government, public policy, and international/foreign relations majors are highly encouraged to apply. Rising juniors and seniors will be given preference.

The HAF Advocacy Intern Track is geared towards applicants who are interested immersion in the full scope of Hindu American advocacy. Interns will spend their summer working alongside HAF staff members on any number of ongoing initiatives from public policy to fundraising and development to marketing to accounting to human rights. This track is open to all majors although religion, accounting, and marketing majors and graduate students in South Asian Studies are highly encouraged to apply. Applicants experienced with graphic design and proficiency in Photoshop and InDesign are also encouraged to apply.

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RSS Reconverts 100 People in Agra
Posted on 2014/12/21 12:06:26 ( 221 reads )

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INDIA, December 11, 2014 (Indian Express): At least 100 persons from 37 families were reportedly re-converted to Hinduism at a ceremony organized by an offshoot of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the cantonment area here.

The Dharma Jagran cell of the RSS and Bajrang Dal claimed to have organized the joint mass conversion ceremony where about 100 people, mostly slum dwellers, were yesterday re-converted and "brought back to the Hindu fold" after a ritual that included tying of sacred threads on their wrists and putting a vermilion mark on their foreheads.

The organizers of the event said the room in which the re-conversion ceremony took place was transformed into a makeshift temple and statues of Hindu Gods and Goddesses were placed there. The converts will be given instructions to perform rituals according to Hindu religion for a month, the organizers said, adding that they will also be given new names soon.

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Just Five Percent of Indian Marriages are Inter-Caste: Survey
Posted on 2014/12/21 12:06:20 ( 222 reads )

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INDIA, November 13, 2014 (The Hindu): Just five per cent of Indians said they had married a person from a different caste, says the first direct estimate of inter-caste marriages in India. The India Human Development Survey (IHDS), was conducted by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and the University of Maryland. The IHDS is the largest non-government, pan-Indian household survey. It covers over 42,000 households, representative by class and social group. Its findings, yet to be made public, were shared exclusively with The Hindu. When married women aged between 15 and 49 were asked if theirs was an inter-caste marriage, just 5.4 per cent said yes, the proportion being marginally higher for urban over rural India.

There was no change in this proportion from the previous round of the IHDS (2004-05). Inter-caste marriages were rarest in Madhya Pradesh (under 1 per cent) and most common in Gujarat and Bihar (over 11 per cent).

The only other estimate on the extent of inter-caste marriage came from an indirect method. Comparing the answers that the husbands and wives of the same household gave to the National Family Health Survey, researchers Kumudini Das, K.C. Das, T.K. Roy and P.K. Tripathy found that 11 per cent of couples in the 2005-06 NFHS stated different caste groups.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/12/21 12:06:07 ( 188 reads )

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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

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Ancient Deity Worth Stolen from Himachal Pradesh Temple
Posted on 2014/12/10 16:36:57 ( 817 reads )

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SHIMLA, INDIA, Dec 10, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): Ancient ashtadhatu (eight-metal) Deities of Lord Rama, Hanuman along with Deities made of gold and silver of other deities worth hundreds of thousands of dollars were stolen by thieves from Raghunathji temple at Sultanpur in Rupi Palace at Kullu, police said today. Thieves stolen the Deities of Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman, a gold locket and a chain, a gold-plated Narsinh Shila (stone), silver Deity of Lord Ganesh and some other articles of worship last night, police said.

A case has been registered on the statement of Devinder Singh, son of Maheshwar Singh, MLA, who is also caretaker of the Deity. A team of forensic experts have reached the spot and started investigations. A massive manhunt has been launched and the interstate borders have been sealed. There was no deployment of security guards in the temple as it is a private property.

The Deities of Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman were brought from Ayodhya to Kullu in 1651 during the regime of Raja Jagat Singh. The Deities date back to second or third century but the devotees claim that these belong to the Ramayana era and it is difficult to assess their antique value.

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Himachal Police Alert Interpol, Immigration Authorities after Statue Theft http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/himachal-police-alerts-interpol-immigration-authorities-after-idol-theft/
Posted on 2014/12/10 16:36:51 ( 643 reads )




There is still a sense of disbelief and shock in Kullu about the theft as the police suspect involvement of some persons who had information about lack of security at the temple during the night hours.

Maheshwar Singh, sitting MLA and Chief kardar (servant ) of Lord Raghunath - which is a presiding Deity of historic Kullu Dussehra - had claimed that the burglars have adopted the same modus operandi as they did in January 2014 when an aborted attempt was made to steal the statue.

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CORRECTION: NEXT ISSUE TO BE RELEASED DECEMBER 15TH.
Posted on 2014/12/10 16:36:45 ( 644 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, December 9, 2014 (by the editors of Hinduism Today): We made a premature announcement yesterday! The January, 2015, issue of Hinduism Today goes live on-line in five days, on December 15th. So stand by....

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/12/10 16:36:39 ( 714 reads )

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O Mother! Let all my speech be your prayer; let all my crafts and technology be your worship and be the mystic gestures of my hand, adorning you. May all my movements become your devotional circumambulations. May everything I eat or drink be oblations to you. Let my lying down in rest and sleep be prostrations to you. Mother! Whatever I do, may all that become a sacramental service and worship for you.
-- Adi Sankaracharya's 'Hymn to the Divine Mother'

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Himachal Temples House Gold and Silver Worth $29 million
Posted on 2014/12/9 16:50:22 ( 1190 reads )

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DHARAMSALA, INDIA, December 6, 2014 (Free Press Journal): Gold and silver worth approx. US$29 million is in the possession of 29 prominent government-controlled Hindu temples in Himachal Pradesh, Revenue Minister Kaul Singh said in the state assembly Saturday.

The government will sign an agreement with the public sector Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) for purification of 1,000 lbs. of gold and 35,000 lbs. of silver gifted to the temples, he said. Replying to a question, he said the total worth of the gold at the current market price is $20.5 million, while the worth of the silver is $8.4 million.

Ten percent of the gold can be used for various activities related to the temples, 20 percent can be invested in the State Bank of India's gold bond scheme, 20 percent in reserve of the temples, while the remaining 50 percent will be minted for souvenirs, including coins and the mementoes for sale.

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Hinduism Today's January-February-March 2015 Released.
Posted on 2014/12/9 16:50:15 ( 756 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, December 9, 2014 (by the editors of Hinduism Today): This issue, taking you around the Hindu world, begins in exotic Java and then travels to a grand festival in Nepal then pauses to see the West's largest Hindu temple complex now being built inNew Jersey before taking off for to Southern India to meet a masterful, traditional sculptor of Deities. In these pages you will visit a dazzling Krishna museum in Kurukshetra, then enter Japan for a report on Hindu Deities that immigrated there and became part of the culture centuries ago.

This issue also explores the role of women and the Vedas in ancient India. You'll find an illuminating 11-page comparison & contrast article on the core beliefs of the world's twelve major religions -- a truly rare and valuable resource for thinking, sensitive people in an age of growing pluralism.

Page 47 presents an contemporary piece by a young writer on how to NOT alienate the youth at your temple, but engage them instead. This advice cries out to be known, thought deeply about, shared, discussed and applied. We hope many temple elders will read it.

A devotee offers her moving testimonial on how the guru, even when he is far away, can inspire families and individuals their whole life long, and give them the security that he will always be there to help and guide, through thick and thin.

And there is more: an inspired writing by the publisher, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, on the key practices of Hinduism and how we can make them work to lead us to our life's goals.

The title of a page from the Agamas, "I Am the Supreme Self," says it all. Here is the ultimate teaching of all teachings, that of the Self, the knowledge passed on since time immemorial about the true, divine, magnificent-beyond-words nature of each one of us, the goal of us all, our destiny wherein all human longings and aspirations converge in perfect and total fulfillment.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/12/9 16:50:00 ( 851 reads )

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There are two great forces in the universe, silence and speech. Silence prepares, speech creates. The strength of noise and activity is great. But infinite is the strength of stillness and silence, in which great forces prepare for action. To be capable of silence, stillness and illuminated passivity is to be fit for immortality.
-- Sri Aurobindo (1879-1950)

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Timeline of Hinduism in America
Posted on 2014/12/8 18:14:41 ( 783 reads )

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CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUCETTS, December 4, 2014 (Harvard University): The Pluralism Project at Harvard University was created to help Americans engage with the realities of religious diversity through research, outreach, and the active dissemination of resources. It is a two-decade-long research program to engage students in studying the new religious diversity in the United States.

The Hinduism in America Timeline begins in the 1780's when trade is started between India and America and ends in 2012 when the first Hindu American, Tulsi Gabbard, is elected to Congress.

According to the timeline, in 1820-70 Ralph Waldo Emerson discovered Hindu thought as an undergraduate at Harvard. In 1893 Hindus at the World's Parliament of Religions presented their teaching to American audiences. Immediately afterward Swami Vivekananda toured America. In 1920 Paramahansa Yogananda becomes the first Hindu Vedanta and yoga teacher to settle in the U.S. In 1957 Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami established the Palaniswami Temple in San Francisco, CA which was the first Hindu temple in North America performing traditional deity worship.

More of the interesting 100 entries at source.

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Yoga Portraits to Deepen Your Practice
Posted on 2014/12/8 18:14:35 ( 740 reads )

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MYSORE, INDIA, December 5, 2014 (Huffington Post): "I have found my best work comes in the form of 'environmental portraits'," photographer Christine Hewitt writes on her website, "where I am able to capture the subject and their surroundings in a fine balance of aesthetic appeal, visual interest and storytelling."

Now, she's combining that aesthetic storytelling with a good cause. In her first-annual Yogic Photos Calendar for Charity, she's showcasing powerful portraits shot around Mysore, India -- and all of the proceeds help bring much-needed resources to local underprivileged families. All of the people in the photographs are yoga students who have come to Mysore to study.

To view a selection of the somewhat strange calendar shots see source.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/12/8 18:14:24 ( 645 reads )

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I loved my motherland dearly before I went to America and England. After my return, every particle of dust of this land seems sacred to me.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

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Attacks on Hindu Temples in Pakistan, a Worrying Trend
Posted on 2014/12/4 18:29:31 ( 970 reads )

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ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN, December 3, 2014 (Times of India): A Hindu temple was attacked by fanatics in Pakistan, the temple was torched, the stone Deity of Lord Hanuman blackened with soot, and some religious books burnt. This attack on November 21, in the Tando Mohammad Khan area in Sindh, and reported in the Dawn newspaper, is however, not a one-off incident in a country where such attacks are increasingly turning out to be the rule, rather than an exception. In a similar attack March 28 this year, a small Hindu temple was torched near Fateh Chowk in Hyderabad, Sindh, triggering widespread protests by the Hindu community. Only a couple of weeks before that, a dharamshala, or a pilgrims' rest-house, was set ablaze and some statues of Hindu deities in an adjacent temple in Larkana were damaged

With a population of around seven million, Hindus form the largest religious minority group in Pakistan, which, at 195 million, is the second largest Muslim nation in the world after Indonesia. The arson attacks on Hindu temples and other incidents of religious intolerance have made the Hindu community in Pakistan nervous, according to media here. "As a last resort, we have decided to migrate to India," a Dawn report in November quoted a Hindu man in Sindh as saying. "We are completely insecure here. We are looted, but our voice is not heard by the people in the saddle, our temples are attacked in broad daylight, but no one takes action, our girls are kidnapped and forcibly converted only to hear more empty promises of justice," he said. "Nothing happened in the last 65 years and we don't expect any improvement in future. Things will only become worse," he added.

Following this attack, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the setting up of a national commission on minorities to promote religious tolerance and harmony in the country, in accordance with the June 19 Supreme Court judgment on rights of minority communities.

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