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Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Book On HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj Released
Posted on 2015/7/5 1:30:00 ( 272 reads )


DELHI, INDIA, July 5, 2015 (By Rajiv Malik, India/South Asia Correspondent, Hinduism Today magazine): A grand celebration and book release event of Dr. Kalam's book "Transcendence" was held at Pramukh Sabhagruh, Akshardham Swaminarayan Mandir , New Delhi on Friday, July 3rd , 2015, in the presence of over 500 dignitaries, well wishers and devotees. The event was graced by the Pujya Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji of Vijaywada, Hon. Shri L.K. Advani, Former Deputy Prime Minister Of India, Dr. S.S. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, Shri A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO], Shri Mohan Das Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education and Shri G.M. Rao, Chairman, GMR Group.

"Transcendence," beautifully describes Dr. Kalam's spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The book, published by Harper-Collins India, also included the social and moral contributions of BAPS to society, the co-relation of science and spirituality and creative leadership. It contains the essence of the Upanishads, Gita and Puranas and other principles propagated by Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

The event began with Vedic prayers and the lighting of the inaugural lamps by Pujya Mahant Swami and Pujay T.S.R. Chinna Jeeyar Swami and was followed by a welcome speech by Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami.

Thereafter the giant 10ft by 40ft LED screen transported the audience back in time through and animation presentation of the stories of two boys- the journeys of how a fisherman's boy became a scientist and later the 11th President of India and how a farmer's boy became the president of BAPS and a world-renowned spiritual leader.

Pujya Brahmavihari Swami in his speech gave glimpses of the mutual interactions between Dr. Kalam and Pramukh Swami Maharaj during their 14 year association [2001-2014]. According to him, "In all Dr. Kalam had seven meetings and many phone call conversations with Pramukh Swami Ji Maharaj. Interestingly while Dr. Kalam did not know a single word of Gujarati and Pramukh Swami did not know a single word of English, this never came in the way of their ever blossoming love and friendship." He added that after Dr. Kalam's first meeting with Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 2001, Delhi, Dr. Kalam had said he felt an inner calm pervade him and on the other hand Swamiji had declared that Dr. Kalam was a rishi.

Brahmavihari Swami went on to say, "When Dr. Kalam had his first meeting with Pramukh Swamiji and presented him his plans for India 2020, Swamiji's first words were-"Along with your five areas to transform India add a sixth one- faith in God" and Dr. Kalam immediately and happily agreed to do so." Dr. Kalam had also told Swamishri , "When I see Akshardham and your work....I feel anything is possible in the world. I want to work with you for a better India."

This was followed by a video clip on Dr. Kalam presenting his book to Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Sarangpur on 20th June, 2015, amidst the chanting of Vedic verses. (See ... h-Swami-Maharaj-8137.aspx for a report on this.)

While presenting the book to Swamiji Dr. Kalam said, "I have written this book. Your are a great teacher....I learnt to remove I, remove me. That is a great lesson I have learnt. Remove I and mine. I learnt from you." Responding to this Swamishri said, "To rise above I and mine is only possible by God's Grace. It is the best principle by which to remain happy in life." Both Dr. Kalam and Pramukh Swamiji were not physically present during the New Delhi event.

Professor Arun Tiwari, the co-author of "Transcendence", sharing his experiences about writing the book said, "A few weeks after getting this assignment I realized I had not been able to write anything. Then I came to Ahmedabad and Pujya Brahmavihari Swami took me to Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami, who blessed me by placing his hand on my head and he gave me a murti of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. I took the murti home and sat down to type on my computer, and then words and sentences started flowing spontaneously." Choked with emotions he shared, "A few days ago I went to my mother in Meerut , Uttar Pradesh. I took the souvenir plate given to me by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. On seeing it , my mother said , "Son, you have done a wonderful thing. One is the an ocean of love- Pramukh Swamiji and another is an ocean of knowledge--Abdul Kalam. You have filled two great oceans in a small pot [book] !"

P.M. Sukumar, the CEO of Harper Collins Publishers[India] , who published "Transcendence" announced that the English version would be translated shortly into six other languages : Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telgu and Malayalam.

Thereafter the celebration ceremony of the book took place amongst chanting of Vedic Mantras and then the stage guests formally inaugurated copies of the book and displayed them to the audience.

The chief guests, including Shri L.K. Advani Ji , paid glowing tributes to the book and recounted their associations with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Advani Ji, in his address, said that in the childhood he had learnt about Intelligence Quotient and later on came to know about Economic Quotient but as he grew up in life he felt that a happy and fulfilling life has to also have Spiritual Quotient, which is extremely important and with this quotient only it will be considered as complete.

During the event , Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was remembered for having received the book at the hands of Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami at his office in New Delhi on 26th June, 2015. The Prime Minister opined that he would read the book for it would help him and inspire him in his life.

Finally, Pujya T.S. R. Chinna Jeeyar Swami and Pujya Mahant Swami blessed the event. Pujya Mahant Swami noted, " 'Transcendence' is a book that shares about higher values. The content is universal and transcends all human distinctions and barriers to make a person humane."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/5 1:20:00 ( 195 reads )


"Sweet are the sounds of the flute and the lute," say those who have not heard the prattle of their own children.
-- Tirukkural

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Aryan Invasion of India: The Biggest Lie Propagated by Leftist Historians
Posted on 2015/7/5 1:20:00 ( 352 reads )


UNITED STATES, March 20, 2015 (Linkis, by David Frawley): One of the main ideas used to interpret--and generally devalue--the ancient history of India is the theory of the Aryan invasion. According to this account, India was invaded and conquered by nomadic light-skinned Indo-European tribes from Central Asia around 1500-1000 BC, who overthrew an earlier and more advanced dark-skinned Dravidian civilization from which they took most of what later became Hindu culture. This so-called pre-Aryan civilization is said to be evidenced by the large urban ruins of what has been called the Indus valley culture (as most of its initial sites were on the River Indus). The war between the powers of light and darkness, a prevalent idea in ancient Aryan Vedic scriptures, was thus interpreted to refer to this war between light and dark-skinned peoples. The Aryan invasion theory thus turned the 'Vedas', the original scriptures of ancient India and the Indo-Aryans, into little more than primitive poems of uncivilized plunderers.

This idea -- totally foreign to the history of India, whether north or south -- has become almost an unquestioned truth in the interpretation of India's ancient history. Today, after nearly all the reasons for its supposed validity have been refuted, even major Western scholars are at last beginning to call it in question.

Full article at 'source' above.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/4 4:00:00 ( 401 reads )


When the Creator dances, the worlds He created dance. To the measure that He dances in our knowledge, our thoughts, too, dance. When He in heart-endearing dances, the several elements, too, dance. Witness in rapture surpassing the dance of that One who is a glowing flame.
-- Tirumantiram, 2786

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Indian Food Wisdom And the Art of Eating Right
Posted on 2015/7/4 4:00:00 ( 478 reads )


INDIA, June 24, 2015 (YouTube by Rujuta Diwekar): Popular Celebrity Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar elaborates on the importance of various Indian Herbs and Spices in meals. Indian Food Wisdom & The Art Of Eating Right by Rujuta Diwekar brings forth our ancient wisdom on what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, how to stay healthy and its relevance in our times. Its an attempt to help you overcome the ever conflicting information on food and weight loss fads. The biggest celebrities of Indian cinema like Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Karishma Kapoor etc. share their opinion on eating right and the diet secrets that have kept them healthy in all these years. Watch this informative video for a fresh, but age old, perspective on well-being.

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Amarnath Yatra Begins Amid Tight Security
Posted on 2015/7/4 4:00:00 ( 384 reads )


SRINAGAR, July 3, 2015 (Daily Pioneer): The annual Amarnath pilgrimage began in Kashmir Valley on Thursday morning amid tight security as 6,300 pilgrims began trekking to the holy cave ensconced in mountains of South Kashmir at a height of 12,800 feet above sea level. The yatra began from both the treacherous but shorter Baltal route and the longest traditional Pahalgam route. It takes around seven hours to reach the cave through Baltal while the traditional route through Pahalgam Valley takes two days for a pilgrim to reach the cave for a glimpse of the ice stalagmite, believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva.

The pilgrims began their journey on July 1 from Bhagwati Nagar Base Camp in Jammu. Three BJP Ministers of the coalition Government -- Lal Singh, Sukhnandan Kumar and Priya Sethi flagged off the cavalcade of 34 vehicles who were accorded warm welcome at every halt along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. By the evening, the pilgrims reached Nunwan and Baltal base camps.

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Amarnath Yatra Begins July Second
Posted on 2015/7/1 4:40:40 ( 979 reads )


JAMMU, INDIA June 30, 2015 (India TV News): Amid tight security arrangements, the annual Amarnath yatra will begin from Jammu as the first batch of over 5,000 pilgrims will leave for 3,888-metre high cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas. The yatra will be escorted by heavy contingent of security forces to twin base-camps of Amarnath cave shrine in Baltal in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir and Pahalgam belt of South Kashmir.

Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley, Amarnath shrine stands at 3,888 m, 46 Km from Pahalgam and 14 Kms from Baltal. In Kashmir Valley, the 59 days annual yatra will start from July 2-- an auspicious day of Hindu calendar and conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 29. Over 200,000 pilgrims have secured advance registration and 22,104 have purchased helicopter tickets from Baltal and Pahalgam to Panjtarni. "Entire state administration is fully geared up to provide every facility like, drinking water, medicare, electricity and security to the yatris at base camps," a official said.

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Sri Lanka's Thousands of Destitute War Widows Pin Hopes on New President
Posted on 2015/7/1 4:40:29 ( 924 reads )


SRI LANKA, June 30, 2015 (France-Presse): Shunned, destitute and pushed into prostitution in some cases, Sri Lanka's Tamil widows have returned to northern Jaffna since the end of the separatist war only to discover they are not welcome even in their homeland. Now, six years after the war ended, the women who fled the fighting on the peninsula in the thousands are pinning their hopes on the nation's new president for a better future for their families.

"Widows are despised in our society," said Baskaran Jegathiswari, 50, fighting back tears at her home in Achchuveli village in Jaffna, heartland of Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority. "People look down on us. They think we bring bad luck," said Jegathiswari, who lost her husband to military shellfire just months before the war ended in 2009. Official figures show 27,000 widows head households in Jaffna, where the conflict was centered, while local politicians put the figure much higher. The women are closely watching President Maithripala Sirisena who took office in January pledging reconciliation to "heal broken hearts and minds".

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Russia Cracks Down on Yoga Classes to Check Occultism
Posted on 2015/7/1 4:40:19 ( 964 reads )


RUSSIA, June 30, 2015 (Times Of India): Close on the heels of India leading worldwide International Yoga Day celebrations, yoga classes have been banned in a central Russian city by the authorities to check spread of "religious occultism." At the center of the crackdown are two studios holding classes for Hatha Yoga -- a set of asanas or postures involving deep breathing and tough physical exercises, which as per Hindu mythology was first practiced by Lord Shiva. Yoga is known as an ancient Indian spiritual and exercise discipline to balance mind, body and spirit, however, yoga has become highly commoditized globally over the years and various schools and cults have sprung up in different parts of the world in its name.

In the first major crackdown abroad, the authorities in the central Russian city of Nizhnevartovsk have now asked the two Hatha Yoga studies -- Auro and Ingara -- to stop holding yoga classes in the municipal facilities of the city, as per the Russian media reports. Kommersant business daily reported that the Nizhnevartovsk officials have barred use of municipal buildings for yoga classes and have issued orders to the two studios on this. The Moscow Times reported that the order has been issued "to prevent the spread of new religious cults and movements."

The authorities have also issued a letter to the heads of departments for physical culture and education, stating that hatha yoga was "inextricably linked to religious practices" and has "an occult character," as per the Kommersant report.

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India: Dalit Christians Accuse Church Of Discrimination
Posted on 2015/7/1 4:40:09 ( 1036 reads )


INDIA, June 30, 2015 (by Missionary International Service News Agency): The Dalit Christian Liberation Movement (DCLM) accuses the Vatican and the Indian Catholic Church leadership of caste-based discrimination "by way of allowing it directly and indirectly in their spiritual, educational and administrative places". "We have submitted seven copies of the complaint to Rajeev Chandran, assistant director of the UN Center in New Delhi addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and different human rights organizations," Mary John, president of the DCLM, told

A DCLM delegation asked the UN and other organizations to urge the Holy See to eradicate the caste discriminatory practices and to withdraw the Permanent Observer position of the Holy See in the UN if the Vatican does not take the necessary steps. Dalits, or untouchables, are the lowest caste within Hindu society. Huge numbers of Dalits have converted to Christianity and Islam over the decades, though in reality the religions offer limited protection from societal prejudice even within their adopted faith. "The discrimination against Dalit Christians in the Catholic Church is a human rights issue and it would be right if we approach the UN to find a solution to it", Mary John said.

"There are separate cemeteries for Dalit Christians. Even in the church there are separate seating arrangements for those from the Dalit community and others. The festival choir processions do not enter the streets where Dalit Christians live," said Kudanthai Arasan, president of the Viduthalai Tamil Puligal Katchi, adding that in some churches even the dead body of a Dalit Christian is not allowed inside for funeral Mass. While Dalit Christians form 70 percent of the total Catholic population in India, said John, their representation in the Church leadership is only 4-5 percent. Out of about 200 active bishops in India, only nine are from the Dalit community.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/1 4:39:58 ( 914 reads )


There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and one's subtle body rest upon that and not rest on anything else.
-- Maitri Upanishad

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Taiwan Water Park Inferno: Spotlight on Flammable "Holi" Powder that Sparked Blaze
Posted on 2015/6/29 23:43:28 ( 1123 reads )


TAIWAN, June 29, 2015 (Straits Times): HPI note: The use of thrown colored powder--traditionally part of the Hindu festival of Holi--has gained a following elsewhere in the world, not as part of a religious event, but as one more feature of small or large parties. During Holi, the colored and potentially flammable cornstarch powder is tossed randomly, and posses no threat. But at these parties, the trend is to disperse it all at once, with in this case, disastrous consequences:

The Color Play Asia event at the Formosa Fun Coast waterpark outside Taipei turned hellish for partygoers when a sudden fire erupted seemingly out of nowhere, injuring hundreds, including a Singaporean woman. "This explosion and fire... was caused by the powder spray. It could have been due to the heat of the lights on the stage," said a spokesman for the New Taipei City fire department.

"Color" events, like last Saturday's event at the Taipei water park, are gaining in popularity, with more and more of such similar ones taking place around the globe. They typically involve colored powder, known as holi powder (made by mixing corn starch, water and food dye), being thrown onto participants. At the time of the incident in Taipei, the powder was released onto partygoers as they danced in front of a stage.

Corn starch, while normally a harmless, edible substance that is almost inert when it is in a mass, is a highly flammable carbohydrate and burns instantly when it is dispersed into fine particles, which happens when it is blown out during a "color" event. In such cases, the substance will be ignited when it comes into contact with a flame or high heat.

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Remembering Tirumular and the Tamil Connection on International Yoga Day
Posted on 2015/6/29 23:43:18 ( 1123 reads )


INDIA, June 21, 2015 (Swarajya by Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran): It is an indisputable fact that everyday practice of yoga brings immense benefits. The International Yoga Day celebrations is just an attempt to underscore this fact and bring awareness to this priceless heritage that we all share. Yoga is undoubtedly one of India's greatest gifts to the world and is clearly a practice that originated in the Indic dharmic traditions. Not known to many is the mammoth work of the Tamil Siddha yogi Tirumla whose work Tirumantiram is part of the Shaiva Canon "Panniru Tirumurai" and is at the core of the 12th century philosophy of Shaiva Siddhanta in Tamilnadu.

The Tirumantiram is a collection of about 3000 verses in Tamil written by this Shaiva Saint. Tirumular is regarded as one of the 18 siddhas in the mystic Tamil siddha tradition; he also ranks as one of the 63 Shaiva Nyanmr Saints of the Tamil Shaiva Bhakti movement of the 1st millennium CE. The Tirumantiram dwells on Siva, Sakti, tantra, yoga and kriya, healing and several other topics. Of relevance to this article is Tirumular's focus on yoga.

The focus of the first part of the third chapter (tantra) of the Tirumantiram is entirely on astanga yoga and its benefits. The term astanga yoga is commonly used in today's parlance although the yoga industry focusses only on the physical poses (asanas). This verse states that the angas (elements) yama, niyama (relationship to the external world and to oneself), asanas (yogic postures), pranayama (harmony with your energy), pratyihara (harmony with your emotions ), dharana (harmony with your thoughts) , dhyanam (contemplation) and samadhi (oneness with the divine) are those that constitute the astanga.

Read the full article at 'source' above.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/6/29 23:43:07 ( 1008 reads )


When I think of myself as a body, I am your servant, my Lord; when I think of myself as an individual soul, I am part of you; but when I realize I am atman, you and I become one.
-- Lord Hanuman in the epic Ramayana

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Odisha Shuts Down over Irregularities in Jagannath Temple Rituals
Posted on 2015/6/29 4:00:06 ( 1089 reads )


ODISHA, INDIA, June 28, 2015 (Hindustan Times): A Congress-sponsored dawn-to-dusk shutdown on Friday brought normal life to a standstill in Odisha as people rallied behind the opposition party's demand for action over alleged irregularities in rituals at the iconic Jagannath Temple in Puri. The Congress called the strike demanding the resignation of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, institution of a judicial probe and action against servitors and officials responsible for the alleged irregularities in the rituals performed during Nabakalebara, a periodical renewal of the wooden statues in the temple. The temple, visited by hundreds of thousands of Hindu faithful every year, houses the murthis of Lord Jagannath (Krishna), Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra (their sister) in the temple.

The Nabakalebara rituals are among the most important festivals at the Jagannath Temple and performed once in 12 years or 19 years whenever there are two ashadhas (double rainy seasons) preceding the Ratha Yatra. The rituals require searching for new sacred neem wood for carving out new statues and transferring their souls to the new images from the old in a ritual called Brahma Parivartan (soul transfer). However, there are allegations that this year's rituals - completed on June 16 - were marked by gross irregularities with several servitors not officially assigned for the job barging into the forbidden area to witness the rare event. Many allegedly even clicked photos on mobile phones.

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