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UK Gurkhas Install a Shivalingam at Gatterick Garrison Army Base
Posted on 2014/4/13 18:36:00 ( 411 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, April 10, 2014 (The Northern Echo): Hindu followers from across the region took part in a ceremony today to mark the installation of a statue at a temple for Gurkha soldiers. Shivalinga, the representation of the Hindu God Lord Shiva, was erected in an annex to the Gurkha Temple at the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) in Catterick Garrison.

The statue was donated by Swami Shri Gopal Sharan Devacharya Ji Maharaj, a high ranking Hindu priest who visited the ITC in 2012. Pundit Atmaram Dahal, Gurkha Company religious teacher, said: "The statue was constructed in India before being donated to our temple.

Captain Rajeshkumar Gurung, from Gurkha Company, said religion played an important part in the development of recruits, with religious teachers using examples of Lord Shiva to explain the moral component and duties of a soldier in combat.

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In Malang, Celebrating Nyepi With A Javanese Infusion
Posted on 2014/4/13 18:35:53 ( 275 reads )

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MALANG, INDONESIA, April 6, 2014 (The Jakarta Globe): Rice cakes wrapped in palm leaves, or ketupat, is a usually a treat reserved for the Islamic holiday of Idul Fitri, but for Hindus in Malang, East Java, ketupat serves as a customary dish in celebrating Nyepi, the day of silence.

Last week, 33 educational institutions and temples in Malang participated in a ceremony on Balekambang Beach to celebrate one of the biggest holidays in the local Hindu calendar. The ceremony, called Jala Nidhi Puja, is held before Nyepi and it beautifully displays the diversity of Indonesia. In Sanskrit, "jala " means sea, "nidhi " means sanctity and "puja " means ceremony.

Apart from the use of ketupat and the Javanese gamelan, Hindus in Malang also decorate their offerings differently from their better-known counterparts in Bali. Every offering contains five mandatory elements: leaves, flowers, fruits, water and incense. Suharsono, the chairman of the Indonesian Hindu Association (PDHI) in Malang, said that they customized their offerings according to the things that flourished in their hometown, but staples like yellow rice, bananas and yellow palm fronds were a common element.

More at source.

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World's Hindu Experts to Meet in Bali
Posted on 2014/4/13 18:35:47 ( 309 reads )

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DENPASAR, BALI, April 12, 2014 (The Jakarta Post): Hindu experts from around the world are slated to gather in Denpasar, Bali, next Thursday, to attend the second World Hindu Wisdom Meet. Five hundred delegates from six countries, namely India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and the UK, have confirmed their attendance.

The meeting, which will discuss Hindu-based education, is being organized by the World Hindu Parisad, a Hindu discussion and deliberation forum that aims to expand the network of Hindus around the globe.

"We hope the meeting will result in a set of basic principles and essential referrals that can be used by Hindus for guidance in developing Hindu-based education and educational institutions," World Hindu Parisad's president, Ida Pedanda Ketut Sebali Tianyar Arimbawa, said during a press conference in Denpasar on Friday.

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Hinduism Today High Resolution Images of Saint Akka Mahadevi
Posted on 2014/4/13 18:35:42 ( 345 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, April 12, 2014 (HPI): Click source above to see the three pieces of art we've found so far of Saint Akka Mahadevi of Karnataka. Unfortunately, none are high enough resolution for use in Hinduism Today magazine. We need photos taken at least 1024 pixels wide, with a file size of at least 1.5MB. If you have something, or know where we can get it, kindly email us at letters@hindu.org.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/4/13 18:35:35 ( 221 reads )

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The son's duty to his father is to make the world ask, "by what great austerities did he merit such a son?"
-- Tirukkural

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U.S. Congressman Introduces Legislation Make Religious Workers Visa Program Permanent
Posted on 2014/4/11 16:05:03 ( 311 reads )

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 10, 2014 (Hindu American Foundation): Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) applauded the introduction of the Freedom of Faith Act by Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) earlier today. The Foundation worked closely with Rep. Honda on the legislation, which permanently reauthorizes the Special Immigrant Non-Minister provision of the Religious Worker Visa program. The Religious Worker Visa program is considered essential to many faith communities in the U.S., particularly Hindus, who rely on the program for the continued vitality of their places of worship.

"Unlike other faiths, Hindus lack facilities in the United States to train priests and religious workers here," said Harsh Voruganti, Esq., HAF's Associate Director of Public Policy. "We depend heavily upon the Religious Worker Visa to effectively staff our temples and religious institutions." "For over two decades, Congress has reauthorized this program time and time again." Rep. Honda stated. "It's time we do what's right for our communities of faith and make permanent this program that allows workers who lead worship, officiate events, and offer pastoral care, to receive temporary visas like ministers and faith leaders do."

Absent Congressional action, the Special Immigrant Non-Minister provision is scheduled to expire in September 2015. The provision has been consistently renewed by Congress every three years, but supporters argue that the constant need for renewal is inefficient and hurts houses of worship. "Houses of worship, like businesses, cannot function in uncertainty," noted Padma Kuppa, a member of HAF's Board of Directors and a prominent interfaith activist in Greater Detroit. "It's difficult for a temple or church to make long-term management decisions when we don't know if this vital program will exist next year. The Freedom of Faith Act solves this dilemma."

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Panchavadyams And Poorams: Spectacles Of North Kerala
Posted on 2014/4/11 16:04:56 ( 276 reads )

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KERALA, INDIA, April 9, 2014 (Press Information Bureau): The months of April and May, when the temperatures soar and the countryside is soaked daily in the brightest of sunlight, villages and small towns in the Malabar region (Northern parts) of Kerala reverberate to the exciting rhythms of various instruments. The colorful and musical festivals of Poorams are held during this period.

The pooram festivals are conducted with the local temple as the centre. The biggest and most colorful festival takes place at Vadakkumnathan temple in Thrissur and is called Thrissur Pooram. It happens during the Malayalam month of Medam (April/May). Another important festival not far from Thrissur is the Arattupuzha Pooram, which has around 60 elephants. This year the Arattupuzha pooram is being celebrated on April 11.

Thrissur pooram, the grandest spectacle of all has its beginnings during the reign of Sakthan Thampuran - one of the strongest rulers of the erstwhile kingdom of Kochi. He is said to have started the system of staging a grand pooram festival in repentance of having accidentally beheaded an oracle (what is locally known as a velichappadu - one who acts as a spokesperson for the local deity).

Panchavadyam, a rhythmic orchestra, that may feature more than 100 artists, playing five (pancha) different kindof instruments, is one of the major ingredients of the Pooram festivals. The term panchavadyam literally means an orchestra of five instruments. It is basically a temple art form that has evolved in Kerala. Of the five instruments, four --timila, maddalam, ilathalam and idakka -- belong to the percussion category, while the fifth, the kombu, is a wind instrument.

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"Yoga Saved My Career"
Posted on 2014/4/11 16:04:49 ( 327 reads )

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UNITED STATES, April 9, 2014 (Forbes): Serial entrepreneur Pravin Kothari has spent the past two decades in Silicon Valley's enterprise software trenches. He's had a hand in founding four tech companies, including ArcSight, which grew into a $1.6 billion HP acquisition in 2010. Kothari holds over a dozen patents in security technologies and is the inventor behind his latest company, CipherCloud's encryption technology. "For me, solving complex problems through innovation is my calling," says Kothari. But the biggest challenge in a startup when you have limited resources, changing priorities, too much to do and not enough time can be stress. "Yoga saved my career," says Kothari. "In 2004, I experienced a stress-induced digestive system disorder. My doctor informed me that I would need to quit startups and take daily medication for the rest of my life to counter the condition."

Under his doctors advice, Kothari started yoga to help de-stress for one hour in morning and one hour in the evening. He puts the fact that he made a full recovery and was able to toss out the medication within a year down to this routine. A 2012 study by the Alternative Medicine Review looked at 35 trials addressing the effects of yoga on anxiety and stress. It found that 25 noted a significant decrease in stress and/or anxiety symptoms when a yoga regimen was introduced, although it recommended more stringent controls such as larger study populations. "Yoga actively cleanses and refreshes one's mind and boosts creativity," says Kothari. "It helps channel peace into the organized chaos of building and running start ups. By finding their calm, employees are at optimal state for making the best decisions and deliver best results."

Kotari encourages and sponsors yoga for his employees. At ArcSight, he started weekly sponsored sessions at work to help employees better manage work life balance. "Ultimately, yoga is a powerful medium to take care of yourself, which is important because we often forget that in the course of taking care of work and family. As you get deeper into the practice, you extend that self-awareness into serving your community," says Kothari. "Yoga brings the balance, calm, team harmony, creativity and focus to help solve difficult problems faced every day in business. It can help achieve success in business and even fulfillment of personal dreams".

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/4/11 16:04:38 ( 233 reads )

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You may develop a thousand virtues and be reckoned as the greatest in the land. But the lotus of your heart will not blossom until you receive the grace of the Guru, the grace of God!
-- Dada Sadhu Vaswani

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Only Eight Pilgrims to Take Road to Kedarnath this Year
Posted on 2014/4/9 18:42:06 ( 478 reads )

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DEHRADUN, INDIA, April 9, 2014 (Times Of India): Only eight pilgrims have registered for road travel towards Kedarnath this year. Nearly 1.3 million had visited Kedarnath and Badrinath last year, during the Char Dham Yatra (pilgrimage to four holy sites). Rattled by last year's devastation in which floods killed 6,000 and stranded 100,000, only 77 devotees have opted for the chopper service for Kedarnath this year. With the Char Dham Yatra, the backbone of Uttarakhand's economy, scheduled to kick off in the first week of May, it is clear that the state is set to lose millions of dollars in revenue.

The Char Dham Yatra used to have over 20 million visitors through the pilgrimage season. It fueled the economy of Uttarakhand, triggering money circulation in the form of taxi rides, hotel bookings, chopper rides and road taxes. This year, the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) has only 294 bookings, including 77 for Kedarnath, for the Yatra.

Stunned by the low head-count, the state government has held meetings with over 250 tour operators based in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. "In the meetings we are telling the private tour operators about arrangements made by the state government in all the four shrines. This includes the medical facilities, helipads, emergency services, communications and transport," said a senior Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board official.

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Hindu Temple Awards Funds To Community Groups
Posted on 2014/4/9 18:42:00 ( 309 reads )

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LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA, April 4, 2014 (Independent News): The Shiva Vishnu Temple's soaring white gopura, the ornate tower at the temple's entrance, is awe-inspiring against Livermore's deep blue sky, but the people gathered within are beyond warm and welcoming. "Our motto is, 'Serving God through serving mankind,'" said Kruthi Shah, emcee of the Hindu Community and Cultural Center (HCCC)'s annual Grant in Aid Ceremony on March 22nd.

"Grant in Aid is in the spirit of giving back to the community," said Karunakar Gulukota, chairman of the Human Services Functional Committee. "The HCCC stands for community overall, and is sincerely making efforts to bring a positive difference to our community. Our facilities are open to everyone who could make suitable use of them while being mindful of the fact that it is attached to the Hindu Temple."

Since 1987, around $30,000 each year is granted to non-profit organizations that focus on meeting a wide range of human needs, particularly those ensuring food, shelter, health and education. Nearly 30 non-profits were chosen this year to receive grants which varied in amount according to the organization's needs, size and programs. Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Chief Jim Miguel accepted a grant of $1,200 that will help those impacted by fires and local emergencies, along with assisting firefighter's families when needed.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/4/9 18:41:53 ( 333 reads )

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Just as the Earth bears those who dig into her, it is best to bear with those who despise us.
-- Tirukkural

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UK Court Allows Hindu Prisoner To Perform Father's Last Rites
Posted on 2014/4/8 17:55:14 ( 421 reads )

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LONDON: April 5, 2014(Times of India): In a first-of-its-kind case, a Hindu prisoner being held in a British jail has won the right to perform the last rites at his father's funeral following a major legal battle. Joginder Paul Kashyap, serving a default prison sentence over non-payment of a confiscation order at Oakwood prison near the West Midlands city of Wolverhampton, was given immediate permission this week to be "chief mourner" and have his handcuffs removed to take part in the rituals of the Hindu funeral.

The 57-year-old had originally been told by the prison that he could only attend the cremation while handcuffed and accompanied by two guards. He launched judicial review proceedings and a judge ruled earlier this week that the original decision was wrong. "The claimant's handcuffs are to be removed in accordance with the terms set out in the Schedule to this Order," reads the court order by Justice Leggatt, sitting at the Administrative Court in Birmingham.

Kashyap's claim was backed by the Hindu Council (UK), which gave scriptural advice on the basis that "it could not be in dispute that the eldest son performs the funeral rites where the offspring consists of sons and that he must be allowed to do so with dignity". The case, believed to be the first of its kind, is expected to have wide-reaching repercussions on similar cases across the UK. The prisoner's legal team had argued that the decision of the prison was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

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Ram Navmi Celebrated With Religious Fervor
Posted on 2014/4/8 17:55:08 ( 425 reads )

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SRINAGAR,INDIA, Apr 8, 2014 (Rising Kashmir, by Sumaiya Yousuf): Ram Navami, the birth anniversary of Lord Rama, was celebrated in Summer Capital with religious fervor and gaiety on Tuesday ending their nine-day-long fast of Chaitra Navratri. Hundreds of devotees thronged the temples since morning to pay obeisance. Havans, sankirtans and preeti bhoj were conducted. The local pujaris (priests) had organized rallies and other functions that were conducted smoothly.

A group of Kashmiri pandits told Rising Kashmir that they conducted the festival effortlessly. Expressing gratitude to Muslim community, they said that they were very happy to see Muslim brothers and sisters helping and supporting them. "We are pleased to see how everyone is supporting and enjoying our festival, we could see our Muslim brothers smiling and cheering with us so what could be better than this feeling on such a precious day," another devotee from Karan Nagar Varun Gupta said. In several other places across Kashmir, Rath Yatra (religious processions) of murthis of Lord Rama and Sita are also organized, with devotees chanting hymns.

According to Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti, an organization of Kashmiri Pandits staying in Kashmir valley, currently there are 651 families with of population of 2,764 Kashmiri Pandits staying in and outside Srinagar [against a pre-1995 population of more than 100,000]. As per the Indian online pages, J&K has 10,143,700 total population and among them 3,005,349 are Hindu population maintaining 29.6% of the total population.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/4/8 17:55:01 ( 307 reads )

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Go beyond science, into the region of metaphysics. Real religion is beyond argument. It can only be lived, both inwardly and outwardly.
-- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society

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