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World Hindu Congress to Convene in Delhi November 21-23, 2014
Posted on 2014/10/26 18:05:23 ( 381 reads )

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DEHLI, INDIA, October 26, 2014 (Press Release): The global Hindu society, beset by very serious challenges stands at a critical crossroads. It is absolutely necessary that Hindus assemble to reflect the issues in front of a Hindu population which is more than a billion. The Christian and Muslim populations of the world, which now stand well over a billion strong themselves, have consistently held global forums and conferences to deliberate issues of global importance and quickly form global initiatives rooted in their religious traditions to tackle these issues. The Hindu community, on the other hand, standing as the world's third largest civilisation group as well as the oldest and the world's most deeply rooted Dharma tradition, does not have a consistent global platform to address and resolve the relevant issues that affect both the Hindu population as well as the entire global population. The global Hindu community has only held such forums and conferences at intermittent times, with the implementation of resolutions and proposed policies being sporadic at best. The fatal convergence of these developments has greatly undermined the effectiveness of any gains made at previously held conferences. It is time to break this inconsistency.
The new century demands that Hindu society come together on a common platform with a common purpose and a shared vision to march ahead confidently into the future. In this context, the World Hindu Congress will be held on 21 - 23 November, 2014 in the city of New Delhi. The World Hindu Congress will be organized in a joint manner consisting of all like minded Hindu groups every four years, with each Congress being held in a different part of the world. The Congress is an informal organisation, solely dependent on the efforts of associated Hindu organisations and activists. The Congress will consist of delegates from around the world. The delegates will consist of individuals who committed to working for the Hindu resurgence as well as men and women of achievement and accomplishment in a wide range of professions and human endeavors.
The Congress, will consist of seven different conferences. Each conference will specifically deal with an area of strategic importance to the global Hindu community, holding detailed deliberations (both pre-conference and post-conference) and articulating specific solutions to deal with any obstacles that are blocking the Hindu community's ability to progress in the respective area concerned.
For more, go to source.

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Sydney Opera House Lights Up for Deepavali
Posted on 2014/10/25 18:30:00 ( 646 reads )

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, October 22, 2014 (NSW):The sails of the Sydney Opera House have turned a vibrant orange and yellow during an event hosted by New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello in celebration of the Hindu festival of light, Deepavali. Mr Baird and Mr Dominello were joined by Multicultural NSW Chair and prominent member of the Indian community, Dr Hari Harinath, to mark the occasion. "This is the first time the Opera House has been lit up in celebration of Deepavali, the festival of light celebrated by the global Hindu community," Mr Baird said. "The sails of the Opera House lit up as Mr Dominello and Dr Harinath joined me to light a traditional diya, a ceremonial lamp in Hindu culture that signifies the lifting of spiritual darkness and the renewal of life.

"This festival has been embraced by Australians of all backgrounds and is one of many cultural and religious celebrations that take place every year across NSW. "The NSW Government celebrates cultural and religious diversity and it's through events such as these that we can learn and understand more about each other's backgrounds." Mr. Dominello said the State's South Asian community was made up of over 200,000 people who now call Australia home.

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Mozambique: Diwali Holiday for Hindu Employees
Posted on 2014/10/25 18:30:00 ( 484 reads )

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MOZAMBIQUE, October 22, 2014( Verdade):The Labour Minister, Maria Helena Taipo, has granted a day off to most Hindu government workers and public officials in Mozambique, on Friday, October 24, on which day the Hindu Community celebrates the beginning of the Hindu New Year, Vikram Savant 2071. The Minister of Labour, in its news release, expressed its best wishes for a happy holiday to the Hindu Community in Mozambique.

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Russian Hindus Reach Tirupati, Meet Seer
Posted on 2014/10/25 18:30:00 ( 0 reads )

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TIRUPATI, INDIA, October 21, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): Five Russian disciples of Sri Sri Ravishankar of the Art of Living Foundation, who accepted Hinduism some time ago, reached Tirupati as part of their visit to places of spiritual interest in the country. Accompanied by BJP state spokesperson G. Bhanuprakash Reddy, they called on Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi, the junior pontiff of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, at the Kanchi Mutt in Tirupati on Monday.

In an interesting interaction with the seer, they explained that they found a positive energy in India and wanted the same to be felt by all across the world. They told the seer that they regularly perform Sandhya Vandanam, chant Gayatri Mantra and practice yoga.

The seer appreciated the Russian group for embarking on a spiritual and noble mission to propagate the Hindu Sanatana Dharma across the globe. Later the Russian group visited a few local temples in Tirupati and the team addressed the students of an engineering college on the noble values in Hinduism towards the end of the day. The Russian devotees are to visit the Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala after the Diwali festival.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/10/25 18:24:11 ( 380 reads )

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There the eye goes not, nor words, nor mind. We know not. We cannot understand how He can be explained. He is above the known, and He is above the unknown. Thus have we heard from the ancient sages who explained this truth to us.

-- Sama Veda, Kena Upanishad 1.3

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Diwali - Keeping the Light Burning
Posted on 2014/10/21 18:50:00 ( 966 reads )

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GUYANA, October 18, 2014 (Guyana Chronicle, by Cecil Ramkirath): Deepavali (or Diwali), the Festival of Lights, is one of the most enchanting and beautiful festivals that adorn the Hindu calendar. It commemorates the beginning of the Hindu New Year and there is an unmistakable element of fun, laughter, excitement, reunion, and heartfelt felicity associated with the celebration. And why not enjoy and have some fun when the harvest season has ended and the financial books are closed.

Diwali originated in rural India as primarily a harvest festival, a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Diwali is observed in many countries outside of India, and in Guyana and Trinidad, the Hindu community joyfully anticipates the coming of Diwali. The inside and outside of homes are beautifully decorated with diyas (earthen lamps) or candles, and with every passing year, we are literally mesmerized by the spectacularly dazzling display of exquisitely and artistically designed illuminations on motorcades, houses and business premises that seem to outshine the glitter and glamor of Manhattan's Times Square.

Amidst the jubilation and display, we must not lose sight of the strong spiritual current that runs deep in the proper observance of Diwali. Diwali signifies the light that dispels the darkness of ignorance. This is the light of spiritual knowledge that comes from the long and arduous journey towards self-realisation. We have to keep the light of knowledge and virtue burning brightly within and bring it forth to the world in good actions and deeds, working vigorously and selflessly to eradicate poverty, violence, exploitation, injustice, hatred and cruelty, fiercely resisting all forms of discrimination, forging friendship and goodwill, and in humble and little ways, bring warmth and joy in the lives we touch.

More of this inspiring essay at "source."

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India's Diwali Festival Lights up Hanoi
Posted on 2014/10/21 18:40:04 ( 714 reads )

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HANOI, VIETNAM, October 19, 2014 (Vietnam Plus): The Indian Embassy and the Indian Business Chamber in Vietnam co-organized the Diwali festival in Hanoi on October 18 in a bid to provide the local audience with an insight into the land, people and culture of India.

The event offered an opportunity for Indian people to show their respect for the Goddess Lakshmi - a symbol of happiness, prosperity, beauty and faith in the victory of the fight between good and evil.

During the festival, Hanoians were enthralled by both traditional and modern dances, culinary arts, and interesting experiments about India and its people as well as unique cultural characteristics such as yoga and traditional handicrafts. Especially, India's custom of lighting candles attracted many people.

Diwali, one of the largest festivals in India , has become a regular activity of the Indian community in Vietnam. This year's event was expected to attract more than 1,000 visitors.

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Nataraja Statue Sent to "Idol Centre"
Posted on 2014/10/13 19:00:00 ( 1214 reads )


INDIA, September 18, 2014 (The Hindu): Seventy-five-year-old N. Govindarajan of Sripuranthan was almost in tears seeing the panchaloha statue of Lord Nataraja after more than a decade. It was stolen from Sri Brahadeeswarar Temple at Sripuranthan in the district before 2006. A group of villagers from Sripuranthan also waited patiently for hours to get a glimpse of the statue when it was brought to the Jayamkondam Judicial Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

The 1,000-year-old statue, which was recently handed over to India by Australia, was brought from Chennai and produced before Magistrate S. Muthumurugan. Weighing about 330 lbs. and standing about five feet in height, the statue was neatly packed in a wooden box and brought in a police truck with tight security.

Measurements were taken in the presence of the Magistrate by the personnel of the Statue Wing CID of State police investigating the statues-theft cases at the Sripuranthan and Suthamalli temples. The Statue Wing police filed a petition seeking the court's permission to keep it in safe custody at the government "Idol Centre" in Kumbakonam.

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Dharma Festival in the Royal Garden on August 30
Posted on 2014/10/13 18:53:44 ( 1010 reads )

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SWEDEN, September 18, 2014 (source): I was just passing by the Kings Garden on August 30 and saw a wonderfully ornate scene surrounding the garden pool. It was my longtime friends "young Swedish Dharmis and Ashavaner ([Zoroastrians]" in Stockholm, who had organized a festival to demonstrate how Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Zoroastrian religions operate in the world.

"Dharma" is a concept in several Indian thought systems, with varying significance. It is about the religious, ritual, secular and economic duties under the Vedas, which is famous age-old Indian scriptures.

The Royal Garden was bustling with people in colorful costumes on this sunny day and the program was impressive. A "Sanatana Dharmish" (a Hindu fire ceremony, known as the Ganga Arti) for "World Peace and Non-violence" and for a more equitable society was done on the steps of the long garden pool which had been consecrated with a few drops of Himalayan water from the Ganges in India! Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Zoroastrian chants for world peace were made and ten women blew the conch shells before and after the ceremony.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/10/13 18:53:38 ( 999 reads )

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Whatever defect I have in my sight, in my heart or mind, may God amend! May he, the Protector of the world, bless us!
-- Yajur Veda 36.2

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Former Army Chaplain Now Heads Hindu Ministry at Georgetown
Posted on 2014/10/12 18:16:08 ( 1052 reads )

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WASHINGTON, U.S., October 7, 2014 (Military.com): Georgetown has hired its first Hindu chaplain, Pratima Dharm, who recently retired as the first Hindu chaplain in the U.S. Army. Dharm, who began her role at Georgetown Oct. 1 in the university's Office of Campus Ministry, has served on Army bases and hospitals around the world, including a year-long deployment in Iraq.

While serving as a captain in the Army, she was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for organizing and leading numerous humanitarian aid missions for Kurdish Iraqis. "War can dehumanize you and I was watching the dehumanization of my soldiers, so I was fighting to give them a sense of family," says Dharm, who began her stint with the Army in 2006. "Army ministry has touched me so deeply and it has made me a better chaplain and a better human being."

A native of Mumbai, she came to the United States in March 2001. Dharm is trained in the Vaishnav Hindu tradition in India and is endorsed by Chinmaya Mission West, Palo Alto, California. At Georgetown, Dharm says she will lead the weekly Hindu pujas or prayer services, now attended by about 100 students, look at programs that could better Hindu education on campus and work closely with other religious groups on campus.

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Immigrant Keeps Suicide Watch Over Fellow Refugees From Bhutan
Posted on 2014/10/12 18:16:02 ( 999 reads )

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PORTLAND, OREGON, October 8, 2014 (LA Times): Since Som Subedi joined Lutheran Community Services in 2010, the 33-year-old has attended to Portland's Bhutanese immigrants. He meets them at the airport, giving them a $100 bill, telling them: "Here, this is to get you started. But remember, money doesn't grow on trees." He helps them find shelter and introduces them to other Bhutanese to alleviate the shock of a new homeland.

Subedi and other members of the Hindu minority in Bhutan were banished by the king of their Himalayan mountain kingdom in an ethnic cleansing that began a quarter-century ago. Since then, tens of thousands of Bhutanese have moved to refugee camps across neighboring Nepal. Subedi spent two decades there, before the U.S. agreed in 2008 to accept 60,000 Bhutanese immigrants, and several other nations agreed to accept a like number.

Six years after his arrival, Subedi has fashioned a life here. But his own success is not enough; Subedi visits other Bhutanese to help them make it too. He serves as a one-man switchboard, counseling his countrymen enduring isolation and financial hardship

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/10/12 18:15:56 ( 746 reads )

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When I came out of the spacecraft (Discovery) for a space walk, I had this feeling that Ganesha was looking over me.
-- Sunita Williams, astronaut, the second Indian-American to orbit the Earth

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Read Hinduism Today's 1995 Story on Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Kailash Satyarthi
Posted on 2014/10/11 17:47:40 ( 1261 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 1995 (by Rajiv Malik): Note: Hinduism Today did a lengthy article on Kailash Satyarthi and his work nearly 20 years ago. Following is a summary. The full article can be accessed as "source" above. This was, btw, only the second article done for the magazine by our now long-time Indian correspondent, Rajiv Malik, one which required him to go undercover as he investigated companies using child labor.

All the religions of the world unequivocally recognize children as the most marvelous of God's creations. Yet the painful truth is that about 200 million children continue to languish in workplaces all over the globe. India alone accounts for a whopping 55 million-80% Hindus, and nearly all lower caste. The main industries employing children, some as young as four, are farming, stone quarries, construction, carpet weaving, glass making, match and fireworks, handloom, gem polishing and lock assembly. All are known to damage the health of children, causing lung, eye and skin diseases. Explosions in match and fireworks factories have killed and injured many. Such employment is in open violation of Article 32 of the UN Convention, "The Rights of the Child," which protects children from work "likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or be harmful to the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development."

Kailash Satyarthi, Chairman of the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude, is one of the leading activists struggling for the betterment of working children and the rescue and release of bonded child labor. According to him, a rough count of the number of working children below age 14 (the legal limit) in India is 110 to 120 million. However, half this number is classified as assisting their parents or relatives. The rest are children whose parents feel forced to put to work.

It was a first-hand experience that set Kailash Satyarthi on his life's mission. "Near my house," he relates, "there was a small shop of a shoemaker. I was young. All the children I knew went to school, except the shoemaker's son. One day I approached the boy's father and asked him why he was not sending his son to school. The cobbler explained to me that as he was poor he could not afford his son's going to school. Now this incident touched me a lot. Somewhere in my heart I decided then and there that I was going to work for the betterment of such children who are deprived of their childhood due to poverty, illiteracy and other such reasons. I went on to become an electrical engineer, but I was dissatisfied. In 1980 I quit and dedicated myself fully to this mission-abolition of child labor from India."

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Is Varanasi Older Than Its Known History?
Posted on 2014/10/11 17:47:33 ( 1025 reads )

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VARANASI, INDIA February 6, 2014 (Times of India): Is Varanasi older than its known history? In an effort to find an answer to this vexed question, a group of archeologists led by former professor of archeology at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Prof. Vidula Jayaswal is busy "unearthing the antiquity" of this city through excavations at the ASI protected site at Rajghat with help from the Archaeological Survey of India.

"Based on archaeological remains unearthed at the Kashi-Rajghat area about four decades ago, findings had suggested that the city was inhabited around the 9th century BC. But our venture aims at finding answers to a number of questions like how old is Varanasi actually? What are the factors which helped this city to survive till today -- particularly when other old cities on the banks of the Ganga died out? The news excavations could push the date back by several centuries," Vidula told TOI on Wednesday.

"We are digging the earth in 5X5 meter blocks till a depth of 5-6 meters to find out archeological remains," she said. Based on the earlier findings, the ASI records say that the site of Rajghat perhaps represents the ancient Kashi. This area has been one of the oldest settlement sites and still possesses natural groves and old remains. This mound was excavated by BHU and from 1960 to 1969 and a trial trench was dug in 1957. The excavation carried out at Rajghat brought to light artifacts dating back to 8th century BC to 18th century AD.

More at "source."

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