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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/2/25 18:40:38 ( 461 reads )

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Love says, "I am everything." Wisdom says, "I am nothing." Between the two, my life flows. I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both.
-- Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981), Hindu sage

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Pashupati Premises All Decked Up For Shivaratri Festival
Posted on 2014/2/24 18:29:21 ( 497 reads )

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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, February 23, 2014 (ekantipur.com): Around 700,000 Hindu devotees are expected to visit the Pashupatinath Temple for the Shivaratri festival on Thursday. To manage the sea of people to route their way to the temple while ensuring their safety and convenience, the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) this year has made arrangement for four lines, among them one will be priority-based, where one could pay Rs 1,000 (US$10.23) for fast track access into the temple. The three other lineups will be the general queue requiring no entry fee. "From the normal lines, it would take 45 minutes to one hour to reach the main temple," said Gobinda Tandon, the member secretary of the PADT.

With only less than a week remaining for the festival, preparation works at the temple is well under way. While decoration and construction works on the Pashupatinath premises have completed, various sub-committees have been entrusted to carry out specific responsibilities concerning the pre and post events of the festival.

Security is a major concern for the organiser for the festival dedicated to Shiva. A total of 3,000 security personnel from the Nepal police and the Armed Police Force will be deployed to keep law and order during the festival. The PADT also has decided to deploy around 10,000 volunteers to assist the devotees.

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Following A Holy Path in Bali
Posted on 2014/2/24 18:29:15 ( 528 reads )

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BALI, INDONESIA, February 8, 2014 (Jakarta Post): Dressed in white Balinese attire, more than 120 devotee couples underwent the pewintenan gana wisesa ritual recently at Silayukti temple in Padangbai village, Karangasem. The ritual, which is a purification and initiation rite, elevates the spiritual and social status of the participants into pemangku (temple priests) for males and serati banten (offering makers) for females.

It was organized by Maha Gotra Pasek Sanak Sapta Rsi (MGPSSR), arguably the biggest clan-based organization on the island. Silayukti temple is a historic place of worship believed to have been constructed in 11th century by Mpu Kuturan, an influential sage with supernatural power who played a pivotal role in the birth of Balinese Hinduism.

After the end of the ritual, participants' bodies and minds are considered sufficiently "pure" to carry out important errands in the temple, including placing offerings in the shrine and sprinkling holy water on the devotees.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/2/24 18:29:08 ( 418 reads )

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It is impossible for me to reconcile with the idea of conversion as it happens today. It is an error and perhaps the greatest impediment to the world's progress toward peace. Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man?
-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

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2014 Amarnath Yatra to Run from June 28 to August 10
Posted on 2014/2/21 18:09:11 ( 582 reads )

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INDIA, February 19th, 2014 (travPR.com): The Holy Amarnath Yatra (pilgrimage) 2014 dates have been announced. The 44-day Yatra will commence on June 28, an auspicious day as per Hindu Calendar and shall conclude on Raksha Bandhan on 10 Aug, 2014. A very special puja will be conducted on June 13, the day of Jyesth Purnima, to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva for the safe yatra. This year, 7,500 yatris (pilgrims) on a per day per route basis will be allowed to register for the pilgrimage. This excludes Yatris who travel by helicopters to Panjtarni. The registration process is expected to commence on 1st March 2014.

In view of the complaints received from yatris last year, a new design of Yatra Permit Registration Forms has been created, which will have a number of high security features. This will ensure that the Yatra Permit Forms are not duplicated by unlawful elements. The Yatra Permit Form will be available at the designated 422 Bank Branches.

It is mandatory that the intending Yatris furnish the prescribed Compulsory Health Certificate (CHC) issued only by the authorized Doctors/Medical Institutes. No other certificate will be accepted. There is no change in the format of CHC this year. CHC must be issued only after February 1, 2014. The intending yatris must be above 13 years and below 75 years of age.

See:

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/ ... tion/item.php?itemid=5363

For Hinduism Today's feature story on the 2012 yatra.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/2/21 18:09:05 ( 625 reads )

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He cannot be seen by the eye, and words cannot reveal Him. He cannot be reached by the senses, or by austerity or sacred actions. By the grace of wisdom and purity of mind, He can be seen, indivisible, in the silence of contemplation. This invisible Atman can be seen by the mind wherein the five senses are resting.
-- Atharva Veda

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Fiji Hindus Unite to Celebrate Their Country
Posted on 2014/2/20 18:46:49 ( 606 reads )

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NADI, FIJI, February 19, 2014 (Fiji Times): The first-ever gathering of Hindus to celebrate their contribution to the country will be held in Nadi in April. The conference will be held on April 12 and 13 at the Tanoa International Hotel.

Organisers of the event -- the Vishva Hindu Parishad Fiji or World Hindu Council of Fiji -- emphasized that the first Fiji National Hindu Conference was not a religious or philosophical meeting but rather, a community conference.

The theme is "The contribution of the Hindu community in strengthening and building Fiji" and it will cover economic, health, environmental, social and cultural aspects. The conference will provide a platform for all Hindu organisations, temples and like-minded groups to showcase their contributions to Fijian society in general and Hindu society in particular.

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Hindu American Foundation Responds To Book Controversy
Posted on 2014/2/20 18:46:43 ( 632 reads )

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, February 13, 2014 (HAF): In light of a multitude of inquiries with regard to Penguin India's decision to withdraw controversial scholar, Wendy Doniger's "The Hindus: An Alternative History," the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) issues the following statement.

HAF is against censorship or the banning of books in any country or fora. In fact, we have consistently held that Doniger's many published works are profoundly problematic based on their selective use of facts and questionable methodology, but the preferred course of action is to challenge and debate, provide rebuttals, and publish accounts of Hinduism and its history that present the deep insight and emic perspectives so obviously lacking in Doniger's work.

This particular case, however, is not one of banning, but the result of a legal, out-of-court settlement, which Penguin books entered into willingly with Delhi-based Shiksha Bachao Andolan ("The Save Education Movement"). In response to a lawsuit brought only four years ago under the Indian Penal Code, whose Section 295A forbids speech which "deliberately and maliciously inflames religious sentiment," Penguin appears to have calculated that the liability for errors and excessive editorial liberties taken by Doniger outweigh the potential harm its reputation may sustain by surrendering rather than championing free speech.

More at 'source'.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/2/20 18:46:37 ( 465 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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Pakistani Hindus Angered by Forced Conversions
Posted on 2014/2/18 18:54:51 ( 701 reads )

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PAKISTAN, February 17, 2014 (Saharasamay): A report from Karachi said on Monday, Feb. 17, that leaders of the community say girls as young as six years were being pressured to change their religion.

"Can you accept your daughters being forcibly married to Muslim men?" said Raj Kumar, whose niece Rinkle Kumari was allegedly forced to convert and marry a Muslim man in 2012. Kumar, whose niece's case made headlines and was taken up by the Supreme Court, was speaking at a seminar at the Karachi Press Club on Sunday, Feb. 16, on the theme "Hindus in Pakistan--issues and solutions".

Marju and Soma, parents of six-year-old Jumna and 10-year-old Pooja, residents of Mirpurkhas city in Sindh province, were present at the event. When their girls went missing on February 4, they raised an alarm. "After several reports in the media about our missing girls, it was found that they had been staying with a man named Rajab Pathan. The police of our area later produced them in court as Muslim children. Soma said the court sent the girls to a Darul Aman or womens' home following suspicions they may have been subjected to child abuse at home.

"Little Jumna has been given back to us now but Pooja is still at the Darul Aman. She seems to have been brainwashed into saying strange things about us. Her mind seems affected by the trauma," he said.

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Is Yoga the Secret to Olympic Gold?
Posted on 2014/2/18 18:54:45 ( 861 reads )

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UNITED STATES, February 14, 2014 (Huffington Post): Instead of going to Disney World after winning gold in the women's snowboarding slopestyle event, Jamie Anderson said she'll be headed to Wanderlust -- a yoga retreat on the North Shore of Oahu -- to celebrate.

Anderson credits yoga practice with helping her stay physically and mentally strong, and she's not the only one who feels that way in Sochi. In fact, we discovered so many Olympians-cum-yogis that if the United States Yoga Federation ever succeeds in making yoga asana, or posture yoga, an official Olympic sport, we'll most likely see some cross-sport competitors.

Women athletes aren't the only ones benefiting from yoga. America's coed luge team, for instance, is partnering with Indian rival Shiva Keshavan in order to gain stretching tips. "Yoga is something we have had with the team for a few years now," U.S. coach Mark Grimmette has said, "but Shiva and his wife know yoga well so they have been facilitating those sessions."

View images of yoga practicing Olympians at 'source'.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/2/18 18:54:31 ( 482 reads )

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The whole purpose of earning wealth and maintaining a home is to provide hospitality to guests.
-- Tirukkural

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Protect The Hindu Community in Bangladesh
Posted on 2014/2/17 18:20:50 ( 599 reads )

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BANGLADESH, February 10, 2014 (The Daily Star by Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International's Bangladesh Researcher): For anyone who has followed the news from Bangladesh since the country's January 5 elections, the last few weeks' headlines have made for grim reading. Dozens have been killed in the street protests that raged across Bangladesh during the weeks around the vote, and with the opposition boycotting the elections and questioning the legitimacy of the new government, the political crisis shows no sign of letting up

But behind the headlines, there are hidden victims that have not gotten the attention they deserve -- Bangladesh's minority Hindu community. Comprising around 10% of the population, Hindus have become hostage to the political confrontation between governing and opposition party supporters. As these parties have violently fought each other in the streets, Hindus have been terrorized, their homes and shops set on fire, their belongings looted and their temples vandalized. Many have left their homes, some have fled to India.

If it is difficult to establish who exactly is attacking Hindus, the reasons behind the violence are even more complex. Tension between the Hindu and Muslim communities dates back to at least the 1947 separation of Pakistan from India, then in East Pakistan and later Bangladesh (after its independence in 1971).

Historically, attacks against Hindus have been aimed at forcing them to abandon their land and livelihood. Such land has then been transferred to their Muslim neighbors or powerful land owners under the Vested Property Act of 1974, a law that in practice allows confiscation of Hindu land if claimants can prove the land has been "abandoned." The law itself, corruption and lack of justice, makes confiscation easy, and many Hindus have lost their properties over the years.

More at source.

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Ramakrishna Mission's Annual Report: Going Strong
Posted on 2014/2/17 18:20:44 ( 651 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, February 17, 2014: We at HPI always read with interest the monthly Vedanta Kesari magazine from the RK Mission in Chennai. The February issue carried an impressive report of their activities for 2012-13, a report which reminds us the RK Mission is one of the largest Hindu institutions in the world. In just 2012-2013, they provided relief to half a million; welfare to 3.6 million old, sick and destitute people; medical services to 8 million through 15 hospitals, 125 dispensaries, 60 mobile medical units and 953 medical camps; spent US$40 million on education for 329,000 students; and financed development projects benefitting 4.3 million rural and tribal people. They also spent $8 millon on dozens of programs celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/2/17 18:20:37 ( 500 reads )

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Sattvic knowledge sees the one indestructible Being in all beings, the unity underlying the multiplicity of creation. Rajasic knowledge sees all things and creatures as separate and distinct. Tamasic knowledge, lacking any sense of perspective, sees one small part and mistakes it for the whole.
-- Bhagavad Gita 18:20-22

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