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Being a Hindu, Being an Ambassador for Hinduism

Posted on 2016/8/4 18:27:07 ( 1216 reads )


DETROIT, MICHIGAN, July 31, 2016 (Patheos by Padma Kuppa): We live amid challenging times, where ignorance about your neighbor can lead to not just "otherizing" someone you don't know, but also to violence -- violence that stems from fear and distrust of someone whose beliefs and practices seem alien and in opposition to your own. When I moved to Michigan nearly two decades ago, I was one of a handful of people "farmed out" to be a speaker when the meager temple office staff received a call asking for a Hindu representative, from schools, colleges and other groups actively seeking to meet and talk to a Hindu. In 2006, as a result of the increasing stream of requests that I personally received (I had co-founded an interfaith organization in 2005), the Temple formed the Outreach Committee with this mission: "Take the lead to represent the Bharatiya Temple in Inter-faith and Intra-faith activities in the Metro Detroit area. The committee will accomplish this by working with many different wisdom traditions, groups, specific audiences or the general public."

Ten years later, the Committee continues to fulfill its mission, but the critical nature of its purpose has not engaged the consciousness of the broader Temple membership or the large Hindu community in the region. I have also realized that we have a larger challenge: to ensure that the Hindu community is better prepared for the ever-increasing number of non-Hindu visitors. While the need for outreach efforts has multiplied, the basic challenge for Hindus in America still remains: outreach is not in our DNA, and we are not able to articulate our faith in a way that dispels stereotypes and reduces bullying of our children.

More of this insightful article at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/4 18:26:56 ( 1054 reads )


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

Himachal Pradesh Raghunath Temple Take-Over Challenged

Posted on 2016/8/3 19:53:08 ( 1235 reads )


HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA August 1, 2016 (Tribune India): Himachal Lokhit Party president and Chief Kardar (caretaker) of Lord Raghunath temple, Maheshwar Singh has challenged the government's decision to take over the temple in the High Court. Maheshwar contended in his petition that the temple was built and established by the Late Raja Jagat. The petitioner challenged the decision of the government on the ground that the action of the state was illegal, arbitrary and against provisions of the Constitution of India. It was further contended that the government could not add the temple in the schedule of the Himachal Pradesh Religious and Charitable Endowment Act without proper inquiry and giving an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner. He further contended that the affairs of temple had been managed by his family since its establishment.

Swami Nithyananda Files Case against Appointment of Junior Pontiff of Madurai Adheenam

Posted on 2016/8/3 19:52:58 ( 1147 reads )


MADURAI, INDIA, August 1, 2016 (Times of India): Three months after the appointment of a junior pontiff for the 1,500-year-old Madurai Adheenam (Mutt), founder of Dhyana Peetam Swami Nithyananda has filed a suit against the appointment before the Madurai sub court. On April 21, the mutt's 292nd pontiff Srila Sri Arunagirinatha Gurugnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal had appointed V Thirunavukarasu of Pillaiyarpatti in Sivaganga district, as his successor. When the matter came up for hearing on Saturday, the petitioner's counsel told that as far as Madurai Mutt is concerned, a junior pontiff could be appointed once during the tenure of the mutt head. Accordingly, the mutt head had appointed the petitioner Nithyananda, as junior pontiff on April 27, 2012. However, after some months, Arunagirinatha filed a case before the high court bench seeking to declare that the appointment was not valid and the concerned case is pending before the court. While the case is pending, the pontiff has appointed a new junior pontiff this year. Thus, his action was against the mutt provisions and the appointment of the new junior pontiff should be cancelled.

It may be recalled that the appointment of Nithyananda as junior pontiff evoked wide criticism and stiff opposition from various organisations across the state. Adhering to demands, the Madurai pontiff removed Nithyananda from the post of junior pontiff in the next six months.

Namami Gange Projects Worth US$60 Million Approved

Posted on 2016/8/3 19:52:47 ( 1080 reads )


INDIA, August 4, 2016 (Press Information Bureau): In another major step towards implementation in Namami Gange in mission mode the empowered steering committee of National Ganga River Basin Authority today approved various projects worth US$60 million. The projects include development of ghats and crematoria in the stretch from Rudraprayag to Guptkashi (Uttarakhand), rehabilitation/development works of ghats and crematoria at Kanpur, interception and diversion of flow of sisamau and other nalas of Kanpur city, development of ghats and crematoria in Bijnor on Ramganga, Uttar Pradesh, development works of ghats and crematorium at Allahabad, modernization/new construction of ghats including public amenities/ crematoria/ river front development work etc in Kahalgaon, Bihar, development of ghats and crematoria in the stretch from Sahibganj to Rajmahal, Jharkhand, construction and upgradation of electric crematoria at Bhatpara and Naihati in West Bengal afforestation program in the state of West Bengal and development of 13 ghats and five crematoria at Bithoor in UP.

Baba Ramdev Opens Hindu Fair in Chennai

Posted on 2016/8/3 19:52:37 ( 1144 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, August 2, 2016 (New Indian Express): The annual Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair will be inaugurated by yoga guru Baba Ramdev at 5.30 pm on Tuesday in the presence of Jain, Buddhist and Sikh scholars at the AM Jain college grounds here. Ahead of the six-day Fair, a mass yoga event was organized in which over 10,000 schoolboys participated. That was followed by a mass singing program called Ganathon in which 10,000 college girls took part. Also hundreds of Vivekananda Raths rolled into various institutions to spread the message and ideals of the Fair.

Attended by thousands, the Fair is now in its eighth year. This year's edition will focus on the revival of traditional games of India. According to S. Gurumurthy, the brain behind the Fair, over 1,000 competitions in about 180 traditional games will be conducted during the Fair.

The Fair's core message is environment protection and conservation. The program is innovative since it links yoga positions to the six themes of the Fair, namely conserve forest and protect wildlife, preserve ecology, sustain environment, inculcate family and social values, promote women's honor and instill patriotism. For instance, the Vrukshasana (tree position) is linked to reverence for trees and conservation of forests and Bhjujangasana (snake position) for protecting wildlife.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/3 19:52:26 ( 1013 reads )


Are you depressed? Remember, within you is the Power. If you will but release a fraction of it, you can make the impossible possible.
-- Dada J.P. Vaswani

Badrinath Yatra Stalled Temporarily, Landslides Cripple State

Posted on 2016/7/31 18:00:27 ( 1565 reads )


DEHRADUN, INDIA, July 31, 2016 (Daily Pioneer): Heavy rainfall across Uttarakhand has affected the mountainous regions. Due to this, Badrinath Yatra has been suspended temporarily. Several roads across Dehradun district have been blocked too following rainfall-triggered landslides.

The administration has made relief centres for those affected by the rains and the landslides the rain had spawned. Special arrangements have been made too for the pilgrims who are stranded midway. It is learnt from the official sources that Pithoragarh, Chamoli, Pauri, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Champawat and Nainital districts have borne the maximum brunt of the recent rainy spell.

How India's Post Office Bottles Its Ganga Water

Posted on 2016/7/31 18:00:17 ( 1189 reads )


NEW DELHI. INDIA, July 31, 2016 (Times of India): Please remove your shoes before entering the room, comes the unusual request from a senior official at the Rail Mail Service (RMS) Bhawan near Delhi's Kashmere Gate. The room in question was unremarkable until recently, when it became a reliquary for bottled Ganga. The river's water has seemingly sanctified an otherwise utilitarian space whose contents have thus far been courier packages and daily mail.

Just weeks after Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad promised to have Ganga water delivered to people's doorsteps via the Indian postal service, the scheme has become a hit not just in the national capital, but also in other states like Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. It is the first end-to-end product operation handled by India Post. Since the day of its inception in the first week of July, the RMS Bhawan has dispatched over 49,000 bottles to 22 postal circles in the country.

"It is a very systematic procedure. Mussoorie Express gets the water from the Ganga in Rishikesh, and at times from Gangotri. Around 7-8 people from the Rishikesh post office collect the water directly from the river. They send it to us in cans with a capacity of 20 litres each. Overnight, the train reaches New Delhi. Our men go and collect it early morning and bring it to RMS Bhawan," adds the official. Once it reaches RMS Bhawan, the water is treated in two rooms, cleared of sediment, and then packaged. "You can drink it of course, it is holy after all. But we want to make sure that there are no unwanted particles, like soil or little stones, in it. It comes straight from the river which is why we filter it properly," says the official.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/7/31 17:59:56 ( 1001 reads )


Whenever you have the chance, laugh as much as you can. By this all the rigid knots in your body will be loosened. But to laugh superficially is not enough; your whole being must be united in laughter, both inwardly and outwardly. Do you know how this is to be expressed? You literally shake with merriment from head to foot; so that it is impossible to tell which part of your body is most affected. I want you to laugh with your whole countenance, with your whole heart and with all the breath of your life.
-- Anandamayi Ma from Anandamayi--Her Life and Wisdom by Richard Lannoy

Dalits Protest Exclusion from Festival

Posted on 2016/7/30 18:29:37 ( 1255 reads )


INDIA, July 28, 2016 (The News Minute): Frustrated by their exclusion from a festival of the Deity Bhadra Kaliamman in the Mahasakhthi Amman temple, 250 Dalit families living in the Pazhangkallimedu and Nagapalli villages in Nagapattinam district recently threatened to convert to Islam. Although caste Hindu authorities have subsequently agreed to allow them a day to celebrate their Deity, the Dalit families still seem apprehensive about how far the agreement will hold.

The main demand of the Dalits is to perform Mandagapadi, that is, to lead the rituals on one day in the five-day annual temple festival. "Bhadra Kaliamman is our Deity, whom we have been worshipping from generations. But now, we are not left with any other way than to convert to Islam," said Senthil Kumar, district Union Secretary of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK).

For these Dalits, the refusal to recognize their right to worship devalues their contribution towards the temple. "We built the temple in 2009 and it is government-aided. Then why should we not be allowed to celebrate the temple festival for one day?" asked Vetrivel, President of the temple trust in the village.

Travancore Temple Board Plans Godly Lessons

Posted on 2016/7/30 18:29:27 ( 966 reads )


KOCHI, INDIA, July 26, 2016 (Deccan Chronicle): The Travancore Devaswom Board will set up religious study centres in all temples under it within a year so as to attract more people to the "path of faith," the board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan said on Monday. "Currently such centers are functional in about 200 temples. We will co-ordinate and streamline their functioning.

In the rest of the temples, centres will be started in a phased manner. The aim is to attract maximum people to the religious faiths and beliefs," Mr. Gopalakrishnan told DC. There are 1,248 temples under the control of the board. It's compulsory for children or grandchildren of members of temple advisory committees to attend the classes, he said. However, the financial implication for the initiative would be kept at a minimum.

The centres will have facilities such as computers, DTP and multi-media projector, among others. "Basically the classes will be on the core values and principles based on traditional epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharatha.

Compassion In 4 Dharmic Traditions Released in Delhi

Posted on 2016/7/30 18:29:17 ( 998 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 26, 2016 (Times of India): RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday pitched for spread of compassion as he said practicing the value offers solution to many present-day concerns like extremism of all forms, materialism and self-centeredness among people. "We need to understand what is at the core of our religious traditions. Satya (truth) and shuchita (piousness) are at its core and both are not possible without compassion. Hence, we will have to begin with compassion," Bhagwat said.

"The imbalance, extremism after the destruction of religion, competition with each other, the rampant rise in self-centeredness...all these we can fight by practicing compassion and truth...To be able to do that, we should practise compassion," he said during launch of a book titled "Compassion in 4 Dharmic Traditions".

The event was attended by BJP veteran LK Advani and Union Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan.

The former Deputy Prime Minister said the work, edited by Ved Nanda, showed how there are commonalities in religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism when it comes to compassion. The book is a set of papers delivered by a wide range of scholars at the Uberoi Foundation Experts Meeting at the Naropa Institute, Denver, Colorado, in 2014.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/7/30 18:29:06 ( 762 reads )


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

Himachal Pradesh Govt set to Takeover Raghunathji Temple Under its Control

Posted on 2016/7/29 19:38:44 ( 1003 reads )


HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA July 27, 2016 (Press Trust of India): The Himachal Pradesh government is all set to take over the famous Raghunathji temple in Sultanpur palace of erstwhile ruling family of Kullu under its control, as a proposal in this regard has been approved by the state cabinet. President of Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) and former BJP leader, Maheshwar Singh who is descendant of ruling family is chief Kardar (caretaker) of Raghunathji temple. Raghunathji is the presiding Deity of about 300 local devatas (gods) of the region and all festivities revolve around Him during the famous international Dussehra festival.

Maheshwar said he was yet to be informed about the cabinet's decision and "necessary legal action would be taken if the government initiates the process of taking control of the temple under the Himachal Pradesh Hindu Public Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act 1984". The Raghunathji temple was in the news following theft of the Deity of Raghunathji along with other artefacts in December, 2014, which were later recovered.

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