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First Swadeshi Indology Conference Held in Chennai

Posted on 2016/8/29 18:11:39 ( 1505 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, July 8, 2016 (Swadeshi Indology Press Release): The Swadeshi Indology (SI) Conference series is a new movement that critiques & replaces the Western (videshi) study of Indian civilization. Rather than depicting Indian civilization as a cause of all sorts of problems, SI adopts a balanced approach. It explains how our civilization is also a source of solutions. It takes to task the most prominent & influential Western schools of Indology, i.e. the ones that have colonized the minds of large numbers of Indians today. Prior to this initiative, there has not been an effective and concerted effort to systematically demolish many core ideas and false assumptions of Western Indology.

The 1st SI conference was held in IIT Madras last month. The videos available are from panels on specialized topics, including the following topics: Refuting the claim that Sanskrit shastras block creativity and innovation. Refuting the claim that ideas contained in ancient Sanskrit texts helped the Nazis to do the Holocaust. Refuting the claim that Sanskrit has been dead for a thousand years, and that it was killed by Hindu kings despite the efforts of Muslims to try and save it. Refuting the claim that the Ramayana is a myth meant for asserting power over the public, and especially for violence against Muslims. And so forth.

You can watch the video of each paper along with the lively Q&As among scholars at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/29 18:11:29 ( 1064 reads )


Is there a deeper tragedy than that of a man immersed in the pursuit of the not-self who has no time to realize the Divine Self within?
-- Sadhu Vaswani, (1879-1966) founder the Sadhu Vaswani Mission

Telagana Goverment Set to Take Over Temples

Posted on 2016/8/28 19:55:12 ( 1544 reads )


WARANGAL, TELAGANA, INDIA, August 21, 2016 (The Hans India):
HPI note: What isn't said in this report is that this action constitutes removing the temples from the control of the hereditary trusts and subsuming their management and income under the State government, as is the case in the rest of India.

The State government is all set to constitute the non-hereditary trust boards to 33 major temples in the State. As political circles are busy in connection with creation of new districts, the notification issued by the government for the constitution of non-hereditary trust board members to the temples almost went unnoticed, but not for those aspiring for the posts. They are already camping in the capital, hoping to get the plum posts.

Though it has been more than 26 months since the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) stormed to power, it has not made any serious attempt to fill several posts other than a few nominated posts such as agriculture market committees. Against this backdrop, the government has issued a notification for the constitution of trust boards to the temples recently. In a bid to facilitate more persons in the temple committees, the government has increased the number of members through an Ordinance, amending Section 15 of the Telangana Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act, 1987.

As per the amendment, the number of trustees has been increased to 14 from the existing nine where the income of the temple exceeds US$149,000 per annum, and the same will be applied to the temples that have an income range between $37,000 and $149,000 per annum. The number of trustees for the temples falling in the income group of $3,000Rs to $37,000 per annum is increased to 7 from 5 and the temples that have an income less than $3,000 per annum will have 5 members instead of 3.

Maharashtra: Supreme Court Ruling on Dahi Handi Met with Disappointment

Posted on 2016/8/28 19:55:02 ( 1243 reads )


[HPI adds: Dahi-Handi is an Indian festival that involves youth groups forming human pyramids in the street during the festival and attempted to break an earthen pot filled with curd (in immitation of the child Krishna's theft of such a pot) tied high above. These pyramids occasionally collapse with injuries to those involved.]

MUMBAI, INDIA, August 17, 2016 (Indian Express): The Supreme Court ruling on age bar of Govindas participating in the Dahi-Handi ritual in Maharashtra, on Wednesday met with disappointment back home with political leaders and local groups seeing the move as a setback to the festive tradition and demanded that the state government file a review petition in the case. The apex court on Wednesday said that youth below 18 years of age cannot participate in the Dahi Handi ritual, part of the Janmashtami festival in Maharashtra and the height of the human pyramid for it cannot exceed 20 feet, a limit fixed by the Bombay High Court. [Presently, the pot may be hung as high as 40 feet above the street.]

Arun Sawant, spokesperson of the Mumbai Congress, termed the cap as "unnecessary" and said, "This is really very disheartening because in the last few years, many organizers have came forward to take care of Govindas in case of any eventuality. They vouched for the well-being of the Govindas and took upon their medical and financial responsibility if anything untoward happens." He said it is only the small organizers who put Govindas' lives at risk during the Dahi Handi event.

Ruling BJP too said that it will do every bit to protect the "sheen" of the festival. "Such sort of a cap is an attempt to spoil our rich culture of Dahi Handi which not only unites youth but also makes them stronger. We are going to do every bit to save this popular festival," Mumbai BJP spokesperson Yogesh Verma said.

Hundreds Defy Human Pyramid Ban at Indian Hindu Festival

Posted on 2016/8/28 19:54:51 ( 1006 reads )


INDIA, August 26, 2016 (Aol Travel): Hundreds of people attending a Hindu festival in India's western Maharashtra state on Thursday defied India's Supreme Court order limiting the height of human pyramids due to safety concerns. Members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) regional party wearing T-shirts reading "I will break the law" formed a human pyramid 49 feet (15 m) tall in Thane district at a Janmashtami celebration marking the birth of Hindu Deity Lord Krishna.

India's Supreme Court on Aug. 17 upheld a lower court's decision banning youths under 18 from participating in the ritual and restricting the height of the human pyramid to 20 feet (6 m). The pyramids invoke Krishna who, according to tradition, formed human pyramids with friends to break pots of butter or curd hung from the ceilings of houses so that they could steal the contents. Maharashtra's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that it would ask the court to reconsider its order.

People are injured every year while forming human pyramids as competition builds up to see which group can make the highest pyramid. Children are used to climb to the top levels without any safety harnesses.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/28 19:54:41 ( 771 reads )


By constantly repeating, "I am free, I am free," a man verily becomes free. On the other hand, by constantly repeating, "I am bound, I am bound," he certainly becomes bound. The fool who says only, "I am a sinner, I am a sinner," verily drowns himself in worldliness. One should rather say: "I praise the name of God. How can I be a sinner? How can I be bound?"
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

US Post Office to Issue Diwali Stamp

Posted on 2016/8/27 19:33:07 ( 1303 reads )


WASHINGTON D.C., August 23, 2016 (Washington Post): It took petitions from everyone from schoolchildren to members of Congress, and 12 years of waiting. Soon, a long-hoped-for goal will be a stickum-backed reality of less than a square inch: a new postage stamp recognizing the holiday of Diwali. The stamp, announced by the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday, will be the first stamp honoring the Hindu religion, joining U.S. postage that has marked Christian, Jewish and Muslim holidays in the past.

What's the value of an old-fashioned stamp in a society that uses less and less snail mail? "Stamps are miniature pieces of art that reflect the American experience," Mark Saunders at the U.S. Postal Service said. Members of the Hindu community and their supporters have asked for years to join the long list of themes that have inspired stamp art. Saunders said the first petition for a Diwali stamp was received in 2004. It's hard for a petition to make the cut: the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee receives about 40,000 stamp suggestions every year and only recommends about 25 to the postmaster general, Saunders said.

The call for a Diwali stamp grew louder. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced a resolution in Congress last year in favor of a Diwali stamp. Indian diplomats in the United States expressed support for it, and thousands of Americans wrote letters and signed petitions. In the end, it was the volume of those petitions, not the high-profile support, that swayed the committee, said William Gicker, director of stamp development. "This was the biggest push, the most people writing in," he said. "From our standpoint, we are producing stamps for people to use for holidays ... Looking at the numbers, we saw that Diwali is a holiday that people send cards and correspondence. So we were happy to support that."

Photo of the new stamp at "source" above. At some point the stamp will be available for sale at https://store.usps.com/store/, but not as of this posting.

Calling Hinduism a Way of Life Is Meaningless: Sanjeev Sanyal

Posted on 2016/8/27 19:32:56 ( 1426 reads )


INDIA, August 22, 2016 (Boom Live by Hindol Sengupta): Who is a Hindu? What does he believe or can he be an unbeliever and still be a Hindu? Why is Hinduism so open to everything and yet driven the same goal to adapt and accommodate everything? What does a Hindu seek? While addressing these questions Hindol Sengupta explores the modern Hindus and the societies they are living in.

In this video episode of Being Hindu, my friend Sanjeev Sanyal, economist, historian and the author of books like "Land of Seven Rivers" and most recently "The Ocean of Churn," and I talk about what Sanjeev calls the architecture of Hinduism and what I call Hinduism, the open source faith. What are we essentially saying? We are arguing that Hinduism is unique because while it sees The Truth as absolute and immutable but simultaneously acknowledges that there could be an infinite number of variations and permutations and combinations to approach that Truth.

So Hinduism, says Sanjeev, is like an operating system which provides the basic framework to structure the search, and different thinkers, sages, monks, philosophers have built apps on top of that architecture, on top of that operating system, building thoughts and ideas that assist people on the faith to knowing the Truth. In a sense, I argue, Hinduism is an open source faith allowing many ideas to flow in and provides nuances and directions of thought that assimilate and accommodate constantly and consistently.

Watch this interesting video discussion at "source" above.

American Held for Preaching Christianity to Nepalese

Posted on 2016/8/27 19:32:46 ( 1104 reads )


JHAPA, NEPAL, August 24, 2016 (Himalayan Times): An American national was arrested for preaching Christianity to locals with an intention to force them into changing their religion. The suspect has been identified as 70-year-old Fomess Dolan, according to the Jhapa District Police Office. He was arrested from a local church, Hosma Academy. police added. According to police, he had entered Nepal without a visa via India.

He was posing himself as a doctor who had come to help the locals, stated DSP Hari Prasad Sharma of the DPO. He asked the women who came to him seeking treatment to wash off the sindur (vermilion powder) from their foreheads and discard potes (traditional glass beads worn by married Hindu women) in the name of Jesus. The locals then reported him to police for trying to make them change their religion.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/27 19:32:36 ( 791 reads )


The way to freedom is a way of silence--of silent resolve and silent service.
-- Sadhu Vaswani, (1879-1966) founder the Sadhu Vaswani Mission

South African Temple Celebrates a Decade of Devotion to Lord Ganesha

Posted on 2016/8/26 14:36:08 ( 1103 reads )


DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, August 19, 2016 (Rising Sun): It was a special moment for the organizers of the Lord Ganesha Float Procession when they unveiled two beautiful and divine murthis at the launch held at the Shri Marieammen Temple in Mount Edgecombe, recently.

The murthis, which are in the image of Lord Ganesha and Mother Ganga, will go on a pilgrimage to 27 temples in Newlands West, Durban North, Phoenix, Verulam and Marianhill for the next 10 days. This year is significant as the procession celebrates its 10th anniversary and takes place on September 3 and 4. The first float procession took place at the Blue Lagoon Park in 2007.

Hindu American Olympic Medal Winner Says Religion Taught Him Control on the Tennis Court

Posted on 2016/8/26 14:35:58 ( 1251 reads )


UNITED STATES, August 21, 2016 (Washington Post): When Denver-born, 6' 4", Rajeev Ram stood on the Olympic podium alongside doubles partner Venus Williams to receive their silver medal in tennis, children much like the boy he once was sat rapt in front of their televisions at home. For Hindu American children, Ram is a new role model, one of the first Americans who share their religion to take home an Olympic medal.

He credits his parents, who were involved in their local Hindu community, with teaching him religious values that translated onto the tennis court. "Part of the Hindu religion teaches, more so than anything else, your control of your mind -- your self-control, basically," Ram said. For many, that self-control applies to an individual's mastery over his moral and ethical choices. But for Ram, self-control also meant mastery of his body. "Obviously, your body's going to do what your mind tells it to do. If you can have that inner control, a sense of peace, your body's going to follow," he said.

It's an idea his parents taught him: They cared not so much whether he won or lost his tennis matches as a child but whether he controlled his temper. He soon found that keeping calm wasn't just a virtue but a way to improve his score. It's also an idea prevalent in the Hindu tradition: Control of the mind leads to control over the body in yoga, too.

Hinduism Today Seeks Advice for Story on Assam

Posted on 2016/8/26 14:35:47 ( 930 reads )

KAPAA, HAWAII, August 26, 2016 (HPI): Hinduism Today is planning to have correspondent Rajiv Malik and photographer Thomas Kelly spend a week plus in Assam in October and is looking for local contacts and advice on what to cover and who to interview. We're wanting to cover all things Hindu in the Northeastern state.

If you can help, kindly email Acharya Arumuganathaswami, managing editor, at ar@hindu.org.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/26 14:35:37 ( 626 reads )


Suppose a thorn has pierced a man's foot. He picks up another thorn to pull out the one hurting him. After extracting the first with the help of the second, he throws both away. One should use the thorn of knowledge to pull out the thorn of ignorance, then throw away both, and realize God directly.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

Posted on 2016/8/22 19:34:41 ( 0 reads )

Muscat Shree Ganesh Committee to Celebrate Feast from Sept 5

MUSCAT, OMAN, August 19, 2016 (Daiji World): Muscat Shree Ganesh Festival Committee is all set to organize and celebrate Shree Ganesh festival this year from September 5th to 7th at Muscat Shiva Temple. All arrangements are underway. This will be its 32nd year of celebration.

It all started 32 years ago with the initiative of Tulu Koota Muscat and the tradition is being carried on and is well maintained. The three-day festivities are filled with day-long poojas, homas, bhajans, keertans, dances, instrumental music, 108 coconut offerings, Laddu/Modaka Seve etc. Thousands of devotees will partake in the festivities. Besides the Indian ambassador to Muscat, a number of dignitaries from various business communities, social/cultural organizations will be attending the festivities. People from all parts of India, based in Muscat will attend to pay obeisance to Lord Ganesh and receive His blessings.

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