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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/23 18:10:04 ( 393 reads )

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Hindu Dharma was a great reconciler. It reconciled various viewpoints, various doctrines. It knew how to look at things from various angles and viewpoints. It knew no conflict between science and religion, between rationalism and spiritualism. It was so because it was not dogmatic in reason or religion.
-- Ram Swarup (1920-1998), distinguished spokesperson of Hindu spirituality and culture in India

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Festival Of India In South Africa 2014 Announced
Posted on 2014/7/22 18:08:09 ( 495 reads )

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SOUTH AFRICA, July 20, 2014 (Indian Spice): The largest-ever national festival showcasing Indian culture & heritage in South Africa is set to kick off this week. The year "2014" marks 20 years of diplomatic relations between India and South Africa since the end of apartheid era; and 100 years since the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India on 18 July 1914. The Indian community was fundamental in the overall development of the country and nation building including the struggle against apartheid.

The festival also coincides with the celebration of life and values of our liberation struggle icon, "Tata" Nelson Mandela. The Department of Arts and Culture is proud to co-host the Festival of India in commemorating this milestone achievement. This festival will showcase Indian performing arts, exhibitions of modern Indian art, visual and photographic digital exhibitions on the late Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, food festivals, film festivals as well as events involving Indian and South African scholars and writers.

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Sankat Mochan Kendra Opens Its Doors
Posted on 2014/7/22 18:08:03 ( 459 reads )

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AUSTRALIA, July 20, 2014 (Indian Sun): Sankat Mochan Samiti (SMS) celebrated the opening of Sankat Mochan Kendra (SMK), on June 15. This is the first North Indian Hindu temple, social welfare kendra and Indian cultural education institution of its kind in Australia. The SMK will cater not only to the Hindu population but also other communities interested in Hinduism. More than 1,000 devotees attended the inaugural function of SMK located at 1289A North Road, Huntingdale, 3166

The ceremony began with a prayer to Lord Ganesh, after which the Vastu Puja and Navagraha Puja were performed. The most overwhelming ceremony, which took place for the first time in the history of Australia, was when 11,000 ahutis (offerings of sacred mixture of grains, ghee and aromatic perfumes) were offered to the Gods and the maha Gayatri mantra performed. Five stations were carefully placed with all the precautions of fire safety, as Havan Kunds, with eight devotees at every station. It was a powerful ceremony with divine vibrations keeping the full of spiritual energy. The volunteers made sure that every one who wanted to participate in the mantra ahutis could do so as several of them had traveled long distances to be part of it.

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In a First, CBSE Asks Schools to Celebrate Sanskrit Week
Posted on 2014/7/22 18:07:56 ( 516 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 16, 2014 (Financial Express): In a circular dated June 30, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has asked the Directorate of Education of various states, including New Delhi, Arunachal Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to celebrate Sanskrit Week in their schools from August 7-14 this year. It also asked principals to commence "Sanskrit-related activities" from July onwards and send in entries for selection at the national level by July 20, 2014.

"The celebration of Sanskrit Week would provide a medium for popularizing Sanskrit and stimulating the interest in the language by increasing the awareness about the close relationship between Sanskrit and other languages and the cultural heritage in India. The Sanskrit Week in schools may encourage linguistic creativity among students and provide them an opportunity to benefit from the systematic structure around Sanskrit...," the circular reads.

According to CBSE, the schools may hold short-speech competitions for students from classes IX to XII. Another proposed national-level competition for students is essay-writing in Sanskrit. CBSE also directed schools to organize Yuva Sansad or Youth Parliaments, seminars for teachers on "practical applications of Sanskrit," screen Sanskrit films and organise interactions for children with eminent Sanskrit scholars.

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Delhi's Infamous Tihar Jail Opens a Vegetarian Restaurant for the Public
Posted on 2014/7/22 18:07:48 ( 420 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 18, 2014 (Wall Street Journal): New Delhi's infamous Tihar Jail--home to more than 13,000 inmates--has opened a restaurant that serves comfort food crafted by criminals. Tihar Food Court opened earlier this month in the sprawling Tihar complex, the largest prison in South Asia. Samosas and other snacks along with drinks like lassi and even a thali with a variety of vegetarian dishes are on the menu.

The simple restaurant has seating for 45 and no iron bars, metal detectors or armed guards. It has indoor and outdoor seating, a tandoor oven and its cream walls are decorated with pieces of art painted by prisoners. It has small staff of a constable manager and seven convicts who have proven themselves through good behavior during long years in Tihar. While the restaurant is still waiting for more government approvals to officially open, it started a soft launch on July 10 to test whether it will attract customers.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/22 18:07:41 ( 411 reads )

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With love enshrined in the heart, one truly lives. Without it, the body is but bones encased in skin.
-- Tirukkural

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Second Hindu Temle for German Town
Posted on 2014/7/21 18:23:10 ( 514 reads )

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BIELEFELD, GERMANY, July 2, 2014 (Westfalen-Blatt): There are almost 5,000 Hindus in Bielefeld. Among them the devotees of Krishna now have a new focal point: the Hindu temple at Am Stebkamp 10. In 2013 the first Hindu temple (the Kalyana Thiru Murugan Temple) opened nearby. Iyer Sarma Parameswaran, priest of the new temple, explains why the new temple is important to Krishna devotees: "In Hinduism we have a similar distinction (between groups worshipping different Deities) as does the Christian church between Protestant and Catholics. We believe in Radha Krishna. Krishna is the Deity and Radha, his wife, is always called first. The core of this faith is devotion and peace."

The Hindus wanted to also introduce the neighbors to the new temple last weekend. "We are very open and invite everyone to visit us. Whether German, Indian, Hindu or not, everyone is welcome," says Sarma Parameswaran. Every night from 6 to 7:30PM the temple is open for prayer, singing and meditation.

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2nd India-China Yoga Summit Held In Dali, Yunnan
Posted on 2014/7/21 18:23:04 ( 441 reads )

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INDIA, July 19, 2014 (Press Information Bureau): The 2nd India-China Yoga Summit was held in Dali, Yunnan Province in China recently. Around 1,500 yoga practitioners participated in the event besides local government officials, media professionals and academicians. The theme of the Summit was "Science of Yoga."

Speaking on the opening ceremony, India's Ambassador to China Shri Ashok K. Kantha highlighted the importance of yoga and traced its long history. He also said the summit which is the biggest yoga event in China has already become a signature event and is generally viewed by serious yoga practitioners as a platform where one can directly learn from the masters of this practice and to engage in a dialogue that will help disperse all the doubts of the practitioners and helping them align with the roots of this ancient Indian practice.

Seventeen yoga teachers from all over India participated in the summit including Dr. Geeta S. Iyengar from Iyengar Yoga School Pune, Dr. H.R. Nagendra, Chancellor of Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bangalore and from Department of Ayush Shri Ishwar V. Basavaraddi. The purpose of the summit was to guide Chinese yoga enthusiasts to have a more scientific, rational, and objective look towards yoga.

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Millets: The Nutrient Rich Counterparts Of Wheat And Rice
Posted on 2014/7/21 18:22:58 ( 420 reads )

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INDIA, July 17, 2014 (Press Information Bureau): Millets are one of the oldest foods known to humans. These are the small-seeded hardy crops belonging to gramineae family which can grow well in dry zones/rain-fed areas under marginal conditions of soil fertility and moisture. Due to their short growing season, these can develop from seeds to ready to harvest crops in about 65 days. This highly beneficial characteristic of the millets is of vital importance in thickly populated regions of the world. If stored properly, millets can keep well for two years or beyond.

Most of the millets are highly nutritious, non-glutinous, non-acid forming and easily digestible foods. Being gluten free, individuals suffering from celiac disease can easily incorporate various millets in their diets. Millet ingestion helps in a slower release of glucose over a longer period of time; thus, due to low glycemic index (GI), their habitual intake reduces the risk of diabetes mellitus.

Further, millets are rich sources of minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Ragi (Finger millet) is very rich in calcium; and bajra in iron. These also contain appreciable amounts of dietary fibre and various vitamins (Carotene, niacin, vitamin B6 and folic acid); high amounts of lecithin are useful for strengthening the nervous system.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/21 18:22:49 ( 346 reads )

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Wealth and happiness are not related to each other as cause and effect. An attempt to secure happiness by securing wealth is as futile as it is absurd.
-- Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal(1912-1954), 34th pontiff of the Sarada Peetham

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Clashes Mar Amarnath Yatra
Posted on 2014/7/20 18:11:44 ( 442 reads )

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BALTAL, KASHMIR, July 18, 2014 (Rising Kashmir): At least 24 people were injured in clashes in Baltal area of Sonamarg, which serves as base camp for Amarnath yatra, after a scuffle between a ponywala and one of the members of a free yatra langer (community kitchen) over some issue. At least 100 tents and four yatra langars were damaged in the fire while authorities suspended yatra from the route. As the news about the incident spread, hundreds of people took to the streets to protest against the incident.

Sources said after the clashes, yatra from the route was suspended [HPI-it has since been resumed]. Meanwhile, senior civil and police officials visited the spot to take stock of the situation. A police official said the situation was brought under control and all the yatries are safe.

Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma, along with senior officers of civil and police administration today visited Shri Amarnath Yatra base camp at Baltal and took stock of the situation. He urged the service providers to maintain peace and order to ensure a smooth yatra. He also directed the police and civil administration to keep close watch on the situation to ensure smooth conduct of yatra and safety of yatries and all service providers.

Photos of the destruction at Batal can be viewed at:
http://www.kashmirdispatch.com/story- ... ures/301125014-baltal.htm

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Mantra For Good Health: Chant God's Name, Says Study
Posted on 2014/7/20 18:11:38 ( 564 reads )

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INDIA, July 10, 2014 (dna India): A study by a Pune-based cardiac surgeon and a geopathologist has claimed that chanting God's name keeps a person's heart healthy. While the research aims to bring science and spirituality together, doctors say any form of meditation can benefit the body.

The researchers -- Dr. Avinash Inamdar, former head of cardiac surgery department at Pune's Sassoon General Hospital and geopathologist Pandit Pramod Joshi -- monitored heart functions of 30 individuals and energy levels of their heart chakra. The team documented that heart parameters showed significant improvement when compared to results carried out before and after the chanting which continued for about ten minutes. The study was recently published in the Asiatic Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Other cardiologists, however, refused to draw a direct link between chanting God's name and a healthy heart. They said any form of meditation can improve a person's heart rate and bring in positive outcome if done on a long-term basis.

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Guru Purnima's Intrinsic Message Of EcoDharmic Harmony
Posted on 2014/7/20 18:11:32 ( 436 reads )

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UNITED STATES, July 14, 2014 (Huffington Post by Anju Bhargava): Guru Purnima is observed by the entire Dharmic community - Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and Sikhs and it also has a strong message of environmental harmony. The Dharmic traditions believe Gurus are an important part of our lives as they help us understand the great Dharma-based Spiritual teachings with roots in the Vedas.

The dictates of the natural seasons of Mother Earth guided our Gurus and the communities. Now, many of us hope our communities will honor the teachings from the ancient times and sustain Mother Earth by taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint and develop EcoDharmic conservation habits.

We at Hindu American Seva Communities (HASC) are celebrating Guru Purnima through a historic partnership with EPA's ENERGY STAR(R) program. Our tradition shows our environmental leadership potential which, if harnessed, can influence global climate change policies. Given the ancient intrinsic harmony in our collective Dharmic traditions, surely we can achieve our values of conservation and energy efficiency through our temples and devotees.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/20 18:11:25 ( 357 reads )

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Life is meant for God-realization. If you die without attaining God-realization, your life is in vain. Even having one hundred gurus will not help, unless the disciple has a great desire for liberation and tries to get rid of all that stands in the way.
-- Swami Chidananda (1916-2008), President of Divine Life Society

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Seeking an Indian Perspective on History
Posted on 2014/7/16 18:32:48 ( 612 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 16, 2014 (Indian Express): Prof. Yellapragada Sudershan Rao, who headed Kakatiya University's history department, has been appointed by the new government as chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research. In an interview to The Indian Express, Rao says an Indian perspective to history has been missing.

"In the past 200 years, generally Indian history has been seen from the perspective of Western historians. It is not a secret that the methodology to study our history was only
western. We are in fact rejecting all others saying that these do not meet the West-inspired standards and parameters. Earlier it was British historians who did so, and post-Independence study of Indian history has been dominated by Marxists. Marxism is not India. Later came subaltern views. I am only posing a question -- can there be any Indian perspective.. any alternative methodology?" says Rao.

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