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Broadcast Media Told to Preserve Balinese Culture
Posted on 2014/6/18 18:06:22 ( 399 reads )

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BALI, INDONESIA, June 16, 2014 (Bali Daily): The Bali chapter of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) has called on all broadcast media to play an active role in preserving Balinese culture by airing cultural activities regularly. The commission head Anak Agung Gede Rai Sahadewa said on Saturday that the richness and uniqueness of Balinese culture needed to be introduced at a deeper level and not in entertainment-oriented programs only.

"The broadcasts can also help preserve the culture, which is known by people all around the world. Broadcast media have an ability to do this," Sahadewa said after the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the broadcasting of cultural and religious programs. The MoU marked the commitment of local television and radio stations across Bali to regularly broadcast cultural and religious content in their daily programming.

Sahadewa said the MoU would be an initial step in increasing the awareness of all broadcast media in Bali of the role of cultural preservation. "One of the main roles and functions of the broadcast media as stipulated in national law is the preservation of national and local culture. The broadcast media is also obliged to uphold morality and religious values, including Balinese culture, which is imbued with the spirit of Hinduism," Sahadewa said.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/6/18 18:06:15 ( 434 reads )

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You may develop a thousand virtues and be reckoned as the greatest in the land. But the lotus of your heart will not blossom until you receive the grace of the Guru, the grace of God!
-- Dada Sadhu Vaswani

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Pakistani Temple Faces Water Shortages
Posted on 2014/6/17 17:52:06 ( 516 reads )

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ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN, June 16, 2014 (The Express Tribune): The two-storey Krishna Mandir, nestled in a bustling market in Rawalpindi, welcomes worshipers with a small cage-like gate and a guard. As the only place of worship for more than 3,000 Hindus in the twin cities, the temple management always struggles to fulfill the water requirement for regular worshipers.

In October 2012, the ETPB made an allocation of US$5,000 for the rehabilitation of the temple, but, the funds never came through. The allocation was meant for boring a well for regular supply of water, but, two years on, no work could be initiated. "There is nothing extravagant about this temple. It's a humble building with minimal visual appeal. Our demand is to have some basic amenities such as water," Pakistan Hindu-Sikh Social Welfare Council President Jagmohan Kumar Arora told The Express Tribune.

He said that there were no set timings for water supply, and the wait can be as long as two to three days. "We store water, not knowing when will be blessed with it again," said Arora.

ETPB Shrines Deputy Secretary Azhar Sulehri said funds have been allocated for renovation and repair of shrines across Pakistan. He said that while renovations were done regularly, minorities were also given funds on special occasions such as Diwali and Holi for the maintenance work. While acknowledging the problems at the temple, Sulheri said a tender for the project was advertised thrice, but got no response. He said that according to the law, if a project did not get a response against the tender, then the government can move to take it on with special instructions. He said the ETPB chairman recently approved a water boring project for the temple and work on the project will begin in a few months.

At the same time, Arora said that while sending in regular requests for a follow-up, government teams occasionally turns up at the temple with assurance that the requests will be entertained. "It's been two years and nothing has been done."

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Hindu Mandir Priests' Conference Held in May
Posted on 2014/6/17 17:52:00 ( 374 reads )

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FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, June 17, 2014 (World Hindu Council of America): Hindu Mandir Priests' Conference (HMPC) grew out of the Hindu Mandir Executives' Conference (HMEC). The mission of HMEC is to provide leadership to the Hindu-American community by promoting program activities to nourish, protect and sustain Hindu Dharma in North America through Hindu Temples. The 3rd HMPC was hosted by Durga Temple, Fairfax Station, VA, from May 29 - 30, 2014.

Over 30 Pundits and 50 adult and youth delegates, representing more than 25 Mandirs and Hindu organizations, attended this year's conference. The Theme of the conference was "Role of Temple Priests in 21st Century." The conference was organized into 7 sessions, and the topics were consistent with the HMPC's objective: Sustainability and Advancement of Sanatana Dharma by making the modes of worship meaningful and relevant for the younger generation of Hindus. The seven sessions were: Inaugural Session, Bal Samskaras, Open Forum, Priests-Management-Devotees, Roles of Priests not associated with Mandir and other Topics, Education & Training, and Concluding Session.

Deep Prajjwalan, Sri Ganesha Atharvashirsha by all priests formally opened the conference. The convener, Sant Gupta and the President of Executive Board of Durga Temple, Srilekha Palle delivered the welcome address and conference goals and objectives. Ekatmata Mantra led by Abhaya Asthana followed by Vandana by Durga BalGokulam Children led by Madhuri Prasad set the tone for the rest of conference. Emcee for the evening was Navin Kadakia of Pittsburgh thanked The World Hindu Council of America (VHP of America) for providing the leadership for such an important event.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/6/17 17:51:53 ( 361 reads )

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You may turn your bones to fuel, your flesh to meat, letting them roast and sizzle in the gold-red blaze of severe austerities. But unless your heart melts in love's sweet ecstacy, you never can possess my Lord Siva, my treasure-trove.
-- Tirumantiram Verse 272

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Chariot Climbing Ban: Temple Asks Odisha Government to Review Decision
Posted on 2014/6/16 18:33:06 ( 397 reads )

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BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, June 15, 2014 (Odisha Today): The Govardhan Peeth, the seat of Puri Shankaracharya, today slammed the Odisha Government for not imposing a blanket ban on devotees climbing chariots during Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra and demanded to reconsider its decision. "The state government should reconsider its decision and impose a complete ban during the entire festival. No decision should be taken in a haste," the official spokesman of Govardhan Peeth Manoj Kumar Rath said here.

Stating that the government's decision leaves ample scope for priests and servitors to allow devotees to climb on the chariots and touch the Deities, Rath appealed people to raise their voice to protest the move. In absence of Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati, Rath along with Govardhan Peeth Council chairman Amiya Kumar Mohapatra and Biswamber Das, Vice-President of Mukti Mandap Pandit Sabha of Sri Jagannth Temple, rejected the state government's decision of allowing the devotees to climb the chariots and touching the Deities.

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In Pictures: Yoga In Sierra Leone
Posted on 2014/6/16 18:33:00 ( 501 reads )

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SIERRA LEONE, AFRICA, June 12, 2014 (BBC): Sierra Leone may not be the kind of place you expect to find yoga. But thanks to a group called Yoga Stretch, it is becoming increasingly popular. The organization is headed by Tamba Fayia, once a child soldier in Sierra Leone's civil war, who in 2012 became the country's first qualified yoga teacher. He says yoga transformed his life.

While Sierra Leone has long been at peace, many still suffer the mental effects of its 11-year civil war. With just one psychiatrist and poor mental health facilities in the country, Mr. Fayia wants to use yoga to help them, as well as ordinary people, overcome their trauma and stress.

Slide show at source.



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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/6/16 18:32:54 ( 388 reads )

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Attach yourself to Him who is free from all attachments. Bind yourself to that bond so all other bonds may be broken.
-- Tirukkural 350

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Odisha Government: Devotees Cannot Climb On Chariots During Ratha Yatra
Posted on 2014/6/15 18:30:45 ( 443 reads )

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BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, June 11, 2014 (Orissa Diary): Devotees cannot climb on the huge chariots during Ratha Yatra. As it's a sensitive matter further consultations are going on. This was announced by the Law minister, Arun Sahoo. The minister also said that the decision applies not just on Rath Yatra day, but also on Bahuda Yatra (return car festival) and Suna Besha (golden attire). However, the minister refused to come up with a concrete rule on the issue of touching the devotees. "It is a highly sensitive issue and needs wider consultation with all stakeholders", he said.

Daitapati Niyog leader Ramakrushna Mohapatra spoke to reporters after the meeting and expressed his approval of the government's proposal. "We have accepted the state government's proposal of not allowing the devotees to climb chariots on three days- Rath Yatra day, Bahuda and Suna Vesha from the security point of view. But, the practice of devotees mounting to chariots after they reach destination will continue," he said.

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Ramayana! A Vivid spectacle By Mount Madonna School
Posted on 2014/6/15 18:30:39 ( 488 reads )

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SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, June 11, 2014 (India West): Calif. -- Gods, demi-gods, demons, giant ogres, birds and monkeys garbed in splendid bejeweled Indian wear with gilded headdresses and crowns created a vivid spectacle at the opening weekend of the 36th annual production of the epic "Ramayana!" presented here by the students of Mount Madonna School. This portrayal of the epic at San Jose's Mexican Heritage Theater June 6, 7 and 8 was a wonderful amalgam of dance, music and drama.

An agile cast of more than 200 students accompanied by a choir and musicians brought this lyrical and engaging over 2,600-year old story to life, taking the audience -- among whom were many Indian Americans -- from the kingdom of Ayodhya to the isle of Lanka.

The show, which means to capture the essence of this ancient Indian epic, opens with a narration by Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and a traditional invocation to Goddess Saraswati. It revolves around the life and times of Rama, the beloved prince of Ayodhya, beginning with his marriage ceremony with princess Sita, his banishment from the kingdom on the eve of his enthronement, and his trials as he endures exile and the kidnapping of his wife Sita.

"I am coming here for the first time because I want my daughter to see this. I grew up in India and my parents used to take me to watch Ramayana. My daughter has not seen anything like this before so it's a perfect opportunity for her," said Ramneek, who came from Danville to watch the show. "The thing that blows my mind is that somewhere in California, this is being done for the last 35 years. As a school production it is just remarkable. The kids' performances along with the setup and costumes are just amazing," said Nalin, a San Jose native who came to the show with friends and family.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/6/15 18:30:33 ( 361 reads )

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"To listen to some devout people, one would imagine God never laughs."
-- Sri Aurobindo

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Rath Yatra Controversy Yet To Be Resolved
Posted on 2014/6/11 18:52:27 ( 541 reads )

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BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, June, 10, 2014 (by PTI): With this year's Rath Yatra festival slated for June 29 fast approaching, the controversy triggered by the suggestion of a ban on the devotees of Lord Jagannath climbing over the chariots as they are pulled is yet to be resolved. Devotees are at present allowed by the pandas to mount the chariots of the three Deities of Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath and Devi Subhadra, often resulting in chaos.

The controversy surfaced in 2011 following a clash between priests and the police over allowing people on top of the chariots. Taking up the incident seriously, the temple administration sought the views of Shankaracharya, who is considered the chief of the decision-making body of the 12th century shrine. The seer was asked to suggest to the SJTA whether non-Hindus can also climb the chariots and touch the deities. The practice has been decried by the Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati and king Divyasingha Deb, who described it as Mahapap (great sin). The Sri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee, headed by Gajapati king Divyasingha Deb, has endorsed the ban recommended by the Puri seer.

The Daitapati priests argue that as the very nomenclature of the Lord suggests that He is Jagannath, the master of the universe, there should be no ban on the people cutting across religions, castes and creed, from climbing the chariots and touching the deities during the festival. Eminent Sanskrit scholar and vice-chancellor of Rastriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati, Harekrushna Satpathy says: "It is in fact a sin to touch Lord Jaganath as he is the Brahma. Keeping in view growing threat to Hindu Dhams, former director general of police, Odisha, Gopal Nanda said: "If not for the state of religion, the people should help the administration by not climbing the chariots and touching the Deities for security point of view. However, the daitapati priests feel that there is a conspiracy to debar devotees from touching the Lord and climbing the chariot.

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Fasting For Three Days Can Regenerate Entire Immune System
Posted on 2014/6/11 18:52:20 ( 722 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, 05 June, 2014 (by Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph): A person's entire immune system can be rejuvenated by fasting for as little as three days as it triggers the body to start producing new white blood cells, a study suggest. Researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells.Although fasting diets have been criticized by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection. Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy. It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common disease. "It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California.

Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells. Scientists found that prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to aging and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumor growth. "We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system," added Prof Longo. However, some British experts were skeptical of the research. Dr Graham Rook, emeritus professor of immunology at University College London, said the study sounded "improbable."

Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at UCL, said: "I have received emails from hundreds of cancer patients who have combined chemo with fasting, many with the assistance of the oncologists. Thus far the great majority have reported doing very well and only a few have reported some side effects including fainting and a temporary increase in liver markers. Clearly we need to finish the clinical trials, but it looks very promising."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/6/11 18:52:14 ( 491 reads )

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There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and one's subtle body rest upon that and not rest on anything else.
-- Maitri Upanishad

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Flowers Rain on Hindu Temple in Borneo Rededication Ceremony
Posted on 2014/6/9 18:23:23 ( 615 reads )

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KOTA KINABALU, BORNEO, June 9, 2014 (The Borneo Post): Close to a thousand Hindu followers spent yesterday at the Sri Pasupathinath Temple in Bukit Padang here to celebrate the Maha Kumbabishegam. The consecration ceremony is celebrated at all Hindu temples in the world once in every 12 years. It is a form of ceremony to celebrate the cleansing or renovation of the temple, in this case, the Sri Pasupathunath temple, which underwent renovation and repairs that began last year in preparation for this ceremony yesterday.

"With the allocation of US$15,625 from the State Government for this ceremony alone, and with additional funds obtained from donations, we were able to make this ceremony a success," president of Sri Pasupathinath Temple, Datuk Dr. K. Mathavan said, adding that he was very happy with the turnout of the followers yesterday. "I hope that with the new look and new vibration of this temple, it will attract more believers to come for the prayer and worship rituals," Mathavan said.

The main highlights of the event were the pouring of sacred water to sanctify the newly-renovated temple and the raining down of 150 kgs (330lbs) of flowers from two helicopters onto the temple.

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