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London to Begin Diwali Celebrations from This Week

Posted on 2016/10/11 19:30:39 ( 332 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, October 10, 2016 (ndtv): London's Pakistani-origin mayor Sadiq Khan will launch the annual Diwali celebrations at the Trafalgar Square on Sunday, featuring a mix of music, dance and live performances to mark the festival with people of "all backgrounds." "London is open to all people and all communities - we don't just tolerate each other's differences, we embrace them. Nowhere is this more apparent than in London's joyous celebration of Diwali in Trafalgar Square," said Khan.

"Here, London's Hindu, Jain and Sikh communities come together to celebrate and to share the festivities with Londoners and visitors of all backgrounds. Diwali's central message of peace and mutual respect is one that we can all learn from. To all those celebrating this month, I wish you a very happy and enjoyable Diwali," he said.

"This year we celebrate 15th year of Diwali in Trafalgar Square, London. This wonderful festival is filled with lights, lamps, music, sweets and gifts, but the Diwali story is more than the story of a single day of festive celebrations. It is a story of dedication to the pursuance and protection of the truth, justice, cooperation and respect," said Sanjay Gadhvi, Diwali in London Committee Chairperson 2016.

Do You Have a Great Photo of Morari Bapu?

Posted on 2016/10/11 19:30:29 ( 292 reads )

KAUAI, HAWAII, October 11, 2016 (HPI): Hinduism Today is running an article of Ram Harikatha exponent Morari Bapu and looking for a great photo of popular preacher. Surprisingly there are not many good photos of him in concert, or any other setting including the standard passport style "head shot." If you have any hi-resolution photographs (1.5 megabytes in size of more) you want to share, please send to: letters@hindu.org. This is a bit urgent...

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/10/11 19:30:18 ( 252 reads )


You can gain an intricate control of the various things that change in and about you. Lean your thoughts and feelings in the right direction, and discover how quickly your circumstances will change their direction.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

U.S. Postal Service Stamp for Festival of Diwali

Posted on 2016/10/10 20:03:07 ( 483 reads )


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, October 5, 2016 (USPS): The U.S. Postal Service commemorated the joyous Hindu festival of Diwali by dedicating the Diwali Forever stamp today. The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony took place at the Consulate General of India in New York City. The public is asked to share the news using the hashtag #DiwaliStamp.

"The Postal Service is honored to issue this Forever stamp that celebrates the Festival of Diwali," said U.S. Postal Service Vice President of Mail Entry and Payment Technology Pritha Mehra. "We hope these stamps will light up millions of cards and letters as they make their journey through the mailstream."

The stamp design is a photograph featuring a traditional diya oil lamp beautifully lit, sitting on a sparkling gold background. Diya lamps are usually made from clay with cotton wicks dipped in clarified butter known as "ghee" or in vegetable oils. Also known as Deepavali, Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Spanning five days each autumn, Diwali is considered by some to be the start of the new year. Diwali is a shortened version of the Sanskrit word Deepavali, which roughly translates as "a necklace of lights." During Diwali, the flickering oil-wick diyas sprinkle the homes of observers around the world.

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724.

All ASI Protected Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites Declared Polythene Free Zones

Posted on 2016/10/10 20:02:57 ( 335 reads )


INDIA, October 6, 2016 (Press Release): All ASI Protected Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites have been declared Polythene Free Zones. Advisory has been issued to all State Governments/UTs to support ASI in keeping monuments Polythene Free up to 300 meters from the protected boundaries of the monuments. This information was given by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism while briefing the media persons on the various initiatives of Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism during Swachhata Pakhwada 16th - 30th September, 2016.

He informed that Ministry of Culture has sanctioned US$52.5 million to provide facilities like Protected Boundaries, Toilets and Disabled Friendly Access in all ASI Protected Monuments. The Minister said that ASI has ranked top 25 Adarsh Monuments on the basis of cleanliness parameters such as amenities like toilets, green lawns, Polythene Free Zone, signage for awareness, disabilities access, drinking water and provision for garbage bins etc. "Rani ki Vav (Gujarat)" a World Heritage Site has been declared as the cleanest iconic place in the country.

The Minister said that since the general public and the tourists are the largest stakeholders in keeping the monuments clean, the Ministry of Tourism has decided to facilitate the general public to communicate their complaints about any unclean area/garbage piles in and around tourist destinations. This useful mobile App enables a citizen to take photograph of garbage at the monument and upload the same along with his/her remarks. The application then sends an SMS to the ASI Nodal Officer concerned with the monument upon receipt of which the Nodal Officer gets the garbage cleared/removed. The Nodal Officer thereafter sends confirmation about the redressal of the complaint through an SMS to the complainant. This Mobile App is available on Google Search Engine as Swachh Paryatan.

Here's What You Should Do This Durga Puja %26 the Best Pandals to Visit in Kolkata

Posted on 2016/10/10 20:02:46 ( 369 reads )


KOLKATA, INDIA, October 4, 2016 (India Times): Durga Puja is a major Indian festival and thanks to the amazing art on display, it has also been billed as the world's largest street carnival. Every year for about seven days, the city of Kolkata, that hosts over 4,500 pujas, comes to a standstill to celebrate Durga Puja. The ensuing week promises a lot in the form of aartis, dhaki drumbeats, cultural shows, food and feasting. The five-day Durga puja carnival, beginning on 6 October, 2016, celebrates the annual descent of Goddess Durga on earth to visit Her parents, according to Hindu mythology. This year, Durga Puja will be celebrated from 7 October to 11 October

Millions of people are already planning their puja schedule -- over the next few days they will walk or drive around the city, going pandal-hopping with friends and family. Kitchens will be shut down for the length of the fest as people sample the fare at pop-up food stalls that have sprung up everywhere. According to reports, the footfall is expected to be near ten million.

The city is already looking like a new bride, adorned with lights and colors. Durga Puja isn't just a religious event for Bengalis, it is a carnival with all-night live music sessions, open-air plays, literary fairs, poetry readings and great food. Each year, puja organisers go all out to impress visitors with unique ideas and themes. Artisans start work much earlier to complete the pandals in time.

For a list of must-see pandals and festival activities, as well as colorful photos, see "source" above.

Medicated Oil Treatment Begins for Sabarimala Temple Mast

Posted on 2016/10/10 20:02:36 ( 339 reads )


KERALA, INDIA, October 2, 2016 (The Hindu): The Travancore Devaswom Board has started preparations for the medicated oil treatment of the teak wood brought from the Konni forests for replacing the old temple flag mast (kodimaram) at Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple . The carpentry work on the teak wood has been completed under the leadership of master craftsmen Ananthan Achary and Palani Achary at a specially prepared enclosure at the Anjaneya Auditorium at Pampa in the foothills of Sabarimala.

The medical oil is being prepared with 35 herbs, and the teak wood will be kept immersed in a large vessel filled with the oil for six months as part of the curing process. The TDB has decided to replace the old flag mast with a new one on the basis of the recommendations made by Vasthu experts and the astrological consultation conducted at Sabarimala. The experts found the mast decayed.

The installation of the new mast will be held in the auspicious muhurtham between 11:50 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. on June 25, 2017. According to TDB sources, it requires not less than 286 lbs. of gold for covering the wooden mast with gold plates.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/10/10 20:02:25 ( 244 reads )


As righteousness resides in the hearts of the virtuous, so does deceit dwell in the hearts of thieves.
-- Tirukkural 288

What Would Happen if the World Suddenly Went Vegetarian?

Posted on 2016/10/5 19:56:25 ( 793 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, September 27, 2016 (BBC Future by Rachel Nuwer): People become vegetarians for a variety of reasons. Some do it to alleviate animal suffering, others because they want to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Still others are fans of sustainability or wish to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. No matter how much their carnivorous friends might deny it, vegetarians have a point: cutting out meat delivers multiple benefits. And the more who make the switch, the more those perks would manifest on a global scale.

But if everyone became a committed vegetarian, there would be serious drawbacks for millions, if not billions, of people. "It's a tale of two worlds, really," says Andrew Jarvis of Colombia's International Centre for Tropical Agriculture. "In developed countries, vegetarianism would bring all sorts of environmental and health benefits. But in developing countries there would be negative effects in terms of poverty."

Jarvis and other experts at the centre hypothesized what might happen if meat dropped off the planet's menu overnight. First, they examined climate change. Food production accounts for one-quarter to one-third of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and the brunt of responsibility for those numbers falls to the livestock industry. Despite this, how our dietary choices affect climate change is often underestimated. In the US, for example, an average family of four emits more greenhouse gases because of the meat they eat than from driving two cars - but it is cars, not steaks, that regularly come up in discussions about global warming.

Much more of this insightful article at "source" above.

Systems Biology Research Study Reveals Benefits of Meditation

Posted on 2016/10/5 19:56:15 ( 433 reads )


NEW YORK, NEW YORK, August 30, 2016 (Press Release): Scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the University of California, San Francisco, and Harvard Medical School used a rigorous study design to assess the biological impact of meditation compared to vacation. They examined the effect of meditation on gene expression patterns in both novice and regular meditators. The researchers found that a resort vacation provides a strong and immediate impact on molecular networks associated with stress and immune pathways, in addition to short- term improvements in well-being, as measured by feelings of vitality and distress. A meditation retreat, for those who already used meditation regularly, was associated with molecular networks characterized by antiviral activity. The molecular signature of long-term meditators was distinct from the non-meditating vacationers. The study was published today in Springer Nature's journal Translational Psychiatry.

The study involved 94 healthy women, aged 30-60. Sixty-four women were recruited who were not regular meditators. Participants stayed at the same resort in California for six days, and randomized so that half were simply on vacation while the other half joined a meditation training program run by the Chopra Center for Well Being. The meditation program included training in mantra meditation, yoga, and self reflection exercises.

"Based on our results, the benefit we experience from meditation isn't strictly psychological; there is a clear and quantifiable change in how our bodies function," said Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. "Meditation is one of the ways to engage in restorative activities that may provide relief for our immune systems, easing the day-to-day stress of a body constantly trying to protect itself. The prediction is that this would then lead to healthier aging."

Full paper is available at "source" above.

HAF is Hiring: Associate Director of Membership

Posted on 2016/10/5 19:56:04 ( 356 reads )


UNITED STATES, October 5, 2016 (HAF): Are you seeking a career opportunity in which your professional skills and experience align with your passion for advocacy, education, and community service? If so, working at HAF would be a perfect fit. Come join a dedicated, dynamic, and professional team working to advocate on behalf of Hinduism and Hindus worldwide. Applicants must be based in the U.S.

The position of Associate Director of Membership will develop and coordinate community awareness events and membership fundraising drives, and develop and distribute member communication and marketing materials in coordination with other staff. This position is new to the organization so the Associate Director will have some opportunity to build and carry forward his or her vision and function.

For details and qualifications see "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/10/5 19:55:54 ( 341 reads )


Time is more precious than money; it is the most valuable thing in the world. Time is life. Use it profitably in spiritual pursuits.
-- Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society

The Rapid Christianization of Tribal Regions of Central India-the Story in Numbers

Posted on 2016/10/2 19:43:22 ( 699 reads )


INDIA, September 28, 2016 (India Facts by Shanmukh Aparna Saswati Sarkar Dikgaj): In this article, we shall investigate the Christianization of the tribals in Northern, Central and Eastern India, namely in the states of Odisha, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand (Christianization has been low in the tribal belt of adjoining West Bengal and Telangana). This is the belt extending from the rapidly Christianising Nepal to the rapidly Christianising South India. For the purpose of the article, we have grouped the Indic religions together. The Sikhs, the Jains, and the Buddhists have been grouped with the Hindus, since all these are extremely small in number.

In this article, we have examined the Christianisation of the tribal heartlands. We have shown the sharp fall of the Indic population of the tribal heartlands since independence, and in particular, in the last two decades. It is clear that though the Christianisation of the tribal region has been proceeding apace from the 1850s, it has accelerated greatly since 1991. In the second and concluding part of this article, we examine the causes, and history of this rapid Christianisation and attempt to provide some solutions to this phenomenon.

Detailed and lengthy article at "source" above.

Religion Scholars Release "Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World's Religions."

Posted on 2016/10/2 19:43:12 ( 446 reads )


MONTREAL, CANADA, September 16, 2016: In addition to the article yesterday on the declaration, you can download the entire Declaration at:

http://worldsreligions2016.org/wp-con ... rlds-Religions-EN-WEB.pdf

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/10/2 19:43:01 ( 321 reads )


Find the One everywhere and in everything and there will be an end to all pain and suffering.
-- Sri Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), Bengali mystic and saint

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