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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/18 19:32:35 ( 1530 reads )

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Man arrives at immortality by breaking beyond the limitations not only of his physical self, but of his mental and his ordinary psychic nature into the highest plane and supreme ether of the Truth: for there is the foundation of immortality and the native seat of the triple infinite.
-- Sri Aurobindo (1879-1950)

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Reconstruction Begins on Famed Nepalese Temple of Manakamana Damaged in Earthquake
Posted on 2015/7/17 20:04:02 ( 1751 reads )

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MANAKAMANA, NEPAL, July 16, 2015 (Katmandu Post): The reconstruction of the Manakamana temple, a popular Hindu pilgrimage site which was damaged by the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks, has been initiated. The damaged structure has already been pulled down and workers are digging a new foundation. Members of the Manakamana Temple Renovation Committee (MTRC) said the new temple will be exactly similar to the previous one in terms of its shape and style. The four storied temple of Manakamana, the wish-fulfilling Hindu Goddess, had tilted 9-12 inches towards north-east due to the earthquake and had also developed cracks on its pagoda style roofs.

Meanwhile, the main statue of the temple has been kept safely inside a small hut and the priest has been performing a puja on it daily. "We have placed another statue at chautara (a rest stop under a tree) near the temple so that the devotees can offer prayers temporarily," Krishna Shrestha MTRC treasurer, said. MTRC members said the required construction materials, including 13 lbs of gold, have already been procured. They said US$985,000 will be spent on the reconstruction work that will be completed within two years.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manakamana for more on the temple.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/17 20:03:51 ( 1604 reads )

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What has learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the Good Feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
-- Tirukkural

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Why Nashik Kumbh Mela Will Be of Epic Proportions This Time
Posted on 2015/7/14 18:24:41 ( 2388 reads )

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INDIA, July 14, 2015 (DailyO): All roads will lead to Nashik for the next two months as the Nashik Kumbh Mela was officially inaugurated by the Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union home minister Rajnath Singh. Marked by the chanting of hymns and pujas, the opening was held in two spots, around 25 miles apart -- one in Trimbakeshwar and the other in Nashik, along the banks of the Godavari river. The mega holy gathering begins on July 14 and will go on till September 18. Undoubtedly one of the biggest religious congregations, which is held once in 12 years, the kumbh mela, this year, is set to draw in 30 million devotees, pilgrims and tourists to the city of Nashik, often recognised as an important pilgrimage town for Hindus. Besides its religious and social significance, this year's mela is marked by interesting initiatives that boost tourism and help in the brand building exercise. In 2009, the state government had allocated a budget of over US$363 million for the kumbh mela preparations, ranging from roads development to arrangements for the pilgrims, security measures and waste management initiatives.

Believers and religious scholars say that when Gods and demons were fighting over the sacred nectar, Lord Vishnu flew away with the pot of nectar spilling a few drops at four different places-- Haridwar, Nasik, Ujjain and Prayag. The Kumbh mela is held at these spots. The celebration of Kumbh Mela and its location depends on the position of Jupiter. It is said that when Jupiter and sun fall on the zodiac sign of Leo, the Kumbh Mela is celebrated at Trimbakeshwar in Nasik. The mela is marked by religious rites and rituals, devotional music and a gathering of sadhus. The kumbh mela also attracts non-believers who want to experience or document the gathering.

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Swami Veda Bharati of Rishikesh Passes On
Posted on 2015/7/14 18:24:31 ( 2269 reads )

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RISHIKESH, INDIA, July 14, 2015 (Press Release): The Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International (AHYMSIN) released this statement today:

"On this auspicious day of Monday 14th July 2015, our beloved Swami Veda Bharati passed from his body at 3 am (India time). Please keep his intention in your mind - "Let every person feel loved." Special prayers of Gayatri mantra and/or Akhanda-mandala-karam...can now be offered on his behalf for this saintly intention while keeping a deepak/candle-flame lit. Further details on the funeral arrangements in India and the 14-day shrad observation will be given later. Individual Centers will also be given instruction on sadhaka-japa for our beloved saint and teacher whose life was truly an example of his bodhisattva vow."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/14 18:24:20 ( 1519 reads )

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On the pathway of spiritual excellence, words that discourage and those that publicize faults of others are lethal poisons.
-- His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, spiritual head of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha

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India Reviews Replica Temple
Posted on 2015/7/13 17:40:24 ( 1839 reads )

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SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA, July 13, 2015 (ttrweekly.com): India has delayed construction of the world's biggest Hindu temple complex in response to a Cambodian government complaint that the design copies Angkor Wat. Cambodia's government wrote to India's Ministry of External Affairs in June, demanding the country halt the proposed Viraat Ramayan Mandir temple in Bihar, India, which it called a "replica" of Cambodia's famous world heritage site. Phnom Penh Post quoted Mahavir Mandir Trust head, Kishore Kunal, saying construction, initially planned for June, would not go ahead until the matter was settled.

"We have not started construction because the Ministry of External Affairs requested, [together] with the Ministry of Culture of the government of India, that we amicably resolve this between our two nations." The head reiterated the plan was not an exact copy of any temple, but incorporated Hindu design elements found in India and Southeast Asia. He said the trust would meet with the Cambodian ambassador and Indian officials to address Cambodia's concerns.

"I have talked to the Cambodian ambassador and I told him that if he's free, and if he can bring some architects, then they would be in a better position to judge whether the architectural design is an exact replica or whether it is clearly different from the Ankgor Wat temple or not." Located in Cambodia's Siem Reap province, Angkor Wat Historical Park, was inscribed in the UNESCO's World Heritage list in 1992, and is the country's most popular tourist destination.

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Remembering the Great Sage of Kanchi
Posted on 2015/7/13 17:40:13 ( 1965 reads )

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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 2015 (huffingtonpost.com): One of the great joys of visiting India as an adult is how such visits make me appreciate my trips to the country when I was much younger.
I spent the summer of 1993 in India with my family, missing my friends in the Philadelphia area and feeling tortured by the constant bites of mosquitoes in monsoon-racked Mumbai and heat-soaked Trichy in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Despite my general discomfort with being in India, I enjoyed time with relatives my parents left behind decades earlier (and before I was born) and hearing from elders the oral histories of my family and the Tamil Smarta Hindu tradition in which we were raised. It helped me appreciate - at least a little bit - what sacrifices my folks, especially my father, made in leaving India.

My father's family, particularly my paternal grandfather, were devotees of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, one of the mutts that claims lineage from the great Hindu saint and reformer Adi Shankara. I accompanied my parents and several of my dad's relatives to Kanchipuram, about two hours drive from Chennai, Tamil Nadu's biggest city. It was there, amidst the throngs of people trying to catch a glimpse of the beloved sage of Kanchi, Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, affectionately known as the Kanchi Periyava, we came in close proximity to a realized soul. To this day, my experience being in the presence of the Kanchi Maha Periyava is one of the few times I can remember feeling like I was being blessed by a divine soul.

More at "source".

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/13 17:40:03 ( 1544 reads )

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Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions: Why am I doing it? What might the results be? Can I be successful? Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, then proceed.
-- Chanakya (350-275 bce), Indian politician, strategist and writer

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Amaranth Yatra Halted Due to Bad Weather in Jammu and Kashmir
Posted on 2015/7/12 20:07:25 ( 1728 reads )

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JAMMU, INDIA, July 12, 2015 (India Today): The annual Hindu pilgrimage Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir was stopped on Sunday due to inclement weather, police said. Heavy rainfall triggered landslides leading to the blockade of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway at Gangroo in Udhampur district. It has been raining heavily in the Jammu region and the valley since Sunday morning. Heavy rains have swollen most rivers and water bodies in the region. The yatra from both the north Kashmir Baltal and south Kashmir Pahalgam base camps has been halted.

So far around 150,000 pilgrims have performed this year's Amarnath Yatra by having darshan of the Holy Lingam inside the Himalayan cave shrine situated 14,500 feet above the sea level in south Kashmir Anantnag district. The Yatra which began on July 2 will end on August 29.

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Religious Freedom in Dubai: One Hindu Temple, Half-a-Million Hindus
Posted on 2015/7/12 20:07:15 ( 1829 reads )

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DUBAI, UAE, July 12, 2015 (BBC): There is little outward sign of any religion other than Islam in Dubai, but the city is quietly (and modestly) tolerant of other faiths. Rulers have ensured people with different beliefs have a place to worship. The UAE, of which Dubai is a part, has crippling restrictions on freedom of speech. There's widespread media censorship and dozens of activists are in jail. But it also has a little-known history of religious tolerance.

In 1958 Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, father of Dubai's current ruler, permitted a Hindu temple to be built on the roof of the souk (open-air market place). You reach it today along a lane lined with shops selling figurines of Gods and Goddesses and garlands of roses and marigolds. The only such temple in a country which now holds perhaps half a million Hindus, this little makeshift space, aromatic with sandalwood, hosts tens of thousands of worshippers each week, both Hindus and Sikhs.

Then in 1966, the year oil was discovered in Dubai, Sheikh Rashid donated a pocket of land to a Roman Catholic mission. The city has since grown up around it, and St Mary's now stands beside a busy four-lane road in central Dubai. Beside St Mary's, the Protestant church Holy Trinity stands within another high-walled compound, also built on land donated by Sheikh Rashid. There are more churches across Dubai and the UAE, including several -- and another place of worship for Sikhs -- on land donated by the current ruler, Sheikh Mohammed.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/7/12 20:07:04 ( 1507 reads )

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The mind alone is man's cause of bondage or release: it leads to bondage when attached to the sense objects, and to release when freed from them.
-- Krishna Yajur Veda, Maitri Upanishad

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The Value of Namaste and Why it Beats the Handshake
Posted on 2015/7/11 18:01:02 ( 1937 reads )

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CHINA, July 6, 2015 (China Post by Raja Murthy): At 3:30 p.m. eastern time on July 3, U.S. President Barack Obama was online on Twitter, taking questions on his new health care and Affordable Care Act. Quite likely Obama is unaware of his importing from his India visit this January a lesser known but significant practice to health care: avoiding the handshake. The farewell to India picture of Obama was my favorite from his visit -- the smiling president and his wife Michelle silently saying "namaste" from the door of Air Force One.

As a greeting or farewell, the sincere "namaste," "namaskar," or "vannakam" (in Tamil) has to rank topmost among the most gracious of human gestures: conveying humility, respect and goodwill to a fellow being. It beats the handshake hollow. I have no idea how, why and when the handshake first became the global gesture of greeting, but I do know it may be time to bid a farewell "namaste" to the handshake.

Medical tests prove it. Handshakes are a dangerous enough transmitter of disease that some U.S. doctors have called for the handshake to be banned in hospitals. The handshake is easy transfer of lethal micro-creatures like the Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteria, found researchers David E. Whitworth and Sarah Mela of the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Wales. The American Journal of Infection Control published their study in July, 2014.

This respectful greeting could be India's next beneficial gift to the world. A New York professional Jalanda James's blog "stophandshaking.com" -- possibly the only one of its kind -- mentions "namaste" among alternatives to the handshake.

More of this entertaining and informative article at source.

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Third Meeting of Hindus Held in Spain
Posted on 2015/7/11 18:00:51 ( 1616 reads )

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MADRID, SPAIN, July 8, 2015 (El Faro Digital): On June 20 and 21 the third convocation of Hindus in Spain took place in Madrid. The meeting was held at the Jhulelal Mandir, a Hindu temple headed by Lal Chandnani, which gave its facilities for free for the event. The meeting was organized by the Hindu priest Juan Carlos Ramchandani (Krishna Kripa Dasa), son of an Indian father and Spanish mother. This year the meeting was attended by presidents and executives of several Hindu religious associations. The working group was composed of eminent persons belonging to various currents within Hinduism: Swami Satyananda, Javier Ruiz Calderon, Oscar Montero, Alvaro Enterria, Hari Das. Also attending were representatives of various associations from Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Pamplona and Madrid itself.

At the meeting the group discussed and approved the statutes of the Federacion Hindu de Espana (Hindu Federation of Spain), which will represent this group of legally registered religious associations to the Spanish Ministry of Justice. Juan Carlos Ramchandani, of Ceuta, was unanimously elected as the first president of the Hindu Federation, a position he will hold for four years. Ramchandani will also be the official spokesperson of the Federation. Swami Satyananda, one of the most important voices of Hinduism in our country, was elected vice president.

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Sneak Peek: Hindu Gods Enliven "Super Team"
Posted on 2015/7/11 18:00:41 ( 1505 reads )

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UNITED STATES, July 5, 2015 (USA Today): Through the big eyes of a little boy, director Sanjay Patel has animated his journey from a California kid watching cartoons to a man respecting his father's Indian traditions. Premiering in front of The Good Dinosaur (in theaters Nov. 25), the Disney/Pixar short film Sanjay's Super Team begins with a scene similar to Patel's own San Bernardino upbringing. Sanjay is glued to the TV and Dad interrupts by ringing his bell for morning meditation. Yet the little Sanjay in Super Team finds something cooler than his superhero show when he joins his father: Three Hindu deities come alive to take care of a pesky monster.

Patel, 41, chose three Deities to reference in Super Team: the monkey-like Hanuman, the Goddess of power and protection Durga, and the blue-skinned Vishnu, who represents preservation. Some might liken them to a Hindu version of the Avengers, or an Indian take on Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, but they're more meaningful than that to Patel. "I kind of have an insider's point of view so I see them a little bit differently," says the filmmaker.

The short doesn't have any dialogue so Patel enlisted the help of Oscar-winning composer Mychael Danna (Life of Pi) for a fittingly non-Western soundtrack. For the moment when little Sanjay meets the Deities, Danna employs a bansuri, a South Asian flute and spiritual instrument associated with Vishnu, Patel says. "It's a choice that only somebody who really understood the culture would make and something for sure my dad would really appreciate."

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