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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/21 18:19:30 ( 619 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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Government Shuts Down OHM Hindu Media Foundation over Mismanagement
Posted on 2015/4/20 17:56:45 ( 885 reads )

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HILVERSOM, NETHERLANDS, April 17, 2015 (Volkskrant): John van der Starre, the government appointed interim director of the OHM religious TV and radio broadcaster in the Netherlands, has a mission. According to him the account books and the doors of the organization's headquarters and studio will be closed for the final time on December 31st, 2015.

A small group of representatives of the Hindu community still cherishes a hope that the broadcasting can be maintained in its current form. They have started a petition titled "OHM is ours." But "those people do not realize that their effort is too little, too late," van der Starre explains.

The 'Organisatie Hindoe Media' (OHM) was established in the early nineties by five Dutch Hindu organizations, with the aim of spreading knowledge of Hinduism to a wide audience. [ HPI adds: Article 2.42 of the Dutch media law (the Mediawet) allows for faith-based radio and television broadcasters to operate as part of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting system.]

From OHM's inception there were programs on important Hindu festivals and reports about Hindu culture and society. The organization was receiving a US two million dollar grant each year from the government. Its most recent broadcast schedule was a half-hour of television and two hours of radio per week.

Serious ongoing internal disputes and legal tangles, along with financial accounting irregularities, caused the government's Media Commission to step in and remove OHM's director Jagdish Rambali and appoint John van der Starre in his place in early January. The government has discontinued its subsidy of the operation. Without subsidies it is the end of the story for OHM, van der Starre concludes.

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Hindu Culture Week in La Laguna, Tenerife
Posted on 2015/4/20 17:56:33 ( 866 reads )

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SPAIN, April 16, 2015 (El Dia): Starting from today La Laguna will host "Indian Culture Week," an initiative that will start at 9 pm with a performance at the Leal Theater. A trio of traditional musical pieces will be performed by Jayanta Kumar, master of the Rudra Veena. This week will see a wide range of cultural activities aimed at raising awareness of the lifestyle and culture of India, including music, food, art, film, religion and crafts. Events will run until Saturday April 25 in various cultural institutions in the town of La Laguna, such as the Casino de La Laguna, the Royal Society of Friends of Spain, the History Museum of Tenerife, the Convent of Santo Domingo and the La Laguna Athenaeum.

The opening ceremony for the "Religions of India" photo exhibition will be attended by the head of the Municipal Department of Culture, Maria Jose Castaneda, and the Ambassador of India, Vikram Misri at the Convent of Santo Domingo tomorrow at 11:30 am. Another highlight of the India Week will be a fair, open to the public, on Saturday April 25, where samples of Indian products will be offered, in addition to other activities related to culture, such as henna hand painting and a display of traditional dance.

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To Make Yoga the Common Man's Choice, Modi Government to Drop all References to 'Om' from Promotion
Posted on 2015/4/20 17:56:27 ( 948 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 18, 2015 (Times of India): To make yoga an aam [Hindi for "common," as in "common man"] lifestyle choice in a country where religious symbolism often attracts high-voltage political controversies, Modi Sarkar is dropping all references to Om -- the traditional mystical invocation related to Hindu spirituality and yoga practice -- in its coming high-powered promotion of this ancient discipline. Senior officials involved in the government's extensive preparations to celebrate the June 21 International Yoga Day told ET that the brief is to keep the effort "free of controversy." Therefore, there will be no reference to aum in the 33-minute Common Yoga Protocol that's been prepared by the department of AYUSH (ayurveda, yoga & naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy), as well as all literature and video being prepared for the June 21 celebration.

"It has to be kept in mind that the idea of the International Yoga Day is to take yoga to the global stage," a top government official involved in preparations told ET. The Modi government's decision is significant not only in the light of recent religion-related political controversies but also global debates about yoga's religious identity. Court battles have been fought in the US over whether yoga propagates religion and although the discipline's global popularity is substantial and growing, the question hasn't completely gone away.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/20 17:56:20 ( 691 reads )

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You must not let your life run in the ordinary way; do something that nobody else has done, something that will dazzle the world. Show that God's creative principle works in you.
-- Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), founder of Self Realization Fellowship

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Correction: Harappan Stepwell Article Inaccurate
Posted on 2015/4/16 18:27:45 ( 1485 reads )

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INDIA, April 15, 2015 (HPI): Scholar Michel Danino informs Hinduism Today that the Times of India article ("source" above) summarized recently in HPI is incorrect. Dr. V.N. Prabhakar, who was interviewed for the Times of India articles states:

*The "stepwell" is not 5,000 years old and is not bigger than the Great Bath of Mohenjo-daro. The stepwell is located inside the Eastern Reservoir at Dholavira. The Eastern Reservoir measures 73 X 29 X 10 m (L X B X H), which is bigger than Great Bath and NOT the "stepwell" which is a circular well cut into the bedrock with a flight of steps.

*The stepwell was excavated by Dr. R.S. Bisht of the Archaeological Survey of India nearly 15 years back and is NOT a recent discovery by IITGN as claimed in the report.

*The news item while reporting its location inside the Eastern Reservoir, ignores the fact that it is much smaller and circular in shape (a photograph is also published showing its circular shape), and goes on to claim that it is "rectangular."

*Surveys are yet to be undertaken by IITGN at Dholavira and the news items mentioning that 'surveys indicating more buried reservoirs and stepwells' is NOT TRUE.

*IITGN is not planning excavations at the site as falsely published.

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View Live Feed of Worship at Kashi Viswanath Temple, Varanasi
Posted on 2015/4/16 18:27:39 ( 1647 reads )

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VARANASI, INDIA, April 15, 2015 (HPI): Devotees can view a live feed of the worship of the famed Siva Lingam of Kashi Viswanath Temple here at "source" above. The camera is fixed looking down at the Siva Lingam, which is barely discernable in the silver enclosure as devotees move through at the rate of several a minute. They are allowed to touch the Lingam and offer their own worship most of the day. There are also periods of formal worship by priests which are noted under "Programmes" on the home page.

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At Hindu Temple in Hockessin, a Tour of India
Posted on 2015/4/16 18:27:33 ( 1541 reads )

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DELAWARE, U.S., April 12, 2015 (Delaware Online): From the brightly colored costumes to the traditional music to the jangling ankle bracelets worn by many dancers, a small portion of Delaware was taken on a tour of Indian culture Saturday. Nearly 500 people attended the event, called Maha Shakthi, at the Hindu Temple of Delaware. "It's such a feast for the eyes and the ears and everything," said Chitra Vaidyanathan, who was attending the event. "It's so mesmerizing and uplifting just to see it."

By honoring different Hindu Goddesses, the event recognized many different sects of Hinduism. "It gives the kids a sense of where you're from and who you are," Vaidyanathan said. "These kids very much belong to American culture, but this gives them a chance to know Indian culture, too." The dance ceremony was also used to kick off more than a month of celebration up to Memorial Day, when the temple will recognize its 13th anniversary.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/16 18:27:27 ( 1270 reads )

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I was an atheist until I found out I was God.
-- Spotted on a T-shirt in Auroville

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Brain Scans Show the Influence of Yoga and Meditation on Pain Perception and Aging
Posted on 2015/4/15 17:50:00 ( 2085 reads )

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For the pain study, research subjects received light pain stimuli in the form of mild electrical shocks to one of their forearms. The meditation group experienced the pain in both an everyday state of mind and in a state of meditation. They turned out to experience the pain not as less strong, but as less unpleasant. In their brains, the reduced pain perception went hand in hand with increased activation in the posterior insula (the area involved in the sensation of pain) and decreased activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex (the area that regulates experiences). This pattern is the opposite of what happens in the brains of non-meditators. In other words, meditators were able to reduce their pain in a unique way by tolerating the pain sensations instead of exerting mental control over them.

More at source.


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Big Temple Car Set for a Glorious Comeback after 100 Years
Posted on 2015/4/15 17:41:49 ( 1561 reads )

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THANJAVUR, INDIA, April 10, 2015 (The Hindu): All is set for the trial run of the brand new temple car crafted for the internationally famed Sri Brihadeeswarar temple ("Big Temple") here on April 20. The actual car festival is slated for April 29, an event Thanjavur is poised to witness after nearly a century. Besides the new temple car, the roads of the four main thoroughfares on which the car is to be drawn have been paved afresh to facilitate a smooth run.

More than 30 sthapathis have been handcrafting the towering car for close to 15 months now. Around 25 tons of Iluppai and country teakwood are being used to make the 18-foot tall temple car. The new temple car would be a three-tiered wooden structure atop which rests the devasanam on which the simhasanam is perched. On that simhasanam, the processional Deity would be ensconced. "The specialty of the car work is that we have incorporated the global image of the Big Temple, the steep tower, and the maha Nandi as icons on the car. Besides, the sthapathis are taking particular care to ensure that the work reflects the Big Temple's grandeur in every possible sphere," say C. Varadaraja Sthapathy and C. Sivadurai Sthapathy, entrusted with the task of crafting the temple car.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/15 17:41:36 ( 1350 reads )

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Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination.
-- Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society

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Ganesha Temple Opens in Norway
Posted on 2015/4/14 16:00:41 ( 1539 reads )

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NORWAY, March 24, 2015 (NRK): Norway's fourth Tamil temple has opened, in Alesund. Three priests, from England, Denmark and Oslo, came to do a "water vessel ceremony" to consecrate the place, which will be repeated every twelve years. "In order for a building to be considered a temple it must be consecrated. If it has not been blessed there won't be any spiritual power." says Rasathurai Sathinalingam who is chairman of the board at Alesund Hindu Cultural Center. "Now that we have a permanent meeting place it will be easier to give a religious education to our children," explains Mrs. Suki Ponnuthurai.

About 350 Hindus live in the surrounding More and Romsdal coastal district. Even though the temple is primarily for Hindus, people of other faiths are welcome. "Yes, everyone can come here," Sathinalingam exclaims. Among those who came to express congratulations to the Hindu community on this occasion was Oystein Engas, head of the Norwegian Lutheran Mission. Despite the fact that Engas is head of the local missionary work, he says that it is good for Christians to practice tolerance for other religions and he emphasizes that there will be no attempts to try to convert any of the Hindus here.

[HPI adds: The Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora has created small community groups of Tamils in small cities around Norway. One such place is Alesund on the west coast of Norway. Their presence, customs and religion is seen as something really exotic and different to most Lutheran Norwegians who constitute the overwhelming majority of the population. That a Hindu temple could open in such an environment is looked at with a sense of awe. A couple of reporters were sent out to cover the story. See Source above for their video. This is translated from the Ny Norsk language of western Norway, and the place names are reproduced without the language's special diacritical marks. ]

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"Commander Selvam" Sentenced in Georgia Temple Fraud Case
Posted on 2015/4/14 16:00:28 ( 1473 reads )

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ATLANTA, GEORGIA, April 14, 2015 (Associated Press): Federal prosecutors say the former leader of a Hindu Temple in Georgia has been sentenced to more than 27 years in prison for defrauding his followers and the temple's creditors. Annamalai Annamalai of Baytown, Texas, was convicted in 2014 of 34 counts including fraud and obstruction--related charges. Prosecutors say Annamalai demanded fees for spiritual services and then charged members' credit card numbers for more than the agreed amount. Prosecutors say he sent false documents to credit card companies and filed lawsuits against the followers who challenged him. He also was convicted for sending a false email to an IRS agent and submitting false statements to a grand jury and a bankruptcy court. Annamalai is also known as Dr. Commander Selvam and Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/14 16:00:22 ( 1278 reads )

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When the Creator dances, the worlds He created dance. To the measure that He dances in our knowledge, our thoughts, too, dance. When He in heart-endearing dances, the several elements, too, dance. Witness in rapture surpassing the dance of that One who is a glowing flame.
-- Tirumantiram, 2786

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