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Uttarakhand Getting Ready for Mystical, Supernatural Tourism, says Minister

Posted on 2017/7/12 18:31:35 ( 608 reads )


UTTARAKHAND, INDIA, July 6, 2017 (Hindustan Times): After the Union government's plans to start a spiritual circuit, Uttarakhand said it was all set to promote "mystical and supernatural" tourism. "Uttarakhand is not just about the five dhams. We are making a new tourism policy and I need to tell you that in our state there is an unusual (kind of) tourism - mystical and supernatural tourism," the state's senior-most cabinet minister, Satpal Maharaj, said at a FICCI tourism investors' function in Delhi.

Explaining the concept, the minister narrated tales of myths and miracles inspired by local deities. He said there were specific times when these Gods appeared and bestowed Their powers on humans. These activities, he said, attract huge crowds in the state. He said he also wanted to explore circuits that were "off the beaten track". These two circuits would concentrate on myths and miracles surrounding deities in Jaghdhar in Rudraprayag and Joshimath.

Thousands Take Part in Hindu Parade in Downtown Grand Rapids

Posted on 2017/7/12 18:31:25 ( 637 reads )


GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, July 8, 2017 (mlive.com): For the first time, a Hindu parade called Granth Dindi was performed in the U.S., bringing 3,000 people to downtown Grand Rapids. The parade began at 8 a.m. July 8 outside DeVos Place and ended an hour later at Van Andel Arena. The intricately-choreographed performance included dancing, drumming and Hindu scriptures being carried on palanquins.

The ritual procession goes back at least 700 years, and has never been performed on this scale before in America, said Fred Stella, a Pracharak -- outreach minister -- at the West Michigan Hindu Temple. The Granth Dindi parade was performed as part of the Bruhan Maharashtra Madal of North America, which is a conference that brings together Hindus from the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Short video and photos at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/7/12 18:31:14 ( 486 reads )


Love says, "I am everything." Wisdom says, "I am nothing." Between the two, my life flows. I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both.
-- Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981), Hindu sage

Hindu Pilgrims Killed in Militant Attack in Kashmir

Posted on 2017/7/11 18:14:58 ( 600 reads )


KASHMIR, INDIA, July 11, 2017 (BBC): Seven Hindu pilgrims, six of them women, have been killed in a militant attack in Indian-administered Kashmir after their bus apparently got caught in crossfire. The bus was returning from the Amarnath Cave pilgrimage site in the Anantnag district when the attack took place. Police told the BBC the target appeared to be a nearby counter-insurgency base. The attack, which also left 19 injured, is likely to heighten tensions in the disputed region.

Nearly all the survivors praised the driver, who did not stop the vehicle and got them to safety, only stopping near an army convoy 1.24 miles away. Many say that without him, the death toll would have been much higher.

Lord Ganesha Procession Celebrates 11 Years

Posted on 2017/7/11 18:14:48 ( 459 reads )


SOUTH AFRICA, July 8, 2017 (Rising Sun): The organizers for the Lord Ganesha Float Procession held its 11th annual launch at the Shree Marieammen Temple in Mount Edgecombe on Friday. The function was well attended and devotees enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of satsangs, dances and tucked into a delicious supper. The organizers awarded certificates to the temples who had made floats and joined the procession from Umgeni Road Temple to the Blue Lagoon.

The procession will take place at the Durban Hindu Temple in Somtseu Road on August 19 and 20. The invocation will take place at the temple on August 10 which will see three Lord Ganesha murthis invoked. It will go to 27 temples in Newlands West, Durban North and Phoenix. The twenty seven temples will host a murthi of Lord Ganesha at their temple everyday. The concluding havan for Lord Ganesha will take place at the Durban Hindu Temple on Saturday, August 19, followed by the breaking of the 108 coconuts.

Hinduism: Understanding Image and Temple Worship

Posted on 2017/7/11 18:14:38 ( 699 reads )


(place of origin unknown), July 7, 2017 (YouTube): Image and temple worship form the central practice for many Hindus. However, the unfamiliar rituals and ideas can often be judged as primitive and pagan. But as this video explains, Hindus see God not only as transcendent but immanent in creation. Through the science of ritual and faith the infinite omnipresent Divinity can be awakened and enlivened even in inanimate objects. The Masters have understood that before we can see God everywhere we have to see God somewhere--this is the role of murthi worship. Click "source" above for this excellent video.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/7/11 18:14:27 ( 423 reads )


The way to freedom is a way of silence--of silent resolve and silent service.
-- Sadhu Vaswani, (1879-1966) founder the Sadhu Vaswani Mission

India Seeks Recognition of Ayurveda in Singapore As Traditional Medicine

Posted on 2017/7/6 20:29:50 ( 1028 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 6, 2017: India is looking about for the acknowledgement of Ayurveda in Singapore as a traditional medicine and has been in talks with Singapore for the protection, propagation and certification of Ayurveda as such. On June 21, Singapore hosted the second International Conference on Ayurveda. "People look at the rising costs of medical treatments, the side effects of chemicals, of dealing with the lifestyle diseases which are growing both in developed and undeveloped countries, people are turning to traditional medicines, whether it is Chinese or Indian and Ayurveda is suddenly becoming very popular," said Jawed Ashraf, India's High Commissioner to Singapore. Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu system of medicine, is completely naturalistic and comprehensive in nature. Jawed Ashraf talks about the global growth of Ayurveda by stating that the parts of Latin America, Asia and Africa have accepted Ayurveda as any other healthcare systems.

171 Temples Under GST in Andhra Pradesh State

Posted on 2017/7/6 20:29:39 ( 617 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, July2, 2017 (Deccan Herald): It seems even gods cannot exempt themselves from GST (the newly instituted Goods and Services Tax), as 171 temples in Andhra Pradesh above US$31,000 income have come under the new tax regime. There are 23,834 temples in the state, of which 45 temples come under the $155,000 income category, 63 temples up to $4 million and seven temples with more than $4 million annual income, including Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the country's richest.

149 Temples Under GST Purview in Telangana State

Posted on 2017/7/6 20:29:29 ( 543 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, July 3, 2017 (Deccan Chronicle): Devotees visiting major temples have to pay more from July. Major temples, which have more than US$31,000 annual revenue, are brought under GST purview. There are 149 such temples in Telangana state. Section 73 of the GST Act states renting of rooms, where charges are $15.50 or more per day, renting of premises, community halls, Kalyanamandapam or open area where charges are $155 or more per day, will attract 18 per cent tax. Telangana endowment minister A. Indrakaran Reddy said that there were 149 temples that earn over $31,000 annual revenue. Out of which, 16 temples had over $155,000 annual revenue while three had over $4 million annual revenue, he said.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/7/6 20:29:18 ( 576 reads )


A "Dial-a-Prayer" app has been released for atheists. You call it up, it rings and rings, but nobody answers.

GST Impact: As Tirupati Temple Faces $15.5 Million Tax Burden, Your Religious Trip May Get Expensive

Posted on 2017/7/5 18:24:50 ( 838 reads )


INDIA, June 19, 2017 (First Post): [HPI is posting several stories today on the impact of the new GST tax on Hindu institutions. There are some descrepancies between the reports.]

A whopping US$7.75-15.5 million Goods and Service Tax (GST) burden stares at the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) which manages the world's richest temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala. This is thanks to the flagship tax reform regime of the Modi government - GST - that rolls out from 1 July. The ancient Vaishnavite shrine has all along been exempted from sales tax, wealth tax and income tax besides VAT by the Centre and state governments in the past and the current mandatory slapping of GST on temples is annoying a lot of people. "The ruling BJP and NDA spent thousands of crores on cleaning river Ganga and building Ram temple at Ayodhya but is slapping such a huge burden on Hindu devotees," said C. Rangarajan, president of Telangana Archaka Samakhya, an association of priests.

There are 3,000 temples in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, of which over 70 percent will come under the tax net of $31,000 annual revenue. So far, most temples enjoyed exemption from VAT, by the respective state governments. This power has been withdrawn thanks to the GST regime and made it mandatory for these temples to be taxed. There has been a wave of protests and outbursts from pious and devout Hindus in the recent past over this. The temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala managed by the TTD will be worst hit. It has a footfall of almost 100,000 devotees per day and a Hundi collection of $309,000-463,000 daily. GST will now onwards be slapped on rest-houses and services including arjita sevas and special darshan tickets.

More at "source" above.

GST Council Exempts Prasadam, Human Hair From Tax at Tirupati Temple

Posted on 2017/7/5 18:24:39 ( 571 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 20, 2017 (Financial Express): Accepting the request of the state government, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Sunday decided to exempt Prasadam and human hair at the Tirupati temple from tax. The proposal was placed by the Andhra Pradesh minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu during the 17th GST Council meeting which was held in New Delhi. In the meeting, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu had said that the Tirupati Trust is a reputed religious trust involved in services to hundreds of thousands of devotees every day.

GST Impact: FinMin Cuts Through Rumours, Slams Reports Stating Temple Trusts Have to Pay While Churches, Mosques are Exempt

Posted on 2017/7/5 18:24:29 ( 590 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 3, 2017 (Financial Express): The Ministry of Finance on Monday slammed all the rumors that are doing the rounds over social media stating that temple trusts have to pay the GST while the churches and mosques have been exempted. The Press Information Bureau, on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India issued a Press release stating, "Appeal to people not to start circulating wrong messages on social media as no distinction is made in the GST Law on any provision based on religion."

6.5 Million Books Put on Line in India

Posted on 2017/7/5 18:24:18 ( 722 reads )


PUDUCHERRY, INDIA, June 23, 2016 (Pondicherry University Press Release): All book reading fans please check this new initiative from the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. 6.5 million books are now available in one single portal where you can read online or download the books. There are textbooks, audio and video content.

National Digital Library is an initiative by HRD Ministry. It is a huge collection of learning resources from primary to PG level students can use free of charge. To register, go to "source" above.

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