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Hindu Press International
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Amarnath Yatra Going on Smoothly, 339,000 Paid Obeisance so Far
Posted on 2015/8/10 20:43:04 ( 1629 reads )

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SRINAGAR,INDIA, August 10, 2015 (Daily Excelsior): Amid chanting of hymns and religious slogans, fresh batches of pilgrims today left Baltal and Nunwan Pahalgam base camps for Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, where about 339,000 pilgrims had paid obeisance since the 59-day-long yatra commenced on July 2. The annual yatra will conclude on August 29 when the Silver Mace of Lord Shiva will be taken inside the holy shrine on Shravan Purnima and Rakshabandan for final pujan.

During the first eight days of Shravan month 23,122 pilgrims had offered pujan at the cave shrine. Due to closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, pilgrims could not reach base camps yesterday. However, the pilgrims, including women, sadhus and children, who had already arrived here left Baltal base camp in the central Kashmir district of Ganderbal for the holy cave shrine early this morning. The official said the yatris were expected to cover the 10-mile-long distance on foot before paying obeisance at the cave shrine today.

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1548 Pilgrims Perform Darshan, Yatra Remains Suspended from Jammu
Posted on 2015/8/10 20:42:54 ( 1532 reads )

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JAMMU, INDIA, August 9, 2015 (Daily Excelsior): The incessant rains and cloud bursts have affected the holy Amarnath yatra. The rush has decreased to its lowest ebb with only 1548 pilgrims performing darshan of the Ice Lingam in the cave Shrine on the 39th day of darshan today.

The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained closed today. Also at Kheri near Udhampur the yatra to the holy cave from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas remained suspended for the second consecutive day today due to heavy landslides.

According to an official spokesman no yatri vehicle was allowed to proceed for Kashmir Valley from here for the second consecutive day today. However 1,548 pilgrims performed darshan at the holy cave today, the spokesman said, adding this is the lowest number of pilgrims paying obeisance in the cave shrine during the two month long yatra since the first day of darshan which started on July 2.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/8/10 20:42:43 ( 1493 reads )

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The more we are conscious of God's presence in daily life, the more intense is the fullness of the joy we experience. God means infinitely more to our existence than the light of the sun means to the plants and trees.
-- Swami Omkarananda, (1930-2000), founder of Omkarananda Ashram, Rishikesh

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Encroaching Religious Structures Worry Hyderabad Police
Posted on 2015/8/5 19:38:56 ( 2048 reads )

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Hyderabad, INDIA, August 5, 2015 (Deccan Chronicle): Political backing for the expansion of religious structures on the city's roads and pavements has become a major headache for the police department. Extensions of existing structures like dargahs (Islamic tomb), temples, chilla (Sufi), jhanda (Sikh) etc. might snowball into a law and order issue, but can be curbed if the problem is snipped in the bud, say cops.

"In the name of worship, some people are engaging in this kind of activities to establish dominance in an area. We do cooperate with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) whenever they ask us to, but the police department doesn't have real powers to curb this menace," said DCP, South Zone, V. Satyanarayana. Though halted for now, the expansions are not demolished and are causing a problem in the free flow of traffic. As per GHMC data, there are nearly 64 major structures encroaching on city's roads and footpaths.

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The Arrival of the Early Merchants in Fiji
Posted on 2015/8/5 19:38:46 ( 1975 reads )

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FIJI, July 20, 2015 (Fiji Times): The local Gujarati communities are renowned for their commercial success and as published accounts relate, their origins in Fiji could be traced to Porbander in India. Located on the Kathiawar peninsula, the coastal town is more famously known as the birth place of Indian activist and spiritual leader Mohandas Gandhi. In a closer-to-home context though, this was also from where the key traders in Fiji sprang.

Expanding trade routes and commercial prospects in the earlier part of the last century led to a wave of merchants, traders and craftsmen sweeping into Fiji from India and China. Many founded large families, with some descendants still practicing the traditional craft of these entrepreneurial ancestors. As noted in Kenneth Gillion's book, Fiji's Indian Migrants, the first of this lot were Virjee Narshi and Choonilal Gangjee, a pair of jewelers who migrated from Natal in 1906 after hearing of Fiji from Indians who had been contracted here as indentured laborers. "The peak of this 'free' immigration (as it was called at the time) was not reached until the 1920s, but perhaps two or three thousand arrived before 1920," Gillion noted in his publication.

More at source.

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HAF Launches Nationwide Survey to Track Anti-Hindu Bullying and Bias
Posted on 2015/8/5 19:38:33 ( 1800 reads )

Press Release

UNITED STATES, August 5, 2015 (HAF): Reports of anti-Hindu bias and bullying have increased in America's schools. Hindu Americans, especially K-12 students, however, still lag behind other communities when it comes to reporting incidents of bullying and bias. To help address this disparity, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has partnered with the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) to engage Hindu American students and parents on bullying and anti-bullying enforcement.

This survey is intended to get nationwide data on Hindu American students' experiences with anti-Hindu bias and bullying in schools. The results of the data will be published by HAF in a report subsequently used by federal agencies to help prevent and combat religion-based bias and bullying.

To participate in this survey, students are asked to click the link and follow the instructions: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OHorB ... yg/viewform?usp=send_form

The deadline to participate in the survey is September 30.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/8/5 19:38:22 ( 1956 reads )

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Like a tortoise withdrawing five limbs into its shell, those who restrain the five senses in one life will find safe shelter for seven.
-- Tirukkural 126

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Keeping Cultures Alive: The Sindhis and Hindus of Chile
Posted on 2015/8/4 19:17:23 ( 2024 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, August 2, 2015 (Hindustan Times by Saaz Aggarwal): Punta Arenas, Chile, is one of the southern-most cities in the world. There was a time when every ship crossing from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Straits of Magellan or around Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn) halted there. I first saw the name Punta Arenas on a map in a book by the French scholar Claude Markovits, The Global World of Indian Merchants - 1750-1947: Traders of Sind from Bukhara to Panama.

The map marks places around the world which had branches of trading firms headquartered in Hyderabad, Sind, between 1890 and 1940. I felt surprised and impressed to see that it included about a dozen places in South America. How had Sindhis got so far away from home so long ago?

In 1907, a Sindhi merchant, Harumal, came ashore. The account of how Harumal opened his first store; what happened during the First World War and then the Second; how Partition affected the Sindhis of Punta Arenas, will form part of Sindhi Tapestry, the companion volume to my first book, Sind: Stories from a Vanished Homeland.

More of this interesting history at source.

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India Wins Patent Battle with Europe's Pangaea Lab
Posted on 2015/8/4 19:17:12 ( 1930 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, August 3, 2015 (Daily Pioneer): India has once again successfully protected its traditional knowledge by preventing an attempt by Europe's Pangaea Laboratories to take a patent on a medicinal composition containing turmeric, pine bark, and green tea for treating hair loss. A senior official from the Union Science and Technology Ministry said that the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a Unit of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), had located the patent application filed at European Patent office by Pangaea Laboratories.

It then filed pre-grant opposition along with prior-art evidences from the TKDL, proving that turmeric, pine bark and green tea, have long been used as a treatment for hair loss in Indian systems of medicine like Ayurveda and Unani. Sharing the details, the official said that the UK based company had filed the patent application at European Patent office in February, 2011. "In response, the CSIR-TKDL Unit filed evidences from TKDL on January 13, 2014 after the patent application got published on website, pursuant to which the patent application is finally deemed to be withdrawn by the applicant on June 29, 2015," the official maintained.

TKDL is a collaborative project between CSIR and Union Ayush Ministry. The official said that after it was estimated that about 2,000 wrong patents concerning Indian systems of medicine were being granted every year at the international level, efforts were taken making available information contents in into five international languages --English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/8/4 19:17:02 ( 1787 reads )

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After death, the soul goes to the next world bearing in mind the subtle impressions of its deeds, and after reaping their harvest returns again to this world of action. Thus, he who has desires continues subject to rebirth.
-- Shukla Yajur Veda, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.6

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Hindu Temples in the US Growing in Spirit and Scale
Posted on 2015/8/3 18:55:52 ( 2026 reads )

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UNITED STATES, July 26, 2015 (Economic Times): If you read between the lines of the vandalized signboard in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, you'll see more than just 60 shotgun pellet holes perforating the blue sans serif lettering that reads 'Hindu Temple'. The punctures, though ominous, do little to threaten the place of the Hindu temple - in Forsyth County, or the rest of America.

For America's growing number of Indian immigrants, a temple is a way to transplant a bit of home in the US. The Hindu demographic is doing quite well economically. According to Pew, 36 per cent say their annual family income exceeds $100,000, compared to 19 per cent of the overall public. As America's three million Hindus grow in stature, so do their symbols of ethnic identity - their temples.

The institution first arrived on America's West Coast in 1906, via Swami Vivekananda's Vedanta Society in San Francisco, writes Karen Pechilis Prentiss for Harvard's Pluralism Project, and it concerned itself chiefly with scriptural study and meditation. It was only in the 70s when the Indian migrant population began to expand on the back of the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 that temples for ritualistic worship and cultural incubation developed. This was when Alagappa Alagappan, one of the leaders of the temple movement in late 20th century America, helped establish the Hindu Temple Society in 1970 in Flushing, New York. Today, the temple count in the US touches 800, according Hindu American Foundation (HAF).

In last year's Pew survey that gauged the general American sentiment towards different religions, Hindus score 50 on a 'feeling thermometer' of 1 to 100, two points ahead of Mormons and three below Buddhists, which means the US public is ambivalent towards Hinduism, exhibiting no greater positive or negative attitude toward it.

Much more at source.

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Inside the Mind of a Tyrant
Posted on 2015/8/3 18:55:41 ( 1896 reads )

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INDIA, August 2, 2015 (New Indian Express by Anuja Chandramouli): Having successfully completed a quintet of books skilfully chronicling the rise and fall of the Moghul Empire, Alex Rutherford is back with Traitors in the Shadows, which examines the reign of Aurangzeb, one of the most contradictory and vilified figures in Indian history. Rutherford is on familiar terrain and his reverence for the historical material shines through in his narrative as he paints an enduring portrait of the tyrant who was not without redeeming qualities though one clearly has to hunt for them using a powerful microscope.

He was a devout Muslim, whose stern and extreme adherence to the strictures of his religion saw him undo all the hard work put in by his ancestors like Akbar to cultivate the bonds of brotherhood between those of all faiths by adopting a policy of religious intolerance. Aurangzeb banned the celebration of Hindu festivals like Holi and Diwali, ordered the destruction of temples and re-imposed the dreaded Jizya--higher taxation for all non-Muslims--to drive home his power over them. His actions were motivated by a misguided sense of political acuity as well and intended to make a strong statement against rebels like Shivaji and later the Jats, Rajputs and Sikhs, to discourage his other subjects from throwing in their lot with them.

More at source.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/8/3 18:55:31 ( 1183 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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River Rafting Banned in Rishikesh Area
Posted on 2015/8/2 20:19:30 ( 1444 reads )

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DEHRADUN/NEW DELHI, August 2, 2015 (Times of India): A day after the National Green Tribunal accepted the Uttarakhand government's submission that no new licenses will be issued to rafting camps and that renewal of licenses will also not be considered for the time being, both the rafting industry in the hill state and the hordes of tourists from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh who troop in for the popular river rafting activity are an unsure lot. NGT has also directed the Centre to submit its views on the impact of river rafting in the area. Though there is no blanket ban on rafting as yet - the next hearing in the case is on August 7 - plans for the time being have gone awry.

River rafting, a US$11 million-industry in Rishikesh that began in the 1980s with just five people, attracts a large number of domestic as well as foreign tourists. Campsites near the Ganga are weekend getaways for many in north India, with tourists in the thousands favoring a quick trip there for some much needed respite from city life. Rafting also offers one of the few options for adventure sports enthusiasts in north India.

At the heart of the NGT order is a petition by Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), an NGO, which has raised a clutch of concerns about the large number of rafting camps, which include disturbance to wildlife, pollution caused due to waste junked by rafters, open defecation on the river bed, trees cut to make way for construction of camps, levelling of the river bed and much more.

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Texas Hindu Temple Opens with World Record
Posted on 2015/8/2 20:19:20 ( 1498 reads )

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FRISCO, TEXAS, August 1, 2015 (WFAA): When you look inside the new Hanuman Temple in Frisco, North Texas on Saturday, you'll realize why it was built. Thousands of Hindus, most of them living in or around the city, crowded into the 34,000-square-foot temple to celebrate its official opening. The Indian population in the region is growing. In Collin County alone, it has more than tripled since the turn of the century. "Look at the 10-mile radius around the temple," said Temple Chairman Prakasa Rao Velagapudiand. "Seventy, 80, maybe even 90 percent of them have Indian background."

They celebrated the opening in spectacular fashion by setting a new Guinness World Record. After 24 hours of continuous chanting, the group set the world record for the longest chanting marathon.

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