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Trial Run of Big Temple Car a Success at Thanjavur
Posted on 2015/4/23 18:25:41 ( 854 reads )

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THANJAVUR, INDIA, April 22, 2015 (The Hindu): The new chariot of Sri Brihadeeswarar Temple here rolled out on its trial run gleaming under the early morning sun. The Big Temple finally got its chariot, the first in over a century as hundreds of eager townsmen, hailing the Lord, came together to draw the chariot. For all the people of Thanjavur, young and the elderly, it was their first glimpse of the Big Temple chariot run ritual as the temple never had experienced that chance in the last nearly 100 years. The new chariot, radiating the pleasant smell of fresh paint, commenced its journey on the four main thoroughfares preparing for its maiden run on April 29.

Earlier, Sivacharya priests performed special poojas and conducted rituals on the simhasanam, representing the Lord, and held over that a flashy umbrella as a mark of respect before waving the green flag as a sign to start pulling the chariot. Immediately, hundreds of devotees gathered for the occasion, reverentially picked up the huge ropes of the chariot and tugged at the car that wobbled and then instantly stabilized to give a perfect start. The giant wheels of the wooden car crushed sacred ash gourds, as a mark of tradition to ward off evil, at the starting mark and commenced their run.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/23 18:25:34 ( 722 reads )

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In India I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth, but not adhering to it. Inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything but possessed by nothing.
-- Appolonius of Tiana (2-97 ce), Greek philosopher and occultist. His work deeply influenced Western mysticism.

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Narendra Modi Listed on Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World"
Posted on 2015/4/22 17:49:06 ( 1081 reads )

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, April 16, 2015 (Time): HPI Note: When Time publishes its yearly list of most influential people, they ask other prominent people to write up a short bio of the selected person explaining why they have received the honor. In the case of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Barack Obama provided the following text which was published by Time:

"India's reformer-in-chief

"As a boy, Narendra Modi helped his father sell tea to support their family. Today, he's the leader of the world's largest democracy, and his life story--from poverty to Prime Minister--reflects the dynamism and potential of India's rise.

"Determined to help more Indians follow in his path, he's laid out an ambitious vision to reduce extreme poverty, improve education, empower women and girls and unleash India's true economic potential while confronting climate change. Like India, he transcends the ancient and the modern--a devotee of yoga who connects with Indian citizens on Twitter and imagines a "digital India."

"When he came to Washington, Narendra and I visited the memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We reflected on the teachings of King and Gandhi and how the diversity of backgrounds and faiths in our countries is a strength we have to protect. Prime Minister Modi recognizes that more than 1 billion Indians living and succeeding together can be an inspiring model for the world."

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BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir Hosts Women's Conference
Posted on 2015/4/22 17:49:00 ( 937 reads )

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CHINO HILLS, CALIFORNIA, April 21, 2015 (India West): This year, BAPS hosted its ninth annual Women's Conference that recently took place at 11 centers across North America to inspire Indian American women to pursue leadership positions while making a commitment to take other women along with them. The conference, themed "Moving Forward," focused on creating positive change that starts from within. On March 14, over 500 women gathered at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir here to participate in the annual conference. 'Moving Forward' covered three key concepts: compassion, forgiveness, and perseverance.

The conference speeches began with keynote speaker Aparna Hande, honored as the 56th Assembly District "Woman of the Year" in 2012 by Assembly member Tony Mendoza. She praised the BAPS community of women, saying, "These women are driven by compassion and forgiveness to work together towards common solutions." Among the honored guests in attendance were Manisha Sulakhe, an accomplished chemist, dancer, and active community leader; Depti Patel, an experienced IT professional; Alka Patel, civil engineer, businesswoman, and president of UFICA; and Anu Jain, director, Operations and Outreach, at SAHARA.

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Auckland Gets New Zealand's First Shri Ram Mandir
Posted on 2015/4/22 17:48:53 ( 913 reads )

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, April 15, 2015 (Indian Weekender): At 11 Brick Street in Henderson is the almost finished version of Shri Ram temple that Auckland will soon witness. New Zealand has seen Shiv Temple, Hanuman Temple, Sai Temple and Balaji Temple in the past, but the Shri Ram Temple is the first to be constructed in New Zealand. The foundation of the Mandir which covers an area of 2,366 square metres was laid in July 2012 in front of the devotees and in three years' time the Mandir is ready to be open for the devotees.

The Shri Ram Mandir will not just be a temple but will also have a huge community hall since there are no such community centres in the West Auckland area and Indian marriages and religious functions require a vast area to accommodate its people. According to plans the temple is set to be inaugurated on June 6 starting with a weeklong puja until June 12, 2015. During this time there will be prayers in the afternoon and cultural programs in the evening comprising all the cultures of India, including Karakia by Maori priests. A crowd of more than 5,000 from all over North Island are expected to be seen during the opening week of the Shri Ram Mandir.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/22 17:48:47 ( 771 reads )

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How can one realize that which alone is real? All we need to do is to give up our habit of regarding as real that which is unreal. Reality alone will remain, and we will be That.
-- Sri Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic

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Malaysia Hindu Temple Assets Mismanaged, Says Lawyer
Posted on 2015/4/21 18:19:48 ( 1022 reads )

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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, April 17, 2015 (The Malaysian Insider): Lawyer M. Manoharan is seeking a court declaration that the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevastanam Kuala Lumpur, reputedly the richest Hindu organization in the country, must be for the benefit of the entire community. In a suit filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry today, the former Kota Alam Shah assemblyman also wants the temple chairman Tan Sri R. Nadaraja to be removed for failing to administer the organisation as a charitable, cultural, religious and educational trust. In addition, Manoharan wants the High Court to set aside a 1930 Supreme Court order that the temple was a charitable trust for the benefit of a select group of people.

The Batu Caves temple which is the nation's main venue during the Thaipusam festival, is among 19 movable and immovable properties worth about US$550 million owned by the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevastanam. Manoharan said Nadaraja has abused his power by remaining as temple chairman for about 30 years. Manoharan, who is represented by lawyer P. Uthayakumar, said the tenure of all future temple chairman should be limited to two terms or four years. "All Malaysian Hindus should have the right to elect the temple management committee which is not the case now," he added.

More at source.

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Movie Made on Swami Chinmayananda
Posted on 2015/4/21 18:19:42 ( 1118 reads )

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NEW YORK, U.S., April 11, 2015 (Indian Panorama by Chandni Trivedi): Swami Chinmayananda was one of the world's most renowned and revered exponents of Vedanta, the foundation of Hindu religion and culture. His life is a story of an unconventional seeker -- a mischievous child, a rebellious youth, a revolutionary freedom fighter, a witty journalist and even a daring atheist. The movie, "On a Quest" made on the life and vision of Swami Chinmayananda is worth watching. It is not a religious film but a story about transformation and the quest for truth.

Made by the Chinmaya Mission to mark the birth centenary celebrations of Swami Chinmayananda, the two-hour film directed by noted Director R.S. Prasanna very succinctly brings to life the journey of the young atheist Balakrishna Menon as he transforms from being a fiery revolutionary, sceptical academician, questioning journalist into a seeker with an ardent quest for the truth finally becoming a visionary master carrying the message of the rishis to the masses across the world.

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Hawaii - First State to Officially Recognize Gandhi's Birthday
Posted on 2015/4/21 18:19:36 ( 1287 reads )

www.gandhianpeace.com

HONOLULU, HAWAII, April 20, 2015 (Gandhi International Institute for Peace): On April 9, 2015, when Governor David Ige signed SB 332 into law, Hawaii becomes the first state to officially commemorate Mohandas K. Gandhi who earned worldwide recognition for his methods of nonviolence. The bill, officially known as ACT 005, does not create a new state holiday, but does set aside each October 2nd, Gandhi's birthday, as a day of commemoration.

The foundation for the Gandhi International Institute for Peace was laid after terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001. One of the major goals of this Peace institute is to promote World Peace. For years, in pursuit of this goal, the Peace Institute has been raising awareness towards nonviolence in Hawaii.

In June 2007, when the United Nations designated October 2 as a day of Nonviolence, Dr. Raj Kumar organized a Peace March, which was supported by 23 organizations. Thousands of people joined the march in solidarity and walked from Ala Moana Park to Kapiolani Park in Honolulu. Since then, the Gandhi International Institute for Peace has organized annual peace conferences, and multi cultural events, building bridges with various organizations in Hawaii and around the world. According to Dr. Kumar "Hawaii is a melting pot, where people from different ethnic backgrounds and different faiths live in harmony. Hawaii and its people have become a role model for the rest of the world by sharing the Aloha spirit with one another and with visitors when they travel to this very special place."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/21 18:19:30 ( 641 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 ( 928 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 ( 900 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 ( 979 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 ( 709 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 ( 1518 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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