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Tirumala Donations Were From Common Good Fund and Not from Exchequer: Soundarajan

Posted on 2017/2/27 19:48:46 ( 414 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, February 23, 2017 (Telangana Today): The Temples Protection Movement convenor Dr. M. V. Soundararajan has sought to rebut the criticism that public money was used to purchase the gold ornaments offered to Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala by the Chief Minsiter K. Chandrashekhar Rao, by pointing out that the total of US$745,000 was spent from the Common Good Fund (CGF) of the Endowments department and not from the public exchequer.

In a statement here on Thursday, Dr. Soundararajan argued that the CGF is based on a percentage of Hindu temples' income and it did not constitute any money from the taxpayer. That the expenses for making the ornaments were met from the CGF were mentioned in a GO No 23 dated 24.2.2015, he pointed out.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) had in the past donated crores of rupees to this CGF before bifurcation of the State and 42 per cent of the same fund is now part of the Telangana CGF fund. "If Rs 5 Crore ($745,000) is used to adorn the Lord with ornaments we should not be raising any hue and cry for the same," He argued.

Bengaluru: Special Darshan at Tirupati for Seniors and Physically Challenged

Posted on 2017/2/27 19:48:36 ( 457 reads )


BENGALURU, INDIA, February 24, 2017 (Deccan Chronicle): There is good news for senior citizens and differently-abled people who visit Tirumala for darshan of the Lord Venkateshwara. They can now have the darshan without having to wait in long queues and going through the jostling. They can just get in and have the darshan. They have to report two hours before the darshan time, with age proof (65 years and above) ID cards and relevant medical certificates. There are two time slots fixed - one at 10 am and another at 3 pm.

At the time of the darshan for these groups, all other queues are stopped, and darshan for only senior citizens and the differently-abled is allowed to ensure that there is no crowd pressure. The entire darshan will take just 30 minutes. Devotees who avail of the darshan under the scheme cannot avail of it for another 90 days.

Text of Prime Minister's Speech at Unveiling of 112 Foot Statue of "Adiyogi - The Shiva"

Posted on 2017/2/27 19:48:19 ( 404 reads )


[HPI adds: A 112-foot iconic statue of Adiyogi Lord Shiva was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Isha Foundation in Coimbatore on the occasion of Maha Sivaratri.]

INDIA, February 24, 2017 (Press Information Bureau): "My loving greetings to all. It is my honor to be here, in this august gathering. That too, on the auspicious occasion of Maha-Shivratri. There are many festivals, but this one is pre-fixed with 'Maha.' Indeed, there are many Devs, but only one Maha-Dev. There are many Mantras, but the Mantra which is identified with Lord Shiva, is called Maha-Mrityunjayi Mantra. Such is the glory of Lord Shiva.

"Maha-Shivratri symbolizes a union of divinity with a purpose, of overcoming darkness and injustice. It inspires us to be courageous and fight for good. It marks the shift of seasons, from the cold to the lively spring and brightness. Maha-Shivratri celebrations go on for the entire night. This symbolizes a spirit of vigilance- that we have to protect nature and mould our activities in sync with our ecological surroundings.

"Standing here before this 112-feet face of Adiyogi and the Yogeshwar Linga, we are experiencing a colossal presence enveloping everyone in this space. In the times to come, the place where we have gathered is going to be a source of inspiration for all, a place to immerse one's self and discover truth. It will remind us of the inclusive spirit of Lord Shiva. Today, Yoga has come a long way."

Full text available at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/2/27 19:47:59 ( 303 reads )


You, Siva, are the earth, You are the sky, and You are the seven seas; You are the goal, You are the letters, and You are the meter; You are the eye, You are the pupil of the eye, You are the image that dances in the eye, the affable! Bestow Your grace so that I may approach Your sacred feet!
-- Sivavakkiyar (10th century), Tamil poet

Maha Shivaratree 2017: Crossing 300,000 Pilgrims in Grand-Bassin by This Evening

Posted on 2017/2/25 18:50:32 ( 656 reads )


MAURITIUS, February 23, 2017 (Le Mauricien): Since this morning, with the return of the pilgrims of the sacred lake for Maha Shivaratree, the count grows by the hour. Everything seems to indicate that 300,000 visitors to Ganga Talao will have arrived by this evening. For their part, the authorities are maintaining the security measures on the road to Grand Bassin for tomorrow as well as during the weekend as many Mauritians are preparing to go there to complete the celebrations of Maha Shivaratree.

With the pilgrims taking the way back, the main arteries leading to the capital have experienced traffic congestion since very early this morning. But by the end of the morning, the situation was expected to return to normal. Many devotees, having made their long annual march to the sacred lake of Grand Bassin, are already back and are preparing to participate in the great night of Shiva in the temples all over the country. The water brought back from Ganga Talao will be poured on the Shivalingam during the night from Friday to Saturday to pay tribute to "the one who had swallowed poison to save mankind."

Maha Shivaratree is an occasion for social and collective relations with the participation of Mauritians of different religious denominations. The public will have noticed this year a decrease in the number of pilgrims carrying kanwars and the devotees will have found, along their route, the spirit of fraternity and solidarity of the Mauritians. Oversized kanwars, however, caused a monstrous traffic jam at La Marie. The police will have taken several measures to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. Many improvements were noted this year in Grand Bassin. The temples were repainted while cement structures were installed to facilitate rituals on the shores of the sacred lake.

Videos available at:
Mahashivratri show in Mauritius at Grand Bassin 2017 (2:39)

Mahashivratri 2017 in Mauritius at Goodlands (9:41)

The Sacred Lake of Ganga Talao

Posted on 2017/2/25 18:50:21 ( 379 reads )


MAURITIUS, May 3, 2016 (CNN): Every year on the tiny island of Mauritius a great pilgrimage occurs. Thousands of Hindus make the rugged journey to a volcanic crater that houses the Ganga Talao, a lake raised up high above the Indian Ocean, for a touch of divinity. There are few similarities between the Ganges and Ganga Talao at first glance. One is a vast river coursing through South Asia, the other a placid lake. For Hindus however, the link that binds the two bodies of water is strong; spiritual and essential.

In 1887 a priest claimed to see the waters of Ganga Talao flowing from the Goddess Ganga in a dream -- the same Goddess who personifies the holy waters of the Ganges. Word of this revelation spread, transforming Ganga Talao. A simple lake no more, it was now the embodiment of a Hindu god, connected directly to the mighty Ganges situated nearly 4,000 miles away.

Ever since worshipers have journeyed to the sacred lake, a cultural touchstone for the island's Indian emigrants and a link to their South Asian past. Today it sits at the heart of the island's most important Hindu festival, Maha Shivaratri.

More at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/2/25 18:50:00 ( 241 reads )


All fear of distress, grief, avarice, delusion and bewilderment exist only as long as one does not take refuge in the satguru. All wanderings in the ocean of births, called samsara, fraught with grief and impurity, last as long as one has no devotion to a holy Sivaguru. As the boon-giving guru gives the mantra in contentment and beatitude, try to please him with devotion, wealth, your very life.
-- Kularvnava Tantra

Maha Shivratri Fasting Rules -- Maha Shivaratri Fasting Procedure: Benefits, What to Eat?

Posted on 2017/2/25 18:50:00 ( 390 reads )


INDIA, February 24, 2017 (PressKS by Bharath): Maha Shivratri is one of the celebrated festivals in India. On this occasion, devotees pray to Lord Shiva and get His blessings. To get the blessings many of them follow fasting, which is observed in several areas in the country. The fasting procedure will be completed and they will not sleep throughout the night. It is said that if a devotee observes a fast on Maha Shivratri, with sincerity, pure devotion and love, he/she would be blessed with the divine grace of Lord Shiva.

The Upvaas or the fasting starts on Maha Shivratri and ends on the next day which is Amavasya. The major Jyotirlinga Shiva temples of India, such as in Varanasi and Somnatha, are particularly frequented on Maha Shivaratri. They serve also as sites for fairs and special events. Maha Shivratri is observed in all the parts of the country. Maha Shivratri is mostly observed to be celebrated in temples. Most of the devotees once in the day visit Lord Shiva's temples and worship the God for blessings.

People who want to fast on Mahashivaratri should take a bath early in the morning, with warm water and black sesame seeds. Sesame seeds take the impurities away from your body. Wear new clothes which are laundered and visit a Lord Shiva temple nearby. The ritual of bathing the Shiva Linga with milk and honey takes place in temples of the Deity. Some people are very strong in belief and they don't take even a single drop of water. But some people who can't stay without having some water and a little food, may eat certain traditional foods.

For a list of suggested foods associated with Shivaratri see "source" above.

How to watch Maha Shivaratri 2017 Aarti Live in Varanasi's Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Posted on 2017/2/23 20:15:34 ( 722 reads )


VARANASI, INDIA, February 24, 2017: The annual festival in honor of God Shiva, Maha Shivaratri, is celebrated in the dark fortnight or Krishna Paksha on the 13th day or the 14th night of Phalguna or Maagha month (February or March). This year, Maha Shivaratri 2017 will be celebrated on Friday, February 24. Maha Shivaratri, the most significant festival for millions of Lord Shiva devotees, will be celebrated with grandeur at Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. One of the 12 Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples, Shri Kashi Vishwanath, is visited by a large number of Shiva worshippers from India and across the globe for Shiva Darshan.

The Shiva devotees who cannot visit Kashi in person can watch Maha Shivaratri 2017 Aarti Live online as the official website provides live streaming of Darshan from Varanasi. The Aarti will begin at 3.00 am and continue till 11.00 pm. Go to: http://dic.mp.nic.in/ujjain/mahakal/common_forms/live_darshan.aspx.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple situated on the banks of holy river Ganga is one of the most famous temples in India. The sacred Jyotirlinga shrine is also known as the Golden temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The main Deity is known by the name Vishwanatha or Vishweshwara meaning Ruler of the universe. During the occasion of Maha Shivaratri, there is an atmosphere of fervor and joy in the city of Varanasi.

On the auspicious day of Maha Shivaratri, devotees observe fast and keep vigil all night. It marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava or the dance of creation, preservation and destruction.
On Maha Shivaratri, the Shiva devotees observe fast and offer fruits, flowers and bel leaves on Shiva Linga. They offer prayers, sing shlokas, chant mantras, with the sacred Om Namah Shivaya repeated with the pure heart. The festival marks the great spiritualism among the Shiva Bhakts who seek the greatest of god's blessings.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/2/23 20:15:23 ( 392 reads )


The benevolent expect no return for their dutiful giving. How can the world ever repay the rain cloud?
-- Tirukural 211

Telangana's Chief Minister Donates Gold to Tirupati Temple

Posted on 2017/2/22 19:34:58 ( 396 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, February 22, 2017 (India Today): Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, popularly known as KCR, offered jewelery worth about US$834,000 to Lord Venkateswara Swamy in Tirumala Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh on behalf of his government on Wednesday morning.

KCR, who was the flag-bearer of the agitation for a separate Telangana state, had taken a vow during the movement that he would offer gold jewelery to Lord Venkateswara, also known as Lord Balaji if Telangana got the statehood. On Wednesday, during the VIP break darshan, Rao presented a Saligrama Haram, weighing about 33 pounds and a five-row Kante, weighing 10 lbs. to Lord Venkateshwara amid Vedic chants. Both gifts are very ornate necklaces.

Rao's spending on trying to win the favor of the Gods has drawn flak from various quarters as most other pressing issues of the state are yet to be addressed.

Photos and video at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/2/22 19:34:48 ( 258 reads )


A person who has realized the principle of nonviolence has God-given strength for his weapon, and the world has not yet known anything that can match it.
-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

Pakistan Senate Passes Much-Awaited Hindu Marriage Bill

Posted on 2017/2/21 19:03:46 ( 377 reads )


ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN, February 18, 2017 (Hindustan Times): The upper house of Pakistan's Senate passed the much-awaited Hindu marriage bill on Friday, awaiting the President's signature to become a law. The bill, which had been approved by the lower house in September 2015, will help Hindu women get documentary proof of their marriage. It will be the first personal law for Pakistani Hindus, applicable in Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. Sindh province has already formulated its own Hindu marriage law.

While approving the bill, committee chairperson senator Nasreen Jalil of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement said: "It was unfair -- not only against the principles of Islam but also a human rights violation -- that we have not been able to formulate a personal family law for the Hindus of Pakistan."

The bill was approved by the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights on January 2 with an overwhelming majority. The bill has implications for the constitutional guarantee of protection of family as well as protective measures ordered by the Supreme Court for the Hindu minority. But some observers say that the bill in its present form leaves some serious gaps.

Heritage-Listed Shri Ganesha Hindu Temple in Oaklands Parks Gets Green Light for US$325,000 Expansion

Posted on 2017/2/21 19:03:35 ( 357 reads )


ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA, February 19, 2017 (adelaidenow.com): The Shri Ganesha Temple in Oaklands Park has been given the go-ahead to start work on a US$325,000 expansion. Hindu Society of South Australia president Siva Selva said work would start in September or October on a redevelopment of the Dwyer Road site.

Marion Council's Development Assessment Panel last week approved the plans, which include building a new outdoor cooking area, expanding an auditorium and extending a hall and dining room. Mr. Selva said the works would allow the temple to host extra language and cultural classes, and provide a more comfortable place for the community to meet.

The landmark was State Heritage listed in May 2013 as the first traditional Hindu temple built in SA. It houses 25 handcrafted Deities, including Ganesha, all made in India. Mr. Selva said the society would apply to the State Government for $100,000 funding and make up the rest with member donations, bank loans and money it had already saved up. He hoped the work would be complete by June 2018.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/2/21 19:03:25 ( 314 reads )


When you demand nothing of the world, nor of God, when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing, then the Supreme State will come to you uninvited and unexpected.
-- Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981), Indian teacher and philosopher

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