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Diwali: Hearing Earth's Cry
Posted on 2014/10/28 12:04:47 ( 660 reads )

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MINNESOTA, U.S., October 15, 2014 (Huffington Post by Anantanand Rambachan): On the occasion of Diwali 2014, I want to share a reflection on one of the central narratives associated, in the Hindu tradition, with this festival. This is the narrative that connects Diwali with the celebration and rejoicing over the return of Rama to his home, after a lengthy exile, and his defeat of the oppressive and tyrannical, Ravana. Citizens welcomed him by lighting thousands of lamps, even as over one billion Hindus do today throughout the world. The story of Rama has become a central narrative of Diwali because of the Hindu understanding of Rama as embodying divinity and also because it addresses the universal human longing for freedom from oppression and the hope of living in a world where there is peace, justice and prosperity.
Rama's return to his home in Ayodhya and the joyous illumination of the city with earthen lamps conclude the story of his life as told in most versions of the Ramayana. I want, however, to return to the beginning of the story. For this, I turn to the version of the life of Rama authored by the religious poet Tulasidas in the 15th century.
I chose to describe Tulasidas' profound and poetic framing of the advent of Rama since it speaks powerfully to our contemporary context and especially to our degradation of the earth and its fragile climate. His narrative deepens our understanding of our relationship with the earth and suggests a fundamental value for our transformation.
More at 'source.'

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Singapore's Three National Monuments to Undergo Repair Work
Posted on 2014/10/28 12:04:26 ( 683 reads )

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Singapore, October 15, 2014 (IBN Live): Singapore's National Heritage Board (NHB) has disbursed more than US$1 million in grant for repairs and restoration work at three national monuments, including the oldest Hindu temple in the country.
It has accorded $44,000 to Sri Mariamman Temple, a Dravidian style temple at South Bridge Road in the Central Business District (CBD) for a repairs and face lift work Strengthening work would be carried out on a single-story shrine next to its main prayer hall, after a crack line developed on a column of the temple.
Jean Wee, NHB director of preservation of Sites and Monuments, said national monuments need to be protected carefully and sensitively through meticulous restorations. "It is therefore important for us to work hand-in-hand with monument owners and do the best we can to safeguard our heritage," The Straits Times quoted Ms. Wee as saying.

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Pilgrims Leave for Badrinath Yatra Under Special Scheme
Posted on 2014/10/28 12:03:32 ( 641 reads )

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DEHRADUN, INDIA, October 14, 2014 (Daily Pioneer): As many as 29 pilgrims under the 'Mere Buzurg Mere Teerth' (MBMT) scheme left for the Badrinath pilgrimage from Bageshwar on Monday. MBMT is a free of cost scheme launched by the State Government for people above 65 years of age.
The registration of the next batch of pilgrims which will leave for pilgrimage under the scheme on October 20, will be done between October 14 and 19, said the officials concerned of the Bageshwar district administration.
This is the third batch of pilgrims being taken under MBMT from Bageshwar. As many as 58 pilgrims in two batches under the scheme had already gone on pilgrimage from Bageshwar, as the officials concerned said. More so, as many as 26 pilgrims under the same scheme had also gone for the Badrinath pilgrimage from Udham Singh Nagar.

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Rudram Chanting at the White House
Posted on 2014/10/28 12:03:14 ( 850 reads )

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WASHINGTON D.C., October 10, 2014 (Hinduism Now): Jeffrey and Robbie Erhard, young American men, skillfully chant Rudram at the White House Hindu-American Conference. View short video at 'source.'

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Hindus in Houston organize Food Drive to Mark Diwali
Posted on 2014/10/26 18:21:21 ( 662 reads )

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HOUSTON, TEXAS, October 20, 2014 (Houstong Chronicle): As they celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, the Hindus of Greater Houston are joining hands in collecting food and distributing them through the Houston Food Bank. One of the most popular Hindu Events, Diwali is the celebration of victory of light over darkness, good over evil, hope over despair and knowledge over ignorance. Over a 100,000 Hindus reside in the metropolitan Houston area, which collectively commemorated their 25th year observance of Janmashtami recently. Keeping up with the time honored Hindu tradition of feeding the hungry, Arya Samaj, Chinmaya Mission, Sri Meenakshi Temple, VPSS Haveli, JVB Preksha Meditation, Ashtalakshmi Temple and Houston Durgabari Society took leadership as other organizations joined the endeavor. In one of their largest philanthropic efforts, the Hindus of Houston are projecting a united image representing the ideals of Sanatan Dharma, the eternal Vedic principles of righteousness.

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Valmiki's Ramayana goes Spanish
Posted on 2014/10/26 18:06:17 ( 674 reads )

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HOUSTON, TEXAS, October 27, 2014: Reynaldo Cuadros Anaya, former Bolivian representative to the OAS, attended the Ram Leela play at the Cullen Auditorium for the official launch of his Spanish translation of Valmiki's Ramayana on October 12th. He spoke about the experience of translating Valmiki's work and concluded by reciting a verse in Sanskrit and imploring "Sri Sita Ram Lakshman Hanuman ki jai." A pdf version of the book, published by the Karuna Ashram in Vrindavan, India with the patronage of the Houston's Shri Sita Ram Foundation, can be seen here:
http://www.shrisitaram.org/spanishr/ramayana10/ramayana10a.pdf

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Virtual Queue Booking Open for Sabarimala Pilgrims
Posted on 2014/10/26 18:06:00 ( 691 reads )

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, INDIA, October 21, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): With the Sabarimala pilgrimage season commencing on November 16, the state police have started booking for virtual queue, a system to ensure hassle-free darshan for devotees at the hill shrine.
The virtual queue system introduced in 2011 as part of crowd control measures has been welcomed by the pilgrims and several hundred thousand have made use of it since then. The online queue booking system for the current season began on October 17 and already hundreds of pilgrims have made use of the free service.
Pilgrims can book their turn through online by registering at www.sabarimalaq.com with details like number of devotees. The darshan time could be either opted or would be allotted automatically by the system depending upon availability. Once the registration is done, a coupon will be produced mentioning the time slot allotted for darshan.

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World Hindu Congress to Convene in Delhi November 21-23, 2014
Posted on 2014/10/26 18:05:23 ( 587 reads )

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DEHLI, INDIA, October 26, 2014 (Press Release): The global Hindu society, beset by very serious challenges stands at a critical crossroads. It is absolutely necessary that Hindus assemble to reflect the issues in front of a Hindu population which is more than a billion. The Christian and Muslim populations of the world, which now stand well over a billion strong themselves, have consistently held global forums and conferences to deliberate issues of global importance and quickly form global initiatives rooted in their religious traditions to tackle these issues. The Hindu community, on the other hand, standing as the world's third largest civilisation group as well as the oldest and the world's most deeply rooted Dharma tradition, does not have a consistent global platform to address and resolve the relevant issues that affect both the Hindu population as well as the entire global population. The global Hindu community has only held such forums and conferences at intermittent times, with the implementation of resolutions and proposed policies being sporadic at best. The fatal convergence of these developments has greatly undermined the effectiveness of any gains made at previously held conferences. It is time to break this inconsistency.
The new century demands that Hindu society come together on a common platform with a common purpose and a shared vision to march ahead confidently into the future. In this context, the World Hindu Congress will be held on 21 - 23 November, 2014 in the city of New Delhi. The World Hindu Congress will be organized in a joint manner consisting of all like minded Hindu groups every four years, with each Congress being held in a different part of the world. The Congress is an informal organisation, solely dependent on the efforts of associated Hindu organisations and activists. The Congress will consist of delegates from around the world. The delegates will consist of individuals who committed to working for the Hindu resurgence as well as men and women of achievement and accomplishment in a wide range of professions and human endeavors.
The Congress, will consist of seven different conferences. Each conference will specifically deal with an area of strategic importance to the global Hindu community, holding detailed deliberations (both pre-conference and post-conference) and articulating specific solutions to deal with any obstacles that are blocking the Hindu community's ability to progress in the respective area concerned.
For more, go to source.

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Sydney Opera House Lights Up for Deepavali
Posted on 2014/10/25 18:30:00 ( 795 reads )

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, October 22, 2014 (NSW):The sails of the Sydney Opera House have turned a vibrant orange and yellow during an event hosted by New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello in celebration of the Hindu festival of light, Deepavali. Mr Baird and Mr Dominello were joined by Multicultural NSW Chair and prominent member of the Indian community, Dr Hari Harinath, to mark the occasion. "This is the first time the Opera House has been lit up in celebration of Deepavali, the festival of light celebrated by the global Hindu community," Mr Baird said. "The sails of the Opera House lit up as Mr Dominello and Dr Harinath joined me to light a traditional diya, a ceremonial lamp in Hindu culture that signifies the lifting of spiritual darkness and the renewal of life.

"This festival has been embraced by Australians of all backgrounds and is one of many cultural and religious celebrations that take place every year across NSW. "The NSW Government celebrates cultural and religious diversity and it's through events such as these that we can learn and understand more about each other's backgrounds." Mr. Dominello said the State's South Asian community was made up of over 200,000 people who now call Australia home.

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Mozambique: Diwali Holiday for Hindu Employees
Posted on 2014/10/25 18:30:00 ( 625 reads )

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MOZAMBIQUE, October 22, 2014( Verdade):The Labour Minister, Maria Helena Taipo, has granted a day off to most Hindu government workers and public officials in Mozambique, on Friday, October 24, on which day the Hindu Community celebrates the beginning of the Hindu New Year, Vikram Savant 2071. The Minister of Labour, in its news release, expressed its best wishes for a happy holiday to the Hindu Community in Mozambique.

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Russian Hindus Reach Tirupati, Meet Seer
Posted on 2014/10/25 18:30:00 ( 0 reads )

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TIRUPATI, INDIA, October 21, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): Five Russian disciples of Sri Sri Ravishankar of the Art of Living Foundation, who accepted Hinduism some time ago, reached Tirupati as part of their visit to places of spiritual interest in the country. Accompanied by BJP state spokesperson G. Bhanuprakash Reddy, they called on Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi, the junior pontiff of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, at the Kanchi Mutt in Tirupati on Monday.

In an interesting interaction with the seer, they explained that they found a positive energy in India and wanted the same to be felt by all across the world. They told the seer that they regularly perform Sandhya Vandanam, chant Gayatri Mantra and practice yoga.

The seer appreciated the Russian group for embarking on a spiritual and noble mission to propagate the Hindu Sanatana Dharma across the globe. Later the Russian group visited a few local temples in Tirupati and the team addressed the students of an engineering college on the noble values in Hinduism towards the end of the day. The Russian devotees are to visit the Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala after the Diwali festival.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/10/25 18:24:11 ( 493 reads )

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There the eye goes not, nor words, nor mind. We know not. We cannot understand how He can be explained. He is above the known, and He is above the unknown. Thus have we heard from the ancient sages who explained this truth to us.

-- Sama Veda, Kena Upanishad 1.3

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Diwali - Keeping the Light Burning
Posted on 2014/10/21 18:50:00 ( 1054 reads )

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GUYANA, October 18, 2014 (Guyana Chronicle, by Cecil Ramkirath): Deepavali (or Diwali), the Festival of Lights, is one of the most enchanting and beautiful festivals that adorn the Hindu calendar. It commemorates the beginning of the Hindu New Year and there is an unmistakable element of fun, laughter, excitement, reunion, and heartfelt felicity associated with the celebration. And why not enjoy and have some fun when the harvest season has ended and the financial books are closed.

Diwali originated in rural India as primarily a harvest festival, a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Diwali is observed in many countries outside of India, and in Guyana and Trinidad, the Hindu community joyfully anticipates the coming of Diwali. The inside and outside of homes are beautifully decorated with diyas (earthen lamps) or candles, and with every passing year, we are literally mesmerized by the spectacularly dazzling display of exquisitely and artistically designed illuminations on motorcades, houses and business premises that seem to outshine the glitter and glamor of Manhattan's Times Square.

Amidst the jubilation and display, we must not lose sight of the strong spiritual current that runs deep in the proper observance of Diwali. Diwali signifies the light that dispels the darkness of ignorance. This is the light of spiritual knowledge that comes from the long and arduous journey towards self-realisation. We have to keep the light of knowledge and virtue burning brightly within and bring it forth to the world in good actions and deeds, working vigorously and selflessly to eradicate poverty, violence, exploitation, injustice, hatred and cruelty, fiercely resisting all forms of discrimination, forging friendship and goodwill, and in humble and little ways, bring warmth and joy in the lives we touch.

More of this inspiring essay at "source."

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India's Diwali Festival Lights up Hanoi
Posted on 2014/10/21 18:40:04 ( 813 reads )

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HANOI, VIETNAM, October 19, 2014 (Vietnam Plus): The Indian Embassy and the Indian Business Chamber in Vietnam co-organized the Diwali festival in Hanoi on October 18 in a bid to provide the local audience with an insight into the land, people and culture of India.

The event offered an opportunity for Indian people to show their respect for the Goddess Lakshmi - a symbol of happiness, prosperity, beauty and faith in the victory of the fight between good and evil.

During the festival, Hanoians were enthralled by both traditional and modern dances, culinary arts, and interesting experiments about India and its people as well as unique cultural characteristics such as yoga and traditional handicrafts. Especially, India's custom of lighting candles attracted many people.

Diwali, one of the largest festivals in India , has become a regular activity of the Indian community in Vietnam. This year's event was expected to attract more than 1,000 visitors.

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Nataraja Statue Sent to "Idol Centre"
Posted on 2014/10/13 19:00:00 ( 1293 reads )


INDIA, September 18, 2014 (The Hindu): Seventy-five-year-old N. Govindarajan of Sripuranthan was almost in tears seeing the panchaloha statue of Lord Nataraja after more than a decade. It was stolen from Sri Brahadeeswarar Temple at Sripuranthan in the district before 2006. A group of villagers from Sripuranthan also waited patiently for hours to get a glimpse of the statue when it was brought to the Jayamkondam Judicial Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

The 1,000-year-old statue, which was recently handed over to India by Australia, was brought from Chennai and produced before Magistrate S. Muthumurugan. Weighing about 330 lbs. and standing about five feet in height, the statue was neatly packed in a wooden box and brought in a police truck with tight security.

Measurements were taken in the presence of the Magistrate by the personnel of the Statue Wing CID of State police investigating the statues-theft cases at the Sripuranthan and Suthamalli temples. The Statue Wing police filed a petition seeking the court's permission to keep it in safe custody at the government "Idol Centre" in Kumbakonam.

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