Hindu Press International


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One Auspicious Day, Many Events in Tamilnadu

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:23:38 ( 836 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, January 20, 2016 (News Today): Whether you are a religious person, politically inclined, a cinema buff or a bizman, this is the day you were waiting for. The day, 20 January, has seen so much activity as it is considered an auspicious day to conduct kumbabhishekams or launch any event.

Since the day holds an important place in the Tamil calendar and panchangam, kumbabhishekam of 69 temples, including the Ramanathaswamy temple in Rameswaram, Srivilliputhur Andal temple and Bannariamman temple in Coimbatore district, have been organized by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments.

Numerous corporate and business enterprises launched their products today. The ever-sentimental film industry has also made big announcements. And the Tamilnadu government began its first Assembly session of the year today. Noted astrologer Sivalpuri Singaram says, "January 20 is important because Chithirai yogam will stay the full day which makes the day best suited for the official launch of anything. Moreover, it is not only auspicious but also in valarpirai, the day that marks the period of transition from Amavasya to Pournami. Valar translates to grow, that indicates the period the moon grows'in size. Thereby, anything which needs growth and prosperity can be started on this day."

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Drumming Their Way to Spirituality

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:23:27 ( 830 reads )

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MALAYSIA, January 22, 2016 (The Star): The sound emanating from the urumee, a double-headed hourglass-shaped drum commonly used by village musicians in south India, easily attracts a crowd. During Thaipusam, urumee melam (drum beat) groups typically accompany kavadi and milk pot bearers to give them strength and courage to fulfil their vows.

In Malaysia, especially Perak, the urumee is used by musical groups specialising in traditional folk songs and it is seen during Hindu religious ceremonies such as Thaipusam. For M. Guna Seelan, 26, he was so mesmerised by the sound created by the drum that he decided to form an urumee melam group comprising of youngsters who are passionate about traditional and folk music.

Many believe that the urumee possesses supernatural and sacred powers. When played during religious ceremonies, specific beats and songs could lead a person into a trance state. "They will go into a trance because of the vibration from the drum. Before that, they have to fast before fulfilling their vow and during their prayers, on the way to the temple, they should not have any outside disturbance. The group will play the instrument and sing devotional songs to ensure that their mind is fully focused on the vow," said Seelan.

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Pleas Challenging Kumbabishekam of Rameswaram Temple Dismissed

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:23:17 ( 876 reads )

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MADURAI, INDIA, January 8, 2016 (Times of India): The Madurai Bench of the Madras high court on Thursday passed a common order dismissing two petitions challenged the kumbabishekam of the Rameswaram temple scheduled for January 20 on various grounds, including that the day fixed for the ceremony was inauspicious. At the same time it directed the temple authority to either repair the statue of Goddess Parvathavarthini, consort of Lord Ramanathar, which is damaged, or to make a golden armour (kavacham) so that the damage would stand rectified before the kumbabishekam.

Dismissing the petitions, the division bench of justices V. Ramasubramanian and N. Kirubakaran observed that none of the issues raised by the petitioners was capable of being examined on any judicially prescribed standards or parameters. "It is not possible for the court to decide whether the date fixed for the ceremony was good for the ruler or for the ruled, if not for the Almighty. For one who transcends time, space and all limitations within which the universe functions, which the theists believe, no date and time could be inauspicious. For mortals, what is auspicious for one is inauspicious for another and vice versa. Many times, no two astrologers, like lawyers and doctors, agree with each other," said the bench.

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Kanchi Seer Sidelined at Rameswaram Temple

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:23:07 ( 927 reads )

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RAMESWARAM, INDIA, January 25, 2016 (Deccan Chronicle): Even as the consecration of the Sri Ramanathaswamy temple here was performed on a grand scale with utmost religious fervor on Wednesday, a controversy brewed over the alleged sidelining by the temple authorities of the visiting Sankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt, Sri Jayendra Saraswathy.

While the pre-consecration rituals including the yaga saala pujas that commenced on Jan. 15 with invocations to Lord Ganesh (Vigneswara Puja), went off very well in front of the Amman shrine over the past four days, the seer attended the pujas on January 19. But "due respects were not accorded to the Kanchi seer," sources said. Instead, temple functionaries kept a tab on his movement, which deeply hurt the Kanchi seer, sources said.

Consequently, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi on Wednesday morning kept away from the main consecration function. After a brief meeting with Kanchi mutt functionaries here in the afternoon, the Acharya merely went up to the Artha Mandapa in front of the presiding Deity's sanctum, handed over the golden Naaga Kavasam (a gift to adorn the hood of the Shiva Linga) to the temple priest, offered prayers to the Lord and quickly left for Kancheepuram.

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Evangelical Leaders see Syrian Refugees as Opportunity

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:22:56 ( 476 reads )

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NAPERVILLE, IllINOIS, January 22, 2016 (by Timothy C. Morgan, Religious News Service): HPI provides this news item to inform Hindus of the kind of predatory tactics used by some Christians to gain converts from traumatized communities.

Evangelical leaders are calling on American Christians to welcome Syrian refugees in their communities despite anxieties over differences of religion -- arguing that it is an opportunity to preach the gospel. "We are having the wrong conversation about refugees," Richard Stearns, head of the aid group World Vision, told a meeting of evangelicals. "We have managed to make the suffering of millions all about us. God wants us to share their pain."

Around 500 people attended the GC2 Summit at the Community Christian Church, a Chicago-area megachurch. GC2 is a reference to the Great Commandment and Great Commission in the New Testament, which require Christians to love God and their neighbors, and to evangelize. Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, an evangelical polling organization, called it "the largest gathering of evangelicals on refugees ever." The aim of the summit was to spark a new church-based outreach to the physical and spiritual needs of refugees similar to the faith-based outreach to people with HIV/AIDS that began about 15 years ago. Evangelical groups involved include World Vision, World Relief, the Willow Creek Association, Saddleback Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College.

In the audience, Raed Awabdeh, pastor of the Arabic Church in Sacramento, Calif., said the GC2 message resonated with him. A Syrian immigrant, Awabdeh established an Arab-American Learning Center in Sacramento, where up to 30 Muslim families per day come to the center for assistance with school supplies, transportation, housing and employment. "Invite the Muslim to sit with you. Make true friends. Be the gospel and preach the gospel," he said, adding that Christians should not engage Muslims in theological argument. He also said attitudes toward Muslims change when churchgoers get to know refugees. "Refugees are precious in God Almighty's sight," he said. "This movement needs us to get in the game."

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/1/29 14:22:46 ( 440 reads )

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In thinking 'This is I' and 'That is mine' one binds himself with himself, as does a bird with a snare.
-- Krishna Yajur Veda, Maitreya Upanishad 3.2

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Kumbabishekam Performed at Ramanathaswamy Temple

Posted on 2016/1/28 20:05:34 ( 670 reads )

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RAMESHWARAM, TAMIL NADU, INDIA, January 22, 2016 ( Press Trust of India):The kumbabishekam at the historic temple of Sri Ramanathaswamy here was performed today. About 200,000 devotees witnessed the function. The last kumbabishekam was performed on February 5, 2001. The kumbabishekam at Srivilliputhur Andal temple was also performed today.

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Massive Security Cordon at Rameswaram

Posted on 2016/1/28 20:05:24 ( 651 reads )

http/www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/massive-security-cordon-at-rameswaram/article8127185.ece

TAMIL NADU, INDIA, January 22, 2016 (The Hindu): Police threw a massive security cordon, deploying a strong pose of about 1,800 policemen for the mahakumbabishekam at the historic Sri Ramanathaswamy temple here on Wednesday as the pilgrim island wore a festive look for the ceremony, being held after 14 years. To ensure that the mega event was organised in a peaceful and an orderly manner, the district police, led by Superintendent of Police N. Manivannan, made elaborate security arrangements installing closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) and watch towers at strategic locations around the temple.

Three Additional Superintendents of Police, 13 Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) and 44 Inspectors of Police have been enlisted to supervise the security arrangements, the SP said adding they would ensure adequate security at the temple, control the crowd, manage the traffic and prevent crime occurrences. Six companies of Tamil Nadu Special Police, three companies of Armed Reserve Police, five units of Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and five units of traffic police have been deployed to ensure that there were no untoward incidents during the ceremony, the SP said. Seven crime teams would be on the move round-the-clock at all places of public congregation to prevent crimes such as pick pocketing and chain snatching, the SP said adding photographs of habitual criminals would be displayed at strategic points to caution the public.

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Congratulations, Tamil Nadu! Only Indian Destination to make it to New York Time's list of 52 Places to visit in 2016

Posted on 2016/1/28 20:05:14 ( 544 reads )

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TAMIL NADU, INDIA, January 22, 2016 ( First Post): Tamil Nadu has made it to The New York Times' list of 52 places to go to in 2016. Not only that, but it is also the only Indian place to make it to the list. Not Rajasthan, not Maharashtra, but Tamil Nadu. And it's not very low on the list either. It is ranked 24, above Washington, D.C. (rank 26), Barcelona (rank 29), Phnom Penh (rank 45) and Sydney (rank 51). The publication describes TN as the place to go to for its "temple cultural complexes" including Madurai Meenakshi, 18th century mansions in Chettinad and its spicy and aromatic cuisine. Tamil Nadu, like the other destinations on the list, was chosen because the publication's travel editors believe they "expect (it) to be particularly compelling" in 2016.

While no Indian region made it to the list in 2015, Chennai did make it to the list in 2014 (ranked 26 out of 52), New Delhi (ranked 9 out of 46) in 2013, Kerala (ranked 21 out of 45) in 2012 and Mysore (ranked 4 out of 31) in 2010.

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Padma Shri and Sudharak Olwe

Posted on 2016/1/28 20:05:03 ( 500 reads )

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MUMBAI, INDIA, January 27, 2016: As mentioned in our last HPI, photographer Sudharak Olwe was awarded Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honors for his social work. One example, at source above, is his documentation of the work of Mumbai's 30,000 "conservancy workers," or sweepers.


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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/1/28 20:04:52 ( 418 reads )

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I felt great need of a holy pilgrimage, so I sat still for three days and God came to me.
-- Saint Kabir (1440-1518)

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Padma Awards Include Religious Leaders

Posted on 2016/1/26 19:48:10 ( 910 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 25, 2016 (Government of India Press Information Bureau): Padma Awards - one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. 'Padma Vibhushan' is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; 'Padma Bhushan' for distinguished service of high order and 'Padma Shri' for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.

This year's winners for spirituality included Padma Vibhushan for Shri Shri Ravi Shankar, Padma Bhushan for Swami Tejomayananda and Swami Dayananda Saraswati (posthumous).

Smt. Hui Lan Zhang of China and Shri Predrag K. Nikic of the Yoga Federation of Serbia won Padma Shri for their contribution to Yoga.

Hinduism Today took note of the Padma Shri award to Shri Sudhakar Olwe for Social Work in Maharashtra. He served as photographer for our Amarnath Cave feature story, working steadily to produce outstanding photos through the arduous trek on horseback over several days. Download an epub of the April 2013 issue here: http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/ ... nloads/viewcat.php?cid=49

These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year. This year the President of India has approved conferment of Padma Awards to 112 persons as per the list below. The list comprises of 10 Padma Vibhushan, 19 Padma Bhushan and 83 Padma Shri Awardees. 19 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs (include one posthumous) and 4 Posthumous awardees. Click source abo e for the complete list.

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Keep Your Culture The Challenge for South Indians in Fiji

Posted on 2016/1/26 19:48:00 ( 898 reads )

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FIJI, January 18, 2016 (Fiji Times by Prashneel Goundar): South Indians came to Fiji well before 1903 as part of the indenture system. However, on record the first ship from Madras named Elbe III reached Fiji on May 22, 1903. In Fiji, the Sangam has contributed a lot to the Fijian society especially in the education sector. Speaking at the 2013 Annual Sangam Convention Jai Ram Reddy said: "Today Sangam runs 21 primary schools, five secondary schools and one tertiary institution, namely the nursing school in Labasa. Some 10,000 children attend Sangam schools which are open to students of all races without any discrimination whatsoever. Today you will find people educated in Sangam schools in all walks of life, in all professions and occupations.

This year makes it 90 years since the inception of the Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam (TISI) which was formed on May 24, 1926 in Nadi. The Vision of TISI is: "To be a dynamic socio-economic, cultural and educational organisation developing its members to achieve Sangam aspirations through constant interactions and education" (Sangam Fiji, 2015).

Sadly there has been limited success in the interaction with its members in terms of promoting the languages namely Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam and its culture to some extent. The promotion of culture and language is not to be restricted to Sagnam schools only as not every South Indian in Fiji attends its schools because of various reasons, location being one of them and personal choices could also be one of the factors. Furthermore, this phrase of the mission is rather arguable in terms of its achievability over decades "To educate and inspire Sangam members to recognise their identity and contribute to the development of a dynamic society in its cultural heritage." The reason for this is that individuals as well families have yet to recognise the importance of their heritage.

Much more at "source" above.

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JetBlue Brings Yoga Classes To JFK's Airport This Week

Posted on 2016/1/26 19:47:49 ( 881 reads )

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NEW YORK , USA, January 22, 2016 (Yogadork): If you're flying out of JFK Airport this week and happen to be on JetBlue, you're in for a yoga treat. Over the next couple of days, the blue ones are offering some free yoga classes to ticketed guests at their very hip Terminal T5 (so hip they have a farm there and a rooftop terrace...and blue potato chips). The hour-long yoga classes will only be offered to customers who've gone through security and have an hour or so to spare waiting for their flight.

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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/1/26 19:47:38 ( 588 reads )

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India has so far demonstrated the capacity to weave together two threads, one an original, primeval, timeless and almost immutable line, and the other a thread of dynamism and change. In India nothing is static. Tradition pulsates with life, while change dances with the ancient.
-- Kapila Vatsyayan, Indian scholar of classical dance, art and architecture, founder of the Indian National Centre of the Arts

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