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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/1/8 15:52:38 ( 1475 reads )

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When the Creator dances, the worlds He created dance. To the measure that He dances in our knowledge, our thoughts, too, dance. When He in heart-endearing dances, the several elements, too, dance. Witness in rapture surpassing the dance of that One who is a glowing flame.
-- Tirumantiram, 2786

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Are Hindu Marriage Vows Misogynistic?
Posted on 2015/1/3 18:27:41 ( 2014 reads )

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NEW YORK, December 17, 2014 (Swarajya by Aditi Banerjee): Are the Hindu marriage vows inherently misogynistic? Even if those vows were once appropriate, have they become obsolete today? Should Hindu marriage vows be rewritten to suit the times? The answer, as a study of the shastras show, is an emphatic "No."

There is enormous intricacy and subtlety in the rites of Hindu marriage, and there is also significant variation across different regions, sampradayas (religious traditions), and jatis (clans / socioeconomic groups). The importance of various rites and their different layers of meaning and symbolism deserves its own series of articles, but the focus of this piece will be on the saptapadi mantras, which are the mantras uttered during the seven rounds taken by the bride and groom around the consecrated fire.

In traditional Hinduism, the wife plays a four-fold role: she is ardhangini (the other half of her husband, metaphorically speaking); sahadharmini (partner in the fulfillment of human and divine goals--principally, the four purushartha, or aims of human life: dharma, artha (accumulation of wealth through righteous means), kama (fulfillment of desire through appropriate means) and moksha (self-realization; liberation from the cycle of birth and death)); sahakarmini, (partner in all acts and actions), and sahayogini (partner in all ventures).

Much more of the informative discussion at 'source'.

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Fund-raising Campaign Launched to Establish Vivekananda Chair
Posted on 2015/1/3 18:27:35 ( 1729 reads )

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WASHINGTON, December 30, 2014 (Economic Times): A campaign has been launched in the U.S. to raise funds for a Swami Vivekananda Chair for study of Hinduism at a top university. The Swami Vivekananda Endowed Chair for study of Hinduism at the University of Southern California (USC) in the U.S. would require US$ 3.3 million, officials said. California-based Dharma Civilization Foundation has launched a crowd-funding campaign.

Such a move by the Dharma Civilization Foundation (DCF) comes after it successfully launched Swami Vivekananda Visiting Professorship for the study of Hinduism in 2013. While several countries have funded chairs in religious studies, India has been lagging behind.

Fr. Augustine Kanjamala: "The Christian Mission Has Been a Complete Failure"
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/intervi ... gustine-kanjamala-2047741

MUMBAI, INDIA, December 28, 2014 (DNA India): The Future of Christian Mission in India by Fr. Augustine Kanjamala which recently released in the U.S. has stirred up quite a hornet's nest in the church even before its release here. Yogesh Pawar spoke to the priest about some of the contentious points he raises about conversion, exclusivism and the question mark he puts on the very relevance of the Christian mission.

Kanjamala states, "The Christian mission has been a complete failure both in India and across the world. The traditional concept of the Christian mission is just not relevant any more, definitely not in Asia at least given the ground realities. After nearly three to four centuries of Christian Faith arriving in Asia less than 3% of the population has accepted it. After so much time money and effort as many as 97% of the population has rejected the concept of Christianity."

More at 'source'.

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Evangelization of Asia: Significance of Objections to Pope's Visit to Sri Lanka
Posted on 2015/1/3 18:27:29 ( 1859 reads )

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SRI LANKA, December 30, 2014 (Lankaweb by Shenali D. Waduge): The US and Western Christian nations have made clear their foreign policy objectives in Asia. The focus of Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic faith and the State of Vatican is also Asia. Asia is seen as having the greatest potential for the expansion of Catholicism. When the Church declares the Third Christian Millennium as "a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent." it definitely means harvest of souls and conversion of non-Catholics to Catholicism. Should non-Catholic nations and nationalities not therefore have the right to prepare for eventualities and raise these concerns in public without being told that objections to conversions is against reconciliation, amity between religions and people?

While Sri Lanka's Sinhala Buddhists, Tamil Hindus and Muslims do not have any objections to a leader of a faith coming to bless people of that faith, what the Church and the Catholic public need to realize is that the objections have historically justifiable reasons. Anyone who has committed crimes over 500 years cannot be offended when they are reminded of them. The Church showed no remorse for any of the crimes committed upon inhabited lands that colonial crusaders were given orders to declare as Christian "discovered lands" and confiscate them from the indigenous while converting natives and killing those that refused. Present-day lay Catholics need to realize that these crimes were committed on behalf of the Church while confiscating artefacts, goods and wealth that belonged to these nations - these confiscated and stolen treasures are all lying inside the Vatican.

More at 'source'.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/1/3 18:27:22 ( 1060 reads )

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The light which shines above heaven, above all the worlds, above everything, that is the same light which is within man. We can perceive it as the warmth in the body. And of it we have this audible proof: when we thus hear, by covering the ears, what is like the rumbling of a carriage, or the bellowing of an ox, or the sound of a blazing fire. One should worship as Brahman that inner light which is seen and heard. He who knows it becomes distinct.
-- Chandogya Upanishad XIII.8

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Accommodations Readied for 4,000 Pilgrims at Kedarnath in 2015
Posted on 2015/1/2 18:35:29 ( 1137 reads )

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DEHRADUN, INDIA, December 30, 2014 (Daily Pioneer): Work to provide all necessary facilities will be completed on time before the start of the coming Char Dham Yatra. The State Government is aiming to provide better facilities at Kedarnath with arrangements being made to accommodate about 4,000 visitors overnight there.

The Chief Minister, Harish Rawat, said this while talking to a delegation of Char Dham Hotel Association which called upon him in Dehradun on Monday. Talking to the delegation of hoteliers, the CM said that better trekking routes are being developed. Helicopter services will be introduced for the convenience of the pilgrims. Helipads will be made at various points between Guptkashi and Kedarnath so that aerial services are available readily. Work has begun on rope way from Linchauli to Kedarnath.

In order to ensure safety of the visitors the personnel of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) will be deployed along the yatra route. Medical teams will also be deployed all throughout the yatra route. Bio-metric registration of the tourists will also be done. Telecommunication towers have have seen set up at various places in order to ensure good connectivity.

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Special Vishnu Puja to be Performed for First Time in Saint-Pierre
Posted on 2015/1/2 18:35:23 ( 1181 reads )

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REUNION ISLAND, December 24, 2014 (Clicanoo): While most of the islanders are preparing to celebrate the New Year with family and friends this December 31, the devotees of Narassingua Peroumal temple of Saint-Pierre have chosen to organize a special celebration from 29 December 2014 to 1 January 2015, in honor of God Vishnu.

By coincidence, the last day of the calendar year coincides with the "Vaikuntha Ekadasi," one of the biggest annual festivals dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the protector of the universe according to Hinduism. Symbolically, the temple took advantage of this coincidence to invite the faithful from all over the island to cross the threshold of the new year in prayer. The festivities, from Sunday, December 28, will take place over four days with the highlight on the night of December 31. Five priests have traveled from India for this special ritual that is a first in the history of this temple.

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UK Council of Hindu Temples Prepares Video for Police
Posted on 2015/1/2 18:35:17 ( 1210 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, December 26, 2014 (YouTube): "The Hindu way of life is a way of life, a way of living according to an understanding which has been refined and tested and gathered over at least 5,000 years," states National Council of Hindu Temples (NCHT) UK's General Secretary Satish K. Sharma in this video on Hinduism prepared for Police officers of the West Midlands Police force. The well done video shares some of the Hindu traditions, ideals and practices and can be viewed at source above.

A similar video was created by the Chicago, Illinois Police department stating that "Even a basic knowledge of a persons customs and culture enables police officers to conduct their duties in a more efficient and respectful manner." Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7ROQ-EcJvU

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/1/2 18:35:10 ( 947 reads )

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Correcting oneself is correcting the whole world. The sun is simply bright. It does not correct anyone. Because it shines, the whole world is full of light. Transforming yourself is a means of giving light to the whole world.
-- Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950)

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Seventy Hindus Convert to Christianity in Uttar Pradesh
Posted on 2014/12/31 17:35:00 ( 1072 reads )

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LUCKNOW/PATNA, INDIA, December 19, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): Over 70 Hindus have reportedly converted to Christianity in Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh. There are also reports of Hindus converting to Christianity from Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur, Bihar. The local leaders of the BJP are reportedly unhappy over the reports and the party has sent a seven-member fact finding team to Bhagalpur.

In Uttar Pradesh, one person, belonging to an organisation called India Hope Centre, has been arrested in connection with conversion of Hindus and the local officials are probing the incident that took place two days ago. A local official said that activists of India Hope Centre were active in Kamlapuri village of Uttar Pradesh and were attempting to lure villagers to embrace Christianity.

DM Satyendra Kumar said on Thursday that it has not been confirmed if the conversions took place. "We have sent a team of officials to the village in question to verify the allegations," he said but added that "India Hope Center activities had picked up in the area since the past few months, especially after the floods".

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Guyana President Lauds Success of Saraswati Vidya Niketan Graduates
Posted on 2014/12/31 17:34:54 ( 980 reads )

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GUYANA, October 16, 2014 (Stabroek News): President Donald Ramotar said now is an exciting time in Guyana to be a young student as he celebrated the success of 64 graduating students at the 2014 convocation ceremony of the Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) School on the West Coast Demerara on Sunday evening.

In his address at the school's 10th convocation ceremony, Principal, Swami Aksharananda said land has been acquired to build an elementary (primary) school to accommodate at the least 200 students. Efforts in this endeavor aim to realise SVN's vision and values by inculcating them in children at an early age, he said, according to a report from the Government Information Agency (GINA). Swami Aksharananda also revealed that SVN's ambition is to have the first private STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) College in Guyana that focuses solely on providing education in STEM subjects.

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Bringing the World's Religions Together in Bern
Posted on 2014/12/31 17:34:47 ( 928 reads )

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BERN, SWITZERLAND, December 14, 2014 (Swiss Info): It is thought to be a one-of-a-kind: tucked away in a multicultural, working-class suburb of Bern stands a building with five sanctuaries inside, one per religion. The House of Religions is a place for coexistence and interaction. The culmination of an idea born nearly 15 years ago, the House of Religions will finally open to the public on December 14.

With the tip of his spatula, an artist perfects the round of the shoulder of Ganesh. Further away, some altars are already decorated in bright colors. The artists have come from Tamil Nadu especially to complete this work. "It was quite difficult to get visas for them. At each stage of the process we were being made to start the paperwork all over again," says Sasikumar Tharmalinguam, the Hindu priest who will officiate at the House of Religions.

One of the founders, Hartmut Haas, a Moravian pastor (a branch of Protestantism) started the association in his kitchen before finding a space in town. He called it the House of Religions and the communities started a restaurant, organized various activities such as language and integration courses, yoga and so on. The institution then moved into wooden huts, where the Hindus had a small temple and the Buddhists, the Alevis (derived from Shiite Islam) and the Moravians gathered to pray and meditate. It was a far cry from the new lodgings at Europaplatz. Here in a modern complex that also houses apartments and a shopping centre.

More at source.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/12/31 17:34:33 ( 578 reads )

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According as one acts, so does he become. One becomes virtuous by virtuous action, bad by bad action.
-- Yajur Veda, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5

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Program to Certify Volunteer Chaplains of the Hindu Faith To Be Held in Early January
Posted on 2014/12/28 8:12:25 ( 970 reads )

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UNITED STATES, December 27, 2014 (Press Release): Hindu University of America (HUA), in conjunction with Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, is pleased to present the first Training Course for American Hindu Leaders to become Certified Volunteer Chaplains of the Hindu Faith. The course will be presented at Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville, in Buckingham, VA, Monday 5 Jan. -Friday 9 Jan. 2015.

The fee for the instructional program for certification is $150. Accommodations at the Ashram for an individual participant range in price from $300 (shared dormitory room and bath) to $460. Price for couples is slightly less than for two individuals. Included: four nights of room, three Vegan meals a day, three daily meditation sessions, a daily hatha class, and a tour of the inspiring, globally respected, LOTUS temple and other holy sites.

HUA is working to establish a Masters of Divinity program to train chaplains of Eastern Traditions to serve anywhere that such services are needed. This course is also applicable for graduate college credit. Please contact Swami Sarvaananda, swami.sarvaananda@gmail.com, with questions and confirmation.

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Listen to Dilip Amin's Talk to San Francisco Bay Area Multi Faith Coalition
Posted on 2014/12/27 18:42:53 ( 946 reads )

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SAN BRUNO, CALIFORNIA, December 27, 2014 (YouTube): Dilip Amin gave a presentation to Peninsula Multi-faith Coalition group leaders consisting of Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Christians and Hindus. The message is about pluralism and respect for all. Watch the short and informative video at source above.

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