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Sanatan Dharma Scholarships
Posted on 2014/8/30 17:49:12 ( 525 reads )



FLORIDA, U.S., August 29, 2014 (Sharma Tadepalli): HMEC 2014 Orlando, Florida invites students from State of Florida to apply for four special scholarships each $251. Eligibility for the scholarship is extended to any currently enrolled student in Florida State education system at the Middle School, High School and College level.

The Coalition of Hindu Youth (CHY) group will select the winners. CHY is an umbrella organisation among Hindu Youth and Hindu Organizations to foster unity and share resources. CHY, is a project of the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA).

For information on how to apply contact Sharma Tadepalli at "source" above. The deadline for submission is September 10th.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/30 17:49:06 ( 416 reads )

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Do not be proud of wealth, people, relations and friends, or youth. All these are snatched by time in the blink of an eye. Giving up this illusory world, know and attain the Supreme.
-- Adi Shankara, 9th century Indian philosopher and saint

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This Year, Ganesha is Lord of the Apps, Too
Posted on 2014/8/29 18:50:02 ( 501 reads )

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MUMBAI, INDIA, August 27, 2014 (Times of India): A trip to the neighborhood Ganpati mandal used to be a daily affair for Rajesh Pai and his family when they were living in central Mumbai. Since the family moved to Mira Road, the annual trek to see Khetwadi's tall Ganpati statues grew difficult, till Pai discovered a mobile app.

As crowd management becomes tougher, some of the older mandals are trying to play catch up using technology. Mumbaicha Raja Android app from the Ganesh Galli mandal will be launched on Friday while Lalbaugcharaja-Official app, which was released last year and has more than 5,000 downloads, will soon have its iOS version. Khetwadicha Ganraj from Grant Road, which also has more than 5,000 downloads, is being updated with live telecast in high-definition video. All of them are free.

"Young people use their phones to watch everything. Features like live darshan are also meant for those living abroad or who are going out of Mumbai during the festival," says Bharat Bhujbal, member, Lalbaug Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal. Khetwadi's 12th Lane Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal thought of a smart app as many people, especially senior citizens, are unable to visit the crowded pandals, says committee member Ganesh Mathur.

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India Celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi
Posted on 2014/8/29 18:49:56 ( 484 reads )

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INDIA, August 29, 2014 (Indian Express): "Source" above is a colorful slideshow of India celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi. As well as the traditional use of clay, Ganesha statues are created out of shells, grains, snow and even a fabulous sand sculpture.

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Hindus Asked to Support California Bill to Improve Textbook Content
Posted on 2014/8/29 18:49:50 ( 457 reads )

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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 29, 2014 (Press Release): The Hindu American Foundation is working with a broad coalition of more than 100 organizations, educators and government leaders to change the face of History-Social Studies Standards in the State of California.

Along with our coalition partners, HAF is working to pass California Senate Bill (SB) 1057 -- Pupil Curriculum: History-Social Science Content Standards, a bill to update California's K-12 History-Social Science Content Standards. These Standards form the foundation of school textbooks and define what must be taught in classrooms. They have not been updated in nearly two decades and are based on outdated material from 1987. Put into effect, it will help create textbook content that portrays all groups fairly and accurately, and protects children from being bullied based on their heritage or background.

Authored by State Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett, SB 1057 passed both chambers of the State Legislature with widespread bipartisan support and is now awaiting the governor's signature.

Click on "source" above for how you can help with this final step.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/29 18:49:43 ( 425 reads )

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Learn to be happy alone. If we do not enjoy our own company, why inflict it on others?
-- Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), founder of Chinmaya Mission

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Sugar Factory Starts to Build Ganesha Temple, Immediately Uncovers 12th Century Ganesha Statue During Foundation Work
Posted on 2014/8/28 17:50:10 ( 542 reads )

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VIJAYAWADA, ANDDHRA PRADESH, August 28, 2014 (The Hindu): As the city is gearing up for the colorful Vinayaka Chavithi festival from Friday, celebrations have begun well in advance on the premises of KCP Sugars and Industries Limited at Laxmipuram on the suburbs of Vijayawada with the discovery of an ancient Ganesh statue during digging works for construction of a temple.

As part of its plans to build Sri Lakshmi Ganapathi temple, the factory management started works at north-east corner using an earthmover. While the earthmover operator was digging, he heard a sound and stopped operating the machine for a while. A few minutes later, he resumed the work only to find a stone structure. When the operator slowly removed the soil, he found a three-foot high Ganesh statue in a sitting posture, said CEO G. Venkateswara Rao.

"We immediately alerted Department of Archaeology and Museums officials who rushed to the premises and examined the statue. We have been planning to construct Sri Lakshmi Ganapathi temple for the last three years but when we commenced the works, we found a Ganesh statue. It's really a blessing from the God," he said. The company has decided to conduct Ganesh festival celebrations on a grand note this time and after completion of the festivities, the construction work will begin.

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Hindu Summer Camp in America
Posted on 2014/8/28 17:50:03 ( 537 reads )

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MACEDON, NEW YORK, August 28, 2014 (NY Times): Just before July a decade ago when Neha Dhawan turned 11, her mother informed her, "You're going to Hindu camp this summer." Growing up Indian-American in Shreveport, La., was already a conflicted proposition for Neha. As the daughter of two immigrant doctors, she dutifully went with her parents to a Hindu temple and sat through their favorite Bollywood movies. In the other half of her hyphenated life, she joined her middle school's pep squad and rarely missed an episode of "Lizzie McGuire."

So the last thing that Neha wanted the summer of 2004 was to be even more identified as an Indian and a Hindu. That summer, she says now with retrospection, changed her life. She loved doing morning yoga, her hair still cool and damp from the shower. She discovered a favorite bhajan. She spoke with her peers and their college-age counselors about dealing with stereotypes and racism. "I realized," she said, "it's O.K. to be proud of who you are."

There is a long, rich history of religious and ethnic groups using summer camps to strengthen the denominational and ancestral identity of young people in a polyglot nation with an enticingly secular popular culture. The Indian immigrants who arrived in the last half-century are relatively recent and especially avid adopters. Shana Sippy, a professor of religion at Carleton College in Minnesota who has studied Hindu-American educational organizations, estimated that 135 such camps now exist. These range from overnight retreats to day camps to sleep-away programs like that of the Hindu Heritage Summer Camp.

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No More Direct Darshan at Tirumala Temple
Posted on 2014/8/28 17:49:57 ( 520 reads )

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HYDERABAD, INDIA, August 27, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to bring in major changes in Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams for the convenience of devotees. One is the cancellation of direct darshan by those who climb up the hill (that's an 11 km trek starting from Alipiri and climbing 3,500 steps). This system was introduced 12 years ago when the number of devotees was much smaller and allowed those pilgrims to skip the queue. At that time, the number of devotees used to be around 800, but now the figure has increased to around 30,000 on normal days and on Saturdays it is 50,000.

Endowment minister P. Manikyala Rao said, at present, every day around 120,000 devotees come to Tirumala and 75,000 are the ones who get darshan. Every day the backlog of devotees is 50,000 and it is increasing by the day. With the number of devotees walking up to the temple increasing, the devotees, who come through the queue, get delayed and have to wait long hours for darshan.

The government is planning to introduce advanced booking for general devotees. Mr. Rao said in the next two years the number of devotees will increase by 40 per cent, according to an official estimate. "After two years, no devotee can have darshan without advanced booking," he said adding that the advanced booking can be done online too. This will minimise the waiting period of the devotees.

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Help Hinduism Today's Story on Food for the Gods
Posted on 2014/8/28 17:49:51 ( 377 reads )



KAUAI, HAWAII, August 28, 2014 (HPI): Hinduism Today is working on a story on prasadam, the food offered to the Deity, blessed and then shared with the devotees. It is a bonus to seeking darshan of the Deities, a sweet treat or a community meal which has been blessed by God.

You can help us with this story by sharing your favorite memories of temples you've visited in India or elsewhere that did something really special in the line of prasadam.

Email us details or contacts by early September to ar@hindu.org.

Help create a delicious feature!

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/28 17:49:45 ( 366 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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Georgetown University to Add Hindu Chaplaincy This Fall
Posted on 2014/8/27 16:45:03 ( 466 reads )

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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 13, 2014 (Georgetown Voice): This fall, Georgetown will add to its extensive on-campus chaplain community, the largest in the entire country, with its first-ever Hindu chaplain. Pratima Dharm, a Hindu chaplain currently serving in the U.S. Army, will arrive on campus on October 1.

Vice President for Mission and Ministry Kevin O'Brien, S.J., announced Dharm's decision to come to campus via email yesterday. O'Brien connected Dharm's chaplaincy to Georgetown's long tradition of diverse chaplains. According to O'Brien, Dharm is the first female chaplain of Indian descent and the first Hindu chaplain in the U.S. Army.

"Over the years, she earned the esteem of her colleagues and, among other accolades, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for organizing and leading numerous humanitarian aid missions for the Kurdish people in Iraq," O'Brien wrote. "Before joining the army, Chaplain Dharm served as a teacher, counselor, and social worker in a variety of settings." Dharm will retire from military service this fall and starts at Georgetown on October 1.

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With Bells and Bananas, a Time to Worship Ganesh
Posted on 2014/8/27 16:44:57 ( 407 reads )

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FLUSHING, NEW YORK, August 26, 2014 (NY Times): At the Hindu Temple Society of North America, in Flushing, Queens, this week is time to worship Ganesh, the elephant-headed, many-armed Deity who is believed to remove obstacles. Here, as at temples in over a dozen countries, Hindus are celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi, which marks the God's birth (and rebirth).

In Queens, which has perhaps the largest Hindu population in New York, more than 10,000 people will pay homage during the jubilee, which started on Friday and ends on Sunday. More than 400 gallons of milk, 100 boxes of apples, 50 crates of bananas and five kilograms of sandalwood paste will be used. And each day, dozens of liters of ghee, clarified butter, will be ladled into the fire pit for the homam, or fire ritual, which is believed to carry offerings to the lord. Visitors will consume some 50,000 prepared meals, according to the organizers.

Much more at "source."

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Bringing Clay to Life
Posted on 2014/8/27 16:44:51 ( 387 reads )

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HYDERABAD, INDIA, August 21, 2014 (The Hindu): Infusing life into clay statues is the artisans' skill and with awareness about use of clay statues increasing, these traditional potters are working overtime to meet the demand from devotees celebrating in their houses and mass pujas in public places in Hyderabad. Decorating Lord Ganesha statues with carcinogenic colours is a thing of the past and majority root for the clay statues.

Very nice slice show at "source."

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Statue-Makers Pay a Price for Going Green
Posted on 2014/8/27 16:44:36 ( 364 reads )

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INDIA, August 23, 2014 (The Hindu): Every year, weeks before Ganesh Chaturthi, the word 'eco-friendly' garners more attention than the festival itself. Social organisations, NGOs and government bodies embark on campaigns vociferously advocating the use of eco-friendly Ganeshas. But, this trend of 'going green' seems to have reversed in Bommala Colony, as statues makers there pay a hefty price for embracing environmentalism.

The colony, situated on the outskirts of the temple city, is known for its eco-friendly Ganeshas and is frequented by people. Of late, the introduction of Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols in the region has dampened the statue makers' spirit, as people have been opting for shiny statues instead of the eco-friendly ones. "Making statues from naturally available items is hard work (it takes more than six months) and requires huge godowns for storage. A drizzle can melt an entire statue within minutes. On the contrary, PoP statues can be made in a jiffy and can withstand the rigours of nature," says statue maker Sabhari, hastening his work on a statue, apprehensive about the overcast conditions.

Lamenting the indifference of officials, Mr. Sabhari maintained that all their pleas to ban PoP statues had fallen on deaf ears. "Over the years, we have approached several officials, but none of them took steps to resolve the issue. Their apathy sometimes makes us question ourselves - what is the use of being environment friendly," he adds. According to him, a complete ban on the use of PoP statues, implemented in states like Tamil Nadu, will address the issue effectively.


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