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Recommended Video: Teaching Hinduism in a British Classroom
Posted on 2015/1/11 18:31:38 ( 1443 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, January 10, 2015 (YouTube): When teaching principles of spirituality the challenge is how to avoid the subject seeming abstract and divorced from the peoples own life experience. Beth Stockly, an religious education consultant for Brent, has devised a new scheme of work which aims to make the teaching of religion more relevant to peoples lives. She has worked with Hindu experts to develop more open units on Hinduism. This short YouTube video follows the Year 9 lesson on Hindu Pluralism. This interesting approach emphasizes different ways in which Hindus approach God.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/1/11 18:31:32 ( 1314 reads )

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Remember, your own soul knows the reasons why you were born in this life. It knows what you need to accomplish in this birth. As a soul, you know what obstacles and challenges you need to face and overcome to grow stronger and conquer past karmic patterns through fulfilling your chosen dharma.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

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Seeking a Bhajan/Kirtan Group Performance for Filming in Surat, Pune or Mumbai
Posted on 2015/1/10 19:10:00 ( 1442 reads )

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INDIA, January 10, 2015: Hinduism Today is producing the next parts of its series on The History of Hindu India and very much needs to find a quality bhajan/kirtan group to film for the documentary. The first part of the documentary, source above, has passed 210,000 hits on YouTube.

The need is quite specific, and tied to our film team's schedule in India right now. Any of these dates will work, but we only need to film one group:

In Surat on January 11th or 12th

OR

In Pune on January 13th

OR

In Mumbai on January 14th or 15th.



If you have a group and want to be part of this, call the documentary's Production Manager, Ankur Singh directly at 09769490286.

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Kerala Sabarimala Temple Has a Post Box That Delivers Letters to God
Posted on 2015/1/10 15:37:17 ( 1460 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 1, 2015 (India Today): A temple in Kerala on the foothills of the holy city of Sabarimala has a post office that works only during the special Sankaranti season. But what makes this post office stand apart is that it receives letters to God. People write their wish and prayers, hoping that God is reading them. Most of the mail is wedding invitations and shop openings.

This post office is offering a unusual service which is attracting a lot of attention. A post office dedicated to Lord Ayappa. Located near the famed Hindu temple at the Sabarimala hills, the post office comes alive when the peak pilgrimage season of the Ayyappa shrine begins on the first day of the Malayalam month in November, and the period ends towards the middle of January.

Situated in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at 3,000 feet above sea level, the Sabarimala temple is 2.5 miles uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, around 62 miles from Thiruvananthapuram. The temple is accessible only on foot from Pamba. During the last pilgrimage season, more than 4.5 million devotees visited the shrine. This season the authorities expect a 10 percent increase.

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Kendriya Vidyalayas Schools to Teach Sanskrit in Classes XI, XII
Posted on 2015/1/10 15:37:10 ( 1247 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 9, 2014 (IBN) After replacing German with Sanskrit as third language from Classes VI to VIII, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) has decided to revive a policy of teaching Sanskrit in Classes XI and XII. The decision of reviving Sanskrit as an elective in Classes XI and XII was taken at the 99th meeting of the Board of Governors of KVS held on October 27.

"The Board approved the proposal to offer teaching of Sanskrit language in Class XI from session 2015-16 in all KVs having senior secondary classes. Sanskrit (core) will be offered as one of the options in lieu of an elective subject. For this teachers may be appointed initially on contract basis," the communication said.

WIKIPEDIA NOTES: Kendriya Vidyalaya is a system of central government schools in India that have been instituted under the aegis of Ministry of Human Resource Development. It comprises over 1,000 schools in India and three abroad. The system came into being in 1963 under the name "central schools" and has been affiliated with CBSE since then. Later, the name was changed to Kendriya Vidyalaya. Its objective is to educate children of the Indian Defence Services personnel who are often posted to remote locations. With the army starting its own Army Public Schools, the service was extended (but not restricted) to all central government employees. The uniform curriculum followed by these schools all over India was intended to ensure that the children of government employees do not face education disadvantages when their parents are transferred by providing a common syllabus and system of education. It still operates after 50 years.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/1/10 15:37:04 ( 1203 reads )

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Sugar is sweet at all times, even in the dark. So remains devotion for the devout, in times of comfort or discomfort, praises or insults, darkness or enlightenment.
-- His Divine Holiness Pramukhswami Maharaj, spiritual head of Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha

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A Little India in Myanmar, With Hindi Classes and an RSS Branch
Posted on 2015/1/8 15:53:06 ( 1734 reads )

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MYANMAR, November 13, 2014 (Indian Express): In between Myanmar's two erstwhile capitals Yangon and Mandalay lies Zayawaddy Grant, a cluster of villages and a small township. At first glance it is no different from any other small town in this country, that not too long ago was closed to the rest of the world. Look closer and the difference is apparent. Tucked between traditional wooden Burmese huts raised on stilts are two-story concrete homes that could belong to any Indian small town. Wearing traditional Burmese shirts tucked into lungis and savoring samosas and jalebis at tea stalls are many Indian faces.

Numbering over 70,000 in Zayawaddy town and surrounding villages, they are the descendants of farmers brought by the British from India -- mostly from Bihar, but also Uttar Pradesh -- to cultivate land in these parts. In the years that the military junta ruled Myanmar with an iron thumb, they largely escaped the authorities' attention and have now become Myanmarese citizens.

The Little India has a Hindu Kalyan Sahyog Samiti to take care of religious affairs, Hindi is taught to children at a sprawling Gandhi Hall and in nearly a hundred schools, a temple with statues of Shiva, Lakshmi and Radha-Krishna draws many faithful, and there is an RSS branch to "liaise" with the authorities.

More of this interesting history at 'source'.

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Celebrating 100 Years of a Vedantic Cause
Posted on 2015/1/8 15:53:00 ( 1611 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, December 31, 2014 (The Hindu): Ramakrishna Math celebrated a century of the publication of The Vedanta Kesari, the monthly of the Ramakrishna Order. This century-old magazine, launched in the city, has kept its date with subscribers every month without a break.

The Vedanta Kesari, the cultural and spiritual monthly of the Ramakrishna Order, gets despatched exactly on the 24th of each month. Now in its 101st year of publication, it is priced at US$0.16 per 40-page issue.

In its long journey, it has had 16 editors who have overseen 1,179 issues running to 54,853 pages, with 15,246 articles written by 2,351 authors. All the articles are in English, with select ones translated and published in other languages.

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India Tackles Worryingly High Level of Suicides Among Young People
Posted on 2015/1/8 15:52:53 ( 1408 reads )

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INDIA, December 12, 2014 (CNN): According to a recent World Health Organization report, India has the highest suicide rate in the world for the 15-to-29 age group. It stands at 35.5 per 100,000 people for 2012, the last year for which numbers are available. Across all age groups, nearly 260,000 people in India killed themselves that year.

Bobby Zachariah, who runs a suicide prevention group, says he blames a breakdown in India's traditional family structure. "There were big families, there was a lot of support available," he says. "Nowadays, there is one child in the family," Zachariah says. "And the kind of parenting styles that were applied to them when they were kids doesn't apply to their children any more."

The Indian government took a step toward reducing some of the stigma around suicide this week, making it no longer a crime to attempt it. Officials were acting on a recommendation of a law commission report that said the desire to commit suicide should be seen as a condition needing treatment, not punishment. But in a rapidly developing India, pressures remain high to get good grades and high-paying jobs.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/1/8 15:52:38 ( 1481 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 ( 2018 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 ( 1733 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 ( 1865 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 ( 1063 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 ( 1145 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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