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Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/5/16 20:33:48 ( 445 reads )


Man needs a guru. But a man must have faith in the guru's words. He succeeds in spiritual life by looking on his guru as God Himself.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

The Only Place in the U.S. You Can Get a Master's in Yoga Studies? Los Angeles

Posted on 2017/5/15 20:37:15 ( 594 reads )


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, May 13, 2017 (LA Times): Ana Funes is a philosophy professor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). She sat under a whiteboard she'd filled with flow charts and Sanskrit. Her graduate students had just spent more than an hour examining the "Hatha Yoga Pradipika," a 15th century manual. Now they were eager to understand how the ancient text could be translated into physical experience. They were studying to earn a master's degrees in yoga studies in the only university in the country where it is possible to do so. Forty-million people in America say they do yoga -- twice as many as five years ago -- but how many of them really learn about what it is and where it comes from? It's an important area of study, says the practice's few (but growing number of) scholars.

At LMU, studying yoga takes two years and is more in the books than on the mat. Five professors -- two full time, three part time -- lead about 30 students through numerous disciplines. Students study health sciences. They learn Sanskrit in order to read the "Yoga Sutras," the "Upanishads," the "Bhagavad Gita" in their original language. They grapple with Eastern philosophy and numerous Indian theologies.

Much more of this interesting article at "source" above.

Natya Shastra Lectures at Kalakshetra

Posted on 2017/5/15 20:37:04 ( 414 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, May 15, 2017 (YouTube, Press Release by Bharat Gupt): You will be happy to know that I have uploaded 25 hours of my lectures delivered in Kalakshetra Chennai, India. They begin with the first and go up to 53 videos. The lectures-interactions provided a detailed exposition of all the principles of performance in each of the 36 chapters of the Natya Shastra (Sanskrit Hindu text on the performing arts at least 2,000 years old) and have been related to the present genres of performance such as plays, cinema and sculpture. The text and the ensuing discussion made a springboard to analyse and contrast many classical ideas with Indian modernity not only in the area of performing arts but in the approach to life as a whole.

Introductory video at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/5/15 20:36:54 ( 360 reads )


Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries.
-- J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), theoretical physicist

How Artists Are Keeping the Ancient Practice of Theyyam Alive

Posted on 2017/5/14 20:01:39 ( 488 reads )


KERALA, INDIA, May 10, 2017 (Euro News): In Kerala, a state in South India, the cult of Theyyam, a ritualistic folk art incorporating dance, mime, and music, is still alive. The ritual form of worship involves traditions that some say date back as far as neolithic times. These rituals, practiced across North Kerala's Malabar region, are rooted in the natural world.

Annooran Balan Nenikkem, a senior Theyyam artist, said: "Every community has its own unique rituals. "When these rituals are performed, after lots of preparation, they believe this is a God - this is the truth." Preparations begin hours before the performance with artists creating elaborate costumes made from palm leaves. Late into the night, the drums beat in rhythm as the performance gives way to a trance that can last until daybreak. It is believed at this point the performers are no longer men, but have transformed into Gods and the crowds are eager to seek their blessings.

Video of Theyyam preparation and performance at "source" above.

The Hindu Community Celebrates Anniversary

Posted on 2017/5/14 20:01:28 ( 410 reads )


SPAIN, May 7, 2017 (Ceuta Actualidad, translated from Spanish): The Hindu temple celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. A distant memory are the meetings in private homes that had a sacred book and where even weddings were held. Much has changed for the Hindu community over the years. The construction of the temple was a watershed event. Before its construction the local government's councilor for development, Nicolas Fernandez Cucurull, offered a site on Echegaray street at a symbolic price of one euro and for a period of 50 years through a concession. Economic contributions of the Hindu devotees and the City allowed the place to take shape. Today it is the meeting point, for prayers of the community but it is also a place for visitors from other religions that come to meet the Hindus.

"The evolution has been very positive. We are fully integrated and our customs and festivities are known by all the citizens of Ceuta, who also participate actively," says the president of the community, Ramesh Chandiramani, who assures that "if it were not for our elderly who still wear typical Hindu clothing, we would go unnoticed in the day to day life in the city."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/5/14 20:01:18 ( 354 reads )


When you obey laws of health, your body is your friend. When you love God, nature is your friend. When you love man, God is your friend. When you love hard work, success is your friend. When you possess an understanding heart, peace and harmony are your friends. Everywhere you have a friend. In all things there is a friend for you.
-- Swami Omkarananda Saraswati (1930-2000), guru and founder Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas

Railway Minister Lays Foundation Stone for Final Location Survey on Famed Char Dham Pilgrimage Route

Posted on 2017/5/13 19:02:30 ( 468 reads )


DEHRADUN, INDIA, May 13, 2017 (Times of India): In major welcome news for Uttarakhand, railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday laid the foundation at Badrinath for the final location survey for a single broad gauge line rail system on the Char Dham pilgrimage route. This follows the start of a project to create an all-weather road for the same route.

Prabhu, who first flew to Kedarnath to offer prayers, came to Badrinath in a chopper to pay obeisance. Later, in the presence of CM Trivendra Singh Rawat and Union Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, he laid the foundation stone for the ambitious project worth US$6.7 billion. The route length of 203 miles through rough Himalayan terrain is likely to have 21 new station, 61 tunnels, totalling of 173 miles tunnel length and 59 bridges. On the occasion, Prabhu said, "The project will benefit the tourists as well as the locals. It will help people in the hills travel from one place to another."

Thai King Inaugurates Annual Royal Rice Plowing Ceremony

Posted on 2017/5/13 19:02:20 ( 399 reads )


THAILAND, May 12, 2017 (The financial Express): Thailand's king presided over an annual ceremony Friday marking the start of the rice-planting season. King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun sat quietly, his daughter at his side, as two oxen named "Increase" and "Abundance" ploughed a furrow around a section of the royal field in front of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. An official scattered rice seeds in the oxen's wake. The Brahmin rites, led by Hindu priests and the first to be presided over by Thailand's new king, were attended by the prime minister, Cabinet members and diplomats as well as farmers seeking signs of good fortune.

According to Thai historical accounts, the Royal ploughing Ceremony dates back around 700 years. Then as now, the success of the harvest is vital to the economy but also to the culture of the country. Thailand is one of the world's leading producers of the crop, at around 30 million tons a year. It is also, surprisingly, the world's second largest exporter of rice. It exports US$4.4 billion worth of rice a year, just behind number one India ($5.3 billion) and well ahead of number three, the US ($1.9 billion).

Further Defense Against Charges Art of Living Event Damaged Yamuna Floodplains

Posted on 2017/5/13 19:02:10 ( 384 reads )


INDIA, May 13, 2017 (Art of Living): The World Culture Festival was held on the banks of the River Yamuna on March 11-13, 2016. The expert committee set by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has submitted 2 reports that contain the claims of alleged damage to the Yamuna floodplains due to the event. This video extensively challenges the claims of both reports.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/5/13 19:01:59 ( 352 reads )


Hinduism is wholly free from the strange obsession of some faiths that the acceptance of a particular religious metaphysics is necessary for salvation, and non-acceptance thereof is a heinous sin meriting eternal punishment in hell.
-- Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975), Philosopher, statesmen and second president of India

Analysis of Religion Data of Indian Census 2011: Comparisons Across Asia

Posted on 2017/5/12 20:11:11 ( 547 reads )


INDIA, May 10, 2017 (Center for Policy Studies India by Dr. JK Bajaj): We have posted our 44th and 45th notes in the series on the Religious Demography of India and the World. These notes describe the changing distribution and share of the three older religion of Asia, namely Hinduism, Buddhism and Chinese Religions in different regions and countries of Asia. The first of these notes narrates the changes that have taken place between 1900 and 2010 and the second shows these changes graphically in Maps. It would be instructive to read the two notes together.

The three religions that we describe here are largely confined to South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia. Hindus (including Sikhs and Jains), who form about a quarter of the population of Asia, are confined almost entirely to South Asia. During the last 110 years, they have lost about 10 percentage points off their share in South Asia and by a similar amount in India according to the Census data. They have suffered a loss of about 10 percentage points in Sri Lanka and Nepal also. The loss has been much bigger in Pakistan, where their share has declined from nearly 17 to merely 1.3 percent, and in Bangladesh, where they have declined from 33 to 9.5 percent of the population. With these losses, Hindus have been contracting to the boundaries of what currently constitutes India and they are losing their share even within those shrunken boundaries.

The full reports can be read at "source" above and at:
http://blog.cpsindia.org/2017/05/reli ... census-2011-xlv-asia.html

Hindu Lifestyle - A Contemporary Voice about Hinduism for Today's Generation

Posted on 2017/5/12 20:11:00 ( 529 reads )


UNITED STATES, May 10, 2017 (youtube): The last 5 years has made Shawn Binda realize that one of his deepest passions has been learning more about Hinduism and equally important, teaching Hinduism to a new generation of Hindus who have been born in North America. Shawn says that the teaching of Hinduism must go beyond attending temple, satsangs, yagnas and pujas. Discussions, open forums, Q&A's and more importantly, understanding the needs of a new generation of Hindus is necessary if we want to ensure the longevity of our Hindu teachings.

Shawn has launched a YouTube channel dedicated to understanding the Hindu Experience. New videos are posted on the 1st and the 15th of every month with the focus on making sense of the Hindu identity, reconciling Western culture with a Hindu outlook and hopefully inspire more people to rethink what it means to be Hindu in 2017 and beyond. Shawn has written for Hinduism Today before on how to engage young Hindus and has spoken extensively at conferences and workshops with young Hindus.

Informative videos can be viewed at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/5/12 20:10:49 ( 340 reads )


It is the duty of parents to safeguard the spiritual interests of their child. As the parents have to feed a child which cannot feed itself, so have they to look after its spiritual interests also till it is able to take care of them.
-- Chandrashekara Bharathi Mahaswami (1892-1954), 34th Jagadguru of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham

Sanskrit in the Digital Era

Posted on 2017/5/8 19:49:14 ( 829 reads )


INDIA, April 29, 2017 (The Hindu): In early March, the Madras Sanskrit College (MSC) unveiled a digital campus to expand the reach of Sanskrit through online courses, live books and live podcasts. "Students can register any time for the online courses, but they start only in certain batches, every two weeks. The fourth batch started on April 29, and the fifth will start on May 13," says Ramesh Mahalingam, trustee of the college's parent body, and great grandson of V. Krishnaswami Iyer, college founder.

Each batch lasts about four months, offering 30 modules at the beginner's level. The first 10 modules provide a general overview, starting with lessons on the Sanskrit alphabet. Though the physical campus is a Sanskrit-only zone with daily conversations taking place in the language, the digital one has some of the teaching done in English, to ease beginners into the course. In the few weeks since the inception of the course, the four batches that started have already amassed about 590 students globally, from Australia, the Middle-East and the U.S, besides India. "In the first 23 days, we registered about 20 a day. My target for the year is about 3000. We are well on the way to that number," says Ramesh.

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