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Global Dharma Conference, September, 2015: Update
Posted on 2015/6/13 2:18:58 ( 1151 reads )

www.dharmaconference.com

UNITED STATES, June 12, 2015 (Press Release): The Hindu Students Council is pleased to announce that Pujya Swami Paramatmananda Sarawastiji as well as Pujya Swami Tattwamayanandaji accepted our invitation to address the Global Dharma Conference. Our volunteers have been working earnestly on major aspects of the Global Dharma Conference. We continue to expand our team of youth volunteers from around the country and have been engaging with various community members and leaders from New York/ New Jersey, to Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco Bay Area, South Florida, Dallas and many other places to galvanize support for the conference. The Dharma Conference Committee is dedicated to providing the best spiritual experience for all its attendees. The Conference will take place from September 11-13, 2015 at the New Jersey Convention Center, Edison, New Jersey.

For updates on the Conference progress click source above.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/6/13 2:18:50 ( 1037 reads )

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Whenever you have the chance, laugh as much as you can. By this all the rigid knots in your body will be loosened. But to laugh superficially is not enough; your whole being must be united in laughter, both inwardly and outwardly. Do you know how this is to be expressed? You literally shake with merriment from head to foot; so that it is impossible to tell which part of your body is most affected. I want you to laugh with your whole countenance, with your whole heart and with all the breath of your life.
-- Anandamayi Ma from Anandamayi--Her Life and Wisdom by Richard Lannoy

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Srouta Saiva Leader Sadguru Sivananda Murthy Passes Away
Posted on 2015/6/12 3:00:52 ( 1213 reads )

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INDIA, June 10, 2015 (Business Standard): Renowned spiritual leader Sadguru Kandukuru Sivananda Murthy died today at his Warangal residence after being indisposed for over a month. He was 87. The end came in the wee hours around 1.55 am at his home Gurudham in Warangal, where he was shifted to recently from his ashram in Bheemunipatnam in Visakhapatnam district.

Murthy has a wide following among the Telugu diaspora. He had set up several cultural trusts and also established the Andhra Music Academy. Also, he had built two ashrams at Visakhapatnam and Warangal respectively, where his mortal remains have been kept for his followers to pay their last tributes. Born on December 21, 1928 at Rajahmundry in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, the veteran guru was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Andhra University in recognition of his services.

For our feature story on the Srouta Saiva community, see Hinduism Today, October, 2013 issue:
http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/ ... tegory.php?categoryid=414
(note: the first four stories of the issue are all on the Srouta Saivas)

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Council Accused of Disrespect after Trying to Move Diwali Forward
Posted on 2015/6/12 3:00:47 ( 1114 reads )

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, June 11, 2015 (New Zealand Herald): Investigations have begun after Auckland Council upset the Hindu community by trying to hold the Auckland Diwali celebrations a month before the actual religious festival. Diwali, the Hindu festival celebrating victory of light over darkness, falls on November 11 this year. Traditionally, devotees observe Navratri, or nine nights of prayer and puja (rituals), to deities Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi, before Diwali. This year Navratri falls in mid October. However, the council-controlled Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) had planned to hold Diwali celebrations in the city in mid-October.

Veer Khar, president of the Manukau Indian Association, said that made "a mockery" of the religious festival and showed "grave disrespect" to devotees in Auckland. "As you can't have Easter Monday before Good Friday, you should not even think of having Diwali before Navratri," said Mr. Khar in an email to the event organizers. Ateed external relations general manager Steve Armitage said the agency worked with event partner Asia New Zealand Foundation to determine the timing of the festival. Yesterday, the foundation's culture director, Jennifer King, confirmed alternative dates were now being looked at.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/6/12 3:00:41 ( 1023 reads )

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Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination.
-- Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society

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Target for PM Narendra Modi's Yoga Day Event: Representatives from 100 Countries
Posted on 2015/6/9 3:50:14 ( 1521 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 5, 2015 (Indian Express): The government appears determined to ensure that its showpiece event in New Delhi this month -- to mark the inaugural International Day of Yoga -- makes it to the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest such session at a single venue. And so, the target: apart from the 40,000 expected to perform asanas at Rajpath, organizers have been asked to rope in at least 100 expats representing 100 countries for the mega exercise from 7-7:35 am on June 21.

While the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) is the main organiser of the event, the responsibility of arranging volunteers, including the foreign nationals, has fallen on the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) under the Ministry of Youth Affairs. "Yoga is quite popular in a lot of countries. The event is also aimed at popularizing yoga further throughout the world. Foreign nationals will also participate in the event. We are trying to get people from the maximum number of countries. But there is no target that so many countries must be represented," Youth Affairs Secretary Rajeev Gupta told The Indian Express.

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Telangana Agrees to Hike Pay for Priests, Strike Called Off
Posted on 2015/6/9 3:50:04 ( 1241 reads )

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HYDERABAD, June 9, 2015 ( Deccan Chronicle): Priests and temple staff called off their three-day-old strike after the government agreed to increase their salaries. The government will hike the grant to each temple from Rs 2,500 per month to Rs 6,000, of which Rs 4,500 would be paid to priests and Rs 1,500 to conduct basic rituals.

Endowments minister A. Indrakaran Reddy briefed Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao about the priests' demands, following which he agreed to an immediate increase in the salaries. Mr Rao also agreed to give a special Telangana increment to priests. Mr G. Bhanumurthy, leader of the priests joint action committee, said he was confident the CM would approve paying salaries from the treasury after the committee submits its report.

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Religious Devotees Worry About the Yoga-ization of Meditation in the U.S.
Posted on 2015/6/9 3:49:54 ( 1280 reads )

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UNITED STATES, June 6, 2015 (Washington Post): Inside the newly opened Meditation Museum in Silver Spring, exhibits refer to the pursuit of "God," the "Supreme Soul" and often "The One." A constant visual theme is orangeish-reddish light emanating from a vague, otherworldly source. The message is clear: Meditation is about connecting with the divine.

Yet in gyms, businesses and public schools in every direction from the museum -- which sits on busy Georgia Avenue -- meditation is often presented as something akin to mental weight-lifting: a secular practice that keeps your brain and emotions in shape. Gyms list it alongside Zumba classes, and public schools say it can help students chill out before tests by calming the mind and training it to look upon disruptive thoughts from a non-judgmental distance.

This rough juxtaposition between the religious and secular versions of meditation epitomizes a key debate about the ancient practice as it explodes in the United States: What is the purpose of meditation? And who decides?

Much more at source.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/6/9 3:49:48 ( 1205 reads )

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Devotion must not be like the flood of the rainy season in which all get washed away. Devotion should be like the river that retains water even in the hottest season.

-- Saint Kabir (1440-1518)

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Nearly Three Million Nepalis in Need of Humanitarian Aid: UN
Posted on 2015/6/7 21:58:49 ( 1060 reads )

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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, June 2, 2015 (Times of India): The UN said on Tuesday that approximately 2.8 million Nepali people affected by the April 25 earthquake and aftershocks were in need of humanitarian assistance. Of those affected, 864,000 people, who live in remote, mountainous areas, need urgent assistance, as they lost their homes and livelihoods, the UN office in Kathmandu said. "However, funding for the relief intervention remains insufficient," the UN said.

Jamie McGoldrick, humanitarian coordinator in Nepal, has said that the UN's priority is to provide vulnerable people of Nepal with the basics to ensure their survival through the monsoon, Xinhua news agency reported. "If we cannot achieve this, the progress that was made to reduce vulnerabilities before the quakes will be lost forever and we will have to face an even starker reality," he said. On April 29, the UN issued a "flash appeal" to the international community, seeking $415 million to help Nepal deal with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. "To date, $120 million were received against the $422-million Flash Appeal," the UN said.

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Portuguese Yogi Honored by Government of India
Posted on 2015/6/7 21:57:14 ( 1117 reads )

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PORTUGAL, April 9, 2015 (Boas Noticias): The president of the Portuguese Yoga Confederation, Jorge Veiga e Castro (Jagat Guru Amrta Suryananda), has just been awarded the prestigious Padma Shri prize by the Government of India, for his "exceptional contribution" to the promotion of peace and yoga in the world. This is the first time anyone from Portugal has received this honor. The Padma Shri award, which was created by the Indian Government in 1954, is rarely given to foreign dignitaries.

A statement from the Portuguese Yoga Confederation explains that it is a "high distinction," equivalent to an award from Portugal's Order of Prince Henry, which recognizes Jorge Veiga e Castro "for his decisive role in creating the International Day of Yoga." The establishment of this Yoga Day was the "culmination of 14 years of hard work in promoting Yoga in Portugal and in the World." The International Yoga Day has subsequently been officially recognized by the United Nations in December 2014. It was made possible with the supporting votes of 177 of the 193 UN member countries which resulted in the formalization of the International Day of Yoga on June 21, the summer solstice.

HPI adds: See complete coverage of Portugal's International Yoga Day in the January/February/March 2014 issue of Hinduism Today magazine.

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/ ... tion/item.php?itemid=5463


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/6/7 21:57:09 ( 1001 reads )

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Joys and sorrows are time-born and cannot last. Therefore, do not be perturbed by these. The greater the difficulties and obstructions, the more intense will be your endeavor to cling to His feet and the more will your prayer increase from within. And when the time is ripe, you will gain mastery over this power.
-- Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), God-intoxicated Bengali saint

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Priests and Temple Staff in Telangana on Indefinite Strike
Posted on 2015/6/7 2:56:56 ( 1106 reads )

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HYDERABAD, INDIA, June 5, 2015 (Deccan Chronicle): Archakas and temple staff in several temples, under the banner of the Telangana State Archaka Sangam, went on an indefinite strike across the state on Thursday demanding the government treat them at par with government employees and pay salaries besides other perks. However, archakas and staff of some of the major temples like Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswami temple at Yadagirigutta, Sri Raja Rajeswara Swami temple at Vemulawada, Sri Seetha Rama temple at Bhadrachallam, Saraswathi Devi temple at Basar and some others did not participate in the strike, but extended support to striking colleagues.

There are 2,300 temples under the TS endowments department out of which the strike has paralyzed functioning of about 2,000 temples, claimed Bhanumurthy, president of the TS Archaka Sangam. These temples have 3,500 archakas and 2,000 staff on the rolls. "We performed morning pujas as usual and later struck work. We request devotees to extend support to the striking staff," he said.

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No Entry for Non-Hindus to Somnath Temple Without Permit in Gujarat
Posted on 2015/6/7 2:55:30 ( 1117 reads )

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RAJKOT, INDIA, June 3, 2015 (Times of India): Now non-Hindus will have to take permission from THE office of general manager of Shree Somnath Trust before entering into Somnath Temple for darshan. It has been made mandatory to all non-Hindu pilgrims. Shree Somnath Trust, which manages the ancient Somnath temple, put up a prominent notice board at the temple campus on the coastal town of Gir-Somnath district. The notice reads: "The Somnath Jyotirling Tirthdham is a holy place for Hindus. In this holy place of Hindus, non-Hindus will only be allowed for Darshan in Somnath temple who have taken permission from the General Manager's office."

Somnath temple stands at the shore of the Arabian Sea on the western corner of the Subcontinent on Saurashtra. This pilgrimage is one of the oldest in the country. Shree Somnath Trust is first among the twelve Aadi Jyotirlings of India. The pran-Pratishtha at the existing temple was done in 1951 by the then President of India Dr. Rajendra Prashad.

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Black and Desi: A Shared History
Posted on 2015/6/7 2:55:20 ( 1016 reads )

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INDIA, June 2, 2015 (by Anirvan Chatterjee, India currents): In January 28, 1900, Swami Vivekananda looked out at the white audience at the Universalist Church in Pasadena, California, and spoke out against anti-Black racism. "As soon as a man becomes a Mohammedan, the whole of Islam receives him as a brother with open arms, without making any distinction, which no other religion does ... In this country, I have never yet seen a church where the white man and the Negro can kneel side by side to pray.

Half a century later, in 1950, a young Black man sat down inside the British Embassy in Washington, DC, and refused to move. African American pacifist Bayard Rustin became director of the Free India Committee in 1945, working to end British rule in India. But it wasn't enough to just talk, so Rustin began leading sit-in protests at the British Embassy, repeatedly getting arrested as he worked to help free India, two decades before he went on to organize the 1963 March on Washington, site of Martin Luther King, Jr's "I have a dream" speech.

Why would a Hindu monk speak out against anti-Black racism? Why would a gay African American civil rights leader repeatedly face arrest fighting for India's independence? South Asians and African Americans have been standing up for each other for over a century.

For more, go to source

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