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Hindu Clergy Show Support for Marriage Equality

Posted on 2016/9/6 20:41:55 ( 998 reads )


AUSTRALIA, September 5, 2016 (Gay News Network): The Australian Council of Hindu Clergy has proclaimed its support for marriage equality. Whilst the council acknowledges that marriage, (vivaha) as defined by Hindu Dharma Shastras is between a man and a woman for the purpose it acknowledges that in Australian secular law, marriage is not a sacrament (samskara). In a statement online the society writes:

"[Marriage] is about the legal union of two persons and involves social security, inheritance of property, legal and human rights and social privileges. It has nothing to do with vivaha as interpreted by Shastra -- the two concepts are separate -- the religious vs the secular.

"We affirm that the samskara (religious sacrament) of vivaha (Hindu Marriage) is technically between a Hindu man and woman and not applicable to same sex couples -- the traditional Vedic mantras are very specific and cannot be modified.

"[But] We totally support human rights and equality of gender within the secular Australian society in which we live, and have no opposition whatsoever to any changes in the law and the legal definition of marriage that the democratic society deems necessary for the well-being and happiness of all citizens whatever be their gender."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/9/6 20:41:44 ( 566 reads )


This body of mine brought seeds with it. Illness is one of them. Activity passes on and so does the body. Of what concern is it to us? All this was settled long ago. Don't be afraid of anything.
-- Satguru Siva Yogaswami (1872-1964), Sri Lankan mystic, speaking near the end of his life

UK Government Launches Three-Month "Public Consulation" on the Caste and Equality Act of 2010

Posted on 2016/9/3 18:56:20 ( 1219 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, September 2, 2016 (Press Release, by Satish K. Sharma): The National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) is delighted to inform you that this evening Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Government announced that it is to hold a 12-week Public Consultation on the subject of Caste and the Equality Act 2010. The announcement read: "A key aim of the consultation will be to obtain the views of the public on whether additional measures are needed to ensure victims of caste discrimination have appropriate legal protection and effective remedies under the 2010 Equality Act."

This is wonderful news for the British Hindu community, who will now have an opportunity to present reliable and comprehensive evidence to a process which should at long last be independent. The last process was deeply flawed, driven through the House of Lords on a wave of emotional manipulation, with evidence being misrepresented and with statistics which were later found to be inflated 48 fold! Peer after Peer accused an entirely innocent British Hindu community and Baroness Flather linked us with "female foetus infanticide" and "dowry killings," all without evidence, merely hate speech.

One of the most unpleasant aspects of the last "Parliamentary process" was the deliberate fanning of anti-Hindu religious hatred by those allegedly fighting for equality. The repetitive and quite deliberate association of the phrase "Caste discrimination" with the word "Hindu" has made such reprehensible discrimination an assumed truth that "Caste is a Hindu problem" despite the fact that it was forced upon Hindus and India by the tyrants of the British Colonial Raj... who were pursuing the most aggressive pogram of religious conversion ever conceived....

Prime Minister Cameron's government courageously resisted the whirlwind of emotional manipulation whipped up by those extremist groups who would see a tranquil integrated Hindu community denigrated, disrupted and fragmented for political gain, and it would appear that Prime Minister May's government is also equally concerned with piercing the dust cloud of hype, spin and untruths in the pursuit of genuine equality and justice. We look forward to participating fully in the forthcoming consultation.

India Leading in Coconut Production and Productivity in the World

Posted on 2016/9/3 18:56:10 ( 1019 reads )


INDIA, September 2, 2016, (Press Information Bureau): Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh today addressed the farmers on World Coconut Day and National Award presentation ceremony in Bhubaneswar. On the occasion the Minister said that India is a leading country in coconut production and productivity in the world. Its annual coconut production is 306 million coconut from 4.9 million acre area and the productivity per 2.5 acres is 10,345 coconuts. The contribution of coconut in country's GDP is about US$3 billion. In 2015-16 coconut products of $217 million value have been exported. He also said that over ten million people are dependent on coconut crop for their livelihood.

Agriculture Minister said the Coconut Development Board has established 402 coconut processing units in India which process 2.42 billion coconut per year.

Once You Watch How Gummy Candy Is Made, You'll Never Eat It Again

Posted on 2016/9/3 18:55:59 ( 1216 reads )


BELGIUM, September 1, 2016 (Huffington Post): If gummy bears, peach rings and gummy worms are a few of your favorite sweet treats, you may want to stop reading now. The way most gum-based candy is made might scar you forever. If you've ever had a vegetarian friend turn down a fruit snack or cup of jello, you know it's because many of those products are made with gelatin. Gelatin is a gelling agent made from animal skin and bones. But knowing what gelatin is can't prepare you for seeing how it's made. Belgian filmmaker Alina Kneepkens created the horror movie short film that shows in grim detail the way many gummy candies are made. Kneepkens unrolls the footage in reverse, starting with the finished candy before revealing its gory inception.

The disturbing film is at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/9/3 18:55:49 ( 886 reads )


Go beyond science, into the region of metaphysics. Real religion is beyond argument. It can only be lived simultaneously inwardly and outwardly.
-- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh

All-Women Army Protecting Rare Bird in India

Posted on 2016/9/2 18:36:47 ( 1109 reads )


DADARA, INDIA, August 15, 2016 (National Geographic): On a cloudy day in July, in a remote village in northeastern India, Charu Das excitedly imitates the awkward movements of a stork with her hands. In a few months, the greater adjutant stork--called hargilla, which means "swallower of bones" in Sanskrit--will descend on this hamlet, situated in Assam's Brahmaputra Valley, to breed in large numbers. Garuda, Lord Vishnu's mount, is a hargilla. They are a member of the stork family, but scavengers like the vulture.

Dadara and two nearby villages, Pasariya, and Singimari, are flanked by food-rich wetlands and brimming with tall trees perfect for nesting. The region has become a major stronghold for this homely creature: Due mostly to deforestation and widespread development of wetlands, only between 800 and 1,200 greater adjutant storks remain in India and Cambodia, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

But thanks to the efforts of the Hargilla Army, a conservation brigade of 70 local women, the region is now "the biggest greater adjutant nesting colony in the world," says Purnima Devi Barman, a wildlife biologist with Aaranyak, a conservation nonprofit in Assam. Backed by the district administration and local conservation groups, the Hargilla Army has been so successful in reducing threats and protecting the habitat of the stork that the group won the United Nations Development Program India's 2016 Biodiversity Award.

Not too long ago, however, the bird wasn't quite as welcome. Many villagers considered the birds "filthy" because of their smelly droppings; harsh calls; and tendency to litter their food, sometimes collected from garbage dumps, Barman says. She organized small, informal meetings to talk about the bird's role in the environment, such as scavenging and disposing of dead animals and its essential link in the food chain of the surroundings wetlands.

More of this very interesting report at "source' above.

Religious Hate Material Fills Pakistani Kids' Textbooks

Posted on 2016/9/2 18:36:36 ( 977 reads )


PAKISTAN, August 28, 2016 (One News Now): Pakistan's National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) published a report announcing that the Islamic nation's government has broken its promise to purge the religious "hate material" from school textbooks, which are plagued with rhetoric used to incite children with rage toward non-Muslims. World Watch Monitor says that the plan to clean up the biased instruction materials was launched as a result of the Pakistani school massacre that took place two years ago.

"When a Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in Dec. 2014 led to the loss of least 141 lives, including 132 students, it brought about a policy change in Pakistan," World Watch Monitor reports. "The government introduced a 20-point National Action Plan to discourage religious extremism and to provide a counter-narrative to promote religious harmony in the country, saying an 'end to religious extremism and [the] protection of minorities will be ensured.'" Despite assurances that the anti-discrimination plan would be implemented, the "Freedom from Suffocating Education" report issued by NCJP alleges that no adoption of curriculum reforms at the school level has taken place, except for a few booklets that were produced.

The NCJP report cited some other examples of contentious or inflammatory passages in school textbooks: The Class VII Baluchistan Textbook Board book on Urdu says: "The British ... feared the Muslims, being the true inheritors of the rule of India, could become a danger for them anytime." "Another book shows that the accusations against [Mughal Emperor of India] Aurangzeb of bias towards Hindus are purely a fabrication of the narrow-minded Hindus and treacherous British," says the Punjab Board's Urdu textbook for "matriculates" (ages 15-16).

The Class V book on Islamic Studies by the Punjab Board states: "The Muslims ruled the Indian subcontinent for about thousand years with magnificence, but they did not forcibly convert a single Hindu. If they had willed, then today there wouldn't even be a trace of them in the subcontinent. But Muslims showed great tolerance and even raised Hindus to high positions."

The Punjab Board's Class VI History book reads: "Most of the population of Delhi consisted of Hindus who considered Muslims strangers. They ... were always busy in thinking about getting free from the rule of Muslims. Hindu landlords used various excuses to not pay land revenue and even sometimes descended into revolt. The Hindus were so much encouraged by [Emperor] Akbar's pro-Hindu policies that they started demolishing mosques and shrines and started building their temples in their place. Wherever Hindus were in majority, they brutalized Muslims."

Much more of this detailed report at "source" above.

Tropical Forestry Services Prepares for First Indian Sandalwood Shipment to China

Posted on 2016/9/2 18:36:26 ( 912 reads )


AUSTRALIA, August 26, 2016 (ABC Rural): The world's largest producer of Indian sandalwood is gearing up for its first shipment of processed wood, with a ship due out of Darwin Port next month. Tropical Forestry Services (TFS) manages over 30,000 acres of sandalwood trees in northern Australia and has just completed its 2016 harvest in Western Australia's Ord Irrigation Scheme.

The company harvested around 32,000 trees from 257 acres, which is expected to yield about 300 tons of heartwood, up tenfold on last year's harvest. TFS managing director Frank Wilson said additional supply agreements had been signed with wood buyers in China and India in the past six months, and the timber being shipped from Darwin is being sold for $US150,000 a metric ton.

"There's very strong demand out of both China and India for high-quality wood or oil-bearing heartwood, that can be used in a variety of applications such as fine furniture, jewelry and traditional Chinese medicine," he said. Mr. Wilson said TFS was positioning itself to be the world's major supplier of "legal and authentic Indian sandalwood oil," with an aim to have 80 per cent of the market share by 2030. He said the company would continue to look for opportunities to grow more Indian sandalwood in northern Australia.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/9/2 18:36:16 ( 885 reads )


When I think of myself as a body, I am your servant, my Lord; when I think of myself as an individual soul, I am part of you; but when I realize I am atman, you and I become one.
-- Lord Hanuman in the epic Ramayana

Ganesha Festival Celebrated in Italy

Posted on 2016/8/30 20:19:53 ( 1600 reads )


ITALY, August 29 (First Page News): Sunday, August 28 over two thousand people came to the Gitananda Hindu Matha Ashram Monastery of Altare (SV) for the celebration of the Ganesha Festival, for many years an annual event for Hindus from all over Italy and neighboring European countries.

The stream of devotees came walking the long dirt road that separates the monastery from the rest of the world: an oasis of peace transformed for a day into the home to the largest Hindu festival in Italy. The procession toward the monastery was headed by a cheerful and imposing bedecked chariot. More than one hundred Hindu communities (from various spots in Italy and other countries) had the opportunity to gather at this spot to share in song, traditional dance and devotion.

Absent from this gathering was the Maa Bhagwati Association of Valdarno, whose members were engaged in aid activities in the earthquake zone. Thoughts and prayers went out to the victims of the recent earthquake in central Italy, with the hope that similar opportunities for interaction and sharing stimulate the sense of solidarity and closeness to the entire human population as one big family.

Paramahamsa Swami Yogananda Giri, founder and spiritual leader of the Italian Hindu Union and the Hindu monastery said in his welcome address: "We need peace. [...] The instrumental cause of the decadence of the world are economic interests and conflicts, but the efficient cause is selfishness." In the context of the usual ceremony of greetings and the allocation of gifts to the guests according to the Hindu tradition, this year the Italian Hindu Union has decided to hand over to some deserving Hindu women a certificate of merit, to give voice and visibility to to all those who, mostly in the shadows, work tirelessly for the good of their communities.

Hindu Devotees Parade Through Paris to Celebrate Ganesh

Posted on 2016/8/30 20:19:43 ( 1409 reads )


PARIS, FRANCE, August 29, 2016 (Euro News): More than 4,000 Hindu devotees and others celebrated the birth of the elephant God Ganesh in Paris as they paraded through the streets of the French capital in a festival held each year for the past 21 years. As the parade left the temple of Ganesh, devotees made their way through the large crowd, banging on drums and dancing barefoot, some in a state of near trance, as they carried offerings on their shoulders. The Ganesh Chaturthi is the fourth day of a festival which celebrates the birth of the Hindu God who represents prosperity and good fortune. The celebration traditionally lasts 10 days.

Nice video of the parade at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/30 20:19:32 ( 936 reads )


It is Divinity that shapes, not only your ends, but also your acts, your words and thoughts. Your duty is to treat everybody, including yourself, as a manifestation of the Lord.
-- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh

First Swadeshi Indology Conference Held in Chennai

Posted on 2016/8/29 18:11:39 ( 1435 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, July 8, 2016 (Swadeshi Indology Press Release): The Swadeshi Indology (SI) Conference series is a new movement that critiques & replaces the Western (videshi) study of Indian civilization. Rather than depicting Indian civilization as a cause of all sorts of problems, SI adopts a balanced approach. It explains how our civilization is also a source of solutions. It takes to task the most prominent & influential Western schools of Indology, i.e. the ones that have colonized the minds of large numbers of Indians today. Prior to this initiative, there has not been an effective and concerted effort to systematically demolish many core ideas and false assumptions of Western Indology.

The 1st SI conference was held in IIT Madras last month. The videos available are from panels on specialized topics, including the following topics: Refuting the claim that Sanskrit shastras block creativity and innovation. Refuting the claim that ideas contained in ancient Sanskrit texts helped the Nazis to do the Holocaust. Refuting the claim that Sanskrit has been dead for a thousand years, and that it was killed by Hindu kings despite the efforts of Muslims to try and save it. Refuting the claim that the Ramayana is a myth meant for asserting power over the public, and especially for violence against Muslims. And so forth.

You can watch the video of each paper along with the lively Q&As among scholars at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/29 18:11:29 ( 1015 reads )


Is there a deeper tragedy than that of a man immersed in the pursuit of the not-self who has no time to realize the Divine Self within?
-- Sadhu Vaswani, (1879-1966) founder the Sadhu Vaswani Mission

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