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Hindu Press International
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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/18 17:57:23 ( 528 reads )

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The sages, being filled with universal love for all beings, did not want to keep their enlightenment to themselves. They declared to all: "O mortals, striving and struggling upon this Earth plane, weeping, wailing, buffeted by the vicissitudes of life: we have come upon a great discovery. There is something beyond these appearances, these vanishing names and forms that go to make up this universe. There is something beyond, which is the very source and support of all these objects of the phenomenal world. Why do you search in vain for happiness outside? Come, come, happiness resides within."
-- Swami Chidananda (1916-2008), president of Divine Life Society

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Festival Parade of Palermo's Hindus
Posted on 2014/9/17 15:34:37 ( 494 reads )

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PALERMO, ITALY, August 31, 2014 (Repubblica Palermo): The Vinayakar Chathurthy holy day was celebrated yesterday by hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamil immigrants in the shipyard district of Palermo. The festival commemorates the birthday of Ganesha; one of the most beloved Deities of the Tamil community. The event began with a function at the Muthu Vinaayakar Aalayam on Via Venancio Marvuglia and continued with a procession of the Deity through the neighboring streets.

The chariot carrying the Deity was accompanied by men carrying kavadi (small wooden altars) on their shoulders. Tradition has it that the hooks and spears inserted in various parts of their bodies resolved the vows they had previously made to God.

The ceremony ended with the ritual of the "breaking of the coconut." A small bazaar selling goods imported from India and Sri Lanka, set up in the street outside the temple rounded out this celebration which invoked good humored curiosity among the inhabitants of the district.

Slideshow at "source."

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Devotees May Immerse Statues in Small Water-Filled Containers
Posted on 2014/9/17 15:34:30 ( 440 reads )

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BHOPAL, INDIA, September 5, 2014 (Daily Pioneer): To avoid pollution in the water bodies during the Ganesha statue immersion, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to place small containers filled with water, where the devotees may immerse statues in Narmada water.

These containers would be placed at every ward. With the implementation of the instructions given by BMC Commissioner Tejaswi S. Naik, the development works are being carried out for the statue immersion. The officials concerned are instructed to take speedy actions and complete the work within the given time. Further, to keep the water pollution free, the water of sacred Narmada River will be arranged at the immersion ghats of various wards so that the devotees may perform the rituals observing the required customs and also the rivers will remain pollution free.

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Himachal Pradesh's Outlaws Animal Sacrifice in Hindu Temples
Posted on 2014/9/17 15:34:24 ( 467 reads )

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INDIA, September 2, 2014 (The Guardian): A court in remote northern India has banned a long tradition of sacrificing animals for religious reasons, deeming the practice cruel and barbaric. The high court in Himachal Pradesh has asked police and other officials to enforce its ban on the slaughter, mainly of goats, in Hindu temples throughout the state.

"A startling revelation has been made ... thousands of animals are sacrificed every year in the name of worship," the court said. "Sacrifice causes immense pain and suffering to innocent animals. They cannot be permitted to be sacrificed to appease a god or deity in a barbaric manner," it said.

Animals are symbolically offered to the deity and later taken home by villagers and their guests for eating during the Himalayan state's bitterly cold winter.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/17 15:34:18 ( 348 reads )

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It is easy to tame the rogue elephant. It is easy to tie the mouth of a bear. It is easy to mount the back of a lion. It is easy to charm poisonous snakes. It is easy to conquer the celestial and the noncelestial realms. It is easy to trek the worlds invisible. It is easy to command the angelic heavens. It is easy to retain youth eternally. It is easy to enter the body of others. It is easy to walk on water and sit in burning fire. It is easy to attain all of the siddhis (yogic powers). But to remain still is very, very difficult indeed.
Tayumanavar (1706-1744), Tamil saint, mystic and poet

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Correction on Call for papers: Digital Hinduism Academic Anthology
Posted on 2014/9/6 17:30:00 ( 1251 reads )



WASHINGTON, D.C., September 6, 2014 (Press Release, with correction providing names of editors): In this anthology edited by Vamsee Juluri and Murali Balaji, we seek to show how the digital age has transformed the way Hinduism is communicated -- and practiced -- across the world. From online worship services and philosophical forums, articulations of LGBT Hindu identities through online portals, devotional social media sites and non-Indian Hindu bloggers, to the iterations of Hinduphobia on various web portals, this anthology reflects the diverse and interdisciplinary scholarship resulting from an ancient religion's interactions with new media. Chapters must be no longer than 7,000 words in APA citation style. For full consideration, please submit a 150-word abstract to murali@hafsite.org by October 15.

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Australian PM Tony Abbott Returns 11th Century Stolen Statues to Modi
Posted on 2014/9/6 17:23:32 ( 974 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 5, 2014 (New Indian Express): Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday handed over to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi two antique statues of Hindu deities which were stolen from temples in Tamil Nadu before being bought by art galleries in Australia.

During his meeting with Modi, Abbott returned the statues, one of which is a Nataraja -- the dancing Shiva -- which belonged to the Chola dynasty of 11th-12th century. The other sculpture is of Ardhanariswara, which represents Shiva in half-female form, and dates back to 10th century.

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Temple Demolition: Pakistani Hindus Seek Redress
Posted on 2014/9/6 17:23:25 ( 882 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 5, 2014 (Business Standard): As Pakistani authorities are all set to raze a 79-year-old temple in Rawalpindi, anger and disappointment prevail among the country's Hindu minority that is seeking protection and freedom to practice their religion in an Islamic state.

Hindus have been living in Rawalpindi for over a century and the 1935-built Maharishi Valmik Swamiji Mandir in the Gracy Lines area of the Chaklala cantonment holds major significance as it enables them to worship and conduct religious festivities. Its entrance is decorated with Pakistani flags, a sign of the Hindu minorities' patriotism and love for the country where they were born and grew up.

When notice to demolish such an old temple was issued July 18, a sense of anger, fear, and panic gripped not just the over 20,000 Hindus of Rawalpindi and neighboring Islamabad but also the two million Hindus - a dwindling community - living across Pakistan, a nation of 180 million people.

Lahore-based journalist Raza Wazir felt the demolition of the temple symbolizes "a trend in Pakistan where the space for religious plurality and tolerance of different beliefs is fast shrinking". It is indicative of a change in the attitude of the authorities as well as the active members of society who "no longer consider it their duty to care for faiths other than Islam", Wazir told IANS in an email, adding: "This is surely a bad sign for the progress of Pakistan's democratic culture."

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Call for papers: Digital Hinduism Academic Anthology
Posted on 2014/9/5 18:00:00 ( 932 reads )



WASHINGTON, D.C., September 5, 2014 (Press Release): In this anthology edited by Vamsee Juluri and Murali Balaji, we seek to show how the digital age has transformed the way Hinduism is communicated -- and practiced -- across the world. From online worship services and philosophical forums, articulations of LGBT Hindu identities through online portals, devotional social media sites and non-Indian Hindu bloggers, to the iterations of Hinduphobia on various web portals, this anthology reflects the diverse and interdisciplinary scholarship resulting from an ancient religion's interactions with new media. Chapters must be no longer than 7,000 words in APA citation style. For full consideration, please submit a 150-word abstract to murali@hafsite.org by October 15.

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Chinese President Xi May Offer India New Route for Kailash Yatra
Posted on 2014/9/5 17:51:49 ( 972 reads )

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INDIA, September 4, 2014 (Hindustan Times): In a major political gesture, Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to announce the opening of a new safe route for Indian pilgrims visiting Kailash and Manasarovar in Tibet via Sikkim during his forthcoming visit to India. Besides a package of major investments, Xi may announce the opening of the route sought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their first meeting in Fortaleza in Brazil in July this year.

Expectations are high that the route through Nathu La border point in Sikkim would be part of the big gesture of friendship not only to strike chord with Modi but also the people at large, especially Hindus and Buddhists considering its religious importance.

Modi wanted the second route for the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra, keeping in view the terrain difficulties of the existing routes through Uttarakhand and Nepal which involves an arduous journey involving heavy tracking or by mules. The Yatra involves trekking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet.

More at "source."

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Ganesha Festival in UK
Posted on 2014/9/5 17:51:44 ( 783 reads )

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UNITED KINGDOM, September 3, 2014 (Echo): Thousands of people turned out to the country's biggest festival celebrating the Hindu God Ganesh. More than 10,000 Hindus descended on Shoebury's East Beach for the Ganesh Visarjan on Sunday after a procession from Blackgate Road to a marquee on the beach.

Worshippers enjoyed food, live music, singing and dancing. The festival ended with a water ceremony at 6pm, where statues of Ganesh were washed in the Thames Estuary and showered with flower petals.

Worshippers came in coaches from all over the country, including Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham, with organiser Jay Gokani, of the Hounslow Hindu temple in West London, describing it as a great success.

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Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Owns $1.6 Billion in Properties across India, Nepal
Posted on 2014/9/5 17:51:38 ( 745 reads )

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HYDERABAD, INDIA, August 27, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) has land, shopping complexes and other buildings not only in Andhra Pradesh but also in Nepal, Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Pondicherry, Haryana and Odisha.

"The market value of the landed properties owned by the TTD is about US$1.6 billion. In all, there is 4,657.51 acres of land belonging to TTD in the then undivided Andhra Pradesh, and another 125.75 acres outside Andhra Pradesh including Nepal and other states in India," said Endowments Minister Manikyal Rao.

However, YSRC members Chintala Ramachandra Reddy and Peddireddygari Ramachandra Reddy said the worth of TTD properties would be over $8 billion and that the TTD officials are failing to protect the properties of Lord Venkateswara. While no assurance was given by the minister on House Committee, he said the government will take all steps to ensure that every inch of TTD land and other properties are protected.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/5 17:51:25 ( 671 reads )

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Do not say that you do not have time for God. The busiest of men will have the most leisure, and the laziest will always be short of time, for the former utilizes time and the latter only wastes it. If you really want God, you will find time for Him.
-- Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati (1912-1954), 34th pontiff of Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham

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Houston Celebrates Janamashtami
Posted on 2014/9/4 18:12:01 ( 655 reads )

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HOUSTON, TEXAS, August 28, 2014 (Indo American News): This year attendance at the premier, nonprofit event marking the birth of Lord Krishna - on 17 August, 3228 BC, according to the Bhagvata Purana - was at an all-time high of 8,000, reversing a decline over the past few years that had concerned the organizing group, the Hindus of Greater Houston. This year, the HGH had pulled out all the stops, it seemed, and made some fundamental changes that generated the enthusiasm among area Hindus to attend in large numbers as the Janamashtami event was held this past evening Saturday, August 23.

Since its inception in 1990 as a venue for bringing the celebration of life and wisdom of one of the major divinities in Hinduism, Lord Krishna, the Janamashtami festival has sought to bring together all the temples and other Hindu organizations under one roof to show not only the unity among these groups in the metropolitan area but also bring the culture and beauty of Hinduism - and by extension, India - to the Houston community.

This year nearly 70 booths displayed their products and services, including the area restaurants, and for the first time, 15 commercial booths were allowed to locate to the other side of the booths with religious affiliations, which still formed the colorful majority of the booths towards the center and right of the elevated stage in the back of the cavernous hall. "Hindus of the greater Houston area celebrated the birth of Lord Krishna in a truly grand style at this Silver Jubilee celebration," said Thara Narasimhan, a Board member and longtime supporter of HGH. "True to tradition, it was a celebration of many accolades, celebrities and achievements of the past and present community Hindu leaders."

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Two Elephants in Catania's Municipal Plaza
Posted on 2014/9/4 18:11:55 ( 631 reads )

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CATANIA, SICILY, September 1, 2014 (CTZEN--translated from Italian): The Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of the son of Shiva and Parvati, called Ganesha Chaturthi, has been celebrated with a quiet but colorful procession through the streets. Fifty devotees, all of Mauritian origin and from the little temple of the Catania Shiv Shakti Association took part in the event. Swami Ramchandas, from India, was brought by the group to participate. Accompanied by singing and dancing, the colorful (and biodegradable) Ganesha statue was carried on a small palanquin, through the Duomo Plaza past Il Liotru, the ancient elephant statue (official symbol of the city, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catania for a photo), on the way to the nearby seashore for immersion.

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