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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/7 18:25:11 ( 1087 reads )

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Adversity and prosperity never cease to exist. The adornment of great men's minds is to remain unswervingly just under both.
-- Tirukkural 115

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Scientists Have Figured out What Makes Indian Food so Delicious
Posted on 2015/3/3 18:49:40 ( 1516 reads )

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INDIA, March 4, 2015 (by Roberto A.Fredman, Washington Post): Indian food, with its hodgepodge of ingredients and intoxicating aromas, is coveted around the world. The labor-intensive cuisine and its mix of spices is more often than not a revelation for those who sit down to eat it for the first time. But behind the appeal of Indian food -- what makes it so novel and so delicious -- is also a stranger and subtler truth. In a large new analysis of more than 2,000 popular recipes, data scientists have discovered perhaps the key reason why Indian food tastes so unique: It does something radical with flavors, something very different from what we tend to do in the United States and the rest of Western culture. And it does it at the molecular level.

If you were to hold a microscope to most Western dishes, you would find an interesting but not all-too-surprising trend. Popular food pairings in this part of the world combine ingredients that share like flavors. On average, there are just over 50 flavor compounds in each food ingredient. A nifty chart shared by Scientific American in 2013 shows which foods share the most flavor compounds with others and which food pairings have the most flavor compounds in common. Chefs in the West like to make dishes with ingredients that have overlapping flavors. Many Asian cuisines have been shown to belie the trend by favoring dishes with ingredients that don't overlap in flavor. And Indian food, in particular, is one of the most powerful counterexamples.

Researchers at the Indian Institute for Technology in Jodhpur crunched data on several thousand recipes from a popular online recipe site called TarlaDalal.com. They broke each dish down to its ingredients, and then compared how often and heavily ingredients share flavor compounds. The answer? Not too often.They examined how much the underlying flavor compounds overlapped in single dishes and discovered something very different from Western cuisines. Indian cuisine tended to mix ingredients whose flavors don't overlap at all.The takeaway is that part of what makes Indian food so unique is the way flavors rub up against each other. Combining ingredients with like flavors is a useful (and often delicious) strategy, but it might be a somewhat misleading rule of thumb. Indian cuisine, after all, is cherished globally, and yet hinges on a decidedly different ingredient pairing logic.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/3 18:49:34 ( 1230 reads )

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They alone dispel the mind's distress who take refuge at the Feet of the Incomparable One.
-- Tirukkural

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/3 15:45:44 ( 1122 reads )

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It cannot be seen by the eye, and yet it is the eye within the eye. It cannot be heard by the ear, and yet it is the ear within the ear. It cannot be smelt by the nose, and yet it is that which makes the nose to smell. It cannot be uttered by the mouth, and yet it is that which makes the mouth to speak. It cannot be grasped by the hand, and yet it is that which makes the hand to grasp. It cannot be reached by the feet, and yet it is that which makes the feet to walk. It cannot be thought by the mind, and yet it is the mind within the mind. It is the Primal One without past or future. Its form is free from age and sickness. It manifests as father and mother. It blossoms as the Self-Existent. It cannot be described as one or two. No artist can portray It. It is That which lies 'twixt good and evil. It ever abides in the hearts of the wise. It permits no distinction between Vedanta and Siddhanta. It is That which dances at the zenith beyond the realm of sound.
-- Satguru Siva Yogaswami (1872-1964), Sri Lanka's most renowned contemporary spiritual master

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Ancient Practice of Yoga a Growth Industry
Posted on 2015/3/3 15:45:27 ( 1149 reads )

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UNITED STATES, March 1, 2015 (USA Today): Nearly 10% of U.S. adults and 3% of children participated in yoga in 2012, up from 5% of adults and 2% of children a decade earlier, says a new survey from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease and Prevention. Another survey, from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, says more than 24 million U.S. adults practiced yoga in 2013, up from 17 million in 2008. That makes it roughly as popular as golf.

Other signs that yoga is a growth industry: The Wall Street Journal recently reported that some yoga classes are so overcrowded that peace-seeking yogis are getting into fights over mat space. Yoga Journal, a print and online magazine, is celebrating its 40th anniversary and "business is booming," with a growing print readership of 2.1 million and more than 5 million online page views a month, says editor in chief Carin Gorrell.

Since 2012, Medicare has covered cardiac rehabilitation programs that include yoga. The programs also include a vegetarian diet and meditation. "I've always thought that it's not a matter of if we are going to include yoga and mindfulness techniques in healthcare, it's always been when, and the when has arrived," says M. Mala Cunningham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia who founded a program to certify yoga instructors and medical professionals to use such techniques with cardiac patients.

More at source.

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We Are All Hindus Now--a Video Exposition
Posted on 2015/3/3 15:45:12 ( 1279 reads )

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WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA, February 27, 2015 (YouTube): "We are all Hindus Now" was an article published in Newsweek Magazine, August 24, 2009 [http://www.newsweek.com/us-views-god- ... e-are-turning-hindu-79073 with the title interestingly changed to "U.S. Views on God and Life are Turning Hindu]. Hindu practices have creeped into American society. In the spiritual landscape we are becoming more Hindu like. 65% of Americans now believe that there are many paths to one truth and another 14% believe in reincarnation. The Rev. Jennifer Ryu, a Unitarian Universalist, gives a nice talk on Hinduism to her congregation on this topic in this informative YouTube video.

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Colorado Yogis Chafe at State Regulation of Teacher Training
Posted on 2015/3/3 7:30:46 ( 1024 reads )

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DENVER, COLORADO, March 1, 2015 (New York Times): A debate has roiled Colorado's growing yoga world, pitting studio owners like Annie Prasad Freedom against a government agency that says programs that train yoga teachers must be certified, just like schools that prepare barbers, cosmetologists and truck drivers. "I get pretty fired up about this new thing with the government," said Ms. Freedom, 45, sitting outside her studio, Samadhi Center for Yoga and Meditation. "How can you have people who know nothing about yoga regulating yoga schools?"

Studio owners say the rules -- which involve paying hundreds of dollars in fees and submitting curriculums for approval -- will cut into their into tiny profits and limit their yogic creativity. But officials of the state agency, the Division of Private Occupational Schools, say they are trying to protect aspiring teachers from fraudulent and unsafe programs. And they point to the case of Bikram Choudhury, a well-known yoga teacher accused of sexually assaulting students, as evidence that schools need government supervision.

The fight here is just the latest in a continuing debate over whether yoga instructor training programs should fall under the supervision of state agencies that certify occupational schools. The number of teacher training schools has exploded in recent years, jumping nearly 20 percent in 2014 alone, according to the Yoga Alliance, a nonprofit industry group. (The group counted 3,492 schools worldwide at the end of 2014.)

More at source.

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Hinduism Today Seeks Contacts in Myanmar (Burma) for Feature Story
Posted on 2015/3/3 7:30:40 ( 1002 reads )

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KAUAI, HAWAII, March 2, 2015 (Hinduism Today): Hinduism Today's feature story team of journalist Rajiv Malik and photographer Thomas Kelly are planning to be in Myanmar (Burma) from March 30 to April 12 to report on the nearly million-strong Hindu community there (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_in_Southeast_Asia#Burma).

They will be visiting Yangoon, Mandalay and Mawlamyine. We are seeking contacts in the local Hindu community to introduce them to the temples and important Hindu people of the area. The trip is being arranged on short notice. If you can help, contact Acharya Arumuganathaswami, Managing Editor, Hinduism Today, ar@hindu.org.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/3/3 7:30:34 ( 949 reads )

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Out of purity and silence come words of power.
-- Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), founder of Chinmaya Mission

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Holi brings Unity in Fiji
Posted on 2015/2/28 17:29:03 ( 1229 reads )

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FIJI, February 28, 2015 (by Shayal Devi, Fiji Times): As thousands of Hindus in Fiji prepare to celebrate Holi on March 6, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has called on devotees to work towards fostering unity among in communities. President Jay Dayal said Holi was one of the most joyful Hindu celebrations.

"Though there are many customs and traditions associated with Holi, the essence remains the same and can be expressed in three common themes," Mr Dayal said."This includes reconnecting with nature in gratitude for the blooming of spring and bountiful harvests, celebrating the victory of good over evil and sharing of love and fostering unity amongst the people." This light-hearted festival gives relationships a fresh start and creates bonds of friendships with adversaries as we remember the inherent divinity within each and every one of us."

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Globalizing Black History Month: Recalling the Professor and the Punjabi Lion
Posted on 2015/2/28 17:28:57 ( 1246 reads )

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USA, February 24, 2015 (By Murali Balaji, Huffington Post): A long forgotten part of the global exchange is during the periods between the World Wars, when African American activists and intellectuals had frequent interactions with counterparts in other parts of the world. In this spirit, it should be noted that long before Mahatma Gandhi's activism inspired the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights leaders, another transatlantic relationship would play a significant role in shaping African-American thought: the close friendship between W.E.B. Du Bois and Indian freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai, known by many as the Lion of Punjab. In 1916, Rai, the founder of the India Home Rule League of America, visited the United States to meet with African Americans and the small Indian community across the country, including representatives of the newly formed Ghadar Party. Du Bois and Rai struck a friendship based on the mutual ideals of American civil rights and Indian sovereignty.

Rai played a significant role in changing Du Bois from a liberal intellectual focused on simple integration to a more globalized radical intent on pushing for global emancipation. Du Bois dedicated his novel Dark Princess, an allegorical story about a Hindu princess named Kautilya marrying an African-American man named Matthew Towns. However, before Rai had a chance to read the final manuscript, he was beaten by British police during a protest in Lahore (now in Pakistan) in 1928. Two weeks later, he died. Rai's death would shake Du Bois and play a significant role in his growing dissatisfaction with the NAACP and his increased immersion with the Popular Front movement of the 1930s, led by the likes of Paul Robeson. As a result, Du Bois became a more forceful advocate of global change, and his works like Black Reconstruction and Color and Democracy would reflect a philosophical transformation that began nearly two decades earlier with the help of the Lion of Punjab.

Perhaps the relationship between the men can inspire a new generation of activists and spur dialogue on meaningful social change at a time when lasting, nuanced coalitions are hard to find.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/2/28 17:28:42 ( 1031 reads )

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Love gives and gives and gives and seeks no return. Therefore, love has nothing to lose--and consequently, nothing to fear.
-- Dada J.P. Vaswani, spiritual head of Sadhu Vaswani Mission

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Hindraf seeks Urgent Meeting with Chief Minister on Demolition of 100 Temples in Malaysia
Posted on 2015/2/27 18:12:14 ( 1246 reads )

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KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA , February 24, 2015 (Freemalaysia Today): Hindraf Makkal Sakthi is seeking an urgent meeting with Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali on a reported 100 Hindu temples in the state which have purportedly been earmarked for demolition.The NGO maintains all these temples in Selangor were legally built. The meeting follows a public admission by Selangor Exco V. Ganapathi Rao that some 100 Hindu temples, older than the recently demolished 60-year-old Sri Kottai Munisvarar Nageswary Temple, would be demolished by the state government. He did not state the reasons for the pending demolitions.

"Rao's statement reminds us of the era of MIC and BN where they kept giving lame excuses for their inefficiency in tackling matters of public interest and concern," said Hindraf vice-president Tamil Selvam. "He's the lone Indian representative in the Exco and clearly outnumbered by the others." His helplessness, pointed out Tamil Selvam, stems from the fact he has not been given the mandate to handle the issue. "The temples, he added, originated from plantations which were subsequently acquired by the government or sold to private developers. "Just because the plantations where the temples sit have been acquired by the government and developers, it does not mean that they can go on a demolition spree."

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Why, to Many Critics, Mother Teresa is Still no Saint
Posted on 2015/2/27 18:12:08 ( 1260 reads )

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INDIA, February 26, 2015 (by Adam Taylor, Washington Post): Mother Teresa, the Roman Catholic missionary who became an international icon for her charitable work, has been dropped into modern India's religious debate after the head of the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) criticized the intentions behind her work. "It's good to work for a cause with selfless intentions. But Mother Teresa's work had ulterior motive, which was to convert the person who was being served to Christianity," RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said at the opening of an orphanage in Rajasthan state on Monday, the Times of India reports. "In the name of service, religious conversions were made. This was followed by other institutes, too." Bhagwat's comments caused a storm among opposition politicians, angered by the implication that a woman who won a Nobel Peace Prize for her work in India would have had ulterior motives.

This controversy about Mother Teresa, who died in 1997, is far from her first. Her saintly reputation was gained for aiding Calcutta's poorest of the poor, yet it was undercut by persistent allegations of misuse of funds, poor medical treatments and religious evangelicalism in the institutions she founded. Many who support Mother Teresa dispute these accounts, of course, but they exist and are frequently debated. In fact, when compared to the criticism that already exists about Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity, Bhagwat's words look relatively meek: Multiple accounts say that Mother Teresa's nuns would baptize the dying and she had a reputation for proselytizing.

A good video accompanies this article.

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New Jersey Schools to Close for Diwali
Posted on 2015/2/27 18:12:02 ( 1197 reads )

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GLEN ROCK, NEW JERSEY , February 24, 2015 (by Chris Harris, NorthJersey.com): Schools in the borough will be closed on Nov. 11, since the Board of Education voted to add Diwali, a Hindu holy day, to the district's calendar. District officials claim Glen Rock, which has a burgeoning Indian community, is the first district in Bergen County to formally recognize Diwali with an instruction-free day.

Rona McNabola, the board's president, said she hopes Monday's vote "sends a message to other communities" with growing Indian populations to at least consider recognizing Diwali with a day off. The school board's move Monday night followed a formal request from a group of parents late last year that schools be closed on Diwali to make it easier for Hindu families to observe the holiday. Sanjiv Ohri, the school board's vice president, said that Glen Rock's "Indian community is very happy that the school has recognized the change and addressed the need of a growing community."


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