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California Governor Vetoes Bill to Revise School Textbook Content Standards
Posted on 2014/9/22 18:34:12 ( 569 reads )

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SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, September 19, 2014 (HPI): California governor Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 1057 which would have called for the revision of the "Content Standards" which guide the creation of the state's history-social science books for grades K-12. The Hindu-American community was disappointed with the veto as the bill could have improved the presentation of Hinduism and Indian history in the state's school system.

In vetoing the bill, the governor said, "This bill would require the State Board of Education to adopt history-social science content standards by July 30, 2018. I agree that providing up to date instructional guidance to educators for use in their classrooms is important. This is precisely why the State Board of Education is currently updating the history-social science framework which is on track to be adopted next spring. I am concerned that this bill may slow progress that is already underway, and does not include a role for the Instructional Quality Commission. For these reasons, I am unable to sign this bill."

For the full text of the original bill, go to:
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fac ... l?bill_id=201320140SB1057

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Know how Durga Puja is celebrated in East India
Posted on 2014/9/22 18:34:06 ( 604 reads )

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INDIA, September 8, 2014 (by Anindita Dev, zeenews): It's that time of the year for the Bengali Hindus and Assamese, who wake up to the Dhak (drum) beats every morning, following the ten-day long festival of Durga Puja. Durga Puja is also referred to as Durgotsava in Bengali, which marks the victory of Durga over the buffalo demon, Mahishasura. It symbolises the victory of good over evil. The celebration of Durga Puja is culturally significant and holds emotional value for the people of Bengal, Assam and adjoining areas.

Throughout the 6 days of this festival, the cities their cultural milieu. Pandals are set up in all the nooks and corner of city, wherever possible. The Deities are creatively crafted by the potters, out of clay and the life-size Deities of Durga along with her children are installed in the pandals. Community puja or Sarbojanin puja, take up the role of organizing the puja in their locality by housing Deities in pandals and make-shift temples. The five-day worship of the Goddess ends with a grand procession of immersing the Deity in the nearby river. This marks an emotional moment, as She leaves Her home to reunite with Shiva, marked by Vijayadashami. This indicates Durga's victory over the evil and in Northern part of the country, it is known as Dusherra which marks Rama's victory over the demon Ravana.

During the five-day celebration, devotees abstain from alcohol, meat, onions, and wheat. This is something similar to people observing fasts during the Navratras.The end of Navratri calls for an auspicious time for new business or considered lucky for any new work, following a number of rituals which leads to Shubho Bijoya.

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Lord Ganesha Figure Immersed in Pattaya Bay, Thailand
Posted on 2014/9/22 18:33:53 ( 548 reads )

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PATTAYA, THAILAND, September 12, 2014 (Pattaya Mail): Followers of the Hindu and Buddhist God Ganesha capped a 15-day festival with a ceremony lowering a statue of the "God of Success" into the sea at Bali Hai Pier. Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and Pattaya Ganesha Lovers Club President Chaiwat Detnathee led the faithful at a fire sacrifice and prayer ceremony Aug. 28 as part of the Ganesha Chaturthi celebration.

The centerpiece of the event was the ritual immersion of an eight-foot-tall Ganesha figure into the sea, symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in His journey towards His abode in Kailash while taking away with Him the misfortunes of His devotees.

The Aug. 15-30 festival -- the sixth year it has been held in Thailand -- is the country's largest celebration of its kind. The festival included a parade through Pattaya to display Ganesha's image so followers could pray for their own success and obstacles to be removed. Pattaya officials and club leaders then led followers in an evening candle-lighting ceremony.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/22 18:33:47 ( 543 reads )

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When the fundamentalists of any religion teach an unrelenting duality based on good and evil, man and nature or God and Devil, this creates friends and enemies. This belief is a sacrilege to Hindus, because they know that the attitudes which are the by-product are totally dualistic, and for good to triumph over that which is alien or evil, it must kill out that which is considered to be evil. The Hindu looks at nothing as intrinsically evil. To him the ground is sacred. The sky is sacred. The sun is sacred. His wife is a Goddess. Her husband is a God. Their children are devas. Their home is a shrine.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

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Government to Install Electric Crematorium at Haridwar
Posted on 2014/9/21 11:39:17 ( 620 reads )

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INDIA, September 17, 2014 (Daily Pioneer): In a bid to save the environment, the State Government is all set to install an electric crematorium at Haridwar. "Union Minister for Water Resource Uma Bharati has agreed that she would consider the proposal," said Chief Minister Harish Rawat while addressing the media after meeting Bharti at the Chief Minister's residence on Tuesday late evening.

Bharti said she had come here as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's emissary. She added that she is here to support the State in saving the Ganga river from pollution. "We know Uttarakhand is already enjoying a special category status, but the disaster in 2013 annihilated the State tourism, and thus the State has become more special for Prime Minister Modi," she said.

The CM said, "We have urged Bharti to review the Eco Sensitive Zone area because it has severely dented into our development. As Ganga river is directly associated with our lifeline and it flows from Uttarakhand we are pretty serious about its cleanliness. For this, we are giving emphasis on the sewerage system and we would focus on solid waste management at the same time. As we have limited resources we would need financial help from the Union Government for its execution. Besides, we would install electric crematorium at Haridwar.""

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The Police in San Luis Practice Yoga for Stress
Posted on 2014/9/21 11:39:11 ( 611 reads )

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SAN LUIS, ARGENTINA, September 8, 2014 (La Nacion): With support from the Ministry of Education of the province of San Luis, an Ayurvedic program, a system of traditional Indian medicine that balances mind and body, has begun. The police in the province of San Luis will have a rare opportunity to learn how to reduce stress levels in a program called "Ayurvedic Anti-Stress Program," a scientifically valid way to achieve balance between mind and body.

This program, which will be given at the Institute of Public Security, is intended for security officers who carry out their front-line duties in street services and law enforcement agencies, such as firefighters, police, radio command, traffic police and special units. The turnout is 50 per month, which will make a total of 200, and the total duration of the program shall be the final four months of 2014; with a provision that it will be continued with more participants in 2015.

According to the government of San Luis, since 1974 there have been over 600 scientific studies on this program at more than 250 universities and medical schools in 33 countries, which have shown many benefits among which are: faster recovery from post-traumatic stress, increase in short term memory and long-term increase in the rate of growth of intelligence, improvement in study and learning, less need for medical care, reducing hypertension, lowering cholesterol, free radicals, anxiety, insomnia and depression, marked stress reduction, deep relaxation, greater efficiency and productivity, effective rehabilitation of prisoners, reduced substance abuse, among many others.

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Calf in India Born with Third Eye Causes a Stir
Posted on 2014/9/21 11:39:05 ( 737 reads )

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CHENNAI, INDIA, September 17, 2014 (UPI): A calf born in India with a third eye in the middle of its forehead is being hailed as an incarnation of the Hindu God Siva. The owner of the animal, a Tamil Nadu state resident identified as Meghala, said the "miracle calf" born two weeks ago is an incarnation of Lord Siva sent to the village to bring good luck. Hindu children have been visiting the calf to touch its head for good luck and a blessing from Shiva.

Short video at "source" of a calf which indeed has a third eye in the middle of its forehead.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/21 11:38:58 ( 467 reads )

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You may develop a thousand virtues and be reckoned as the greatest in the land. But the lotus of your heart will not blossom until you receive the grace of the Guru, the grace of God!
-- Dada Sadhu Vaswani

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Preparations for Kate Festival Vietnam
Posted on 2014/9/20 16:41:21 ( 569 reads )

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VIETNAM, September 3, 2014 (Muinetourism). Kate Festival 2014 (commemorating the dead and honoring heroes) will officially take place from the 22nd to 23rd of October (in the beginning of the seventh month of the Cham calendar) at Po Sah Inu towers (Phan Thiet city) with many interesting traditional Hindu rituals and festivities.

In order to continue to introduce and promote cultural assets and traditional art of the Cham people and to participate in local tourism activities, ritual and festive parts of this festival are logically connected according to traditional rites, to show reverence, provide a cheerful atmosphere and solidarity between ethnic communities in Binh Thuan. the ritual program of Kate Festival will be strictly organized according to traditional custom, under the direction of Cham dignitaries from Ham Thuan Bac district.

As scheduled, rites will be officially started from 10:00 am on 22nd October. Afterwards, a ceremony to pray for peace will be performed by Bani and Balamon dignitaries at the Main Tower in the afternoon. Festive activities, such as a competition of arranging and decorating sacrifice to Po Sah Inu Goddess or traditional art performances with the participation of artists from Blue Ocean Theatre of Binh Thuan, will also be organized in this afternoon.

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Dharma Studies to Open in Berkeley
Posted on 2014/9/20 16:41:14 ( 554 reads )

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SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, May 14, 2014 (India Journal): The southern California-based Dharma Civilization Foundation (DCF) and the Berkeley-based Graduate Theological Union (GTU) have agreed to establish a Center for Dharma Studies within the GTU, as well as the first Graduate School of Hindu Dharma Studies in higher education. The first two courses in Dharma studies will be offered in the fall semester of 2014.

Initial course offerings will include a course on the classical sacred texts of Hinduism, with emphasis on commentaries of Adi Shankara, taught by Dr. Ann Berliner, Professor Emerita at Cal State Fresno; and a course on comparative Indian ethics taught by Dr. Purushottama Bilimoria, Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Studies at Deakin University, Australia and former Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley. In the near future are moves to enhance GTUs common M.A. and Ph.D. programs with Hindu and Dharma centered concentrations.

The Dharma Civilization Foundation, founded in Los Angeles two years ago, is an organization of academic, professional, and spiritual leaders from the Indian-American community aiming to establish the systematic study of Dharma, its interpretation and contemporary application, through the creation of academic and intellectual infrastructure in the U.S. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, founder of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in the U.S. and India initially recommended the GTU for a meaningful collaboration with DCF. He expressed the view that the GTU's uniqueness lies in its way of teaching - where each professor is also a practitioner of the religion.

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Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams to Effect Changes in Darshan Patterns
Posted on 2014/9/20 16:41:08 ( 528 reads )

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TIRUMALA, INDIA, September 17, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams is all set to effect changes in the darshan patterns during the nine-day annual Brahmotsavam slated between September 26 and October 4 at Tirumala. In view of the heavy influx of devotees expected to throng the Tirumala hill shrine during the festivities, the temple administration has already cancelled VIP break darshan and select arjitha sevas till the completion of the festival.

TTD JEO K.S. Srinivasa Raju, who inspected the ongoing arrangements here on Tuesday, told media persons that darshan for the aged, physically challenged and the parents of newborns would be cancelled during Brahmotsavam. The JEO added that current booking of US$5 special entry tickets would also be cancelled during the festival.

However, the temple administration would allow the devotees who booked their tickets in advance through the internet and e-Darshan quota for the darshan of Lord Venkateswara under the $5 special darshan. The temple administration also plans to restrict the number of tickets to be issued under the $.80 darshan system. Mr Srinivasa Raju appealed to all the devotees to turn up in traditional wear for the darshan of Lord Venkateswara as it has been made mandatory for select darshan systems.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/9/20 16:41:02 ( 437 reads )

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After death, the soul goes to the next world bearing in mind the subtle impressions of its deeds, and after reaping their harvest returns again to this world of action. Thus, he who has desires continues subject to rebirth.
-- Shukla Yajur Veda, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.6

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Dharma Civilization Foundation to Establish Chair in Hindu/Vedic Stauces at University of California Irvine
Posted on 2014/9/18 18:00:00 ( 758 reads )

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IRVINE, CALIFORNIA, September 9, 2014 (Dharma Civilization Foundation press release): The University of California offers a religious studies program through its School of Humanities. However, these programs currently do not offer a graduate degree in religious studies, and are confined to a Bachelor's Degree. The University of California Irvine (UCI), has expressed a commitment to establish a graduate degree program in religious studies, and is working towards developing the faculty necessary to teach at the Masters and Ph.D. levels.

This initiative was born primarily through the proactive interest of the UCI's School of Humanities, which came to Dharma Civilization Foundation with a proposal, where in one half of the financial commitment necessary to establish a fully endowed chair would come from the State of California, and the other half would be raised by the Dharma Civilization Foundation.

Thanks to a very generous gift by Drs. Irma and Ushakant Thakkar, DCF plans to establish the DCF-Thakkar Family chair in Hindu/Vedic Studies at the University of California. The program will create and facilitate the opportunity for the serious study of the Hindu/Vedic ethos that will emphasize serious scholarship in Indian history of religion, culture, philosophy, religion, and theology.

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Dam to Submerge Hindu Temples and Historical Structures
Posted on 2014/9/18 17:57:41 ( 796 reads )

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NALGONDA, TELAGANA, INDIA, September 2, 2014 (The Hindu): Villages under the Pulichintala project have many monuments that are likely to go under water. Even with 11 tmcft (one thousand million cubic feet) storage, four of 13 villages where a majority of temples are located would submerge.

Efforts for rehabilitating 6,775 displaced families from 13 villages in Nalgonda district (near Hyderabad), which are set to submerge under Pulichintala multipurpose project are on, but the translocation of over 100 temples including 21 historical monuments has been delayed by the State government.

The officials in the Endowment and Archaeology Departments said that they had prepared detail project reports by estimating cost for shifting over 100 religious structures close to Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) centres, but the funds were not yet granted. The storage capacity of the multipurpose irrigation project is 45.77 tmcft, but the irrigation authorities would store only a little over 11 tmcft for this year, which would be increased to the total capacity of the project in next three years gradually.

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Police Close Case of Ganesha Found in Newington Pond
Posted on 2014/9/18 17:57:35 ( 519 reads )

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NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT, September 11, 2014 (Courant): A town employee made an unusual discovery at Mill Pond Park Thursday morning: In the pond was an ornate figure with an elephant's head, a man's body and four arms.

The employee fished the large, colorful statue from the water and brought it to the police department, Sgt. Christopher Perry said. Officers quickly ascertained that the half-man, half-pachyderm was a likeness of the Hindu God Ganesha. Thinking the statue might have been lost or stolen, police posted a picture of it on their Facebook page and asked anyone with information to contact them.

By day's end, the mystery had been solved. A lawyer for a Hindu group that had a party in the park called to say his clients had intentionally left the statue in the water, Perry said. Such observances are part of the Hindu festival honoring Ganesha, traditionally held this time of year. The figure is designed to dissolve in water, and the group had permission from the parks and recreation department to dispose of it in the pond, Perry said. "Case closed," he said.

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