Volume- IV; Combo Issue-6,7
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ChaturVeda Havanam concludes with Purnahuti
Source: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/chaturveda-havanam-concludes-with-purnahuti/17041760-114.html TIRUMALA: The six-day Chaturveda Havanam organised by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) concluded on a religious note with the Purnahuti here on Monday. Speaking on the occasion, TTD executive officer LV Subramanyam said as part of the programme, Havanam was performed as per rituals. Vedas term the Havanam as the most sacred one of all homams as hymns from all the four vedas- Rig, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva- are recited on a single altar for the well being of humanity, seeking a transparent and able pro-public administration,â€˜â€˜ he explained. The TTD is planning to organise the Havanam in various places, he added. Dharmagiri Veda Pathashala principal KVSS Avadhani said organising the Havanal at TTD carries a special importance as Lord Venkateswara is known as Veda Purusha, the prime deity among the trinity to accept the Yaga Phalam (the benefits of Homam). With the performance of the ritual, people will be blessed with prosperity by Mukkoti Devathas (Three crore deities), he said.
Palm leaf manuscripts unearthed in Puducherry PTI | 01:07 PM,Jul 04,2011 Source:http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/palm-leaf-manuscripts-unearthed-inpuducherry/747247.html Puducherry, Jul 4 (PTI): A bundle of palm leaf manuscripts was discovered during the leveling of a site belonging to a temple in New Saram area here. The battered manuscripts, some of which contain clear inscriptions, were found yesterday at a depth of just one and a half feet at the site, which belongs to the Sri Porayaathamman temple, a trustee of the temple told reporters. V Ranjitham, the trustee, said the manuscripts were found near the temple, where renovation is underway. She said they did not know what the manuscripts related to, but would hand over the recovery to the authorities concerned. Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department sources said they were unaware about the recovery but would hand over the manuscripts to the French Institute of Pondicherry, which specialises in Indology.
Shanti Nepal Party calls for Hindu kingdom Source:http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Shanti+Nepal+Party+call s+for+Hindu+Kingdom+&NewsID=297421 KATHMANDU: The Shanti Nepal Party has called for declaring the country a Vedic Hindu Kingdom. Speaking in a press conference held at the party office on Friday, coordinator of the party, Devi Prasad Acharya said the party will stage sit-in in-front of the Constitution Assembly (CA) tomorrow with a demand for issuing a Vedic Hindu Secular Kingdom's constitution. The party will also submit a memorandum to the President, the Prime Minister and the CA Chairman the same day. He further said "the party will move for thoughtful and peaceful movement onward if their demands are not addressed." He also blamed that political leaders and members of CA are not serious towards constitution drafting and peace process.
India To Renovate Temple In Myanmar Source HPI MYANMAR, June 21, 2011 (Sify): In a major boost to its cultural and historic ties with Myanmar, India Tuesday agreed to renovate and restore a 12th century temple in the ancient city of Bagan in Myanmar's Mandalay region. Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna made the offer to the three-month-old Myanmarese civilian government. The Ananda Pahto, which dominates Bagan's skyline with a 167 foot temple tower, is one of the oldest of temples in Myanmar. Bagan is about 125 miles away from Myanmar's second largest city, Mandalay. Ananda Pahto, along with the mighty mid-12th century temple Thatbyinnyu Pahto, dwarf all other modern constructions in Bagan including the archaeological museum there.
Tiruvannamalai's Massive Sri Rudram Ritual Source HPI TIRUVANNMALAI, INDIA, June 19, 2011: In a rare ritual, 121 Brahmins recited "Sri Rudram," a prime section of the Yajur Veda, 11 times a day over 11 consecutive days, concurrently with 'yagna' (fire worship) and chanting of all four ancient Vedas. Tiruvannamalai is regarded as especially auspicious for this event, because in the seventh section of the "Sri Rudram" which consists of 13 sections, the phrase "Arunachalaya cha" occurs, referring to none other than Mount Arunachala (2,800 feet), the sacred hill that towers over the town and from which Tiruvannamalai gets its name. 'Annamalai' is another name for 'Arunachala' and 'Tiru' signifies auspiciousness. Undertaking such a ritual is also a challenging logistical exercise, from the determination of auspicious dates for the event, engaging the large number of priests, providing for their accommodation, food and transportation, as well as marshaling the plethora of items that are utilized in the worship. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From left:: Shri Arish Sahani, Mahamanleshwar Swamy Harishchander Puri, Shri Stephen Knapp, Prof. Indarjit Saluja, Muni Acharya Lokesh ji, Dr. Subramanian Swamy, Sri Kamal Kumar Swamy, Shri Ramesh Kalicharan and Narain Kataria Source: http://www.hinduunityday.org/Hindu_Unity_Day/July_10th_Event.html
Sadhu Dies After a 73-day Fast to Save Ganga Source- HPI NEW DELHI, June 15, 2011 (IBN - CNN): It's the season of hunger strikes and fasts unto death. Far from the spotlight though in the same hospital ICU as the better known Baba Ramdev, Swami Nigamanand has passed away. Swami had been fasting for two and a half months over illegal mining, looking to save the Ganga, While sadhus cajoled Ramdev, politicians pleaded with him, ministers briefed him and finally, on the ninth day of his fast unto death, he relented with a sip of fruit juice, Swami Nigamanand had a different fate. He died an unsung death on Tuesday morning. "He was on a hunger-strike for 68 days at his ashram. The reason for his hunger-strike was saving the Ganges and stop mining in the Ganga," said Pratap Shah, ADM, Rishikesh. Swami Nigamanand of the Matra Sadan in Haridwar was fighting a lone battle against stone crushers and illegal mining on the river bank. No one paid heed - the miners and crushers got a stay from the high court and mining continued unabated. A month into the fast, Nigamanand's condition deteriorated. He slipped into a coma and ironically shared the same ICU with Ramdev, who had been fasting for only nine days. When Nigamanand's body was taken from the hospital mortuary on Tuesday morning, there were no ministers, no politicians and hardly any sadhus to accompany him in his final journey.
Over 213,000 Pilgrims Registered for Amarnath Yatra Source- HPI JAMMU, INDIA, June 6, 2011 (Times of India): As many as 213,000 pilgrims have registered themselves for the annual pilgrimage to the 13,500-feet-high cave shrine of Amarnath in the Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir. The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) began the registration process on May 10 for the yatra which will commence on June 29 and culminate on August 13. "The registration counters have been set up at 121 designated branches of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank, 24 of the YES Bank and four of the District Cooperative Banks," said a SASB spokesman. There has been no increase in the fee of Rs. 15 (US$0.33) for registration.
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Arsha Vidya Satsanga celebrates Gurupoornima Source:http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-07-30/artculture/29832509_1_guru-poornima-puja-ritual Vivek Shankar Natarajan Jul 30, 2011, 04.19pm IST Houston: One of the most exalted sages in the Vedic tradition is the sage Veda Vyasa. His birthday is celebrated as Guru Poornima. It is a very auspicious day to offer one's salutations to Guru Parampara (lineage). It also heralds a seasonal change from the sunny summer to rainy season. Orthodox saints observe Chaturmasya, a disciplinary practice of staying at one place for a period of four months. This period is used for contemplation on the vedic texts and conducting classes. The citizens of the place deem it a honor to host such saints at their place. In keeping with such a noble practice, the Arsha Vidya Satsanga celebrated the Guru Poornima in Sugarland, TX.
Arsha Vidya Satsanga celebrates Gurupoornima
Pilgrims carry Chari Mubarak to Amarnath shrine Srinagar , Sat, 30 Jul 2011 ANI Source: http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/232907 Srinagar, July 30 (ANI): Pilgrims bound for the holy Amarnath cave shrine in Kashmir performed a traditional ritual of carrying 'Charri Mubarak' (the holy mace of Lord Shiva) from here on Saturday. Charri Mubarak is the final ritual performed before the conclusion of annual Amarnath Yatra. Mahant Deependra Giri, the head priest of the Shankaracharya Temple, performed the rituals amidst the chanting of Vedic hymns. "Today is amavasya (the new moon) of the Shravan month and according to ritual, 'Charri Mubarak' was brought to this very old and historical shankracharya temple, where group prayers were offered in presence of all priests and pilgrims," said Giri. Giri further said he was very happy with peaceful environment and would pray that the atmosphere remains the same in the near future as well. "It looks very beautiful that after so many years, a happy atmosphere can be seen. I feel there are two main reasons behind this. Firstly, swami Amarnath himself wanted to stay in a sacred cave in the form of ice stalagmite for a whole month and around six lakhs of devotees have returned to their homes after seeking divine blessings. Second reason, which I feel is that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had a resolution that this year they would maintain peace in the valley at any cost," he added. The annual pilgrimage that started in June will come to an end on the Raksha Bandhan, a traditional festival, in the third week of August, when the main rituals will be held inside the cave shrine. During the two-month-long annual pilgrimage, devout Hindus either walk, or proceed astride on ponies, or in palanquins, to the cave shrine to pray at the ice stalagmite that forms every year, and is thought to represent Hindu God Shiva. After this, the rituals at Amarnath, the 'Chhari Mubarak' will be brought back to the Shanakracharya Temple where it will remain till the pilgrimage next year. (ANI)
Cows to be decorated at Beatle-donated Temple in England Source:http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1107/S00417/cows-to-be-decorated-at-beatledonated-temple-in-england.htm Wednesday, 20 July 2011, Cows to be decorated on Janmashtami at Beatle Harrison-donated Temple in England Beatle George Harrison-donated Bhaktivedanta Manor Temple in England will reportedly dress a herd of Jersey cows in multi-colored decorations to celebrate Lord Krishna‘s birthday Janmashtami on August 21-22.Participating children‘s faces will be painted blue like Lord Krishna by volunteers to help them get into the festive spirit, reports suggest. Claimed to be largest festival of its kind outside India, it hopes to attract over 70,000 pilgrims. ―You will get to experience a glimpse into the mystic East, with a magnificent shrine, colourful costumes, enchanting music, beautiful exhibitions, meditation and exotic food set in a picturesque setting‖, organizers claim. It will include dramas, cultural dances, and musical ―extravaganzas‖ on the main stage, besides a dedicated children‘s tent and illuminated displays of Krishna‘s pastimes. Pilgrims will be served with free prasadam (sacred vegetarian food). George Harrison is said to have once chanted ―Hare Krishna‖ mantra for 17 hours non-stop on a car journey from France to Portugal. In 1970, George produced the Radha Krishna Temple album with the devotees, a track from which featured in the top ten record sales in that year. Just before Srila Prabhupada, founder of Hare Krishnas, died in 1977, he is said to have removed the ring on his right hand and said to the disciples around him, ―This is for George, give it to him.‖ Harrison donated the Manor building and estate in 1973. This Hindu temple, one of ISKCON‘s (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) most prestigious, is located in Aldenham near Watford in borough of Hertsmere and county of Hertfordshire in East of England (United Kingdom). Besides a temple, it also runs a College of Vedic Studies, primary school, and pre-school. It has organized a farm based on ―traditional principles‖ and runs a Goshala with reportedly 46 cows and oxen basing on ―symbiotic relationship between men and cows‖ and has recently completed its ‗New Gokul‘ complex, claimed to be Europe‘s largest cow protection project. It provides comprehensive wedding services with vegetarian meals and Sanskrit shlokas, and calls it a ―transcendental religious experience‖. Its daily activities start with Mangal Arati (singing of prayers) at 4-30 am, and include circumambulations around Tulsi (holy basil) plant, with temple closing at 930 pm after Shayan Arati. Manor claims itself ―a God-centred community which gives refuge to people from all walks of life‖ and a rural retreat which ―serves as a window to Vrindavan, Lord Krishna´s eternal home‖.
KSD Sanskrit varsity tops funds list Source:http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011076/patna/29815837_1_universities-students-annum B K Mishra, TNN Jul 26, 2011, 04.57am IST PATNA: Sounds incredible, yet it is a fact that in Bihar, the per capita expenditure on students is maximum in Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University. The university spends a sum of nearly Rs 1 lakh on each student per annum. If the government statistics are to be believed, of all the 10 universities in the state, KSD Sanskrit University gets the maximum grants from the state government in relation to its students' strength. Veer Kunwar Singh University, on the other hand, spends the least on students. The per capita expenditure on students in this university is just Rs 16,432. The total strength of students in all the universities taken together is 3.38 lakh and this figure is almost constant for the last five years. The state government spent Rs 1,040 crore on the universities during 2010-11. The average expenditure per student in the universities is Rs 30,764. In Patna University, the per capita expenditure on students comes to Rs 46,128, while in Magadh University, it is Rs 38,913. The figures for BRA Bihar University and Jayaprakash University are Rs 33,196 and Rs 17,442, respectively. Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University spends Rs 33,553 on each student while B N Mandal University, Madhepura, spends only Rs 29,462 per student. In L N Mithila University, the per capita expenditure on students is Rs 28,658 per annum. State higher education director Sitaram Singh said that even as there has been a quantum jump in the quantum of grants sanctioned to the universities during the last five years (it has increased by 40 percent during the period), there has been little improvement in the quality of education. Students of different universities are not getting the desired facilities and quality education in their institutions. The government is keen on providing the basic amenities for students in all the institutions and balancing the teacher-taught ratio, he added.
Tarun Vijay campaigns to save Preah Vihear Shiva Temple on CambodiaThai Border-- meets Cambodian Dy Prime Minister 17th June 2011- Mr Tarun Vijay, Member of Parliament and member parliamentary Standing Committee on External affairs, India met the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister In charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers, considered as the the most powerful minister after the Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia in his bid to ensure that the thousand year old Shiva Temple on the Thai-Cambodian border remains protected and safe. he visited the temple, presently considered to be in an active war zone , Preah Vihear( pronounced Prah Vihiye) and became the first Indian Member of Parliament to climb a steel mountain trek and offer worship at the sanctum sanctorum with a special armed force standing in guard. Tarun Vijay said that the world heritage site must be preserved at any cost. It was built between 9th and 12th centuries as a dream work of a great Shiva devotee king Jayavarman IInd. The Temple, originally known as Shikhareshwar Temple is situated on a mesmerizingly picturesque mountain just on Thai- Cambodian border and though International court of Justice has given a verdict in favor of Cambodia and recently UNESCO declared it as a world heritage, Thai authorities are claiming it and there have been a number of incidents involving heavy shelling by the Thai army causing serious damage to many of the Gupurams of the temple. Both the armies, thai and Cambodian have massed heavy artillery on both sides of the temple and it remains closed for the tourists for the last three years. Tarun Vijay said that world's culturally conscious citizens must raise their voice to protect the temple which is a shining example of ancient architecture and a highly revered place of worship for Hindus and Buddhists . The Deputy prime Minister of Cambodia Mr sok An gave details of the historic Hindu back ground of the temple and urged Mr Tarun Vijay to raise the issue on the global fora for generating public opinion in favor of protecting the temple, safeguarding the passage for tourists and pilgrims to the temple site and declaring the temple hill as the peace zone. Mr Tarun Vijay assured the dy Prime Minister of all his help and said that he will give a report based on his first hand experience to his party president Mr Nitin Gadkari and also to the Prime Minister and the Minister of External Affairs. He said that the temple must remain a peace zone and regional countries specially India has a special responsibility to ensure that under no circumstances the temple is damaged. we must use our good offices to talk to the Thai government also, he said and added that from Phnom Penh he will be flying to Bangkok tomorrow to meet the senior Buddhist leaders to request them to help resolve the issue.
Hon'ble Tarun Vijay, senior Member of Parliament, Upper House, India and Member Parliamentary Foregn Affairs Standing Committee; created a history by becoming first MP from India to visit Preah Vihear Temple and offer worship to Lord Shiva on 15th June 2011. He said it was his dream to visit the world heritage site and do his bit to create public opinion for the safety and preservation of this thousand year old temple which is a pride for this world. He was greeted by the Governor of Preah Vihear H.E. Oum Mara and senior officials of APSARA authority including its Director General, who briefed Shri Tarun Vijay about the real sitation and also the decision of ICJ. Prof S. Sahai, a senior scholar and world renowned researcher who has done extensive work on Preah Vihear temple accompanied Shri Tarun Vijay and gave him all the background material on the temple.Shri Tarun Vijay took hundreds of pictures of the Temple including the ones showing damage to the ancient world heritage site by Thai shelling. He lamented that such a world heritage should become a controversial issue and said that this site needs world attention and a collective will of all the civil citizens of this planet to preserve and safeguard world's most valuable heritage. He assured that this issue will be taken up with Thai authorities also and he will inform Indian palriament about his visit and his experiences in Cambodia. He said- maintain peace, preserve Preah Vihear, for regional stability and progress.
US Military's First Hindu Chaplain Source- HPI WASHINGTON, U.S., June 2, 2011 (Stripes.com): As a child in New Delhi and other cities of India's northern Plains, Pratima Dharm moved easily through a kaleidoscopic swirl of religions and cultures. "My close friends in school represented all the different faith groups, and it never occurred to me then that we were different or there was anything strange about it." She feels the same decades later. The U.S. Army, where she holds the rank of captain, and the United States itself, where she immigrated just months before the 9/11 attacks, were founded on the idea that people can be united while worshipping differently, she said. Dharm, 40, has been named the first Hindu chaplain to serve the Department of Defense. Hinduism, with nearly a billion adherents worldwide -- but fewer than 1,000 active service members, according to Pentagon statistics -- was the largest of the world faiths not represented by a chaplain. Dharm, a chaplain on the medical staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, has started getting emails from Hindu service members around the world. "I'm already on the job," she said. "There's this tremendous sense of hope and relief that there is someone who understands their story at a deeper level, coming from the background I do." She's now sponsored by Chinmaya Mission West, a Hindu religious organization that operates in the United States. The Air Force officer who led the Pentagon action group that established Chinmaya West as a chaplain endorsing agency said Dharm's story is testimony to American pluralism and democracy. "I get emotional when I talk about it," said Lt. Col. Ravi Chaudhary, a cargo plane pilot and acquisitions officer. "When you consider Pentagon bureaucracy ... when people here saw that in a fundamental way this is an expression of American values, people moved so quickly to accomplish this."
4-year-old Sanskrit learner impresses many Pardeep Rai, TNN Jun 19, 2011, 02.58am IST Source:http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-06-19/india/29676755_1_sanskritlanguage-child AMBALA: At an age when most kids learn English nursery rhymes, Chinmay, 4, reads Sanskrit, recites Shalokas and even talks to his family members in Sanskrit. The boy is a kindergarten student. Chinmay is now popular in seminars and workshops organized to promote the Sansktrit language. "Though fluent in English, Sanskrit continues to be the boy's first language," claimed the boy's father Neeraj Shastri, teacher in a government school. "I studied the research papers of scholars who worked to promote languages such as Hindi and Sanskrit. The scholars stated that a child can learn five languages up to the age of six. I decided to test this theory on my child, and it worked," Shastri said. "I and my wife began conversing in Sanskrit and slowly the child learnt the language," he said. Chinmay has recently returned from Kaithal after attending a convention of Sanskrit scholar of the region. Scholars in Haryana are considering Chinmay as the first Sanskrit speaking child of the state. "We were searching for such a child," Haridev Sastri, a Sanskrit scholar of Kurukshetra said. Bali Kicks Off Month-Long Hindu Art Festival Source :http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/06/11/bali-kicks-month-long-artfestival.html JARKATA, INDONESIA, June 11, 2011 (The Jakarta Post): President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday night officially opened the month-long 33rd Bali Art Festival, a much awaited event staging hundreds of art and culture performances.This year's festival is held simultaneously with the Bali World Cultural Forum and the National Competition of Utsawa Dharma Gita (chanting of Hindu hymns).A large musical production of Bhisma Dewabharata, an episode from the famous Hindu epic Mahabharata, was the highlight of the opening ceremony at the Ardha Candra open stage at the Art Center in Denpasar. There are an estimated 15,000 Balinese artists, grouped in 334 sekaa (traditional art group) participating at the festival, which will feature hundreds of art performances -- including dance, theater, music and art exhibitions -- at the Art Center until July 9.
In Palermo, Mauritian Hindus Create a Temple That is a Hit Source- HPI PALERMO ITALY,, May 26, 2011: The former garage space on Imperatore Federico street, which was converted into a place of worship by the Hindus in Palermo, is suffering the stress of success. Too many people are coming to worship! So Viky Sahy, after searching in vain for a rental space, has decided to set up a temple for the Mauritian community in his own home in the heart of the Ballaro district of Palermo. "In the garage temple we used for so many years," says 43 year old Viky, "there were too many communities competing for time for prayer. Apart from us Mauritians, the Shiv Shakti temple is used by Sri Lankans and Bengali Hindus." His new temple will not only be used as a place of worship. "We also have meetings for kids," Viky said, "to keep alive our culture and our traditions, especially our children who are born and grow up here." For the future, the idea is to create a religious association that brings together all the Mauritian Hindus who began to immigrate into Palermo in the eighties and now numbers about a thousand people.
How a Hindu Temple Challenges The Senses Source:http://www.wa.de/nachrichten/hamm/stadt-hamm/hindu-tempel-festherausforderung-sinne-1282874.html HAMM, GERMANY, June 14, 2011 (Wa.De): The annual Hamm Hindu temple festival was once again characterized by a variety of colors, smells and music - a thrill for the senses. The procession on Sunday was attended by about 18,000 visitors. Devotees from France, the Netherlands, England and Norway were spotted arriving to honor the Goddess Sri Kamadchi Ampal. This year a huge contingent of police and security forces of the Public Services Office was present to provide security, traffic and crowd control. Loud music in the festival marketplace was also prohibited so that emergency announcements could be heard, according to Ulrich Kroker from the temple committee. The celebration went smoothly, police said. The marketplace in front of the temple held booths for Tamil food, arts and crafts and saris. Hundreds of people followed the procession headed by Kavadi dancers and Naathaswaran music, played by drummers and trumpeters. They were followed by the big temple chariot, on which sat the Goddess murthi accompanied by priest Arumugam Paskaran.
Hinduism Conference in Durga Mandir highlights Hindu issues and unique solutions Source:http://www.washingtonbanglaradio.com/content/62812411-hinduism-conferencedurga-mandir-highlights-hindu-issues-and-unique-solutions Virginia, USA, June 19, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) A Hinduism Summit held on 18 June 2011 by Forum for HinduAwakening (FHA) and Durga Mandir of Virginia brought to attention the issues faced by Hindus in America and provided unique, practical solutions to the Hindu community. Ms. Maya Jairam, a native of Fort Collins, Colorado, opened the presentations with a firsthand account of growing up in America and embracing Hindu spirituality. Coming from a nonreligious childhood and being used to a nonvegetarian diet, she found the answers to her spiritual quest in Hinduism‘s spiritual science and the vegetarian, Hindu way of life. Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, a Hindu activist who had come from Chennai, India, brought to light the inaccurate and negative depiction of Hinduism in school textbooks and higher academia. Dr. Kalyanaraman called for united protests, as they have been effective in stopping such misrepresentation. He also proposed erecting a museum as a reminder of the contributions of the Hindu community in America, to gain a voice for Hindus in America. Mrs. Shilpa Kudtarkar of Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) shared the importance of spiritualpractice and healing measures to successfully overcome the issues faced by the Hindu community, as she explained how these issues have an underlying spiritualcomponent. SSRF‘s research on dowsing and biofeedbackmachines showed the positive or negative vibrations emitted by people, power of prayers and healing ability of Saints‘ handwriting. Bhavna Shinde Hurley (interview), Hinduism Education Coordinator of Durga Mandir and Spokesperson of FHA, drew attention to various issues facing Hindus that are not commonly known, such as Hindu youth increasingly converting out of Hinduism, and trivialization of Hindu Deities in American entertainment, art and advertizing industries. Bhavna shared that Hinduism education emphasizing the unique science of Hinduism is naturally attracting the scientific minded youth of today. For example, the red dot (vermillion mark) on the forehead increases concentration while the Agnihotra sacrificial fire can neutralize nuclear radiation. Appreciating the varied causes that Hindu organizations are looking after, she appealed to everyone to come together whenever the Hindu community faces some issue, be it misrepresentation of Hinduism, conversion or denigration. The Hinduism Summit commenced and concluded in the tradition of Hinduism, with auspicious conch blowing, lighting of the wick lamp and Vedic recitations. The speakers and Mr. Sant Gupta, former President of Durga Mandir, were honored for their selfless service to the cause of Hinduism. Dr. S. Kalyanaraman was awarded the Vishwa Hindu Ratna for his research on the roots of Hindu (Sarasvati) civilization and efforts to stop the destruction of Rama Sethu (bridge built by Lord Rama‘s monkey army between India and Srilanka.) The Hinduism Summit received a positive response, as several attendees expressed interest in learning about Hinduism‘s spiritual science and imparting it to their children, and in working together on issues faced by Hindus in America.
Mastery of Sacred Temple Building Is Alive, and in Expert Hands Source- HPI INDIA, June 2, 2011 (The Hindu): "There is actually no difference between a temple and a house in terms of vaasthu," begins R. Selvanathan, Chief Executive Sthapati, Sri Vaidyanatha Sthapati Associates and Panchami Associates. The architect of many well-known temples in India and abroad, Selvanathan is the nephew of veteran V. Ganapathy Sthapati, with whom he worked for over 20 years, after graduating in temple architecture. Selvanathan's heart lies in restoring ancient temples on the verge of collapse. "These temples represent our heritage, a testimony to the expertise of our ancestors. Besides, they are reference points. It is fine to build a new temple but in Tamil Nadu, a place of over 40,000 temples, resurrecting and renovating old ones would be more appropriate," says the master craftsman. It is the Palani Baladandayuthapani idol of which the sthapati makes special mention in the context of restoration. Made of navapashanam, a concoction of nine herbs by siddhars, the statue was coming apart due to erosion and handling. "What with the controversy surrounding it, I was all nerves when I started on the project," recalls Selvanathan. He stayed at the temple with his team of architects and they succeeded in repairing the damage done. "It was an unforgettable experience, as though a divine hand guided us through the work," he observes. "Prasadam Purusham matva poojayet mantra vittamaha" quotes Selvanathan from "Sirpa Rathnam" and explains the meaning: The temple is a form of God; hence mantras are to be chanted for the temple that is considered as a living organism. "Manena nirmite bimbhe swayam aabhati daivatam": Divinity is automatically revealed in the chiseled form that is based on shastrical measurement. "The norms laid down in the Agama have to be faithfully followed," he affirms. "The energy in space converges inside the sanctum sanctorum with the gopuram and the kalasam acting as the medium. Location and direction are vital factors here. There are thousands of ancient temples waiting to be resurrected, saved and maintained. Let's protect them, our heritage," concludes Selvanathan, who has been showered with awards and titles here and abroad. The sthapati has come across many people during his career, remarkable among them being the late Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami of Hawaii, publisher of Hinduism Today. "An American-born Hindu, who loved India, he studied Hinduism and became a guru. He envisaged Iraivan Temple, a massive temple of granite in Hawaii, with a five-tonne panchalokha avudaiyar and a crystal Sivalinga." The mantle has fallen on his disciple, Satguru Bodinatha Veylanswami.
More Watch Towers, Electronic Surveillance at Somnath Temple Source- HPI RAJKOT, INDIA, May 29, 2011 (Times of India): The Somnath temple on the Saurashtra coast will be brought under electronic surveillance and more watch towers will be added to the already existing one. This comes after a terror alert and admission of David Colemen Headley during his testimony before a Chicago court that the temple was on Lashkar-eToiba's terrorist radar. "We have reviewed the security at the temple in Junagadh district and for the last one year we have taken adequate measures to make security foolproof so as to prevent any possible terror attack. Moreover, police are always on alert," said Praveen Sinha, inspector general of police.
Murals At Puddukottai Temple In Bad Condition Source- HPI PUDUKOTTAI, INDIA, May 29, 2011 (The Hindu): The temple dedicated to Sri Athmanathaswamy in Avudaiyarkovil, about 31 miles from here, is not only an engineering marvel, but also a treasure house of murals of an ancient period. Although the rituals are being performed as they were in ancient times, the murals are in a bad condition. Deposits of soot, smoke, and humidity during the monsoon, have caused extensive damage to a number of murals -- a condition that plagues the art of many temples in the region. Every mural depicts a specific legend from Tiruvilaiyadalpuranam, Periyapuranam and also the 'murthy sthlam and theertham' of 1,008 Siva shrines across the country, says Balasubramania Nambiar, chief priest of the temple. With the temple associated with the life of Sri Manickavasagar, the significance of the murals pertains to his life. The ancient rulers had not only decorated the walls and ceilings of the temple with these murals, but also had documented them.
Dress Code Must At Somnath Temple Source- HPI AHMEDABAD, INDIA, June 14, 2011 (Times of India): Next time you enter the Somnath temple, ensure that you have removed your belt and are not in "improper or disrespectful" dress. The Shree Somnath Trust has recently imposed a dress code banning short skirts and shorts. A board at the security counter reads, "Not allowed inside the temple improper disrespectful dress". This board has been put up recently about 200 metres from the main temple. A guard posted there said, "Earlier, too, there were instructions but the code was not followed strictly. Now we will not allow indecent clothing." He said with the tourism department having made the nearby beach a tourist spot, visitors in a large number came wearing short pants. A member of the trust said that other temples too follow strict dress codes and even jeans are banned for women, but at Somnath, the trust had -- until now -permitted it. He said they were not so strict when it came to dress code for women. "Children in bermudas are allowed." However, the tourists are not bothered about the dress code.
Matara Hindu Fest Held After 21 Years in Sri Lanka Source:http://www.sundaytimes.lk/index.php/latest/8228-hindu-fest-in-matara-held-after21-years SRI LANKA, June, 17, 2011 (Sunday Times): The Sri Lanka Kumbabisheka Hindu Festival, that involves devotees mainly from the northern peninsula, was held today at the Kataragama Kovil in Matara after a lapse of some 21 years. The festival that had earlier attracted many thousands of devotees on their way to the southern sacred city of Kataragama was put on hold for the past two decades during the civil ward.. Most of the devotees make their first stop at the Kovil in Matara before heading for Kataragama.
TVs for Madurai Meenakshi Temple Source- HPI MADURAI, INDIA, June 28, 2011 (hindu.com): For the devotees standing in the winding queues for darshan at the Meenaksi Sundareswarar Temple here, the temple authorities are installing a total of ten 32-inch LCD televisions for their benefit. The devotees will be able to see pictures of the presiding Deity, festival schedules and puja time while they are moving in the lines, official sources said. While one of the 10 TVs had been installed opposite the 'Unchal Mandapam' and was already in operation, the rest will be installed in another 10 days. More TV sets could come up later based on devotees' response.
Lakhs Witness Deities' Bathing Ritual In Puri Source- HPI BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, June 15, 2011 (mangalorean.com): Over 200,000 devotees from various parts of the country converged in Orissa's temple town of Puri Wednesday and witnessed the bathing ritual of three Deities that precedes the famous chariot festival or Rath Yatra, an official said. The Deities -- Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra -- were taken out of the sanctum sanctorum of the 12th century Jagannath temple in a ceremonial procession to the snana mandap - a bathing platform inside the temple complex. As part of the ritual, the deities were bathed with 108 pitchers of aromatic water drawn out from a temple well known as the golden well. The Rath Yatra is the grand culmination of a series of celebrations involving the deities. This year, the festival will be held July 3-11. The festival marks the annual journey of the three Deities from the Jagannath temple, 56 km from here, in three separate decorated wooden chariots to another temple about two km away. The Gods return to their abode in the same splendidly decorated chariots which thousands of devotees pull with the help of ropes.
A Historical Moment at Kashi Vishwanath Temple Source- HPI VARANASI, INDIA, June 19, 2011 (The Times of India): A group of dalit women will go to historic Kashi Vishwanath Temple to offer prayers and later share a meal with brahmins on Monday.Around 200 untouchable women from Alwar and Tonk districts of Rajasthan, who were once engaged in cleaning toilets, will make a visit to the famous temple of Lord Shiva under the leadership of Bindeshwar Pathak, the founder of Sulabh Movement. The Sulabh Movement aims at restoring human rights and dignity to low caste people, ensuring their social integration and poverty alleviation on the one hand, and the prevention of environmental pollution and promotion of sanitation, health and hygiene on the other.
American Tourists On 'Conversion Drive' Asked to Leave Source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/American-tourists-on-conversion-drive-
asked-to-leave/articleshow/8850411.cms KOCHI, INDIA, June 14, 2011: Three US women tourists were asked to leave the country following complaints that they along with the local pastors were trying to convert "poor families" to Christianity in the coastal area of Alappuzha district in Kerala. However, the state police said that the three tourists were asked to quit because they had violated the tourist visa rules by attending organized group activities and meetings. The Circle Inspector of Police J. Santhoshkumar who is investigating the case told the TOI that the three women - Shelly Louise Deeds (50), her daughter Katelyn Heather Deeds (15) and Diane Gean Harrington, had arrived here about 15 days ago, and their tourist visas were valid till November this year. Activists of Hindu organisations complained to the police that the three were trying to convert the poor people by offering them material inducements. They claimed the local pastors and foreigners were trying to influence the local people through recent Christian converts. And that the women had visited several houses in the area and conducted prayer sessions.
India Aims $1 Billion At Sacred But Ailing Ganges Source- HPI NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 14, 2011 (The NY Times): Indian officials signed an agreement with the World Bank to use a $1 billion loan to finance the first major new effort in more than 20 years to cleanse the revered Ganges, one of the world's dirtiest rivers. One-third of India's 1.2 billion people live along the banks of the 1,560-mile-long river, many of them relying on it for drinking, cooking and washing. Millions more visit for ritual baths to cleanse themselves of sin. But untreated sewage, agricultural runoff and industrial waste have fouled its waters for decades, and hydroelectric projects and dams threaten to choke off its waters in spots. Recently, a religious leader on a hunger strike over the effect of illegal mining on the state of the river, Swami Nigamanand, died after spending weeks in a coma. The long-awaited loan is part of a government project that aims to halt the discharge of untreated wastewater into the river by 2020. The project, founded in 2009, replaced the 1986 Ganga Action Plan, the last large-scale attempt to address the pollution. That initiative was able to introduce waste water treatment in certain areas, it failed to halt raw waste disposal into the Ganges. Critics said it was inadequately financed and poorly managed.
Quarrying Ruins Hampi Temples Source- HPI HAMPI, INDIA, June 16, 2011 (The Pune Mirror): Some of the most impressive structures at the world heritage site at Hampi are in various stages of collapse following unchecked quarrying of granite in the vicinity. On Sunday, a portion of the famous Varaha temple came crashing down. Regular dynamiting of rocks in the periphery of the Vijayanagar ruins had seriously weakened the structure, and it just took a heavy downpour to do the rest. The Archaeological Survey of India was conducting restoration work at the Varaha temple complex when the temple wall crumbled. "Granite quarrying is rampant in Bukkasagara, Venkatapura and Gudalkere villages which are situated very near to these monuments. In May, when the famous Akka Thangi (Sister Stone) collapsed, tourism minister G. Janardhana Reddy visited the site and stated that "quarrying in a six-kilometer radius of Hampi will be banned." But no action has been taken so far by tourism department officials and the district administration.
Parched Temple Tanks to Be Revived Source- HPI CHENNAI, INDIA, June 17, 2011 (Times of India): The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board plans to introduce rain water harvesting methods in all the temple tanks in the state. Hydrologists say temple tanks are an excellent source of water conservation that also pushes up the groundwater table. Examples of this are the tanks of the Mylapore Kapaleeswarar temple and the Tiruvanmiyur Marundeeswarar temple. Revival of these water bodies were found to have raised the ground water table by up to 3.5 meters. The state has 2,324 temple tanks, including 64 in Chennai and its suburbs. Most of them dry up in summer. HR&CE Board has now prepared a rough estimate to have harvesting structures in these water bodies. A recent inspection by officials found that 34 tanks in the city were in dire need of de-silting. Chief minister J. Jayalalithaa asked them to add rain water harvesting systems to them. Another issue of concern is the maintenance of these tanks. Most residents in the locality dump garbage into temple tanks not realizing they are a source of water for them. Parking of vehicles and location of shops and urinals around temple tanks should also be banned so that the water flowing in remains unpolluted, he said.
Billions, Billions and Counting: More Treasure Tumbles Out of Shrine Source- HPI THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, INDIA, July 3, 2011 (TImes of India): Treasure continued to tumble out of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple here on Saturday with a Supreme Courtappointed committee finding more gold idols, coins and other assets on the sixth day of inspection in the shrine's hidden vaults. Unconfirmed reports said the total value of all assets recovered from the shrine could be worth nearly US$17 billion. Among the notable discoveries was an ancient gold statue of a three-and-a-half feet tall Lord Vishnu studded with precious diamonds and emeralds. Sources said its value could not be assessed due to its antiquity. There were also human figurines made of pure gold, each weighing 2.2 lbs. as well as 18-foot-long jewelery weighing 77 lbs. used to adorn the Deity. Bags of coins and precious stones were also found in chamber A, one of six vaults marked A to F. The treasure trove in Kerala temple includes a gold sheaf weighing 500 kilos, a 36-kilo golden veil, 1200 'Sarappalli' golden chains, some sporting 'navaratnas', three gold stonestudded crowns, diamonds, precious stones, including cat's eye, rubies and emeralds and 1,000 kg of gold coins. Acting on a petition, the Kerala high court had in January asked the state government to take over the administration of the temple and also prepare an inventory of its assets. The shrine is run by a trust constituted by the royal family. On appeal, the SC stayed the take over part but gave nod to stock-taking. History has it that the shrine is inextricably linked to the Travancore royal family. The erstwhile ruler of Travancore in the 1700s, King Marthanda Varma, had dedicated the state and all his wealth to the Deity and ruled as 'Padmanabha Dasa (servant of Padmanabha). According to legend, the Travancore kings had transferred loads of wealth, meant for use during famines to these secret chambers to protect them from the British
Solved Puzzle Reveals Fabled Cambodian Temple Source: HPI SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA, July 2011: It has taken half a century, but archaeologists in Cambodia have finally completed the renovation of an ancient Angkor temple described as the world's largest three dimensional puzzle. Cambodian King Sihamoni and French Prime Minister Francois Fillon will be among the first to tour the impressive three-tier temple during an inauguration ceremony on July 3.The restoration of the 11th-century Baphuon ruin is the result of decades of painstaking work, hampered by tropical rains and civil war, to take apart hundreds of thousands of sandstone blocks and piece them back together again. The story of the 10-million-euro ($14m) renovation began in the 1960s when a French-led team of archaeologists dismantled the pyramidal building because it was falling apart, largely due to its heavy, sand-filled core that was putting pressure on the thin walls. The workers numbered some 300,000 of the sandstone blocks and laid them out in the surrounding jungle. But efforts to rebuild the crumbling towers and lavishly ornamented facades abruptly came to a halt when Cambodia was convulsed by civil war in 1970. The records to reassemble Baphuon, including the numbering system, were then destroyed by the hardline communist Khmer Rouge which took power in 1975. In 1995, when the area in northwestern Cambodia was again safe to work in, the French government-funded project was restarted under the leadership of architect Pascal Royere. "It has been said, probably rightly so, that it is the largest-ever 3D puzzle," Royere said.
Provincial Grant For Devi Mandir Temple Source HPI PICKERING, ONTARIO, CANADA, June 30, 2011 (News Durham): The Devi Mandir Hindu Temple in Pickering is expanding and a grant from the Ontario government is helping cover the costs. The Satya Sanatan Dharma Cultural Sabha of Canada, also known as Devi Mandir, will receive $422,300 over 18 months. The money will go towards repairs and upgrades of the facility including the installation of a solar panel roof system and an expansion and renovation of the kitchen. The funds come from the Province's Community Capital Fund, which is a $50-million fund helping non-profit organizations with capital projects. Devi Mandir, located on Brock Road in Pickering, serves the South East Asian community in Ajax and Pickering. "Local non-profit organizations deliver programs that people depend on to improve their quality of life," said Pickering MPP, Mr. Dickson. "This support from the Province of Ontario is helping our friends at the Devi Mandir continue important work that will help individuals contribute more to our economy."
Underground power cable in Rameswaram Source:http://ibnlive.in.com/news/underground-power-cable-in-rameswaram/165176-60118.html RAMANATHAPURAM: In a bid to ensure uninterrupted power supply to Rameswaram Island, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has decided to launch an underground cable system in the area. The island attracts devotees from across the country as it has a prominent place in the Ramayana. According to the ancient Sanskrit epic, Lord Rama had visited Rameswaram to get his wife Goddess Sita back from the clutches of Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. Hindu devotees throng this island in belief that they would be redeemed from their sins once they make it to the island. Hence, uninterrupted power supply is key to the area. At present, the power supply is erratic with two to three-hour cuts reported on a daily basis. This has badly affected the ice bar production in the area, besides causing hardship to the islanders. Ice bars play a crucial role in the fishing industry. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board feels that the underground cable system would provide a solution to the power problem. Two years ago, the underground cable was laid up to Pamban from the TNEB sub-station in Mandapam. However, the work stopped there. Now, the TNEB has decided to restart the work and extend it to Rameswaram. Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Superintending Engineer Yathindran told Express that a proposal would be sent to government to lay the cable from Pamban.
Pune's women priests spur filmmaker to make documentary Source:http://www.mid-day.com/news/2011/jul/090711-News-Pune-documentary-women-
performing-Training-Suhasini-Mulay.htm Impressed by city's acceptance of women performing religious rituals, national awardwinning actress and director Suhasini Mulay to film the phenomenon Priesthood, traditionally a male bastion, has enthused the women folk so much that it has become a kind of movement in the city. Women are now performing the puja, marriage rituals and funeral rites and the city is accepting them with open arms. 'Back to the Vedas', is the resonant mantra among religious organisations in the city, who are training women to become priests. The Vedas propagates gender equality and encourages women to learn Sanskrit shlokas.
Priests in the making: Training in progress for women priests at Dnyana Prabodhini Arya Joshi, course coordinator at Dnyana Prabodhini, said so far they had trained over 1,000 women priests since 1990. "Housewives are keen to do the course to supplement family income. The course has become popular," she said. The city now has more women priests than other cities in the state. "Pune has over 7,000 practising women priests which is more than Mumbai and Nashik," said Suhasini Mulay, national award-winning actress and director. Mulay is in the city to make a documentary on women priests.
She has done research on the topic and met many organisations in the city. The Films Division has sanctioned Rs 4 lakh to make Shankhnaad, a documentary on women priests. Mulay will start shooting from August when the Ganpati festival begins. "Shooting will take place at Dnyana Prabhodhini training school and other places," Mulay said. "I shall also work on Pitru Pandhravda in September, when people perform rituals for the departed souls. The rituals are generally conducted by male priests but now more women are doing it." Growing popularity People generally prefer male priests, but they chant the mantras without explaining the meaning to the host. Women who perform the rituals according to the Dnyana Prabhodhini style explain the meaning in simple Marathi, Hindi and even in English. The mindset of the people has changed and they have started accepting women as priests. "Women perform the rituals in detail. They are more homely than the male priests and therefore their popularity is increasing," Joshi said. "There is still a 25 per cent opposition from the people especially from the old and traditional families in the city," she said. Sameep Kulkarni, an IT Engineer, whose marriage ritual was performed by a woman priest said he preferred to let them officiate at most family functions. "I get more satisfied by their style of work. Now, these women have become part of my family function," he said. 25 training centres Mama Thatte, a Hindu priest and scholar in Vedic literature, started training women to become priests in 1970. His pioneering efforts inspired many others and they also started imparting such training privately. There are more than 25 private classes in the city where women can go and learn how to perform religious rituals.
Sri Guruvayurappan Temple construction enters the second phase Source: http://www.indoamerican-news.com/?p=2930 HOUSTON: Sri Guruvayurappan Temple building construction entered the second phase last weekend. Although crossing a major milestone of any building project is something worth a celebration, this was much more than a manmade milestone. The religious importance of this event is distinctly recognized and conceptually auspicious. I had the rare opportunity to witness the entire process that is based on the ancient ritual that developed at our ancestral homeland of India. As I rewind my mental video tape, I thought I should share its contents with you all while each segment of it is still fresh in my mind. The splendid seventy two hours at Sri Guruvayurappan Temple concluded on Saturday (June 25) late into the night, imprinting in the minds of nearly six hundred devotees an unforgettable experience. Thanthri Sri Kariyannur Divakaran Nambuthiri‘s concise briefing of the weekend events stands out in my mind – in his words, ―Just like in Dwapara yuga when all the Devatas assembled when Sri Krishna took his avatar on earth, garbhanyasam has just initiated the presence of all the Devatas as Sri Guruvayurappan is going to take His archa-avatar (incarnation on the idol) in this Kali yuga. In essence, the presence of all the divine forces will begin to assemble in this site.‖ The devotees were blessed with dry weather throughout the weekend, although the organizers had taken all precautions to protect the visitors from any potential rain with a multitude of large tents all over the temple premises. The mysterious thunder and a mild shower that occurred soon after the installation of Shadhadharam generated overwhelming joy among the devotees. In the Hindu tradition, a rain shower is an expression of heavenly blessings and approval of an auspicious beginning. Above all, it was a gentle reminder that life‘s experiences, pleasant or unpleasant, are determined by the divine sanction.
The rituals associated with garbhanyasam were in accordance with the Vedic tradition that has been passed on for generations. Elaborate rituals during this event included Ganesha pooja, Shadhadhara Prathishta, rituals to ward off negative influences, ishtaka sthapanam, etc. These rituals are no less complicated than the names of the rituals themselves! Individuals qualified to perform such specialized and rare rituals are few. Guruvayurappan devotees consider themselves to be blessed to have the availability of Sri Nambuthiri to perform these rituals. In an interview with one of the Vedic scholars Dr. Parameswaran Thirumulpad, a visiting sociologist, he explained the need for supporting this temple as a social necessity. He is of the opinion that there is urgency in initiatives to preserve ancient traditions like Shadhadhara Prathishta. As the world population is exploding and cultures are mixing rapidly, there is a potential that we may be the last in the link that binds us to the past. Several people in the crowd I spoke to were fascinated by the Time Capsule that was buried ceremoniously with the sounds of chenda melam in the background. The Time Capsule does not have any religious significance, but it is a symbol of this communityâ€˜s vision to preserve the rich cultural traditions. Sri Guruvayurappan Temple building is being built as a beautiful edifice with intricate granite work, and wall paintings with all its majesty and glory. While we wait eagerly to see it finished in a year or two, a unique and overwhelming emphasis to incorporate temple arts with equal status is in the planning. This is because the administration is committed to consider temple art forms as important as mortar and bricks. â€•We realize that kshetra kala (temple art) and bhakthi (religious devotion) are interdependent and inseparable,â€– said Sri Somarajan Nair, president of the temple. This is especially important when Hinduism is transplanted and taking its roots in the western world. Hindu temples are the birthplaces of almost all the art forms of Indian origin, and hence an appropriate venue for the preservation of these arts. The spectacular dance presentations made by several dance schools filled the temple premises with joy and happiness on the evening of Saturday, June 25, the final day of the events. A genuine interest in teaching and learning Bhagavad Gita and Narayaneeyam exists in the core of this temple. It was very refreshing to see the participation of the youth in learning such texts. There was also enthusiastic participation in contests organized by the temple. The decorated sanctum sanctorum looked elegant against the background of niramala and lighted shining oil lamps. Delicious meals made and served by the volunteers deserve special appreciation.
Manipuri gods in Texas syllabus - English professor‘s paper finds place in graduation classes of US varsity KHELEN THOKCHOM Source:http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110630/jsp/northeast/story_14175838.jsp
Imphal, June 29: When Th. Ratankumar Singh of Manipur headed for Oxford last year to attend a conference, little did he know that his paper on Manipur gods would evince much interest among the literary figures of the world and find its way to classrooms in Texas. Charles Robinson, an elderly instructor in the department of history and philosophy at South Texas University, introduced the four-page paper titled God in Manipuri Literature in the graduation syllabus last autumn.―I did not expect such a response. I am happy that our culture has found an audience in the outside world,‖ Singh, professor of English at Manipur University, told The Telegraph. Ratankumar Singh was the only Indian academician to be invited to the Oxford round table conference held at the University of Oxford from March 28 to April 2 last year. Though the paper created quite a stir among the participants, the one who was most impressed was Robinson.―After the session was over, Charles told me he wanted to introduce my paper as part of the graduate syllabus at his university and demanded a copy. I told him I would like to improve the paper,‖ Singh said. After he came back to Imphal, Singh forgot about the interaction till he received an email from Robinson in May, seeking his permission to teach the paper in his classes. ―I sent a one-line reply, saying he could do whatever he wanted with my paper,‖ he said.
Robinson said in the email that whatever they learnt about India was from movies and television and most Americans did not understand the historical development, complexity or sophistication of religious thoughts in the country. Only recently, Singh was informed that the paper was included in the syllabus as part of Asian religious literature. Students were asked to write an essay on the paper during the October semester examinations.In his paper, Singh argued that gods were a creation of belief and imagination of people from ancient times. He said a sense of helplessness and limitations, despite all the powers and wisdom, necessitated the ―invention‖ of god.―The origin of god can be traced to the narratives which, in turn, are a part of literature. In a sense, we can say that god is a creation of literature. If there was no Vedic literature, the Hindu gods might have never existed,‖ the paper said. The paper said gods lived together with mankind since ancient days. Quoting Cheitharol Kumbaba, the royal chronicle of Manipur that recorded its history since 33AD, the paper said the gods often took possession of portions of land and ruled as kings.The paper explained patterns in Manipuri literature and culture that were commonly found across all cultures.Singh earned laurels from the university community and, encouraged by the success, decided to take up a project on Manipuri gods.―I have applied for funds to the UGC for a project to conduct a study on Manipur gods and write a book on it. I am waiting for the commission‘s decision,‖ he said.
Devotees Throng Shiva Temples, Celebrate 'Shravan' Source- HPI LUCKNOW, INDIA, JULY 16, 2011 (Daiji World): Devotees thronged to Lord Shiva temples in Uttar Pradesh Saturday to offer prayers on the onset of the Hindu month of `Shravan' that heralds the coming of the monsoon. Shiva temples witnessed a huge turnout including Mankameshwar, Buddeshwar, Kalyangiri, Siddhnath and Koneshwar. Amidst chants of `Bam Bam Bhole' and `Har Har Mahadev', devotees were seen awaiting their turn to offer milk, water, honey and leaves of wood apple to Lord Shiva. In Varanasi, a festive mood was all-pervasive in temples, particularly in the ancient Vishwanath temple, where the ritual `Rudrabhishek' and prayers were performed. Over 35,000 people, including `Kanwarias' (Shiva devotees) are expected to arrive at the Vishwanath temple by noon, an official said. Kanwarias, the orange-robed devotees of Lord Shiva, collect holy water of the Ganga river in Haridwar in pots and walk back to their home during Shravan.
Japan Making a Better Use of Ayurveda ... VARANASI, INDIA, July 2011: According to Dr. U.K. Krishna, who has been practicing and popularizing ayurveda in Japan for the past two decades, the country is already on its way to accept ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine system, as holistic medicine system. "The past two decades have witnessed the spread of ayurveda from meagre one to two per cent to around 12% of the populations, a figure enough to suggest growing popularity of the medicine system in Japan. Also, the country has evolved successful marketing strategies to promote ayurveda, something which India lacks despite being the originator of the system," he informed. The Japanese have worked really hard to understand the basic concepts in ayurveda and now they know that the discipline offers solutions for a number of ailments, which cannot be cured by modern medicine alone. It is true that the country has one of highest life expectancies in the world and now they are striving for longer quality of life with the help of ayurveda. The life style diseases including diabetes, hypertension and cardiac problems are also growing in Japan and people are turning to traditional medicine. The traditional medicine system in Japan has its root in oriental system as practised in China, but it has its own limitations. The country has been fast enough to realise the significance of inter-disciplinary approach in medicine system, taking the best out of every medicine system. "India also needs to take a leaf out of this practice in Japan, if it is wishing to address a wide range of diseases and improve health conditions," added Dr. Krishna.
Yoga Can Tackle Mental Disorders Source- HPI BANGALORE, INDIA, July 4, 2011: Yoga is no longer a traditional fitness workout. The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (Nimhans) not only has a 45-minute yoga package to treat psychiatric disorders like depression and schizophrenia, but has started comparing its curative effects with general medicine. Doctors at Nimhans say their studies reveal evidence of biological changes in the body brought about by yoga. They prescribe yoga therapy along with medication in major ailments, while using yoga therapy alone for less serious disorders. "In all our investigations, there is a high degree of evidence that yoga in different forms does have a curative effect in diseases like depression, memory loss in elderly persons, schizophrenia and others. We worked out specific protocols for yoga for specific neurological problems. The degree of improvement is comparable to that of medicine," said Dr. B.N. Gangadhar, program director, Advanced Centre for Yoga, Nimhans. "We found that chanting of 'Om' reduces activity of sensors which have become hyperactive in patients suffering from depression," Gangadhar added.
Exploration of Forests Causing Depletion of Himalayan Medicinal Wealth Source HPI INDIA, July 2011 (The Hindu): Developmental pressure on forests and their unscrupulous exploitation have caused "severe depletion" of Himalayan medicinal wealth, a government report said and warned that the situation would go worse if corrective steps are not taken. A report submitted to the Environment Ministry also said encouraging commercial cultivation is vital for the success of medicinal plants sector to meet the ever growing demand for "temperate medicinal plants". This medicinal wealth, which occupies an important place in Vedic treatise, has been depleting continuously for the last two decades in their natural habitat, said the report by the Himalayan Forest Research Institute, adding that the depletion of medicinal plants resource base is affecting the health and livelihood options of the people. According to the report, "more than 800 valuable medicinal species found in the north-western Himalayan region of India is extensively used by the locals since time immemorial for curing various diseases of humankind." "It is now a well known fact that medicinal plants sector possesses great potential to uplift the economy of this part of India," it said.
Tibetan Monks Can Raise The Temperature Of Their Skin Through Meditation Source- HPI INDIA, July 2011 (TodayIFoundOut.com): Some Tibetan monks can control the temperature of their skin through meditation. Specifically, they have been shown to be able to raise their skin temperature, measured from their toes and fingers, as much as 17 degrees Fahrenheit, while their core temperature stays normal. Scientists from Harvard University, lead by Herbert Benson, were first able to study these monks thanks to the Dalai Lama, who visited Harvard in 1979, and agreed to help them contact and convince the monks to allow them to be studied. What followed was a series of visits to remote monasteries in the Himalayan Mountains throughout the 1980s. Not only did they discover the monks could raise their surface temperature while keeping their core temperature normal, but they also found a group in Sikkim, India that could lower their metabolism by 64 percent. By comparison, when you sleep your metabolism drops only 10-15 percent. It is not yet known how the monks manage to generate the heat, but magnetic resonance imaging scans of the monks brains while they meditate have shown "marked differences in blood flow to the entire brain", Benson explains. "At the same time, certain areas of the brain became more active, specifically those that control attention and autonomic functions like blood pressure and metabolism."
Sea of Pilgrims at Puri for Annual Jagannath Chariot Festival Source: HPI PURI, ORISSA, July 4, 2011 (Indo-Asian News Service): Tens of thousands flocked to Orissa's Jagannath Temple in Puri as the annual chariot festival or Rath Yatra began on Sunday.All the rituals have began almost on scheduled time, Laxmidhar Pujapanda, the public relations officer of Jagannath Temple, said. The festival marks the journey of three Hindu Deities Jagannath, brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra from the 12th century Jagannath temple, about 56km from state capital here. They are carried in three splendid wooden chariots, pulled by devotees, to the Gundicha temple, about two kilometres away. Half a million devotees had reached Puri by 8am, Pujapanda said. "The weather is conducive and we hope by evening, the numbers could swell to more than a million," he said. The festival culminates nine days later when the Deities make their way back home to the Jagannath temple in their return journey known as Bahuda Yatra. A glimpse of the Deities on the chariot is considered to be very auspicious. Thousands of policemen have been deployed to maintain law and order.
Hastinapura Foundation Spreading Vedanta in Argentina - Uruguay Bolivia – Colombia Source:http://www.hindu-blog.com/2011/07/hastinapura-foundation-spreading.html
Hastinapura Foundation in Argentina is an educational institution based on the Vedantic teaching that God is one and that there are many paths that lead to Him. The foundation takes its name from the capital city ofPandavas and Kauravas in the epic Mahabharata. It is involved in spreading the core teaching of Sanatana Dharma along with the teachings other religions in South American countries – Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Colombia. The foundation has temples of Hindu deities – Ganesh,Krishna, Surya, Narayana, Shiva and Pandavas. Hastinapura was founded by Argentinian author Ada Albrecht in 1981. Albrecht introduced Hindu and Buddhist philosophy in Argentina. The founders call it the city of wisdom. It offers opportunity to learn philosophy, practice yoga, meditate, sing bhajans and to indulge in humanitarian activities. It offers a three-year post graduate course in yoga. The classes are held on weekends only. Currently, there are 2,500 yoga and philosophy students. The foundation has published a number of books on Indian philosophy and translated the Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Srimad Bhagavad Purana and Yoga Sutras.
First Sanskrit Manual In Romania Source ROMANIA, April 13, 2011: Today the Dimitrie Cantemir Library hosts the launch of the first "Sanskrit Manual" in Romania, authored by Amita Bhose and released by the Cununi de stele Publishing House. Amita Bhose (Calcutta, 1933 - Bucharest,1992), a researcher of Eminescu's work, Doctor of Philology (1975, with the thesis "Indian Influences on Eminescu'sThought"), writer, translator and university professor, acted as a mediator between Romanian and Indian culture. The "Sanskrit Manual" is the fruit of several years' work, based on her teaching experience at the University of Bucharest, where she taught optional courses of Bengali, Sanskrit and Indian Civilization.The manual, divided in three volumes, comprising nearly 600 pages in manuscript, is a pioneering work in the study of Sanskrit. In 1990 no such work existed in Romania or any other European language.Thus, the manual is a valuable instrument for all those interested in Sanskrit.
Ancient Satya Vageeswarar Temple Gets A Facelift Source- HPI KALAKKAD, THIRUNELVELI, INDIA, July 7, 2011: The Sri Satya Vageeswarar temple has a wealth of inscriptions, sculptures, murals, music pillars and a towering rajagopuram with about 1,500 stucco figures. The temple has features that go back to the Chola period and so could be more than 800 years old. For its upcoming kumbabishekam later this month, the temple has renovated the 135 ft tall, nine-tiered rajagopuram which teems with 1,500 stucco figures. They were made of 'sudhai' (lime mortar) which have suffered damage over time. On the inner walls of the rajagopuram's nine storys there are about 200 beautiful murals, portraying scenes from the Ramayana, the Mahabharatha, Tiruvilaiyadal Puranam (Siva Leelas), Siva's marriage to Parvati, episodes from the lives of the Tamil Nadu's Saivite saints, Siva as Bhikshatana, Rati and Manmatha, Krishna Leelas, the wedding of Saivite saint, Sundarar and more. According to T. Satyamurthy, former superintending archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, the murals are "an amazing art gallery of puranic themes." The REACH Foundation, of which Dr. Satyamurthy is one of the founders, plans to restore the murals which have been vandalized.
Maha-yagna in memory of terror victims Source:http://www.newkerala.com/news/2011/worldnews-27657.html
Thane, Jul 14 :A day-long 'yagna' has been organised by the citizens of Thane as a befitting tribute to those who lost their lives in Wednesday's terror attack in Mumbai. The 'Rudraksha Maha Yagya' has been organised by the Shiv Sadhana Dyan Kendra, Gujarat, and the Parshuram Sena here on August 8, the auspicious Monday of Shravan month. The President of the Sena Om Prakash Sharma today said the yagna will be held at Martand Mangalam in the city. The Shivling maha poojan and maha yagna will involve the pooja for the 'Linga' and later sacrifice 108 Rudrakshas in the 'yagna kunda', accompanied by the chanting of religious hyms and slokhas. The yagna will be performed by a total of 301 people, who will give 'ahuti' in equal number of 'yagna kundas', he said.
10,000 Join Wari Procession Source- HPI PUNE, INDIA, June 26, 2011: Over 10,000 warkaris from the southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are attending the wari this year. Some have been a part of this centuries-old tradition of Maharashtra for the last several years by studying the works of Sant Tukaram and Sant Dnyaneshwar, and encouraging their friends and family to be a part of the annual procession. Of the total 300,000 Warkaries participating in the Palkhi processions this year, more than 50,000 are female. These women have flocked from lands far and wide across the state. Mangalatai Kamble, Founder and President of the Bahinabai Mahila Dindi, observed that a large number of women and young girls had joined the Palkhi this year, most of whom were educated, working women. The wari embodies the essence of bhakti and teaches you to be happy amid tough circumstances, says another warkari from Chennai. "I cherish the simplicity of the warkaris who never complain about anything. I've stayed at Pandharpur and enjoyed the late night 'jagran bhajans," says the warkari, who visits Pandharpur once a month. [HPI note from Wikipedia: Pilgrimage to Pandhapur -- Every year the warkari walk hundreds of miles to the holy town of Pandharpur, gathering there on ekadashi (the 11th day) of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Aashaadha (which falls sometime in July). Warkaris making the pilgrimage to Pandharpur carry the palkhis (palanquins) of the sants from their places of samadhi (enlightenment or "spiritual birth"). According to historians Vitthal devotees were holding pilgrimages prior to the 13th century.]
The Disappearing Dance Of The Devadasis Source- HPI INDIA, May 20, 2011 (RNL): For centuries devadasis played a special role in Hindu temples rituals in India, but since being banned in 1947, much of their history and art have been forgotten. Devadasi ("Servant of God") is an old Hindu tradition in which girls were 'married' and dedicated to a God or to a temple. The tradition includes dance performances in temples as well as in courts and in private homes. The girls learned various classical Indian art traditions and enjoyed a high social status. "In the Western mind, 'devadasi' is just a monolithic term for prostitute," says Saskia Kersenboom, a long-time student of devadasi dance and a professor at the University of Amsterdam. His work dispels the prejudice. "They were really professional artists and ritual specialists. The core of their dance was this professionalism." Kersenboom's teacher bequeathed to her a dance manuscript handwritten by her teacher's grandmother. Last year Kersenboom carried that to India with the hope of reviving the disappearing dance. With the support of a Dutch organisation called Theatre Embassy, she found a pair of elderly musicians who had once accompanied devadasi performers. Their two recent performances in southern India were well received.
Kashi seer to address religious meet http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-07-26/mysore/29815737_1_seermutt-kashi TNN Jul 26, 2011, 11.12pm IST MYSORE: Kashi seer Chandrasehkar Shivacharya Swami will address a religious meet here on Thursday and release Shivayogi Shivacharyas Siddantha Shikhamani. The renowned Sanskrit work in Veerashiva literature, which has been translated into Kannada, will be released along with Tripatha of Mummudi Chandrashekar Shivacharya Swami of Sri Aaramane Japadakatte mutt. Mummudi Chandrashekar Shivacharya Swami on Tuesday said the Kashi seer will be in the city to address the religious meet. He will take out a padayatra from Agrahara to Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha on JLB road. DC P S Vastrad will inaugurate the event. Mummudi Chandrashekar Shivacharya Swami on Tuesday said the Kashi seer will be in the city to address the religious meet. He will take out a padayatra from Agrahara to Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha on JLB road. DC P S Vastrad will inaugurate the event. Maheshwara Shivacharya Swami of Sri Rajaguru Hiremath in Keladi, Shimoga will attend. On Friday, Veerasimhasana mutt seer Mahantalinga Shivacharya Swami will address the meet. District minister S A Ramdas will attend. Maheshwara Shivacharya Swami of Sri Rajaguru Hiremath in Keladi, Shimoga will attend. On Friday, Veerasimhasana mutt seer Mahantalinga Shivacharya Swami will address the meet. District minister S A Ramdas will attend.
How To Photograph Hindu Deities Categories: Daily Picture Show Source:http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2011/07/28/137827738/how-tophotograph-hindu-deities by Claire O'Neill It's fairly common practice for painters to imitate photographs. There's even a term for it: Photorealism. But you don't see the inverse as often â€” that is, people trying to make photos look like paintings. That's what Manjari Sharma is attempting. The goal of her new project, called "Darshan," is to photographically recreate nine classical images of Hindu gods and goddesses. And that's no easy feat.
Courtesy of Manjari Sharma Maa laxmi, says photographer Manjari Sharma, is the Hindu goddess of wealth and fortune, is a photograph in the series Darshan, a sanskrit word meaning "sight, vision or view." On a Kickstarter page, where she is campaigning for financial support to continue the project, Sharma explains the motivation behind her elaborate process.
"Growing up in India," she says in the campaign video, "I saw spiritual paintings and sculptures of deities everywhere ... but never a photograph. ... My mission is to prove that a carefully created photograph can evoke a similar spiritual response."
Dilnaaz Mehta Sharma peers through her large-format camera on set. Sharma plans to build every detail of each photograph by hand. The first image, and the only complete one, is of Maa Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and fortune. It involved set and prop builders, makeup artists, painters, carpenters and jewelry experts. And when everything was finally in place, Sharma captured the scene with a large-format film camera. She responded to a few questions over email.
Dilnaaz Mehta Each detail of each photo is hand-crafted. The Picture Show: You moved from India to the U.S. to pursue an Master's in Fine Arts. Could you describe a bit what that transition was like?
Manjari Sharma: Moving to the U.S.A. was most definitely a culture shock. ... Being expected to be self-aware and self-direct are attributes that independence comes with, but in the U.S. the liability of that independence somehow seems greater. I think it's because the community in India is so tightly knit, that when you newly arrive in the U.S., the first thing you learn is about your own space. So at spiritual level, I would say being confronted with that self-study really helps you define to yourself more concretely than ever â€” who you are. Why make the photos so painterly? Personally, I have always been fascinated by the ability of a known medium to cheat the viewer. It comes down to the artist's ability to control the results of their medium. ... One of my many motivations to have my image look like a painting is to have viewer do a double-take on what exactly he/she are looking at. ... A viewer may recognize the familiar colors and draw from their own sense of nostalgia, but there is something different about it. You can't necessarily place your finger on what it is. "I see Darshan displayed as an installation of 6-feet-tall prints," she writes. "An exhibit will be designed to evoke the experience of a Hindu temple." Can you provide some background on the aesthetic of Hindu iconography? Each deity has their own rich and fantastical stories which carry important moral lessons. Every god or goddess is worshipped with the use of certain specific objects. Conch shells, fabric, jewelry, figures, postures and emotions of anger, glee or compassion are also employed in accuracy and accordance to the scriptures.
Dilnaaz Mehta A make-up artist studied and painted the features of Maa Laxmi's eyes and ornamental touches.
The myriad details and layers are what make the Indian deities bear such color and grandeur. The Hindu process of prayer is a multi-sensory experience. The deities are decorated with garlands of flowers, sandalwood paste smeared across their foreheads. They are bejeweled and placed of appropriate thrones or in the water or clouds on certain animals of choice which bear significance to their mythological roots. Giving offerings is part of worship, water or milk, waving incense smoke, or placing food items like fruit or sweets on the altar. What about the use of film? Shooting it on film ... raised the bar on chasing perfection in one image, which certainly raised the bar on everyone's performance. The final selection of the right shot greatly depended on the expression of Maa Laxmi, for which much coaching had been given to me â€” and through me to Sonam, who is the character playing Maa Laxmi. Maa's face has to display Karuna, which means compassion, and Sonam had to learn how display compassion rolled into grace.
India to set up chair for Buddhist studies in Cambodia Source: HPI New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) India will set up a chair of Buddhist and Sanskrit Studies at Cambodiaâ€˜s Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University for four years from 2011 to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries, it was officially announced here. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in Phnom Penh between visiting Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) president Karan Singh and Cambodian Religion Minister Min Khin on behalf of the ICCR and the university Monday, an ICCR statement said. Karan Singh, who arrived in the Cambodian capital July 2, also met former king Norodom Sihanouk and his consort Monineath Sihanouk at the royal palace Monday. During the meeting, Sihanouk, who had abdicated in favour of his son, and Karan Singh traced historical and civilizational roots between India and Cambodia. The former king and the queen remembered their visits to India and their association with Jawaharlal Nehru. Karan Singh acknowledged the significant role played by Norodom Sihanouk as a great stabilising force in Cambodia. The ICCR president was conferred an honorary D.Litt by Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University in recognition of his contribution to the India-Cambodia friendship and intellectual achievements.
HINDU UNITY DAY (HINDU SANGATHAN DIVAS) IN NEW YORK ON JULY 10, 2011:A REPORT Source: http://www.hinduunityday.org/Hindu_Unity_Day/July_10th_Event.html · ―Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a boneless wonder. Rahul Gandhi is just a Buddhoo (stupid). Sonia Gandhi is Taadika (an evil demoness in the epic Ramayan).‖ · ―The Hindutva (Hindu-ness) is an antidote to the widespread corruption inIndia.‖ · "Sanakrit is the most perfect language for computers.‖ Those were the observations of Dr. Subramanian Swamy, the President Janata Party and a former Law Minister, as he addressed 1000 plus committed Hindus. ―The followers of Bhagavad-Gita must rise up to the call for action and become a formidable force,‖ said Shri Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana Das), a scholar on Hindu Dharma and an author of several books. ―If the Muslim Mosques and Christian Churches are not managed by the Government in India, then how come theymanage (actually, control) only the Hindu Temples?‖ questioned Sri Kamal Kumar Swamy, the President of Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana (Temple Protection) Samiti, Andhra Pradesh, India. The above sentiments were expressed by three renowned speakers on July 10, 2011 at the Seventeenth Annual Hindu Sangathan Divas (Hindu Unity Day) observation in New York. The high profile annual event organized jointly by the Hindu Temple Society ofNorth America and the Indian American Intellectuals Forum is enthusiastically supported by many Hindu associations and temple managements in the area. The general mood of public and the atmosphere in auditorium was simply electrifying. The manner in which Hindus from India,Bangladesh, Afghanistan,Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka,Trinidad, Guyana and different states of Indiaexpressed their solidarity was highly inspiring. The energetic spirit of attendees who freely mingled with each other irrespective of the distinctions of caste, color and social status shattered the myth and debunked the obnoxious theories propounded by the prophets of doom that Hindus cannot be united. The speeches from the speakers were thought provoking, the patriotic songs uplifting to spirit, and the traditional dances scintillating. Dr. Subramanian Swamy, a true personification of the leadership qualities like courage, fearlessness and perseverance was the Chief Guest of the occasion. In his powerful speech for full one hour, Dr. Swamy time and again, so enthralled the audience with his brilliant narration and outstanding arguments in support of the Hindu unity, that he received a frequent standing ovation from the audience.
The Hindu Unity Day celebration by now has become a tradition for Hindus of the tri-state area who eagerly await its arrival each summer. This extremely successful and ever popular event has boosted the morale of Hindus in America and created a sense of confidence in them that they are second to none. There are even active efforts from otherIndia groups to celebrate such Unity Day in their cities too. Addressing the large congregation of Hindus, some of whom traveled over 100 miles to come and listen to the courageous leader, Dr. Swamy warned that Hindus should guard against the mischievous Aryan and Dravidian theory propagated by our enemies for the sole purpose of creating a rift within the Hindu society. ―The DNA tests conducted in many universities in USAhave conclusively established that all Indians from the North to the South have the same dominant DNA composition,‖ asserted Dr. Swamy. Expressing pain and anguish at the plight of Hindu refugees from Kashmir, Dr. Swamy said that half a million Hindus driven by Kashmiri Muslims are still languishing in Indian refugee camps. This was very sad. The infuriating problems like these could actually be solved very quickly by sending one million retired Indian army-men inKashmir and settle them in the state. Speaking at length on the pernicious effects of monstrous corruption issue in India, Dr. Swamy said that of the Rs. 60,000 crores stolen from the country in the now famous 2G scam, the Telecom Minister A. Raja kept Rs. 3,000 crores, Home Minister P. Chidambaram received Rs. 5,000 cores, the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi got 16,000 crores and the remaining Rs. 36,000 went to Vish-Kanya (the proverbial poison girl) Sonia Gandhi. The famous scandal has given rise to a big political crisis. Raja is in Tihar jail; his buddy Kani Mozi is also in jail. Dayanidhi Maran has already resigned and will soon be in jail. In month of August the Home Minister Chidambaram could also be in Jail. Finally, it‘ll be the turn of Tadika, thedemoness. ―I am not going to let anyone go free,‖ thundered Dr. Swamy. Learn Sanskrit and Sanskritize the Hindi. NASA Journal on artificial intelligence says that Sanskrit happens to be perfectly suited language for computers. Dr. Swamy advised NRIs to learn Sanskrit. ―If you cannot learn it, teach it to your children because in the next 50 years, Sanskrit is going to be the national language ofIndia.‖ Chiding Rahul Gandhi, Dr. Swamy said that Rahul had told the American Ambassador that Hindu terror was more dangerous than the Pakistani terror outfit Lashkare-e-Toiba. That is pure nonsense. His talk of the Hindu terror could well be called disgusting to ridiculous, and a maddening mixture of senselessness and cluelessness. Even though Rahul is being touted as the next Prime Minister of India, he is at best a dilettante. In fact, he is really a Buddhu(an idiot). We Hindus are secular by nature. India is secular because Hindus are in majority in it. History is testimony to the fact that in the past, Hindus allowed Jewish people to build synagogues in India and let Parsis settle in the country when they were driven out of their ancestral Iran upon the Muslim invasion.
Talking about the brutal mid-night Police attack on the fasting Baba Ramdev and his devotees on Ramleela Maidan, Dr. Swamy said that he has been wronged by the Congress party led government. Before long, Ramdev will bounce back and throw out this Government. We have to create a new alternative for the corruption-free, cleanIndia. Therefore, Dr. Swamy wants Baba Ramdev, Anna Hazare, RSS, VHP and other similar groups to come together. He expects the mid-term polls in India between the November, 2011 and February, 2012. Shri Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana Das), the author of several books and a great scholar on Hinduism, emphasized and elaborated on the following points: 1. Hindus should be educated in the profound nature of their culture. They should practice it themselves and should pass it on to the future generations. 2. For Hindus, practicing the Vedic traditions should be their right and the freedom which must be fully protected. 3. Hindus should conduct themselves as the Vedic ambassadors who are proud to be Hindus. 4. Hindus should be willing to share their great culture with others for its preservation, protection and propagation. 5. Hindus must realize that the apathy is their greatest enemy. They must give it up anywhere they find it. 6. Every single Hindu can and must do something. 7. For Hindus, the Bhagavad-gita is ―a call to action.‖ Anyone who is a Hindu or a follower of Bhagavad-gita, must rise up to the ―call for action‖ for the purpose of Vedic Dharma so that those outside of it can also learn about it and can benefit from such deep spiritual knowledge. 8. Like ―No child left behind program‖ in the US, no sincere Hindu should be left behind. We must gather all sincere Hindus and make certain they all are easily able to enter the temples, participate in the traditions and cherish the identity of being a part of the large Hindu/Vedic family. 9. Hindus must get united and take all necessary action to safeguard their future. They must become a formidable force in the world for Vedic Dharma.
Stephen Knapp further said: · ―The more we make concerted efforts, the more we establish a unified, global Vedic community that can become a formidable force in the world. · ―If we take care of Dharma, Dharma will take care of us. But we have to take the first step. Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah. · ―Together as united Hindus we can do this. That is the potency and power if we stay together, stand together, and work together as a united, global Vedic community.‖ (Srinandan ji can be reached at email@example.com.) Sri Kamal Kumar Swamy from Andhra Pradesh, India, said that the looting of Hindu Temples inIndia by various Governments continues unabated. He said it was the blatant discrimination and injustice to Hindus that the Hindu temples are taken over and controlled by the Government, while the Mosques and Churches are governed by their respective community. Kamal Kumar Swamy denounced the former Chief Minister Chandrashekhara Reddy of Andhra Pradesh, who was of Christian faith, for openly encouraging the conversion of Hindus to Christianity at temple premises. In order to create awareness about their Dharma among the Hindus, Kamal Kumarji has travelled 8,500 kilometers on foot visiting thousands of villages in every district of Andhra Pradesh. Working together with the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, Kamal Kumar Swami has instituted several lawsuits against the Government agencies, banned the conversions of Hindus at the temples. The following important Hindu/Sikh community leaders were also honored by the Hindu Sangathan Divas (Hindu Unity Day) committee for their dedicated services to the Hindu Samaj: · Mahamanleshwar Swamy Harischander Puri ji Maharaj, Founder Skahti Peeth, New York · Professor Indarjit S. Saluja, Publisher and Editor of The Indian Panorama, New York · Shri Ramesh Kalicharan, International Coordinator, Indo-Caribbean Council and Founder of USA Pandit Parishad · Jain Saint Muni Acharya Lokesh ji, Founder of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti, New Delhi, who was in New York at the time, graced the occasion with his presence and blessed the audience for their participation in Hindu Unity Day in a big way. Mrs. Shashikala Teacher, the President of Hindu Aika Vedi (Hindu United Front) from Kerala, a devout Hindu, who happened to be on a visit to USA was recognized for her espousal of Hindu causes. Dr. Urmilesh Arya strongly supported the concept of Hindu Unity and congratulated the organizers for their sustained efforts in making Hindu Unity Day an astounding success.
Earlier Dr. Uma Mysorekar, President of Hindu TempleSociety of America welcomed the audience and said that only the temples can unite the Hindus. Hence, it is important and obligatory for Hindus to patronize the temples. Dr. Narinder Kukkar, former Chairman of the Board of Trustee of Association of Indians inAmerica introduced the Chief Guest Dr. Subramanian Swamy. Dr. G. Reddy introduced Shri Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana Dasa) and Shri Prasad Yalamanchi, Chairman of Global Hindu Heritage Foundation introduced Sri Kamal Kumar Swami. Indira Narasimharajan and Priya Sahani Sood, as the MCs for the event, did a wonderful job. Patriotic songs were sung by Vishal Khera and Dinesh Kumar Prabhakar in their melodious voice. Dances were performed by the students of Swati Vaishnav of NartanRang Dance Academy. The program ended with a clarion call to Hindus all over the world to unite. The message was that if each one of us does just a little, together we can accomplish a lot!
8000-Year-Old Advanced Civilisation In Konkan Coast? Source : HPI INDIA, May 26, 2011: Did the Konkan coast from Shrivardhan in Raigad to Vengurla in Sindhudurga host a human habitat around 8000 years ago? Did that population have welldeveloped engineering skills? Was there a unique Konkan culture in existence in 6000BC? A new archaeological discovery, below sea level along the Konkan coast (off Goa and Karnataka), could give answers to these questions. Researchers have found a wall-like structure that is 24 kilometres long, 2.7 metres tall, and around 2.5 metres wide. The structure shows uniformity in its construction. "It has been found three metres below the present sea level. It has been constructed on the ancient sand beach, which was taken as the base for the construction. Considering the uniformity of the structure, it was obvious that the structure is man-made and not natural," said "Dr. Ashok Marathe, professor Department of Archaeology, Postgraduate and Research Institute, Deccan College, Pune. "We were actually studying the impacts of tsunamis and earthquakes on the western coast when we first found this structure in Valneshwar," said Marathe. "Then we started talking with the locals and fisher-folks and we got news about more such structures below water."
WAVES 2011- Conference on Varna, Jati and Kula The Resolutions below have been adopted by the WAVES Jati / Varna / Kula Conference after thorough deliberations by the participants, consisting of spiritual leaders, scholars and other experts, both at the conference venue and afterwards via follow-up discussions. This represents one key document in the multistage process envisaged by the WAVES Jati / Varna / Kula Conference of deliberatons and discussions on this sensitive and complex topic. This document is not meant to be a definitive statement of a policy position, but rather a framework for developing further productive discussions on this important subject within the Hindu community. Guidance on the practices of Dharma is the province of acharyas in the Hindu tradition, and in that light, we note that this is not a prescriptive or binding document for the Hindu community, nor is it any kind of final word on this subject. Rather, it is a set of principles and issues we believe should be carefully considered when the topic of jati / varna / kula is addressed, particularly in a political or academic setting.
Conference Resolutions Attendees deliberated and decided upon the following resolutions as essential to the fair portrayal of Hinduism & related institutions: (1) The word ―caste‖ cannot be conflated with the indigenous Indic jati / varna / kula system. ―Caste‖ derives from the Portuguese word ―casta‖ and describes something distinct from the jati / varna / kula system, which is a complex and ancient socioeconomic ordering system that developed in various manifestations within Indian society over thousands of years. The European concept of ―caste‖ is not an accurate term to describe this indigenous Indian system. (2) Jati / varna / kula cannot be understood outside the context of Dharma, the ethical system that underpins Hinduism / Sanatana Dharma. Various dharmas are applicable to individuals at different stages of their life, at different stages of their spiritual development, and taking into account the variables of time, place and circumstance. Dharma is meant to harmonize the spiritual, physical and psychological well being of the individual, as well as the needs and concerns of the family, the society and the larger cosmos. Accordingly, Varnashrama Dharma is one of the elements of Dharma that systemizes the practices of the individual, the family, and the society at large in order to promote individual and social harmony, fulfillment and well-being. It provides for social mobility while embracing diversity, emphasizing Duties over Rights, the equitable distribution of powers amongst different sections of society, and harmonious co-existence as opposed to hyper-competition and a survival of the fittest mentality, among other values.
(3) Within Sanatana Dharma, jati / varna / kula has been a fundamental aspect used to adapt Dharmic practices to individuals and groups based on their personality makeup. It is an integral part of the social, spiritual, psychological and metaphysical ordering of human beings within the Hindu tradition, inextricably linked with the Indic frameworks of karma, dharma, gunas and doshas. The jati / varna /kula is determined by a number of factors namely birth, clan, quality, conduct, spiritual knowledge and profession. It is not determined by birth alone as perceived in certain quarters. Across the Vedic literature, and across the history, which factor has been considered more important has depended on the context. Different factors have gained importance in different contexts. This diversity amongst sampradayas / paramparas is a hallmark of the Santana Dharma tradition, which eschews homogenizing institutionalization and such diversity should be embraced and promoted. (4) The original system of jati / varna has been corrupted and distorted in practice over the course of history, primarily due to the destructive influence of colonialism and systemic destruction of traditional institutions of Dharma over many centuries. This should always be kept in mind when analyzing Hindu society of today, barely 60 years after independence. (5) When representatives of Hinduism describe jati / varna, they must clearly convey these points. Trying to define jati / varna in Western terms or pigeon holing of these complex ideas into incompatible Western frameworks like human rights, secular humanism, etc. precludes a fair and accurate portrayal of Hinduism on its own terms, and should be resisted strongly. (6) Varna/Jati/Kula had by and large remained bedrock of socio-political, economic, and spiritual advancement of people in India, up until foreign powers invaded, occupied, and exploited the country. Traditional values and practices of enlightened system of Varna/Jati/Kula need to be asserted through education and governance to not only eradicate any corrupted practices but also to promote strong progressive and harmonious features of the system through socio-political and economic steps for the benefit of people at large. (7) While there may be many differing views and policies on the applicability of jati / varna in the modern age, and each such view has a legitimate place under the umbrella of Dharma, Hindus must observe certain guidelines when discussing the topic of jati / varna in our roles as Hindu advocacy organizations or as representatives of Dharma, given the political dangers and sensitivities involved.
In particular: a. Varnashrama system is inclusive in nature and promotes the well-being of every individual. It is built on foundations of human qualities such as kindness, forgiveness, tolerance, truthfulness, etc. Therefore, we firmly oppose any discriminatory treatment, atrocity and denial of civil rights meted out to anybody, in general. b. We resolve not to accept conflation of caste with jati / varna. c. We resolve to fight against jati / varna being denigrated as a human rights issue or an issue of racial or ethnic discrimination. We resolve that the observance of Varnashrama Dharma is a matter to be determined by the various sampradayas / paramparas within Hindu society and it is not appropriate to prescribe any single method of conduct or observance for all of Hindu society, which is antithetical to the Dharmic way.