Pleasing The King

September 8, 2014 by · Comments Off
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There was once a wise man who lived simply. His spartan food habits reflected this. He had a friend who, being a sycophant of the king, lived in great luxury. One day this friend called on the wiseman while he was eating. Looking at the food, the friend said, “My friend, if you can please the king like me, you will be free from this wretched food.” The wise man smiled and replied, “My friend, if you can be pleased with this simple food, you can be free from the wretched job of pleasing the king.”
– Anonymous

Temple Demolition: Pakistani Hindus Seek Redress

September 8, 2014 by · Comments Off
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NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 5, 2014 (Business Standard):

As Pakistani authorities are all set to raze a 79-year-old temple in Rawalpindi, anger and disappointment prevail among the country’s Hindu minority that is seeking protection and freedom to practice their religion in an Islamic state.

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

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

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

Australian PM Tony Abbott Returns 11th Century Stolen Statues to Modi

September 8, 2014 by · Comments Off
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NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 5, 2014 (New Indian Express):

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday handed over to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi two antique statues of Hindu deities which were stolen from temples in Tamil Nadu before being bought by art galleries in Australia.

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

Dazzle The World

September 7, 2014 by · Comments Off
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You must not let your life run in the ordinary way; do something that nobody else has done, something that will dazzle the world. Show that God’s creative principle works in you.
– Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), founder of Self Realization Fellowship

Call for papers: Digital Hinduism Academic Anthology

September 7, 2014 by · Comments Off
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WASHINGTON, D.C., September 5, 2014 (Hinduism Today):

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

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Owns $1.6 Billion in Properties across India, Nepal

September 7, 2014 by · Comments Off
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HYDERABAD, INDIA, August 27, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle):

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

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

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

Ganesha Festival in UK

September 7, 2014 by · Comments Off
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UNITED KINGDOM, September 3, 2014 (Echo):

Thousands of people turned out to the country’s biggest festival celebrating the Hindu God Ganesh. More than 10,000 Hindus descended on Shoebury’s East Beach for the Ganesh Visarjan on Sunday after a procession from Blackgate Road to a marquee on the beach.

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

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

Chinese President Xi May Offer India New Route for Kailash Yatra

September 7, 2014 by · Comments Off
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INDIA, September 4, 2014 (Hindustan Times):

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

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

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

More at “source.”

The Fragrance of Human Virtues

September 6, 2014 by · Comments Off
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The fragrance of the flower is never borne against the breeze, but the fragrance of human virtues diffuses itself everywhere.
– Ramayana

Thousands Come to Altare Ashram to Celebrate Ganesh

September 6, 2014 by · Comments Off
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ALTARE, ITALY, august 31,2014 (La Stampa–translated from Italian):

Over two thousand Hindu devotees and a large number of dignitaries came to celebrate the annual festival of Ganesha Caturthi at the Gitananda Ashram. The event was a great success. As has been a tradition for many years now, the Ashram hosted a heartfelt celebration dedicated to the the birthday of the God Ganesh, who is most loved by the Hindu faithful. The day was divided into two parts, with an early morning visit to the temple dedicated to prayers and rituals, and the later part dedicated to speeches by the important personalities present, including the Consul General of India, who arrived from Milan, and the Ambassador of India to Italy, who came specially from Rome. The closing event was the procession with the statue of the God.

“Our celebration of Ganesha Caturthi was based on prayer for peace in the world – explained the leaders of the Ashram – for which we asked for peace for everyone, without distinction of any kind. And we hope that our request will be heard.” Devotees came from all over the north of Italy, and also from some neighboring European countries. The Ashram was founded in 1984 (this year celebrated thirty years of work) as a place of prayer and study of the Hindu tradition by Yogasri Swami Yogananda Giri.

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