Let me tell you the truth: there is nothing wrong in your being in the world. But you must direct your mind towards God; otherwise you will not succeed. Do your duty with one hand and with the other hold to God. After the duty is over, you will hold to God with both hands.
– Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)
HYDERABAD, INDIA, August 27, 2014 (Silicon India):
A unique international film festival here brought into focus the dilapidated condition of Hindu temples in India, highlighting problems like corruption, mismanagement, encroachments, financial problems faced by priests and erosion of traditional rituals associated with worship. Aimed at creating awareness about the need to save temples, the three-day festival saw the screening of 40 movies from different parts of India and countries like Mauritius, Denmark, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Britain and the United States.
The first-of-its kind festival was organized by the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF), an initiative launched by a group of Indian Americans to protect temples in India. “We want to make people aware of richness of temples and the need to address issues related to their protection, annadanam, gomata and other aspects of temples,” Velagapudi Prakasarao, founder of the foundation, said.
An Indian American who started the foundation in 2006, Prakasarao attributed the problems faced by the temples, especially in southern India, to the government control over them. Unlike in the north where only major temples are under the government, in the south nearly all temples come under the Endowments department.
ALIGARH, INDIA, August 28, 2014 (Times of India):
A church with a cross in it that belonged to the 7th Day Adventists overnight turned into a temple adorned with a portrait of Shiva after what some Hindu groups in Aligarh termed the “successful ghar wapasi” (reconversion) of 72 Valmikis who had become Christians in 1995. There was an elaborate shuddhi karan (purification) ceremony on Tuesday inside the church in Asroi, 18 miles from Aligarh.
Khem Chandra, Sangh pracharak and pramukh of Dharam Jagran Vivad in Aligarh, said, “This is called ghar wapasi, not conversion. They left by choice and today they have realized their mistake and want to come back. We welcome them. We can’t let our samaj scatter, we have to hold it tight. I have told them that honor comes from within the community and not from outside.” Chandra added that in the years that followed their adoption of Christianity, he met heads of the eight Valmiki families numerous times to convince them to reconsider their decision.
Anil Gaur, one of those who returned to the Hindu fold, said it was because they were unhappy with the caste system that they changed their religion. “But we found ourselves in no better position among Christians,” he said. “As Hindus we had no status and were restricted to doing menial jobs, but even after remaining a Christian for 19 years, we saw that no one came to us from their community. There was no celebration of Bada Din (Christmas). The missionaries just built a church for us in the vicinity where some of the villagers got married. That was all.”
Find the One everywhere and in everything and there will be an end to all pain and suffering.
– Sri Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), Bengali mystic and saint
DEARBORN, MICHIGAN, August 8, 2014 (PR Web):
Shama Mehta didn’t expect her life to change the day she interviewed for a volunteer services position at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn. After being downsized from an administrative position with her previous employer, she knew she wanted to work in an environment where she could help other people. Mehta, a 30-year-old devout Hindu from Livonia, never considered chaplaincy and she certainly wasn’t prepared for how the journey would impact her life.
A naturally enthusiastic, ambitious and positive person, Mehta has since completed her training as a hospital chaplain and is taking the final steps to receive her certification as a Board Certified Chaplain. She is now a permanent member of the Oakwood Spiritual Support staff, making it only one of two programs in in the entire country whose commitment to diversity has resulted in having Clinical Pastoral Education certified chaplains in each of the four major faiths: Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish.
INDIA, August 29, 2014 (Indian Embassy Phnom Penh):
In its present phase, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been working on the restoration of the Ta Prohm temple since 2003. Ta Prohm temple, dedicated to Lord Brahma (Prohm) was built during the period between mid-twelfth century and early thirteenth century by Khmer King Jayavarman VII. Ta Prohm was initially constructed as a Buddhist monastery and was very wealthy in its time. It was dedicated by King Jayavarman VII to his mother.
Ta Prohm, more popularly known as Tree Temple is one of the finest specimen of Khmer creativity and architecture of the Angkorean era. ASI has successfully documented all identified structures of the temple and proposed conservation thereof. It has also successfully restored the 3rd enclosure gallery (which was completely fallen before), main causeway and the 4th enclosure Gopura.
How can one realize that which alone is real? All we need to do is to give up our habit of regarding as real that which is unreal. Reality alone will remain, and we will be That.
– Sri Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 29, 2014 (equityineducation2014.org):
The Hindu American Foundation is working with a broad coalition of more than 100 organizations, educators and government leaders to change the face of History-Social Studies Standards in the State of California.
Along with our coalition partners, HAF is working to pass California Senate Bill (SB) 1057 — Pupil Curriculum: History-Social Science Content Standards, a bill to update California’s K-12 History-Social Science Content Standards. These Standards form the foundation of school textbooks and define what must be taught in classrooms. They have not been updated in nearly two decades and are based on outdated material from 1987. Put into effect, it will help create textbook content that portrays all groups fairly and accurately, and protects children from being bullied based on their heritage or background.
Authored by State Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett, SB 1057 passed both chambers of the State Legislature with widespread bipartisan support and is now awaiting the governor’s signature.
Click on “source” for how you can help with this final step.