They have “Dial-a-Prayer” for atheists now. You call it up, it rings and rings, but nobody answers.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, June 23, 2014 (Medical Daily):
Thousands of sun-worshipping yogis lined their mats up in the middle of Times Square to celebrate the summer solstice on Saturday. More than 11,000 people followed the Athleta sponsored events “Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness Yoga” as they gradually moved from pose to pose in their bare feet.
The summer solstice occurs when the sun aligns directly over the Tropic of Cancer, which is the moment the earth’s tilt toward the sun is at a maximum, on June 21. This is the only day of the year that the sun is at its highest point in the sky, making it the longest day of the calendar year, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
Solstice means “standing on the sun” and marks the midsummer point when the earth returns back into the dark half of the year. The sun is an important aspect of yoga. In fact, one of the most familiar stances is Surya Namaskar, which means “sun salutation” and represents a symbolic movement of the human reliance on the sun. For thousands of years Hindus, who are one of the original creators of yoga, have revered the sun they call Surya because they believe it is the creator of all life. The sun salutation pose stems from the word namas, which means to bow or adore the sun and is used as a reminder of our place in the world.
FIJI, June 24, 2014 (Fiji Times):
About 2,300 Hindu devotees gathered at the Lovu Sangam Temple on the outskirts of Lautoka early on Sunday morning for the annual firewalking ceremony.
Temple committee president Daniel Raju said preparations for the event began with the procession of a statue of the Goddess Mariamman to devotees’ homes in the five days leading up to the firewalking ceremony. The Deity is revered as the Goddess of rain and is closely associated with the Goddess of time, change and destruction, Kali.
“The youngest person who walked across the hot coals was four years old and the eldest was 92-year-old Permal Poojari.” Mr. Raju said the temple had been holding firewalking rituals since 1920 and 32 people participated in the firewalking ceremony this year.
Stop all your attachments to false values. In an ever-changing world there is nothing worthwhile for us to desire or weep for. Joys and sorrows are bound to come in human life; they are just two sides of the same coin.
– Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1992), founder of the Chinmaya Mission
UNITED KINGDOM, June 24, 2014 (Daily Mail):
Married couples are in decline, fuelled by changes in social attitudes and the arrival of families from abroad. The proportion of families with a couple who have tied the knot fell from 70 per cent in 2001 to 65 per cent in 2011, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. However, there are wide variations between the nationalities of families, with 85 per cent of Indian couples getting married compared to just 35 per cent of those from Somalia.
New research based on the 2011 Census shows that there were 15.8 million households living in England and Wales, with 9 in 10 of them comprising of a single family. While almost two-thirds (65 per cent) were married, the proportion with cohabiting couples and lone parent families rose in the decade from 2011. Some 85 per cent of families were headed by someone born in the UK.
But a breakdown based on the nationality of the “family reference person” shows how rates of marriage, cohabiting and living alone vary depending on where in the world one comes from. Marriage rates were highest among families headed by someone born in India (85 per cent, followed by Sri Lanka (84 per cent) and Afghanistan (83 per cent). The ONS said: “High proportions of married couples may reflect cultural attitudes towards family structures and marriage in the population.”
See graphs at source for further information.
MUMBAI, INDIA, June 20, 2014 (Times Of India):
Exactly 6,099 years from today, when future inhabitants of planet earth crack open a time capsule in an American university, they’ll find four books on yoga — in the form of microfilms — published by a Santa Cruz institute. These publications found their way into the Crypt of Civilization in 1940, when researchers from Georgia’s Oglethorpe University, hunting for the best documentation on yoga, arrived at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai.
Today, this 96-year-old institute — possibly the world’s oldest yoga centre — celebrates World Yoga Day with a camp for police officers. In the 1990s, they also trained 600 textile workers. Currently, 1,000 students visit daily.
The institute was founded by Manibhai Haribhai Desai (later known as Shri Yogendra) in 1918 after he completed his training at Malsar ashram. The institute has several firsts to its credit. In 1920, Shri Yogendra opened an outpost in New York State and in 1937, his wife penned the first book on yoga for women. It is one of the four publications included in the Crypt of Civilization.
Kaivalyadhama Lonavla, started in 1924, is also one of the world’s oldest yoga centres together with The Yoga Institute.
JAMMU, INDIA, June 27, 2014 (India Today):
The first batch of Shri Amaranth pilgrims will leave Jammu Yatri Niwas, the base camp for the yatra, on June 27 and these pilgrims, who will go through the Baltal route, are expected to have first darshan on June 28.
Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Shantmanu said Shri Amarnath Yatra will be allowed only through the short Baltal route and no pilgrims will be allowed via the longer Pahalgam route. About 1500 to 2000 pilgrims will leave on Friday morning. He said those yatris who have been registered to go via Phalgam will have the option to go for darshan via Baltla too if they want to go with these batches.
He added that following a heavy snowfall on the Phalgam route, it will not be possible to allow yatra through this route and any decision regarding this will be taken only after a go-ahead from the security agencies.
To the growing soul, to the spirit within us, may not difficulties, obstacles, attacks be a means of growth, added strength, enlarged experience, training for spiritual victory? The arrangement of things may be that, and not a mere question of the pounds, shillings and pence of a distribution of rewards and retributory misfortunes!
– Sri Aurobindo Ghose (1872-1950), Indian philosopher speaking on karma and disasters
NEW ZEALAND, April 10, 2014 (Indian Weekender):
The inaugural World Hindu Congress will be held in New Delhi, India, later in the year. The November 21-23 conference has been organized by the World Hindu Foundation. Leaders and representatives of various Hindu organizations, temples and associations are invited to attend the congress. The number of delegates is limited to 1500, of which foreign delegates are limited to 750.
The theme envisioned is the Hindu principle of Sangachchhadhwam Samvadadhwam, which means “Step together, Express together.” The main purpose for the World Hindu Congress is to provide a global platform for Hindu society to deliberate and formulate solutions to the myriad challenges being faced by Hindus throughout the world and to devise workable and tangible solutions that can be implemented.
MONTREAL, CANADA, June 7, 2014 (Weekly Voice):
Samskrita Bharati (Canada) participated in the 10th Annual Sanskrit Conference held at McGill University in Montreal on Friday, May 30th where they launched their unique product — Sanskrit Greeting Cards — with the support of Prof. (Dr.) Arvind Sharma.
Samskrita Bharati (Canada) wishes to make Sanskrit popular in daily lives through the use of many innovative approaches like greeting cards for special occasions and have many more exciting future projects in the pipeline.
Dr. Sharma is a member of the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University since 1987 and has been instrumental behind the Annual Sanskrit Conference. In its 10th year, the conference had seen participation from not only far off places of Canada but also guests and speakers from the United States.