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Showing posts from April, 2007

Hindu Children Figurine from Lladro

The Hindu Children from Lladro is one of the earliest Hindu porcelain figures from a noted company.

This edition of Hindu Children porcelain figurine was issued in 1986. It retails for $550. Lladro is a Spanish Company noted for high quality porcelain figurines.

No more VIP treatment in Tirupati Temple

Next time when you are in the long queue for the ‘darshan’ of Tirupati Balaji, don’t be surprised if you find your favorite film star standing behind you. The controversy created by Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan visit to Tirupati has forced Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams to ask non-protocol VIPs to stand in queue.So, who are the non-protocol VIPs? Actors, industrialists, sports persons and all celebrities. The political class is excluded so they will continue to have the VIP status.But who will protect the likes of Aishwarya and Abhishek when they are standing in the long queue? It seems the temple authorities will provide special protection when they are in the queue. Now, how they will provide the security needs to be seen.In another development from May 1 onwards there will be no ‘VIP break darshan’ on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the price of ‘VIP break darshan’ ticket has been hiked from Rs 200 to 500. In ‘VIP break darshan’ devotees are allowed to enter the temple on priori…

A New Book on Purusa Sukta

Purusa Sukta is a hymn on creation and is found in the Vedas. The book is titled ‘A New Approach to Purusa Suktam’ and is written by T. Venkatacharya. This English translation and exposition is based on Sanskrit commentary of Purusa Sukta by Rangantha Muni.Reviewing the book in The Hindu M. Narasimhachary says that this interpretation, which is quite novel, tries to explain the ‘mystery’ of creation of the universe in as simple a language as possible.Published by
Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar,
38, Bidhan Sarani,
Kolkata – 700006

Deciphering the Vedas Using Artificial Intelligence

When one goes deep into the Vedas, numerous doubts arise regarding the use of certain words as they have multiple meanings. And certain concepts give a feel as if they have been forced into the Vedas and were not part of the original text. Prabhu Ram Raghunathan of Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to clear such doubts on a statistical basis. So what is Artificial Intelligence?From library.thinkquest.orgArtificial Intelligence, or AI for short, is a combination of computer science, physiology, and philosophy. AI is a broad topic, consisting of different fields, from machine vision to expert systems. The element that the fields of AI have in common is the creation of machines that can "think".Varun Aggarwal writes in expresscomputeronline in detail about the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in deciphering the Vedas and the role played by Prabhu Ram Raghunathan.Prabhu Ram Raghunathan is currently trying to buil…

Lord Krishna from Lladro

Lladro is a Spanish Company noted for high quality porcelain figurines.

This limited edition of Lord Krishna porcelain figurine was issued in the year 2005. It retails for $520. RelatedVeena Ganesha from Lladro

Hindu Priests Administer Polio Drops in Bihar

Along with ‘prasad’ and blessings, Hindu priests in the state of Bihar are administering polio drops to children. This new initiative from the health officials came when polio cases were reported in the state this year. Health officials in Bihar have trained hundreds of priests to give polio drops to immunize children.Reuters reports"We are keen to wipe out polio and we thought involving temple priests would be a good idea as people trust and listen to them," said Gopal Krishna, a senior Bihar health official."I was very surprised when the priest put polio drops into the mouths of several children, including my son, as god's blessings," said Sunita Devi, a resident of Patna, the state capital. "But we trust the priest as he can do us no harm."

Allow Music Legend Yesudas into Guruvayur Temple

A debate is going on in the state of Kerala whether music legend Yesudas should be allowed into the world famous SriKrishnaTemple in Guruvayur. Yesudas, a Christian by birth, has rendered hundreds of Hindu devotional songs and is living legend. In fact, in several temples in Kerala, Lord Krishna wakes up listening to his heavenly voice. The singer is warmly received in Sabarimala and the KollurMookambikaTemple. But several temples in Kerala do not allow non-Hindus to enter the temple premises. Brief HistorySeveral years ago, Yesudas was denied permission to participate in a concert in the GuruvayurTemple with his guru and Carnatic legend Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar. Rising to the defense of his able student, Chembai moved the concert venue to another place in the temple town and held an all night concert in praise of Lord Krishna.The ControversyTo allow or not to allow Yesudas into the SriKrishnaTemple has been a point of debate in Kerala after the refusal incident. But none of t…

What does Hindu Goddess Durga mean?

Goddess Durga is one of the most important deities in the Hindu pantheon. But what is the meaning of Durga? The word Durga literally means ‘difficult to access,’ ‘impossible to overcome’ or ‘hard to reach.’

According to Devi Rahasya Tantra, the goddess got the name after killing a demon named Durgama or Durga. तत्रैव च व्धिश्यामी दुर्गामख्यम महासुरम |
दुर्गादेवी ती विख्यातम तन्मे नाम भविष्यति ||

She is ‘difficult to access’ because she resides atop the VindhyaMountain, which was very difficult to reach. Therefore, she is also known as Vindhyavasini.

10 Million Rupees Decoration for Temple Deity

The deity of the famous Muthumariamman temple at Kattur in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu was decorated with ornaments and cash worth Rupees 10 million for the Tamil New Year. Goddess Muthumariamman was decorated as Dhanalakshmi (Goddess of wealth). The Hindu reportsSetting the background with currency notes in the denomination of Rs.1000, currency notes of Rs.500 and Rs.100 were placed under the foot and two sides of the idol, as part of the decoration, all worth about Rupees 4 million, temple authorities claimed.Besides this, the idol was adorned with gold and diamond ornaments worth over Rupees 6 million.It is good to hear that the Goddess was able to attract such huge wealth, and the Goddess will be even more pleased if the wealth will be utilized to help her poor devotees. The Goddess will attract even more wealth when her poor devotees can lead a better life.

Bhagavad Gita for Visually Impaired and Blind People

The Braille version of Bhagavad Gita has been developed by the International School of Bhagavad Gita, Trivandrum. The spiritual institution is headed by Swami Sandeepa Chaitanya, who is noted for his unique interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita. The two-volume unabridged version is in Malayalam Braille.According to Swami Sandeep Chaitanya, this is the first ever Braille version of the Gita and it was developed with the help of the ‘Association of Blind’ and software experts.Speaking to the PTI swami said "It is interesting to note that the Gita opens with Sanjaya describing the scene of the epic Kurukshetra war to the blind king Dhritarashtra. So, it is fair that visually impaired persons in our time should not miss an opportunity to read and grasp this eternal work.""When you go through the Gita, you can see how precisely and graphically Sanjaya describes every minute detail of the scene to a blind person, for him to catch comprehensively in his mind," he said.

Villagers Parading Bones and Corpses on Bengali New Year

Major newspapers around the world reported about a horrific ritual of parading bones and corpses in a village in West Bengal. According to Reuters, the ritual is called the ‘Naramundo Khela’ (Skull Game) and only takes place in SonaPalasiVillage, which is around 165 km west of Kolkata. The ritual is dedicated to Lord Shiva and marks the beginning of Bengali New Year. As part of the festival, some villagers carrying skulls and daggers danced to rhythmic drum beats with their bodies covered with white ash and spotted with red and green paints as around 2,000 other people watched.Police have confirmed about the ritual taking place and they are investigating the case. Environmental and social activists have come out against this horrific ritual.The report first appeared in Reuters and was later published in newspapers around the world. Till now, none of the Indian newspapers have reported about the ritual. (No idea whether it is being reported in the regional newspapers). It seems the vi…

Hindus in Canada Need a Designated River for Burial Ritual

Canadian Hindus are looking out for a designated water body for burial ritual. According to 2001 census, Canada is home to more than 300,000 practicing Hindus and majority of them are third and second generation Hindu Canadians. Earlier, they used to carry the ashes to India but slowly many are opting to disperse them in the rivers in Canada. But they don’t have a designated river and therefore they are doing the ritual in an unceremonious way.Jeanne Gagnon writes in National Post"Currently, people are depositing the ashes in bodies of water, in Lake Ontario and other places, but they are doing it in a very unceremonious manner -- with fears in their minds that they may be doing something wrong," said Roopnauth Sharma, the president of the United Hindu Federation and the spiritual leader of the Shri Ram temple in Mississauga.The search for a designated site began when a growing number of Hindus started placing ashes, leaves and flowers in Canadian waterways. Mr. Sharma said …

Vaishno Devi Ladoos and Economic Empowerment of Women

The ladoos (sweet) that are given as ‘prasad’ (offering) in the famous Vaishno Devi temple is slowly transforming the financial fortune of Parthal village, which is two kilometer from the shrine. Thanks to Dr Anil P Joshi of Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organisation (HESCO), who during one of his visits to the shrine noticed that the ‘ladoos’ distributed in the shrine came from far flung urban centers and thought about changing it. Raju William writes in TribuneAnil P Joshi said “At the shrine, I noticed that prasad offered here was prepared and brought from outside urban centers, so I thought why can’t this be prepared by the rural folks, especially women of the area by equipping them with technology evolved by my organization to process the local farm produce. To me, this seemed as a sure way of providing employment to them.” So, this village nearest to the shrine was chosen for the purpose after assessing the economic condition of its people. He then negotiated …

Open Air Hindu Cremation Issue in Britain

Cremation laws in the United Kingdom do not permit open air cremations like the one practiced in Hinduism. A recent attempt to establish an open air cremation site was blocked by the Newcastle City Council. Davender Kumar Ghai, a 68-year-old practicing Hindu, challenged the council order in the court and demanded the right to be cremated on an open-air pyre when he died. A High Court has approved to take up the Judicial Review petition. But no date has been set for the Judicial Review petition.Times of India reportsDavendar Kumar Ghai, founder and president of the Anglo-Asian Friendship Society, created headlines last July when he arranged the first human funeral pyre in Britain since the Home Office authorised the outdoor cremation of Sumshere Jung, a Nepalese princess and the wife of the Napalese ambassador in Woking in 1934.If the High Court disagrees, Ghai's case will be pursued on a human rights basis. "Only if the law is made clear in favour of pyres can I incorporate…

Dalita Govindam

As reported earlier, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) organized a Dalita Govindam in the Dalitawada of Vemuru Village situated near Tirupati on April 9th. The processional deity of Lord Malyappaswamy and His consorts at GoddessPadmavathiAmmavariTemple in Tiruchanur and were taken out in a colorful procession to the Vermuru village.The deity was placed on a decorated rostrum at the colony where the priests performed ‘Kalyanotsavam.’ People in the village were given prasadam and the pundits gave them the Vedic ‘asirvachanams,’ which is normally an exclusive prerogative of the VIPs.Later ‘Saha Pankthi Bhojanam (meal) – wherein all without any caste discrimination shared the prasadam, and more importantly slept for the night in the same village along with the deities.A step in the right direction but TTD should concentrate more on providing free education to those who have suffered due to the caste system. Job opportunities should be created for women. If utilized properly, the record…

No Burial Site for Hindu Kids in Delhi

NDTV reports that the family of a one-and-a-half-year-old boy could not find a suitable burial site for the kid as they were told Hindu ritual doesn't allow a three-year-old child to be cremated.The only option the family had was to leave the child at a filthy pool called ‘bacha ghat.’ As per Hindu ritual small children are buried, if their parents are alive. In villages and small towns, there is still enough space to bury the dead. But in big cities this is no longer the case. The ideal option is to bring flexibility in rituals and allow the dead children to be cremated.

Vishu Festival at Sabarimala Temple

The famous SabarimalaTemple in Kerala will open for Vishu festival on April 14, 2018. The temple will open at 1700 hrs on April 10 and usual rituals will begin from April 11. Vishu festival is on April 14 and the temple will close on April 18th.
On the Vishu day, the temple will open at 0400hrs and the Vishukani will take place at 0600hrs. Vishukani will also take place at the same time at Malikappuram and at the Pampa Ganapati temple. The priests will distribute the ‘Vishu Kaineettam’ (coin distribution) after the Vishukani ritual.
The Sabarimala shrine remains closed for the major part of the year. It only opens for the temple festival, Vishu and for the mandala-makaravilaku season (November-December-January). The temple also opens on the first day of every Malayalam month.

Automated 108-feet Hanuman Idol in Delhi

The arms of this Hanuman idol open and a trolley holding idols of Lord Ram and Sita comes out of his heart. Well, this is not an animated or 3D scene. This unique 108-feet idol is located at Pusa Road roundabout in New Delhi. The surprises are not yet over; the statue stands on the severed head of a demon, houses a four-storied temple and an underground cave with water. It took around 13 years to complete the idol, which has been placed 30 feet under the ground. The four-storied temple inside the statue houses temples of Lord Ram, Lord Shvia, Sai Baba and Vaishno Devi. The door to the temple is thorough the mouth of the demon. There is a fountain on the statue with water flowing from the head. The automated arms opening of the Hanuman Statue takes place only on Tuesdays and Thursdays after the evening prayers at 1900hrs.

Rare Idol of Lord Shiva was bought by Cleveland Museum

The four-faced rare idol of Lord Shiva which was sold for $4.07 million at Sotheby's New York on March 23, 2007 is now the proud possession of ClevelandMuseum. The sculpture combines the attributes of Shiva as the destroyer and Brahma as the creator to encapsulate the Hindu belief in death, reincarnation and progress toward perfection, said Stainslaw Czuma, who urged ClevelandMuseum to invest on the idol.
From Cleveland Blog "This is the crowning of my career," said Stanislaw Czuma, who retired in 2005 after 33 years as the museum's curator of Indian and Southeast Asian art, and who urged the museum to buy the work. "From every level you approach it, this is a fantastic acquisition."Czuma said the sculpture probably adorned an outdoor niche on the north side of a major temple in southern India, but it is not known when the work was removed. He said it was the finest of a group of five major stone statues of Shiva as Brahma acquired by American museums before…

Prisoners make rope for Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple Flag

During the annual Panguni festival at the famous SriPadmanabhaswamyTemple in Trivandrum, Kerala, fresh cords (rope) for the temple flags are ordered from the Central Prison. It might sound strange, but this is a tradition that has been followed without a break for 120 years.

The two set of cords needed for the festival is ordered in three months advance. And the cord will be ready two weeks before the commencement of the festival. The entire process of making the cord is done by the Prisoners at the Central Prison in Trivandrum.
Earlier, the prisoners used to make several other items needed for the temple. But now they only provide cords for temple flags and tassels for ‘onnavillu.’

Dianne Bell’s Visual Exploration of Lord Krishna Myth

Dianne Blell, a noted visual artist, says she is captivated by Krishna myth in which love and desire are elevated and spiritualized. The prime reason why Krishna myth captivates her is that her Catholic upbringing considered desire and sex as deadly sins.

This is an example of Dianne Bell’s multimedia/ photography tableau series based on Lord Krishna entitled - Desire for the Intimate Deity. The above tableau is titled ‘Anticipation.’
Now this tableau is created using a complex method and Hamtons explains it like this. Ms. Blell’s images based on Indian mythology, incorporate an Indian painted miniatures format in which each aspect of the courtship ritual is depicted. The process begins with the construction of elaborately painted 12 X 10 foot sets in which the story and images are framed. The artist then designs the costumes, does the makeup, casts the dramas, directs and then shoots the scene using a Sinar 4 X 5 Camera. What results, is a remarkable series of rehearsed and staged …