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Showing posts from August, 2007

Lladro Goddess Lakshmi

Lladro, a Spanish firm noted for high quality porcelain figurines, has issued a limited edition porcelain figurine of Goddess Lakshmi – the Hindu Goddess of wealth. Part of Lladro 2007 fall issue, the figurine is presently available in many online stores and retails for $3,780 (Lladro yahoo price). Only 2000 figurines of this limited edition are available for sale.

The Goddess Lakshmi figurine as described by Lladro - A fair lady, seated on a full-bloomed lotus and also holding two lotus buds, which stand for beauty, purity and fertility. Her four hands represent the four ends of human life (Purusharthas). A plate with gold coins is found in front of her, suggesting that she blesses with wealth those who worship her. She is bejeweled and dressed in fine garments, wearing gold embroidered red clothes. Particular attention has been paid to the expression of the face, with a pink complexion and soft make-up to enhance the fine female features.Sculptor is Francisco Polope and Size includin…

Saint Jnaneshwar’s Bhagavad Gita in English

Sant Dnyaneshwar or Saint Jnaneshwar readapted the Sanskrit Bhagavad Gita in Marathi Prakrit (old dialect used by common Maharashtrians) and it is known as Dhnyashwari or Jnaneswari. This new English translation of Saint Jnaneshwar’s Bhagavad Gita is done by Dr. Ravin Thatte and is titled ‘The Genius of Dnyaneshwar.’
Dhnyashwari, the highly appreciated and widely read Bhagavad Gita adaptation, was primarily intended for common people who were not able to understand and read the original Sanskrit version. The original version only contains 700 verses but Saint Jnaneshwar’s Jnaneswari contains 9000 verses. Saint Jnaneshwar was a youngster when this path breaking literary work was completed.
The new English translation of Dhnyashwari contains both explanation and translation of the verses and contains 123 chapters. Some repetitions and ambiguous portions have been avoided in the translation.
The translator Dr. Ravin Thatte is a famous plastic surgeon and the translation is highly enligh…

Incarnations of Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva has taken numerous incarnations but most of them are not widely popular. All the incarnations of Lord Shiva are mentioned in the Kurma Purana.The incarnations of Lord Shiva are Shveta, Sutara, Madana, Suhotra, Kankana, Lokaksi, Jaigisavya, Dadivaha, Rishabha, Bhrgu, Ugra, Atri, Bali, Gautama, Vedashiras, Gokarna, Shikandaka, Jatamali, Attahasa, Daruka, Langali, Mahayama, Muni, Suli, Pindamunishvara, Sahishnu, Somashara and Nakulishvara.Information regarding many of the incarnations of Lord Shiva found in Kurma Purana are minimal. Some of the names are quite unknown and some of them I am hearing for the first time.Stories regarding these incarnations will be published as I get them.

Madan Mohan Temple in Cooch Behar West Bengal

Madan Mohan Bari or Madan Mohan Temple in Cooch Behar, West Bengal, is one of the most important Hindu temples in North Bengal. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and was built during the fag end of the 19th century. Unlike other Hindu temples, the Madan Mohan Temple is pure white in color. The large temple complex also houses the idols of Goddess Kali, Goddess Tara and Goddess Bhavani. Raas Mela, in October or November, and Rath Yatra, in June or July, are the most important festivals.Accommodation for devotees is provided at the adjacent Anandamoyee dharmashala for Rs 60 per person. Puja tickets cost Rupees 3.

Sri Sakthi Amma’s Golden Temple in South India

SriLakshmiNarayaniTemple located in Sripuram, a spiritual town, in Thirumalaikkodi, about six km from Vellore in Tamil Nadu is made with 1.5 tonnes of gold. The Golden temple is built by Sri Sakthi Amma, head of the Sri Narayani Peedam, a private religious charitable organization. Don’t be surprised, Sri Sakthi Amma is not a female saint but a 30-year-old man. His devotees address him as Sri Sakthi Amma or Sri Narayani Amma or just Amma. The temple was consecrated on August 24, 2007.The interior and exterior of the ‘vimanam’ and ‘ardha mandapam’ of the SriLakshmiNarayaniTemple have been coated with gold. The temple is located on a 100-acre land and has been built at a cost of Rs. 300 crore (Rupees 3 billion). Sri Sakthi Amma and Sri Narayani Peedam are involved in numerous philanthropic activities but what has made the Hindu Godman popular is the construction of golden temple, which many are indirectly suggesting is an extravaganza in a country where millions starve.According to Sri S…

Significance of Avani Avittam

Avani Avittam or Avittom is highly auspicious and is of great significance to Yajur Vedi Brahmins. On the same day, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in North India. In 2017, Avani Avittam is on August 7. The main ritual on the day is ‘Upakarma,’ which is also referred as Shravani. It is believed that Lord Hayagriva, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, brought back the Vedas, which was stolen by demons, to Lord Brahma.
Avani is the Tamil month and Avittam is one of the 27 nakshatras or stars. Chingam is the equivalent Malayalam month. Avani Avittam is of great significance in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and other southern states.
On the Avani Avittam day, Brahmins after a holy dip and change the sacred thread and wear a new holy thread. This ritual is known as Upakarma, which means beginning. The sacred thread is referred as ‘Poonool,’ ‘Yajnopavita’ or ‘Janeyu.’ The ritual also symbolizes the permission to study the Vedas.
Usually the function is conducted by communities and large number of people pa…

Tale of an unknown Hare Krishna Vaishnava Devotee who walked all over India

A Hare Krishna Devotee wrote a long comment to the article on the Canadian Hare Krishna monk Swami Bhaktimarga who is undertaking a cross-country walk. The commenter is an American Hare Krishna devotee and he mentions about a Vaishnava devotee he met during his stay in India.While I lived in India 1977-86 I met a Vaishnava devote who at age 80 left home to see if Lord Krishna would take of him as he does all the birds and bees. He was 88 years old when I met him and he had such clear and glossy eyes which were just like Srila Prabhupad’s.I foolishly gave him only a few rupees as I was strictly told by the authorities at that time never to give a farthing away to any body, but I gave him some anyway.

He was so usually clean. His dhoti was spotlessly clean, like a women’s even gown and yet he told me that he often slept a train stations if he didn’t find any place else like a temple, where he usually stayed for not more than three days.He was a beautiful person and he used to draw pictur…

Nature Friendly Paper Pulp Ganesh Idols for Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi

This year numerous organizations, people and government are laying special emphasis on eco-friendly Ganesh idols. Shri Satguru Aniruddha Upasana Trust (SSAUT), headed by Dr Aniruddha Joshi (popularly known as Bapu), has been creating environment friendly Ganesha idols from paper pulp during the last couple of years. This year the Trust has received over a thousand orders from Mumbai itself. 
The Ganesh idols of Satguru Aniruddha Upasana Trust use papier mache and vegetable paints. Since these idols are made from cheap and natural materials, the cost of a finished 12 feet paper pulp Ganesh idols is less than 1500 rupees. The price of small idols range from Rupees 125 to 600. The workshop of Satguru Aniruddha Upasana Trust (SSAUT) which is involved in making the idols is in Bandra.
The growing number of people opting for eco-friendly Ganesh idols is a clear indication of the success of awareness campaign conducted by individuals and organizations. The BMC has already requested Ganesh C…

Hindu Temple in Ireland at Letterkenny in Donegal County

At present there is no full-fledged HinduTemple in Ireland but the growing number of Hindus in the country is looking out for a proper place to establish a temple. Now they have zeroed in on a factory unit Letterkenny in DonegalCounty, which they hope to convert into a HinduTemple. The Indian community is negotiating with the council and they expect to have a temple by December 2007.Plans are under way to establish a temple in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, to cater for over 300 families living in the town. The new temple is also expected to boost the local economy by bringing thousands of Hindus from around the country to Donegal. Indian-born Naidu Yttra, who is living in Letterkenny for three years, said they had already pinpointed the factory unit as a potential location and he hopes the new temple will be ready as early as December.‘We do not have any place to go and worship around here and if we want to, we have to go to Belfast or Birmingham.’In Letterkenny, several representatives fr…

Sarvamangal Ganesh by Lata Mangeshkar – Sanskrit Shlokas dedicated to Ganesha

Sarvamangal Ganesh is a new compilation of Sanskrit mantras and shlokas dedicated to Lord Ganesha by Lata Mangeshkar. Lataji prefers to not call it an album. Most the shlokas are her personal favorites and she recites them regularly. The compilation is titled ‘Sarvamangal Ganesh – The Lord of the Beginnings’ and is dedicated to Ganesha.Lata Mangeshkar believes that if a person chants the shlokas regularly he/she will be blessed by Lord Ganesha. She believes the shlokas are ideal for calming the mind. And of course, Lord Ganesh is known to bail one out of all problems – as he is Vigneshwara.The release date of Sarvamangal Ganesh is August 23.

Kalyanamasthu – Mass Marriage Conducted by Tirumala Tirupati Temple on August 26

Kalyanamasthu, the mass marriage program of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in Andhra Pradesh, will be held on August 26, 2007. This unique program is aimed at lakhs of young poor Hindus who are unable to get married as per Hindu customs due to financial difficulties. Kalyanamasthu is being held at numerous locations in Andhra Pradesh.Gold mangalsutrams, kankanams and silver mettelu, which is being provided by TTD for the thousands of marriages, were placed at the feet of Lord Venkateswara and Goddess Padmavati during a special puja on August 20. These items will be distributed to the bride and bridegroom who are going to get married on August 26. This is the second edition of Kalyanamasthu program; in the inaugural mass marriage 4,994 couples got united. The auspicious Sravana Nakshatra Muhurtham between 11.10 a.m. and 11.20 a.m on August 26 is the chosen time for the mass marriage.More details on Kalyanamasthu program can found in this earlier post.

Eco-friendly Ganesha Idols for Pune Ganesh Chaturthi from eCoexist

The nerve center of Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Maharashtra is Pune, from where Bal Gangadhar Tilak started large scale public Ganesh festival in 1893. Pune region had the tradition of making ‘shaadu’ Ganesh idols. Shaddu Ganesh idols are natural clay idols and were painted with natural colors. People used to immerse these idols in their private tanks, wells and ponds.
In recent years, Shaddu Ganesh idols had to give way to glossy chemical painted Plaster of Paris Ganesh idols, which are notorious water polluters. Now, there is an attempt from several quarters in Pune to bring back natural clay idols. eCoexist, a social enterprise in Pune, has prepared completely natural Ganesh idols and is available in select stores in the city. The raw grey idols are finished using a variety of natural clay such as multani mitti, geroo and natural dyes such as turmeric and beetroot. The idols have been made by the famous sculptors of Pen in Raigad District. According to eCoexist, the clay Ganesh idols …

Reservation of Jobs for Dalits in Private Sector and Multinational Companies in India

Reservation of Jobs for Dalits in Private Sector and Multinational Companies is being aired from several political quarters and is being advocated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Uttar Pradesh State Government recently offered incentives and concessions to companies setting up quotas for the poorer sections in the society. Emily Wax in Washington Post examines in the article titled India's Lower Castes Seek Social Progress In Global Job Market.The article discusses the caste system, mentions most foreign multinational companies are not fully aware of not fully aware of the caste system, then there are numbers and statistics of upper castes in jobs around the world, mentions activists trying to put pressure U.S. Congress to address the issue of untouchability and finally the points raised by the critics on reservation based on the caste system.It’s true that caste continues to be a major factor in India especially in matters like marriage. But poverty in modern India is no lo…

River Ganga Changing its Course in Allahabad

The government of India has admitted that River Ganga is changing its course near Phaphamau town in Allahabad. This was informed to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament, during question hour. Hindustan Times reportsA study by the Central Water Commission has confirmed that the sacred river for Hindus, Ganga, is changing track fast and in future may pose danger to Phaphamau town, if remedial measures are not taken soon, Rajya Sabha was informed. The technical team comprising of experts from Ganga Flood Control Commission, Patna, UP Government, Ministry of Railways and Central Water Commission, found that Ganga has moved towards Phaphamau side and it has been rapid in the last few years. The reason for Ganga gaining pace in changing track are two, first, higher silt generation leads to more deposits on the bank and second, more wastage generated by human reaching the river.Slight shift in River Ganga’s course has been noted earlier. But such large rate of change is the …

Hindu Adoption in India – Laws for adopting a child into Hindu family

Hindu couples adopting a child in India have to follow the Hindu Adoption Act (HAA) of 1958. The Act is applicable to all Hindu sects, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. This Act does not wholly recognize the adoptions by Muslims, Christians, Muslims, Parsis and Jews. The personal law boards of Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Judaism primarily takes care of the adoption in these communities. The Juvenile Justice Act (JJA) of 2004 looks into adoption irrespective of religion.Some of the main points in the Hindu Adoption Act (HAA) of 1958Any male Hindu who is of sound mind and is not a minor has the capacity to take a son or a daughter in adoption. Provided that, if he has a wife living, he shall not adopt except with the consent of his wife unless the wife has completely and finally renounced the world or has ceased to be a Hindu or has been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be of unsound mind.Any female Hindu who is sound mind, who is not a minor, and who is not marrie…

Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta, United States

The new BAPS Swaminarayan Temple at Lilburn in Atlanta, United States, is one of the largest traditional Hindu Vedic stone temples outside India. The Swaminarayan temple is located at the intersection of Rockbridge Road and Lawrenceville Highway in Lilburn. The city of Lilburn is part of Atlanta metropolitan area and is in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The opening ceremony of the Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta is on August 26, 2007. The Mandir is located on 30 acres of land and the estimated cost is $19 million. The temple will serve around 1000 devotees in the Atlanta Metropolitan area and around 7000 devotees in the region during festivals.
An amazing fact is that no steel or metals have been used in the construction.The Swaminaryan Mandir houses the idols of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj, Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and Shri Radha-Krishna Dev, Brahmswarup Bhagatji Maharaj, Brahmswarup Shastriji Maharaj, Brahmswarup Yogiji Maharaj, Pragat Brahmswarup Pramukh …

Illam Nira – The Harvest Festival in Guruvayur Temple Kerala

Illam Nira ceremony held at the GuruvayurSreeKrishnaTemple in Kerala is associated with agricultural harvest. This unique ceremony extols the fact that majority of the Hindu festivals and ceremonies are a tribute to nature which sustains all animate and inanimate. This ceremony is observed specifically for a prosperous harvest season and is observed in many other temples in the region including Sri Mahadeva Temple Mammiyoor, PerumthattaShivaTemple, ParthasarathyTemple and ChowalloorShivaTemple.
For Illam Nira, newly reaped paddy spikes are brought into the temple and on the next day special pujas are performed on the paddy spikes. ‘Illam Nira’ symbolically represents a very good harvest season in which the house is filled with rice for the next season.
Five days after the Illam Nira ritual is the Niraputhari ritual. In this ritual half of the paddy spikes are used to prepare ‘Puthari Nivedyam’ – the rice offering to Lord Krishna with newly reaped rice. Also prepared is a sweet dish w…

Rig Veda Written on Birch Bark

This rare copy of Rig Veda written on Birch Bark is kept at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune. Birch bark is the bark of Paper Birch Tree and was used as a writing material from prehistoric times. Date of the birch bark Rig Veda is not mentioned.Related
Rig Veda included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register
Image courtesy UNESCO

Computer Illustration of Angkor Wat Temple In Its Glory

This computer illustration of Angkor Wat at its zenith of glory in the 13th century is from National Geographic. At the time, wooden villages surrounded the temple complex's then gilded towers. Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the largest religious complex in the world and is a UNESCO heritage site.

Menstruation occurring in the idol of Goddess Parvati in Kerala Temple – Thripootharattu

The menstruation occurring in the idol of Goddess Parvati at the Chengannur Mahadeva Temple in Kerala is one of the amazing and perplexing happenings in a Hindu Temple. This unusual phenomenon, referred as Thripootharattu (menstruation ceremony), is not a monthly occurrence nowadays but elders in the region testify that earlier it used happen regularly every month. Nowadays, the menstrual bleeding, which is celebrated as a divine incident, happens occasionally. The Mahadeva Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and is located at Chengannur.Legend has it that one day when the temple priest was removing the vesture from the idol of Goddess Parvati; he noticed the presence of blood stains on the dress. The priest informed the local ruler about the unusual occurrence and the queen who examined the dress realized that it was stain of menstrual blood and it was confirmed by the women in the family of the priest.The shrine of Goddess Parvati was immediately close and invoked …

Millions of Shivlings Made in Mumbai

Each year during the month of Shravan (July – August), the Dadda Shishya Mandal makes 1.25 crores (12.5 million) Shivlings for the well being of the society. This silent ceremony has been taking place for a couple of decades and is led by Pandit Devprabhakar Shashtri. "This is the 30th year that Pandit Shashtri is leading the prayers. This programme however is not everyone's cup of tea. The person who has decided to lead the ceremony has to take an oath that he will make 1.25 crore Shivlings within the decided period. If the target is not met then he will sacrifice his life," said Raju Kariya, Public Relations Officer, Dadda Shishya Mandal. (Cybernoon)This year the offering of Shivlings was held at ThakurCollege ground, Kandivali (E), Mumbai, from August 7 to August 11. Each day thousands of people from different walks of life arrived at the ground to make the Shivlings which was then immersed at the Juhu beach. The entire puja ceremony is absolutely free and all the nec…

Paintings of Hindu Gods on Watch Dial

Watch dials with beautifully hand painted paintings of Hindu Gods – Ganesha, Vishnu, Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Hanuman, Lakshmi and Saraswati – are part of the ‘Incredible India Collection’ of Angular Momentum. The watches feature colorful and astonishingly detailed paintings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The portraits of Hindu Gods and Goddesses are hand painted on the reverse of a sapphire watch dial using a technique called Eglomise.

Masa Shivaratri – the Shivratri on all the months of a Year

Most people must be aware of the Mahashivaratri but for hardcore Shiva devotees there is a Shivratri in each month. It happens on the ‘Krishna Paksha Chaturdasi’ of each lunar month. ‘Krishna Paksha’ is the dark fortnight of a lunar month.
Thus there is a Shivaratri in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December. The Mahashivaratri occurs in February or March and it is also on ‘Krishna Paksha Chaturdasi.’
The Krishna Paksha Chaturdasi usually occurs the day before of Amavasi.

Tantric University in Kerala – Why the fuss?

G Sudhakaran, Minister for TempleAffairs in Kerala, hinted at establishing a TantricUniversity to arrest the falling standards of rituals performed in the temples. The minister for quite sometime has been lashing out at the spiritually ignorant and corrupt priests in the state. He expressed his views before the Justice K S Paripoornam Commission, which is probing the alleged corruption in the Devaswom Board – the temple governing body in Kerala.Indian Express reportsThe minister said top Hindutva scholars, Vedic exponents, and spiritual gurus will be roped in as faculty. The university will run courses for aspiring priests, besides running continuing education programs for those already working in temples. However, the government doesn’t plan to insist that all priests be required to pass the courses.“The idea is to properly educate them on important spiritual areas and ritual practices, and bring them up to the required standards.” Teachers at the university will also be authorised a…

Comic Book on Uma the Mother Goddess

The fourth book in the Deepak Chopra’s India Authentic series is based on the story of Uma or Parvati and her reunion with Lord Shiva. In her first birth Uma was Sati but she committed suicide because Daksha, her father, insulted Lord Shiva, her husband. Lord Shiva had warned her about her father’s behavior in spite of that Uma visited her father. Sati took rebirth as Uma but she had to undergo several trials before becoming the wife of Lord Shiva again.Introduction to the Uma comic from Virgin Comics“One life claimed by tragedy, one birth consumed by the flames of separation, I have been given a second chance by destiny, a second birth, a new life, to redeem myself and reclaim the love of my life.I am Uma, the all-mother. I too am Shakti, the power divine and this time I shall move mountains, march into the very mouth of hellfire to reunite with my love, my liege, Lord Shiva, God of Gods.”The book was released on August 8th 2007.

Book on Hinduism for New Students

Students around the world are sometimes asked to prepare a paper on Hinduism. Non-Hindu students often find it difficult to understand Hinduism because of the diverse information available. A good book dealing with a comprehensive overview of Hinduism is still a rarity and the net result is that new students to Hinduism will be lost in the jungle of information discussing the various facets of Hinduism. Two ideal books for any student who would like to have an overview of Hinduism are:The Essentials of Hinduism: A Comprehensive Overview of the World's Oldest Religion by Swami Bhaskarananda.The concept of Hinduism by T.K. Mukundan.Both the books introduce the Hindu religion and its concepts in a lucid language, especially, keeping in mind the readers who are novices to Hinduism.The Essentials of Hinduism: A Comprehensive Overview of the World's Oldest Religion by Swami Bhaskarananda is available online for purchase on Amazon.The concept of Hinduism is published by Bharatiya Vid…

Hindu Spiritual Music from Deva Premal and Miten

Deva Premal and Miten have been mesmerizing the western world with Hindu spiritual music. Deva and Miten’s music is an expression of spiritual devotion, through song and chant. The couple have been living and playing together since 1991, releasing a string of acclaimed CDs along the way. Deva & Miten first met in India, at the ashram of the controversial mystic, Osho. Their music arose from their love of their Guru, and through their experience of meditation in the ashram. Encouraged by Miten, who was responsible for the evening meditation music, Deva began singing harmony with him. Later she found her true expression through the rediscovery of the mantras she'd chanted as a child with her father in Germany.To an Indian who is used to listening to the Indian classical musicians, Deva Premal chanting Hindu mantras with a western accent might sound strange. But she easily overcomes this with her true devotion and transports the listener naturally and effortlessly to the world of…

Dress Code for Women in Tirupati Tirumala Temple?

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is looking into a complaint from a devotee about immodest dressings by women in Tirupati Balaji temple. Dnaindia reportsIt may become mandatory for women to wear saris, or other traditional Indian attire, if the temple’s “advisory on dress code” comes into effect. “We will take up the issue at the next board meeting this month,” said Ramapulla Reddy, spokesman of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).TTD spokesman Reddy said: “It’s customary for women to wear saris and men to wear dhotis, but many wear whatever they like.”TTD is yet to decide on a dress code but already the Hindu devotees are divided on the issue. Some devotees feel ‘people know what to wear when they visit a temple’ but others are of the view that temple is not a restaurant and there should be a dress code.It’s a murky issue and it will be wise to leave it to the devotees to decide on what they should wear when visiting a holy place.

Hare Krishna Monk Swami Bhaktimarga who undertakes cross-Canada trek

Walking a distance of 7,800 kilometers across Canada that too not once but thrice. For a smiling Hare Krishna Monk Swami Bhaktimarga, the walk brings him close to nature and people and it also keeps him healthy. Katie Lewis of The Ottawa Citizen asked the reason for the unusual walk to Swami Bhaktimarga"Most people have causes. This is a different thing. It's reflective walking." The swami -- who joined the Hare Krishna in 1973, and was known as John Vis -- says his reasons include his deep respect for nature, an attempt to improve his health and, lastly, because he's on a pilgrimageSo how is the third cross-Canada walk different from the earlier ones?"It really gets better and better each time," he says. "Canada really is opening up to alternative forms of life, and I can see a marked difference over the years."Walking is a great experience. Herman Hesse, famous poet and novelist, used to undertake long walks which inspired him. An early mornin…

Trinidad Hindu Temple in the Sea Attacked and Idols Mutilated

Sewdas Sadhu Shiva Mandir, the famous Trinidad Hindu temple in the sea at Waterloo, was attacked by vandals on Friday. Idols of Lord Krishna, Lord Ganesh, Hanuman and Goddess Durga were damaged in the attack. The doors, windows and other items in temple have been damaged and the total damage is estimated to be around $100,000. Desecration of the Temple in the sea was the motive as no valuables were robbed. Bainnati Rajkoomar, caretaker of the temple, said she closed the temple around 6 p.m. on Friday and when she opened the building yesterday morning, she was shocked by what she saw. "I was shocked and sad to see the state of the building. I could not believe my eyes. Four murtis were [bundled] together on the floor, the whole place was desecrated and there were signs that an attempt was made to burn the building." Rajkoomar said it was not the first time people had damaged the temple: "It was vandalized many times before but this time was the worst," she said. (Tr…

Quotes on Sanatana Dharma by Ram Swarup

In Sanatana Dharma, there is no single life, no single judgment, or eternal punishment. There is more than one life and, of course, there is no single judgment. In fact, there is no judgment at all as such, for the idea is to help and not to judge and condemn. The inner dynamics of incarnation is not reward or punishment but self-improvement, and ultimately self-discovery and self-recovery, moksha. Ram Swarup

Tarapith Temple Website And Online Puja Controversy

TarapithTemple dedicated to Goddess Kali is located on the banks of DwarkaRiver in Birbhum, West Bengal. The deity is popularly known as Tara Maa of Tarapith and one among the 51 Shakti Pithas in India. Numerous websites are offering online pujas and the official temple committee has said that the TarapithTemple has no official web site. “The committee has no link with these websites, and would not be responsible in the future, if the devotees are cheated in the name of offering online pujas. We do not have any website. The websites have been developed by a section of sebiats (Brahmins) and each of them holds individual accounts. Hence, the money paid through these accounts by the devotees would not reach the temple committee. The money would be deposited in individual accounts. So nobody can blame the committee if he or she is cheated”, said Mr Ashoke Mukhapadhya, the president of the Tarapith Temple Committee. (The Statesman)There are a couple of web sites in the name of TarapithTe…

Hindu Temple in Vancouver Island, Canada

The small Hindu community in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada has a beautiful temple in Central Saanich called the Hindu Temple of Victoria. Interestingly, the Hindu temple was an old Anglican Church. The Hindu community members purchased the church and renovated the building. But still the temple retains the look of a church, perhaps indicating that God is same everywhere.The Hindu Temple of Victoria has deities of Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman, Lord Krishna, and Radha. In July 2007, Goddess Saraswathi and Balak Nath were added.More details about the Hindu temple at Cultra Avenue in Central Saanich on Southern Vancouver Island can be found here.