Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tradition of Hindu Saints, Seers and Sages from India.

Watch this excellent talk given by Prof. Kapil Kapoor on subject "De-subjugating Timeless Vocabularies – Swami Vivekananda as Intellectual Catalyst". He delivered this keynote talk at "International Conference on Swami Vivekananda" held at University of Southern California School of Religion

From Wikipedia, his bio is
Dr. Kapil Kapoor, (born November 17, 1940) is an Indian scholar of linguistics and literature and an authority on Indian intellectual traditions.[1] He is former Pro-Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and served as professor at Centre for Linguistics and English, and Concurrent Professor at Centre for Sanskrit Studies there before retiring in 2005.[2][3] He is Editor-in-Chief of the 11-Volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism published by Rupa & Co. in 2012.[4]
Highlights of the talk:

  • Did Swami Vivekananda came from vacuum ?  Bharat has time immemorial history of great Saints, Sages and Seer with impeccable geniusness.  Swami Vivekananda belong to the same tradition.
  • India faced hundreds of years of oppression from invaders. Few know about Hindu swami's contribution and their works to keep the Sanatan Dharma alive.
  • Before Britishers destroyed India's education system India had schools in each village. Only 12% of the teachers were Brahmins and literacy rate was high as all used to go to school.
  • Due to abduction of mature girls by Muslims in Bengal, to safeguard their daughter parents used to marry their daughters in younger age. This led to many young widows in the society at that time.
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Keshav Chandra Sen could give only calibrated response to western challenges to the Sanatan Dharma.
  • Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar stood up and stressed that Hindu Philosophy can rise from within, it don't to borrow any western paradigms. He had only one son and he married him with a widow.
  • Swami Dayananda Saraswati not only firmed people's belief in Sanatan Dharma but also wrote critique (Satyarth Prakash) to Abrahamic faiths. Swami Dayananda Saraswati told, their (Abrahamic faiths) own system need reforms. He took philosophical battle to the other camp.
  • Vyas Parampara - tradition of reconstitution the knowledge lost. With that Veda were always preserved and are live document.
  • Sage Yaska (5-6BCE) was the first (as per recorded History) Rishi who defended the Veda and proved Vedic Mantras are not meaningless. One need to read and interpret to understand the Vedic Mantras. He created methodology of interpretation.
  • Adi Sankaracharya countered challenges put up to Sanatan Dharma by Buddhism. His response in the form of Shastra (a rich commentary on Upanishads and Vedas). He given pravachan (discourses) to common people and instilled pride for Sanatan Dharma. Shankara's commentary originated through the discourses he delivered to the villagers. 
  • Guru Gorakhnath (Gou-Raksh-Nath, the one who protected the holy cows) started Nath Jogi Sampraday (Traditions of warrior saints). Guru Gorakhnath and warrior, martial Gorkha (Gou-Raksha) sadhus countered Islamic conversions put forward by Sufis and Swords. Sufis did more conversion than what was done by Islamic sword. He composed his writings in Sanskrit and also local languages so that it can widespread.
  • 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh also countered Mogul's oppressions, atrocities and conversions. He formed martial Khalsa Panth. Guru Gobind Singh was a poet, scholar and great saint. He tooks Shastra (शस्त्र ) along with  Shastra (शास्त्र ) for defence. He rewrote Krishnavtar and Ramavatar in Braj Bhasha.
  • Swami Vivevkananda belong to the same great tradition where above saints are part of. Swami Vivevkananda took all the questions from Abrahamic faith and defended Sanatan Dharma. He was not only a voice for Hindus, he was a voice for Asia.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"American Veda" Author Philip Goldberg invites all to Dharma and Yoga Fest 2013, Los Angeles.

Philip Goldberg is well known spiritual counselor, interfaith minister, workshop leader, author of American Veda, Roadsigns, The Intuitive Edge, and other books. He is member of advisory committee of Dharma Yoga Fest, 2013 Los Angeles. He invites all the Dharma Followers in Southern California to come to the this wonderful fest.
More on the DYF at http://dharmayogafest.org/la

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dharma and Yoga Fest celebration planned across USA

The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh is organizing a Dharma and Yoga Fest at various cities across USA with participation of many Dharmik Organizations.HSS is  inviting all Dharma-centered groups to participate in the event.
Dharma and Yoga Fest event will commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary in 2013 by celebrating his vision of “Universal Peace Through Dharma and Yoga.”
The Dharma and Yoga Fest will include a variety of activities, such as  Hatha Yoga demonstration, a seminar on Dharma and Yoga, Kirtan, Bhajan, Satsang, and crafts and games for children. The event will endeavor to create a sense of harmony, mutual respect, and spiritual oneness.
Renowned author Philip Goldberg who wrote best selling book http://americanveda.com/ has shared his message on this Dharma and Yoga Fest.

Swami ji’s uniquely advanced Dharma in the modern era. The ideas introduced by him to America, such as Yoga, Karma, and the spiritual oneness of humanity, continue to have a growing appeal. This has also led to the popularity of practices such as Haṭha Yoga, Āyurveda, and meditation. The Dhārmika concept of the plurality of spiritual paths invoked by Swami ji in his Chicago Address finds continuing relevance even today in resolving religious conflict.
The Dharma and Yoga Fest forms the finale of our year-long commemoration of Swami ji in 2013. Other events have included a nationwide “Yoga Day” coinciding with Swami ji’s birthday on January 12; a nationwide DharmaBee™ quiz contest for children; programs for high school and college students, such as a traveling exhibit on Swami ji’s life visiting major university campuses and “Vacation with Vivekananda” excursions to locations where Swami ji visited during his travels in the United States; and local social service projects by children and adults alike.

To find out local event at your city go to http://dharmayogafest.org/
Flyer for Los Angeles is attached below.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hindu Calender's legacy to Western calender.

Today Western Calender is quite popular and is de-facto civil calender. Many of us know that western calender is changed many times in history. But only few are aware that the present day calender also is borrowed from Hindu Calender system and still have legacy of it.
Untill 1752 the new year used to begin in March. Which conform with Hindu Calender, Hindu New year usually begin in March/April (based on planetary movements).

Look at below table , four of the Western months are still linked to Hindu Calender system.
Month Number
(Hindu
Calender)
Months – (Hindu Calendar)
Month – (Western Calendar)
Sanskrit translation to Western Months
Meaning
1
Chaitra
March


2
Vaisakha
April


3
Jyestha
May


4
Asadha
June


5
Shravan
July


6
Bhadrapad
August


7
Ashwin
September
7th monthly change in sky.
8
Kartik
October
8th monthly change in sky.
9
Margshirsha
November
9th monthly change in sky.
10
Pausha
December
10th monthly change in sky.
11
Magha
January


12
Phalguna
February




There is an excellent research done on comparison of Hindu calender v/s Roman calender
Read excerpts (p183) from the paper "Indian vis-a-vis Roman calender" , on concept of Year.

In Sanskrit the most popular word for year is Varsa meaning "that which rains, that is , rainy season".Therefore it seems that originally one rainy season to another counted one year.
Thus, a Hindu year is related to the cycle of seasons while the Christian or even Mohammedan year has not such relation.




The paper "The Calendars of India" have detailed study on Calenders originated in India.
Read "British Calendar Act of 1751" when new year changed from March to January form 1752.



Thursday, April 4, 2013

World Hindu Economic Forum (WHEF) Pacific Regional Conference on 4th May, 2013




WHEF Pacific Regional Conference
On Saturday, 4th May, 2013
At The Sheraton Fiji Resort, Denarau, Nadi
Hindu Economic Forum aims to make South Pacific community prosperous
The World Hindu Economic Forum (WHEF) promotes activities that make society prosperous, primarily through the generation and sharing of material wealth.
Following the successful conference of the first WHEF held in Hong Kong on 30 June and 1 July 2012, a number of regional conferences are being organized around the world. The last WHEF Asia conference was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 6th and 7th January, 2013.
WHEF Pacific Regional Forum with the theme “Making South Pacific community prosperous” will be held in Sheraton Fiji Resort, Denarau, Nadi, Fiji on Saturday, 04th May 2013. Pacific Region includes Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and other South Pacific Island countries. The Chief Guest of the WHEF Pacific Conference will be Dr Neil Sharma, Minister for Health. Eminent speakers include: Dr Mahendra Reddy of Commerce Commission and FNU, Dr Ganesh Chand Vice Chancellor of FNU, Dr Gautam Sen of London School of Politics and Economics and Dr Biman Prasad of USP.
Hindu business community has been and is contributing significantly in trade, commerce and industry in South Pacific countries, especially in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.
The Pacific Regional Hindu Economic Forum seeks to bring together financially successful business people such as traders, bankers, technocrats, investors, industrialists, economists, thinkers and professionals to share their business knowledge, experience, and expertise with their fellow business people to generate surplus wealth in service of society and Dharma.
This conference also gives an opportunity to develop a network among business people to further strengthen and organize their role in trade, industry, business and contribute to the economy of the Pacific Region countries.
The conference will also feature Group discussion sessions to discuss industry success stories, challenges and opportunities. The number of registrations will be limited to 150.
The primary objectives of WHEF are to promote activities of developing enterprise and entrepreneurship globally; to develop solutions for most crucial of the issues on world economy like sustainable development, education, eradication of poverty, climate change and infrastructure development; and to promote a value based corporate governance system through organizing seminars, conferences, and research activities.
If you are interested in attending this Forum, and for more information, please email whef.pacific@gmail.com or contact one of the following:
New Zealand            : Mr Vinod Kumar            - 0064 21 795 721
Australia                   : Noel Lal                         - 0061 417 448 293
Fiji & Pacific Is         : Mr Jay Dayal                  - 00679 992 9605
                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Please confirm your registration as seats are limited.
All Information and details are provided by Prof Guna Magesan

Please find below World Hindu Economic Forum  - Pacific Regional Conference brochure.


 2013 Registration
by Sanatan Sarvada

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The 2013 "Yuva for Sewa" internship projects.An opportunity to serve.

Sanatan Dharma gives lots of emphasis on Selfless Service through Karma Yoga and Sewa.
Here are some Sloka from Bhagvad Geeta.
annād bhavanti bhūtāni
parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ
yajñād bhavati parjanyo
yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ
All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajña[sacrifice], and yajña is born of prescribed duties.
The science of transcendental knowledge has been imparted to you, O Arjuna. Now listen to the science of selfless service (Seva), endowed with which you will free yourself from all Karmic bondage, or sin. 
No effort is ever lost in selfless service, and there is no adverse effect. Even a little practice of the discipline of selfless service protects one from the great fear of repeated birth and death. 
A selfless worker has resolute determination for God-realization, but the desires of the one who works to enjoy the fruits of work are endless. 

And this is what Swami Vivekananda said about Sewa or Karma Yoga.
Karma-Yoga is the attaining through unselfish work of that freedom which is the goal of all human nature. Every selfish action, therefore, retards our reaching the goal, and every unselfish action takes us towards the goal; that is why the only definition that can be given of morality is this: That which is selfish is immoral, and that which is unselfish is moral.
"Sewa" is Sanskrit word that means selfless service - a unique concept of Service - Selfless Efforts for Welfare of All.

Youth in USA have an opportunity to work as summer intern with Sewa Internationl USA
Yuva for Sewa is a summer internship offered by Sewa International USA that focuses on service projects in India and Caribbean countries. It is an opportunity for young adults to contribute their time to a larger movement of serving humanity.  
Eligibility : Interns must (1) have graduated high school or be at least 18 years old at the start of the internship (2) be able to participate in the full ten-week internship program (3) be currently residing in US or Canada and (4) possess strong enthusiasm to make a difference. 
Internship Duration : The internship will start Monday June 3rd and end on friday August 9th 2013.
Service Locations : India (Pune, Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad), and Bangalore)

“NAR SEWA NARAYAN SEWA” - “Serving Humanity is Serving God”.



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hindu Temples in Southern California

Hindu temples are essential part of Sanatan Dharma. Wherever Hindus migrated, beautiful Hindu temples are built. Uniqueness of Sanatan Dharma temples is that they are not monolithic. There are various Sampraday and numerous temple architectures. This makes each Sanatan Dharma temple unique enough to visit , enjoy beautiful architecture and feel the positive vibrations.
Fortunately, in Southern California there are plenty of beautiful and historic temples. 

Following are major temples with their websites , address and  phone numbers.

Bhagwan Venkateshwara Temple , Malibu 
1600 Las Virgenes Canyon Road,
Calabasas, CA 91302
Phone :( 818) 880-5552 ‎

Kali Mandir , Laguna Beach
20371 Sun Valley Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone: (949) 494-1906

Swaminarayan Mandir, Chino Hills
15100 Fairfield Ranch Road,
Chino Hills, CA 91709
Phone: (909) 614-5000

Gayatri Chetna Center, Anaheim
2446 W. Orange Ave,
Anaheim, CA 92804
Phone: (714) 220-2111
Laxminarayan Mandir, Riverside
9292 Magnolia Ave. Riverside, CA 92503 
Phone: (951) 359-4743

Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Brea
5600 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea, CA 92823 
Phone: (714) 494-4531

Brahma Kumaris,Los Angeles
2428 Griffith Park Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA, 90039
Phone: (323)-664 0022 

Self Realization Fellowship , Los Angeles
Lake Shrine Temple
17190 Sunset Blvd.
Pacific Palisades, California  90272
Phone: (310) 454-4114

Shridi Sai Baba Sansthan, Montebello
144 S 4th St, 
Montebello, CA 90640
Phone : (323) 721-1772

ISKCON, Los Angeles
3764 Watseka Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90034. 
Phone: (310) 836-2676

Vedanta Society, Southern California
19961, Live Oak, Canyon Road,
Trabuco Canyon, California 92678
Phone : 949-858-0342

Chinmaya Mission Los Angeles
'Chinmaya Rameshwaram'
14451 Franklin Ave, Tustin, California 92780
Phone: (714) 832-7669

More temples…!
Ma Durga Temple , Pasadena  http://madurgatemple.org
Sanatan Dharma Temple , Norwalk http://matiyapatidarcenter.org/temple.shtml
Jain Center , Buena Park http://www.jaincenter.net/newsite/
Irvine Mandir http://mandir.ws/

Monday, May 14, 2012

Adi Shankara : Life and Mission of a great revivalist and pillars of Advaita Vedanta

Sri Adi Shankaracharya (CE 788—820), one of the pillars of Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism), continues to inspire intellectuals and sages, though he lived more than a thousand years ago. The four Mathas that he founded in Sringeri (Karnataka), Dwaraka (Gujarat), Puri (Orissa) and Jyotirmath (Uttarakhand) in India are eminent centers of knowledge and authority in Hindu tradition.

Some of the most important of Shankaracharya's works are his commentaries on the Brahmasutras - Brahmasutrabhashya - considered the core of Shankara's perspective on Advaita, and Bhaja Govindam written in praise of Govinda or Lord Krishna - a Sanskrit devotional poem that forms the center of the Bhakti movement and also epitomizes his Advaita Vedanta philosophy. In addition, Vivekachudamani, Bhashyas on the ten major Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita are guides for all Vedanta scholars.

Chinmaya Mission is a world-wide organization whose primary focus is to provide spiritual knowledge to people from all walks of life. The mission provides this knowledge through the study of Vedanta, founded upon life enriching ethical and moral values. The Chinmaya Mission was founded by H.H. Swami Chinmayananda and has been under the leadership of H.H. Swami Tejomayananda since 1993. Chinmaya Mission is unique because of its integrated spiritual and secular vision. The mission also supports many social, educational and health programs in India and abroad.

Swami Ishwarananda met Swami Chinmayananda in 1986. Inspired by Pujya Gurudev, he left his software profession to fully engage in the study of Vedanta. In 1991 he joined Sandeepany Sadhanalaya (the Vedantic Seminary founded by Swami Chinmayananda) to pursue his spiritual studies. Upon completing his training in 1993 he served Chinmaya Misson centers in Kolkata and Bangalore. In 1995, he was appointed as Acharya (resident teacher) of the Chinmaya Mission centre in Los Angeles. Swami Ishwarananda was initiated into the order of sanyas in 2000 by Swami Tejomayananda (current world-wide head of the Chinmaya Mission).

At present Swamiji is based in the Los Angeles area. He places emphasis on practical application of Vedantic principles in daily life, stress management and spirituality in the workplace. Swamiji has authored a number of acclaimed books - among these “Conscious Living”, “Silent Search” and “Pathways to Peace.”
Watch talk presented by Swami Ishwarananda at Bharatiya Vichar Manch Los Angeles at below playlist.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ram Janm Bhumi - History and Facts.

A documentary "Ram Mandir: Adalat aur Aastha" is published for Ramjanmbhumi's history. All evidences lead to the temple. Watch following in Hindi , English version of the documentary  is also available.




This blog covered Ramjanmbhumi in previous posts , all the posts can be read from this link.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nourishing the Balance of the Universe

Dr. Yashwant Pathak , International Coordinator, ICCS, USA (http://iccsus.org/) talks on comparative study of various ancient traditions & cultures in remote areas of north-eastern parts of India, American Indian, South American traditions as Inca,Mayan and the African continent.

Dr. Pathak is presently the Associate Dean in College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida (http://is.gd/oo7HYd).

The finding are surprising, all the ancient traditions have numerous similarity with Sanatan Dharma.
Please watch this interesting talk at below video.



ICCS's Research Activities 
1. Preparing exhaustive bibliography of different cultures.
2. Translating important texts of different cultures.
3. Comparative studies of different cultures regarding their Philosophy, Religion, Society, Literature, History, Music and Fine Arts.
4. Arranging guest lectures, seminars, informal discussions, etc.
5. Publication of research journals.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ganesh worshiping in South-East Asia

One more link about cultural and Sanatan Dhama's influence in pan-Asia. One can find heritage of Sanatan Dharma in Asian countries very easily.
This french author(s) given more focus on Ganesh worshiping and found it is very much prevailing in Asia. You can read his article Ganesh in South-East Asia.
Author(s) summed up as "Ganesh worship has been disseminated in nearly all the Far-East Asia countries. More or less numerous representations of this god are known in the following countries :Afghanistan, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Japan, etc."


I had posted a blog earlier about Sanatan Dharamic influence in the same region which was called Suvarnabhumi in past, you can read Sanatan Dharma's influence throughout Asia and
Sanatan legacy in S- E Asia!.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weapons in Ancient India (Bharat)

Unlike fire-based weapons of current era, in ancient India or Bharat (भारत), weapons   were of many kinds. Weapons were called Astra ( अस्त्र ) in Samskrtam. As you may have seen in Ramayana (रामायण) and Mahabharata (महा भारत ), there were various types of astras made of fire (Agni), rain (Varuna) and wind (Vayu). In addition, there were astras made out of venom (Naga), intense light (Surya), lightening (Vajra) and mountains (Parvata). Typically, each of these astras was named after a Deity. As an example, fire based astras had Agni or god of fire as the Deity.

In addition to these Deity-based astras, trimurtis (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) had their own more powerful astras.

Lord Vishnu’s astra was Narayanaastra. It fires a powerful tirade of millions of deadly missiles simultaneously. The intensity of the shower increases with increase in resistance. The only way of defense towards this missile, was to show total submission before the missiles hit. This in turn will cause this astra to stop and spare the target. Ashwathama, a Kuru warrior in Mahabharata unleashes this astra on the Pandava forces. Lord Krishna, who was an avatar of Vishnu, tells Pandavas and their warriors to drop their astras and lie down on the ground, so that they all surrender completely to the power of the astra. This secret of nullifying the power of this astra by this method was known only to three warriors namely Drona, Aswathama, and Krishna. Even Arjuna was not aware of this secret. It was also said that this astra can be used only once in a war and if one tries to use it twice, then it would devour the user's own army.

Lord Shiva’s astra was Pashupatastra. It was discharged by the mind, the eyes, words, or a bow. Never to be used against lesser enemies or by lesser warriors, the Pashupatastra was capable of destroying creation and vanquishing all beings. On a side note, PashupatiNath is the most important of all Shiva temples located in Kathmandu, Nepal. This Pashupatastra was used in the Mahabharata war by Arjuna to kill Jayadratha, and by Meghanada on Lakshmana in Ramayana. It returned without causing any harm since it can be used only to uphold Dharma.

The deadliest of all astras was Lord Brahma’s Brahmastra, capable of killing even Devas. It was used by Ashwatthama on Parikshit. It was considered the deadliest astra (similar to the hydrogen bomb). When the Brahmastra was discharged, there was neither a counter attack nor a defense that could stop it. The Brahmastra never missed its mark and had to be used with very specific intent against an individual enemy or army, as the target faced complete annihilation. It could only be used once in a lifetime. The user would have to display immense amounts of mental concentration. According to ancient Sanskrit writings, the Brahmastra was invoked by a key phrase or invocation that was bestowed upon the user when given this astra. The astra was also believed to cause severe environmental damage. The land where the astra was used became barren and all life in and around that area ceased to exist, as both women and men became infertile.

In the Ramayana, passages describe how the Brahmastra was used by Lord Rama as the final blow against Ravana, during their battle in Lanka. Srimad Bhagavatam describes the effect of Brahmastra in the following sloka.

It means, "When the rays of the two Brahmastras combined, a great circle of fire, like the disc of the sun, covered all outer space and the whole firmament of planets."

In a discourse, Swami Prabhupada explained "The heat created by the flash of a Brahmastra resembled the fire exhibited in the sun globe at the time of cosmic annihilation. The radiation of atomic energy is very insignificant in comparison to the heat produced by a Brahmastra. The atomic bomb explosion can at utmost blow up one globe, but the heat produced by the Brahmastra can destroy the whole cosmic situation. The comparison is therefore made to the heat at the time of annihilation."

In summary, contrary to popular belief that Hinduism is a soft religion that promotes nothing but ahimsa, we find numerous and potent astras in our Puranas that were needed to protect Dharma. That is why we say Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah, or Dharma protects those who protect Dharma.