Vaishakha 18 Vik Samvat 2067. Yugabda 5112: May 1, 2010

1. FESTIVALS: Akshaya Tritiya, Vaishakh Shukla 3 (May 16 this year) is considered one of the most auspicious days of the Hindu calendar. It is believed, any meaningful activity started on this day would be fruitful. It is also known as "Akha Teej", traditionally the birthday of Lord Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. People conduct special Pujas on this day, bathe in holy rivers, make a charity, offer barley in a sacred fire, and worship Lord Ganesha & Devi Lakshmi on this day.
The word "Akshaya" means imperishable or eternal - that which never diminishes. Initiations made or valuables bought on this day are considered to bring success or good fortune. Buying gold is a popular activity on Akshaya Tritiya, as it is the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity. People celebrate weddings, begin new business ventures, and even plan long journeys on this day.
2. OPPOSE, EXPOSE VOTE BANK POLITICS—MOHAN BHAGWAT: RSS Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat strongly criticized the policy of appeasement being pursued by UPA government for vote bank politics.
Addressing the strong gathering of over 25000-uniformed RSS swayamsevaks and sympathizers at Morabadi Grounds in Ranchi on April 18, he said the Centre’s move to grant religion-based reservation was against the constitutional provisions and would further weaken the social structure of the country. He asked Dr Manmohan Singh led UPA government how a community that ruled undivided Bharat for nearly five centuries could be socially and politically weak like SCs, STs and OBCs. “If they (Muslims) are economically weak, the reservation in jobs may be given to economically backward population of all the communities and religions,” he said adding that king has the responsibility to treat all the countrymen alike without any favour.
Referring to the cross-border threats, Shri Bhagwat said Pakistan in the West, China in the North and Bangladesh in the North-East are talking in sweet tongues but are conspiring to stab in back. “The Union Government and countrymen should beware of the evil designs of these neighbouring countries. China is repeatedly staking its claim over Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim and is talking to allow the entry of Arunachal Pradesh people without visa. Similarly, Bangladesh is claiming its ownership over 300 Bharatiya villages and is covertly promoting intrusions. Such situations should be dealt with an iron hand as any laxity on the part of the government may worsen the situation. If our enemy neighbour is resorting to bullets we must give a befitting reply instead of harping on coming to negotiation table. The Centre is talking of only those problems that make news but is not coming up with remedial measures. If we work with courage, problems could be sorted out within a short span and even the most powerful enemies could be easily defeated,” he said.
Earlier, Shri Bhagwat inaugurated the state office of Dharma Jagaran Samanway Vibhag at Lavanya Apartment, Morabadi.
3. SPARSH GANGA CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED IN UTTARAKHAND: All the major rivers on this earth need special care, because of change in ecology of this planet. These are the life lines of the various communities living on the banks of the rivers. Billions of the people’s lives depend on the major rivers of the earth. It is our moral duty to conserve the water for the sake of human being. Conserving the Ganga is important for mental peace, besides environmental concerns,” said Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness Dalai Lama. He was launching the Sparsh Ganga campaign at Parmarth Ashram in Rishikesh on April 4. The campaign has jointly been launched by Tourism Department of Uttarakhand and the Parmarth Ashram. Yogaguru Baba Ramdev, former Deputy Prime Minister Shri LK Advani, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Shri BC Khanduri, Chief Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and many other distinguished leaders were also present on the occasion.
4. THENGADIJI STOOD FOR BHARATIYA MODEL OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT — NITIN GADKARI: "ECONOMIC equality, social harmony (Samajik Samarasata) and cultural nationalism formed the base of the thought process of the late Dattopant Thengadi. He has not only propagated and preached these values, but also created institutional framework for transforming these ideals into practice. Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat, are some of the institutions which are instrumental in transforming economic, social, and cultural ideals preached by the late Thengadiji. He was a great thinker, expert organiser and social activist. His life was his mission,” said Nitin Gadkari, National President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while delivering the first Dattopant Thengadi Memorial Lecture organised by the Late Dattopant Thengadi Smriti Pratishthan, Nagpur.
The programme was held at Arvi, in Wardha District, the birthplace of late Thengadiji. Shri Madan Das , Akhil Bharatiya Pracharak Pramukh of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) presided over the function.Well-known cardiologist of Arvi Dr Arun Pawde was present on the occasion.
5. MEDIA HAS TO PLAY A CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE—BHAIYAJI JOSHI : "The situation in the country today is that even the good things are being presented in negative manners. Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar had proposed for reservation for the uplift of the deprived and backward people, but today it has become a political tool and is being misused by some people for political opportunism,” said RSS Sarkaryavah Bhaiyaji Joshi. He was speaking at the concluding ceremony of Patheya Kan silver jubilee year in Jaipur on April 14. Patheya Kan is the fortnightly magazine which is sold more than 1.35 lakh copies per issue and there are now efforts to increase its circulation to five lakh.
Shri Bhyaiyaji Joshi also honoured two journalists—Shweta Jagaria and Sandip Deshpande with Patheya Kan Navodit Patrakar Puraskar. He also honoured the winners of essay and poem competitions.
6. DR HEDGEWAR PRAGYA SAMMAN PRESENTED: Shree Burrabazar Kumarsabha Pustakalaya felicitated Rajendra Arun of Mauritius with Dr Hedgewar Pragya Samman for the year 2010 in Kolkata on 18 April at the hands of former Union HRD Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi.
Eminent historian Shri Devendra Swarup spoke on the life of Dr Hedgewar, especially how he came to Kolkata to study medicine and met many revolutionaries. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ shared his experience of Mauritius visit.
Receiving the Samman Shri Rajendra Arun said he was an ardent follower of Kabir and Krishna in his first life but his inner mind felt Shri Ram as soul of Bharat. He said chanting the name of Shri Ram gives endless strength in all minds.
7. SIKHS COOK UP A RESCUE PACKAGE IN TROUBLED HAITI: More than two months after the earthquake, millions of Haitians are receiving food rations from different aid organisations and the United Nations. A home-cooked meal is still a luxury, which only a handful can procure. Everyday however more than 4,000 Haitians, especially children, get a scrumptious meal prepared by a team of Sikhs as part of their traditional langar.
The cooking begins at dawn. By noon, the food is ladled into white plastic containers and taken along with books and toys to different locations.
While the UN has handed out tents and tarpaulins to one million people, the demand is still huge. More than 2,000 tents, which have been collected through a variety of charities and Gurdwaras by the Sikhs, are also on their way to Haiti.
8. AGE-OLD BHARATIYA FARMS IN AGRI HALL OF FAME: Two of Bharat's ancient farming systems, intact over 2,000 years and still relevant, have been shortlisted by the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) as world agriculture heritage sites, being compiled for the first time.
Koraput in Orissa and Kuttanad in Kerala are among a crowded list of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems, including South Italy's Lemon Gardens and Iran's Qashqai pastoral nomads.
Legally, the sites will have the same status and require similar protection as the UN's other well-known World Heritage Sites, such as the Taj Mahal.
Kuttanad, an idyllic farm belt hugging Kerala's backwaters, is the only place where large-scale cereal farming takes place below the sea level. Situated in Alappuzha district, it is the rice bowl of Kerala.
Koraput has been identified as one of the centres of origin of rice itself, the staple food of more than half the world's population. Koraput's tribals have cultivated 79 different species of cereals, pulses and millets, one of which is unique, the FAO brief states.
9. UNEARTHED: 2,000-YR-OLD STUDY CENTRE: Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of an ancient Buddhist study centre at Telhara village in Bihar’s Nalanda district. The centre is believed to be nearly 2,000 years old.
A 34-metre-long prayer hall, residential cells for monks, images of Buddha, pottery and a stone plaque were among the discoveries made during excavation at the 40-foot high Bulandi mound over the past four months. A brick-paved floor has also been discovered more than 15 feet below the prayer hall.
The prayer hall is dotted with Buddha statues. Archaeologists believe this could be the same prayer hall Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang mentions in his accounts.
Tsang, who toured Bharat in the 7th century, has written about a three-storeyed monastic building at ‘Teliadhaka’, which is identified as present-day Telhara. He also wrote that the monastery was home to nearly 1,000 monks at the time.
10. HINDU YOUTH AUSTRALIA INSPIRE THE NATION: The 1st Australian Hindu Youth Conference (AHYC) was hosted by Hindu Youth Australia (HYA), the youth wing of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), on the 10th and 11th of April, 2010 at the University of Western Sydney, Parramatta Campus.
The theme of the conference was "Developing Leadership amongst Australian Hindu Youth"
The event marked one year since the formation of HYA and served as a platform for community spokesman, youth volunteers and keynote speakers and various political leaders to drive leadership as the main theme.
Also present were Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Ms Julie Owens MP and Mr Anthony Roberts MP .
Officials from VHP included Swami Vigyanananda (Joint General Secretary – International Coordination) as well as Mr Brij Pal Singh (President of VHP Australia). Aboriginal Elder, Uncle Max Harrison blessed the conference and welcomed all delegates to the land of Baramada (Parramatta – Head of waters).
Sydney Veda Patsala
“Pyramids have been eroded by desert wind, the marble broken by the earthquake and gold stolen by robbers while the veda is recited daily by unbroken chain of generation travelling like great waves through living substance of mind,” said Swami Vijnananand, Joint General Secretary, Vishwa Hindu Parishad on the second anniversary of Sydney Veda Patasala celebrated in a grand manner at the Crestwood High School, Baulkham Hills, Sydney on April 17, 2010 where more than 200 people attended to hear, participate and appreciate the unique “Vedic Chanting” programme.
Sydney Veda Patasala is a unique school of its kind in the world. Managed by Vishva Hindu Parishad of Australia Inc. (i.e., World Hindu Council of Australia Inc.), the school is involved in preserving and promoting the “Vedic Chanting” which is considered as the outstanding oral cultural tradition and declared by UNESCO as “World Intangible Cultural Heritage”.
Swami Vigyananand acknowledged the selfless commitment of the teachers in promoting and preserving this ancient knowledge and wisdom. The Liverpool City Council Mayor, Clr. Wendy Waller praised the Hindu’s contributions and stated that the Hindu Australian community has been an integral part of the Australian community for more than 150 years. The Hills Shire Deputy Mayor Clr. Mike Thomas stated that there are more than 5,000 Hindus living in the Shire Council. During his speech he said “I am impressed by the Hindu Society initiative, and community participation in revival of this outstanding oral tradition.
11. SEWA ACTIVITIES IN HARIDWAR KUMBH: The Mahakumbh in Haridwar was unique this time. The devotees for the first time had the glimpse of the sewa activities being undertaken by Sangh swayamsevaks in remote areas of the country. The swayamsevaks run more than 1.60 lakh service projects.
The Rashtriya Sikh Sangat organised 15 camps at Neeldhara, Chandi Tapu. It served meals to more than 3000 devotees everyday and 10,000 on peak days at the Langar Mata Gangaji. They also organised a medical camp and Shahid Pradarshani (martyrs exhibition). The arrangements were also made for drinking water and lodging. A team of five doctors and 15 nurses treated about 1000 patients at the camp from 8 am to 9 pm every day. On the days of Shahi Snan, the number of patients increased upto 3000 per day.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad had made special arrangements for providing meals to over 1000 devotees every day. The camps were also organised by Dharmayatra Mahasangh, Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Bharati Shiksha Sansthan, Dharma Raksha Manch, Bhaurao Deoras Sewa Nyas, etc.
12. BANGLADESH CELEBRATES BENGALI NEW YEAR: Bangladesh on 14 April celebrated Pahela Baishakh, first day of the Bangali New Year with fervour and gaiety even as the elite Rapid Action Battalion troops kept a sharp vigil against any possible terror attack. The New Year revellers, donned their traditional Bengali attire and joined in the festivity.
Men in pyjama and panjabi, women in white and red saris along with children in colourful attires streamed through Dhaka streets as dozens of cultural groups performed at different parts of the city amid an unprecedented security.
Thousands of people thronged the city’s Ramna Park where leading cultural group Chhayanaut artistes sang a traditional song Esho hey Baishakh, composed by Rabindranath Tagore to welcome the day. The students of the Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka University brought out a procession called Mongol Shovajatra in the morning to welcome new year.
As the tradition goes, people are supposed to pay off all the loans and old dues with the customers are to be settled. On this day, businessmen purchase new accounts books and prepare new accounts called haalkhata.
13. GURU VANDHANA, “REVERANCE TO THE TEACHER”: took place for the first time in the history of one of America’s Top Universities, Case Western Reserve University. The event honored Professor of Mathematics, Christopher Butler. Guru Vandhana is a concept, an idea that is as old as humanity itself. If looked at from the literal definition, the “Gu” in Guru means Darkness/Ignorance, and “Ru” means Light. The Guru is the One who dispels the darkness of ignorance and bestows upon him or her knowledge. From a spiritual prespective, the word Guru is "one who is beyond attributes and forms". Gu stands for Gunaatheetha - one who transcends the three Gunas (Satva, Rajas and Thamas); Rustands for Rupavarjitha - one who is formless. The One who is beyond all attributes and forms is none other than the Supreme Self (the Brahmam) who is resident within each of us. Only God can be regarded as One who is beyond attributes and forms. “Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devoh, Maheshwarahah. Guru Sakshat Parabrahama, Tasmay Shri Guraveh Namah,” Guru is Brahma, who is the Creator of the universe. Guru is Vishnu who is all pervasive and is also the Doer in the universe. Guru is Maheshvara who commands and ordains everything in the universe in the right manner. Guru is not one who merely teaches. A real Guru is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent, He is God Himself.
With such a beautiful, inspiring, and revered concept of Guru, the Hindu YUVA at Case Western Reserve University chose Guru Vandhana to be one of their Cultural events of the year, a tradition that they hope to continue every year honoring all those Educators and Teachers that impart knowledge on the student. The event took place in Adelbert Hall/College, the Administrative Building of Case Western, which included students, faculty, the local Bharatiya community, as well as members from Undergraduate Indian Student Association, Muslim Students Association, Undergraduate Student Government, Satrang Graduate Students Organization, Art of Living Foundation etc,.
14. SAPTAKAM, BHARATIYA SANGEET GROUP IN FINNLAND received an invitation from Finnish Daycare in Tampere, Finland, to conduct an Bharatiya Music Session for all the kids in this Daycare.
Saptakam took this opportunity in a true sense of Giving Back to the Local Society and also as an attempt to share Bharatiya Cultural Values. This session took place on Friday, 16th Apr 2010 at 10.30 to 11.00 AM in this daycare.
It was attended by around 150 kids belonging to different age groups in the daycare and also all their teachers.
Bharatiya Classical Music, as per the scientific experiments has nice effects on the mind and especially it is good for the Kids in order to improve thier Concentration and Creativity.It was indeed a pleasure to sense interest the Finnish Society has for Bharatiya Music.
15. HINDU RIGHTS AROUND GLOBE: The annual Hindu human rights report was released by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF). The 194 page report, now in its sixth year, entitled “Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora, A Survey of Human Rights 2009,” is the only such report released internationally. “This annual report documents human rights violations of Hindus throughout South Asia and in countries that do not share values of democracy, pluralism and freedom,” said U.S. Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) after reviewing the Foundation’s report. “By spotlighting which nations do not live up to these standards, nonprofit organizations like HAF stand up for the basic dignity and human rights for all people of faith and for free thought.”
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
In 1947, Hindus were approximately 25% of the population of Pakistan. Now, Hindus constitute less than 1.6% of the population. Pakistan officially and routinely discriminates against non-Muslims through a variety of discriminatory laws, such as blasphemy laws. On March 24, 2005, Pakistan restored the discriminatory practice of mandating the inclusion of religious identity of individuals in all new passports.
School textbooks continue to promote Islam and hatred and intolerance towards non-Muslims, including Hindus.
Islamists continue to extend their influence throughout the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and other parts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).
Recurring reports point to an alarming trend of Hindu girls being kidnapped, raped, held in madrassas (Islamic seminaries) and forcibly converted to Islam.
Poor Hindus continue to be subjected to inhumane conditions through the bonded labor system.
HAF Recommendations
Pakistan should remove all blasphemy laws. Those imprisoned under blasphemy laws should get their day in court within a period of two weeks. Long imprisonments without court appraisal constitute human rights abuse.
Pakistan should reverse the 2005 decision mandating religious identification in passports.
Pakistan should set up a Human Rights Commission and a National Minorities Commission to monitor the human rights condition and to enable minorities to enjoy the rights provided to the majority population.
Pakistan should reform its education system in order to remove inaccuracies about other religions and promote tolerance and pluralism.
The United States should demand that Pakistan stop supporting and financing all Islamic militant groups operating in the subcontinent. The United States must end all military assistance to Pakistan.
The United States should continue dialogue with Pakistan on the issues of human rights and religious freedom and dispatch a fact-finding committee organized by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to Pakistan.
16. KUMBH-INSPIRED BOOMBA MELA A BIG HIT IN ISRAEL: As pilgrim activities at Haridwar came to a spectacular climax this month, tens of thousands of Israelis gathered on the coast of the Mediterranean to celebrate one of the biggest New Age festivals that, amazingly, has its roots in our very own Kumbh Mela.
Founded in 1999 by a group of Jewish visitors after they got inspired by Bharat’s ‘Pitcher Festival’, Boomba Mela has become a hugely popular unorthodox celebration of the intermediate days of Passover held on Nitzanim Beach in Southern Israel near Ashkelon and Ashdod. Held at the beginning of April this year, the three-day carnival reportedly had over 50,000 youth and middle-aged couples learning yoga, Om meditation and learning Hinduism from ‘imported’ Bharatiya Gurus as semi-clad sages with long dread-locks (akin to the various Hindu akharas or sects) bellowed Namah Shivayah and Aum in loud speakers.
Thousands of Israeli teenagers and couples attended yoga classes and listened to Hare Krishna sermons. There was such a rush for savoring rice and lentils at the Bharatiya dhaba (makeshift restaurant). Men and women dressed in Bharatiya attire with smeared foreheads sauntered on the beach as others danced, sang and meditated.
17. COUNTRY'S FIRST INDIGENOUSLY-BUILT STEALTH WARSHIP COMMISSIONED: Its a lean, mean fighting machine. But what makes it capable of delivering the killer punch is its stealthy nature to catch the enemy completely off-guard. Bharat's stealthiest warship till now, the 6,200-tonne frigate INS Shivalik, with a lethal mix of weapons and sensors, was commissioned by defence minister A K Antony at the naval dockyard in Mumbai on April 29.
With a crew of 30 officers and 250 sailors it's Bharat's first indigenously-designed and manufactured stealth warship, even though it has Israeli and Russian missile systems like Barak, Klub and Shtil, and American LM2500 gas turbines.
"She is not invisible to enemy radars...after all, she is 6,200 tonnes of steel. But stealth is all about hitting someone before he hits you. The aim is to ensure shorter ranges at which you can be detected, not invisibility,'' he added.
18. IN 15 YEARS, BHARATIYA COMMUNITY TO BE ONE OF LARGEST GROUPS IN AUSTRALIA: Bharatiya migrants will be one of the largest communities in this country in the next 15 years when Australia-born families will become a minority group, Australia-based Daily Telegraph reported quoting figures from demographic consultants Macroplan Australia.
Outnumbered by a surging wave of migrants from Europe and Asia, especially from Bharat and China, Australians will become a minority group in their own country within 15 years.
It said most migrants came from Britain (14.2 per cent), followed by New Zealand (11.4 per cent), Bharat (11.2), China (10.5) South Africa (5.3) and the Philippines (4.1).
19. VISA-ON-ARRIVAL SCHEME A RUNAWAY SUCCESS: Recent restrictions in tourist visa procedures appear to have done little to dampen the spirits of foreign tourists.
The visa-on-arrival scheme extended to five countries over a period of one year has proved to be a runaway success with as many as 1,793 visas issued so far. The most number of tourists have come from Singapore, followed by Finland and New Zealand.
Tourism minister Kumari Selja said introduction of the scheme had already sent a positive signal about Bharat's intention to welcome foreign tourists. "Eighteen countries have been granted the facility of long-term visa by Bharat.
The scheme has contributed to an increasing number of foreign tourist arrivals to Bharat in the last one month adding forex earnings of more than Rs 5,500 crore in March this year.
20. CHINA GETS READY TO DECLARE LOVE FOR TAGORE: The Chinese seem to be falling in love with Rabindranath Tagore all over again. The Bharatiya Nobel laureate is to be feted through busts, books and films in the country which he visited twice in the 1920s and, amid controversy, left an influence on the literature of the time.
While a statue of the poet is being put up in Shanghai, a major project of translating his complete works in 28 volumes has been undertaken by a government-run publishing house. Besides, Tagore's birth anniversary will be celebrated in the presence of an international audience at the Bharatiya pavilion during the World Expo in Shanghai on May 10.
The programme includes the screening of a documentary film on Tagore's 1924 tour of China and distribution of a booklet on his impact in China.
Visitors at the World Expo will be shown a documentary produced by Bivash Mukherjee discussing why Tagore's journeys to Chinese cities in 1924 and 1929 resulted in both controversies and a fan following for the poet.
21. C K PRAHALAD: GURU OF POVERTY AND PROFIT DIES AT 69: Internationally renowned management guru Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad, popularly known as CK, passed away in San Diego after a brief illness. He was 69.
The man who called attention to the "fortune at the bottom of the pyramid" died at the top of his game. A professor at the University of Michigan, Prahalad was considered one of the world's top 10 management thinkers. His theory about the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid is followed by many corporations in emerging markets. He is survived by his wife Gayatri and two children.
22. BUDDHIST MONK FROM BHARAT PROMOTES HINDU CONFERENCE IN NEW ZEALAND: The 3rd New Zealand Hindu Conference will be held on 15th & 16th May 2010 at the Hindu Heritage Centre, Mangere, Auckland. The theme of the conference is "Sustaining New Zealand through strengthening bond amongst communities".
The focus of this conference is networking, whether it is with Maori community, general public, government agencies, Hindus from various countries, the different schools of thought of Dharma, with Hindu organisations, associations and institutions.
Ven. Dr. Bhikkhu Bodhipala, a well respected teacher of Vipassana (Buddhist Meditation) who belongs to Theravada tradition from Bharat, is in New Zealand promoting the 3rd New Zealand Hindu conference. He has been visiting Buddhist monasteries and meditation centres around major cities and promoting meditation techniques and Hindu conference.
Although born as a Protestant Christian, Ven. Dr. Bhikkhu Bodhipala embraced Buddhism in 1977 under the preceptorship of (Late) Ven. E. Nandiswara Nayaka Thera, the then Secretary General of Maha Bodhi Society of India, Kolkata. After his retirement from Government service he was ordained a Bhikkhu under the preceptorship of Ven.Dr.Rastrapala Maha Thera, internationally reputed teacher of Buddhist Meditation.
“I was influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda, and then came in contact with Buddhist teachers” ” said Ven Dr Bhikkhu Bodhipala.
23. PREEYA MOHAN GETS DE LA RUE SCHOLARSHIP: Twenty-one-year-old Preeya Mohan, an economics and finance graduate from the University of the West Indies (UWI), is the new De La Rue scholarship winner for 2009/2010.
She is an active member of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), a non-profit organisation for building good character among youths.
24. KANCHI SEER OPPOSES RELIGIOUS CONVERSION: Sri Jayendra Saraswati has taken a serious view of what he termed forcible conversions of people in the war-torn Sri Lanka, and is staying in ‘close touch’ with the happenings in the island nation.
According to the pontiff, the aftermath of a war is always conducive to conversion, particularly to Christianity because the Biblical themes of persecution and exile instantly resonate with them. He is going to oppose “forcible conversions and proselytizing by force, allurement or by fraudulent means,” anywhere because it is against the grain of Hindu ethos.
In an exclusive interview, the pontiff said he was going to sensitize Hindus on Bharatiya spirituality and to achieve that end he would organise a padayatra of madhathipathis and sadhus soon.
25. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: Smt. & Shri Shamkant Shet – USA, Shri Navinchandra Joshi & family UK, Reena Ishwar – South Africa. Pravas: Dr.Shankar Tatwawadi, Vishwa Vibhag Samyojak, is in Canada & USA.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do not put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket….. Everyone points to the other man, who, according to him, is happier. But the only one, who has the courage to declare that he is truly happy, is he who has relinquished all his passion and hungers from within. – Swami Chinmayananda.
An 11-volume “Encyclopedia of Hinduism” was launched by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Yoga Guru Swami Ramdev, NDA working chairman L K Advani and others at a function that drew a galaxy of spiritual gurus and leaders from the BJP and VHP on April 4 at Rishikesh.. The ambitious project was conceptualised by Swami Chidanand Saraswati over two decades ago and some 10,000 people are believed to have pitched in, directly or indirectly, towards completion of this magnum opus.
Advani, who blogged on the need to accord “due place to traditions in the contemporary discourse”, said the encyclopedia would in a way result in the “resurrection of India’s swabhiman (self-esteem)”. Before him, a number of speakers had lamented about the “lack of any authoritative primary source” on Hinduism in the country.
In a speech laced with his trademark humour, the Dalai Lama stressed that Bharat’s tradition of plurality, harmony among various faiths and non-violence “should now be a lesson for the rest of the world”. Drawing examples from other parts of the world, he stressed that people of different faiths had lived together in harmony here for the last 3,000 years and the encyclopedia would further strengthen the culture of debate and dialogue in the country.
The Encyclopedia of Hinduism has aptly been termed, “The Project of the Third Millennium.” Under the divine vision and guidance of Bharat’s leading saint, H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, the Encyclopedia will mark the first time in history that the vast panorama of Bharatiya culture is encapsulated in one complete work.
Bharat’s cultural heritage is multistranded and complex, forming an intricate tapestry of wisdom, insight and tradition. The timeless truths are available and beneficial to people of all religions, all faiths and all walks of life. Hinduism is not a dogma, but rather a way of life that brings depth, richness, integrity, understanding and meaning to our daily lives.
To encapsulate an entire cosmos in a literary portfolio is an enormous task. Nevertheless, under the divine inspiration of H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, the India Heritage Research Foundation has undertaken the divine and momentous challenge of publishing the first, complete, authentic multi-volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism. This project provides the first thorough and comprehensive compilation, integrating the vast ocean of knowledge, history and experience that is Bharatiya culture.
Despite the influence of Hinduism across the globe, this spiritual tradition is widely misunderstood in the West. It has become imperative to provide an authentic, objective, scholarly, standardized and comprehensive source of reference and information.
The Encyclopedia will provide a better understanding of Hindu traditions, deepen inter-cultural dialogue and serve as a standard reference for students, teachers, seekers and anyone interested in the world’s oldest living tradition. The Encyclopedia includes approximately 7000 articles, ranging in length from 250 to over 5000 words, covering the depth and breadth of Hindu culture, tradition and civilization. The articles span twelve main subject areas: art, Hinduism in global context, history, historiography and geography, language and literature, philosophy, polity, religion and spirituality, sciences, social institutions and movements, spiritual disciplines, scholarship in Hindu studies and role of Hindu women.
The Encyclopedia has been prepared by over 1000 scholars all across the globe. Headquarters for EH were located at the University of South Carolina, Columbia where all articles from all satellite offices around the world were sent for approval and editing. Final operations of editing and review shifted to Bharat in 2003 under the guidance of Chief Editor Dr. K.L. Seshagiri Rao and Executive Editor Dr. Kapil Kapoor and Executive Editors in USA and Bharat,
Highlights of EH: First comprehensive Encyclopedia of Hinduism in history. Extensively researched & documented. Authentic, authoritative & illuminating. 12 main subject areas, 11 Volumes. 7500 original entries.Approx. 6 million words.Thousands of Illustrations. Cross referenced. Complete Index & Glossary.A product of the cooperative research of more than 1000 international scholars of Hinduism.