In New Zealand, March 21 is being celebrated as the Race Relations Day to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Celebrating Holi with different colours and bringing various community groups (especially the youth) together is symbolic of this important international day.
“The support, participation and positive feedback from last year’s Holi celebrations, introduced to the Rotorua community by Hindu Council of Newzealand, encouraged us to continue with this festival” said Dr Guna Magesan, General Secretary of Hindu Council of New Zealand. This year’s Holi festival will be run by youths – mainly teenagers from various communities.
2. 'SURYA NAMASKAR' GAINING POPULARITY IN US: Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation) that has been practiced in Bharat for years has now found a whole lot of takers in the US. Over 10,000 people participated in the public Surya Namaskar exercises held in 225 cities from 40 States in January.
Mayors of Tampa in Florida, Milpitas (California), Cupertino (California), Normal (Illinois) and Bloomington (Illinois) declared "Health for Humanity" also known as Surya Namaskar Yajna (SNY) day and encouraged their residents to participate in the locally held Yogathons.
Famous for his health conscious agenda, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg integrated this Yogathon with 'Shape up New York' programme and asked the residents to actively participate in it.
Seventeen public schools in California, 25 universities, 14 Yoga studios and many temples actively participated in this project.
'Health for Humanity Yogathon' was launched by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh in 2007 to create awareness about yoga and its advantages in achieving a healthy body, mind and spirit.
3. KUMBH WILL STRENGTHEN SOCIAL HARMONY IN BHARAT: The historic Ma Narmada Samajik Kumbh was formally inaugurated in a jam-packed gathering of lakhs of Hindus mainly drawn from various tribal and rural areas of the country at Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati Mandapam erected on the banks of river Narmada at Mandla on February 10, 2011 .
Making a very fervent appeal RSS Sarsanghchalak Shri Mohanrao Bhagwat called upon the people to serve the deprived, neglected and illiterate masses of the Hindu society through education, love and selfless service so that they could become an inseparable part of the Hindu society.
If all religions are equal then why force people to accept a particular religion? Bhagwat asked making an oblique reference to the conversion activities carried out in Bharat by the various Christian missionaries and their organisations.
The inauguration ceremony was addressed by founder of Maharshi Ved Vyas Pratishthan Pune, Acharya Govind Dev Giriji Maharaj, Mahamandleswar Hariharanad Maharaj, President of Kumbh samiti Bhagwan Singh Rol Sahabsaar, RSS Sah karyawah, Sureshji Soni,and others.
For all the 3 days uninterrupted columns of devotees thronged the banks of Narmada river People took holy bath in river Narmada and offered puja and other offerings to the river.
The 3 – day sammelan saw various events like Mahila Sammelan, Sant Sammelan etc. The dignitaries who visited and spoke at Kumbh included RSS Sarkaryavaha Bhayyaji Joshi, former Sarsanghchalak KS Sudarshan, Pramukh Sanchalika of Rashtra Sevika Samiti, Pramilataiji Medhe, Dr. Pravinbhai Togadia – VHP, Poojya Swami Satyamitrananda ji, Mahamandaleswar Akhileswaaeranandji Giri, Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh and others.
4. CHANDRAYAAN FOUND WATER ON MOON, NASA CONFIRMS: In a major development relating to Bharat's moon mission, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, one of the most powerful space observatories in the world, has confirmed the discovery of water on the moon by Chandrayaan-1. The discovery was made by Chandra Altitudunal Composition Explorer (CHACE) on the night of November 14, 2008. The CHACE was one of the three instruments on board Chandrayaan-1's indigenous Moon Impact Probe (MIP).
The HST was launched in 1990 by NASA space shuttle Discovery. HST's confirmation was announced recently by the American Astronomical Society which was made public on February 12. It is a major boost to Bharat’s space programme.
5. HOME COMING IN ODISHA AND UTTAR PRADESH: About 1,200 people belonging to 250 families of Sundergarh district in Odisha returned home at a function organised at Samlata village, around 70 km from Raurkela in Odisha. All the people who returned home had adopted Christianity some time back. Central secretary of VHP Mohan Joshi and Dilip Singh Judev were also present on the occasion.
58 people of 11 families of San Nuagam village in Sundargarh district of Orissa have returned back to their Hindu fold in a home coming ceremony organised by Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP).The families had converted Christianity four years back and are now back in their original Hindu fold. More then 1400 persons have so far returned back to Hindu fold in western Orissa from last year.
In yet another function organised at Jhamaria village under Naugarh block of Chandoli district in Uttar Pradesh, about 350 people belonging to 60 families of five villages returned home on January Five Christian priests Babunder, Ramchandra, Rajesh, Mewalal and Ravinath, also participated in the function and returned home.
6. BRAHMACHARI MURALBHAI GETS VIVEKANANDA SEWA SAMMAN: Brahmachari Muralbhai of Dakshineshwar Ramkrishna Sangh was honoured with Vivekananda Sewa Samman for the year 2011, on February 6. The Samman which consists of a cash prize of Rs 51,000 and a citation is presented by Shree Burrabazar Kumarsabha Pustakalaya of Kolkata. Born on January 1, 1945 Shri Muralbhai dedicated his entire life for the uplift of underprivileged. Presently he is general secretary of Dakshineshwar Ramkrishna Sangh which runs various welfare activities including hostels for destitute girls, old age homes, dispensaries, girls’ schools, training institutes, goushalas, etc.
7. AERO INDIA 2011— Bharat's biggest air show 5-day Aero India 2011 began on February 9 with a spectacular fly-past and breathtaking aerobatic formations by the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet of aircraft and helicopters. Defence Minister AK Antony declared open the eighth edition of the biennial aerospace and aviation trade expo at the IAF base in Yelahanka on the city's outskirts in the presence of 40 foreign delegations, dignitaries, officials and top executives of global aerospace majors.
Organised by the defence ministry in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the five-day event was the largest ever held in South Asia, with about 675 exhibitors, including 380 from 29 countries including the US, the UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Germany, Russia, Israel and Spain and 295 domestic firms, showcasing their latest aerospace technologies and products for Bharatiya and international markets. Tens of thousands of aviation enthusiasts turned up to watch “scintillating air display” put up by IAF’s aerobatic team Suryakiran and Red Bull team from Czech Republic.
8. RSS WRITES TO PM FOR PANEL TO PROBE EFFORTS TO 'MALIGN' IMAGE:
Making it clear that Malegaon blast accused Colonel Srikant Purohit has no links with it, RSS has asked the Prime Minister to set up an independent commission to probe an alleged plot to assassinate its chief Mohan Bhagwat by the former military intelligence officer and efforts to "malign" the image of the Sangh.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, RSS Sarkaryavah Suresh Joshi said the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad has evidence to prove that Malegaon blast accused Col Purohit and Swami Dayanand Pandey were simultaneously plotting to eliminate Bhagwat and senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar.
"At the time of Malegaon investigations itself a senior ATS official had informed one of our prominent leaders about this conspiracy...yet, shockingly, some elements in the investigative agencies have been trying to club the RSS with those very same people who were plotting against it," the letter dated February 9 said.
The four-page letter delivered to the PMO stated that the fundamental question which needed to addressed was, "How could RSS be bracketed with those who were viciously hostile to it and conspiring to kill its leaders?"
"We will help any probe to get to the truth...an independent commission should be set up as we see a political hand behind them (Purohit and Pandey) to malign the image of RSS.
RSS hoped to get a reply from the Prime Minister in the coming days even as 'Bhaiyyaji' has sought a meeting with Singh to discuss the issue in person.
9. CCTV HOOKED TO OFFICIAL WEBSITE: P Manivannan, an IAS officer in Karnataka is allowing the public to watch what he is doing in his office by hooking up the CCTV in his chamber to his official website, thus taking the transparency to a new level. The Managing Director of the Bangalore Electricity Supply company Bescom has installed two IP-enabled cameras in his office. Everything within the four walls of his office is available live on his official website. He’s available to the public whenever he's free because it can be viewed by anybody from the website.
10. CENTRE CHANGED PERSONAL LAWS OF HINDUS ONLY: "The Hindu community has been tolerant to the statutory interventions in their personal laws. But there appears a lack of secular commitment as it has not happened for other religions." Supreme Court Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A K Ganguly made this observation while hearing petitions filed by the National Commission for Women and its Delhi chapter. The petitioners have sought formulation of a uniform marriageable age and complained that different stipulations in as many statutes had created confusion.
11. IIM-A, SP JAIN COURSES IN TOP GLOBAL B-SCHOOL LIST: MBA programmes offered by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and the SP Jain Center of Management, Dubai/Singapore have made it to the prestigious Global MBA Rankings produced annually by Financial Times, London. The 2011 list of 100 best business programmes, released on January 31, ranks IIM-A's one-year postgraduate programme for executives (PGPX) as the 11th best in the world, while the Global MBA programme of SP Jain Center of Management bags the 68th spot.
In September last year, the Financial Times had ranked the IIM-A's two-year postgraduate programme (PGP) 8th among 65 B-schools.
The Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, retained the 13th rank for the third consecutive year. The ISB also recorded the highest "salary percentage increase" among the rated schools. This is the fourth successive year that the ISB has featured in the top 20.
12. MUSLIMS PREACH RSS VALUES: Donning skull caps and armed with RSS literature, small groups of Muslims campaigned in Lucknow to preach the values of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh among members of their community. Under the banner of the Akhil Bharatiya Maha Sufi Sant Sewa Samiti (ABMSSSS), around 75 Muslims were on a door-to-door campaign to project "the spirit and values of RSS". Mohammad Wahid Chisti, an editor of an Urdu daily, said that like him Muslims from different professional backgrounds were involved in the drive that started with RSS assistance on February 6.
Chisti and his friends every morning fanned out in different localities of the city to reach out to fellow Muslims. They handed over copies of a 24-page booklet that marked the parivar's angst at the `saffron terror canards' and misinformation campaign about Ramjanmabhoomi movement, Kashmir and the alleged saffron terror.
13. IIT-B CAMPUS IN NEW YORK: The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has invited IIT-B to submit a proposal to set up a campus in the Big Apple for applied science courses. IIT-Bombay's dean (international relations) Subhasis Chaudhuri, said: "The proposal is at a rather nascent stage. But we are considering it very seriously."
"The city is committed to finding the right partner and providing the support needed to establish such a facility because research in the fields of engineering, science and technology is creating the next generation of global business innovations that will propel our economy forward," New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
14. SAMAJIK SAMARASTA SAMMELAN IN KANDHAMAL: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organised a huge Samajik Samarasta Sammelan in Phulbani, the district headquarter of Kandhmal. More than 1,200 uniformed swayamsevaks participated in the two-day programme.
Addressing a meeting organised at Coronation Ground, the Hindu Jagran Manch national convener Harihar Nanda came down heavily on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his inaction to nab the killers and conspirators of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. He said Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati dedicated his entire life for the uplift of the deprived people of Odisha. "But he was killed. Why Naveen Patnaik government is trying to shield the murderers and conspirators? Naveen Patnaik must answer it," he added.
RSS Kshetra Karyavah Satyanarayan Mazumdar, Prant Karyavah Gopal Prasad Mahapatra and Vibhag Sanghachalak Ramesh Sahu also shared the dais. Sunilpad Goswami, RSS National Executive Member, was also present on the occasion. Before the concluding function, the people of Phulbani witnessed a grand route march by the swayamsevaks.
15. NRI AUTHOR WINS CHILDREN’S BOOK PRIZE: An NRI woman writer has won the prestigious 5,000-pound Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for a story that dealt with the death of a grandparent. Sita Brahmachari won the Prize for ‘Artichoke Hearts’, the story of a girl’s relationship with her ailing grandmother. Brahmachari said she was inspired by her “beautiful and bohemian” mother-in-law, Rosie Harrison, an artist and environmental activist who died in 2005.
The judges praised the book for “tackling the issue of death head-on” and for its positive portrayal of the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren.
It is the debut children’s novel from Brahmachari, a mother-of-three from North London.
16. VHP KENDRIYA MARGDARSHAK MANDAL MEETING IN PRAYAG: Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad that met during Magh Mela in Prayag on February 7 termed the clash between Garo and Rabha communities of north-east as preplanned and demanded strict action against the culprits who instigated the clash. In a resolution adopted at the meeting, the saints said the clash between Garo and Rabha is a serious matter for the country and it demonstrates the failure of State and Central governments. They appealed to the governments concerned to take immediate steps to control the situation.
In another resolution, the saints expressed concern over the direction of the Kerala High Court for taking over Padmanabham temple of Trivandrum. They termed it as direct interference in the religious matters of the Hindus. The saints warned the Kerala government not to make any attempt to takeover the temple otherwise they would be forced to launch an agitation. They said the death of over 100 devotees at Shabarimala temple recently was due to gross negligence by the State government and the taking over new temples may also lead to similar mismanagement.
In a resolution on Sri Ramjanmabhoomi the saints directed the Rambhaktas to continue the group anusthans of Hanumat Shakti Jagran till the temple is constructed in Ayodhya.
17. VASANT PANCHAMI: The festival was celebrated with the installation of the idols of Saraswati in a number of schools, colleges and universities, prominent crossings and residential colonies in Varanasi on February 8. Devotees wore yellow clothes, made donations, performed special pujas and took a holy dip in the Ganga to mark the day. A special puja was performed in Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to mark its foundation day on Vasant Panchami. RSS Swayamsevaks took out a march on the occasion. The prominent temples of the city like Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Sankat Mochan and Durga Temple (Durgakund) also witnessed special pujas to mark the festivity.
Prayers were offered on the occasion of Basant Panchami at the Sheetleshwar Bhairav Mandir, Sathu, Sheetal Nath, in Srinagar on February 8. The Sheetleshwar Bhairav Dharam Sabha Committee conducted the prayers while the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS) celebrated the festival with fervour and wished the Kashmiri society a peaceful and prosperous year.
18. ACHARYA GIRIRAJ KISHORE TURNS 92: Veteran VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore turned 92 on February 4. A Yajna was performed on this occasion at VHP headquarters, New Delhi where scores of VHP workers and senior leaders were present. Acharya ji has played a key role in different activities of the VHP including Sri Ramjanmabhoomi movement, Sanskriti Raksha Yojna, first and second Ekatmata Yatras, etc He has toured UK , Holland, Belgium, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Nepal etc. for VHP work. In his message, VHP president Shri Ashok Singhal described Acharyaji as pran of Sri Ramjanmabhoomi movement.
19. BUDDHIST SAMMELAN ORGANISED BY DHARMA SANSKRITI SANGAM: Dharma Sanskriti Sangam organised a Buddhist Sammelan in Agra on January 31. Apart from various Buddhist leaders Bhante Gyan Jagat Maharaj and the RSS National Executive Member Indresh Kumar were also present on the occasion. It was for the first time that apart from Buddhists, followers of Kabir, Raidasi, Valmiki and Ramdasi also participated in the Sammelan. Speaking on the occasion Indresh Kumar explained how Mahatma Buddha spread the message of harmony and non-violence.
Bhante Gyan Jagat Maharaj said the principle of panchsheel propagated by Mahatma Buddha can restore peace in the world.
Bhikshuni Purnima who came from Nagpur said by following the path shown by Mahatma Buddha, Dr Ambedkar ensured equal opportunities to the countrymen in the Constitution.
20. ARJUN TANK TO GET MORE BHARATIYA INDIAN MUSCLE: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will roll out a more potent and indigenized variant of the Arjun tank in three years. DRDO chief VK Saraswat said the German engine on the current version of the tank would be replaced by a Bharatiya power plant and the new variant (Arjun Mk-II) would have 90% indigenous component. The existing tank may be hailed as an indigenous project but imported items such as power pack, gunner's main sight and track account for 58% of the cost per tank.
The army raised its maiden armoured regiment equipped with Arjun tanks in May 2009, more than 35 years after the project was conceived. The army has so far placed an order for 248 tanks, each costing R16.8 crore.
Saraswat said the DRDO was laying the groundwork to develop future main battle tank. The tank would be lighter than the 60-tonne Arjun, he said. Currently, Russian T-90s and T-72s are the mainstay of Bharat’s tank fleet.
21. ASHSES OF UNKNOWN PAKISTANI HINDUS IMMERSED IN THE GANGA: Ashes of 135 unknown Pakistani Hindus stashed at different crematoria of Pakistan for the last forty years were brought to Delhi through the strenuous efforts of Devotthan Seva Samiti, Bharat with active co-operation of Ram Nath Mishra, the chief priest of the famous Panchamukhi Hanuman Mandir of Karachi and kept at Nigam Bodh Ghat, Delhi on January 21, 2011. The ashes were immersed in the holy river Ganga at Sati Ghat of Kankhal near Hardwar on February 5, 2011. The ashes were reverently taken care of by Murad Baksh, a Muslim caretaker of Hindu Connection Ground Crematorium, Karachi, a unique instance of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood.
22. SHRI KS SUDARSHAN VISITS ANDAMANS: Former RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri KS Sudarshan was on a weak-long tour of the Andamans from Janaury 11 to 16. He participated in various functions organised there. He reached Port Blair on January 11 and attended a function of Vivekananda Kendra. On January 12, he attended a youth Sammelan organised by the ABVP. Next day, he addressed a Hindu Sammelan organised by Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram. He participated in Ganga puja and an aarati at Ganga Mandir on January 14 while on January 15 he addressed a Hindu Sammelan at Tiranga Park of Port Blair. Swami Haripadanand Maharaj of Bharat Sevashram Sangh, Shri Harinarayan Arora, Swami Brahmanand and RSS National Executive Member Shri Sunilpad Goswami were also present on the occasion.
23. SANSKRITAM AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE: SAFL is a 3 year online distance education program for highschool students who wish to learn Sanskrit. Solely designed for this age group, it tailors to their specific learning needs and interests. The course in the form of ‘conversational Sanskrit’ is conducted via teleconferencing and web. Opportunities are provided for the student to interact in Sanskrit through multimedia, online material and residential camps. For more information please visit:
24. WHERE HINDUS AND MUSLIMS PRAY TOGETHER: A tradition of over 150 years in Killai, a coastal village in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, delivers lessons in communal amity when parts of the country have betrayed vulnerability to intolerance. The age-old harmony will be seen again on February 18 when Muslims of the village receive Hindu deity Bhoo Varahaswamy (the boar avatar of Vishnu) from his temple at Srimushnam, 60 km away. Every year, Bhoo Varahaswamy is taken out in a procession for the Brahmotsatava festival between February and March. The procession receives a grand welcome in Killai where it halts at a dargah built for Sufi saint Hazrath Syed Sha Rahmathullah Vali Shuttary. The Imam offers prayers, a garland and oblation of 11 kg of rice, five coconuts and Rs 501 to the deity. Later, a silk shawl on the deity is offered at the dargah and a chaddar is offered for the deity in return.
25. HINDU RITUALS NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL – HIGH COURT: Holding that performing Hindu rituals during last year’s foundation ceremony of the High Court’s auditorium cannot be termed as non-secular, the Gujarat High Court on February 10 dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) while imposing an “exemplary” fine of Rs 20,000 on the petitioner. The Division Bench comprising Justices Jayant Patel and J C Upadhyay passed the judgment while acting on the PIL moved by civil rights activist Rajesh Solanki. The PIL had demanded to declare Hindu rituals - Bhoomi Pujan ceremony held in the HC premises inside the HC premise to kick start the construction of a proposed auditorium - as unconstitutional.
26. NRIs CAN NOW VOTE BACK HOME: Non-resident Bharatiyas (NRIs) can now cast votes in their home constituencies as the government has notified rules in this regard, fulfilling the longstanding demand of such people estimated to be 11 million.
There is no provision for postal balloting. "Every citizen of Bharat staying in a foreign country, who has not acquired citizenship of a foreign country, and has completed 18 years of age as on January 1 of the year, can make an application for being registered in the roll for the constituency pertaining to the locality in which his place of residence in Bharat as mentioned in the passport is located," said the notification prepared in consultation with the Election Commission.
27. BHARATIYAS’ PER CAPITA INCOME UP: Per capita income of Bharatiyas grew by 14.5% to Rs 6,492 in 2009-10 from Rs 40,605 in the year-ago period, as per the revised data released by the government on Feb 1. The new figure estimates on current market prices is over Rs 2,000 more than the previous of Rs 44,345 as per the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).
Per capita income means earnings of each Bharatiya if the national income is evenly divided among the country's population at 117 crore.
28. AGE-OLD SHIVA TEMPLE AT THE HEART OF THAI-CAMBODIAN CLASH: The 11th century temple in honour of the Hindu god Shiva, Preah Vihear, is the most celebrated example of ancient Khmer architecture outside of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. The temple ruins have largely withstood decades of war, but are again at the centre of a deadly border dispute with neighbouring Thailand. French colonial surveyors in 1907 drew a map showing Preah Vihear temple perched along the Dangrek mountain range inside Cambodia. Thailand does not regard that map as valid. Its troops occupied it in the 1950s, but were forced to leave after the World Court in 1962 accepted Cambodia’s ownership claim.
29. OBITUARY: Shri Anil Pota, senior swayamdevak and General Secretary OFBJP – UK passed away on February 10th following a short illness. Senior Sangh Pracharak and Poorva Andhra Bauddhik Pramukh Vishwanathan Somasundaram passed away on Feb 4th at Hyderabad.
30. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Dr.Shankar Tatwawadi will visit Nepal, Singapore and Thailand from 18 Feb – 6 Mar. Visitors: Shri Lalitkishorji – Thailand, Shri Gyaneshwar Dayal – Germany,
THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Change your thoughts if you wish to change your circumstances. Since you alone are responsible for your thoughts, only you can change them. You will want to change them when you realize that each thought creates according to its own nature. – Paramhansa Yogananda
A UNIQUE GANAPATI TEMPLE CONSECRATED NEAR MANGALOREA large number of devotees thronged a historical and unique open-air temple ‘Southedka Ganapathi’ near Mangalore on the late evening of February 7 where the popular annual feast ‘Moodappa Seva’ ( immersing the presiding deity Ganapathi with specially prepared sweets made with jaggery and rice, only to be distributed as prasadam later) held. According to one version, the legend has it that, some thousand years ago Lord Ganapati came down from Kailash in the form of an idol and settled himself in a small town called ‘Nellyadi’ on Bangalore-Mangalore highway to bless the local cowherd boys who used to offer Ganapathi with tasty ‘southekayi’ (cucumbers) grown aplenty there.It so happened that little Ganapati refused to return to Kailash after enjoying the company of his devotees and his worried mother Goddess Parvati too came down to earth trying to take his son back but after failing to persuade her son she too started living in this place. Upset with the development Lord Shiva sent his aide ‘Veerabhadra’ to bring back his son and wife but by seeing the affection between Ganapathi and his staunch devotees, Veerabhadra too stayed back. Later due to unnatural circumstances people in the area migrated and for many years Ganapati trio was left without care and a religious person in an adjacent ‘Kokkada’ town realised this apathetic condition in his dream and villagers reinstalled the idols in the present place ‘kokkada’ which is 285 kms from Bangalore.
A place for Hindus to congregate
R GURU PRASAD
A place for Hindus to congregate
R GURU PRASAD
The rare phenomenon of watching lord Ganapati standing majestically in an open-air temple where the sky is the umbrella and earth is the platform, is a feast to eyes and melody of birds chirping, cows running around, monkeys jumping from the branches of huge trees around the sanctum is like a natural ringtone. Devotees wish to visit the place again and again due to serene atmosphere. Ganapati waiting for his devotees in the middle of a nature without any building for himself and blessing the devotees 24X7 is an experience which cannot be erased from the memory of those visited.
On the occasion of the Moodappa seva, vocalists Narayana Saralaya, Padigar Lakshminarayana Upadhyay and Sudhir Koduar from Udupi sang a devotional songs penned by saint poets like Purandara Dasa, Kanaka Dasa and Vidya Prasanna Theertharu. Brilliant fire works was the added attraction.
Sri Sri Raghu Bhushan Thirtha Swamiji from Jagadguru Madhwacharya Mahasansthana, Balegaru Mutt, in his inaugural speech called upon all Hindus to stay united irrespective of different caste and creeds prevailing in the society, to safeguard our culture and religious practices. He mentioned that the natural enemies like serpent and rat stay united with lord Ganesh , serpent as belt and rat as his vehicle and advised Hindus to display such friendly attitude to lead a harmonious living. He further said " the more we understand the form of Ganapati, more we can learn the true wisdom of leading a purposeful life. Big head of Ganapati indicates that we have to think big, small eyes of Ganapati indicates that we have to stop looking outside world for happiness but introspect for real contentment, big ears indicate that listen to good things from everywhere and adopt it to get liberation or achieve the true goal of life". He added that Muslim country like Indonesia worships Ganapati in different forms, is a testimony that Hinduism is the only trusted source for ultimate happiness and fulfillment in the entire world. ( Organiser, February 20, 2011 )
ONE YEAR OF VISHWA MANGAL GOU GRAM YATRAOne year has passed since the Vishwa Mangal Gou Gram Yatra concluded in New Delhi with presenting a memorandum containing over 8.40 crore signatures to the President Smt Pratibha Patil on January 31, 2010.
According to Shri Shankarlal, former secretary of the Yatra Samiti, during the last one year thousands of farmers adopted organic farming and the manufacturing as well as marketing of panchgavya products began in professional manner across the country. Over 400 new goushalas were set up and the existing goushalas were strengthened. Over 5,000 workers were imparted training to start cow-based industries in villages.
Apart from starting new goushalas special projects for improving the breeds of Sahiwal, Nagri, Rathi, Tharparkar and Gir cows have begun at many places. Efforts are made at these centres to prevent cross-breeding of these cows to preserve and promote their original breed, added Shri Shankarlal who is also Akhil Bharatiya Gou Sewa Pramukh of RSS.
He pointed out that some existed goushalas conducted good experiments. "The goushala in Siliguri, Assam, was financially weak. Last year, it started a scheme called ‘Savamani’ which consists of 51.25 kg foodgrains to be fed to the cows. People are encouraged to donate it for the cows. It produced good results," he said.
RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh Sitaram Kedilaya informed that after the Yatra the RSS Pratinidhi Sabha adopted a resolution on cow protection and applauding the organisation of the Yatra.
Dr HR Nagendra, working president of the Yatra Samiti, said: "We brought out two complete souvenirs in Hindi and English and also documented about 800 videos received from across the country. A 14 episode serial on the Yatra was telecast by the Shankara Channel. We have contacted Astha and Sanskar Channels also to telecast similar episodes on the Yatra," he said. "We had a big conference in Prashanti Kutiram, Bengaluru, from December 13 – 15 to generate awareness about the research going on all over the country on this subject.
With the inspiration of Sri Ramchandrapura Math, Karnataka, a ‘Maa Gou Products’ company was formed to produce and market the panchgavya products in professional manner. An investment of Rs two crore was made in it and the company has started functioning.
Rammohan, who was Delhi office secretary of the Yatra Samiti, informed that a Cow Breed Protection Authority was formed at Kasargod district in Kerala by the state’s left front government for the promotion of cows. Not only this, the state government has declared Kerala an Organic State. A three-day camp was organised at Alleppey district in December last year for the promotion of cows and organic farming. The Animal Husbandry Department of Kerala also organised an exhibition at Thalikalam block of Trichur. It is the result of these activities that the demand of indigenous cow breed increased and the price of some cows crossed over Rs 35,000 each cow.
RSS Akhil Bharatiya Gram Vikas Pramukh Dr Dinesh pointed out that the work to start a goushala at Somanth temple of Gujarat has begun. Similarly, a Cow Sanctuary is being set up in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh on a piece of 9000 acre land. Shri Bhanwarlal Kothari, who was treasurer of the Yatra Samiti, informed that around 12000 acre gochar land is being revived in Bikaner, Rajasthan. A helpline has also been started in Pune for the cow protection. Meanwhile, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad started the marketing of panchgavya products under the banner of Gou Brand. It buys products directly from the goushalas and sells them in the market professionally. (Organiser, February 20, 2011)