Happy Nag Panchami Day

By:Madya Lila.

Warm greetings on the festival of Nag Panchami! Hindu culture has always placed great importance on living in harmony with nature. Planet Earth is revered as our mother, Bhumidevi, and Hindus recognise a sacred connection between all living creatures. According to Vedic teachings, the soul in each body is an equal spark of life and should be respected.

Nag Panchami festival honours snakes and it is celebrated around India in a huge variety of interesting ways according to the local culture and family traditions. At the peak of the monsoon season, when snakes are at their most active, Hindus offer respect to snakes in the Nag Panchami festival.

Nag Panchami is also the auspicious day that Lord Krishna subdued the black serpent Kaliya.

Once, the serpent, Kaliya, who possessed many hoods and was extremely venomous, polluted the water of the Yamuna River. The trees and plants on the river banks dried up. Even the birds flying over the river were overcome by the poisonous vapours and fell into the water and died. The whole river that ran before Vrindavan village was deadly. Krishna decided the serpent needed to be tamed and the environment needed to be purified so that it was fit to drink and bathe in. He dove into the water creating great waves that enraged the serpent. Kaliya emerged and enveloped Krishna in his powerful coils but Krishna broke free and leapt onto Kaliya’s vast, spreading hoods. Then Krishna, who is celebrated as the original artist of all fine arts, began to dance on the hoods of the serpent. As each hood rose to strike Krishna, Krishna would press it down firmly with His lotus feet. Eventually the serpent became exhausted and humbly submitted himself to Krishna, realizing Krishna’s position as the Supreme Lord. Krishna then ordered Kaliya to leave the Yamuna river and move to the ocean so that the river water would once again become clear and clean. It is declared in the Bhagavat Purana that anyone who hears the narration of Krishna and Kaliya need not fear the activities of snakes. Happy Nag Panchami!

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HBF helps deceased Hindu family in Adelaide

Hindu Benevolent Fund of Hindu Council of Australia provided emotional and logistic support to a family in Adelaide. A young lady living with family in Adelaide, her husband died suddenly by heart attack. She has a little daughter. 

HBF team from Sydney and from Adelaide spoke to the young lady and helped her with emotional support and with the logistics of sending the body to India. HBF also spoke to nearest family members. It helped coordination with Dy Counsel of India, Department of Foreign affairs of Australia, the hospital and a travel company.

Great work HBF team. We are proud of you.

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Happy Independence Day India

15th August 2018, Happy Independence day India, home and birthplace of Hindus.

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Famous Hindu temples around the world

If you are planning to travel overseas, you must see these famous temples around the world.

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Hindus participate in City2Surf for charity

By:Vikas Chopra.

City2Surf is an annual run for fun event in Sydney. Eighty Thousand people took part in the annual fun run this year running/walking a stretch of 14 km from Sydney’s Hyde Park through the city’s eastern suburb to Bondi beach.

Hindu organizations in Sydney and their members participated in the fun run this Sunday 12th August 2018. Hindu Council Team members started the day started meeting other participants @ Hyde Park in Sydney. About  30 participants (from Hindu Council of Australia & Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh Team) did warm up exercises and Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) before moving to their respective run schedules.

Renga Rajan completed City2Surf in 98 minutes.

Mr Renga Rajan completed the entire run in just 98 minutes.

Congratulations to the entire team many of whom donated their sponsorship money to Hindu Benevolent Fund.

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HCA to Teach Hinduism in NSW Schools

Hindu Council of Australia has been approved by the Minister of Education to teach Hinduism as an SRE (Special Reigious Education) in NSW state schools. The education is provided on a voluntary basis i.e. the department does not pay any thing and Hindu Council has to provide volunteer teachers, their training and teaching material. 

You can find more information about it at Hindu Council web site’s SRE page.

If you would like to help you can contact us here.

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Happy Guru Purnima 2018

By:Madya Lila. 

Happy Guru Purnima! Celebrated as the appearance day of Srila Vyasadeva, one of the most revered Gurus and the compiler of the Vedas, Guru Purnima is the auspicious day to honour our spiritual guides. 

Throughout India and in Hindu communities around the world, disciples offer Guru Puja (worship) and express their gratitude to their Guru. Special celebrations are held to recite the scriptures authored by Vyasadeva, accompanied by the singing of hymns, bhajans and kirtan. The system of Guru Sishya Parampara is also followed in the traditional schools of Indian classical music and dance. In India and Nepal, school students honour their teachers on this day, expressing their gratitude and presenting gifts.

Artwork by BG Sharma

In the Vedic system, accepting a guru is considered to be crucial for advancement in spiritual life. The human form of life is sometimes compared to a boat, and the guru is the expert captain who can guide the boat across the ocean of birth and death. It is not possible for a boat to cross the vast and treacherous ocean without a captain, and similarly, it is not possible for a person to solve the problems of life unless he takes shelter of a genuine guru. The word “guru” is composed from two words, gu and ru. The Sanskrit root gu means darkness or ignorance, and ru denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore, a Guru is one who removes the darkness of our ignorance.

Sri Guru Pranama
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya 
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.

Artwork by BG Sharma

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Hindu Council in its 20th years

In 1998, five pioneer Hindus of Sydney came together, Dr Anand Lalchandani co-founder of Sri Mandir in Auburn, Dr A Balasubramaniam co-founder of Sri Venkateswara Temple in Helensburgh, Surinder Jain co-founder of Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh, Bhagwat Chauhan of VHP Australia and Mr Jagdish Raniga of Braham Kumaris. Together they founded Hindu Council of Australia. Sanjeev Bhakri and his team pioneered the celebration of Diwali as a grand community festival under the banner of Hindu Council. Many more helped Hindu Council become the grand organisation of Hindus all over Australia, that it is today.

Hindu Council has over 40 temples and Hindu associations as its members and has become the voice of Australian Hindus.

We will be celebrating 20th Diwali this year in Sydney.

 

 

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Gerald Barr – Interviews with non-Indian Hindus

I think Hinduism is an alive tradition that is not frozen in ancient times. It adjusts to the time and place. However, the source must always be preserved. 

I became immensely inspired by Indian Classical Music, and began learning from Ustad Zakir Hussain in 1995. He teaches not just tabla, but also how the music is connected to Hinduism. For example, he traces Indian percussion to Lord Ganesha. He once taught a tabla composition that ‘narrates’ a story of Radha and Krishna. Thus, the music and Hindu spirituality are directly linked.

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