Ram Sita Kalyanam Vivah in Parramatta 3rd November 2018

Hindu Council of Australia is celebrating Deepavali festival on 3rd and 4th of November 2018 in Parramatta Park this year also.

A special attraction of this year is likely to be an elaborate performance of Rama Sita Kalyanam or Ram Sita Vivah (marriage of Ram and Sita) being planned for 3rd November in Parramatta park location.

Ram Sita Kalyanam volunteers team meets to plan the event

Ram Sita Kalyanam volunteers team meets to plan the event

This is going to be a huge event and the planning has already started. Our Sai Ji is leading the initiative. A team of volunteers has already started preparations for this grand occasion. Some of the suggestions circulating among the team is to 

  • perform Rama Pattabishekam
  • procession/kolatam to carry idols to the mandapam in a palaki
  • Kalyanam or Vivhah before sunset.

We welcome your suggestions about this event and encourage you to come and join the volunteers team and shape this event.

To participate in making the event happen, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. You can also visit Hindu Council web site and sign up as a volunteer specifying your interest in Ram Sita Kalyanam event.

Ashraya Band celebrates International Day of Yoga with concerts in Darwin

To celebrate International Day of Yoga, the kirtan band Ashraya will be joining the festivities in Darwin. On their second tour to the Top End, they bring their world grooves and mellow sounds with beautiful ancient mantras that soothe the soul’s inner-most needs. 

Weaving together the mantras with amazing music, Ashraya brings a unique and creative approach to kirtan – from heart-warming, mellow harmonium chants to upbeat kirtan dance grooves. They will be performing at a number of events:

24th June | Habit Breaker ~ Freedom Maker

 
Ashraya is a Sanskrit word meaning shelter. In the beautiful, heartwarming mantras sung in kirtan, we find our shelter from the storms of life. They have performed at a number of locations including the MindBodySpirit festival recently in Sydney and with Hindu Balinese community in the north east region of Bali. 
 
 
The band members are all long term practitioners of Bhakti Yoga in the Vaisnava tradition. Their passion is share the joy that kirtan and the deeper spiritual aspect of yoga bring to others regardless of their backgrounds. They have been inspired to share the yoga wisdom and teachings so that others may apply these in their own lives to optimise their whole well being. You can also catch Ashraya performing regularly on the Gold Coast at the Mantra Room in Burleigh Heads. 

Happy Galungan & Kuningan 9th June 2018

By Madya Lila.

This Balinese celebration of the triumph of dharma over adharma is one of the most auspicious days in the Balinese calendar and relates with the Diwali celebration of Hindus in other parts of the world. In Balinese, the word “Galungan” means victory and commemorates Indra’s victory over a tyrant king who prevented his subjects from practicing their religion. Balinese people make offerings, decorate their homes and temples, gather their whole family and visit temples to offer prayers. One of the most distinctive features of Galungan are the beautiful penjor decorations that line whole village streets. Penjors are long bamboo poles decorated with young coconut leaves, fruits and flowers. 

The tenth day of Galungan is the celebration of Kuningan when the ancestors and gods and goddesses who have visited the earth return to their heavenly homes. Kuningan is also the day when the Supreme Lord, known as Ida Sang Hyang Widhi, blesses and brings prosperity to the whole world. Balinese make special offerings of yellow turmeric rice on this farewell day as a symbol of their gratitude to God for the life, joy, wealth, health and prosperity given.

Art telling Ramayana, Hindu story, at Carlos Museum

An exhibit of art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University is highlighting events told in the Ramayana, a sacred text of Hinduism.

The exhibit opened in January, and Coweta residents have been among the visitors viewing the paintings filled with bright colors and elaborate detail. The paintings date from the 17th-19th centuries.

[Click here to read more ….]

Thousands of Hindus in Klaten perform Melasti at spring

Jakarta Post12 Mar. 2018
Performed on Sunday, March 11, by thousands of Hindus in Klaten, the Melasti ritual was held to mark the beginning of the ceremonies prior to Nyepi (Hindu Day of Silence) which will be commemorated on March 17. Klaten is one of the biggest Hindu structures in Indonesia. Melasti is a Hindu Balinese purification ceremony and ritual, which according to Balinese calendar is held several days prior to the Nyepi holy day. It is observed by Hindus in Indonesia, especially in Bali. Despite most devotees performing Melasti on the beach, Hindus in Klaten chose Umbul …
 

Borneo Hindus celebrate Tamil New Year

MIRI: More than 200 Hindu devotees and their family members gathered at Kamini Durga Eswari Amman Temple in Taman Tunku here to celebrate the Tamil New Year yesterday. The colourful event organised by Miri Hindu Society (MHS) was attended by Miri Mayor Adam Yii. “Tamil New Year is one of the world’s most vibrant and colourful events celebrated with revelry across the globe.

[Click here to read more ….]

Hindus mark Hanuman Jayanti in Trinidad & Tabago

Published: Thursday, March 29, 2018

This year, Hanuman Jayanti will be celebrated on March 31. The event is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the Hindu god Hanuman who is known for his courage, power and faithful, selfless service to his Lord Rama. Asked what Hanuman represents and what lessons we ought to learn from the humble Hanuman, Pundit Veda Persad of the Ramjit and Basso Persad Hindu Mandir, St Helena Village, Piarco, stated: “The message is that we have our own lives and we bring karmic values from past lives. What we do in this life, we must do to bring good karmic value.

Hinduism is a minority religion in Trinidad and TobagoHindu culture arrived in 1845 in Trinidad and Tobago.[1] In the 21st century, pro Hindu parties were elected.[2] In the 2011 census, There are 240,100 declared Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago. There are also various temples in Trinidad and Tobago to accommodate Hindus.

 

[Click here to read more ….]

Wishing you a Happy Vaisakhi, Baisakhi, Vishu, Pahela Baishakh, Bihu and Puthuvarusham

(Compiled by : Madya Lila, ASMY)

Wishing You A Happy Vaisakhi! For many of the world’s Hindus, Vaisakhi also known as Baisakhi, Vishu, Pahela Baishakh, Bihu and Puthuvarusham is an ancient harvest festival that celebrates the beginning of the solar new year. People clean their homes and businesses, prepare special foods, observe sacred customs, visit the temples and participate in unique regional dances, fairs and festivities.

Vaisakhi is an auspicious day all around as it was also on this very day, thousands of years ago, that Goddess Ganga descended to earth. In her honour, the devout celebrate with a dip in her holy rivers at the break of dawn.

Traditionally, Vaisakhi is observed by the farming community as a day of joyfully thanking God for the abundant harvest. The best of the harvest is lovingly offered to God in gratitude. The community also seeks blessings for future prosperity and progress in the coming year.

No matter where we are in the world we too can celebrate this sacred day of Vaisakhi by setting aside our daily concerns and taking a little time to go within our hearts to reflect and give thanks to God for our countless blessings. There are many challenges in life and when things go wrong we find it hard to see things to be thankful for. By consciously practicing thankfulness we open our eyes to the many gifts God has given us.

On this day of Vaisakhi let us make an auspicious beginning to our New Year by filling our hearts with gratitude. In this mood of thankfulness, may we also be moved to share our blessings, our gifts and our talents in the loving service of God and all living beings. Happy Vaisakhi!

#vaisakhi #newyear #hindu #baisakhi #vishu #bihu #gratitude #thankfulnss #harvestfestival #ganga #solarnewyear #festival

Quarterly update from Victoria Chapter

A quick update from Victoria chapter on activities during the first quarter of 2018
 
1 Quarterly participation at Multifaith Advisory Group within the Premier’s Cabinet Office
2. Feb 18 : Participation in the multifaith consultation called by the PM on freedom of religion, chaired by Philip Ruddock
3. Presentation of Certificate of Honour to HH Mahant Swami of BAPS by HCA on behalf of participating organisations – 10 Feb
4. Ongoing Chaplaincy funds distribution from Spiritual Health Victoria to volunteer health care chaplains through ISKCON Melbourne. 
5. Review of last year’s contact made for prison chaplaincy to identify ongoing needs. Currently ISKCON handles this on their own.
 
Upcoming events
 
1. 18 March 18 – Spiritual Discourse by Sri M , visiting accomplished Yogi from India.
2. International Yoga Day 21 June
3. Diwali in Vic Parliament with BAPS – date TBD
 

Nyepi – Balanese Hindus celebrate Saka Calendar Hindu New Year

 Nyepi is a Hindu celebration mainly celebrated in BaliIndonesia. It is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese. The day following Nyepi is celebrated as Hindu New Year’s Day. The same day celebrated in India as Ugadi. Nyepi is  commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year) according to the Balinese calendar (in 2018, it fell on March 17).

The Hindus of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा). The Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as Cheti Chand, which is the beginning of their calendar year. Manipuris also celebrate their New Year as Sajibu Nongma Panba on the same day. The Hindus of Andhra Pradesh also celebrate their new year on the same day as Ugadi.

The Melasti Ritual is performed 3–4 days beforehand Nyepi. It is dedicated to Sanghyang Widhi Wasa. The ritual is performed in Pura (Balinese temple) near the sea (Pura Segara) and meant to purify Arca, Pratima, and Pralingga (sacred objects) belonging to several temples, also to acquire sacred water from the sea.The Bhuta Yajna Ritual is performed next to vanquish the negative elements and create a balance with God, Mankind, and Nature. The ritual is also meant to appease Batara Kala by Pecaruanoffering of live animal sacrifice. Around sunset the “Pengrupukan” ceremony begins in the house compounds with the noisy banging of pots and pans and bamboo tubes along with burning of dried coconut leaf torches to drive out the demons.

Most Hindu Balinese villages make ogoh-ogoh, demonic statues made of richly painted bamboo, cloth, tinsel, and styrofoam symbolizing negative elements or malevolent spirits or even characters from Hindu mythology. After the ogoh-ogoh have been paraded around the village, they are burned in the cemeteries although many are displayed in front of community halls for another month or more and sometimes even purchased by museums and collectors.

Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection, and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and, for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali’s usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.

In 2018, a parade of 7,000 exhibits including a joint Narsimha sanhaar was paraded on the streets.

The Nyepi Rituals are performed as Amati Geni: No fire or light, including no electricity, Amati Karya: No working, Amati Lelunganan: No travelling and Amati Lelanguan: Fasting and no revelry/self-entertainment. The Yoga/Brata Ritual starts at 6:00 a.m. and continues to 6:00 a.m. the next day. The Ngembak Agni/Labuh Brata Ritual is performed for all Hindus to forgive each other and to welcome the new days to come. Finally, The Dharma Shanti Rituals is performed after all the Nyepi rituals are finished.

The day following Nyepi is also celebrated as New Year’s Day. On this day, the youth of Bali in the village of Sesetan in South Bali practice the ceremony of Omed-omedan or ‘The Kissing Ritual’ to celebrate the new year.

On the day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni (Relighting the Fire), social activity picks up again quickly, as families and friends gather to ask forgiveness from one another, and to perform certain religious rituals together. Fires and electricity are allowed again, and cooking of food resumes.

(Source Wikipedia)