‘Fake news’ against India in Australia a matter of concern, says Hindu Council chief

‘Fake news’ against India in Australia a matter of concern, says Prakash Mehta, President Hindu Council of Australia.

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Aranmore school getting its own Hindu priestly advice to justify Nose Stud fiasco

@arancc #hinduism #nosepiercing @hinducouncilau

A young Hindu year 10 student has been asked not to come to school wearing a Hindu religious symbol, a nose stud, as it is against school policy.

Parents of the girl explained to the school that the nose stud is not a fashion item but a spiritual icon. Hindu Council of Australia has also approached the school and explained that the nose stud is a religious item.

Despite being advised by the Hindu Council of Australia and by the parents, the school is now, it seems, shopping around for a Hindu priest to advise them on the nose stud and its relevance to Hindu/Indian culture.

This is strange.

Hindu Council of Australia is a federation of Hindu temples and Hindu organizations all over Australia. It has members in every state of Australia. Hindu Council of Australia is recognized by state and federal governments to advise it on Hindu issues very much like the government depends on Churches to advise it on Christian religious issues. Hindu Council also advises Australian governments  on Hindu marriage rituals etc.

For a christian school to ignore the advise of a Hindu parent and then the advice of peak Hindu body like Hindu Council of Australia and to embark on its own journey to find a priest to interpret Hinduism for the school when the school stand is well known, is like shopping around for a favorable opinion. It is not appropriate for a religion to start interpreting the doctrine, ritual or practices of another religion. It will not help religious harmony and certainly does not make multicultural Australia very proud.

How would Christians feel if a Hindu school in order to justify its interpretation of Christianity, which is at odd with the Christian Churches, shops around for a Christian priest or a scholar to justify what it wants Christianity to be. Such a thing would not be acceptable and what the school is doing should not be either. We can not accept Aranmore school to determine what is and what is not essential to Hinduism. Off course, Hindus will never try to tell Christians as to what is or is not a Christian practice. It will accept whatever Christians say as final in this matter.

The school has not been open about its policy, if there is one, on allowing religious symbols worn by its non-christian students. The school has not made its stand clear as to what will it do if its shopping exercise does not produce the results it wants. Will it accept the student back or will it still continue to throw the extensive and unpublished rule book at its non-christian students.

There is a need for a uniform policy on how faith based schools would treat students of other faiths in their school. For the sake of a cohesive strong Australia, that all of us want, we should allow students of different cultures, beliefs, backgrounds and faiths to mingle together in schools. We should not create island of faith based schools where students of one particular faiths grow insulated from beliefs that belong to “other”. All faith schools should have an open and not restrictive policy that raises the bar for people of “other” faith to study with them.

Hindu Council of Australia calls upon Catholic Archbishops and Catholic education organizations to

(1) not to interpret what is essential to other faiths and

(2) have school policies that pass the test of encouraging a mix of faiths in their schools rather than uniformity.

Off course, Hindu Council accepts that all faith based schools, including Christian schools, should be free to teach their own interpretation of their faith.

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Meditation industry in USA alone is worth more than a billion dollars

Meditation industry in USA alone is worth more than a billion dollars- shouldn’t India get some royalty for inventing this technique asks Vijai Singhal of Hindu Council of Australia?

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Hindu Council to take up Nose Piercing restriction with Catholic establishment

By: Surinder Jain.

Hindu Council of Australia has taken up the issue of a Hindu student being kicked out of a Catholic school for a religious nose piercing with Catholic Educational establishment. According to Hindu Council’s multi-faith director, the recent misunderstanding among Catholic schools about Hindu culture and traditions has a potential of affecting the harmony between our communities in Australia and the reputation of Catholic schools among Indians.

Hindu Council believes that it is simply an issue of Catholics being unaware of Hindu traditions and that it can be easily resolved by making Catholic school teachers aware of Hindu sensitivities.
 
Hindu Council of Australia is keen on taking up the general issue of Catholic schools permitting religious symbols of non-christian students in their schools. It is understood that all Catholic schools permit Sikh students to wear turbans and similar exemptions exist for some other religions also. Hindu Council would like to explain that nose piercing is not a fashion or rebellion statement of a teenager but is a deep rooted cultural and religious ritual for girls going through puberty.
 
In Hindu culture, a girl who achieved menarche, or her first period, is feted, and pampered at a ceremony where family and close friends gather and lavish gifts on her. The girl would be bathed in fragrant water after applying oil, turmeric etc. she would be bedecked in fine clothes, flowers and ornaments – and her feet would be washed. This is because Hinduism celebrates, and does not abhor menstruation. The Shakti philosophy upholds it as a gift which is responsible for creation of life. Nose piercing of the girl and placing a metal stud is a ritual that is invariably accompanied. As is true of any cultural or religious tradition, most Hindu parents want to and do observe these rituals very sincerely.
 
Hindu Council of Australia, has asked Catholic establishment to meet a Hindu Council delegation. Hindu Council would like to discuss the issue of Nose Piercing by young girls with the Catholic hierarchy so that the information can be disseminated by them to all catholic schools in Australia.

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Winner of the Gargi Woman 2019 Awards are …..

Hindu Council of Australia awards Gargi Woman Award to outstanding women in Australia who make a good role model for growing up Hindu girls and women. The award consists of a commendation letter and is awarded in multiple categories.

On International Women’s Day the winners will be announced for 2019 Gargi Woman Award. Please join us in celebrating the achievements of these outstanding women.

Date : 9th March 2019 – 5pm to 8:30pm

Venue :  Grevillea Room , Wentworthville Community Hub

Come and join an evening filled with great events – Award ceremony, Guest presentation, cultural events and dinner.

THIS IS A PRIVATE INVITE ONLY EVENT

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Stealing Hindu IP is more than plagiarism

By: Shashi Holla (WA) and Surinder Jain.

Colonial or a white supremacy mind set may be clever enough to adopt Hindu practices but denies giving credit where it is due. Stealing Hindu Intellectual Property, they do not hesitate to rename and repackage so that they can sell it back to India for immense profits. Off course, they will leave no chance to tell Indians to stop their superstitious ways and to adopt the new scientific knowledge which “they” have “invented”.

Following has been already digested or appropriated by West. Some of the Western academics don’t believe that they belong to India.

Yoga Nidra   AS  Lucid Dreaming

Nadi Shodhana AS Alternate Nostrils Breathing

Vipassana  AS Mindfulness.

The latest addition to this list is

Pranamyam AS Cardiac Coherence Breathing

Several researchers have reported that pranayama techniques are beneficial in treating a range of stress-related disorders.[29] But the latest attempt has taken the appropriation too far. An American magazine “Scientific American” in its article titled “Proper Breathing Brings Better health” termed “Pranayama” as cardiac coherence breathing. (15 January 2019). The article gives us an idea about how West is so sophisticated in stealing knowledge from ancient cultures particularly Hinduism.

Sadhak Anshit practicing Prāṇāyāma (Wikipedia)

Prāṇāyāma is mentioned in verse 4.29 of the Bhagavad Gītā.[11] According to Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is, prāṇāyāma is translated to “trance induced by stopping all breathing”, also being made from the two separate Sanskrit words, prāṇa and āyām.[12] Pranayama is the fourth “limb” of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga mentioned in verse 2.29 in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[14][15] Patanjali, a Hindu Rishi, discusses his specific approach to pranayama in verses 2.49 through 2.51, and devotes verses 2.52 and 2.53 to explaining the benefits of the practice.[16] Many yoga teachers advise that pranayama should be part of an overall practice that includes the other limbs of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga teachings, especially Yama, Niyama, and Asana.[18]

“Pranayama” a department of Yogic science practiced and documented 5000 years back ( even 15,000 years back) by Rishis is not even acknowledged by the author of the article. If one read the article they vaguely suggest that breathing exercises also existed in China, Hindu and in Greek culture.  This is how appropriation of ancient techniques takes place by West.  As Sankrat Sanu an entrepreneur, researcher and writer put it in his tweet “after erasing the origin they claim it as their own invention, attack original traditions as Superstition”.

Man practicing Prāṇāyāma (Wikipedia)

As famous Indian American Author Rajiv Malhotra summarizes: “The article standardizes cardiac coherence breathing as Chinese, Hindu, Greek and various traditions as equal origins, and then modern West turns it into science”. Its time Indians in general and Hindus in particular should be vigilant and should have an academic mind set to respond to such misadventures to  protect our own heritage and Dharma.

There is an argument by some Hindu liberals thinking “what the problem in it”? They think our knowledge is globalized by West in the same way we consume inventions of the West. But it’s a very naïve argument. West has created an eco system and mechanism in which their knowledge system is Well protected and patented by international norms. Unless West does not give a new name and fits into their framework native wisdom is not recognized in academia and media. Whereas Hindus were generous in sharing their health techniques freely from millennium never thought they will struggle in proving things which belong to them. In fact in a westernized framework of Yoga and other techniques Indian scholars, insiders and practitioners are blatantly ignored. So our own knowledge will be repackaged and exported back to us at an extra price and conditions.

Many of our practices are being called to be Biofeedback systems. According to Wikipedia Biofeedback systems have been known in India and some other countries for millennia. Ancient Hindu practices like yoga and Pranayama (breathing techniques) are essentially biofeedback methods. Many yogis and sadhus have been known to exercise control over their physiological processes. In addition to recent research on Yoga, Paul Brunton, the British writer who travelled extensively in India, has written about many cases he has witnessed.

Please go through the following link for original article of the magazine “Scientific American” : https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/proper-breathing-brings-better-health/

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Hindus lobby for Religious Freedom in Australia

By : Surinder Jain.

Hindus represented by Hindu Council of Australia along with representatives of Anglican, Catholic, Islamic and Buddhist faiths are meeting various federal MPs and impressing upon them to protect religious freedom and not to pass a law that can suppress religious freedom as an unintended consequence of anti-discrimination.

The main points being emphasized to law makers are :

  1. There should no ambiguity in law that can lead to unnecessary litigation.
  2. Religious Freedom is in the charter of United Nations to which Australia is a signatory.
  3. Faith based schools should continue to be able to segregate schools and activities (e.g. sports) based on gender.
  4. No religious institute should be restricted from teaching or propagating the teachings of their faith.
  5. No religious institute should be coerced into doing or making its resources available to teach or support any idea that is not in conformity with its faith.
  6. Courts can not interpret faith related matters and that interpretation of scriptures, philosophies and practices should be left to the faith community.
  7. Religious institutes that have been built with the donation of faith members with certain understanding should not be forced to break that understanding in order to confirm with new laws being considered.
  8. Hindus do not have religious schools in Australia yet but other religions who have religious schools have reported that there have been no significant discrimination events in their schools and that the laws should not be made to fix a problem that does not exist.

Since marriage equality vote in Australia giving equal rights to gay marriages, Australian society and politics has been churning with its implications for religious freedom. Can schools be forced to not only accept and respect gay teachers/students and staff (which is already happening and is not an issue) but also to permit propagation of marriage or other views that are contrary to their religious teachings.

Religious freedom collides with anti-discrimination laws in Australia

Both major parties have come out with their views and are aiming for a legislation that in the garb of Anti-Discrimination does not have intended or un-intended effects on religious freedom of Religious schools. A particular focus of the legislation to be discussed in parliament next month is to do with restrictions on faith based schools.

The Prime Minister and his Liberal Party has come out openly in favor of Religious Freedom. 

PM ScoMo fights for religious freedom despite the opposition

Australian Prime Minister – protection of our religious freedoms is synonymous with our identity

The opposition Labor Party is also making its stand clear. According to a Labor Federal MP, Labor has already pledged to end discrimination against students and teachers in religious schools on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The labor party wants to repeal parts of the Sex Discrimination Act giving exemptions to religious schools to discriminate against children. The party also feels that all Australians should have the right to express their faith freely and without fear of discrimination, for all faiths.

 

 

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Hindu Council director awarded Parvasi Bhartiya Award

Dr Nihal Singh Agar, one of the eminent directors and ex-president of Hindu Council of Australia was awarded Parvasi Bhartiye Award by the President of India at 2019 Parvasi Bhartiye Sammelan in Varanasi India. The award is given to NRIs (People of Indian descent from overseas, non-resident Indians).

Professor Agar came to Australia as a young PhD student in 1960’s, became in Professor in University at regional city of Armidale. After his retirement he spent many years as Emeritus Professor at University of Sydney. He has helped Hindu and Indian community in Australia through many organizations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad of Australia, Hindu Council of Australia, Ekal Vidyalay (one teacher school for remote villages), Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh (imparting Hindu values and culture to youth) and Hindu Education Centre.

While accepting the award, Agar Ji (as he is affectionately known among the community in Sydney) thanked all those who worked with him during the years and sought their blessings.

 

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Hindu/Cultural schools should avail $100 Creative Kids program

Are you running a school or an organization in the state of NSW that is teaching Hindu languages, Hindu drama, Hindu arts etc to children. If you are, then state government may subsidize fees paid by your students.
 
Find out more on how to register your school to avail of this $100 for each of your students.
 
https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-creative-kids-provider

 

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New Creative Kids program
New Creative Kids program
Parents of NSW school-aged children can apply for a $100 voucher each year to put towards the cost of registration, participation or tuition costs with approved Creative Kids providers.
 
The voucher may be used for performing arts, visual arts, coding, languages, literary, music and other eligible creative and cultural activities.
 
Register to become a provider>>
 
Or, to find out more visit service.nsw.gov.au/creativekids, call 13 77 88 or visit your local Service Centre.

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Walking God walks away from earth

By: Surinder Jain.

Sri Sri Sri Shivakumara Swamiji [1] a Hindu spiritual leader, revered saint, humanitarian and educator, religious figure and head of the Siddaganga Matha in Karnataka,[5] founder of the Sri Siddaganga Education Society,[6] also known as Nadedaaduva Devaru (walking God)[2] passed away at the age of 111 on Monday 21st January 2019.

Swamiji founded a total of 132 institutions for education and training, that range from nursery to colleges for engineering, science, arts and management as well as vocational training.[18] He established educational institutions which offer courses in traditional learning of Sanskrit as well as modern science and technology. He was widely respected by all communities for his philanthropic work.[19]

In 2015, he was awarded by the Government of India the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award.[2]

Swamiji’s gurukula houses more than 10,000 children from ages five to sixteen years at any point in time and is open to children from all religions, castes, and creeds who are provided free food, education, and shelter (Trivida Dasohi).[18][3] The pilgrims and visitors to the mutt also receive free meals.[18] Under the pontiff’s guidance, an annual agricultural fair is held for the benefit of the local population. The Government of Karnataka announced the institution of Shivakumara Swamiji Prashasti from 2007, the centennial birth anniversary of Swamiji.[19] A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, visited him at Tumkur and praised the initiatives of Swamiji in education and humanitarian work.[19]

In recognition of his humanitarian work, Swamiji was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by the Karnataka University in 1965.[34] On his centenary in 2007, the Government of Karnataka awarded him the prestigious Karnataka Ratna award, the highest civilian award of the state.[4] In 2015 the Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan.[2]

In 2017, the Government of Karnataka and his followers sought Bharat Ratna for him for his social service.[35][4]

Swami Ji’s demise and irreplaceable loss has immersed the whole of Hindu Community into deep sorrow.

Swami Ji headed the Sri Siddaganga math since 1941. Under his watch the math run institutes students have excelled in education and are working all over the world.

 

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