Rangoli workshop at Parramasala

By Shobha Deshikan

Hindu Council of Australia created a huge Rangoli of flowers at Parramasala and conducted a Rangoli making workshop. It took eight people to do the wonderful beautiful Rangoli. of vibrant and colorful flowers.  The Rangoli was very impressive. All day long, passers would stop, wonder and pictures including numerous selfies. It was thoroughly, a joyful sight to see.

SVT temple is a building of cultural significance

The ‘Acharya envoys’ who propagate Indian culture

Three ‘ambassadors’, whose mandate is to spread yoga and the Vedas in the U.S., explain their vision and mission

In a new initiative by the Narendra Modi government, a band of Indian officials posted to three missions in the U.S. now promote ‘Indian culture’ as part of diplomacy.

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Hindu Council mourns passing away of Jagadguru Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya

The sad passing away of Jagadguru Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya 1935 – 2018

The Hindu Council of Australia notes the movement of Shankaracharya Jagadguru Jayendra Saraswathi of the KanchiKamakotiPeetam (Mutt) to attain Moksha on 28 February 2018.  His calling as the 69th pontiff in 1954 was at the age of 19 years. The Mutt was established by AdiShankaracharya in the 5th Century AD.

We applaud Jagadguru Jayendra Saraswathi for leaving behind a great legacy within which he:

 

  1. Delivered religious discourses and involved himself in various spiritual and social activities. Under his guidance, the Mutt started several schools, eye clinics, hospitals and several charity initiatives such as the JanaKalyan, Jana Jagaran, a movement to “serve the people and awaken the masses.”
  2. Focussed on the uplift of Dalits and was also interested in developing healthcare and educational facilities for the people apart from spreading spiritualism. He initiated countless programmes for the downtrodden across the country. Perhaps he was the only Hindu sanyasi who had visited the most number of slums and Dalit colonies in the country. He visited the inner most parts of the Dharavi slums in Mumbai and several other slums and Dalit colonies.
  3. Was involved in both spiritual and public life and was known for the efforts for a solution in the Ajodhya and the Ram Janmabhoomi -Babri Masjid issue by engaging with stakeholders from both communities and the Government.
  4. Visited Manasarovar and Kailash in 1998 where he installed the deity of AdiShankaracharya.
  5. Established the Sri ChandrasekharendraSaraswathiViswaMahavidyalaya, a deemed university in the name of his Guru.

He will live on in the hearts and minds of millions of devotees due to his exemplary service and noblest thoughts.

The Hindu Council of Australia sends our condolences on the passing away of ShankaracharyaJagadguruPujyashri Jayendra SaraswathiShankaracharya who was at the forefront of innumerable community service initiatives. He nurtured institutions which transformed the lives of the poor and downtrodden.

Our sincerest sympathies on this sad occasion.

 

A review of Australia’s religious freedoms

Philip Ruddock appointed to conduct review of Australia’s religious freedoms

Fergus Hunter

Published: November 22 2017 – 8:10AM

The government has appointed Howard-era cabinet minister Philip Ruddock to lead a review into the legal protections for religious freedom in Australia, which has emerged as a contentious issue inside the Coalition ahead of the legalisation of same-sex marriage. 

Announcing the review, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said recent proposals for religious protections went beyond the immediate issue of marriage and warned any change should be undertaken carefully. 

“There is a high risk of unintended consequences when Parliament attempts to legislate protections for basic rights and freedoms, such as freedom of religion. The government is particularly concerned to prevent uncertainties caused by generally worded Bill of Rights-style declarations,” Mr Turnbull said.

Since the Australian people backed same-sex marriage in the postal survey, Coalition MPs have been pushing various proposals for religious exemptions, including allowing service providers to boycott weddings that conflict with their faith. One proposal would see a section of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights incorporated into the same-sex marriage bill.

Debate over the raft of proposed amendments has risked derailing the government’s plans to legislate the change by the end of 2017. 

Mr Ruddock, who retired from Parliament in 2016 and was recently elected as mayor of Hornsby, will conduct the review with an expert panel consisting of the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission Rosalind Croucher, retired federal court judge Annabelle Bennett and Jesuit priest Frank Brennan.

The Prime Minister said the review, which will report back by March 2018, would be a “timely expert stocktake” to inform any future legislation. 

Treasurer Scott Morrison, a vocal advocate for religious exemptions, said he was pleased with the review and emphasised it was “not a substitute” for relevant amendments to the same-sex marriage bill.

“Those amendments … will still be pursued and, as you know, I have a view that they should be supported,” Mr Morrison told ABC radio.

As the last attorney-general of the Howard government, Mr Ruddock introduced the 2004 amendment to the Marriage Act that explicitly defined it as a union between a man and a woman. 

He was recently the government’s special envoy for human rights and has strong connections to Australia’s multicultural and religious communities.

This story was found at: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/philip-ruddock-appointed-to-conduct-review-of-australias-religious-freedoms-20171121-gzq9cl.html

Why does world’s largest particle physics lab CERN has a statue of Lord Shiva

Religion inspires Physics at CERN, Geneva : “Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics.”

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