Happy Independence Day India

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

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Katas Raj Hanuman Temple, Kalar Kahar, Pakistan

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Kalyan Das The Hindu Temple of Compassion in Rawalpindi-2

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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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Shakti initiative of Hindu American Foundation

Hindu American Foundation. www.hafsite.org. HAF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Namaste

WELCOME TO THE SHAKTI INITIATIVE!


Many years ago, I was invited to speak on a panel about women and religion. Armed with my senior thesis from undergrad — The Vedic Woman: Who Was She and Will She Return? — I was able to quickly pull together a long list of stories and scriptural quotes to bolster my own experience of finding strength and inspiration in Hindu teachings as a Hindu woman.

After the panel, a number of intrigued audience members approached me for online sources that they could read to learn more.  

I promised I’d get back to them. The truth is, I never did.

After scouring the internet for hours, what I found left me seriously F R U S T R A T E D.

There were the websites that were politically or religiously motivated — brimming with stereotypes and outright lies. They took scriptural quotes out of context and juxtaposed them with social evils afflicting women of all backgrounds in India to paint the ugly picture they sought to promote.  

Others were academic in nature, plagued with the same exoticizing and eroticizing with which we’re sadly all too familiar.

And then there were the well meaning, but confused ones where social customs and even wives’ tales were being passed off as religious mandates.

Frustration, however, can be a pathway to one of two things — anger or innovation.  

At HAF we’re fans of the latter.

And so —  on these auspicious first days of Gupt Navaratri — we welcome you to the Shakti Initiative: An accessible, online exploration of Hindu teachings about and by women the contributions of Hindu women throughout history; and the role both women and men play in bringing to fruition solutions that are grounded in Hindu teachings to address critical contemporary issues.  

My deepest hope for the Shakti Initiative when it was only a seed of an idea was that the life stories and contributions of some of the most remarkable women history has ever seen would inspire both women and men to get reacquainted with and reassert, in many facets of life where we have fallen short, the balance and harmony our traditions advocate for between the feminine and masculine.  

In turn, women and men will renew their commitment to work together to alleviate the suffering that has uniquely and disproportionately affected women in our society, and support one another so that all have access to their highest potential.  

In a small way, my hope is already manifesting.  

When I first proposed the idea at our National Team meet several years ago, nearly every hand shot up, either in support of the project or to join the Shakti writing team. Not only that, we’ve gotten new volunteers — young and not as young — who upon hearing about the project, have contributed articles, and are working on new ones as I write this.  

We hope you enjoy the Shakti Initiative as much as we have been inspired by it.    

We’ve got a lot up already, and a lot more planned, so visitwww.shaktiinitiative.org often.

Jai Mata Di and Happy Navaratri!

Best,

Suhag Shukla

HAF Executive Director

P.S. Would you like us to write about a Hindu woman of note? Interview a swamini known to you? Uncover the reason behind a tradition centered around women? Send us your suggestions at shakti@hafsite.org.  

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Hindu Temples ( Mandirs) of Rawalpindi, Pakistan – 1

Four temples are located in a narrow lane that runs between Sarafa bazaar and Lunda bazaar. All four are at a walking distance, and quite similar in appearance. The entrance to this lane from the Sarafa bazar road is barely a meter wide. Knowing that pre-partition Hindus dominated trade in Rawalpindi, finding Hindu remnants in Bohar, Lunda, and Sarafa bazars is no surprise.

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Jagannatha Puri Ratha Yatra 14th July 2018

By: Madya Lila

May the Lord’s blessings be upon you on the auspicious day of Puri Ratha Yatra. In the holy city of Jagannatha Puri, the Supreme Lord resides within His ancient temple by the shores of the sea. Once every year, during the rainy season, Lord Jagannatha (Lord Krishna), along with His elder brother Balarama and His younger sister Subhadra come out of the temple to ride on magnificent chariots in a grand parade to the Sri Gundicha temple.

This festival is called Ratha Yatra, the journey (yatra) of the chariots (ratha) and it has been celebrated in Jagannatha Puri for many hundreds of years. It commemorates the occasion when Krishna, accompanied by His brother and sister, travelled by chariot from Dvaraka to Kuruksetra to meet their dear friends and family members from Vrindavan, fulfilling their wish to see Him again after many years.

In the 16th century, the great saint, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, devoted 20 years of His life to worshipping Lord Jagannath and propagating the sankirtan movement in Puri. Due to His influence, millions of pilgrims from around the world visit Jagannatha Puri for the Ratha Yatra festival to gain darshan of the Lord. It is said that simply by seeing the Lord on the chariot, one makes advancement towards liberation from the wheel of birth and death. Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a prominent scholar and devotee in the line of Lord Chaitanya, inaugurated the international Ratha Yatra festivals that are now held in more than 100 cities around the world.

An important element of the festival is called Chera Pahara (sweeping with water). The Gajapati King, ruler of the medieval kingdom of Odisha, humbly and with great devotion sweeps the road in front of the chariots with a gold handled broom and sprinkles sandalwood powder and water. By the Gajapati’s performing this menial service, we learn that no matter how exalted a person one may be, we are all the servants of the Lord. For this reason, it is recommended that at least once a year, we should engage ourselves in cleaning the temple of the Lord to help to remind us of our position as a servant of the Lord and to taste the happiness of humility.

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Take a Quiz on Hindu Diaspora

Please enter your email:

When did the first the Arya Samaj missionary arrive in French Guyana?

 
 
 
 

What is known as a Bimong in the Cham language of Vietnam?

 
 
 

Like Indian Hindus, do Balenese Hindus also have four varnas of classification in their society? Yes/No

 
 

When did the first Hindus came to Australia?

 
 
 
 

Nyepi and Galungan are Buddhist festivals of south east Asia? yes/No

 
 

The earliest influence of Hinduism in Philippines can be traced by archaeological evidence to be from around

 
 
 

There are no Hindu temples left in Pakistan? Yes/No

 
 

Khmer empire of Cambodia were Hindu kings? Yes/No

 
 

Hinduism came to Fiji as Hindu contract workers started arriving there from 1879 onwards? Yes/No

 
 

In Bali, the word Pura means?

 
 
 
 

Most Malaysian Hindus are Tamils? Yes/No

 
 

Hindus in South America, are chiefly the descendants of Indian indentured labourers? Yes/No

 
 

Which country held until 1935, a swing festival known asTriyampavai-Tripavai whose name is derived from names of two Tamil language Hindu chants: Thiruvempavai and Thiruppavai meaning “opening the portals of Shiva’s home”?

 
 
 
 

Java was ruled by Hindu kings from 4th to 15th century? Yes/No

 
 

Which people’s Hinduism was known by these names, namely Tirta, Trimurti, Hindu, Agama Tirta, Siwa?

 
 
 
 

According to the Australian census of 2016, Hinduism was the fastest growing religion of Australia? Yes/No

 
 

Which province do most Pakistani Hindus live in Pakistan?

 
 
 

Did Khmer Hindu society of Cambodia had the Hindu four varna system for classifying the society? Yes/No

 
 

Hinduism came to Singapore between 7th and 10th century? Yes/No

 
 

The population of Hindus in Pakistan and in Bangladesh has remained stable since after their independence? Yes/No

 
 

Which religion replaced Hinduism as the main religion of Khmer in 13th century?

 
 
 

Like Malayasia and Indoneasia, Hindus in Singapore also suffer religious prosecution? Yes/No

 
 

When was the first Ganesh visarjana festival held in Sydney with clay Ganesha being immersed in the ocean at Stanwell Tops beach?

 
 
 
 

Hinduism is the leading single religion of the Indo-Caribbean communities of the West Indies? Yes/No

 
 

After gaining its independence in 1957, Malaysia became a secular country? Yes/No

 
 

Most Hindus in Singapore today are ethinic Indians? Yes/No

 
 

Many non-Balanese communities follow practices very akin to Hinduism? Yes/No

 
 

When did the first Malay Hindu state appear in Malaysia?

 
 
 
 

In which country is Ramakien (Ramayana) is a popular epic and Ayutthaya (Ayodhya) is a city named after the birth place of Rama?

 
 
 
 

Fiji Hindus are also classified into four varna system? Yes/No

 
 

When and where was a first Ravan effigy ever, burnt in Australia?

 
 
 
 

The earliest evidence of Hinduism in Java comes from which century?

 
 
 
 

Why did last of the Java Hindu Kings retreated to Bali?

 
 
 
 

Hinduism was the main religion of Cham people in Central and South Vietnam between 2nd and 15th century? Yes/No

 
 


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Take a Quiz on Hindu History

Take a Quiz on Hindu History

Please go to Take a Quiz on Hindu History to view the test
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Hinduism and the scientific heart – a book review

Pavan Verma of JDU has written a book on Adi Shankaracharya. His interview is very informative and is given below. Pavan Varma is a celebrated diplomat, cultural catalyst and public intellectual. His new book on the Shankaracharya throws startling light about Hinduism and its fascinating relationship with science.
 
 
 
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