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.

Best wishes on Savitri Puja!

Written by Madya Lila

Best wishes on Savitri Puja!

Savitri Puja celebrates Savitri, the courageous woman whose loyalty and courage brought her husband back from the dead. Savitri’s story is found in the Mahabharata. In ancient times, Savitri was a princess who chose to marry Satyavan, a prince living in exile in the forest. She left behind her life of luxury and loyally accepted the hardships of forest life where she devotedly cared for her husband and his family. One day, while chopping wood in the forest, Satyavan suddenly felt faint. He laid his head in Savitri’s lap and died. But when Yama, the god of death, came to take Satyavan away from his body, Savitri got up and followed him. Again and again, Yama tried to convince her to turn back, warning her of the terrible consequences to herself if she followed him, but she continued to follow behind him. Finally, Yama offered Savitri a boon, saying she could ask for anything except the life of Satyavan. Savitri requested that she and Satyavan have 100 children, creating a dilemma for Yama. How were Savitri and Satyavan to have children if he took Satyavan away? Impressed by Savitri’s devotion, Yama returned Satyavan to his body and Satyavan awakened as if from a deep sleep. Women who observe fasting on Savitri Puja hope to achieve Savitri’s qualities of love, determination, loyalty and courage as well as a long and happy life for their spouse.

Artwork by B.G. Sharma

Image may contain: 1 person
Hindu Council Australia

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 ….]

Nyepi Ritual in Yogyakarta Using Holy Water from India

A total of 5,000 Hindus from Central Java and Yogyakarta joined Tawur Kesanga ritual to commemorate Nyepi Holy Day at Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta, on Friday, March 16. Since early morning, people flocked to the yard of Wisnu Mandala in Prambanan Temple Park (TWC) to conduct the ritual. “Tawur Agung Kesanga is a purification ceremony which is held one day before Nyepi Saka 1940,” said Committee Chairman of National Nyepi Laksda TNI I Nyoman Gede Ariawan.

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Reliëf op de aan Shiva gewijde tempel op de Candi Lara Jonggrang oftewel het Prambanan tempelcomplex TMnr 10016191.jpg
By Tropenmuseum, part of the National Museum of World Cultures, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link (Ravan kidnapping Sita and fighting Jatayu)

The Prambanan temple compound, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. It is characterized by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu architecture, and by the towering 47-metre-high (154 ft) central building inside a large complex of individual temples.[2] Prambanan attracts many visitors from around the world.[3][4]

The Prambanan temple is the largest Hindu temple of ancient Java, and the first building was completed in the mid-9th century. It was likely started by Rakai Pikatan as the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty’s answer to the Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty’s Borobudur and Sewu temples nearby. Historians suggest that the construction of Prambanan probably was meant to mark the return of the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty to power in Central Java after almost a century of Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty domination. The construction of this massive Hindu temple signifies that the Medang court had shifted its patronage from Mahayana Buddhism to ShaiviteHinduism.

The temples collapsed during a major earthquake in the 16th century. Although the temple ceased to be an important center of worship, the ruins scattered around the area were still recognizable and known to the local Javanese people in later times. The statues and the ruins became the theme and the inspiration for the Loro Jonggrang folktale. After the division of Mataram Sultanate in 1755, the temple ruins and the Opak River were used to demarcate the boundary between Yogyakarta and Surakarta (Solo) Sultanates, which was adopted as the current border between Yogyakarta and the province of Central Java.

Prambanan Complex 1.jpg
By Gunawan KartapranataOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link 

The temple attracted international attention early in the 19th century. In 1811 during British short-lived occupation of the Dutch East IndiesColin Mackenzie, a surveyor in the service of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, came upon the temples by chance. Although Sir Thomas subsequently commissioned a full survey of the ruins, they remained neglected for decades. Dutch residents carried off sculptures as garden ornaments and native villagers used the foundation stones for construction material.

Half-hearted excavations by archaeologists in the 1880s facilitated looting. In 1918, the Dutch began reconstruction of the compound and proper restoration only in 1930. Efforts at restoration continue to this day. The reconstruction of the main Shiva temple was completed around 1953 and inaugurated by Sukarno. Since much of the original stonework has been stolen and reused at remote construction sites, restoration was hampered considerably. Given the scale of the temple complex, the government decided to rebuild shrines only if at least 75% of their original masonry was available. Most of the smaller shrines are now visible only in their foundations, with no plans for their reconstruction.

[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