Source BENGALURU, INDIA, March 19, 2018 (Live Mint): HPI Note: Among the benefits of being granted minority status is the freedom to run educational and religious institutions without interference or takeover by the State government. This is possible ...
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BENGALURU, INDIA, March 19, 2018 (Live Mint): HPI Note: Among the benefits of being granted minority status is the freedom to run educational and religious institutions without interference or takeover by the State government. This is possible because actual "freedom of religion" is only granted to minority religions in India and not to the majority Hindus. Additionally in the case of Karnataka, there is a considerable political component involved as Lingayats are a substantial voting bloc in the State.

"After due deliberations and some discussion on concerns on various sections of society, cabinet has decided to accept the recommendations of the Karnataka State Minorities Commission which, based on the report by the expert committee headed by Justice Nagmohan Das that has recommended to consider grant of recognition as religious minority to the Lingayat and Veershaiva Lingayats under Section 2(d) of the Karnataka State Minorities Act," T.B.Jayachandra, law and parliamentary affairs minister of Karnataka said after a meeting of the state cabinet.

By mentioning both Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats separately, the cabinet chose to introduce some level of ambiguity into the original recommendation to pacify disgruntled Veerashaivas, who feared being left out of the separate minority religion movement led by the water resources minister M.B. Patil of the Congress party in Karnataka. S.M. Jamdar, a retired IAS officer and the catalyst behind the separate religion movement, said that Lingayats had been considered a separate religion for 800 years until 1871, before it was taken away without reason in 1881. To avoid any backlash from other communities, the government added that this decision "should not affect the existing benefits available to other religious or linguistic minorities."

More at "source".

and for an in-depth report on what's at stake in this issue see: ... chool-or-college-in-india



Mind is consciousness which has put on limitations. You are originally unlimited and perfect. Later you take on limitations and become the mind.
-- Ramana Maharshi, (1879-1950), South Indian mystic



KAUAI, HAWAII, March 29, 2018: Hinduism Today's latest issue has gone to press and is now available online free of charge at "source" above. You can also download our free Hinduism Today app and get the entire magazine in a mobile-friendly format for your device at

In his Publisher's Desk editorial, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami takes on the new global ailment, persistent stress. He explains how we can manage stress, then gives us several tools to use along with offering a new perspective on stress and what it has to teach us.

In our lavishly illustrated 16-page Insight section Pieter Veltevrede takes us on a deep dive into the mystic world of chakras, exploring how humans progress through the seven chakras over a lifetime as taught by his guru, Harish Johari. Along the way we learn of the governing deities of each chakra and the attitudes (both positive and not so positive) that arise in each stage. Pieter's truly beautiful art gives us vivid conceptual understandings of these vast inner centers of consciousness and what they mean to us. By knowing this inner map of consciousness that is the chakra system of the human body we are able to better navigate our own inner space and outer lives.

Our two feature stories take us into the heart of the Australian and then the Indian sandalwood trade. We explore the bounteous economic opportunities and wide-ranging products of the sandalwood market, then reveal the current challenges for those striving to thrive in the sandalwood industry. Learn about this sacred wood's history and let us introduce you to the world's largest sandalwood plantation, which was planted in Northwestern Australia starting just 20 years back and is now beginning to see its first harvests. Then we are off to India where we interview the world's greatest expert, Dr. Anantha Padmanabha, for an inside look at India's sandalwood industry, and how correctly managed small-scale sandalwood plantations could assure India's market dominance in the future.

Excerpts from Sanjeev Sanyal's "The Land of Seven Rivers" trace the thread of Bharat's national identity back through the annals of time. In this historical exploration of India he examines the ancient Harappan civilization, discovering that early Indian culture permeates India today. Sanjeev challenges common misconceptions about the development of India as a nation and a civilizational entity, offering a fresh perspective of Bharat's timeless identity.

On page 64 we get a firsthand look of Maa Durga being welcomed to the island nation of Mauritius with great opulence and adoration. This 108-foot-tall Goddess stands near the previously erected Mangal Mahadev Siva statue next to the divine lake Ganga Talao. Maa Durga smiles lovingly at devotees travelling to the sacred lake and with Her right hand in abhaya mudra bestows fearlessness to all. The massive inaugural festival was a proud moment for this Hindu-majority nation.

In our scripture article we dive into the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and witness sage Yajnavalkya expounding timeless wisdom to his wife, Maitreyi, whom he is about to leave in order to live in the forests to obtain the realization of Self.

What do sports and spirituality have in common? It turns out quite a lot. Sri Chinmoy's life was a grand testament to the interconnectedness of exercise and the striving of spiritual life. We fondly look upon Chinmoy's "Peace Run" and receive testimony from participants as to how transformational and uplifting activities like ultra distance running can be, both for the runners and the selfless team of supporters surrounding them. Sri Chinmoy's quotes point to the fact that our physical bodies are the vehicle for our innermost Self and thus need to be taken care of properly in order to reach the finish line of Truth in the marathon of Self realization.

In this version of Global Dharma, we get a look at Suriname's grand Divali celebration, complete with a massive cast iron dipa. We find out how people in India are using #reclaimtemples to make real changes in previously abandoned temples. Then comes a tour of Egypt's "Hindu Palace," a rich man's home modeled after Cambodia's Angkor Wat. In Germany a cow determines the future site of a temple. Did you know that a modern-day princess just converted formally to Hinduism? Read how the Sudhi Wadani ceremony of Indonesia's princess fulfilled her dream of entering the path of dharma.

There's more: letters, cartoons, Quotes & Quips and one young man's journey into the depths of Hinduism.



INDIA, March 1, 2018 (The Hindu): It is never too late to start learning Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Members of the team that built the website believe in this as they add their attempt to numerous prior ones by so many others in bringing Bhagavan Sri Krishna's Kurukshetra upadesa closer to a seeker. What perhaps differentiates this free-online-access, user-friendly effort is the combination of features, in short, RSTU -- Repeat audio at a line-level instead of verse-level, Search Text at a letter-level in 10 scripts, Sandhi resolution between audio and text, create playlists Unique to your requirements. In its web version, indexed search-friendly text is available in Devanagari and eight other national scripts -- Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengali, Oriya, Gurmukhi -- in addition to two English transliteration schemes.

"This is by no means the first effort to enable online learning of recitation of the Gita," clarifies Megh Kalyanasundaram, a management professional on a research hiatus and architect of the website. "This is an attempt to complement existing ecosystem of free tools, with RSTU features, for greater ease-of-learning, higher learning effectiveness and deeper, more granular engagement with the text as such," he adds. "It is best learnt directly from a qualified Guru; when that is not possible or even for self-practice, some learners may at times approach websites," adds Megh.



INDIA, March 13, 2018 (Scroll, by Rohan Venkataramakrishnan): My grandfather, my thatha, has always been a man of habit. At age 89, he still goes out for a walk every morning. He still counts the exact amount of money in his pocketbook before stepping out and accounts for every anna spent when he returns home. And, for as long as I have known him, he spends a portion of the day in front of a diary writing out the same thing, over and over again. Since 1987, not long after he retired, thatha has been filling up one page a day with the words "Sri Rama Jayam," meaning "Jai Sri Ram" in Tamil--every single day, the same words repeated until they cover the entire page. If he happened to miss a day or more - like the week he spends on the pilgrimage to the shrine at Sabaramalai every year - he makes it up when he is back home. As far as thatha can tell, and knowing my grandfather, this is not something he would say lightly, he has not missed a day in 31 years.

The internet tells you many things about Rama Koti or Likhita Japam, the practice of meditating by writing the name of the divine. You will find blogs that speak of the physical and mental health benefits of writing Sri Rama Jayam. If someone were to do something with his books after he is gone, thatha says, he would like them donated to a temple. But he reiterates that he did not think of how to dispose of them, and that is not why he wrote Ramajayam all these years. It is not even about Ram. Thatha insists he cannot call himself a Ram bhakt, and is happy to worship at all temples. "Somehow I have done this. It stuck in my head, and I started doing it and I have done it all this time. I can't explain it. It gives me peace of mind, and that is what matters."

More of this account at "source" above.


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