MAURITIUS, July 2, 2018 (defimeida.info): The statue of the God Venkateshwara, was unveiled at 16th Mile in Forest-Side, Curepipe, by the Prime Minister. Measuring 108 feet, it is the tallest statue of this Deity in the world. The dedication ceremony took place on Sunday, July 1st. The idea of building this statue came to Acharya Brundavanam Partha Sarathi, who is the founder of Hari Hara Devasthanam at 16th Mile. 500 people came from India for its construction which lasted three years. "This statue is a first in the world. Mauritians must be proud. Thousands of people around the world go to Thirupathi, in Andhra Pradesh, India, every year for the pilgrimage of the God Venkateshwara. Now we can enjoy His blessing here in Mauritius," says Acharya Brundavanam Partha Sarathi.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, July 11, 2018 (baps.org): From July 1 to July 10, 2018, the BAPS North American Youth Convention (NAYC18) in Atlanta, Georgia saw over 10,000 youth and supporting volunteers in attendance over three conventions with a focus on the theme of Moksha, ultimate liberation. Youth volunteers spent years planning the content and logistics of a convention of this magnitude. The convention was divided into three parts for different age groups: July 1 - 4: Students in grades 3 to 8; July 4 - 7: High School students; July 7 - 10: College students.
The concept of Moksha can seem irrelevant to youths given the carefree nature of being young. However, the idea will be presented in a practical and pertinent manner. Focus on the importance of a sense of purpose, sincere effort, genuine intent and actions, prayer and introspection, and respect for the world around us allowed the youth to realize that things that benefit them in their lives today are also stepping stones towards Moksha.
Skits presented everyday situations youths experience and explored realistic inner conflict of characters struggling with choices between their desires and values. Interspersed talks by BAPS Swamis provided spiritual guidance through inspiring examples and actionable steps while also providing validation of the challenges youths face. The skits highlighted the benefits and importance of achieving inner satisfaction through making decisions in line with pleasing their gurus, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj.
Small group sessions provided an opportunity to connect with one another and share experiences and means that their peers utilize to guide their choices. In addition, Pujya Anandswarupdas Swami and Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami shared their wisdom and inspired positive actions through examples from the lives of the BAPS guru parampara.
Much more information at "source" above.
Years ago, I used to walk for miles to meet my Guru. The distance appeared no longer than a few furlongs.
-- Dada J.P. Vaswani
THAILAND, July 10, 2018 (bigthink.com, by Paul Ratner): The story of the Thai boys soccer team trapped in a cave for two weeks has captivated millions of people around the world. Lost since June 23, the group spent ten days without any contact with the outside world. They was finally discovered on July 2 and rescued on July 10. It turned out that Ekapol Chanthawong, the 25-year-old coach of the 12-player Wild Boars soccer team, is a former Buddhist monk. He spent a decade living as a monk and is a practitioner of meditation. It is that skill that has been credited with keeping the boys calm during this ordeal. In fact, when the British divers discovered them after ten days, the group was meditating.
Aisha Wiboonrungrueng, the mother of the 11-year-old Chanin, who was trapped in the cave, thinks the coach's background definitely helped in this situation. Watching the video of the moment the boys were found, she thought it was very noteworthy how calm they were. "Look at how calm they were sitting there waiting," she said. "No one was crying or anything. It was astonishing."
Leah Weiss, a Standford expert taught by the Dalai Lama, told CNBC that meditating played a key role in keeping the group alive. It's a kind of mental training that improves focus and compassion, according to the expert. "For Buddhists, meditation is a go-to when distressed or in danger," Weiss said. "Cognitive resources that would otherwise be hijacked by the threat can be accessed once again, meaning that problem-solving capacities increase."
In particular, she pointed out that "given that insufficient air and food was a major issue for the trapped boys, meditation is actually a very practical response to both of these concerns." Meditation creates a calming effect by slowing down the heart rate, breathing and metabolism, said Weiss. It also lowers the levels of cortisol and oxygen utilization. A meditating person would also emit less carbon dioxide.
VANCOUVER, CANADA, July 10, 2018 (Press Release): The 17th World Sanskrit Conference, the premier international forum for Sanskrit scholars, recognized Bhagwan Swaminarayan's Akshar-Purushottam Darshan as the first new independent school of Vedanta since the 16th century. The recently authored ground-breaking Sanskrit works on the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan, the Swaminarayan Bhashyam and the Swaminarayan Siddhanta-Sudha by Sadhu Bhadreshdas of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, were also launched in the conference's inaugural session on 9 July 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.
More than 600 eminent Sanskrit scholars and educators had gathered from over 40 countries for this historic event. The triennial World Sanskrit Conference, which for the last half-century has been bringing the finest minds in the world of Sanskrit together to advance understanding of Sanskrit language and literature, was held for the first time in Canada, at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. World Sanskrit Conference organizing committee member and senior Sanskrit scholar from the University of British Columbia, Professor Ashok Aklujkar said, "Bhadreshdas Swami is one of the most amazing personalities of the religious traditions of India that I have ever met. His scholarly genius is jaw-dropping, and his commentaries on the Prasthantrayi are a truly great achievement. I think all of us at the World Sanskrit Conference are fortunate to have a bhashyakar in our midst. Just as Sri Kasi Vidvat Parisad acknowledged Swaminarayan Bhagwan's Akshar-Purushottam Darshan as a distinct darshan in the Vedanta tradition, we are honored to do the same from the platform of the World Sanskrit Conference."
Mahamahopadhyaya Bhadreshdas Swami, an eminent Sanskrit scholar and ordained swami of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, completed the Swaminarayan Bhashyam, a five-volume comprehensive Sanskrit commentary on Hinduism's three Vedic canonical texts (Prasthanatrayi) - the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Brahma Sutras - in 2007. These three texts form the foundation for the philosophical beliefs of Hindu Vedanta (commentarial) traditions. In 2017, Bhadreshdas Swami also completed the Swaminarayana-Siddhanta-Sudha, a classical Sanskrit dialectic treatise that offers an exposition, justification, and defense of the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan's theological and philosophical principles.
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Dada JP Vaswani Passes Away in Pune
https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india ... emembrance-profile-452317
PUNE, INDIA, July 12, 2018 (indiatvnews.com) Spiritual leader and head of Sadhu Vaswani mission Dada JP Vaswani passed away in Pune today. He was 99. Confirming the news, the mission issued an official statement which read: "0901hrs IST July 12 2018, on sacred Guruvaar day, our Beloved Revered Dada J.P. Vaswani passes on, from the seen to the unseen. Ever-loving, ever-giving, may he continue to bless us from the beyond." Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences to the nation on the spiritual leader's demise. "I join the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives were touched by Dada J.P. Vaswani in remembering him. His thoughts, teachings and social service efforts live on, highlighting the values he stood for and the work he did," the PM tweeted.
Born in Hyderabad, Sindh (Pakistan) on August 2, 1918, Vaswani was a world renowned spiritual leader known for promoting vegetarianism and animal rights. He is credited to have written over 150 self-help books. The spiritual leader spoke at numerous venues including the British House of Commons in London, the Global Forum of Spiritual Leaders in Oxford, the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, and the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations in New York. He was the recipient of the 1998 U Thant Peace Award, given by the United Nations. Dada Vaswani's birthday is celebrated as a Global Forgiveness Day. Last year, on his birthday Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed a gathering to mark the day and observe "moment of calm."