UTTARAKHAND, INDIA, April 16, 2018 (Times of India): The Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand can be easily called as one of the most popular pilgrimage circuits of India. Every year, around the same time, the routes to the Chardham, the four most sacred places of the Indian Himalayas, are opened for the pilgrims to trek to. Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath are all situated in the state of Uttarakhand. Apart from the religious aspect associated to it, this pilgrimage also acts as a great attraction for travellers since it takes through some of the most beautiful regions of Uttarakhand's mountains.
The starting point of Chardham Yatra is Haridwar, where pilgrims begin their journey to the four holy shrines. First, they visit Yamunotri, then to the famous Gangotri, followed by the Kedarnath Dham, and finally fishing the pilgrimage at the Badrinath Dham. There are reasons why such a sequence is followed in the Chardham Yatra, and also each of these four shrines has its own significance attached to it. While the tentative date of the opening of both the Yamunotri and Gangotri Temples is April 18, the Kedarnath Temple will be opened on April 29, and the Badrinath Temple will be opened on April 30. All of the shrines will be closed on November 9, with the exception of the Badrinath Temple, which will be closed on the day of Vijaya Dashami.
Much more on the Chardham Yatra at "source" above.
God is with us. It is He only who gives us the strength to work. If we live with this inspiration in our heart, we will surely experience Divinity in our life. Our work will become our devotion, and means of our spiritual progress.
-- Rameshbhai Oza, inspired performer of Vaishnava kathas
QUANG NAM, VIETNAM, April 3, 2018 (Vietnam Plus): The Sanskrit inscriptions on stone columns at the UNESCO world heritage My Son Sanctuary in central Quang Nam province will be translated into Vietnamese and English as part of a joint project between Vietnam and India. Under the project, which started on April 3, specialists from India will study the columns and help Vietnam translate the epitaphs from Sanskrit, the ancient liturgical language of Hinduism, to Vietnamese and English. The move aims to aid the preservation of the sanctuary and shed light on its cultural, historical, religious and architectural values hidden in the towers there for thousands years.
Once the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom, My Son Sanctuary is located in a hilly landscape in Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, about 43 miles southwest of central Da Nang city and 25 miles from Hoi An city. It comprises eight groups of 71 monuments built throughout the 7th to 13th centuries. The first construction of My Son dated back to the 4th century under the reign of Bhadravarman for the worship of God Shiva-Bhadresvara. But later on, the temple was destroyed. At the beginning of the 7th century, King Sambhuvarman had it rebuilt and re-baptised Sambhu-Bhadresvara.
UNITED KINGDOM, April 14, 2018 (Daily Mail): Some eight million Brits no longer eat meat, a survey has found, with one in four planning to reduce their meat consumption in the next year. Young people are driving the meat-free trend, the research showed, with younger consumers more likely to have concerns about the ethics of meat. Just under four million people specifically identify as vegetarian, the study suggested, a figure more than three times higher than the Vegetarian Society found in 2012. The survey of more than 2,000 people found that six per cent called themselves vegetarian, four per cent pescetarian (who eat fish) and two per cent vegan, trade magazine "The Grocer" reports.
Lucia Juliano of Harris Interactive, who carried out the research, said that persistent media campaigns promoting plant-based eating were contributing to the rise in meat-free diets. "This is particularly apparent among younger consumers: 35 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds plan to reduce their meat consumption in the next 12 months," she said. Customers aged between 18 and 44 were the most likely to have concerns about the ethics of meat, the study found, with one in six of the overall population having such concerns. It comes after retail analysts found earlier this year that almost one in three evening meals contain no meat or fish amid the rise of vegetarians and so-called flexitarians (one who is primarily a vegetarian but occasionally eats meat or fish).
The mind alone is man's cause of bondage or release: it leads to bondage when attached to the sense objects, and to release when freed from them.
-- Krishna Yajur Veda, Maitri Upanishad