KARNATAKA, INDIA , May 27, 2016 (Euro News):The site of Hampi, in India's southwestern state of Karnataka, was the capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. The empire prospered between the 14th and 16th centuries until destroyed by Muslim armies. It received UNESCO World Heritage status in 1986. To this day, it remains a very popular destination - over half a million people visit Hampi every year. Some of the temples are still active places of worship. But the growing number of pilgrims and tourists brings new challenges. Deputy Superintending Archaeologist N.C Prakash's main task is to restore the ruined sites but also to ensure the safety of monuments. The biggest problem today is trash.
A group of locals is taking the issue seriously and has decided to get its hands dirty. Kiran Kumar runs a family guesthouse near the Virupaksha Temple. He and his friends join in to help keep the place clean."We have a responsibility to keep Hampi clean," he tells us. "So with my friends here, we clean the place. We've been doing this work for many years. We have an organisation called the Citizens' Rights Protection Forum, which we started in 2003. So we clean places like the riverbed, or the waterfalls area or the area around some other monument." It is not hard to imagine just how magnificent Hampi was in its glory days. It is a mythical site that bears witness to a rich history, whose beauty and integrity must be preserved for future generations.
"Just as a man will use a staff to climb a mountain, so should virtue be used in life."
-- Yogaswami of Jaffna (1872-1964)
MYANMAR, May 18, 2016 (Frontier): Signs of a vibrant Hindu community are everywhere in downtown Yangon; ornate temples peer out from between the tenements, and periodic festivals enliven the streets with rhythmic music, colorful costumes and offerings of sweet masala chai. With their roots in several waves of Indian migration during the British colonial era, Myanmar's Hindus are thoroughly a part of the country's intricate cultural fabric.
Hindus have long lived peacefully in Myanmar, U. Brajesh Verma, chairman of the Myanmar-Hindu Literature Association, said, because they "never interfere in anything." Because of their cordial relationship with the country's other diverse peoples, authorities have offered Hindus the freedom to practice their religion and preserve their culture through public festivals and ceremonies.
But while Hindus are relatively free to practice their faith, they remain political and economic outsiders in Myanmar. In a general election last November, Myanmar's first freely elected poll in decades, not a single Hindu lawmaker was elected to Parliament or appointed to senior executive positions. This economic and political exclusion leads some to return to their ancestral grounds.
Much more at "source" above, as well as Hinduism Today's feature story on Myanmar: http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/ ... tion/item.php?itemid=5647
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, May 26, 2016 (edx.org): This religion course introduces the rich and diverse textual sources from which millions of Hindus have drawn religious inspiration for millennia. The Bhagavad Gita has offered philosophical insights to a number of modern thinkers. This course will introduce important passages from important Hindu sacred texts, their interpretations by moderns and will give you an opportunity to engage with them. This course is part of the World Religions Through Their Scripture XSeries Program. It will be conducted by Neelima Shukla-Bhatt, Associate Professor, Wellesley College.
HPI Note: If you take this course, we'd appreciate a review of it.
Love is the source of understanding. You know intellectually that within you resides the potential, expressed or not, for all human emotion, thought and action. Yet, you no doubt meet or observe people occasionally whose life and actions are repellent or unacceptable to you. The absence of love has created a vacuum of understanding. For the meditating person, there should not be a single human being whose actions, habits, opinions or conduct lies beyond your ability to love and understand.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami(1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today