UNITED STATES, September 26, 2015 (Swarajyamag by A. Rambachan): In 1973, after graduating from the University of the West Indies, I made a long journey from my home in Trinidad to study at the Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, the ashram in Mumbai, India, founded by Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993). This was my first visit to India, the birthplace of my Hindu ancestors. It was a time when few from my country traveled to India.
I was a teenager when Swami Chinmayananda first visited Trinidad in 1965 and I avidly read his available writings. In 1969, I wrote to him for permission to join his a rama. His sage advice, after rebuking me for my undated letter, was to complete my college education before coming to Sandeepany. In 1973, Sandeepany Sadhanalaya launched its first intensive multi-year course of study in Vedanta and Sanskrit. By then, I had fulfilled Swamiji's advice and I was accepted as his student.
Mumbai was drenched in monsoon rains when I made my way from the airport to Sandeepany. I was introduced to Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who I learned was the principal acharya and the designer of the course of study that I came to pursue. Few teachers have fulfilled their obligations to their tradition as Swami Dayananda Saraswati did. He has left our world richer with teachers.
Dr. Anantanand Rambachan is Professor of Religion at Saint Olaf college, Minnesota, USA. For more of his tribute see source above.
USA, September 27, 2015 (The link Newspaper): It is not uncommon to hear that America is a melting pot of different cultures. However, it will be more appropriate to call it a cultural graveyard. America is too young to develop its own culture. What it has can be called a work ethic based upon instant gratification. Therefore by being assimilated by it you cannot acquire any new culture; you can only lose your original culture. This is exactly what has happened to people of many cultures who become a part of America. This is the reason that it qualifies to be called a cultural graveyard. How can we find remains of many of those cultures in America? Those can be found in the form of the different languages' which people used to speak. It is true; however, all these people who speak the different languages are destined to lose their language over a period of time. Language forms the foundation of a culture. Therefore, loss of a language can be called a loss of a culture. When people lose their language then they are bound to lose their distinct culture identity. Since America has been unable to evolve its own culture yet and does not want to accept the other cultures, the only future left for any culture there is eventual oblivion.
More at source of this long article by Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice.
UNITED STATES, September 19, 2015 (Swarajya by Rajiv Malhotra): Recently, Narendra Modi's visit to Silicon Valley was attacked in a petition by US-based academicians led by scholars like Wendy Doniger and Sheldon Pollock. Over 80 per cent of the signatures were by Indian 'sepoys' joining the bandwagon. As a rejoinder, there emerged two counter petitions supporting Modi, each signed by much larger numbers of US-based academicians, who were also mostly Indians. This clash between the two camps of Indians is important to analyse because they represent two entirely different constituencies.
The anti-Modi petitioners proudly characterized themselves as faculty members of South Asian Studies, the new term for what was known as Indology in the colonial era. Stated simply, this is the study of India's faiths, culture, history, politics, journalism, social sciences and related areas. On the other hand, the pro-Modi academicians were mostly from science, technology, business, medicine, law and other technical fields. I will refer to the former group as 'South Asianists' and the latter as 'technocrats.' It is not a mere coincidence that these opposing camps are shaped by the disciplines they work in. It is important to understand the reasons for this.
Much more of this lengthy article at source.
TIRUCHIRAPALLI, INDIA, September 29, 2015 (The Hindu): Ancient statues kept in temples with insufficient security measures in Perambalur and Ariyalur districts will soon be housed in a secure place. The construction of Icon Centres with requisite safety measures to safeguard the precious statues was apace in both districts which had several shrines within its territorial jurisdiction. Work on the establishment of the Icon Centres is on the verge of completion, say officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department which was setting up the two icon centres.
Coming up in Perambalur and Ariyalur towns, the Icon Centres would have a strong room and be equipped with closed circuit television units and burglar alarms as a safety and security measure, say HR&CE officials. The two air-conditioned centres were being built in such a way to accommodate over 1,000 ancient statue. The department had granted funds to the tune of over US$136,000 each for the construction of the Icon Centres.
Attach yourself to Him who is free from all attachments. Bind yourself to that bond so all other bonds may be broken.
-- Tirukkural 350