NEW JERSEY, U.S., August 23, 2014 (Huffington Post): The Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, also known at BAPS, inaugurated what is reported to be one of the largest U.S. Hindu temples in early August, and it is already drawing a crowd to its home in Robbinsville. BAPS volunteer Yogi Trivedi, a Ph.D. candidate in religion at Columbia University, said the mandir was initiated to accommodate a growing Hindu population in New Jersey.
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir covers 160 acres, and the primary mandir, or temple, on the premises measures 133 ft long and 87 ft wide. The Guinness world record holder for largest Hindu temple is the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, which measures 356 ft long and 316 ft wide.
Although there are nearly 80 BAPS temples in North America, the Robbinsville mandir is just the sixth built entirely of stone and according to an ancient Hindu architectural tradition based in the shilpa shastras, the Times of Trenton reported. It took three years, many volunteer hours and roughly $18 million to build.
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VISAKHAPATNAM, INDIA, August 24, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): Ganesh Chaturthi is round the corner and sculptors across Vizag are busy getting their act together for finishing the statues before time. While Ganesh statues taller than 60 feet is not new in Vizag, this time Vizagites will get to pay their obeisance to more than half a dozen such humongous Ganesh statues. Gajuwaka and Dondaparthy Ganesh statues gained fame earlier, especially in 2012 when the more than 80 feet tall Dondaparthy's Ganesh towered the renowned Khairatabad Ganesh statue of Hyderabad.
However, this time there are many more such statues which will be crossing the 60 feet mark. Some of these will be located at Waltair bus depot, Nakkavanipalem, Old TB hospital junction, Marripalem along with the ones at Gajuwaka and Dondaparthy. The statue at Dondaparthy is set to cross the 70 feet mark even this year.
When asked if there is any sense of competition with other areas, Gurunath, one festival organiser, said, "It is not about competition. While such tall statues have been existent in other parts of Vizag, we fishermen folk had never had such a tall Ganesh statue in our area before." It is just to show our devotion to the Lord."
INDIA, August 25, 2014 (The Hindu): The Malayalam New Year day was all ceremonies and rituals at Sabarimala. The gifted playback singer P. Jayachandran rendered his popular devotional song Sree Sabareesaa Deenadayalo! Memalavaazhum Sree Manikanta, after receiving the Harivarasanam Award instituted by the State government from Devaswom Minister V.S. Sivakumar at a function held at the holy hillock in the forenoon.
Sabarimala witnessed a heavy rush on Sunday as hundreds of Ayyappa devotees from different parts of south India undertook the pilgrimage to the forest shrine to worship the deity on the Malayalam New Year day. The Ayyappa Temple was opened on Saturday afternoon and the rituals began with the Tantri Kandararu Rajeevararu performing the Ashtadravaya Ganapati homom followed by Ushapuja.
However, the pilgrims were put to much hardship because of poor crowd control arrangements made by the police. The police force deployed at Sabarimala and Pampa was grossly inadequate for effective management of the crowd congregated at the pilgrim centre. The Ayyappa Temple will be closed after the Athazhapuja on August 21 evening, marking the culmination of the monthly puja in the Malayalam month of Chingom.
You may develop a thousand virtues and be reckoned as the greatest in the land. But the lotus of your heart will not blossom until you receive the grace of the Guru, the grace of God!
-- Dada Sadhu Vaswani
INDIA, August 23, 2014 (Indian Express): Yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar passed away at the age of 96. "My time has come. My soul is satisfied with the work done..." he told family members. "We even spoke about the national convention on Yoga planned later this year. He was encouraging till the very last and kept saying people will come - they have to learn Yoga," Geeta Iyengar, eldest daughter, told Newsline.
A widower, Iyengar was suffering from age-related ailments and breathed his last on Wednesday. Iyengar is survived by daughters Geeta, Vinita, Sucheta, Sunita, Savitha and son Prashant. Geeta and Prashant worked with Iyengar in teaching and propagating Yoga. Iyengar's legacy will be alive in the family, and the entire world, says Geeta.
Dr. Manoj Naik, family physician and consulting doctor at Krishna Hospital quoted Iyengar as saying, "I have accomplished the purpose of my life. I have given my knowledge to the fullest and now I am facing death."
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