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Hindu Press International

A daily news summary for news media, educators, researchers, writers and religious leaders worldwide, courtesy of Hinduism Today magazine's editorial staff


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VIETNAM, September 3, 2014 (Muinetourism). Kate Festival 2014 (commemorating the dead and honoring heroes) will officially take place from the 22nd to 23rd of October (in the beginning of the seventh month of the Cham calendar) at Po Sah Inu towers (Phan Thiet city) with many interesting traditional Hindu rituals and festivities.

In order to continue to introduce and promote cultural assets and traditional art of the Cham people and to participate in local tourism activities, ritual and festive parts of this festival are logically connected according to traditional rites, to show reverence, provide a cheerful atmosphere and solidarity between ethnic communities in Binh Thuan. the ritual program of Kate Festival will be strictly organized according to traditional custom, under the direction of Cham dignitaries from Ham Thuan Bac district.

As scheduled, rites will be officially started from 10:00 am on 22nd October. Afterwards, a ceremony to pray for peace will be performed by Bani and Balamon dignitaries at the Main Tower in the afternoon. Festive activities, such as a competition of arranging and decorating sacrifice to Po Sah Inu Goddess or traditional art performances with the participation of artists from Blue Ocean Theatre of Binh Thuan, will also be organized in this afternoon.

      

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SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, May 14, 2014 (India Journal): The southern California-based Dharma Civilization Foundation (DCF) and the Berkeley-based Graduate Theological Union (GTU) have agreed to establish a Center for Dharma Studies within the GTU, as well as the first Graduate School of Hindu Dharma Studies in higher education. The first two courses in Dharma studies will be offered in the fall semester of 2014.

Initial course offerings will include a course on the classical sacred texts of Hinduism, with emphasis on commentaries of Adi Shankara, taught by Dr. Ann Berliner, Professor Emerita at Cal State Fresno; and a course on comparative Indian ethics taught by Dr. Purushottama Bilimoria, Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Studies at Deakin University, Australia and former Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley. In the near future are moves to enhance GTUs common M.A. and Ph.D. programs with Hindu and Dharma centered concentrations.

The Dharma Civilization Foundation, founded in Los Angeles two years ago, is an organization of academic, professional, and spiritual leaders from the Indian-American community aiming to establish the systematic study of Dharma, its interpretation and contemporary application, through the creation of academic and intellectual infrastructure in the U.S. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, founder of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in the U.S. and India initially recommended the GTU for a meaningful collaboration with DCF. He expressed the view that the GTU's uniqueness lies in its way of teaching - where each professor is also a practitioner of the religion.

      

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TIRUMALA, INDIA, September 17, 2014 (Deccan Chronicle): Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams is all set to effect changes in the darshan patterns during the nine-day annual Brahmotsavam slated between September 26 and October 4 at Tirumala. In view of the heavy influx of devotees expected to throng the Tirumala hill shrine during the festivities, the temple administration has already cancelled VIP break darshan and select arjitha sevas till the completion of the festival.

TTD JEO K.S. Srinivasa Raju, who inspected the ongoing arrangements here on Tuesday, told media persons that darshan for the aged, physically challenged and the parents of newborns would be cancelled during Brahmotsavam. The JEO added that current booking of US$5 special entry tickets would also be cancelled during the festival.

However, the temple administration would allow the devotees who booked their tickets in advance through the internet and e-Darshan quota for the darshan of Lord Venkateswara under the $5 special darshan. The temple administration also plans to restrict the number of tickets to be issued under the $.80 darshan system. Mr Srinivasa Raju appealed to all the devotees to turn up in traditional wear for the darshan of Lord Venkateswara as it has been made mandatory for select darshan systems.

      

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After death, the soul goes to the next world bearing in mind the subtle impressions of its deeds, and after reaping their harvest returns again to this world of action. Thus, he who has desires continues subject to rebirth.
-- Shukla Yajur Veda, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.6

      

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IRVINE, CALIFORNIA, September 9, 2014 (Dharma Civilization Foundation press release): The University of California offers a religious studies program through its School of Humanities. However, these programs currently do not offer a graduate degree in religious studies, and are confined to a Bachelor's Degree. The University of California Irvine (UCI), has expressed a commitment to establish a graduate degree program in religious studies, and is working towards developing the faculty necessary to teach at the Masters and Ph.D. levels.

This initiative was born primarily through the proactive interest of the UCI's School of Humanities, which came to Dharma Civilization Foundation with a proposal, where in one half of the financial commitment necessary to establish a fully endowed chair would come from the State of California, and the other half would be raised by the Dharma Civilization Foundation.

Thanks to a very generous gift by Drs. Irma and Ushakant Thakkar, DCF plans to establish the DCF-Thakkar Family chair in Hindu/Vedic Studies at the University of California. The program will create and facilitate the opportunity for the serious study of the Hindu/Vedic ethos that will emphasize serious scholarship in Indian history of religion, culture, philosophy, religion, and theology.

      


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