Hinduism Today

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    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, December 10, 2018 (Hindu Council by Dr. RajMaheshwari): Bioethics addresses specific ethical issues relatingto science and medicine. With the advancement in technology, we areconstantly faced with new scientific scenarios where ethicaldecisions need to be made. The principals of ethical decisionmaking in Hinduism is informed by some of the ancient texts, namelyVedas, Upanishads, and two main epics: Ramayana and Mahabharata.Cycle of rebirth is one of the core concepts in Hinduism, based onthe belief that the body is just a carrier for the soul, whichpasses on through the repeated cycles of birth-life-death-rebirthuntil the soul has been purified and can ultimately join the divinecosmic consciousness, also called as Moksha.Contrary to the Western view of health, Hinduism doesn't viewhealth as mere absence of disability; instead it is assessed as aproduct of sound mind and body, which of course is one of the goalsof a Dharmic life. Likewise illness is accepted as part of ordinarylife experience, which is instigated as a consequence of a bad pastkarma or a test from God to assess your commitment to a dharmiclife. Hinduism views death as not opposite to life, rather, it isopposite to birth, and life is a journey between birth and death.Hinduism accepts suffering as inevitable even in death, sodiscomfort is accepted over drugs, while a conscious dying processis seen as a good death that would determine the properties of yourrebirth. Thus death is seen as just another step in this cycle ofbirth, life, death, and rebirth.For more of this talk on bioethics by Dr. Maheshwar, including histhoughts on the Hindu view of organ transplants, conception andabortion, biotechnology, and fertility matters, see "source"above.

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    BHUBANESWAR,INDIA, December 12, 2018 (RNS) Brigitte Viollet,
    a French businesswoman, spends three months of every year in thecompany of the Sun Temple in Konark, an ancient settlement on theeast coast of India. Built in the 13th century by King NarasinghaDeva I, the Sun Temple was designed as a colossal chariot mountedon 12 pairs of ornamented wheels to honor the Hindu God of the sun,Surya. Seven horses pull the chariot eastward toward dawn,symbolizing the seven days of the week. The spokes of the wheelsmake a sundial that helped ancient sages calculate time. "Thescientific spirit and aesthetic sensibilities of ancient India areunmatched," said Viollet, who is one of some 50,000 visitors thetemple draws every year.But to the dismay of many who treasure the monument, a UNESCO WorldHeritage Site since 1984, the intricate stone carvings of deitiesand celestial beasts that cover the Sun Temple's outer surface arebeing replaced by plain blocks of stone in an attempt to shore upthe building. Many more have allegedly been discarded and strewnaround the protected site. Conservation efforts began at Konark inthe early 20th century, when British Indian archaeologists firstrecognized its worth. Later, fearing a structural collapse, theBritish teams filled the temple's main audience hall with sand. Aslong ago as 1937, when the Archaeological Survey of India tookcharge of the project, removing the sand became the focus ofrestoration plans, but little was done. By 2010, at aninternational conference in Konark attended by UNESCO delegates,the ASI's lack of action brought rebuke from conservationists.Consequently, a steering committee was formed to accelerate sandremoval and sculpted stones' treatment.

    More of this article and some nice photos at "source".

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    The heart does not talk, it is the intellect that does all the talking. We have become like machines. Life has lost its naturalness, like a garland of plastic flowers. Only when hearts come together does true life blossom.
    -- Mata Amritanandamayi, mystic and hugging saint, Hindu of the Year 1993
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    STROUDSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, November 19, 2018 (The Inquirer): Every day, a joyful man in dung-covered boots tries to balance the world's karma by dishing out love, compassion, and the occasional fried Indian delight to his ragtag herd of cows. The mighty Krishna, a tall and hefty Angus, appears to be a favorite, but Sastri said each of his 23 cows is equally beloved at his Poconos sanctuary. Sastri, 78, is wiry, bespectacled, and constantly smiling, and wears a blazer over his farm clothes while he walks around his 90-acre Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary in Monroe County. Sastri still resembles a college professor, albeit one who fell in mud. He grew up in Chidambaram, by the Bay of Bengal in Southern India, moved to the United States in 1964 for grad school, and spent 28 years teaching engineering at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn.

    As the millennium approached, however, Sastri, a devout Hindu, began to ponder his next life and wonder if he'd done enough good deeds. He wasn't just thinking about a life after retirement. "The Hindu philosophy says whatever karma you have done in the past, in this life, follows you," he explained. Sastri decided in 2000 that saving cows was his way forward and traded a Brooklyn brownstone and academic life for pickup trucks on life support and a farm in Northampton County, and eventually a 90-acre spread in Jackson Township, Monroe County, with a ramshackle farmhouse. The goal of the Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary, a nonprofit, is to save cows destined for the slaughterhouse, but Sastri has also taken in animals other kindhearted people had kept as pets. "If you look at all the living beings in this world, the most loving and compassionate animal is the cow," Sastri said. "They give and give and give."
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    CALIFORNIA, U.S., March 18, 2018 (DCF USA): After sustained engagement with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD), the University of California has issued a letter to Dharma Civilization Foundation, expressing both regret for any misunderstanding as well as continued interest in working with the Hindu community to establish Chairs at UCI. The letter begins:

    "t the current moment, the process initiated by DCF with UCI, from 2012 onwards has successfully resulted in the creation of the Jain and Sikh Chairs at UCI, whereas the Hindu Chairs stand rejected, even today. In December 2015, certain UCI Faculty from the School of Humanities initiated a petition, calling into question the Hindu communities' motives, and engaged in an orchestrated campaign of slander designed to delegitimize both Dharma Civilization Foundation, and Dean Georges Van Dan Abbeele, and in the process, ensured that the efforts of gift giving by the Hindu Community to the UCI were shut down without any semblance of constructive dialog or engagement. The overwhelming message that the Faculty members behind the public petitions, and highly prejudicial open letter delivered is that the Hindus alone are not welcome to participate at the academic table. Ironically, they did so, in the name of academic freedom, while not advancing the cause of civil discourse. DCF welcomes the letter from UCI, and the opportunity for constructive, professional and meaningful engagement with UCI Administration, Faculty and Students that it seems to invite.

    The full text of the letter can be read at "source" above.

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