Navaratri – the Nine Days of the Goddess

Durga slaying the demonNavaratri, or the nine nights, is the Indian festival of nine holy nights which celebrates the victory of the goddess Shakti over evil. The days fall on the nine auspicious days as per the lunar calendar of Hinduism. The principal forms of the Goddess are known as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. This is a most popular festival in Hinduism that celebrates the victory of good over evil. Navaratri 2019 will begin on Sunday, 29 September and ends on Tuesday, 8 October 2019.
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Laughing Matters: Laughter Yoga

people laughingIf you have ever spotted a group of people in a park standing in a circle clapping and laughing “ho, ho, ha-ha-ha”, you’ve stumbled across a Laughter Yoga Club in progress. Growing in popularity around the world, this wellbeing practice that comprises laughter, pranayama (breath work), Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation) and meditation was founded just 16 years ago by Dr Madan Kataria, a physician in India.
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Spent Convictions Hearing, Shepparton.

The Victorian Parliament Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee is currently conducting hearings into the proposed Spent Convictions legislation. A hearing was conducted at The Connection, Midland Highway, on Monday 15 July 2019. The Shepparton Interfaith Network participated in one such hearing.
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Self Discovery: Finding and understanding yourself through yoga

beachgoer on a swingLAUREN, A LOS ANGELES yoga teacher, slipped in a lunge while teaching and injured her ankle. Because she’s a practice- through-the-pain kind of yogi, she didn’t even stop to assess the injury before continuing her class. When she finally got to the doctor, she discovered she would have to stay off the ankle for at least a month. For Lauren, this triggered an identity crisis. Since her teens, her strong body has been the source of her wellbeing, her self-esteem and, in adulthood, her income.
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Why Guru Pournima is unique to Hindu Dharma

four gurus of IndiaMany religions honour their founder or great teacher in various ways. Hindu dharma is perhaps unique in honouring the guru or spiritual master as a principle in itself beyond any particular personality, philosophy or revelation.The true guru is a position of spiritual guidance, the illuminating presence of a higher awareness. The guru is not limited to any physical person, however exalted he or she may be.

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“Though born Muslim, I am proud to be a Hindu”

Sri M - Mumtaz Ali Khan

Mumtaz Ali Khan, popularly known as Sri M, world-renowned spiritual leader, author, thinker and educationist hails from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. His forefathers were Pashtuns, who moved from Peshawar to erstwhile Travancore as bodyguards to the Maharaja. He was born in 1948 in a fairly affluent family. At the age of 19, he joined the Ramakrishna Mission at Belur Math, without informing his parents, after writing his exams.

Later, the young man wandered throughout the length and breadth of Bharat, particularly the Himalayas. From Hardwar, he travelled by foot to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. One day, while walking along the rough terrain beyond Badrinath, he came across a cave called Vyasa Guha. It was here that he met his master, Maheshwar Babaji, who induced him into a deep meditation. Then came a stint as a trustee of the Krishnamurti Foundation, where he met and married a Saraswat Brahmin. He now lives in Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh, where he started a school for the economically deprived and the backward.

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Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda in 2019

Swami Vivekananda Jayanti 2019 date based on Hindu panchang and calendar. Swami Vivekananda Jayanti celebrates the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda’s birthday falls on the Paush Krishna Saptami, the 7th day after the full moon day in the Hindu month of Paush. Therefore the date varies from year to year. In the Gregorian Calendar the date is 12 January 1863.
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Hinduism: Truth and God are One

Pranava, the OMThe faith of many religions is centred on a god or gods. Hindus believe in One God who takes many names and forms, for cultures are different, society is different, and the mind is shaped by culture and society. Thus do Hindus believe that different names and forms of the One reality to suit different society, cultures and nations.

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21 June: International Day of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.

Today it is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity.

Recognizing its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga

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Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902 C.E.) was a Hindu monk and a patriotic saint of India. According to English calendar he was born on 12th January 1863 into an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta. However his birthday is celebrated according to Hindu calendar and this day is known as Swami Vivekananda Jayanti. The Indian government has decided to observe Swami Vivekananda’s Gregorian date of birth as National Youth Day. Hence National Youth Day of India is celebrated each year on 12th January since 1985.

Vivekananda was born on Krishna Paksha Saptami after seven days of Paush Purnima. The birth anniversary according to Indian Panchang for 2018 is 8 January. In 1893 Swami Vivekananda went to the United States to join the Parliament of the World’s Religions where he got overwhelming success and public attention. For next four years, from 1893 to 1897, he travelled through various cities of the United States and England, and gave a series of lectures on religion and Vedanta. He came back to India in 1897 via Colombo. He then gave 17 lectures, Lectures from Colombo to Almora. In honour of Swami Vivekananda, we bring you the first lecture, given at Colombo, January 16, 1897.

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Why do Hindus worship idols?

The Divine is known to be spirit, beyond human form and comprehension. Yet, in many cultures the divine takes birth, lives a life, gives a teaching, crushes evil and leaves a path for the human to tread to the goal of life. In Hinduism, there are many, many names and forms of the divine, all with particular significance. These idols of the Divine bring forth so many graces, protections, ways and means of spiritual progress for aspirants.

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What is a Guru?

In this day and age, many people are attributed to be guru’s of one kind or another. Some call themeselves black-belt gurus of computer code, others are guru’s of math and trigonometry; still more are hailed as guru’s of cooking or survival on remote islands. What is the origin of this term guru, and what does it mean? Does being a guru mean you cultivate people who are dependent upon you – or do you cultivate independence? What – exactly – is a guru and the origins of this term?

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Navratri 2016: When Does The Hindu ‘Nine Nights’ Festival Begin?

skandamata“Navratri” — the 9-day long festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga — begins Saturday, Oct. 1, this year. According to Hindu mythology, goddess Durga, a symbol of motherhood, power and courage, defeated the demon Mahishasura in a battle that lasted nine nights.
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