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About 20,000 Ganesha statues likely to be immersed at Hyderabad in September 2016

According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Ganesha is believed to be the God of wisdom and good fortune

  • Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day festival and devotees bring idols of Ganesha to their houses and place them on raised platforms in homes
  • On the 11th day, the image is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea
  • In 2016, Hyderabad and Cyberabad jointly will have a hundred thousand Ganesh pandals. And more than 20 feet tall Khairatabad Ganesh statue along with other statues will be immersed on September 15

India doesn’t need any introduction and it is complete in its own way. Apart from unity in diversity that India is proud of, it is also a land of festivals that keeps it alive throughout the year. Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, and others of different faiths and traditions celebrate various festivals during the year. These festivals bring people together and add a new dimension to the daily routine of life. Although most Hindu festivals are religious in nature, they have cultural and regional diversities as well.

However, the essence and spirit of Hindu festivals remain the same throughout te country and anywhere Hindus reside. The festivals teach us to be physically and mentally pure and help people resolving conflicts and bind them together in harmonious living and welfare. Hindu festivals reflect the mind and philosophy if India in various epochs. Hindu festivals also have a deep spiritual meaning and purpose and remind us of the presence of supreme reality, or God.

One of the major festivals in Hinduism is Ganesh Chaturthi. It is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha on the fourth day of bright fortnight of Bhadrapada month of Hindu calendar (September/ October). Lord Ganesha is the god of wisdom as well as of good fortune. He is believed to be the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

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Legend has it when Shiva was coming back from his samadhi, he didn’t know that Ganesha was his son. Ganesha did not let Shiva enter the house because mother Parvati was bathing. Shiva got angry and cut his head off and went into the house. When Parvati saw Ganesha dead, she cried and told Shiva that Ganesha was his son.

To ease Parvati’s grief, Shiva promised to cut off the head of the first living thing he would see and attach it to Ganesha’s body and that creature was an elephant. Ganesha was thus restored to life and honored his courage by being made the Lord of the new beginnings and guardian of entrances. Ganesha is believed to be the destroyer of obstacles- ‘Vighna Vinashaka‘ and one who makes wishes come true – ‘Siddhi Vinayaka‘. As a granter of boons, Ganesha, the elephant-headed God is propitiated before all the Gods and at the start of any new task.

Large statue of Ganesha on the water, surrounded by people
Ganesh Visarjan, Wikimedia Commons

Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day festival and on the commencement of the festival , devotees bring idols of Ganesha to their houses and place them on the raised platforms in homes. The priest then invokes life into idol amidst the chanting of mantras. This ritual is called pranapratishtha and after this shhodashopachara (16 ways of praying tribute) follows. Coconut, jaggery, 21 modakas (rice flour preparations), 21 durva (trefoil) grass and flowers are offered to the idol, to make Him happy and seek his blessings. The idol is anointed with red Chandan (sandalwood) and throughout the ritual, Vedic hymns are chanted.

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Devotees sing and dance ecstatically before the idols of Ganesha. On the 11th day, the idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing and later to be immersed in the river or the sea.

Khairatabad's famous ganesh idol
Khairatabad’s famous Ganesh idol, Wikimedia Commons

This year in 2016, Ganesh Chaturthi date falls on September 5. According to Website, Hyderabad and Cyberabad jointly will have a hundred thousand Ganesh pandals, this year and more than 20 feet tall Khairatabad Ganesh statue along with other statues will be immersed on September 15. Samiti secretary R. Shashidhar said, “the number of pandals in the twin cities and Cyberabad will be 100,000. We are expecting more to be set up Khairatabad will have the tallest statue at 58 feet.

“We have asked the organizers to avoid the Metro Rail corridor and accept the state government plan to decentralize the immersion process with special enclosures for immersion at 10 lakes in the city including Hussainsagar.” Besides, HMDA (Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority) has purchased a US$445 million machine to take out the statues once they are immersed.

–  prepared by Akanksha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akanksha4117


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Dalai Lama says that India and China have great potential

The spiritual leader feels that both the countries are doing compassionate works

Dalai Lama talks about India and China
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai says that India and China can work together. VOA

New Delhi, Nov 19

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have “great potential” and they could work together at a “practical level”.

“I think, a great potential… India and China combined are doing more compassionate work… At a practical level also. Imagine two billion people working together,” he told reporters here after inaugurating Smile Foundation’s initiative, The World of Children.

The spiritual leader, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since 1959, said neither country had the “ability to destroy the other”.

“Whether you like it or not, you have to live side by side,” he said.

Underlining the ancient spiritual connection between the two countries, he said Chinese Buddhist Hsuan Tsang visited Nalanda (now in Bihar) and brought Nalanda Buddhist traditions to China.

“All thinkers of Nalanda are Indian. So Nalanda’s tradition is India’s tradition,” he said.

The Nalanda traditions had turned Tibetans, who were warriors, into more compassionate, peaceful and non-violent nation, he said.

“So sometimes in Delhi, teasing my Indian friend, (I say) if Tibet still remained in the previous way of life, like Mongols, Chinese invasion may not have taken place,” the Dalai Lama said in a lighter vein.

He said nobody in the world wanted violence but it was happening “because our minds are dominated by destructive emotions due to short-sightedness”.

“Nobody wants problems. Yet, many problems are our own creation.”

The Dalai Lama said the existing modern education was oriented to material values. India can take lead in improving the education system by combining modern education with ancient knowledge, he said. (IANS)

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Manushi Chhillar from India Wins the Miss World 2017 Title

India's Manushi Chillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant here, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

Miss World
Manushi Chhillar has been crowned as Miss World 2017. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

China, November 19: India’s Manushi Chhillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

Chhillar competed against 108 contestants from various countries at a glittering event held at Sanya City Arena here.

Miss World 2016 winner Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle gave away the coveted crown to the winner.

Chhillar, who is from Haryana, had earlier this year won the Femina Miss India 2017.

Miss world
Anti Ageing was the official skin care expert for Manushi Chhillar at the Miss World 2017 pageant. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

India, England, France, Kenya and Mexico grabbed the top five spots at the peagant.

Manushi, born to doctor parents, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

Her entire family including brother and sister were present and they looked excited watching Manushi grabbing top five spot.

As many as 108 beauty queens from different parts of the world participated in the prestigious pageant. (IANS)

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)