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Here is why Central Ohioans are attracted towards Hinduism!

“(Hinduism) is not incompatible with anything,” Olen said. “The only thing it’s incompatible with is ... if people think of themselves as separate. We believe in oneness. The goal is to experience oneness with all.

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Hinduism-Serving peace to the people of Ohio, Source- Pixabay

Ohio, May 3, 2017: With Christians forming a major part of the population, people in Ohio believe in “religion” with all their heart. But due to the stress of urban lifestyle, Ohioans have become victims of ‘depression’.

Ohio is a mid-western state in the United States of America and a study has found that on an average 19 million American adults are “depressed”. People have visited doctors but all in vain. As a result, people are trying to find solace in “religion” especially “Hinduism”.

The principles of non-violence, vegetarianism and much more, attract people towards Hinduism. According to a report of 2015, Hinduism is the 3rd most practised religion in Columbus (capital of Ohio).

Here a few experiences of people who found peace by accepting Hindu traditions and customs to overcome their stress-

A resident of the Ohio, Andrea McCanney has tried everything to cure her depression: doctors, medicine and all the Western world had to offer. Nothing worked.

Then, when her friend urged her to find her way out of this situation through Hinduism, she went to Nithyanandeshwara Hindu Temple in Delaware County. She sat in front of a live video feed from a guru in India’s temple, Paramahamsa Nithyananda, and after trying his techniques, she began to feel better.

“He gives you direction,” said McCanney, of Delaware. “He gives you techniques, a little thing to try. You do it enough times and it really starts to change everything about your life. It gives you a new perspective.”

Three months later, she went to India to learn more. Now, she’s the ritual coordinator at the temple and Nithyananda gave her the name Gurupriya Nithya, which she will soon make her legal name.

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According to dispatch.com report, at Sri Lakshmi Ganapathi Temple and Hindu Cultural Center of Ohio on the North Side, Head Priest Satyanarayana Sastry said he sees more Americans showing interest in Hinduism.

“There’s always been this stereotype that the East is spiritually fulfilled and prosperous and that the West is materially fulfilled,” Kaura said. “Some Westerners are finding they’re not fulfilled in material goods and are looking for spiritual fulfilment … they’re looking toward Hinduism and Buddhism.

“I think people are ready for something that’s more inclusive than what they were exposed to previously,” added McCanney.

The spiritual customs are not judgemental. People of every caste and creed are equal when it comes to spirituality “it is beyond religion,” says Sivananda, the spiritual head of the Nithyanandeshwara Hindu Temple. “Hindu dharma is inclusiveness of all … It’s relating with yourself, your inner being. It’s relating with everybody in your life.”

The fact that Hinduism does not “force” people to convert, all other religions easily assimilate with one of the most popular religions across the world giving it a colourful background.

Instead of giving up another faith, people can incorporate their religious backgrounds into Hinduism, says Paul Olen, a member of the Delaware County temple who lives in Delaware. He was raised Roman Catholic, but no longer practices. But says, he still believes in the teachings of Jesus, whom he believes was a holy man.

“Hinduism is not incompatible with anything,” Olen said. “The only thing it’s incompatible with is … if people think of themselves as separate. We believe in oneness. The goal is to experience oneness with all.

– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram, Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

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Facebook Acquires the Anonymous Teenage Polling App ‘tbh’

An official statement from Facebook said: "tbh and Facebook share a common goal -- of building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together"

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Facebook brings the developers of 'tbh' app to share and expand a common goal of making stronger communities. Pixabay

San Francisco, October 17, 2017 : Facebook has acquired ‘tbh’, an anonymous polling app for teenagers which has over 5 million downloads and 2.5 million daily active users in the US.

The app lets teenagers anonymously answer kind-hearted, multiple-choice questions about friends, who then receive the poll results as compliments, TechCrunch reported on Tuesday.

“When we set out to build tbh, we wanted to create a community that made us feel happier and more confident about ourselves. We felt that people craved genuine and positive interactions in their online experiences,” ‘tbh’ said in a statement.

“Over the last few weeks, over 5 million people have downloaded tbh and sent over a billion messages. More importantly, we’ve been inspired by the countless stories where tbh helped people recover from depression and form better relationships with friends,” it read.

ALSO READ How Facebook is Helping Its Users Fight Identity Theft

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed but according to TechCrunch, it is likely to be somewhere around less than $100 million and will not require regulatory approval.

“As part of the deal, tbh’s four co-creators — Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza and Nicolas Ducdodon — will join Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters while continuing to grow their app,” the report added.

“When we met with Facebook, we realised that we shared many of the same core values about connecting people through positive interactions. Most of all, we were compelled by the ways they could help us realise tbh’s vision and bring it to more people,” ‘tbh’ said.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook said: “tbh and Facebook share a common goal — of building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together”. (IANS)

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Hinduism is Not an Official or Preferred Religion in Any Country of The World, Says a New Report

Though Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world, it is not the official state religion of any country according to a Pew Research Center Report

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Hinduism is not an official religion of any country in the world. Instagram.
  • No country has declared Hinduism as its official state religion – despite India being an influential Hindu political party
  • Hinduism is not an official or preferred religion in any country of the world, according to a Pew Research Center report.
  • 53% of 199 nations considered in the study don’t have an official religion
  • 80 countries are assigned either an “official religion” or “preferred religion”

Nevada, USA, October 16: Hinduism is the primeval and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion followers of moksh (liberation) being its utmost desire of life. India is among the category of nations where the government do not have an official or preferred religion.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank headquartered in Washington DC that aims to inform the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

The report states that a country’s official religion is regarded as a legacy of its past and present privileges granted by the state. And a few other countries fall on the other side of the gamut, and propagate their religion as the ‘official religion’, making it a compulsion for all citizens.

It adds up on the context of allocation that more than eight-in-ten countries (86%) provide financial support or resources for religious education programs and religious schools that tend to benefit the official religion.

Hinduism
Islam is the most practiced official religion of the world. Instagram.

Commenting on Hinduism, the report states:

In 2015, Nepal came close to enshrining Hinduism, but got rejected of a constitutional amendment due to a conflict between pro-Hindu protesters and state police.

Although India has no official or preferred religion as mentioned in the Constitution,it was found by PEW that in India the intensity of government constraints and social antagonism involving religion was at a peak. “Nigeria, India, Russia, Pakistan and Egypt had the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion among the 25 most populous countries in 2015. All fell into the “very high” hostilities category,” the report added.

As per the 2011 census, it was found that 79.8% of the Indian population idealizes Hinduism and 14.2% practices to Islam, while the rest 6% pursuit other religions.

While Hinduism stands up with the majority, Article 25 of the Constitution of India contributes secularism allowing for religious freedom and allows every Indian to practice his/her religion, without any intervention by the community or the government.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, applauded the Hindu community for their benefaction to the society and advised Hindus to concentrate on inner purity, attract spirituality towards youth and children, stay far from the greed, and always keep God in the life.

According to Pew, these are “places where government officials seek to control worship practices, public expressions of religion and political activity by religious groups”.

-by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram.  She can be reached @tweet_bhavana

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Paintings Which Beautifully Depict Scenes From Ramayana

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Ram lifting the bow during Sita Swayambar. Wikimedia Commons.

Ramayana, the ancient Indian epic which describes the narrative of Ayodhya Prince lord Rama’s struggles. The struggles include- exile of 14 years, abduction of his wife Sita, reaching Lanka, destruction of the evil. It is strongly ingrained in the Indian culture, especially, the Hindu culture since a long time. Hindus celebrate Diwali based on the narratives of Ramayana.

The story of Ramayana gives out the beautiful message that humanity and service to the mankind is way more important than kingdom and wealth. Below are five paintings describing the scenes from Ramayana:

1. Agni Pariksha in Ramayana

Ramayana
Agni Pariksha. Wikimedia.

When Lord Rama questions Sita’s chastity, she undergoes Agni Pariksha, wherein, she enters a burning pyre, declaring that if she has been faithful to her husband then the fire would harm her. She gets through the test without any injuries or pain. The fire God, Agni, was the proof of her purity. Lord Rama accepts Sita and they return to Ayodhya. 

2. Scene From The Panchavati Forest

Ramayana
scene from the panchavati forest. wikimedia.

The picture describes a scene from the Panchavati forest. It is believed that Lord Rama built his forest by residing in the woods of Panchavati, near the sources of the river Godavari, a few miles from the modern city of Mumbai. He lived in peace with his wife and brother in the forest.

3. Hanuman Visits Sita

Ramayana
Hanuman meets Sita. Wikimedia.

Hanuman reaches Lanka in search of Sita. At first, he was unable to find Sita. He later saw a woman sitting in Ashok Vatika, drowned in her sorrows, looked extremely pale. He recognized her. After seeing the evil king, Ravana making her regular visit to Sita, he hid somewhere in the Vatika. After Ravana left, Hanuman proved Sita that he is Rama’s messenger by showing her his ring. He assured her that Rama would soon come to rescue her. Before leaving Lanka, he heckled Ravana. Agitated by Hanuman’s actions, Ravana ordered to set Hanuman’s tail on fire. With the burning tail, Hanuman set the entire city on fire.