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Hindu American Olympic Medal Winner Rajeev Ram says Hinduism taught him control on the court

Rajeev attributes his success to his parents who taught him the Hindu values that translated onto the tennis court

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Representative set of the Olympic medals. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Rajeev attributes his success to his parents who taught him the Hindu values that translated onto the tennis court
  • His parents, who are involved in the local Hindu community didn’t care whether he won or lost his tennis matches as a child but ensured that he controlled his temper
  • In time, he found out that keeping calm could not only make him morally better but could also improve his scores

August 23, 2016: When people from a tiny community that exist in a massive land distinguish themselves and reach the zenith of success, they become role models, symbols of hope to all those who aspire to make history. A small Hindu community of the US has brought out prodigies in every field, creating a name for themselves. The Hindu Americans have produced successful entrepreneurs, and scholars and also those who excel in the professional realms of sports.

There have been many Hindu Americans who have represented the US and become Olympic champions. Mohini Bhardwaj, the silver medal winner gymnast in 2004, and Raj Bhavsar who won bronze in 2008 in the same field are a few to name. When Rajeev Ram stood on the Olympic podium to receive his silver medal in tennis doubles in Rio 2016, not only did he become a new role model for the Hindu American children, but he also became the new face of a local Hindu community he belongs to, mentioned the Washington Post.

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Rajeev attributes his success to his parents who taught him the Hindu values that translated onto the tennis court. The Washington Post quotes Ram, “Part of the Hindu religion teaches- more so than anything else, your control of your mind — your self-control, basically. Obviously, your body’s going to do what your mind tells it to do. If you can have that inner control, a sense of peace, your body’s going to follow.” This self-control generally refers to one’s mastery over his moral and ethical choices. Ram has taken his practice to the next level by achieving mastery of his body.

Rajeev Ram, Image source: Twitter
Rajeev Ram, Image source: Twitter

Rajeev’s parents, who are involved in the local Hindu community didn’t care whether he won or lost his tennis matches as a child but ensured that he controlled his temper. In time, he found out that keeping calm could not only make him morally better but could also improve his scores.

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So when the people abroad are able to inculcate the principles of Hinduism and transform themselves into amazing personalities, it is sad that back home in India which is the motherland of Hinduism, people are unable to harness the best athletes and send them to the Olympic Games.

– prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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Nearly Half Urban Indians to Shop Online After Lockdown: Survey

The survey also suggests that 21 per cent people are less likely than before to shop in physical retail stores

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A recent survey says that 44% urban Indians are more likely to shop online after lockdown. Pixabay

Close to half (44 per cent) of urban Indians are more likely to shop online once the lockdown is over and 21 per cent people are less likely than before to shop in physical retail stores, a new survey said on Tuesday, according to Covid-19 pandemic in India updates.

The survey of 1,011 respondents conducted by YouGov also revealed that among the different regions, East and West Indians (51 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively) are more likely to shop online in the future as compared to residents in North and South India (41 per cent and 40 per cent).

Likewise, the inclination to move online for shopping appears to be stronger among tier-1 city residents (51 per cent) than tier-2 and 3 residents (41 per cent each).

lockdown
68% of respondants showed their interest in buying gadgets after the lockdown is lifted. Pixabay

According to the data, gadgets (68 per cent), beauty & personal care (58 per cent), apparels & accessories (56 per cent) and home & kitchen appliances (51 per cent) are the top categories where a majority of respondents have indicated their likeliness to buy online, once the Covid-19 crisis is resolved.

“The current Covid crisis and the subsequent lockdowns have helped accelerate the momentum for e-commerce,” Deepa Bhatia, General Manager, YouGov India, said in a statement.

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The survey found that even though people are currently buying online, the majority (73 per cent) are either very or fairly scared about their safety while shopping.At present, one in three urban Indians (30 per cent) have bought or are planning to buy beauty and personal care products online since e-commerce delivery resumed in their area amidst the Covid lockdown, the data said.

Demand for these products is the highest in tier-1 cities at 37 per cent. The findings also showed that most of the other categories, such as automobiles (83 per cent), Salons & Spa services (78 per cent); alcohol (74 per cent), hardware (71 per cent) and gardening (64 per cent) consumers are likely to prefer shopping offline in physical stores.

The data also revealed that concern for safety is the highest among those in their thirties (at 67 per cent) while worry about the fit or look appears to be strongest among respondents aged above 40 (at 35 per cent). (IANS)

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Sewa International Bay Area Chapter Distributes Hot Meals, Masks, and Supplies to 700+ Families

Sewa International also donated 500 masks to the Oroville Hospital and distributed goody packets to kids

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Sewa international
A line of cars waiting to be a part of the Sewa International Food Drive on Saturday, May 30 in Oroville, California.

Sewa International’s Bay Area Chapter distributed hot meals, groceries, masks, and hygiene kits to more than 700 families in a drive-through distribution event held in Oroville, CA on Saturday, May 30, as part of its extensive COVID-19 relief efforts.

In addition, Sewa International also donated 500 masks to the Oroville Hospital and distributed goody packets to kids which included wipes, school supplies, and snack bags of cereal.

“Our cadre of volunteers are working hard to support the underprivileged sections of our society in these trying times.  Our aim is to achieve the well-being of all by providing a stable support structure by developing overall cooperation within society,” said Sewa International Bay Area Chapter President Jayant Somani.

“Through this event, we coordinated with homeless shelters and senior citizen homes across the Concow and Oroville areas to ensure that their important work of feeding the homeless and supporting senior citizens. Sewa is grateful for the enormous support it received from many of the local community organizations in fighting this COVID-19 pandemic together,” said Somani.

Tiny Home Donated

As  part of the Campfire relief initiative, Sewa International, in partnership with the Tiny Homes Organization, donated the third tiny home its volunteers built to Casey, a veteran who had lost his home in the fires that ravished his area last year. Three more tiny homes are being built to be donated by Sewa.

“This is amazing.  I had basically forgotten how people should live.  It had been so long that I got so used to this tent (that I was living in). I had basically lost hope.  This gave me hope.  I can become human again… What you all are doing is amazing — your loyalty and everything.  Please keep doing it, if you can,” said Casey in appreciation of receiving his new home.

625,000 Masks Distributed 

Prior to this event, the Bay Area chapter had distributed almost 57,000 KN95, N95, surgical, face shields and hand- made masks to the United States Postal Service, Valley Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, San Ramon Police Department, City of Sunnyvale, and City of Cupertino, and many other city, medical, and emergency service responders.

Nationwide, Sewa International has donated over 625,000 masks, 1,000 liters of sanitizer, 63,000 hot meals and food, and over $100,000 to food pantries during this COVID-19 crisis.  Through the hard work of more than 3,000 volunteers across 43 chapters and in collaboration with over 800 organizations across the country, Sewa International has committed itself to supporting all essential workers and service industries in these trying times.  In addition, Sewa International has set up 10 national helpline centers to field and monitor all calls for help and information. Through the information received via these helplines, Sewa International launched the Plasma Registry Drive which led to successful registry matches for four COVID-19 patients.

Sewa International
Sewa Bay Area Chapter volunteers seen standing with Casey, who received the third Tiny Home Sewa volunteers built to help victims of the 2019 California Campfire. Alyssa Nolan from the Tiny Homes Organization is also seen in the photograph.

Partner Organizations helping Sewa International’s efforts

Working with and helping Sewa reach out to the community are several partner organizations. They include the  Annapoorna USA Foundation (Sacramento), Bengaluru Voice, Bharati Tamil Sangam, Feed My Peeps, Hindu SwayamSevak Sangh, IINDIA-SC, Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America, Makers for COVID-19, My Support for Kids Foundation, Posh Textiles, PrinterPrezz, Raja Sweets and Catering, Rajasthan Association of North America, Rotary Club of San Ramon Valley, Sleeping Bags for the Homeless of Silicon Valley, Tiny Homes, Tri-Valley Kannada Sangha, Vishnuji Ki Rasoi.

About Sewa International

Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith-based Indian American nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 24 disasters in the US and abroad. In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area, Sewa volunteers helped in the rescue of nearly 700 people and have served thousands of affected families since then through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild homes, and greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. It has also rendered relief in the wake of hurricane Maria in 2018 and Hurricane Imelda in 2019. Sewa teams in the San Francisco Bay Area continue to build and donate tiny homes for those rendered homeless in California Camp Fire of November 2018.

Also Read: ‘Touchless hospitality’: The Future Of Hotels In A New World

Among its other accolades, Sewa International has been recognized by Charity Navigator – the premier nonprofit rating agency – as the number five among the “10 Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions.” Sewa has for the last three years continuously scored the topmost-rated 4-star from Charity Navigator, and has earned perfect scores for its Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency.

For more information on Sewa International and its activities, please visit www.sewausa.org.

For more information on Sewa International’s efforts to support communities nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://sewausa.org/covid-19

[ Disclaimer: The pictures used in the article are supplied by the author, NewsGram has no intention of infringing copyrights. ]

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The Prominence of Hari-Naam in Hinduism: Benefits of Chanting “Hare Krishna” Mahamantra

"Hare Krishna" is known as the "Maha-Mantra" as mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upnishad during the Bhakti-movement by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Know about the benefits of chanting it

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Hare Krishna Text
"Hare Krishna" is perhaps the most powerful but very easy mantra that anyone can chant without restrictions.

By Kashish Rai

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama,

Rama Rama, Hare Hare

The Srimad Bhagvad Gita, which is the sacred book of the Hindus says that Krishna and Krishna’s name is the same. So, when you chant “Hare Krishna” you gain Krishna’s consciousness inside of you, you connect with the supreme being, so you connect with the universe.

“Hare Krishna” is known as the “Maha-Mantra” as mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upnishad during the Bhakti-movement by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

The “Hare Krishna Mahamantra” is composed of three words of the supreme being~ “Hare”, “Krishna” and “Rama”.

“Hare Krishna” is perhaps the most powerful but very easy mantra that anyone can chant without restrictions. In the truest might, this maha-mantra addresses the supreme power invoking its blessings on the chanter.

Know about the Benefits of Chanting “Hari Naam” in this article!

  • Benefit 1: You Get The Control Over Your Mind

The Srimad Bhagvad Gita Says, “One must conquer the mind. Those who have, their mind then becomes their best friend. In turn, those who haven’t, their mind will become their greatest enemy”.

The Chanting of “Hare Krishna” may help you to get a hold on your mind, stopping you from becoming the slaves to unwanted desires and whimsical thoughts that your mind can meander into. You can get the utmost peace of mind.

Hare Krishna Mahamantra
The “Hare Krishna Mahamantra” is composed of three words of the supreme being~ “Hare”, “Krishna” and “Rama”.
  • Benefit 2: You Can Reach The Absolute State of Happiness

In today’s world filled up with materialistic things and miseries of life, everyone is in the search for happiness! And the chanting of “Hare Krishna” can allow us to share our contact with the god and his spirit, thus, leading us to our bliss by entering his association.

This is not material happiness, but a state of absolute happiness! This is the reason that everytime one chants “Hare Krishna” with passion, they themselves start dancing!

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Dancing
Image depicts Chaitanya Mahaprabhu dancing on tunes of “Hare Krishna Mahamantra” along with followers. Pinterest
  • Benefit 3: You Can Get Awakened To Your “True Self”

In this fast-paced world, we have become so accustomed to the material universe that we have forgotten our true self- the self of the spiritual. And when we have become so material, we have developed fears of death, old-age, and diseases.As definite beings~ we fear the loss of power, beauty, wealth, intelligence and so many other things.

When we chant Hari-Naam we get this supreme realisation that we are the pure, change-less spiritual souls which is different to the materialistic body. Hari-Naam is a pure spiritual sound vibration, and it can help us develop the consciousness to understand our ‘self’.

  • Benefit 4: You Can Change Your Negative Karmic Tendencies

The basic law of karma is equivalent to Newton’s third law of motion: “For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction”.

Spiritually, it means that for every material action performed, nature forces an equivalent reaction upon the performer. We as human beings transform ourselves from one karmic destiny to another.

Chanting Hare Krishna can help us build our positive karma as chanting Krishna means that we are chanting the name with “transcendental energy” to erase all the negatives that exists within us and then Attain “Moksha” (To free ourselves of this cycle of life, we need moksha and the liberation from the endless wheel of birth and death is also known as ‘samsara’. This can only be achieved when our consciousness is completely free from material desires.)

Lord Krishna
when you chant “Hare Krishna” you gain Krishna’s consciousness inside of you, you connect with the supreme being, so you connect with the universe. Pinterest
  • Benefit 5: You Get the The Most Salient Benefit~ You Understand “The Love of God”

The most important benefit of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra is to find God-realization and pure love of God.

When our consciousness becomes one with God, our positive nature is depicted in our character and behavior in the same phenomenon just as how the sun approaches the horizon, it is preceded by warmth and illumination.

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Likewise, the name of Krishna is revived in our heart, which has been missing since the start of “Kali Yuga”.

Chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra does not pertain to only recalling the name of god but it takes you on a journey of self-realisation through supreme consciousness thereby redeeming yourself from the mundane state of life.