Tuesday October 16, 2018

Hindu Temple in Greater Toronto: Vishnu Mandir installs 50-feet Lord Hanuman statue

Hinduism has about one billion supporters around the globe and it is the third largest religion

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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Toronto
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Toronto, Wikimedia Commons
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  • The temple also organised three sessions of Ramayana Yagana and 108 recitations of Hanuman Chalisa in July 2
  • Vishnu Mandir also regulates a Canadian Museum of Indian Civilization exhibiting Hinduism, Anand Bhavan Seniors Home, Academy of Learning & Montessori School for 2.5 to 6-year-old
  • Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, praised temple leaders and area community for efforts at installing Lord Hanuman statue and for conducting various activities/programs to accentuate Hinduism
Morari Bapu 01 (cropped).jpg
Morari Bapu, Wikimedia Commons

This year in 2016, a 50 feet idol of Lord Hanuman was installed on July 2, in a Hindu temple, Vishnu Mandir in Richmond Hill in Greater Toronto area, which was established in 1979.

Morari Bapu, a popular Hindu Kathakaar (preacher) from India, led the installation ceremony. This temple has a tagline “Institution that nurtures families from Cradle to Golden years”. And has also organised three sessions of Ramayana Yagana and 108 recitations of Hanuman Chalisa in July.

Vishnu Mandir also regulates a Canadian Museum of Indian Civilization exhibiting Hinduism, Anand Bhavan Senior’s Home, Academy of Learning & Montessori School for 2.5 to 6-year-old, Global Care Outreach Program in Guyana, Bal-Vihaar program for 5-16 years-old, toddler’s program, sangeet Academy for encouraging India’s music and dance, and Lakshmi Sabha Women’s Club for the enrichment of women– mentioned a worldhindunews.com report. Its other special projects include Wall of Peace and Peace Park. It also organises summer camp; offers lessons in tabla, harmonium, violin, vocal music and Kathak dancing; and conducts yoga classes.

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In the meantime, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, praised temple leaders and area community for efforts at installing Lord Hanuman statue and for conducting various activities/programs to accentuate Hinduism.

President of Universal Society of Hinduism, Rajan Zed said, it was crucial passing on Hindu spirituality, notion and tradition to the future generations when there are so many distractions in the consumerist society and it is expected that this temple will help people moving towards this direction. He further emphasised that instead of chasing materialism; we should search for our inner self to attain Moksha (liberation) to break the cycle of reincarnation, which was the main goal of Hinduism.

Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay is the Chairman of the Executive Board & Religious Advisor of Vishnu Mandir. S. Krishna Misir and Dr. Kuvear Balbahadur are President and General Secretary respectively. Chief Priest is Bhoj Sharma. Other priests are Natraj Kidambi Rajagopal and Raghavan Madangopalan.

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Lord Hanuman, the devotee of Lord Rama, is greatly worshipped in Hinduism and is known for his incredible strength and devotion towards Rama. Hinduism has about one billion supporters around the globe and it is the third largest religion.

Multicultural Richmond Hill was incorporated in 1872 and comes with a tagline “where people come together to build our community” and where “96% of Residents Satisfied with Life”, is home to the world-famousDavid Dunlap Observatory telescope. Renowned people who were associated with Richmond Hill include- actor Dylan Neal, figure skater Elvis Stojko and novelist Farley Mowat. Dave Barrow, Vito Spatafora and Neil Garbe are Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer respectively.

–  prepared by Akanksha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akanksha4117

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Spiritual Ideas Sore At The World Hindu Congress

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new -- when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.

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At its best, speeches at the recently concluded World Hindu Congress echoed the soaring spiritual ideals evoked by Swami Vivekananda in Chicago 125 years ago.

Even Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsangchanalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), focused essentially on the need for unity and patience among Hindus while fighting obstacles, of which, he said, there would be many. The burden of excavating implied accusations in Bhagwat’s speech fell to his critics.

At the plenary session, the moderator requested speakers to address issues of conflict without naming the speakers or their organisations in the interest of harmony. Other speakers sought to unite the followers of all the great religions that took birth in India — Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Some of the speakers from Bhagwat to Swami Swaroopananda of the Chinmaya Mission, framed the issues before Hinduism in a moral paradigm. Ashwin Adhin, the Vice President of the Republic of Suriname, began his speech in chaste Hindi, later quoting cognitive scientist George Lakoff: “Facts matter immensely. But to be meaningful they have to be framed in terms of their moral importance.”

Hinduism
Buddhism relates sins to the characteristics one adopts. Pixabay

The dissonances, between the spiritual and the mundane, were to emerge later on the fringes of the seminars which were part of the Congress. Many of the delegates appropriated to themselves the mantle of a culture besieged by proselytising faiths. There were speakers who urged Hindus to have more children to combat their ‘dwindling population’. Posters warned Hindus of the dangers from ‘love jihad’ (Muslim men ‘enticing’ Hindu women).

In one of the sessions on the media, filmmaker Amit Khanna noted that religion had always played a prominent part in Indian cinema, starting with the earliest mythologicals. “Raja Harishchandra”, the first silent film, he said, was made by Dadasaheb Phalke in 1913. He sought to reassure the audience on the future of Hinduism. “Over 80 percent of Indians are Hindus,” he said adding: “Hinduism has survived many upheavals for thousands of years. Hinduism has never been endangered.”

Other speakers, lacking spiritual and academic pedigrees, drew on an arsenal of simulated anguish and simmering indignation.

The nuances of history pass lightly over the ferociously devout and it took little effort to pander to an aggravated sense of historical aggrievement.

Hinduism
Swami Vivekananda used to stress upon the universal brotherhood and self-awakening. Wikimedia Commons

At one of the debates, the mere mention of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, elicited sniggers and boos. The speaker hinted at ‘Nehruvian socialism’ which had made the Indian economy a non-starter. He concluded with a coup de grace, to a standing ovation: “Nehru did not like anything Indian.”

The poet Rabindranath Tagore, who composed the Indian national anthem, had spoken of his vision of a country where the “clear stream of reason had not lost its way”. At some of the discussions, even the most indulgent observer would have been hard put to discern the stream of reason.

The image of a once great civilisation suppressed by a century of British rule and repeated plunder by invaders captured the imagination of many in the audience. Hanging above it all, like a disembodied spirit, was the so-called malfeasance of Nehru, the leader who had won the trust of Hindus only to betray them in the vilest manner.

These tortured souls would have been well advised to adopt a more holistic approach to Hinduism, and history, looking no further than Swami Vivekananda, who once said: “The singleness of attachment (Nishtha) to a loved object, without which no genuine love can grow, is very often also the cause of denunciation of everything else.”

Hinduism
The Hindu population in Pakistan is about 1.8% according to the 2018 census, 0.2% more than that of the 1998 and the 1951 figures.

Historians have informed us that Nehru preferred his father’s intellect over his mother’s tradition but he was never contemptuous of religion. While he undoubtedly felt that organised religion had its flaws, he opined that it supplied a deeply felt inner need of human nature while also giving a set of values to human life.

In private conversations some delegates spoke of how their America-born children had helped persuade them to drop their pathological aversion to gays and lesbians. Despite their acute wariness of perceived cultural subjugation, the irony was obviously lost on them that Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code,(which criminalises gay sex) recently overturned by the Indian Supreme Court, is a hangover from the Victorian British era-embodied in the Buggery Act of 1533.

In the face of the upcoming elections in the US, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi’s decision to speak at the conference was a political risk. With a newly energised political Left, even the perception of being linked with “fascist” or sectarian forces could be political suicide in the critical November elections. Despite vociferous appeals to disassociate himself from the Congress, Krishnamoorthi chose to attend.

“I decided I had to be here because I wanted to reaffirm the highest and only form of Hinduism that I have ever known and been taught — namely one that welcomes all people, embraces all people, and accepts all people, regardless of their faith. I reject all other forms. In short, I reaffirm the teaching of Swami Vivekananda,” Krishnamoorthi said.

Given the almost pervasive abhorrence of anything remotely Nehruvian among a section of the delegates, it was a revelation to hear the opinion of Dattatrey Hosable, the joint general secretary and second-in-command in the RSS hierarchy. Speaking on the promise of a newly-resurgent India, Hosable said in an interview to Mayank Chhaya, a local journalist-author-filmmaker: “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new — when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

Also Read: Triple Talaq Now Banned in India

The quote is from Nehru’s famous Tryst with Destiny speech delivered to the Indian Constituent Assembly on the midnight of August 14, 1947 — proof, if any is needed, that the force of Nehru’s ideas can transcend one’s disdain of him. (IANS)