Hinduism

Hindu group holds healing ceremony at Hanover County plantation before selling

July 1, 2021

A Hindu group that had hoped to build a temple on a former plantation in Hanover County held a ceremony last week to honor and bless the enslaved who had worked there and to heal the land that they now are selling.

Dominique Gay, who lives at Quietude plantation with her partner and Hindu priest, Gananathamritananda Swamiji, said the group has put the property up for sale after five years of dealing with obstacles and opposition in the county.

“It is because of discrimination and ignorance of the Hindu faith that we were not able to obtain a permit to have public...

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At landmark US Hindu temple, a timely rite of rejuvenation

June 28, 2021

PENN HILLS, Pa. (AP) — When throngs gathered to rededicate the oldest major Hindu temple in the United States, there was poignance -- prayers for continued recovery from the pandemic that struck many loved ones in India -- and the elation of coming together after more than a year of restrictions.

And there was joy.

Shouts of the divine name “Govinda!” rose Sunday from the crowd of worshippers at the Sri Venkateswara Temple, atop a steep hill just east of Pittsburgh. Dressed in festive saris and other traditional clothing, they gazed up toward a gopuram — an...

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Why this Fairhaven luxury handbag brand is under fire from a Hindu statesman

June 11, 2021

FAIRHAVEN — Hindu statesman Rajan Zed of Nevada is requesting luxury handbag brand Brahmin to change its name.

Headquartered in Fairhaven, the company produces luxury handbags made of cow leather. In a press release on Wednesday, Zed stated that the cow was sacred and had long been venerated in Hinduism, and that inscribing the brand's name on a bag created from the animal was "quite out-of-line and was painful to the Hindu sentiments."

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Minnesota Hindu temple marks 15 years along with the growth of Twin Cities' once tiny Hindu community

June 7, 2021

Fifteen years ago, the Twin Cities Hindu community built an elegant temple in the cornfields outside Maple Grove, a $9.5 million architectural gem that it hoped would attract the state's small but growing Hindu faithful.

Since then, the Hindu Society of Minnesota temple has become a religious, social and cultural center for the state's 50,000 Hindus, as well as a popular destination for student groups, tourists and ordinary Minnesotans who want to learn more about one of the state's least-known faiths.

A three-day celebration to mark the temple's 15th anniversary is...

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Human Trafficking Allegations Thrust Caste Into Spotlight For American Hindus

June 3, 2021

Software engineers and stone masons might not have much in common professionally, but both kinds of workers can face discrimination, if they're members of the Dalit caste in Hindu society — whether in South Asia or the United States.

So say leading advocates for the rights of Dalits, who were once known as "untouchables."

A class action lawsuit recently filed in federal court in New Jersey alleges that a massive Hindu temple in the city of Robbinsville brought some 200 workers to the U.S. on R-1 visas as religious volunteers.

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Boston Indians celebrate Hindu Heritage Month

May 27, 2021

BOSTON: The 24th Annual Virtual Hindu Heritage Day (HHD) was organized by the volunteers of Vishwa Hindu Parishad /World Hindu Council of America (VHPA), Boston & Merrimack Valley Chapters, on Saturday May 22, 2021 with utmost joy and zest.

Hundreds of people from Greater Boston Area enjoyed Indian music, songs, dances, and the new Story-telling segment. A large number of participants from four years old to young adults showcased their talents and made the celebration more animated and amusing.

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Alabama Lifts Its Ban on Yoga in Schools

May 20, 2021

For the first time in nearly three decades, Alabama will allow yoga to be taught in its public schools, but the ancient practice will be missing some of its hallmarks: Teachers will be barred from saying the traditional salutation “namaste” and using Sanskrit names for poses.

Chanting is forbidden. And the sound of “om,” one of the most popular mantras associated with the practice, which combines breathing exercises and stretches, is a no-no.

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Hindu American Foundation files defamation suit against Hindu rights nonprofit

May 20, 2021

(RNS) — The Hindu American Foundation, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against representatives of Hindu, Muslim and Christian organizations in the U.S., accusing them of libel and defamation. The suit also targeted news outlet Al Jazeera and an independent journalist who wrote news stories quoting the groups.

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Hindu Sect Is Accused of Using Forced Labor to Build N.J. Temple

May 11, 2021

Federal law enforcement agents descended on a massive temple in New Jersey on Tuesday after workers accused a prominent Hindu sect of luring them from India, confining them to the temple grounds and paying them the equivalent of about $1 an hour to perform grueling labor in near servitude.

Lawyers for the workers said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, a Hindu sect known as BAPS that has close ties to India’s ruling party and has built temples around the world, had exploited possibly hundreds of low-caste men in the yearslong...

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Across faiths, US volunteers mobilize for India crisis

May 11, 2021

Volunteers at Hindu temples, Muslim groups and Sikh relief organizations across the United States are mobilizing to support India as the world’s second most populous country struggles to handle a devastating surge of the coronavirus.

From coast to coast, faith groups tied to the Indian diaspora have collected hundreds of oxygen concentrators and electrical transformers to ship to overwhelmed hospitals, raised millions for everything from food to firewood for funeral pyres and gathered in prayer for spiritual support for the Asian nation.

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