Saturday, March 25, 2017

Diwali declared holiday in New York’s Herricks Public Schools


Hindus have welcomed the inclusion of Diwali, most popular of their festival, as holiday by Herricks Union Free School District (HUFSD) in New York State on its School Calendar for 2017-2018.
Nearby Syosset Central School District, East Meadow School District, Half Hollow Hills Central School District and East Williston Union Free School District recently declared Diwali as an official holiday; while Mineola Union Free School District announced that no home work or examinations would be given on Diwali, reports suggest.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, describing it as a step in the right direction, urged all other public school districts and private-charter-independent schools in New York State to do the same.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that it would be a positive thing to do in view of presence of a substantial number of Hindu students at schools around the state, as it was important to meet the religious and spiritual needs of these pupils.
Rajan Zed indicated that schools should make efforts to accommodate the religious requirements of Hindu students and show respect to their faith by not conducting regular business and scheduling classes on Diwali. We did not want our students to be put at an unnecessary disadvantage for missing tests/examinations/papers, assignments, class work, etc., by taking a day-off to observe Diwali.
If schools had declared other religious holidays, why not Diwali, Zed asked. Holidays of all major religions should be honored and no one should be penalized for practicing their religion, Zed added
Rajan Zed suggested all New York State schools, public-private-charter-independent, to seriously look into declaring Diwali as an official holiday, thus recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education. Zed noted that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays like Diwali would make New York State students well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
Zed urged New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Education Department Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia; to work towards adding Diwali as an official holiday in all the 728 school districts, and persuading the private-charter-independent schools to follow.
Rajan Zed further says that Hinduism is rich in festivals and religious festivals are very dear and sacred to Hindus. Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Besides Hindus; Sikhs and Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali, which falls on October 19 in 2017.
Zed thanked HUFSD Board of Education President Nancy Feinstein and other Board members for supporting Diwali holiday. HUFSD, headquartered in New Hyde Park; operates schools in Williston Park, New Hyde Park and Albertson; and its Mission includes promoting "intellectual curiosity and creative expression". It runs a free half-day Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program and has a Department of Spanish Language Immersion. Dr. Fino M. Celano is Superintendent.
Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Blogger Tricks

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hindus welcome Pittsburgh’s Presbyterian Church offering free yoga classes

Hindus have welcomed East Liberty Presbyterian Church (ELPC) in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), whose history goes back to 1819, for offering free yoga classes.
 
Besides five different services during upcoming Holy Week, ELPC, also known as "The Cathedral of Hope", is also offering free yoga classes titled "Cathedral Yoga" on Wednesday evenings in its Gothic Sanctuary, which are open to all.
 
Calling itself as "faithful disciples of Jesus Christ", ELPC website states: "We seek to nurture yearning spirits, questioning minds, and an engaged faith in ourselves and others." Reverend Dr. Randall K. Bush is Senior Pastor of ELPC, which is housed in a magnificent cathedral dedicated in 1935.
 
Welcoming ELPC for offering free yoga classes, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, urged all the Pennsylvania public schools to introduce multi-beneficial yoga programs in their curriculums.
 
Yoga, referred as "a living fossil", was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.
 
Rajan Zed further said that yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
 
According to US National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to "2016 Yoga in America Study", about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image.  Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Lord Ganesha will not be installed in old bathroom: Iowa college assures Hindus

Grinnell College Iowa has assured the concerned Hindus that murti of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha will not be placed in renovated bathroom, in view of significant physical changes and construction projects resulting in moving of dedicated Hindu Prayer Room.
 
Reverend Deanna L. Shorb, Dean of Religious Life of the College, in an email on March 16 to distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, reaching out on behalf of Grinnell President Dr. Raynard S. Kington, wrote: "…Ganesha's placement in a renovated bathroom is old news and no longer in the College's renovation plan.  There is good news coming in this area as decisions are made about the new building that will house our Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice and the new Hindu Prayer and Cultural Room where Ganesha will be placed."
 
An article date March nine in "The Scarlet & Black", Grinnell student newspaper which claims to be "the oldest college newspaper west of the Mississippi", wrote: "…there were talks about renovating a bathroom for Lord Ganesha." Another article posted on February 17 noted: "…the new building will feature a significant reduction in size of the Hindu Cultural Suite…". This made Hindus worry about the fate of existing Hindu Prayer Room with 24-hour access.
 
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada today, urged Kington and Grinnell Trustees Chair Patricia Finkelman to ensure that spirituality and worship services of the Hindu students were not affected during this transition period.
 
Rajan Zed pointed out that if murti of Lord Ganesha, reportedly installed by a priest in the existing Hindu Prayer Room, was moved to a new Hindu Prayer Room; administration should provide assistance to the college Hindu students group to reinstall it with proper ancient rituals by a priest.
 
Moreover, they expected the new Hindu Prayer Room be of the same (or bigger) size as the existing one, as it was one of the attractions for Hindu students to come to Grinnell, Zed indicated.
 
Rajan Zed hoped that Grinnell would continue to recognize the intersection of spirituality and education, which was important in Hinduism, and respond to the spiritual needs of Hindu students. Dedicated Hindu prayer/meditation room for rituals, quiet reflection, festivals and spiritual exercise helped in the personal growth of Hindu students. Hindus also hoped that Grinnell would continue to celebrate Diwali, Holi, Dusserah, Navratri, and Saraswati-Puja festivals as had been reportedly done in the past, Zed added.
 
Meanwhile, Debra Lukehart, Grinnell's Vice President for Communications, in an email response to Zed on February 22, wrote: "…transition plans have not yet been finalized…. The Hindu Prayer Room that is currently housed in the CRSSJ facility will necessarily move this summer…, but we expect a dedicated space will be identified."
 
Located in the "Center for Religion, Spirituality and Social Justice", which is relocating; the existing Hindu Prayer Room is reportedly accessible to students from eight am to 12 midnight every day when the College is in session, but by request, a student can have 24-hour access using their student ID to enter the building.
 
Grinnell College, founded in 1846 as a Congregationalist college, which claims to offer "world-class education", consistently ranked among the nation's best liberal arts colleges. With about 1,600 students, it offers 39 majors and concentrations with over 500 course offerings. It claims "strong commitment to social responsibility" and its library contains about one million books and documents.
 
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Meet the charming and soft-spoken Casting Director Kashyap Chandhock

Meet the charming and soft-spoken Casting Director Kashyap Chandhock who recently made his debut on TV as a Casting Director With Zee TV's Daily Soap Opera 'Bin Kuch Kahe' . 
Kashyap Chandhock has been an integral part of the Casting Industry for last 5 years. He's first started working independently casting for commercials in the year 2014.In the span of these 3 years, he has assisted eminent Casting Directors. His most notable work has been with one of the Casting Directors of Dharma Productions', Panchami Ghavri where he assisted her on movies like 'Brothers' and 'Kapoor And Sons'. 

Remember the super funny bodybuilder character of Boobly who at one point even tries to flirt with the character of Alia? He was casted by Kashyap who happened to be his gym trainer. Now that's called having an eye to spot the right talent & make someone's life, which is required in a profession like his. Kashyap is an adept at what he does. 

The casting of Zee TV's Prime Time show 'Bin Kuch  Kahe' marks Kashyap's 1st TV serial which he admits has been his toughest project. Being a show which is being exclusively shot in Jaipur and needed about 100 days of the actors, it could only take a charmer like Kashyap to convince the actors to leave the comfort of their homes & dedicate their time in a completely new city. His immense effort on his precise casting abilities is being proved with the success of the show.

With dreams in his eyes, he wishes to carve a niche for himself and make it big in Bollywood by working for Mainstream and Parallel Cinema.

Harvard-Columbia researchers find yoga can reduce depression

Columbia and Harvard researchers find yoga and controlled breathing reduce depressive symptoms, according to The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine which has published this study on March one.
 
This randomized controlled dosing study "Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder with Iyengar Yoga and Coherent Breathing" claims to provide evidence that participation in an intervention composed of Iyengar yoga and coherent breathing is associated with a significant reduction in depressive symptoms for individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). It also included researchers from Boston University, Boston Medical, McLean Hospital, ENRM Veterans Hospital, New York Medical, Biostatistical Solutions, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
 
This published article states that during this 12-week intervention of yoga plus coherent breathing, depressive symptoms declined significantly in patients with MDD. This study supports the use of an Iyengar yoga and coherent breathing intervention as a treatment to alleviate depressive symptoms in MDD.  
 
This article points out that MDD is common, recurrent, chronic, and disabling…depression is globally responsible for more years lost to disability than any other disease…Up to 50% of individuals treated with antidepressant medications for MDD do not achieve full remission…Yoga-based therapies offer promise…
 
Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, called this study looking into treatment of depression through yoga "a step in the positive direction". Zed urged all major world universities, hospitals and medical-institutions to explore various benefits yoga offered.
 
Yoga, referred as "a living fossil", was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.
 
Rajan Zed further said that yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
 
According to US National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to a "2016 Yoga in America Study", about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image.  Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Diwali declared holiday in New York’s East Williston School District

Hindus have welcomed the reported inclusion of Diwali, most popular of their festival, as holiday by East Williston Union Free School District (EWUFSD) in New York State on its School Calendar for 2017-2018.
 
Nearby Syosset Central School District, East Meadow School District and Half Hollow Hills Central School District recently declared Diwali as an official holiday, while Mineola Union Free School District announced that no home work or examinations would be given on Diwali, reports suggest.
 
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, describing it as a step in the right direction, urged all other public school districts and private-charter-independent schools in New York State to do the same.
 
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that it would be a positive thing to do in view of presence of a substantial number of Hindu students at schools around the state, as it was important to meet the religious and spiritual needs of these pupils.
 
Rajan Zed indicated that schools should make efforts to accommodate the religious requirements of Hindu students and show respect to their faith by not conducting regular business and scheduling classes on Diwali. We did not want our students to be put at an unnecessary disadvantage for missing tests/examinations/papers, assignments, class work, etc., by taking a day-off to observe Diwali.
 
If schools had declared other religious holidays, why not Diwali, Zed asked. Holidays of all major religions should be honored and no one should be penalized for practicing their religion, Zed added
 
Rajan Zed suggested all New York State schools, public-private-charter-independent, to seriously look into declaring Diwali as an official holiday, thus recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education. Zed noted that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays like Diwali would make New York State students well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
 
Zed urged New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Education Department Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia; to work towards adding Diwali as an official holiday in all the 728 school districts, and persuading the private-charter-independent schools to follow.
 
Rajan Zed further says that Hinduism is rich in festivals and religious festivals are very dear and sacred to Hindus. Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Besides Hindus; Sikhs and Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali, which falls on October 19 in 2017.
 
Zed thanked EWUFSD Board of Education President Mark Kamberg and other Board members for supporting Diwali holiday. EWUFSD, headquartered in Old Westbury of New York; reportedly serves East Williston and parts of Albertson, Mineola, Old Westbury, and Roslyn Heights in Nassau County. It claims to gear its educational program "to encourage critical thinking and a love of learning". Its Mission includes: "to nurture the best in each child morally, intellectually, socially, artistically, emotionally and physically". Dr. Elaine Kanas is Superintendent.
 
Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

Hindus welcome chanting by Montana elementary students linked to Hindu epic Ramayana

Hindus have welcomed reports of performance by students of some elementary schools of Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) in Montana, involving a chant linked to Hindu text Ramayana in February.
 
According to reports, this performance, part of a project which received grant from state agency Montana Arts Council; included pupils from Lewis and Clark Elementary, Russell School and Lowell School.  Hindu deity Lord Hanuman was also displayed on the occasion.
 
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commending MCPS for generating awareness among its elementary schoolchildren regarding Hinduism, described it as a step in the positive direction.
 
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that awareness about other religions thus created by such programs would make Missoula students well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
 
Ancient Hindu text Ramayana consists of seven books (kandas) and narrates the life of Lord Rama in Sanskrit. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
 
Missoula headquartered MCPS, whose tagline is "Forward Thinking, High Achieving", operates nine elementary schools, three middle schools, four high schools, an Alternative High School program, Early Learning Preschool program, and an adult education program. Marcia Holland and Mark A. Thane are Trustees Chair and Superintendent respectively of MCPS, which envisions itself as "educational leaders in a global society".