Phoenix Temple Of Self-Realization Fellowship Opens New Community Hall

Brother Vishwananda, a member of the Board of Directors of Self-Realization Fellowship, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, takes part in the dedication ceremonies for the SRF Phoenix Temple’s new community hall. Photo credit: Allen Patrou

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PHOENIX, AZ –  On Sunday September 10, hundreds of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) members and friends of the SRF Phoenix Temple gathered to celebrate the opening of a new two-story community hall and outdoor plaza, adjoining the temple at  6111 North Central Avenue.

The SRF Phoenix Temple, dedicated in 1973, is one of eight temples established by Self-Realization Fellowship, the international nonprofit organization founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda (author of the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi), with worldwide headquarters located in Los Angeles, CA. The SRF Phoenix Temple is an outgrowth of the Self-Realization Fellowship Center established in Phoenix by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1948.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Brother Balananda, minister-in-charge of the SRF Phoenix Temple, addressed the celebrants, remarking on yoga meditation’s increasing popularity, including in the Phoenix area: “Since the arrival of our founder, Paramahansa Yogananda, to the U.S. in 1920, the interest in yoga and meditation has increased exponentially, just as he had predicted would happen. Today we are experiencing that growth as we welcome more and more truth seekers to the Phoenix Temple of SRF. The new community hall has been developed to accommodate our ever expanding spiritual family here in Phoenix.”

He explained that the SRF Phoenix Temple’s expansion project takes into consideration not only the needs of current members but also those of “spiritual seekers who are expected to find their way to this peaceful haven for the practice of Kriya Yoga in the coming years.”

Brother Balananda quoted the words of SRF founder Paramahansa Yogananda: “I have sowed the seeds of my prayers into the ether of Phoenix, and some day devotees will water them with the water of devotion and divine seeking, and they will sprout into the creation of a divine center.”

Kriya Yoga is the specific yoga meditation science that Yogananda introduced to Westerners beginning in 1920 when he came to the U.S. as the Indian delegate to an International Congress of Religious Liberals convening in Boston. Widely regarded as the father of Yoga in the West, Yogananda established his society to disseminate his yoga meditation teachings and to promote the underlying harmony of all the world’s true religions.

The vitally needed expansion for the SRF Phoenix Temple, which took approximately eight months to build, will be used for Sunday School classes, special events and meetings, and includes a commercial kitchen, bookroom, parent-infant room and lending library. Five Sunday School rooms provide a centralized meeting space for SRF’s growing youth program. Paul Ladensack of CCBG Architects led the design project, and the general contractor was Concord Construction.

The SRF Phoenix Temple offers public lecture services Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and Thursdays from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Meditation services are conducted weekly.  All are welcome. For more information about the Phoenix Temple of Self-Realization Fellowship, please visit http://www.phoenixtemple.org. For more information about Self-Realization Fellowship and the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, visithttp://www.yogananda-srf.org.

 
Designed by Paul Ladensack of CCBG architects, the two-story SRF Temple Fellowship Building will be used for Sunday School classes, special events, and meetings. Photo credit: Allen Patrou

History of the Phoenix Temple of Self-Realization Fellowship

In 1948, Paramahansa Yogananda dedicated the first SRF Center in Phoenix, located two blocks from the State Capitol. The Center moved to 7th Street during the mid-1960s, and again in 1969 to  6111 North Central to accommodate the growing congregation. Shortly thereafter plans were developed for the construction of an SRF Temple in Phoenix, marking the first SRF Temple outside of California  as well as the first SRF temple built from the ground up. It was officially opened on February 11, 1973 and included an ashram center with two resident monks to lead weekly services as well as provide spiritual guidance to local members. Sri Daya Mata, the third president of SRF/YSS, broke ground for the temple in 1972. In order to provide facilities for the church’s expanding membership, the Phoenix Temple has just opened a new two-story community hall to host fellowship events, provide adequate space for Sunday school children and increased parking, among other needs.

You may also be interested in the listing of Hindu Temples in North AmericaHindu Temples in North America

Neha Banerjee from India secures 6th position at Mrs. Universe World Event 2017

Neha Banerjee with other contestants (14)

She is brave, bold, and beautiful. She is India! Guess who made India proud? Neha Banerjee shines the tiara of bravery & beauty when she was crowned Mrs. Bravery & Mrs. Beautiful Eyes at 40th Mrs. Universe at Durban’s Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre tapping into the theme, Empowering women. Creating change. For the first time in 40 years, India has glorified the national flag on International soil at Mrs. Universe pageant celebrates married women between the age group of 25 and 45 who are doing phenomenal work to uplift and enhance their local communities through CSI initiatives, business development and global trade opportunities. “It was a great honor to represent India on global level with other 184 countries worldwide. The aim of Mrs. Universe is to unite and celebrate women from across the globe. Seeing the country in a different light through the eyes of strangers was a great experience. I got to meet people from all over the world and they were all so inspirational. They were all there with a purpose and not just to win the competition‚ but spread their message” said Neha.

Neha Banerjee (4)
It has been very rightly said that women are the true architect of the society and it aptly applies to Neha Banerjee who represented India among 184 countries worldwide is already involved in important work to uplift and improve her local communities through charity work, business development and global trade opportunities “I am an active philanthropist in India. It was a feeling of pride to serve another country. We were involved in many philanthropic gestures. Unlike other pageants Mrs. Universe is purpose-driven, highlighting real concerns and areas for positive change. This pageant pools together women from all backgrounds, all of whom have overcome challenges to bring about positive changes in their respective communities”

Neha ,who is a strong willed and an optimistic person whose life motto is to infuse positivity, gravitas, happiness and success in one’s life by boosting their morale and helping them discover their inner strengths and self -esteem wore a traditional Rajastjani colorful poshak depicting an Indian woman’s belief, convictions & values. Her costume was awe-inspiring to awesome, dazzling to daring , expansive and exhilarating to bold.

Contestants engaged in various CSI initiatives to raise funds for Verulam-based LIV Village for orphaned and vulnerable children, facilities that support abused women and the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA). Contestants also visited schools in and around Durban to engage with young women and girls about the importance of education and self-development.

Contestants were also involved in a week of activities prior to the pageant, including visits to KZN cultural attractions and Durban’s tourist hot spots, stepping out in their swimsuits for East Coast Radio’s First Swim of Spring, and putting their heads together at a business strategy workshop at increasing inbound trade and tourism to South Africa.

India Native Kamal Daya Receives $5,000 Grant from Million Dollar Round Table Foundation

India -native and Founder of Worldwide Education Fund (WEF), Kamal N. Daya, CLU, ChFC, of Dallas, Texas secured a USD $5,000 grant from the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Foundation on behalf of The Worldwide Education Fund of The Dallas Foundation. This grant comes through MDRT’s Worldwide Grant Program. Through its global grants, the MDRT Foundation is committed to building stronger families and communities around the globe. This year, the MDRT Foundation will award nearly $1 million in MDRT member-endorsed grants to more than 100 charitable organizations worldwide.

MDRTF Pic with cheque 2017
Worldwide Education Fund of the Dallas Foundation is shown receiving $5000 from Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Foundation

Daya, a 38-year MDRT member and the 2011 recipient of the Top Quality of Life Award from the MDRT, is the co-founder of WEF along with his wife, Connie.  Previously, India Education Fund of The Dallas Foundation, the organization has expanded over the last year into supporting projects in Pakistan, Tajikistan, and here in Dallas. The organization’s sole purpose remains to help improve the quality and scope of education for underprivileged and marginalized children in some of the poorest areas of the world. To achieve this goal, WEF focuses on five key initiatives: quality English language skills training, technology skills training, coaching and mentoring programs, empowering students to reach their maximum potential and educational and vocational scholarships. With the grant, WEF will expand its programmatic scope into three new programs, impacting over 500 kids and an additional 2000 kids in the years to come. For more information about WEF and its work, visit wef.world.

About the MDRT Foundation:  The MDRT Foundation was created in 1959 to provide MDRT members with a means to give back to their communities. Since its inception, the Foundation has donated more than $30 million in more than 70 countries throughout the world and in all 50 U.S. states. These funds were raised by MDRT members and industry partners. For more information, visitmdrtfoundation.org.

About The Dallas Foundation: The Dallas Foundation is the oldest community foundation in the state of Texas, and serves donors and nonprofit agencies through North Texas. The Foundation serves as a keystone – a link between donors and the community issues that the donors care about. For more information, please visit www.dallasfoundation.org.

Yoga for Kids in America

Yoga is being promoted for holistic, well being. People in India are taking to Yoga in a big way for a number of reasons: to beat the stress of daily life and grind.

The concept of Yoga is also being promoted for holistic healing in the West.  You may be interested in checking out GaramChai.com Yoga section.  Here is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of interest:

Why should kids do yoga?
Yoga is a technology and technology is for everyone & anyone.  Scientific research & evidence is rising daily for what many have long said: that a practice like meditation and yoga can help us address many issues that our society is facing.  It’s a technology whose benefits are innumerable when applied and learnt from an authentic source.

A few of several benefits for kids to do yoga:

  • Concentration: Kids learn to focus on their breath during meditation. They learn to
    tune into what’s happening on the inside rather than focusing on what’s happening
    on the outside. This tremendously helps them in reading, taking tests, completing
    homework, and gets them ready for tasks that are required both at school and at
    home. And enables them to tap into their creativity.
  • It’s FUN: A kid’s body is more open and receptive. Children who are introduced to
    yoga at an earlier age have access to some distinct advantages as they grow up and
    move through life. Yoga helps them to become more joyful. They learn that
    everyone falls and everyone gets up. There is no competition.
  • Enhances flexibility: Yoga promotes physical strength as kids learn to use their
    muscles in new ways. It helps the kids to become more aware of their body and
    helps them build a deeper understanding of knowing how it functions.
  • Self-acceptance: Kids will learn to cherish and accept themselves as they are. We all  live in a society which is becoming extremely competitive, so it has become very
    common to send messages of inadequacy, yoga teaches kids to stay with stable
    foundation and have the clarity and energy to be competitive & yet not stress over
    its outcome.

All this understanding & more, automatically comes to them from their own experience while doing the practice. If given an opportunity for them to learn the scientifically proven ancient yogic  practices & meditation – kids will naturally have the tools to fight the increasing  feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy that come during the years and beyond.

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You may also be interested in YOGA NEBULA

Upcoming Children Program
Start: August 19 @ 9:00 am  || End: August 20 @ 12:30 pm  || Cost: $200
Contact: Samir Lal / contact@yoganebula.com / 201-696-7597

kidsYogaProgram

“Our classes at Yoga Nebula are taught with great care and precision to create a  conducive atmosphere for learning the subtle science of Hatha Yoga in New York City/New Jersey. Taught in an intimate group setting, classes are designed to  gradually introduce students to yoga practices through verbal instruction and  demonstrations. We also feature informative videos that provide intellectual insight  into the processes taking place. Unlike many modern yoga studios, we avoid playing  music, using mirrors or props, talking while demonstrating, or physically touching participants during the classes. Many students comment on the depth of their  experience as a direct result of this inward oriented teaching format.”

Hatha Yoga stems from a deep understanding of the mechanics of the body, and uses
yogic postures, or yogasanas, to enable the system to sustain higher dimensions of
energy. By practicing this profound science, one can change and enhance the way they
think, feel, and experience life. Hatha Yoga is about creating a body that is not a hurdle
in your life. The body becomes a stepping-stone in the progress towards blossoming
into your ultimate possibility. Developed by globally-renowned yogi, humanitarian and enlightened master, Sadhguru, the Isha™ Hatha School of Yoga has been established to revive the ancient science of Hatha Yoga, with programs taught to millions worldwide.
“Hatha Yoga is about creating a body which is not a hurdle in one’s life. The
body becomes a stepping stone … in one’s progress of blossoming into his
ultimate possibility.” – Sadhguru

Indian Festival of Ganesha Chathurthi

The festival of Ganesha Chathurthi is being celebrated across India with a lot of fervor and devotion. GaramChai.com team invokes the blessings of lord Ganesha

Image result for ganesha chathurthi 2017

DJ SHEIZWOOD BIDS FAREWELL TO LORD GANESHA

You know that Ganeshotsav is here when the chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya fills the air, and there is a festive fervour where ever you look. Baarish Ke Bahane star bid farewell to Bappa with much grandeur

DJ Sheizwood happily posed for the camera as he bid farewell to Ganpati. While most immersed Ganesha idol in water bodies found around the city, he decided to go eco-friendly this time.

Dj Sheizwood danced his heart out and joined the procession up until the visarjan spot “Crowded, noisy yet full of life – with order in the chaos, the Ganesh Visarjan is quintessentially what Mumbai is all about” says DJ Sheizwood who gears up for his next single composition “Teri Yaad”sung by Babbu Maan

Independence Day: India celebrates 71st Independence Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from Red Fort in Delhi

 

Interesting tweets

And Goole’s special doodle

GoogleIndIndependence

Can NRIs use proxy voting for elections in India? Yes !

According to the proposal, NRIs, like members of Indian armed forces, would also be allowed to use the option of proxy voting.

Non Resident Indians (NRIs), by definition are people of Indian origin who hold an Indian passport but ordinarily live in a foreign country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been courting this group of Indians assiduously, anchoring the annual festival – Parivarsi Bharitiya Divas and other outreach events.  The NRI and Indian diaspora is courted by Indian political and business leaders for the large foreign exchange remittances and the other global resources at their disposal. Now, the government wants them to exercise their franchise too!

Vote

Some NRIs who aren’t eligible to participate in the political processes in their host countries try to keep abreast of happenings back in India. They feel that the ability to vote in Indian elections will keep them engaged and enfranchised.

The Government of India has a provision for absentee and proxy voting by members of Armed forces and their families. The Election Comission also allows armed forces personnel to vote at their place of posting, as an interim measure, would be limited to “peace stations” and not include those posted at forward and disturbed areas. (Frequently Asked Questions by Service Voters)

The Indian law does not prevent eligible NRIs from voting in person. The main constraint is the time and cost: currently, an NRI who wishes to vote in state or central elections must travel back to his home constituency to cast a vote in person. He may also be required to show a voter’s ID or other documents as required by local polling officials. Data indicates that only 10-12,000 NRIs voted in the past election since most others didn’t want to spend a lot of money to travel to India to exercise their franchise.

Things are likely to change after the Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to extend proxy voting to overseas Indians by amending electoral laws. The cabinet approved the proposal on August 2, 2017 but the law, “Representation of the People Act” still needs to be amended to include proxy voting as other means to cast their votes. According to the proposal, NRIs, like members of Indian armed forces, would also be allowed to use the option of proxy voting.

Articles on the topic

  • Indian expatriates welcome proxy voting move – Gulf News
  • Only 24,000 overseas Indians have registered as voters – Times of India
  • EC moots proxy voting for NRIs – The Hindu  
  • NRIs In US Welcome Cabinet Decision To Extend Proxy Voting – NDTV