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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

U.S. Capitol Lights Up For First Divali Festival

Over two dozen influential lawmakers along with eminent Indian-Americans gathered at the Capitol Hill to lit the traditional "diyas".
continue reading:  US lawmakers celebrate Diwali

The Significance of Diwali, Auroville Universal Township:

'The Diwali or Deepavali festival marks the victory of good over evil. The Sanskrit word “Deepavali” means “an array of lights” and signifies the victory of brightness over darkness. As the knowledge of Sanskrit diminished, the name was popularly modified to Diwali, especially in northern India...' continue reading

See: Vidoes: National GeographicPBS 

On the same shelf, see books on the Subject:

More from Library of Cogress:
Divali. /
Divali --Juvenile literature. / Holidays.
Fasts and feasts --Hinduism.
  / Hinduism --Customs and practices. /  / 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Not all Buddhists are Atheists!!!

Q. According to Buddhism, Lord Buddha is not a god and Buddhism in its thought and practices teaches nothing about which many theists considered a god. Then would one classify all Buddhists as atheists? One may say because there are different types of Buddhism, and hence there are different ways to experience the philosophy; wherein some may have belief in the Unseen; etc..

A message board has an interesting point for reflection:

Buddhism is not atheistic by any standard...

This shows a misunderstanding of different types of Buddhism and attempts to take the fact that Theravada Buddhism (my particular type) does not center itself on a belief in a Deity and make that into "All Buddhists are Atheist", which is untrue. Theravada Buddhism doesn't deny a Deity any more than it promotes one, nor does it state that one should not believe in a Deity. Theravada Buddhism centers itself on this lifetime and the spiritual growth of your current incarnation. Not all Buddhists even believe in reincarnation, not all Buddhists are atheists, there are many different beliefs held by those that are Buddhist. Most believe that all living things are part of the Deity, that which gives us life and unites us is the part of us which is the smallest part of the Deity.

Mahayana Buddhists believe in a Central Deity, so do Shin Buddhists (a Japanese form of Buddhism that believes in Amida Buddha, the Great Compassion, as a central Deity), Tibetan Buddhists believe in much that I have still to understand, but they are more mystical than the type of Buddhism that I study. Source
Books on the subject:

Some other answers may be here:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Reading now: Fifty Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True

"Prometheus, the premiere publisher of skeptical literature, here issues a book that deserves to be shelved alongside the works of such giants of the field as [James] Randi, [Michael] Shermer, [Paul] Kurtz, and [Joe]Nickell. With a combination of lively prose and keen analytical reasoning, the author examines some of contemporary culture's most commonly held beliefs… A valuable, not to mention very entertainingly written, addition to the literature of skepticism." - Booklist starred review

On the same shelf:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Faith and Fashion - A select list

Extract from a Review: "In Assyrian, Greco-Roman, and Byzantine empires veiling was a mark of prestige and status. The author, Faegheh Shirazi, who is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, specializes in textiles and material cultures studies. She shows, through a series of a half dozen chapters, the immense versatility of meaning that the veil can have, depending on the context of its use. In Iranian cinema, for example, its use means adhering to the strictures of Islam, which forbids the erotic, whereas in Indian cinema it's meant to be titillating and erotic. In a chapter entitled "Veiled Images in American Erotica," cartoons from the pages of "Playboy," "Penthouse," and "Hustler" are examined. A chapter on advertising shows how the veil is used to sell automobiles, perfume, cigarettes, computers, and sanitary napkins, among dozens of other products. There are chapters covering military, political, and literary aspects as well as film. In Muslim cultures the veil is used to prevent "fitna," defined as the chaos caused by women's sexuality. If this is true, then the case might be made that a good part of the world is in total chaos. Regardless of your viewpoint, the book is thought provoking for anyone interested in human beings and culture. " If You're Curious About Why Women Wear Veils, By Ken T Barnett on August 23, 2001 @

Friday, October 18, 2013

New on the shelf: The Illusion of an Islamic State, A select reading list

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