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Shri Swaminarayan Temple in UK Judged "One of the 50 Best Modern Buildings to Visit"

Posted on 2003/12/3 8:48:02 ( 877 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, December 3, 2003: In its special 18-24 october 2003, issue of The Information magazine The Independent newspaper in UK published a world wide list of the 50 Best Modern Buildings to visit. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden -- inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj -- is ranked second in the list. The magazine says, "It's difficult to imagine, but the northwest London suburb of Neasden is home to the boldest ecclesiastical building erected in Britain since the Middle Ages." Also included in this distinguished list are: The London Eye; The Burj Al Arab, Dubai; Thermal Spa, Vals, Switzerland; Tate Modern, London; Reichstag, Germany; The National Museum of Australia; Roden Crater, Arizona, USA; Chikatsu Asuka Historical Museum, Japan; National Space Centre, Leicester; Millennium Dome, London. The list of 50 is comprised of the ten best in each of the following five categories. Commercial, Religious Buildings, Worldly Wonders, Tourism/Arts, Museums/Galleries. In the Religious Buildings category the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, is ranked first.

Boyfriends Cannot Be Husbands, Say Kerala Teenagers

Posted on 2003/12/3 8:47:02 ( 1102 reads )

Indo-Asian News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, INDIA, December 1, 2003: Seventy-four percent of teenage girls in Kerala think that a boyfriend is a good idea but 98 percent prefer an arranged marriage, according to a recent survey conducted by Vanita, a leading women's magazine in the state. The survey covered women between the ages of 17 and 20 in college campuses in the three major cities of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. Besides the fact that girls might like boyfriends but would like to go in for a conventional arranged match because love marriages were too risky, the survey noted that Kochi was found to be the most cosmopolitan. According to the study, 20 percent of teenage girls in Kochi regularly dated and an overwhelming 83 percent currently had a boyfriend. Of all surveyed 31 percent said having a boyfriend was "totally right," while 43 percent said it was "more or less right." However questioned further, 77 percent declared they had never had a physical relationship of any kind at all with their boyfriend, not even touching.

World Congress on Vedic Sciences

Posted on 2003/12/3 8:46:02 ( 940 reads )


BANGALORE, INDIA, December 2, 2003: Vijnana Bharati--Swadeshi Science Movement of Bharat--will hold the first World Congress on Vedic Sciences from August 9-13, 2004 in Bangalore. The conference is being organized in collaboration with Maharishi Sandipani Veda Vidya Pratishthan and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rastriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha. Topics for discussion include: The origin of Vedas and Vedic Language, Aryan Invasion, the Science of Vedic Rituals, Positive Science in the Vedas and the Relevance of Vedas to Modern Times. For more information, including registration details, click on "source" above.

Encarta Encylopedia Hindusim Entry Correction

Posted on 2003/12/3 8:45:02 ( 1131 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, December 3, 2003: Several HPI readers point out that the Sulekha article mentioned in yesterday's HPI was written in response to the previous entry on Hinduism in the Encarta Encylopedia. As a result of Sulekha's complaint, Encarta replaced the Hinduism article with a more satisfactory one by Dr. Arvind Sharma.

Restoration on at Konark Temple

Posted on 2003/12/2 8:49:02 ( 923 reads )


KONARK, INDIA, November 30, 2003: Restoration work is on at the famous Sun Temple at Konark in India but conserving heritage and keeping the old look alive doesn't seem too easy. Broken pieces of carved stones that once formed part of the temple have been ignored since the conservation work on the 13th century temple began 100 years ago. They are finally in demand for the first phase of restoration work. The method used in the restoration work is one that will help preserve the ancient temple in all its glory, according to KJ Luka, a conservationist with the Archaeological Survey of India. In the last 10 years, the world heritage monument has got a facelift. The surface has been thoroughly cleaned and is no longer a Black Pagoda as 19th century mariners described it. But there is a lot that needs to be done. The seaside monument devoted to the Sun God is known for its magnificent design, exquisite carvings and erotic sculptures and draws millions of tourists every year. But the tragedy of the temple is that 100 years after the first steps were taken to preserve this glorious monument, it's still a crumbling ruin.

A Critique on Microsoft Encarta's Description of Hinduism

Posted on 2003/12/2 8:48:02 ( 1048 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, September 24, 2003: The Hindu community has been looking at the way Hinduism is presented in Microsoft Corporation's free on-line Encarta Encyclopedia. The original Encarta article is here. Sanskrant Sanu outlines the different approach that Encarta takes when explaining Hinduism as opposed to the approach taken when explaining Islam and Christianity. Sanu explains, "Encarta is widely used as a reference source in American schools. In particular, because of its widespread use amongst children, we would expect Encarta's coverage of religions to be even-handed, sensitive and unprejudiced." He further adds, "Our interest is not in comparing the religions per se, but in understanding the differences in editorial choice -- both in the selection of content as well as style, in the scholarly treatment of these religions in Encarta."For full details on this long and insightful article, click on "source" above.

Centre for Faith and Media Opens in Canada

Posted on 2003/12/2 8:47:02 ( 1060 reads )


CALGARY, ALBERTA, December 2, 2003: The Centre for Faith and the Media ("source") will be formally launched at 10:00 am, December 10, 2003, Room T107, Mount Royal College, Calgary. Mr. Pablo Sobrino, Regional Executive Director for the Department of Canadian Heritage is expected to attend to give remarks.

The Centre for Faith and the Media is an independent, non-profit organization committed to the education and resourcing of members of the media to report on faith, religion and spirituality. They provide online resources, publications and workshops to assist journalists in covering faith stories. They also provide workshops to journalism students, and to members of faith communities who want to learn how to access the media more effectively.

The announcement says, "Immigration has brought greater cultural, racial, and religious diversity to Canada, and there is a renewed interest in spirituality across the country. Our media outlets need to reflect that diversity, and take seriously the role they can play to increase our tolerance and understanding with information that challenges stereotypes." To attend, kindly confirm to Richelle Wiseman, Managing Director, Centre for Faith & the Media, P.O. Box 5694, Station A Calgary, Alberta T2H 1Y1, 1-877-210-0077. E-mail: faithandmedia@telus.net.

The Kumbha Mela Issue of Hinduism Today Just Off the Press

Posted on 2003/12/2 8:46:02 ( 851 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, December 2, 2003: The January/February/March 2004 issue of Hinduism Today just off the press. The feature article is on the Kumbha Mela in Nashik, attended by hundreds of thousands of sadhus and six million Hindus. The issue is full of personal testimonies, pictures, interviews with sadhus on the current issues of today, history of the Kumbha mela and more. This issue also contains an Insight section on "Stress Makes you Strong." If you don't receive Hinduism Today magazine or your subscription has lapsed, subscribe now so you don't miss this special issue. Click on "source" above to subscribe.

Thousands March Against Dowry in Bangalore

Posted on 2003/11/29 8:49:02 ( 936 reads )


BANGALORE, INDIA, November 28, 2003: Thousands of people in the southern Indian city of Bangalore have staged a march and rally against the system of dowry. The women protesters were joined by many men. Female and male students from across the city marched through the streets, yelling "Down, Down, Dowry," and holding starkly worded banners -- "Brides are not for Burning," "Real Men Don't Demand Dowry," and "Dowry Causes Women's Deaths." On a truck, a mock-up of a bride being beaten was staged. Dowry - the giving of money and goods by a bride's family to that of the groom - has been illegal in India for more than 40 years, but on the ground it continues. The organizers of the rally - the Karnataka State Women's Commission (KSWC) - say that dowry-related murders and violence are continuing to be perpetrated against women unabated. The chairperson of KSWC, Philomena Peres, said that despite Bangalore's reputation as India's information technology capital, many women were still badly treated. According to her, there are still six to eight dowry-related deaths in the city every day. She said brides' families were afraid to speak out because both giving and taking dowry is punishable; the law should be adjusted, she added. But Ms Peres feels young people's attitudes are bringing change. The students present at the rally will tomorrow face the world and get married, she said. "They are the ones who should say 'No, no and no - this is enough.' " One of the large numbers of male students present, Anand Sankar, said he felt taking dowry was wrong and he would not do it.

Tribals Of India Website

Posted on 2003/11/29 8:48:02 ( 869 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 2003: The Ministry of Tribal Affairs was created with the objective of placing more focused attention on integrated socioeconomic development of the most underprivileged section of Indian society, the Scheduled Tribes (STs) in a coordinated and planned manner. India has the largest concentration of tribal people anywhere in the world except perhaps in Africa. The tribals are children of nature and their lifestyle is conditioned by the ecosystem. India, with a variety of ecosystems, presents a varied tribal population throughout its length and breadth. The areas inhabited by the tribals constitute a significant part of the underdeveloped area of the country. The tribals live mostly in isolated villages or hamlets. They were never hunted down and slaughtered, or enslaved, by the Hindu kingdoms adjacent to their areas. Rather, they were allowed to continue living as they had from prehistoric times. A smaller portion of their population has now settled in permanent villages as well as towns and cities. On the whole, as per rough estimates, the prominent tribal areas constitute about 15 percent of the total geographical area of the country. According to the 1991 census the population of Scheduled Tribals in the country is 67. 8 million, which is 8.1 percent of the total population of the country. There are an estimated 533 tribes in India. This extensive website at "source" details the Ministry, Programs, Grants, Research, Publications and Films, as well as providing abundant information about the tribals.

Doctors Wonder What To Do Next With Holy Man Who Takes No Food

Posted on 2003/11/29 8:47:02 ( 1086 reads )


AHMEDABAD, INDIA, November 27, 2003: With apparent ease, Prahalad Jani -- who claims he's neither had food and water nor passed urine or stools for over 60 years -- submitted to and passed the test doctors set him. But the doctors who declared this 76-year-old devotee of Goddess Ambaji a "medical miracle" after observing him eagle-eyed for 10 days are now in a difficult position: they neither know what to make of this strange case nor how to investigate it further. The team now awaits medical scientists from Delhi to help it proceed. "We are also sending his reports to a number of doctors across the world to get their viewpoint," said Dr. V.N. Shah, who was part of the team that observed him. The doctors say they had taken all precautions to guard against foul play. At the Sterling Hospital, Jani was observed in the intensive care unit for 24 hours and then moved to a room fitted with closed-circuit television for round-the-clock monitoring. The attached bathroom was sealed. "We accept he neither consumed anything nor passed urine or stools," said Dr. Sudhir Shah, the neurologist on the team. "Despite that his health is perfectly normal. There was no logic in keeping him under further observation; staying this way for 10 days is in itself a medical miracle. Besides, we have already prepared detailed reports and conducted necessary tests."

The doctors continue to examine Jani regularly, but admit they are stuck. Dr. Sudhir Shah said he is in touch with Dr Selvamurthy of the Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS), New Delhi, and are awaiting experts from that institute to seek further instruction. Sources at DIPAS said the team would be arriving within 10 days, and may put Jani through another 15-25 days of strict observation, perhaps in Delhi. But Jani seems unfazed. He cooperates with the doctors and willingly submits to all that they put him through. On Wednesday, he underwent tests administered by Dr. Bansi Saboo, a diabetologist, at the Lifeline Hospital. All Saboo said was: "He's fit and healthy as a 40-year-old."

While doctors puzzle over him, Prahalad Jani -- who is addressed as "Mataji" ("Mother") as he is believed to be blessed and visted by Goddess Ambaji -- is attracting hundreds of people who seek his blessings. He is put up at the Thaltej house of Haribhai Chaudhary, president of the Gandhinagar panchayat. Everyday from 3-7 p.m. people queue up to seek darshan and prasad. Said Chaudhary, "We devotees know it's a miracle and do not challenge it. But since the doctors have shown interest and want to find out, Mataji has agreed to cooperate and submit to all tests."

Teen Charged in Boston Temple Vandalism

Posted on 2003/11/28 8:49:02 ( 929 reads )


ASHLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, November 27, 2003: An Ashland teenager is free on bail Wednesday evening after he was arraigned for allegedly defacing a Hindu temple. NewsCenter 5's Amalia Barreda reported that Anthony Piccioli was arrested after the state police crime lab linked him to spray-painted epithets on temple property. Piccioli's father denied the civil rights charges against his son as the pair exited the Framingham District Court Wednesday morning. "Innocent until proven guilty," said the teenager's father as they exited the courthouse. The teenager was arraigned as an adult on charges of malicious destruction of property, destruction or threats to destroy a place of worship after the teenager allegedly vandalized the Sri Lakshmi Hindu Temple in Ashland with spray paint. Along the temple's driveway, a rock that had been scrubbed still has a faded racial epithet and the word "beware." Officials also allege that Piccioli spray painted a pentagon on the temple parking lot and a Confederate flag on the side of a storage trailer on the property. "Subsequent investigation resulted in officers going to a house on Roberts Road a very short distance away. There was paint also at the residence on Roberts Road. A search warrant was obtained at the Framingham District Court and we executed the search warrant. Those results were sent to the state police lab and they were found to be consistent with the paint located at the temple," said Ashland police Sgt. Roy Testa. The defendant yelled obscenities at NewsCenter 5 from his house on Roberts Road, where police seized paint and other evidence. A separate investigation is looking into whether Piccioli painted a swastika on a nearby vacant house on Kathryn Drive. In the meantime, the temple's secretary said his community is one of forgive and forget. And his advice to all is tolerance. "It is better to have some understanding before you commit something. And also make sure you don't do mistakes that will affect your future in life. It's not worth taking risks and than ruining your own life and future," said temple secretary Rao Dhullipalla. Piccioli was ordered to stay away from the temple and return to court on January 6.

Kumbha Mela Dates Through 2013

Posted on 2003/11/28 8:47:02 ( 935 reads )


INDIA, November 28, 2003: The website at "source" announces the Kumbha Mela dates as: The next Maha Kumbh Mela will be held April to May 2004 at Ujjain. The next Ardh (half) Mela (festival) will be held Feb to May 2004 at Haridwar. In 2007 Maha Kumbh Mela will be held at Nashik in Maharastra. In 2010 Maha Kumbh Mela will be held at Haridwar in the foothills of the Himalayas. In 2013 Maha Kumbh Mela will be held in January and February Allahabad (Prayag). An Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela (festival) at Allahabad in 2007.

Guyanese-born Bankim Gossai Receives MBE For Charity Works In England

Posted on 2003/11/27 16:35:41 ( 1280 reads )

News Report

NEW YORK, USA, November 28, 2003: Guyanese-born, Mr. Bankim Gossai was bestowed with the prestigious MBE (Member of British Empire) for his tireless charity works in communities in South London, England, by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth in June, 2003. Mr. Gossai, from Handsome Tree, Mahaica Creek in Guyana, migrated to England thirty years ago. He served as a Group Accountant in a leading property company. His indomitable spirit and strong quest to serve his people in the community he lives in, guided him and others to form the Maha Lakshmi Satsang in 1982. After he read of the Award, he related,

Fasting Hindu Holy Man Baffles Physicians

Posted on 2003/11/27 8:49:02 ( 1094 reads )


AHMEDABAD, INDIA, November 2003: Doctors and experts are baffled by an Indian hermit who claims not to have eaten or drunk anything for several decades--but is still in perfect health. Prahlad Jani, a holy man, who is over 70 years old, has just spent 10 days under constant observation in Sterling Hospital, in the city of Ahmedabad. During that time, he did not consume anything and "neither did he pass urine or stool," according to the hospitals' deputy superintendent, Dr. Dinesh Desai. Yet he is in fine mental and physical fitness, say doctors. Most people can live without food for several weeks, with the body drawing on its fat and protein stores. But the average human can survive for only three to four days without water. "A series of tests conducted on him show his body mechanism is that of a normal person," said Dr. Desai. Mr. Jani spends most of his time in a cave near the Ambaji temple in Gujarat state. He spent his 10 days in the hospital in a specially prepared room, with a sealed-off toilet and constant video surveillance. To help the doctors verify his claims, Mr. Jani agreed to avoid bathing for his time in the hospital. The only fluid he was allowed was a small amount of water, to use as mouthwash. At the end of his confinement, doctors noted no deterioration in his condition, other than a slight drop in his weight. "I feel no need for food and water," says Mr. Jani, who claims he was blessed by a Goddess at the age of eight and has lived in caves ever since. It is likely that doctors will want to examine Mr. Jani again in order to solve the medical mystery he has presented them with, says this article.

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