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New Trade Plan Between Nepal And Tibet

Posted on 2003/8/17 9:47:02 ( 818 reads )


KATMANDU, NEPAL, August 13, 2003: China and Nepal are hoping to increase trade and tourism through the possible opening of two ancient Himalayan crossings and allowing helicopters to travel from Nepal to Mt. Kailas, a major Hindu pilgrimage site in Tibet. An agreement to make tourism easier was signed last week by a visiting delegation from Chinese-ruled Tibet and Nepal's tourism and Civil Aviation Ministry, although any deal still needs approval from Beijing, officials said. Nepal has only one land crossing with Tibet. But officials say Nepal wants to increase trade and sees a new urgency as Beijing and New Delhi move to reopen an international border between Tibet and the Indian state of Sikkim just east of the kingdom. Nepal imports $83.3 million worth of goods each year through its Kodari border post with Tibet and earns around $20 million in customs revenue, according to official figures. The proposed new border posts would be at Kerung and Nangpa La, 140 miles and 160 miles, respectively, northeast of Katmandu. HPI adds: A report has been received from Alan Tait (avalan@net-tech.com.au) that the Chinese government in Tibet plans to build a modern road around Kailas. Anyone having additional information on the road please e-mail hpi@hindu.org.

Lost Pilgrims are Reunited With Their Families

Posted on 2003/8/17 9:46:02 ( 781 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, August 13, 2003: Thanks to the local administration, all but three of the 3,000 people who got lost in the huge crowd were reunited with their families by the end of the day. This year attendance at the Kumbh is estimated to be 3.5 million pilgrims and sadhus. When 85-year old Bhushan Mali completed his ritual bath, he got separated from his son and family. Mali says, "I had gone for my bath, but when I came back, no one was there." The police booth where lost people congregate for assistance is very busy. It is no easy task reuniting families in the huge crowd and the language barrier sometimes presents a problem. Despite these obstacles, the administration still tries to unite all people with their families before the day is over.

Launching The Hindu Renaissance Quarterly Journal

Posted on 2003/8/17 9:45:02 ( 937 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, August 8, 2003: In October of this year, the Hindu Samaj is launching a quarterly journal whose mission is, "to vigorously facilitate both scholarly leadership and intellectual development that would be the driving force behind the Hindu Renaissance." Inviting articles from competent scholars, reviews and relevant research studies, THR will uphold the vision of Param Vaibhavshali. For more information about this quarterly journal contact: Pramod Kumar Chief Editor, THR 22, Hirkani, Pandurang Wadi, 3rd Lane, Goregaon, Mumbai 400 063, India. Tel: 022-2876 2361 or email "Source" above

Mahasamadhi Festival for Shirdi Sai Baba

Posted on 2003/8/17 9:44:02 ( 888 reads )


ORLANDO, FLORIDA, August 6, 2003: Devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba are invited to attend a Mahasamadhi Festival in Orlando, Florida on October 4 - 5, 2003. Called Shirdi Sai Utsav 2003, the gathering will focus on the spiritual teachings of the late guru as well as participate in a Sai Naam Jaap Yagna. For more details, devotees are encouraged to contact: Sai Sharan, 5230 Cona Reef Court, Orlando, Florida, 32810-4075 USA, Phone: (407) 445-2520 or email "Source" above.

NY Indian Restaurant Gives Free Meals During Blackout

Posted on 2003/8/16 9:49:02 ( 784 reads )


NEW YORK, NEW YORK, August 16, 2003: As New York reeled under a severe power blackout, an Indian restaurant owner earned much praise for traditional Indian hospitality. When the lights failed Thursday night, several restaurants downed shutters. Those that remained open doubled or tripled their prices, but the stranded had nowhere else to go. As ATM machines did not work and credit cards became useless, those with little cash had a tough time. In this greedy jungle, Madras Mahal on Lexington Avenue, owned by Nitin Vyas, offered free meals to the hungry. More importantly, it provided free cold water when the going rate for a small drinking water bottle was five dollars compared to usual one dollar. The restaurant served rice with the Punjabi dish Channa-Bhatura and tea, which was much in demand. Even last afternoon, there was a queue of hungry people outside the restaurant waiting for a free meal.

Sanskar TV To Broadcast Mt. Kailash Yatra

Posted on 2003/8/16 9:48:02 ( 815 reads )


INDIA, August 13, 2003: Starting this Sunday (August 17) at 9:00 am, Sanskar Television will be broadcasting a serial of Parmarth's Divine Mansarovar and Mt. Kailash Yatra. The yatra was inspired and led by H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President and Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, and was graced by the presence of numerous spiritual leaders. The series will broadcast on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Sunday of every month at 9:00 am for at least 10 episodes. A two-hour video of the yatra will be available in a couple of weeks. To advance order a copy, click on "source" above.

Adapting The Ways Of Worship

Posted on 2003/8/16 9:47:02 ( 819 reads )


USA, August 10, 2003: Swami Dheerananda surveyed campers as they gathered before him for story hour, begins this story in the Washington Post. "One day, a group of people wanted to find out the difference between heaven and hell. So they got on a spaceship and zoomed to hell." The hell that the group encountered, he said, boasted the stuff of which dreams are made: food, movies and video games. But there was a catch: Dwellers in hell could not move their elbows. With stiff limbs, eating turned into a most complicated affair; most resorted to throwing food up in the air with hopes of catching some morsels in their mouths. Heaven, he said, looked exactly the same. Even there, elbows didn't bend. So how did people eat? "They fed each other," said Dheerananda. "Heaven means where you serve the other. Hell means where you serve yourself." Most of the children enrolled in summer camp at the Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center in Silver Spring are Hindu. Their parents likely believe in reincarnation, not the idea of heaven or hell as a physical place. Dheerananda, the spiritual head of the mission, has learned to weave a story to which Hindus growing up in a predominantly Christian society can relate. Many non-Christian immigrants are keeping their religions alive in America by looking for methods from an unlikely place: Christian churches. In other examples from Buddhist temples to Sikh gurdwaras, immigrant congregations hold Sunday school, summer camps, discussion groups and singing practice --activities often unheard of or in different format in their homelands. HPI adds: Hindu temples can also benefit by acquiring the designation of "church" from the US federal Internal Revenue Service. The designation can apply to an organization of any religion that meets the requirements. The advantages of the "church" designation, acquired, for example, by Sringeri Sadhana Center (attached to Sringeri Mutt) in Pennsylvania, Barsana Dham in Texas and Saiva Siddhanta Church (parent organization of HPI) in Hawaii, will be readily apparent to a temple's lawyer and certified public accountant.

Many facets to Festival of India

Posted on 2003/8/16 9:46:02 ( 1038 reads )


ATLANTA, USA, August 15, 2003: The annual Festival of India in Atlanta was inaugurated by the former U.N. ambassador, Andrew Young, on August 15, 2003. The three-day affair is expected to draw thousands of people from nearby cities and states. The Festival of India, considered the flagship event for metro Atlanta's 50,000 Indian-Americans, also serves to "showcase its culture, heritage, cuisine, music, dance and more to the American mainstream as well as [Indian-American] youngsters who are born in this country," said Narsi L. Narasimhan of Chamblee. "It's a wonderful way to celebrate the Independence Day [Aug. 15] of India -- the largest democracy in the world -- in America, the strongest democracy in the world." Visit www.iaca.info for a complete listing of Festival of India events and fees.

Prakash Gossai Completes Religious Tour of Guyana

Posted on 2003/8/16 9:45:02 ( 795 reads )


GUYANA, August 16, 2003: Jugool Narine ("source" above) writes to HPI: "Shri Prakash Gossai is an internationally renowned Hindu preacher originally from Handsome Tree, Mahaicony, Guyana and now a famous marine biologist in New York. He heads New York's Bhouveneshwar Mandir. He is now in Guyana performing a series of bhajana satsangs (meetings of spiritual discourse and singing) throughout this country. Tomorrow, Sunday, August 17, he concludes a yagna (fire ceremony) in Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, Guyana, and he would be presiding at a satsang at the instance of Shree Nourang Persaud at 13:00 hrs. The venue is at Shri Nourang's residence at Providence, East Bank, Berbice and elaboration preparations are being made for the thousands of devotees who are expected. Shri Prakash is honoured everywhere in Guyana he goes."

Replica Balaji Temple Popular with Pilgrims

Posted on 2003/8/15 9:49:02 ( 869 reads )


RAJAHMUNDRY, ANDRA PRADESH, August 8, 2003: A large number of pilgrims are thronging the replica of Venkateswara temple put up at the Gowtham ghat on the river Godavary. The hundi collections stood at US$12,500, a spokesman of the Tirumala-Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD) said on Thursday. He said that the look-alike temple, constructed at a cost of $31,250, was opened to pilgrims after the Samprokshanam on July 28. A battery of priests, flower decorators, parkamani staff (accountants) and Pallaki bearers were brought here from Tirumala for the festival. He said rituals from Suprabhatam to Ekantha Seva are being performed daily in the traditional way as is done in Tirumala, besides conducting of arthi daily (worship with lamps) to River Godavari in the evening. The Dharmaprachara Parishad was conducting cultural programs and discourses and Annaprasadam (free food) was being supplied to pilgrims. The famed Srivari Kalyanotsavam laddu (a large sweet offered to the Diety) was being sold at $1.60 at the Pranganam and at TTD Kalyanamandapam at Dhanavapeta. The Temple museum exhibition in the TTD Kalyanamandapam here was attracting hundreds of thousands of people, the spokesman added.

Funeral Services Provided by a Woman

Posted on 2003/8/15 9:48:02 ( 850 reads )


KERALA, INDIA, August 5, 2003: After her husband abandoned her twenty years ago, Gomathi, a Palghat brahmin, took the advice of an uncle and began to offer her services to bereaved families. Within hours of hearing about the death in a family, Gomathi arrives with a priest, books the crematorium and a hearse, and she even accompanies the body to the funeral pyre. Even though Hindu women are not traditionally involved with last rites, the brahmins who received funeral agent services from Gomathi were impressed and grateful for her service. Gomathi's daughter Karpagam, who lost her husband a few years ago, also works with her mother. The mother and daughter team have handled more than 10,000 funerals. One brahmin gentleman, who was unable to attend his mother's funeral, asked Gomathi to light the funeral pyre. He knew from past experience when his father died that the ceremony would be handled sensitively. Venkatraman of the Brahmin Sabha says, "When Gomathi displayed courage to take this as her profession, we were morally bound to support her."

UK Hindus Honour Mayor Councillor Laurie Wright

Posted on 2003/8/15 9:47:02 ( 759 reads )

Coventry Evening Telegraph

COVENTRY, U.K., August 11, 2003: Rugby's mayor has been honoured by members of the Indian community in a traditional Hindu ceremony. Members of the Indian Association visited Councillor Laurie Wright in his parlour on August 8, 2003. The ceremony aimed to celebrate the Indian festival Raksha Bandhan, which takes place on August 12. The festival sees female family members tying a band around their brothers' wrists to symbolize the bond between brothers and sisters. To demonstrate the goodwill between all members of the community Indian association members tied a band around Councillor Wright's wrist.

Teaching Youths about Hinduism

Posted on 2003/8/15 9:46:02 ( 819 reads )


LOS ANGELES, U.S.A, August 1, 2003: Writing a book about Hinduism was the last thing on Prithvi Raj Singh's mind when he emigrated to the United States from Hyderabad, India, 32 years ago. A chemical engineer by training, Singh became preoccupied with the subject: How would he teach his American-born children about Hinduism? His answer came in the form of a book he wrote recently: "How to Present Hinduism to Younger Generation." Written in clear and simple style, the book is intended to help parents initiate a dialogue with their children about Hinduism. He emphasized that the book is by no means an exhaustive survey of Hinduism, but rather an introduction. Singh is the chairman of the Federation of Hindus Association, a 300-member cultural organization based in Diamond Bar that draws its members from throughout the Inland Valley of California. There are an estimated 1.2 million Hindus in the United States. Of them, Singh estimates that 7,000 to 10,000 live in the Inland Empire. Singh said he encounters many parents with concerns similar to his own. "We are the first generation from India," he said. "We were living in the atmosphere there. Our children aren't." Raj Deep, an 18-year-old student whose family knows Singh, agreed. "If parents don't introduce their culture, I don't think kids will get the culture, unless they're in the community or learn from friends."

Jupiter Mars Indian Summer Wedding Plans

Posted on 2003/8/15 9:45:02 ( 802 reads )

The Times (London)

DELHI, INDIA, August 6, 2003: Monsoon weddings in India are off. Astrologers have declared that the planetary alignment makes it an extremely bad time to tie the knot, so thousands of Hindu brides and grooms are bringing the big day forward, or waiting until much later. The astrologers, backed by the Hindu priests who would perform the rituals, believe that arranged marriages blessed during mid-June and late October would almost certainly be doomed to failure -- and India's extravagant wedding industry, worth $1.1 billion a year, is feeling the pinch. Jewellers, matrimonial outfitters and banqueting gardens are wondering how they will manage to stay afloat. Marriage in India is regarded as the most sacred event in life. Parents believe that arranging a suitable match for their children is their most cherished duty and take no risks that it could go awry. The cause for concern? Jupiter moved into the sign of Leo, which is ruled by the Sun, on June 15. The ill-effects of its position will remain strong, according to most Indian astrologers, until October 25. Some believe it could be bad until August 27 next year.

Amarnath Pilgrimage Formally Completed

Posted on 2003/8/14 9:49:02 ( 911 reads )


SRINIGAR, INDIA, August 14, 2003: The annual pilgrimage which witnessed a record number of two hundred thousand yatris (pilgrims) from all over the country, concluded at Pahalgam after last rituals were performed today. The last rituals -- Pujan and Visarjan -- were performed on the bank of River Lidder at Pahalgam by Mahant Deependra Giri today. Large number of sadhus who had come from various parts of the country also participated in the ceremony. Speaking on the occcason, Mahant Giri expressed satisfaction over the successful completion of the pilgrimage. He congratulated the state administration and security forces for the peaceful yatra. A record number of two lakh pilgrims had darshan this year, he said. Mahant Giri appealed to central government to take initiative for construction of necessary infrastructure at Jammu, Pahalgam, Chandnwari, Shehshnag, Panchtarni and Balatal for the pilgrims and emphased the need for making the yatra eco-friendly. The Mahant also thanked Governor General (Rtd) S K Sinha, who is also the chairman of the Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board, for making all the arrangments for the sadhus who accompanied the Chahri-Mubarak (Silver Mace of Lord Siva) from Dashnami Akkhara to the cave shrine.

Security was tight along the pilgrimage route, which has been guarded for a month by thousands of soldiers, paramilitary and police. This is the first time in a decade that no incident of militant violence has been reported during the pilgrimage. However, at least 28 pilgrims died -- four in a helicopter crash and the rest due to altitude-related illnesses.

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