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Hindu Press International
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Universe in "Endless Cycle"
Posted on 2002/4/30 23:45:02 ( 698 reads )


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USA, April 26, 2002: Two scientists from the USA and UK, Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok, have put forward a new model to explain how the cosmos is and where it might be going. They say it is necessary to take account of startling new discoveries -- in particular, the observation that everything in the universe is moving apart at an accelerating rate. They propose the idea that the cosmos goes through an endless cycle -- of Big Bang, expansion and stagnation -- which is driven by an as yet unexplained "dark energy." They have put forward their views in the journal Science. What they are proposing in this new picture is that the Big Bang is not a beginning of time but really just the latest in an infinite series of cycles -- exactly what Hindus have been saying for the last several thousand years.




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Trinidad Scholar Comments on Gujarat
Posted on 2002/4/30 23:44:02 ( 551 reads )


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TRINIDAD, May 1, 2002: Anantanand Rambachan, professor of religion at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, USA, and a native of Trinidad, wrote in the Trinidad Express recently, "The current violence between Hindus and Muslims in India must stir pain, sadness and outrage among the followers of Hinduism everywhere and be unequivocally denounced." Another part of his article reads, "Although pained memories of victimhood can stretch long into the past, how far are we willing to reach back into time to resuscitate ancient battles and victimize the innocent?" His article brought a sharp and often personal retort from Parsuram Maharaj of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha. Parsuram wrote, "The Hindu and Muslim communities in Trinidad and Tobago since the time of indentureship have existed side by side in a harmonious manner that can serve as an example to religious tolerance to other parts of the world. ... Rambachan also fails to recall that the most important Hindu scriptural texts are delivered with violence as a backdrop. ... Hindu incarnations of God always spoke of peace but they were always armed to back it up if the need arose." Sat Maharaj, Secretary of the Maha Sabha also wrote a response. "Rambachan continues perpetuation of the myth of the weak and docile Hindus." Rambachan responded to both comments in a further article, "Violence and Hindu Identity." He said, in part, "What is truly disturbing on this particular issue, however, is the manner in which a text like the Bhagavad Gita is routinely and uncritically cited to legitimize and justify the violence which was unleashed in Gujarat." The original articles and responses are available in full at "source" above.




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Ayurveda International Symposium Set For Berkeley, California May 2
Posted on 2002/4/30 23:43:02 ( 536 reads )


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BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, May 1, 2002: For anyone who loves Ayurveda, the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine presents a symposium of Ayurvedic teachers and practioners this weekend at the Pauley Ballroom of the University of California at Berkeley, California. A truly impressive line up of speakers from India, UK, Australia and USA will be presenting panel discussions, research presentations and workshops on Ayurveda, Hatha Yoga, Vastu, Vedanta, Sanskrit and Jyotish. For further information, click "source" above.




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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Receives "Phoenix Award" in Atlanta
Posted on 2002/4/30 23:42:02 ( 546 reads )


Source: Francois Gautier





ATLANTA, GEORGIA, April 29, 2002: On a whirlwind tour of the United States, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the world renowned founder of the Art of Living Movement, represented in 140 countries, has just been given the Phoenix award, one of the highest honors to be bestowed by the State of Georgia. The President of the Georgia Senate, Senator James, has declared that "in recognition of his and the Art of Living Foundation's outstanding contribution to humanity, April the 29th will be henceforth observed as the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar day." The resolution added that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, "through a simple, down to earth and practical program, called the Art of Living Basic course, is bringing relief to millions of people."




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New York Human Rights Group Criticizes Gujarat Administration
Posted on 2002/4/29 23:49:02 ( 506 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, April 30, 2002: A New York-based human rights group has launched a strong attack on the government of India's western state of Gujarat, alleging that state officials were directly involved in the killings of hundreds of Muslims, according to this report on the BBC. What happened in Gujarat was not a spontaneous uprising, but was a carefully orchestrated attack against Muslims, they state. Human Rights Watch, which carried out its own investigations, says the violence was pre-planned and the state government was now involved in a massive cover-up of its role in the rioting. The Gujarat Government has been under attack by the opposition as well as several welfare groups for failing to prevent the spread of violence in the state. But the Human Rights Watch report is the most damning so far. It says at the height of the riots between February 28 and March 2, thousands of attackers descended on Muslim neighborhoods, clad in saffron scarves and khaki shorts -- the uniform of Hindu right-wing groups. The report said they were guided by voter lists and print-outs giving addresses of Muslim-owned properties, information they obtained from the local municipality. HPI adds: The chilling report can be read in full at http://www.hrw.org/. Its most provocative and questionable claim, that the riots were somehow planned in advance of the Godhra train attack, is based upon "rumors" the presence of various activists in the area before the riots. Some recent BBC and NY times reports have picked up on this pre-planned angle so strongly that they did not even mention the Godhra train attack as the starting point for the riots.




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Hindu Priest Murdered by Thieves at Bangladesh Temple
Posted on 2002/4/29 23:48:02 ( 548 reads )


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KHAGRACHHARI, BANGLADESH, April 30, 2002: Two persons, one of them a Hindu priest, were killed and another person was injured in separate incidents in the Khagrachhari hill district in last two days. Madan Gopal, 45, priest of Radha Madan Ashram in Manikchhari Upazila was stabbed to death by a gang of criminals at the temple Sunday night, police sources said. The criminals also looted a gold statuette from the temple. Temple authorities said the murder of the priest was a sequel to a dispute over tolls demanded by some criminals. The priest had refused to give in to their demand. The police arrested one Sanwar Hossain on suspicion. The Hindus in Khagrachhari brought out a protest rally after the murder and demanded punishment of the culprits.




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Links Proposed Between Ancient India and Central America's Mayans
Posted on 2002/4/29 23:47:02 ( 534 reads )


Source: Deccan Chronicle





HYDERABAD, INDIA, April 29, 2002: Recent studies suggests a link between Indus Valley and Mayans of Central America. The studies focused on the calendars of the two advanced civilizations. The Indus Valley inhabitants followed a calender based on the movements of Jupiter, and the Mayans followed one based on the Venus. In the Puranas, a secondary Hindu scripture, Jupiter, Brihaspati, was acknowledged to be the leader of the gods, while Venus, Shukra, was the leader of the asuras. The texts further state that the devas and asuras lived on opposite sides of the Earth. Mexico and India are at opposite sides in longitude. The correspondences were pointed out by B. G. Siddarth, director of the B. M. Birla Science Centre in Hyderabad. He also said the Hindu story of the churning of the ocean has been found in carvings in Mexico, as well Mayan representations of a tortoise carrying twelve pillars similar to Indian illustrations. Dr. Ganapati Sthapati of Chennai, a foremost expert on Vastu shatra, the ancient Hindu architecture, has visited the Mayan structures in Central America and found many similarities between the design and construction methods of the Mayans and that of the ancient Hindus.




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Caution Advised When Doing Yoga
Posted on 2002/4/29 23:46:02 ( 629 reads )


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WASHINGTON, U.S.A., April 15, 2002: With an increase of 30% in participation from 1998 to 2000, 7.4 million people now do yoga in America. Along with its increased popularity, is a reported increase of injuries. Tyler Cymet, an osteopathic physician and assistant professor of medicine at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore says, "We're seeing a lot more people experiencing sprains and strains and overuse of muscles....after doing yoga." The article attributes the injuries to a variety of factors. People may approach yoga as a form of vigorous exercise when in fact it should be done in a relaxation mode from beginning to end. Baby boomers, who already may have back or knee problems are trying yoga. These same boomers in the 40+ crowd may not be aware that certain parts of the spine degenerate with age. Some gyms offer athletic hybrids such as hot yoga, power yoga, or Ashtanga Yoga. Because these forms are more vigorous, the risk of injury may increase. Trisha Lamb Feuerstein, director of research at the Yoga Research and Education Center attributes the injuries to unqualified teachers. She says, "There are people teaching yoga who have little or no knowledge of anatomy or physiology. There are lots of asanas (poses) that are contraindicated based on conditions people may have (such as prior hip problems or sciatica) -- you don't learn that in a week-end." Timothy McCall, a Boston area internist who has practiced yoga for seven years and recommends it to patients for arthritis says, "Ideally, yoga should be personalized....what's safe for a 20-year-old may not be for a 50-year-old with a history of arthritis or other injuries." Jill Abelson, a yoga instructor of 12 years further adds, "It's important for people to understand their own bodies. If people use some general sense and pace themselves, they can reduce their risk of injury."




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Nepal's Troubled Times With Maoist Revolution
Posted on 2002/4/28 23:49:02 ( 505 reads )


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NEPAL, April 27, 2002: The bodies of the Maoist rebels were still scattered across parched lentil fields almost a week after thousands of their comrades swarmed a police garrison here. "When one Maoist was killed, another came forward," said Deepak Hamal, a young policeman who survived the battle in mid-April. "They were there to kill or to die." In recent months the Maoist rebellion, led by two college-educated, upper caste brahmins, has spiraled in intensity. Last year the Maoists set up "people's government's" in 22 districts. When the Nepalese won their long struggle for democracy in 1990, the Maoists were in the mainstream, part of a communist alliance with a small number of parliamentary seats. But in 1994 the election commission barred the alliance from taking part, an act the courts later ruled illegal. Peace talks broke off several months ago, and the violence has reached an alarming rate. The US has offered military advice to the government, an action which is said to have alarmed China.




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Five Ancient Temples Have Fallen Into Disrepair
Posted on 2002/4/28 23:48:02 ( 542 reads )


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KOLHAPUR, INDIA, April 14, 2002: Due to lack of funding by the state government, five ancient temples in the city are in dire need of attention. The Vitthal Mandir that was constructed around the 5th century ce is a fine example of Jain art. With an intricate carved door frame, carvings on the outer walls, and ornate pillars the Mandir exudes architectural beauty. Along with the Omkareshwar temple, Ram mandir, Ganpati mandir and Dutta mandir, the architectural grandeur of these five temples has suffered. During the last ten years, the state archaeological department and trustees have watched helplessly as the walls and ceilings of these temples have caved in. Black stone interiors have been painted yellow, orange and blue. Courtyards now house goons and gamblers and people often remove stones from the temple to mend their houses. Shamsunder Zanwar, trustee of the main Vitthal temple said his duty was confined only to religious ceremonies. Arjun N. Late, Pune's assistant director of the department of archaeology added, "I visited the temples in 1980-81 and submitted a report to the state department for their repairs. For reasons best known to the authorities concerned, no action has been taken to date."




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Exhibit Honors First Hindus in California
Posted on 2002/4/28 23:47:02 ( 531 reads )


Source: INDIA WEST





SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, April 29, 2002: An exhibit celebrating East Indian-Mexican heritage will open in Sacramento this summer, reports India-West. In the early 1900s, many laborers and farmers from Punjab settled in the United States and, in the absence of Indian women, married women from Mexico. Approximately 50 Mexican-Hindu families remain in Yuba City, all apparently Catholics. "Once we're gone, we're gone," said Isabel Singh Garcia, a Mexican-Hindu from Yuba City. "Our race will be a dead race." An exhibit featuring the families that came from Sikh-Mexican marriages in Yuba City, the Imperial Valley, Fresno and other cities in California will be on display on the second floor of the Rotunda in the State Capitol building during July. A large Sikh community which came from India at the same time maintained its identity and religion.




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Now Swedish Furniture Maker Apologizes for Buddha Toilet Seat
Posted on 2002/4/28 23:46:02 ( 659 reads )


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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, April 29, 2002: Swedish furniture maker Ikea has apologized for an advertisement showing a glittering toilet seat adorned with a meditating Buddha. The figure, incorrectly identified as the Hindu God Siva, appeared in a section with decoration tips in the latest issue of Ikea Family Magazine, sent to 700,000 households in Sweden. The article, headlined "Make the nicest toilet seat yourself," features a picture of Buddha, with legs crossed and eyes closed, glued on a toilet seat spray-painted in gold. The adjoining text refers to the figure as Siva. Many of the estimated 10,000 Hindus in the Scandinavian country complained and representatives from Hindu groups sent a joint protest letter to the company on Tuesday. Ikea apologized the next day. Protest organizer Shahsi Sharma said he was satisfied with the apology and considered the issue resolved. He added that Ikea conducts a much-appreciated education program to combat the use of child labor in India. Ikea spokesman Tina Paulsson said the company would pay closer attention to pictures with religious and cultural motifs in the future. Two years ago a small business in Seattle attracted Hindu outrage by painting Hindu Deities on toilet seats.




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Indra Devi, First Lady of Yoga, Passes On at Age 102
Posted on 2002/4/28 23:45:02 ( 695 reads )


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BUENOS AIRES, April 26, 2002: Russian-born Indra Devi, known to followers as the ''first lady of yoga'' who taught Hollywood how to stretch its limbs in the 1940s, died at 102 yesterday in Argentina, her home for the past 17 years. Born in 1899, Ms. Devi went to India in 1927, drawn by its spirituality, and 10 years later was admitted to an ashram to study a discipline previously almost closed to women. She opened the first US yoga studio in California in 1947 and introduced the ancient Eastern practice, which blends strenuous physical stretches with spiritual balance, to stars like Gloria Swanson and violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Her popular books ''Forever Young,'' ''Forever Healthy,'' ''Yoga for Americans'' and five others are credited with helping spread hatha yoga, which emphasizes the physical exercises popular with stressed-out urbanites all over the world. Her organization, Fundacion Indra Devi, can be reached at mataji@uol.com.ar.




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Honolulu School Returns Lord Siva Sculpture to Cambodia
Posted on 2002/4/24 23:49:02 ( 600 reads )


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HONOLULU, April 25, 2002: Two ancient sculptures stolen from a temple in Cambodia during the civil unrest of the 1970s and donated to the Honolulu Academy of Arts are back in their homeland. The 9th century, 15-inch stone head of Lord Siva and a 12th century, 19-inch head of a deva were flown from Honolulu on Tuesday and are expected to be presented during ceremonies Friday in Phnom Penh. After reading an article in a 1996 publication on looting in the Angkor area of Cambodia and extensive research, the academy confirmed that the two sculptures were among those stolen. George Ellis, director of the academy, and a group of about 25 academy officials and members accompanied the artifacts on the Cambodia flight.




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UK Opens Doors to Indian Doctors
Posted on 2002/4/24 23:48:02 ( 551 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, April 19, 2002: Thousands of senior resident Indian doctors in Britain could benefit from an initiative launched by the UK government to induct medical specialists directly from India into top, permanent posts in British hospitals. The initiative to recruit doctors working in India directly to UK consultant posts in psychiatry, radiology, cancer and cardiology, will end years of alleged discrimination against Indians, whose training and experience back home has so far been disregarded when they applied for top jobs. The ending of the so-called "ethnic penalty" for Indian doctors, who make up nearly a quarter of Britain's state-funded National Health Service (NHS), comes with the launch earlier this month of the UK's first India recruitment drive for 1,000 consultants. One problem with this plan is that it drains India of skiled people, just as does the UK plan to hire teachers from India.




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