Hindu Press International

Hindu Press International (HPI) is a daily summary of world news for Hindus and non-Hindus alike. Sign up to receive to HPI by email

Submit an HPI News Item

« 1 ... 781 782 783 (784) 785 786 787 ... 1025 »

Malaysia Government Eases Restrictions on Foreign Priests

Posted on 2003/12/6 8:47:02 ( 876 reads )


PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA, December 4, 2003: Beginning next year, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Christian priests on visit passes need not make fresh applications to extend their services after serving in the country for one year, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said Wednesday. Instead, they only need to inform State immigration directors and they would be given extensions automatically, he said. The move was to ease the workload of immigration officers, he said. Previously, such extensions could be made only at the Immigration Department headquarters, he told reporters after meeting representatives of the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Sikh Consultative Council. Chor said: "For year-to-year service extensions for foreign priests, the Immigration Department has agreed to give the approvals at State level, the State directors can approve the extensions," he said. He, however, said foreign priests are not allowed to serve in the country for more than five years. He said applications for replacement priests would be processed in a month. At present, there are 772 foreign priests, including musicians, serving in various places of worship in the country as compared to 404 last year, he said. He said they are mainly from India, Sri Lanka, Japan, China and Myanmar. Chor said the Government still maintained the five-year maximum service term for foreign priests although there were requests to extend their tenure up to 10 years as was done previously. He said the Government had also asked the religious consultative council to train Malaysians or find priests from among locals so as not to rely too much on foreigners. "But this seem difficult as the salaries of priests working in Malaysia is quite low and hence, Malaysians are not keen to take up priesthood as their career. "Only foreign priests are willing to come here even though the salaries are not very high," he added.

Doctor Collects 480 Ganeshas, and Wants More

Posted on 2003/12/6 8:46:02 ( 895 reads )

Sify News

LUCKNOW, INDIA: December 2003: Dr. Chandra Balasubramanium's living room looks like a museum. She boasts of having the largest collection of Lord Ganesha idols in India -- 480 exquisite Ganeshas collected over 22 years. The collection includes Lord Ganesha's icons made in gold, silver, copper, ivory, marble, amethyst, plastic, mud, rose wood, fibre, sandal, crystal, Bohemian glass, log wood, wax, khus and white wood. Every statue is different from the other in shape, size, use of material and "Bhavas" or "Mudras" of the Lord. There are 32 divine forms of Lord Ganesha according to religious scriptures and she can recall all of them on her finger tips. This Diwali she has enriched her collection with a unique Lord Ganesha made of supari (betel-nut) and Haldi (turmeric). She also has Ganeshas made of tiger-eye, agate, turquoise, soft stone, serpentine stone, jade, God stone, coral and pearl. The largest one weighs 50 kgs while the smallest one measures just one centimeter and is as light as a feather. Dr. Subramanium has travelled all over India and around the world to enrich her collection. She once met an American couple who told her that although they were Christians, they worshipped Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxshmi. They were willing to offer a huge sum of money for just one exquisite piece which she had, but Dr. Balasubramanium refused the handsome offer. Dr. Subramanium hopes that in the next 20 years her collection will grow to over 5,000. "Lord Ganesh is my passion. I don't mind that a large part of my earnings are spent in buying Lord Ganeshas," she says. She believes that positive energies from so many Ganeshas make her house vibrant. She says that the sanctified ambience of her living room can keep ailments away provided one has deep faith in Lord Ganesha.

Diabetes Afflicts Gujarat Teens

Posted on 2003/12/6 8:45:02 ( 962 reads )


AHMEDABAD, INDIA, December 6, 2003: Junk food, obesity and lifestyle diseases are not confined only to hamburger-eating US but have spread to vegetarian Gujarat as well, with a staggering 7.5 million people suffering from diabetes. The statistics are intimidating. Of Gujarat's 50 million people, 15 percent suffer from diabetes. Of these, 10 percent are in urban areas and five percent in rural areas. And of every 10 patients in towns and cities, four are teenagers. The advent of the fast food culture in Gujarat is seen as the chief culprit. Now thousands of children are bearing the brunt every single day of their lives. Many children are being deprived of their favourite foods and being put on strict exercise regimens to save them from more complicating trouble in the future.

Parag Shah, consultant diabetologist and endocrinologist at the Gujarat Endocrine Centre, said "The fast food culture in Gujarat is leading to increase in diabetes. Parents think their kids are eating high-calorie food in the form of pizza, burgers, bhaji-pav or chips, but it proves to be more dangerous than cigarettes."

There are some movements happening to arrest the disturbing trend. The Ahmedabad Medical Association (AMA), the Gujarat chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) comprising 5,000 physicians, is planning a massive health drive to spread awareness about diabetes. "Only last month we organized a week-long yoga camp in Ahmedabad in which over 5,000 people participated," said AMA president Yogendra Shah.

Hindu Monks Form New Organization at Chennai Meeting

Posted on 2003/12/5 8:49:02 ( 1003 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, December 2, 2003: The Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, an apex body comprising all acharyas and mandaleswars (both leaders within Hindu monastic orders), was formed here today with the objective of having a coordinated effort on issues concerning Hindus. The convener of the Acharya Sabha, Swami Dayananda Saraswathi, talking to newsmen here today, said the monastery leaders were for a uniform civil code. The Constitution, he said, provided for a Uniform Civil Code but it was yet to be enacted. Similarly, the Sabha wanted the Centre to ban slaughter of cows as the animal was a symbol of worship for Hindus. Demanding that the States hand over the temple administration to autonomous bodies, he said that at present there was government interference in the administration of temples and donations to temples were utilized for other purposes. Temple funds should be utilized only for religious purposes, he said. The meet congratulated Tamil Nadu for enacting a legislation to ban conversion and urged the Centre and the States to follow suit.

Health Experts Warn of Diabetes

Posted on 2003/12/5 8:48:02 ( 994 reads )


USA, November 30, 2003: To the dismay of health experts, diabetes is becoming a global problem. In the next couple of decades, the prevalence of diabetes is expected to triple in Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, to double in the western Pacific and to nearly double in Europe. With an estimated 33 million cases, India has the most people with diabetes; China has 23 million. Read the full Time magazine article at "source" above.

Dr. Ravi Kapur on the Life of Sadhus in India

Posted on 2003/12/5 8:47:02 ( 1139 reads )

Rajiv Malik

DELHI, INDIA, December 5, 2003: Dr. Ravi Kapur, a psychiatrist, trained in India and UK, is currently the JRD Tata Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. He has been the Deputy Director of the same institute and before that the Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry at the prestigious National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences. He is Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Indian National Academy of Sciences and the Indian National Academy of Medical Sciences. Dr. Ravi Kapur delivered a public lecture entitled- "The making of a Sadhu: An enquiry into higher states of mental health," jointly organized by National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies and India International Centre under the series-DIMENSIONS of SCIENCE, on the evening of December 1, 2003. The conference hall was packed with intellectuals, researchers, psychologists, psychiatrists, media persons, former bureaucrats and diplomats,

Dr. Kapur said that some of the sadhus wanted to be on their own and did not want to be disturbed by the people. Someone close to one such sadhu said that he was not mentally disturbed but did not want to interact with the world. This person also gave the instance of Saint Totapuri, the guru of Ramakrishna Paramhans, who used to throw dirt in the face of the people as he did not want them to come to him.

In his twenty years of research, Dr. Kapur has interviewed sadhus of all categories. On the one hand he has interviewed sadhus who are globe trotters and on the other hand he has interacted with the down to earth ones and the ones undergoing penance on the roads and in the caves of Rishikesh, Badrinath, Kedarnath and Gangotri areas of Uttaranchal Region. Out of around 100 sadhus interviewed by him, he spent with them two to four hours to a few days and also a few weeks, on a case to case basis.

Commenting on his relationship and experiences with the various sadhus, Dr. Kapur said, "I would like to share with you that almost all the sadhus were extremely co-operative and were very generous in extending hospitality to me. Not even one of them asked me for money, though I myself offered dakshina to many of them."

Giving some interesting details of the sadhus interviewed by him, he said, "Out of the 100 hundred sadhus interviewed by me in the past twenty years, it would be around 40 of them that I had a detailed interaction. Out of these 40, 12 had become sadhus due to some problems faced by them in their social and married lives. As becoming a sadhu solves their problems of food and shelter, this life had an appeal for many people. But these 12 people still carried the baggage of their past lives with them and kept cribbing and complaining about their past. The rest of the 28 sadhus I interviewed had no reason to escape their home and material world. They had opted for becoming a sadhu out of free will and had been attracted to the life as a sadhu since their childhood days. They were absolutely normal people and showed no signs of any psychological problems or illness. Many of these had abandoned their successful careers and social lives, they were happy people and had a good social network to support them as normal human beings. When asked, they said that they had chosen to live as a sadhu because it was in their prarabdha karma (destiny as a result of actions in a past life) and there was no way to scientifically deal with this phenomenon. However most of these 28 people had a religious bent of mind since their childhoo

A Short Biography of Sita Ram Goel

Posted on 2003/12/4 8:49:02 ( 1559 reads )


BELGIUM, December 4, 2003: Noted Indologist Koenraad Elst of Belgium wrote an excellent biography of Sita Ram Goel, who passed away yesterday at age 82. Following are excerpts from the biography, "India's Only Communalist," which is available in full at "source."

Elst writes: There is only one man in India whom I have ever known to say: "I am a (Hindu) communalist." To an extent, this is in jest, as a rhetorical device to avoid the tangle in which RSS people always get trapped: being called "communalist!" and then spending the rest of your time trying to prove to your hecklers what a good secularist you are. Unlike the Hindutva politicians, he does not seek the cover of "genuine secularism." While accepting the notion that Hindu India has always been "secular" in the adapted Indian sense of "religiously pluralistic."

Sita Ram Goel was born in 1921 in a poor family (though belonging to the merchant Agrawal caste) in Haryana. As a schoolboy, he got acquainted with the traditional Vaishnavism practised by his family, with the Mahabharata and the lore of the Bhakti saints (esp. Garibdas), and with the major trends in contemporary Hinduism, esp. the Arya Samaj and Gandhism. He took an M.A. in History in Delhi University, winning prizes and scholarships along the way. In his school and early university days he was a Gandhian activist, helping a Harijan Ashram in his village and organizing a study circle in Delhi.

In the 1930s and 40s, the Gandhians themselves came in the shadow of the new ideological vogue: socialism. When they started drifting to the Left and adopting socialist rhetoric, S.R. Goel decided to opt for the original rather than the imitation. In 1941 he accepted Marxism as his framework for political analysis. At first, he did not join the Communist Party of India, and had differences with it over such issues as the creation of the religion-based state of Pakistan, which was actively supported by the CPI but could hardly earn the enthusiasm of a progressive and atheist intellectual. He and his wife and first son narrowly escaped with their lives in the Great Calcutta Killing of 16 August 1946, organized by the Muslim League to give more force to the Pakistan demand.

In 1948, just when he had made up his mind to formally join the Communist Party of India, in fact on the very day when he had an appointment at the party office in Calcutta to be registered as a candidate-member, the Government of West Bengal banned the CPI because of its hand in an ongoing armed rebellion. A few months later, Ram Swarup came to stay with him in Calcutta and converted him as well as his employer, Hari Prasad Lohia, out of Communism. Goel's career as a combative and prolific writer on controversial matters of historical fact can only be understood in conjunction with Ram Swarup's sparser, more reflective writings on fundamental doctrinal issues.

Much later, in a speech before the Yogakshema society, Calcutta 1983, he explained his relation with Ram Swarup as follows: "In fact, it would have been in the fitness of things if the speaker today had been Ram Swarup, because whatever I have written and whatever I have to say today really comes from him. He gives me the seed-ideas which sprout into my articles (...) He gives me the framework of my thought. Only the language is mine. The language also would have been much better if it was his own. My language becomes sharp at times; it annoys people. He has a way of saying things in a firm but polite manner, which discipline I have never been able to acquire." (The Emerging National Vision, p.1.)

S.R. Goel's first important publications were written as part of the work of the Society for the Defence of Freedom in Asia and included, "China is Red with Peasants' Blood (1953)" and "Red Brother or Yellow Slave?"

Then, and all through his career as a polemical writer, the most remarkable feature of Sita Ram Goel's position in the Indian intellectual arena was that nobody even tried to give a serious rebuttal to his theses: the only counter-strategy has always been, and still is, "strangling by silence," simply refusing to ever mention his name, publications and arguments.

In May 1957, Goel moved to Delhi and got a job with a state-affiliated company, the Indian Cooperative Union, for which he did research and prospection concerning cottage industries.

During the Chinese invasion in 1962, some government officials including P.N. Haksar, Nurul Hasan and the later Prime Minister I.K. Gujral, demanded Goel's arrest. But at the same time, the Home Ministry invited him to take a leadership role in the plans for a guerrilla war against the then widely-expected Chinese occupation of eastern India. He made his cooperation conditional on Nehru's abdication as Prime Minister, and nothing ever came of it.

In 1964, RSS general secretary Eknath Ranade invited Goel to lead the prospective Vishva Hindu Parishad, which was founded later that year, but Goel set as his condition that he would be free to speak his own mind, and the matter ended there.

In 1981 Sita Ram Goel retired from his business, which he handed over to his son and nephew. He started the nonprofit publishing house Voice of India with donations from sympathetic businessmen, and accepted Organiser editor K.R. Malkani's offer to contribute some articles again, articles which were later collected into the first Voice of India booklets.

Goel's declared aim is to defend Hinduism by placing before the public correct information about the situation of Hindu culture and society, and about the nature, motives and strategies of its enemies. For, as the title of his book "Hindu Society under Siege" indicates, Goel claims that Hindu society has been suffering a sustained attack from Islam since the 7th century, from Christianity since the 15th century, this century also from Marxism, and all three have carved out a place for themselves in Indian society from which they besiege Hinduism. The avowed objective of each of these three world-conquering movements, with their massive resources, is diagnosed as the replacement of Hinduism by their own ideology, or in effect: the destruction of Hinduism.

Apart from numerous articles, letters, contributions to other books (e.g. Devendra Swarup, ed.: Politics of Conversion, DRI, Delhi 1986) and translations (e.g. the Hindi version of Taslima Nasrin's Bengali book Lajja, published in instalments in Panchjanya, summer 1994), Goel has contributed many books to the inter-religious debate, including "Hindu Society under Siege" and "Defence of Hindu Society"

One of the greatest misconceptions about the Hindu movement is that it is a creation of political parties like the BJP and the Shiv Sena. In reality, there is a substratum of Hindu activist tendencies in many corners of Hindu society, often in unorganized form and almost invariably lacking in intellectual articulation. To this widespread Hindu unrest about the uncertain future of Hindu culture, Voice of India provides an intellectual focus.

The importance of Ram Swarup's and Sita Ram Goel's work can hardly be over-estimated. I for one have no doubt that future textbooks on comparative religion as well as those on Indian political and intellectual history will devote crucial chapters to their analysis. They are the first to give a first-hand "Pagan" reply to the versions of history and "comparative religion" imposed by the monotheist world-conquerors, both at the level of historical fact and of fundamental doctrine, both in terms of the specific Hindu experience and of a more generalized theory of religion free from prophetic-monotheistic bias.

Their long-term intellectual importance is that they have contributed immensely to breaking the spell of all kinds of Christian, Muslim and Marxist prejudices and misrepresentations of Hinduism and the Hindu Revivalist movement.

Get Ready for Chinese Hanuman

Posted on 2003/12/4 8:48:02 ( 1016 reads )


BEIJING, CHINA, December 3, 2003: Chinese television has started airing a series of special programmes featuring a mythical monkey king, believed to be partly based on the Hindu God Hanuman. The producers of the programs hope that the 10 television specials, which run for 20 minutes each, will promote the monkey king character as a potential mascot for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. The special programs will be aired by China Central Television Station on Channel 4 - a TV program that is aired in Chinese language for a foreign audience. The monkey king is a key character from "The Pilgrimage to the West," the story of the famous Chinese monk, Xuanzang, who brought Buddhist holy scriptures from India to China around the year 630. During Xuanzang's journey, he was believed to be protected by three creatures. One of them, the monkey, has profoundly influenced Chinese culture. It is believed that the monkey king character, Sun Wukong, was partly based on Lord Hanuman, as described in a book by Xuanzang. Experts say Sun Wukong became so well-known in China that it was once worshipped by some a God, as is Lord Hanuman.

Women Celebrate Spiritual "Paalkudam" Procession in Malaysia

Posted on 2003/12/4 8:47:02 ( 968 reads )

News Report

KUALA KUMPUR, MALAYSIA, August 17, 2003. More than 1,000 women devotees, clad in red attire with garlands carried a "Sembu" of milk and walked a distance of 5km from the Sri Nageswari Amman Temple in Bangsar to the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple situated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. The devotees left the Nageswari Amman Temple at 7.00 am and reached the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple after an hour's walk through the streets leading to the temple. Milk carried by the devotees was used to bathe the main deity while reciting mantras. A special worship service followed the milk bath and blessed food was served. The aim of this annual procession is to uplift the spiritual awareness of women and their role in the family and society and also to ensure that women play their role in the prosperity and harmony of their families and country.

Pope Tells Catholics to Give Equal Rights to Catholic Dalits in India

Posted on 2003/12/4 8:46:02 ( 958 reads )

Religion News Service

NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 3, 2003: The report by Religion News Service says, in part, "John Paul told Roman Catholic bishops from India making their periodic visit to the Vatican to reject divisions based on caste. 'At all times, you must continue to make certain that special attention is given to those belonging to the lowest castes, especially the Dalits,' he exhorted the bishops. Dalits are Hindus at the bottom of the Indian caste structure. 'Customs that reinforce caste division should be sensitively reformed so they may become an expression of the solidarity of the whole Christian community,' John Paul said.

"Said the Rev. Dr. Ipe Joseph, general secretary of National Council of Churches in India. 'Many church leaders are not actively fighting this caste system.' The bishops conference has acknowledged caste-based practices are still found in the church. Of the 164 bishops in India, only seven are Dalits. In some regions segregation is still practiced in worship.

HPI adds: Catholic Dalits continue to suffer the same discrimination after their conversion. There are separate churches for the Dalit Catholics and brahmin Catholics, as well as separate burial grounds.

Hinduism Today Plans Story on "Movies Which Reflect Hindu Philosophy"

Posted on 2003/12/4 8:45:02 ( 982 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, December 4, 2003: Hinduism Today magazine is planning a story on the occurrence of Hindu philosophy, concepts, ideas and traditional stories in the context of popular movies from Hollywood and Europe. Readers are encouraged to write to us with the names of movies which they felt had a significant influence from Hinduism, or nicely made use of a Hindu concept. For example, the movie, "Defending Your Life," is a reasonably accurate depiction of the between-life experiences that occur before one's next incarnation. "What Dreams May Come" is also an example of between-birth experiences, as is "Ghost," in which the character of Patrick Swazye is "earth-bound" by his untimely death. Recommended movies could include reincarnation, karma, existence of God everywhere and in all things, or worlds beyond this world (though not in the sense of a thoroughly Christian "heaven"). Also useful would be simple off-hand, but accurate, uses of the word "karma" or "reincarnation" an a movie. You may help by sending suggestions to "source" above.

Sri Sita Ram Goel Passes Away

Posted on 2003/12/3 8:49:02 ( 1007 reads )


DELHI, INDIA, December 3, 2003: Sri Sita Ram Goel, one of the foremost Hindu renaissance writers and thinkers of his generation, passed away in his sleep today following a long illness. Working with Sri Ram Swarup to form the "Voice of India," the two produced hundreds of books, article and pamphlets advancing the Hindu renaissance over half a century. We at Hinduism Today were honored to have his association over the last several decades. We thoroughly enjoyed our correspondence with him, his visit to our home at Kauai Aadheenam and meetings with him in New Delhi.

One of his best known books was "How I became a Hindu." This lengthy excerpt will give a glimpse into this marvelous mind:

"I was born a Hindu. But I had ceased to be one by the time I came out of college at the age of twenty-two. I had become a Marxist and a militant atheist. I had come to believe that Hindu scriptures should be burnt in a bonfire if India was to be saved. It was fifteen years later that I could see this culmination as the explosion of an inflated ego. During those years of self-poisoning, I was sincerely convinced that I was engaged in a philosophical exploration of cosmic proportions. How my ego got inflated to a point where I could see nothing beyond my own morbid mental constructions is no exceptional story. It happens to many of us mortals. What is relevant in my story is the seeking and the suffering and the struggle to break out of that spider's web of my own weaving.

"In my family, our women did keep some fasts, performed some rituals and visited the temple and the Sivalinga, but the menfolk were mostly convinced about the futility of image worship and did not normally participate in any rituals. The brahmin priest was not seen in our homes, except on occasions like marriage and death. I remember vividly how lofty a view I took of my own nirguna doctrines and how I looked down upon my classmates from Sanatanist families whose ways I thought effeminate. I particularly disliked their going to the annual mela (festival) of a Devi in a neighboring town. God for me was a male person. Devi worship was a defilement of the true faith.

"But as my moral and intellectual life was preparing to settle down in a universe of firm faith provided by Mahatma Gandhi, my emotional life was heading towards an upheaval. I started doubting if there was a moral order in the universe at large and in the human society in which I lived. The sages, saints and thinkers whom I had honored so far were sure that the world was made and governed by a God who was Satyam (Truth), Sivam (Good), Sundaram (Beauty). But all around me I saw much that was untrue, unwholesome and ugly. God and His creation could not be reconciled.

"This problem of evil arose and gripped my mind, partly because of my personal situation in life. In spite of my pose of humility, learned from Mahatma Gandhi, I was harboring a sense of great self-esteem. I was a good student who had won distinctions and scholarships at every stage. I had read a lot of books, which made me feel learned and wise. I was trying to lead a life of moral endeavor, which I thought made me better than most of my fellow men. Standing at the confluence of these several streams of self-esteem, I came to believe that I was somebody in particular and that the society in which I lived owed me some special and privileged treatment.

"Now I was in a desperate hurry to get a good knowledge of the doctrine of socialism. A desire to read Karl Marx now became irresistible. First, I read the Communist Manifesto. It was simply breathtaking in the breadth and depth of its sweep over vast vistas of human history. It was also a great call to action, to change the world and end exploitation and social injustice for all time to come.

"At the same time I concluded that God as a creator of this world could be conceived only in three ways -- either as a rogue who sanctioned and shared in the roguery prevalent in his world, or as an imbecile who could no more control what he had created, or as a sannyasin, who no more cared for what was happening to his creatures. If God was a rogue, we had to rise in revolt against his rule. If he was an imbecile, we could forget him and take charge of the world ourselves. And if he was a sannyasin, he could mind his business while we minded our own. The scriptures, however, held out a different version of God and his role, one that was supported neither by experience nor by logic. The scriptures should, therefore, be burned in a bonfire, preferably during winter when they could provide some warmth."

"One day I meditated on ahimsa, which had remained an abstract concept for me so far. After a while I found myself begging forgiveness from all those whom I had hurt by word or deed, or towards whom I had harbored any ill will. It was not an exercise in generalities. Person after person rose into my memory, going back into the distant past and I bowed in repentance before each one of them. Finally I begged forgiveness from Stalin, against whom I had written so much and upon whom I had hurled so many brickbats. The bitterness which had poisoned my life over the long years was swept off my mind in a sudden relaxation of nerves. I felt as if a thousand thorns which had tormented my flesh had been taken out by a master physician without causing the slightest pain. I was in need of no greater assurance that this was the way on which I should walk.

"One day I told my friend and mentor Ram Swarup how I had never been able to accept the Devi, either as Sarasvati or as Lakshmi or as Durga or as Kali. He smiled and asked me to meditate on the Devi that day. I tried my best in my own way. Nothing happened for some time. Nothing came my way. My mind was a big blank. But in the next moment the void was filled with a sense of some great presence. I did not see any concrete image. No words were whispered in my ears. Yet the rigidity of a lifetime broke down and disappeared. The Great Mother was beckoning her lost child to go and sit in her lap and feel safe from all fears. We had a record of Dr. Govind Gopal Mukhopadhyaya's sonorous stuti to the Devi. As I played it, I prayed to Her.

"My progress was not fast; nor did I go far. But I now felt sure that this was the method by which I could rediscover for myself the great truths of which the ancients had spoken in Hindu scriptures. It was not the end of my seeking, which had only started in right earnest. But it was surely the end of my wandering in search of a shore where I could safely anchor my soul and take stock of my situation.

"The soul's hunger for absolute Truth, absolute Good, absolute Beauty and absolute Power, I was told, was like the body's hunger for wholesome food and drink. And that which satisfied this hunger of the human soul, fully and finally, was Sanatana Dharma, true for all times and climes. A votary of Sanatana Dharma did not need an arbitrary exercise of will to put blind faith in a supernatural revelation laid down in a single scripture. He did not need the intermediacy of a historical prophet nor the help of an organized church to attain salvation. Sanatana Dharma called upon its votary to explore his own self in the first instance and see for himself the truths expounded in sacred scriptures. Prophets and churches and scriptures could be aids, but never the substitutes for self-exploration, self-purification and self-transcendence.

"I had come back at last, come back to my spiritual home from which I had wandered away in self-forgetfulness. But this coming back was no atavistic act. On the contrary, it was a reawakening to my ancestral heritage, which was waiting for me all along to lay my claim on its largesses. It was also the heritage of all mankind, as proved by the seers, sages and mystics of many a time and clime. It spoke in different languages to different people. To me it spoke in the language of Hindu spirituality and Hindu culture at their highest. I could not resist its call. I became a Hindu."

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

Posted on 2003/12/3 8:48:02 ( 899 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 ( 1118 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 ( 956 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.

« 1 ... 781 782 783 (784) 785 786 787 ... 1025 »
Copyright© 2016 Himalayan Academy. All rights reserved.

Get from the App Store Android app on Google Play