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Theatre Production on Ramanujan, India's Greatest Mathematician, Opens in Berkeley, California

Posted on 2003/5/11 9:48:02 ( 823 reads )


BERKELEY, CA, April 30, 2003: Eighty years after his death, mathematician Srinivasa Iyengar Ramanujan is still surrounded in mystery. Ramanujan is one of India's great intellectual heroes, a brahmin who defied tradition to travel to England in order to study at Cambridge; a mathematical genius who attributed his brilliance to a personal relationship with a Hindu Goddess. His work has been used to help unravel knots as varied as polymer chemistry and cancer, yet how he arrived at this theorems is still unknown. It is the friendship between Ramanujan and his British benefactor, mathematician G.H. Hardy, that makes up Ira Hauptman's new play "Partition," directed by Barbara Oliver. Reviewed as witty, intelligent, and surprisingly accessible to the math-challenged, Partition follows Ramanujan's pilgrimage to Trinity College, where Hardy taught. The two men couldn't have been more dissimilar. The naive, inexhaustible Ramanujan was an observant Hindu, adept at dream interpretation and astrology. His work was marked by bold leaps and gut feelings. Hardy, ten years' Ramanujan's senior, was a stringent atheist who prized rationality and intellectual rigor above all. The play will be at the Aurora Theater in Berkeley through May 18. For performance times visit their website at www.auroratheatre.org. HPI would like a Hindu writer to see the play and provide a review. Contact ar@hindu.org.

H.H. the Dali Lama Discusses Meditation and Science in the New York Times

Posted on 2003/5/11 9:47:02 ( 808 reads )


DHARAMSALA, INDIA, April 26, 2003: "These are times when destructive emotions like anger, fear and hatred are giving rise to devastating problems throughout the world. While the daily news offers grim reminders of the destructive power of such emotions, the question we must ask is this: What can we do, person by person, to overcome them?" says Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama, in his New York Times editorial. For the last 15 years, the Dalai Lama has engaged in a series of conversations with Western scientists. "I have been encouraging scientists to examine advanced Tibetan spiritual practitioners, to see what benefits these practices might have for others, outside religious context. The goal here is to increase our understanding of the world of the mind, of consciousness, and of our emotions," he writes. Dr. Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin, has been studying the effects of Buddhist practices for cultivating compassion, equanimity or mindfulness, a state of alertness in which the mind does not get caught up in thoughts or sensations, but lets them come and go, much like watching a river flow by. According to Dr. Davidson, mindfulness meditation strengthens the neurological circuits that calm a part of the brain that acts as a trigger for fear and anger.

Satguru Speaks at Kauai Interfaith Breakfast

Posted on 2003/5/11 9:46:02 ( 812 reads )


KAUAI, U.S.A., May 11, 2003: H.H. Bodhinatha, Mahasannidhanam of Kauai Aadheenam, gave this brief talk at an interfaith breakfast yesterday on Kauai honoring Kauai citizens serving in Iraq and discussing world peace. "Conditions in the world today are certainly troubling. Wars between countries, wars within countries plus a serious threat of international terrorist acts. One of the immediate consequences of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was the presence of television coverage depicting people in a number of countries who strongly hate the United States, some to the point of wishing violence upon it. Watching these shocking reports on television, we were quite impressed by the extent and seriousness of the problem of prejudice in the world today. Attitudes of prejudice toward those who are of a different race, nation, or religion can start simply as distrust which can then deepen into dislike and deepen further into hatred which can turn into a desire to inflict injury. Are we born with these attitudes? Certainly not. We are taught them at home, at school and elsewhere. The solution for greater peace in the world, though a long-term one, is that humanity needs, in the century ahead, to teach its children tolerance, openness to different ways of life, different beliefs, different customs of dress and language.

"Humanity needs to stop teaching its children to fear those who are different from themselves, stop teaching them hatred for peoples of other colors and other religions, stop teaching them to see the world as a field of conflict and instead instill in them an informed appreciation and a joyous reverence for the grand diversity we find around us. It is in the home that we can change the world for the better. It is the qualities we cultivate in our children that create the world of the future. Therefore, the most effective form of protest to the violence in the world today is for parents to raise their children to be tolerant of those who are different from them. Parents indeed are the ones who are empowered to bring more peace into the world. Instead of teaching children to be intolerant and to dislike and distrust, hate and inflict injury on those who are different, parents can teach them to be tolerant and like and trust, befriend and help. Secondarily, the efforts of parents can be further strengthened by religious leaders in our houses of worship. Kauai already sets an excellent example for the rest of the world of a tolerant multi-ethnic society in which the various communities function well together. We pray today that it continues to do so by raising future generations of its children with a prejudice free consciousness. As the granite sign installed at Lydgate Park says so wonderfully: 'One Island, Many Peoples, All Kauaians.' Indeed, by being a living example of tolerance, the Kauai community can influence other communities to be more tolerant and in that way help change the world into a more peaceful one."

Request for Book on Sri Vidya Puja

Posted on 2003/5/11 9:45:02 ( 1046 reads )


LITTLETON, COLORADO, May 11, 2003: Shreeram Narapareddy is seeking a book in English or Telugu translation of Sanskirt on the Sri Vidya Puja process or padatti. If you can help, kindly e-mail him at "source" above.

Punjab Saint On Pada Yatra From Kashmir To Kanyakumari

Posted on 2003/5/7 9:49:02 ( 1092 reads )


JAMMU, INDIA, May 4, 2003: Upset by the 13-year-long bloodshed and recent Nadimarg carnage in the Kashmir Valley, Swami Gurmeet Singh, a young saint from Taran Tarn District of Punjab, has started his pada yatra (pilgrimage by foot) from Kashmir Valley to Kanyakumari to deliver the message of brotherhood and love among his fellow countrymen. Talking to reporters, Swamiji said his pada yatra is part of an international peace mission. He said, "I undertook my pada yatra from the famous Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar district of Kashmir Valley on April 6, and people of all communities including, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs wished me success in my mission. Love is a strong weapon and it can even mold militants to shun the violence and work for brotherhood. Kashmiri people are peace loving and the present problems will end once they are treated with love. The love is the only weapon which will end the hatred and help in restoration of ultimate peace." Swami estimates it will take him about 16 to 17 months to complete the pada yatra.

Indian Americans Support California Community Center

Posted on 2003/5/7 9:48:02 ( 810 reads )


SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, May 5, 2003: The Indian Community Center opened in the San Francisco Bay Area, home to 150,000 Indian Americans, in February. Rajwant Ahluwalia, who came to the U.S. 20 years ago, says he'd been waiting since then for a place like this to open. "The moment I read about this facility in the newspaper I was very excited and my family was excited too because we never had these services for our community." He and other Indian-American parents like him would like to see their sons and daughters take a class on Indian languages, music, yoga or mediation. There are also free legal and medical clinics and orientations for recent emigres. Seniors can attend daily programs, and young people can drop in for karaoke and Bollywood movies. Cofounders, Gautam Godhwani and his brother Anil, were the driving force behind the opening of the facility. They were dot com entrepreneurs who made their fortunes, retired, and then turned full time to creating this center. The Godhwani brothers contributed half-a-million dollars in seed money for renovating the facility, hiring initial staff, and doing research. Then they raised $1 million from the Indian community to run the center.

North Carolina School Of The Arts Produces Ramayana

Posted on 2003/5/7 9:47:02 ( 794 reads )

Winston-Salem Journal

NORTH CAROLINA, U.S.A., May 2, 2003: The North Carolina School of the Arts is presenting a performance of the Ramayana now through Sunday May 11, at the Catawba Theater on campus. The adaptation is by Anthony Clarvoe. The acting is consistently strong, both among the principals and the supporting actors, many of who play multiple roles. Anyone interested in performance times can contact Susan Gilmore at sgilmore@wsjournal.com.

Mother's Day, a Time to Honor and Improve

Posted on 2003/5/7 9:46:02 ( 809 reads )


UNITED STATES, May 7, 2003: A Save the Children publication, just in time for Mother's Day, may give one pause as we honor our mother, the giver of life. This year's State of the World's Mothers report focuses on the tens of millions of mothers and children whose lives have been shattered by armed conflict, bringing attention to critical protection needs in war-torn communities around the world. The report suggests actions required to support women who are raising the world's future generations under the most horrific conditions imaginable, and to shield children from the brutal excesses of war. A first ever "Conflict Protection Scorecard" analyzes 40 of the world's most dangerous conflict zones and shows where abuses against women and children are greatest. In addition, Save the Children presents the fourth annual "Mothers' Index," documenting conditions for mothers and children in 117 developed and developing countries. In India, where the mother is worshipped as Goddess, women rank 89 in the mother's index.

SARS Affects Kailash Pilgrimage as Beijing Closes Tibetan Border

Posted on 2003/5/6 9:49:02 ( 873 reads )


McCLOUD GANJ, INDIA, May 6, 2003: A pilgrim in McCloud Ganj hill station, home of the Dali Lama, reports that the Chinese have closed the border of Tibet, canceling this year's Kailash pilgrimage. Hinduism Today's reporter in New Delhi spoke to a number of journalists and officials of the Ministry of External Affairs [MEA] on the subject since yesterday and he reports the position is not clear. "Nobody is in a position to confirm that the Kailash Pilgrimage has been canceled. An official of the MEA, Mr. Thangal told me a few minutes back that the Kailash Pilgrimage is not canceled as yet. Though Mr. Thangal did say that it could be postponed by a few weeks. He told me that the Indian Government would not like to cancel the pilgrimage. He said that every year the Chinese Government gives permission for this pilgrimage and there is no reason to believe that this year the permission would not be given. If there is some impediment from the Chinese side due to SARS problem, a formal announcement clarifying the position would be made by MEA sometime in the future." The Hindustan Times has reported on their website (source) that "Tibet meanwhile has been virtually cutoff with international air links halted and border crossings sealed to prevent SARS infiltrating one of the few places in China so far free of the killer bug." Meanwhile, a stalwart pilgrim waits in the McCloud Ganj hill station for the border to reopen and the opportunity to pilgrimage to Mount Kailash.

Indian Laugh Clubs Inspire Germans

Posted on 2003/5/6 9:48:02 ( 803 reads )


BERLIN, GERMANY, May 2, 2003: The Ninth International Humor Congress, opening Friday in Stuttgart, offers an ideal opportunity for Germans serious about putting a bit more laughter into their lives. A series of seminars with titles such as "Discover the Clown Within" and "Clowning Around in Hospital" promise the social and therapeutic benefits of gelotology, otherwise known as the science of laughter. "In our countries, imbued with Calvinism and Puritanism and more staid than Catholic countries, we feel a particular need to liberate our emotions through humor," explained Michael Titze. Titze, a psychoanalyst who is scientific director for the Congress, leads group therapy for people suffering from social phobias when he's not running "humor universities" against depression. Some 1,000 educators, health professionals and psychotherapists were expected at the Congress being held in a Protestant-run hospital. There are already 40 or so laugh clubs set up in Germany. The concept, which was also being presented at Stuttgart, was conceived in India in the mid-1990's by Madan Kataria. The aim is "to activate the healing force of laughter, using the principle of yoga, and so contribute to peace in the world."

Quebec Family Encourages Children to Take the Best of the East and Best of the West

Posted on 2003/5/5 9:49:02 ( 832 reads )

The Gazette

MONTREAL, CANADA, April 27, 2003: Migrating to Montreal, Canada, from Lucknow, India, in the 1970's, Asha and Govind Saxena have held fast to their Indian culture and Hindu religion for nearly 30 years. They are among 58,000 Montrealers that have South Asian roots and who have tried to establish a balance between the East and the West in their family life. Asha Saxena says, "Our family has grown, integrated and done well. We have told our children: Take the best of both worlds." However, Asha admits that she was uneasy when her boys wanted to date, as her own marriage was arranged. Asha gave up a law career to raise her two sons, but now she has become a teacher at a local college where she wears business suits to work. When she arrives home, she dons her Hindu attire. Govind Saxena, a Dawson college professor says, "We live in a global community, our sons are examples of this." The couple has two sons that are engineers, one lives in Washington, D.C. and the other in Uganda. At the couple's recent 25th wedding anniversary, the two boys gave a speech in honor of their parents. In the tribute, they spoke of their desire to raise their own children the way they had been raised.

Montreal's Asian Communities Flourish in Their Houses of Worship

Posted on 2003/5/5 9:48:02 ( 823 reads )

The Gazette

MONTREAL, CANADA, April 27, 2003: South Asian and Indian communities, practising the religion of their choice, whether that be Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism or Islam, are the first to build houses of worship when they migrate to other countries. In Montreal, temples and mosques serve to unite the community that is scattered throughout the city. The significance of these houses of worship in Montreal has become paramount as they provide a place for people of shared beliefs to worship and socialize. Vikram Bhatti, vice-president of the Hindu Temple of Quebec says, "Creating a place of connection for the community is key. Every Sunday there is a program or some kind of social gathering." This particular Hindu Temple also organizes bimonthly gatherings for elderly residents who get together to do yoga, cook and eat their own food together. Pradeep Sagar, a businessman from the Punjab who arrived in Montreal in 1990, found common ground at the Hindu Mission Temple when he started working in the kitchen and serving people. Moin Ghauri recalls that the gatherings at the Islamic Center of Quebec numbered 30-35 people in the 1960's. In comparison, Manjit Singh, a member of Montreal's Sikh community says, "On Sunday we might have anywhere from 200-600 people come to a service. It becomes an occasion to meet and to renew connections."

Meditation is a Powerful Healing Tool

Posted on 2003/5/5 9:47:02 ( 934 reads )


UNITED STATES, May 4, 2003: Meditation is being embraced within medical circles as a powerful healing tool. A study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine reports meditation affects areas of the brain focused on emotion and also strengthens the ability to ward off illnesses. Harvard Medical School experts say the key to the relaxation response is repetition. The repetition can be a word, sound, mantra, prayer, breathing or movement. They say any disease made worse by stress can improve with meditation.

Prayers at Temple of Virgin Goddesses

Posted on 2003/5/5 9:46:02 ( 989 reads )

New Straits Times

SEREMBAN, MALAYSIA, May 5, 2003: Around 7,000 Hindu devotees are expected to gather at the Arulmighu Maha Sapthakannika Devi Temple here on Thursday for annual prayers. Also known as the Temple of the Seven Virgin Goddesses, it is believed to be the only one in the country dedicated to the seven goddesses -- Sri Bama Devi, Sri Rauthri Devi, Sri Jyeshta Devi, Sri Kali Devi, Sri Kalaviharani Devi, Sri Velavigarani Devi and Sri Velabithamanni Devi. Prayers begin on Wednesday night.

Vandalism at Carbondale Mosque is Investigated

Posted on 2003/5/5 9:45:02 ( 941 reads )

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS, U.S.A., May 1, 2003: The FBI is investigating the vandalism of the Islamic Center in Carbondale, Illinois, which took place over the weekend. The building had been defaced with painted slogans, including "Long Live Shri Rama," and "Free Kashmir." Such vandalism is often the work of unsophisticated youngsters, but the content of the messages in Carbondale suggests otherwise, said James Hacking of the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He said he thought the incident was the first of its kind at the center, which opened about 18 years ago. He said it was one of only a few mosques in Southern Illinois. Hacking on Wednesday called for an FBI investigation, but FBI Special Agent Rick Stonecipher of Carbondale said the agency was already on the case along with Carbondale police. He said the crime could be subject to federal jurisdiction if there was a civil rights violation. Stonecipher said he did now know yet if the content of the message pointed to any particular suspect or suspects.

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