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Vijayanagar Icons Unearthed


Posted on 2003/3/16 8:46:02 ( 850 reads )


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TIRUCHI, INDIA, March 2 , 2003: Six stone statues, including those of Mahavira, Jeyshtadevi and Muruga, have been unearthed from a field in Gundur near here where it is believed there was once a temple. The two and a half feet high by two feet wide icon of Mahavira, seated on a throne in a meditative posture, was said to be rare. The idols of Sridevi, Bhoodevi and Vishnu indicated that a temple dedicated to Vishnu existed in the past at the site, a view supported by the presence of a Siva temple in the vicinity. The presence of "nilothpala" in hand suggested that the three idols belonged to the early Vijayanagar period. The site was identified about two years ago and permission had been granted for the unearthing and safe custody of the statues in the museum.






H.H. Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi to Visit Malaysia


Posted on 2003/3/15 8:49:02 ( 975 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, March 14, 2003: Her Holiness, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) will be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 28 - 29, 2003, at Mid Valley Exhibition Center, Level 3, Mid Valley Megamall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur. Beginning at 7:30 pm each evening, there will be satsang, bhajans and darshan, which in Her Holiness' context refers to a warm embrace, by Her Holiness. This is Amma's second visit to Malaysia, where last year over 45,000 people came for satsang and 35,000 received her darshan. Readers kindly contact "source" above for additional information on Amma's visit to Malaysia.






Nepal's King and Queen to Visit India


Posted on 2003/3/15 8:48:02 ( 838 reads )


Source: www.ndtv.com





KATHMANDU, NEPAL, March 15, 2003: Nepal's King Gyanendra and Queen Komal will visit India next week to pray at temples and take part in religious festivities, state-run Radio Nepal said on Saturday. The royal couple will leave for southern India on March 20, returning home March 30. During the trip the king and queen will visit Hindu temples and shrines and take part in religious ceremonies -- a journey that is considered important for Hindus in Nepal. The king was also expected to meet Indian leaders in New Delhi. The King has hereditary rights at a number of temples, including Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu and Jaganath in Puri, where he is the only person aside from the priests allowed to perform worship of the Diety.






Yoga Used in Austrian Schools


Posted on 2003/3/15 8:47:02 ( 774 reads )


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VIENNA, AUSTRIA, March 11, 2003: A conference and action day of the "Viennese Center of Health Promotion" was held in the historical rooms of the Viennese Town Hall. More than 20 exhibitors gave a summary of their efforts to improve the health situation especially for pupils and students. One of the most frequented stands was "Yoga In Daily Life." Developed by Sri Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, this practice is becoming successful now in Austrian schools. It is part of a special project for school-development called "Learning by Movements" that gives accents for better health making the youngsters to better balanced persons. "Yoga In Daily Life" also offers special seminars for teachers at all levels. Many speakers emphasized the importance of yoga as a perfect balancing principle for the western industrial society.






The Ayodhya Dispute Discussed


Posted on 2003/3/15 8:46:02 ( 1126 reads )



Indian Govt Says Holi on March 19, But Priests Say March 18


Posted on 2003/3/14 8:49:02 ( 817 reads )


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NEW DELHI, March 14, 2003: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs may have declared March 19 as the official holiday for Holi, but confusion continues. Several religious organizations have announced that they will celebrate Holi on March 18. Officials say that date for Holi was decided about a year ago after consulting the panchangam (the Hindu religious calender.) However priests differ. "Holi cannot be celebrated on March 19. Holika Dahan is on March 17, the Puranmashi (the full moon) night. Therefore, Dhulendi (the festival of colour) has to be celebrated the next day," said Laxmi Narayan Shastri, chief priest of Birla Temple. He also said that the religious texts do not ban people from celebrating Holi on Puranmashi. "The fuss is unnecessary. Holi has coincided with Puranmashi on earlier occasions as well," he said. The problem this year is that Puranmashi starts at 7:21 p.m. on March 17 and ends on 9:45 a.m. on March 18 and some say that Holi cannot be celebrated on March 18 because of this. HPI would like anyone with an expert opinion on this issue to share with our readers to please contact ar@hindu.org.






Elephant Saver Raman Sukumar Fourth Indian in a Row to Win "Green Oscar"


Posted on 2003/3/14 8:48:02 ( 962 reads )


Source: www.ndtv.com





LONDON, ENGLAND, March 14, 2003: Founder and Director of the Bangalore-based Asian Elephant Research and Conservation Center, Professor Raman Sukumar, has won the Whitley Golden Award, the most prestigious international award in the field of environment conservation, for his work in saving endangered Asian elephants. Sukumar received the award popularly known as the "Green Oscar" along with a cash prize of US$79,000 from Princess Anne at the Royal Geographical Society. This is the fourth year in succession that an Indian has won the award. Last year, a Pune scientist, Dr. Anand Karve won the award for developing a technique to produce clean fuel from sugarcane waste. In 2001, Vivek Menon, chief of the Wildlife Trust of India, was chosen for the award for his fight against poaching of elephants and in 2000, Gargi Banerji, a botanist, won the Golden Award for work in conserving medicinal plants in Himachal Pradesh. Sukumar said he planned to spend the cash prize to provide support to local farmers to mitigate the impact of elephants on their lands, as well as to help his field research team which acts as a "watchdog" -- identifying threats such as poaching for ivory and monitoring the health of the elephant population.






Old Dancers Loose to Youth in Delhi High Court


Posted on 2003/3/14 8:47:02 ( 838 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 12, 2003: How old is too old when it comes to dancing on stage? Do age, weight and fitness matter? And who should be the final arbiter? All it has taken for these questions to come bouncing to the surface is one court case where the Delhi High Court rejected Bharatanatyam dancer Komala Varadan's plea in her 1997 case against Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). The ICCR sends artistes in the 18-45 age-group for stage performances abroad. Those who are 45-plus are considered for lecture demonstrations, workshops and seminars. Varadan, who was 56 when she went to court, took this as an affront and wished to continue performing. Varadan's lawyer, R. K. Saini, had a simple argument, "You can be a good dancer even at the age of 60. She has good credentials, and if she didn't then why was she put even in the lec-dem section?" While everyone agrees that age and appearance do matter, the extent to which they are important is a highly contentious issue. Kelucharan Mohapatra, Birju Maharaj and T. Balasaraswati are repeatedly cited as examples of those who have transcended the age barrier. "At 65, I may have less stamina, but I compensate with other aspects like natya or my expressions which evolve with age," says Chennai-based Bharatanatyam dancer V. P. Dhananjayan.






New Temple Hall Opens in UK


Posted on 2003/3/14 8:46:02 ( 952 reads )


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HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND, February 18, 2003: Hindus in Huddersfield, England, celebrated the opening of an extension at their Huddersfield temple. The new wing doubles the size of the hall, located on Zetland Street. Officially unveiled by the Mayor of Kirklees Margaret Bates, Mayor Bates was garlanded by Kiran Bali, secretary of the temple's executive committee. Representatives from all other major religions were invited to the event and Ms Bali said, "The room was for all members of the community to use, not just Hindus."






Mata Amritanandamayi Devi Speaks on Hinduism


Posted on 2003/3/13 8:49:02 ( 892 reads )


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KERALA, INDIA, March 13, 2003: The following comments made by Mata Amritanandamayi Devi are excerpted from the interview at source: "Hinduism is not about one God. It is about seeing God in every manifestation of nature, be it an ant, bird, cow or snake. Don't we have temples for nature's creations? Other religions may believe in one God, but Hindus see Eeswaran in all His creation. Even an ant can teach us a lesson or two. ... Hinduism is perhaps the only religion that offers devotees a choice to worship the female Deity in a codified form. The Devi is worshipped by millions in India, but despite this, the status of woman in society has not changed. I would blame men for it, as women have been mentally conditioned to subservience for centuries. If a baby elephant's legs are chained, it carries the impression of the chains on its legs even when it grows up. So do Indian women."






Sivaratri Speech Celebrates Hindu/Muslim Unity in Kashmir


Posted on 2003/3/13 8:48:02 ( 838 reads )


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KASHMIR, INDIA, March 13, 2003: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed delivered a speech at the India Habitat Center that touched the hearts of one and all present, according to this article. The occasion was Sivaratri where Sayeed said, "This is a festival that is celebrated by both Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir with equal fervor. There is absolutely no rift between the two communities in the state. And what comes across as a wall of cultures between the two communities is nothing but mischief created by outsiders." Speaking about the past glory of Kashmir and its eternal beauty, Sayeed evoked strong emotional memories among the guests. Among them was Delhi theater personality, Sita Raina, who said, "The problem in Kashmir is not because of the people there, but the way they have been wrongly handled. And our only hope now is the people there believing that the problems can be solved."






High Birth Rate in Asian Immigrants Raise Concerns in UK


Posted on 2003/3/13 8:47:02 ( 996 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, March 5, 2003: According to the United Nations 2002 Revision of World Population Prospects, international immigration to countries like the UK, USA, Germany and Canada is likely to average about two million people per year. It also predicts a negative population growth in Europe. But what concerns most people is the prediction that fertility rates will fall below 2.1 children per woman in most developed countries. This is the level needed to ensure the long-term replacement of the population. As immigrants are known to have a higher birth rate, this statistic points to a potential alteration in the demography of developed countries. In the UK the impact of a greater rate of birth in Pakistanis and Bangladeshis is already being noticed. The rate has begun to decline in the Indian community with the correspondingly greater economic success and no religious edict against birth control. Sources say that the asylum seekers too would have a higher birth rate and the cumulative effect in years to come would not be very "pleasant" for the British society.






Diamond Armor Created for Udupi Deity


Posted on 2003/3/12 8:49:02 ( 989 reads )


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UDUPI, INDIA, March 8, 2003: The temple town of Udupi prepares to dedicate the $625,000 Vajra Kavach (diamond armor) to the presiding deity Lord Krishna at 10:45 am on March 10. More than 100,000 devotees from all over the country and abroad are expected to witness the spectacle. Sri Vidyadeesha Theertha Swamiji of the Paryaya Palimaru Math will dedicate the Vajra Kavacha to the deity to fulfill the desire of the late Sri Vidhamanya Theertha Swamiji of Palimaru Math, who had dedicated a golden cradle, golden chariot and a diamond crown to Lord Krishna. As many as 14 craftsmen from Hyderabad worked for 10 days to complete the assignment. Great care was taken in setting the diamonds to ensure color, clarity and cut at the best. According to the Paryaya Palimaru Swamiji, 6,817 diamonds, 4,994 rubies, 2,309 emeralds and 108 blue sapphires have been embedded in the nearly 18 pound golden breastplate. Sri Vidhyadeesha Theertha Swamiji said that the Vajra Kavacha was made for general well-being (Loka Kalyana) of people.






Ancient Hindu Temple Discovered in Cambodia


Posted on 2003/3/12 8:48:02 ( 1056 reads )


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CAMBODIA, March 6, 2003: The Chen Sran temple has been discovered around 40 kilometers from the Thai-Cambodia border, deep in the jungle of the northern Preah Vihear province. It was constructed in dedication to Hindu beliefs in the ninth or tenth century, cultural officials said. The monument was not known to authorities until villagers reported it to a provincial cultural officer, said Uong Von, chief of the heritage department at Cambodia's Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. The temple is 15 meters tall, 150 meters in length by 100 meters in width. Almost 50 percent of the structure was damaged and, despite the lack of a proper road to the site, most of its artifacts had been plundered. "The temple remains were only a body -- there were no artifacts," said Von. Nearly a dozen previously unknown temples have turned up in the last decade, said the expert who believes there are more temples lying undiscovered in the same area along the Thai-Cambodia border.






Hindus Blamed for Leicester Pigeon Problems?


Posted on 2003/3/12 8:47:02 ( 1183 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, March 5, 2003: One of the first initiatives of Mayor Ken Livingston was the removal of pigeons from Trafalgar Square. The Mayor removed the pigeons, amid protests, because he said over 200 tons of their droppings had to be cleaned up every year. Now the pigeons, and their related problems, have moved to Leicester, and the blame is being put on Hindus, mainly Gujaratis. Cossington Park, a favorite place for walks, is now also a favorite place for pigeons. Some are saying that members of the Hindu community regularly feed the pigeons there, as it is supposed to be a sacred act. But the Hindu families deny the charge saying they themselves are fed up with the conditions at the park and are unable to take their children for a walk. "It is nowhere prescribed in our religion to feed pigeons. The fact is, that a lot of the elderly, even in the white community, throw feed for birds. I have seen it in certain good localities in London as well," said a local Hindu journalist.




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