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Malaysia Hindus Cautioned to Beware of "Quacks"

Posted on 2003/7/1 9:48:02 ( 932 reads )


PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA, July 1, 2003: Malaysia Hindu Sangam president Datuk A. Vaithilingam called on Hindus not to fall prey to so-called foreign teachers, fake astrologers and quack doctors. "These people come here and set up an office to earn quick money. They urge people to pay hundreds of ringgit just for the so-called blessings," he said during the association's 26th annual general meeting. "Certainly, no teacher can achieve a wondrous result in such a short time. Great sages and rishis of Hinduism gave us the different yogas not for profit but to help devotees in their regular daily life," Vaithilingam said.

Fresh Water Honored in Trinidad and Tobago

Posted on 2003/7/1 9:47:02 ( 985 reads )


TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, June 5, 2003: As planet Earth faces a reduced supply of fresh water, ceremonies such as Ganga Dhaaraa, which took place on June 15, take on added significance. Representatives from various faiths including American Indian, Christian, Islam and Hindu joined together to honor the coming of Ganga to Earth and the necessity of fresh water on Earth. The event coincided very closely with World Environment Day and supported the UN's environmental theme of fresh water. Religion and science joined together to present seminars with speakers from both communities. Hindus, as well as American Indian traditions, have a rich heritage centered around the importance of fresh water.

Goddess Saraswati Awaits Jaffna Library Opening

Posted on 2003/7/1 9:46:02 ( 995 reads )


JAFFNA, SRI LANKA, June 27, 2003: Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of learning is standing guard, a retired school principal is all fired up, the computers are in place and war-weary Jaffna is ready for the reopening of its famous library, more than two decades after it was set it ablaze in 1981. The library, a center of learning and culture, is hugely symbolic for the country's minority Tamil community. The fire destroyed nearly 100,000 Tamil-language books, including rare palm leaf writings. Locals hope its reopening will help heal some of the torment from a civil war that has killed 64,000 people and displaced more than one million. They also hope it will bolster a peace process backed by a 16-month-old ceasefire between Tamil rebels and the Government.

Naidu Government Told "Hands-Off Tirupati Fund"

Posted on 2003/7/1 9:45:02 ( 942 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, June 28, 2003: When the cash-strapped Chandrababu Naidu government tried to dip into the funds of the Tirupati-Tirumala Devasthanam (TTD), India's richest shrine with an annual income of over US$108,126,000, they found resistance from temple authorities, employees, religious leaders and political parties. Naidu had recently directed the temple to contribute $16,261,000 to build an infrastructure for the Godavari puskaram -- a mini Kumbha Mela -- beginning next month, as well as an additional $1,084,000 for the golden jubilee festivities of the Venkateswara University. The government met with such opposition they were forced to downsize the request to less than one-half the original amount or face the threat of public agitation if they persisted with their request for funding. The much-respected Tridandi Sriman Narayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeer Swamy has criticized the move as an "unhealthy practice" and said, "The government should explore alternative sources."

Thailand's Khmer Hindu Temples to be a World Heritage Site

Posted on 2003/6/30 9:49:02 ( 887 reads )


BANGKOK, THAILAND, June 29, 2003: Thailand's Culture Ministry plans to propose the Phanom Rung Historical Park and associated ancient spots for listing as a World Heritage site. A Fine Arts Department official said the decision followed the discovery of an old cultural route linking all the Khmer-style sanctuaries. The official said the department would register the entire area surrounding Phanom Rung Historical Park -- almost 6,900 acres -- as one historical site, to be known as Muang Phanom Rung. In addition to the better known ancient ruins, built in the 12 century by Hindus, Muang Phanom Rung incorporates other historical sites. HPI adds: For more information on these 9th to 14th century Khmer Hindu temples of north eastern Thailand click: here

Singapore Religious Groups Join Charity Drive

Posted on 2003/6/30 9:48:02 ( 939 reads )


SINGAPORE, JUNE 29, 2003: Several social and religious groups, led by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), are collaborating to raise US$200,000 for this year's President's Challenge. As of this writing, Sinda, the Eurasian Association, Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple and Sri Siva Krishna Hindu Temple are involved in this group effort while other organizations are being actively recruited to help. The President's Challenge, which aims to raise $7 million this year to benefit 45 charities, will be held from August 29 to September 14. Mr. A. Sivalingam, chairman of Sri Siva Krishna Hindu Temple, said he hoped to promote an understanding of Hinduism through the temple's participation in the charity drive.

U.S. Religious Land-Use Law Struck Down

Posted on 2003/6/30 9:47:02 ( 954 reads )

Charisma News Service

LOS ANGELES, U.S.A., June 30, 2003: In a ruling that could significantly impact land-use issues for all religious congregations nationwide, a Los Angeles district judge this week struck down a federal law that protects churches, synagogues, and temples from attempts by local governments to limit new construction of religious buildings with restrictive zoning and land use regulations. In a case involving Elsinore Christian Center, Stephen Wilson ruled that the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) is unconstitutional. The bill had been passed unanimously by Congress and signed by President Clinton, the attorney representing ECC noted. "In its opinion, the court said that the city violated RLUIPA, but instead of sticking with that decision, the court decided to declare RLUIPA unconstitutional," he added, and vowed to appeal Wilson's decision to the Supreme Court.

The case goes back to 2001 when EEC sued city officials after the Assemblies of God congregation was denied a permit to move to a commercial building. Citing RLUIPA, the church also alleged violations of its First Amendment rights to free speech, freedom of assembly and free exercise of religion. The church wanted to buy an old grocery store and move its congregation to the new location. Officials denied the permit, saying that the city would lose sales-tax revenue and downtown residents would lose their only market. As the litigation worked through the courts, the owner sold to another buyer. HPI adds: RLUIPA provided protection for Hindu temples also, in that local governments could not "zone" them out of their area.

How Many Americans Only Eat Their Veggies?

Posted on 2003/6/30 9:46:02 ( 1018 reads )


UNITED STATES, June 30, 2003: In the United States the interest in vegetarian foods has exploded in the last few years, as evidenced by the increased number of vegetarian products now available in stores throughout the country. However, how many people are actually vegetarian? A 2003 Vegetarian Resource Group Harris Interactive survey indicated that 2.8 percent of those surveyed said they never eat meat, poultry, or fish/seafood and over half those vegetarians can be classified as vegans, those who do not consume meat, poultry, fish/seafood, dairy products, eggs, or honey. Six percent of the population said they never eat meat while ten percent within the 25-34 year age bracket indicated they have a meatless diet. As to how many vegetarians -- the U.S. 2000 census found that there are 209 million people 18 and older in the U.S. If we subtract 4 million institutionalized of all ages, based on 2.8 percent vegetarians, we calculate there are about 5.7 million adult vegetarians in the U.S. For additional statistics on vegetarianism in the United States kindly see "source" above.

The American Divorce Myth

Posted on 2003/6/30 9:45:02 ( 983 reads )


UNITED STATES, June 27, 2003: For the past 30 years Americans have used the idea that "if divorce is better for you, it will be better for your kids," to justify their increasing recourse to divorce. However, recent evidence indicates that these justifications are illusions. The widespread practice of divorce in this culture has been based on the wishful thinking of adults while its tragic cost has been borne by children. Barbara Dafoe Whitehead's "The Divorce Culture" analyzes the history and social significance of divorce.

A troubling picture emerged from studies of larger populations and from tracing the effects on children over time. Even though 80 percent of men and 50 percent of women felt their lives were better after divorce, the effects on children were disastrous. By almost every measure, children in divorced families fared worse: emotional problems, early sexual experimenting, dropping out of school, delinquency, teen pregnancy and drug use. Remarriage was no solution; children in stepfamilies were two to three times more likely than their counterparts to suffer emotional and behavioral problems and twice as likely to have learning problems. Long-term studies by Judith Wallerstein and others argue that the impact of divorce on children is cumulative. Even 15 years after their parents' divorce many children are emotionally troubled and unable to sustain a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Their parents' inability to sustain the relationship that counted most to them and the subsequent loss of connection to their fathers seem to have eroded these young peoples' sense of identity and ability to trust others and commit themselves.

International Conference on Mahabharata and Puranas Planned

Posted on 2003/6/30 9:44:02 ( 1046 reads )


KANCHIPURAM, INDIA, June 30, 2003: An International Conference on the Mahabharata and Puranas is planned for December 24 to 28, 2003, in Kanchipuram, India, under the auspices of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Sankaracharya Mutt. The conference will focus attention on the contribution of the Mahabharata and Puranas to art, thought and literature in Asian and South East Asian countries. Scholars interested in attending the conference and presenting academic papers may register their names before August 1, 2003, by writing to the Convener of the Conference, Dr. R. Nagaswamy, Former Vice Chancellor, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati University of Kanchipuram, 11, 22nd Cross Street, Besant Nagar, Chennai, India 600090 or by contacting Dr. Nagaswamy at "source" above.

Honoring Alain Danielou

Posted on 2003/6/27 9:49:02 ( 1183 reads )


PARIS, FRANCE, June 22, 2003: During 2004, a number of programs are being planned to mark the tenth death anniversary of well-known writer, historian and Saivite, Alain Danielou. A French film about Alain Danielou by Joel Farges will be released in Francophone countries, with filming already completed in Rome, Venice, Varanasi and Paris. A film in English by the Indian director Rohit Singh Negi is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. A touring exhibition of watercolors by Alain Danielou depicting his years in India will be mounted in Rome and Paris while Fayard, the French publisher of Alain Danielou's book on photographs, "The Traditional India" will hold exhibitions of these photographs at the Cini Foundation, Venice. Shantiniketan, in West Bengal, will also show an exhibition of photographs concerning Rabindra Nath Tagore. Tagore's 18 songs, set in Western notation by Alain Danielou, will be played in different concerts in Europe and India. Additionally, there will be a seminar on the relationship between Alain Danielou and Tagore. The Association Adelante has adopted the plays of Harsha, translated by Alain Danielou for staging in Paris. Translations of various books by Alain Danielou are being prepared in Hindi and English languages for publication in 2004. For additional information, kindly contact Jacques Cloarec at "source" above. Readers may also visit the website at http://www.alaindanielou.org however, one must be fluent in French to gain full enjoyment from the site.

Moo's Soon to be Silenced on New Delhi's Roads

Posted on 2003/6/27 9:48:02 ( 903 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 25, 2003: Next January Delhi roads will see a major change as MCD Commissioner Rakesh Mehta is all geared up to rid the roads of the estimated 36,000 stray cattle. Says Mehta, "As per a Supreme Court order, we have to make Delhi cattle-free by January 1, 2004. We are pressing 24 trucks into service to get the cattle transported outside the city. Working with a colony-wise approach, we have assigned two trucks with humane cattle-lifts to each colony." After the cattle are picked up, they would be sent to goshalas outside the city." Animal rights activist Gita Sushmani says, "Even if they are serious about it, how can they get rid of 36,000 cows? How will they find so many goshalas?"

Community Arts School for Preston

Posted on 2003/6/27 9:47:02 ( 1089 reads )

Lancashire Evening Post

LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND, June 20, 2003: There are ambitious plans to create a community school dedicated to Indian arts in Preston, England. The project is being spearheaded by the Gujarat Hindu Society based at its temple and cultural center on South Meadow Lane in the city. It is hoped the school will allow people to learn dance and traditional Indian musical instruments, including the tabla and harmonium. Around US$824,650.00 is needed to help make the dream a reality and negotiations are now taking place for Heritage Lottery Funding and other sources of funding. Ishwer Tailor, president of the Gujarat Hindu Society says, "At the moment, there is no provision in the community for the promotion of traditional Indian dancing and instruments."

Japan's Delightfully Delectable Vegetables

Posted on 2003/6/27 9:46:02 ( 934 reads )


TOKYO, JAPAN, June 22, 2003: If you grew up in America in the 40's and 50's you ate the usual vegetables -- carrots, potatoes, peas and corn. However, upon arriving in Japan in the 60's the author of this very long article encountered the most incredible variety of plant foods and claims the Japanese botanical bounty continues to amaze, delight and nourish her daily. Describing the culinary delights of five exceptional restaurants, three in Tokyo and one each in Kyoto and Yokohama, that celebrate Japan's rich array of native vegetables, this article will entice you with unique vegetarian dishes. Although not all the restaurants are strictly vegetarian, their vegetarian fare and accompanying mouth watering photographs make this well worth the read.

Ujjain Hosts Simhastha in 2004

Posted on 2003/6/27 9:45:02 ( 1027 reads )


UJJAIN, INDIA, June 27, 2003: In the summer of 2004 the ancient city of Ujjain will be part of an historic event, The Simhastha, which signifies the movement of the planets into the zodiac of Leo, Simha Rasi. The spiritual milieu at the Kumbha Mela, the largest human gathering on the planet for the purpose of worshipping the Divine, attracts people from all over the world. The sheer size of the event is stunning. Thousands of sadhus, along with millions of pilgrims making their obeisance to an ancient tradition will be on hand. SITA World Travel has set up a camp called Sita's Nivana and from the comfort of the camp one can participate in one of the oldest rituals of Hinduism. Complete details of this event, together with a program outline can be found at "source" above.

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