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Sri Ravishankar Speaks Out Against Religious Conversion


Posted on 2003/2/2 8:43:02 ( 836 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, January 21, 2003: Founder of The Art of Living Foundation, Sri Ravishankar, made quite an impression at the World Conference on Spiritual Regeneration and Human Values. He denounced religious conversion as the defamation of one religion in favor of another and proposed instead that different faiths enter into dialogue to find tolerance. He also called war the worst action of reason and suggested that political leaders turn to spirituality for answers. Attended by many government leaders from around the world and people representing a variety of social groups, the conference carried the common thread of the need for spirituality. Sri Ravishankar called it an opportunity for politicians to go back to their roots and connect with their karma.






UK's National Hindu Students Forum Has Annual Conference


Posted on 2003/1/30 8:49:02 ( 887 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, January 23, 2003: The National Hindu Students Forum in their nationwide campaign states, "We all have a talent or skill -- something to give to British Society. The best way that we can 'be British' and contribute to our host community, is by gaining inspiration from our eternal principled Hindu values and retaining our Hindu culture in the western world. The west is only just realising the rich heritage of our Hindu Dharma. We should promote these great benefits instead of discarding them. We should be proud to be Hindu and not satisfied to continue to be labelled under the 'Asian' umbrella. We are British and we are Hindu." Join talented youth and renowned speakers from across the country to an event that is designed to give Hindu Youth the opportunity to consider issues of importance and relevance in today's ever changing world. This years Youth Conference, entitled Apne Aap Ko Pahechaano -- "Be British Be Hindu" -- is scheduled for February 22, from 10:30 A.M -- 5:30 P.M. Kindly see "source" above for further information.






US Hosts Global Dharma Conference


Posted on 2003/1/30 8:48:02 ( 828 reads )


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NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES, January 23, 2003: Over 3000 people from around the world are expected to attend The Global Dharma Conference, from July 25th - 27th at the Raritan Exposition and Convention Center, Edison, New Jersey, USA. The three-day conference will feature H.H. Dalai Lama, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Dr. Deepak Chopra, and Dr. V. S. Naipaul. Organizations such as Hindu Students Council and Network of Hindu Minds from North America, Hindu Student Forum Netherlands, National Hindu Students Forum from UK, National Hindu Youth Federation of South Africa, World Organization of Students and Youth from India and Young Jains of America are co-sponsoring the event. Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Chinmaya Mission, Indian Council of Religious Leaders, International Center for Cultural Studies, Ramakrishna Mission, Sikh Sangathan, World Buddhist Association and World Council of Elders of the Ancient Traditions and Cultures are supporting the event. For additional information readers may contact "source" above.






1.2 Million Devotees Throng Malaysia's Batu Caves During Thai Pusam


Posted on 2003/1/29 8:49:02 ( 896 reads )


Source: Malaysian National News Agency





KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, January 19, 2003: While there were a number of Thai Pusam venues around Malaysia, none could rival Batu Caves for it's size and religious spectacle. Thai Pusam is among the biggest Hindu festivals in Malaysia and throughout the country, fifteen thousand kavadis, 10,000 milk-pot bearers, and hundreds of shaven-head worshippers paid homage to Lord Muruga - the Thai Pusam Deity. At Batu Caves, kavadi bearers, with palms together and prayer on their lips, inched their way up the 272-steps to the cave-temple -- the abode of Lord Muruga. Foreign tourists gasped in awe and the uniniated stared in disbelief as spike-pierced flesh and metal-skewed tongue defied logic and refused to bleed. Works Minister and MIC President Datuk S. Samy Vellu told reporters the Pahang and Kedah MIC would continue discussions to have Thaipusam declared a public holiday in the two States. This would give the Federal government the opportunity to declare a public holiday in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. So far only five States are given a public holiday for Thaipusam -- Penang, Selangor, Johore, Perak and Negeri Sembilan.






UK Indians Prosper Generally, But One-Third in Poverty


Posted on 2003/1/29 8:48:02 ( 818 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, January 23, 2003: In a conundrum few have been able to unravel, Britain's 1.3 million Indians are newly revealed to be doing better than all other community groups, but still remaining poorer than the white mainstream population. "An astonishing 75 per cent of the Indians are in full-time education by the time they are 18 years old," says sociologist Lucinda Platt, author of a landmark new study. "That compares very favorably with the general British population, just 42 per cent of which is in full-time education by age 18". And yet, said Platt, "One-third of all British Indians are in poverty, compared to less than a quarter of the general population." Wednesday's revelations are contained in "Parallel Lives," an eponymous book published on Wednesday by the campaigning Child Poverty Action Group. The book, which looks at poverty levels and its causes across the British population, is described as the first comprehensive survey of the problem. Platt insisted, "Indians are just not doing as well as they should do given their incredibly high levels of education and skills. There is a glass ceiling effect even in this community which has so many success stories at the top." Analysts said that the book underlined a grim truth, namely that the commonly-used term "Asian" for people from the Indian sub-continent covered many key differences.






A British Love Affair with Curry


Posted on 2003/1/28 8:49:02 ( 944 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, January 13, 2003: Curry, curry, and more curry have become the order of the day in the United Kingdom. London alone has almost 1200 Indian restaurants. An Indian dish called Chicken Tikka Masala was declared a national dish by Robin Cook two years ago. One ready-made packet of CTM is picked up every four seconds in one of the M & S stores in the country and Sir Gulam K. Noon's ready-made Indian food factories produce 10 tons of CTM every day in order to meet the demand of super store chains like Sainsburys. The origin of the dish did not hail from India but rather was created by an owner-cook in a small London restaurant who accidentally revised a traditional dish to please a retired British Colonel dining at his establishment. Employing more people than the coal and steel sector combined, the Indian ready-made food industry received investment support from the Department of Trade and Industry last year to the tune of US$41 million. In the future the Indian food industry is expected to become a major exporter.






American Hindu Temple on Public Television


Posted on 2003/1/28 8:48:02 ( 839 reads )


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LANHAM, UNITED STATES, January 16, 2003: The Public Broadcasting station recently featured an interview between Deryl Davis, reporter, and various devotees at the Maryland Sri Siva-Vishnu Temple just outside of Washington, D.C. Deryl Davis introduces the Temple as an opportunity for people in the West to experience the world's most ancient religion right here on American soil Dr. Siva Subramanian says, "Hinduism believes in one God, and all the Gods and Goddesses are reflections of this one God." Davis explains that the temple has become a meeting place for American Hindus of all traditions, a place where they can worship the Lord in the way they feel most comfortable. Dr. Subramanian further explains to Davis that all religions are different paths to the same God and that even within Hinduism itself, there are multiple paths to reach God.






Assam's Elephants Promoted for Protection


Posted on 2003/1/27 8:49:02 ( 942 reads )


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ASSAM, INDIA, January 13, 2003: Hoping to ease the tension between the local villagers and the elephants, and to promote an appreciation for the pachyderms, a carnival attended by 15,000 people at Kaziranga National Park may have achieved this purpose. The crowds cheered as elephants danced, played football and marched in unison during the two-day festival. Wildlife fans were able to witness first-hand elephants taking a community bath. Organized by the Assam government, the Elephant Festival was intended to promote eco-tourism and impress upon the locals the need to protect the elephants. Of the 10,000 wild elephants in India, 5500 of them call Assam home and 2500 of these have been domesticated. Depleting forest cover has forced some elephants to leave their habitat and this is when the contact with humans has resulted in a least 150 people being trampled to death in the last two years. As a result, the locals resent the elephants. Additionally, some people kill the elephants for meat and sell their tusks in the international market. Paraj Jyoti Das, a tourist attending the carnival says, "I just cannot describe in words the sight of the majestic elephants playing in water, totally oblivious of the outside world." Arun Mali, a mahout, responds to the elephants' impressive performance during the festival, "It all depends on how caring a caretaker you are. If you love him, the elephant would never disobey your commands."






UK's Trinity College Adds Indian Music to its Curriculum


Posted on 2003/1/27 8:48:02 ( 767 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, January 13, 2002: For decades, the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has been promoting and spreading the culture and arts of India in its facility. Apparently its efforts have not gone unnoticed as Trinity College of Music has asked the Bhavan to start a course in Indian music at the college in 2004. For Hindu culture this means that western pupils will be exposed to classical ragas. Besides the historic recognition, the Bhavan has completed an extension with new classrooms, an art gallery, and a new modern look.






Papal Documents Record Evidence of the Caste System


Posted on 2003/1/26 8:49:02 ( 893 reads )


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TAMIL NADU, INDIA, January 10, 2003: Evidence that the caste system and it perpetuation has been prevalent within the Catholic church in India, has been discovered in various papal documents. Following conversion to Christianity from Hinduism, the Dalits (so called untouchables) were kept separate from the Brahmins in the congregation. In 1623, missionaries requested that the Bull (decree) of Pope Gregory XV allow Brahmins to maintain certain caste practices such as the sacred thread, sandals and ablutions. The pope agreed, providing the converts showed charity towards Dalits. In 1779, the Propagation of Faith wrote, "The separation in the church and at the entrance of the church, also the distinction of cemeteries may actually be tolerated for fear of greater evil." As late as 1985 a court verdict upheld the 80-year-old practice of separate graveyards for Dalit Christians of Trichy, Tamil Nadu.






Indian Villagers Pledge To Fight Extortion By Christian Separatists


Posted on 2003/1/26 8:48:02 ( 826 reads )


Source: Agence France Presse





GUWAHATI, INDIA, December 31, 2002: Hindu villagers in India's restive northeastern state of Tripura have pledged to fight alleged extortion demands by a Christian separatist group, community leaders said. Militants of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) have served extortion notices to hundreds of Hindu tribals and threatened them with death if they do not pay up. "The demand notes were served only to tribal Hindu villagers with warnings of capital punishment to those who violated their diktat," said Aswathama Jamatia, head priest of the Jamatia Hoda, an influential tribal Hindu group. Police have confirmed the extortion demands by the NLFT, which is a predominantly Christian group fighting for an independent tribal homeland. Community leaders say the NLFT has demanded three percent of the annual earnings of all government employees as tax, besides charging anything between US$40.00 to $90.00 from farmers and businessmen. Tribal Hindus also accuse the NLFT of converting people to Christianity at gunpoint.






London's Metropolitan Police Forms Hindu Association


Posted on 2003/1/23 8:49:02 ( 880 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, January 11, 2003: For the first time in the history of London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), its Hindu officers have come together to form the Metropolitan Police Hindu Association (MPHA). The MPS has over 200 Hindu staff members. The chairman of MPHA, Mahesh Nandha, told Hindustan Times that there are already 40 people interested and more are expected. "Our aim is to help the Metropolitan Police and the Hindu staff in recruiting more people from the community and trying to keep them for longer within the service." He said the Association would provide welfare, support and mentoring. It will help improve recruitment and retention of Hindu employees by working in conjunction with police projects, policies and strategies and reduce premature resignation of Hindu employees. The launch of the MPHA follows a major campaign by the Metropolitan Police to stamp out race hate crime. Dissemination and knowledge of Hindu culture, he said, will undoubtedly help and he said he has already had very positive feedback.






Solar Tower to be built in Australian Outback


Posted on 2003/1/23 8:48:02 ( 910 reads )


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NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, January 5, 2003: History will be made in 2006, if everything goes as planned, with the completion of a 3300 foot tall solar tower in the Australian Outback. Conceived in Germany by structural engineers Schlaich Bergerman, the tower has the financial backing of the Australian and New South Wales governments to the tune of US $593 million dollars. Upon completion, the structure could provide enough electricity for 200,000 homes and reduce greenhouse gases by more than 700,000 tones. The proposed structure will have a width similar in size to a football field and will stand in the centre of a huge glass roof spanning 7km (4.3 miles). The sun will heat the air under the glass roof, and as it rises an updraft will be created in the tower, allowing air to be sucked through 32 turbines. The turbines will then spin, generating power 24 hours a day. Hopefully other countries that have intense sunlight, such as India, will follow in Australia's footsteps by using solar energy as a power source.






Spiritual Fashion Could Revive Passion


Posted on 2003/1/22 8:49:02 ( 899 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 6, 2002: Fashion designer Lorain Chopra is amazing her clients with garments which evoke spiritual ecstasy and enhance sensual elegance. Since spirituality dressing is fast becoming a trend among youth in most European countries, Lorain's latest collection uses symbols like the Siva Lingam, chakras, angels, yantras and the naga. Priced between US$18 to $178, Chopra's ensembles are available in blue, maroon, off-white and beige. "Recently, I bought a top with a black cobra embossed on its front. Whenever I put it on, it makes me feel so ecstatic and sensuous that either I get into a trance or I feel like rediscovering my passion all over again," says Bonnie Baker, an American tour consultant who is a fan of Lorain's clothes. "I draw inspiration from my close encounters which I experience during the state of deep meditation," says Lorain, who practices meditation on a daily basis. "I feel that the American mind, being naturally inquisitive, is more open to such experiments. I am looking for aesthetic and spiritual acknowledgement rather than financial gains. That's why I chose New York for the display of my creativity," adds Lorain.






Hindus Love to Buy Gold as an Investment


Posted on 2003/1/21 8:49:02 ( 1465 reads )


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CHENNAI, INDIA, May 15, 2002: While western cultures on the
planet watch the stock market and various indexes to decide when to invest; East Indian culture turns to astrology and the stars. Investing in gold has been a time-honored tradition in India and last May 15th jewelery stores in Chennai were swamped with people wanting to buy gold pieces. It was Akshaya Tritiya and according to Indian Astrology, it is a must to buy gold on this day as purchases on this day are most auspicious. One shopper says, "Buying gold on Akshaya Tritiya is a family tradition of ours. Although I am not able to afford anything heavy or grand, it is still a very exciting experience. I like it because shops display new designs and there is such an air of celebration about the whole experience."




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