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 ... 820 821 822 (823) 824 825 826 ... 1025 »

Do-It-Yourself Guide for Hindu Rituals

Posted on 2003/6/11 9:46:02 ( 1452 reads )


LUCKNOW, INDIA, June 7, 2003: If you have been forced to postpone or cancel a family samskara because the priest was booked or ill, the Uttar Pradesh Sanskrit Sansthan has found a solution. For Rs 100, one can purchase the Paurohitya Karm Prashikshak or simply the Karmkand Manual, a perfect do-it-yourself guide to various elaborate Hindu rituals. From the rituals that are held at the birth of a child to the rituals followed at the time of death and thereafter, this book has it all. The directions and the steps of a particular ritual are written in Hindi while the mantras to be recited on the occasion are in Sanskrit. Written by a team of experts in Hindu Karmakand and Sanskrit, the reader can become his own priest and conduct even the most elaborate of pujas and rituals on his own, claims the Sanskrit Sansthan. Chandra Kant Dwiwedi, assistant director of the UP Sanskrit Sansthan, and one of the book's editors, admits that it was necessity that led to the book. "We found that the number of priests was too few in relation to the demand. We decided that if individuals in a household, be it a man or a woman, could get a handbook of rituals and mantras it would not only solve the problem but would also maintain the sanctity of Sanatana Dharma," he said. HPI adds: We do NOT have the address where one can purchase this book, and would appreciate if someone could find and send it to us. We'd also point out that it is unlikely someone lacking years of training and the proper initiation could really conduct "even the most elaborate of pujas and rituals on his own."

Humanitarian Aid for Sri Lankan Flood Victims

Posted on 2003/6/11 9:45:02 ( 947 reads )


VIENNA, AUSTRIA, June 6, 2003: His Holiness Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwaranandaji, worldwide head of Yoga in Daily Life, has organized a worldwide fund raising drive to collect funds for Sri Lanka's flood victims. Dr. Karan Singh was invited to give a lecture on Vedanta at the Vienna fundraiser. Readers wishing to donate or to listen to Dr. Singh's talk, kindly log onto "source" above.

Seeking Contact Information

Posted on 2003/6/11 9:44:02 ( 1057 reads )


KAUAI, U.S.A., June 11, 2003: Atma Darshan is organizing an event during the Kumbha Mela at Nasik in August and wishes to invite H.H. Sant Kirit Bhai of Gujarat, well known for his pravachans on Bhagavat and the Ramayana. If any reader knows how to reach His Holiness, please contact Radhakrishnan at "source" above. To find out more about Atma Darshan, log onto their website at http://www.atmadarshan.com.

American Cows are Beginning to Receive Sanctuaries

Posted on 2003/6/10 9:49:02 ( 1089 reads )


PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A., June 8, 2003: Down an unmarked dirt road in a hilly corner of eastern Pennsylvania, Sankar Sastri calls out to his nine cows who, after a moment, romp around Sastri like children at play. "They're all happy today," the former engineering technology professor says. They have good reason to be for the cows live on Sastri's Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary, one of a scattered web of safe havens across the country protecting the animals from slaughter. Cows are considered holy by Hindus like Sastri and are adored by some animal lovers. On a recent soggy afternoon, standing beside his century-old barn, Sastri moved among the cows, calling them by name. "This is Sita. She's very loving. Look at the beautiful blue eyes," said Sastri. "We say the cow is like a second mother to us. You wouldn't send your mother to slaughter, would you?" A handful of other cow sanctuaries dot the country.

For followers of Hinduism, cows have a historical and cultural sanctity not easily understood in the West, said George Weckman, a professor who teaches a course in Hinduism at Ohio University. Cows are considered holy in ancient Hindu religious texts and stories. They are the living symbol of a Hindu's reverence and respect for nature and all living beings. Cows in India also are a practical cornerstone of life. Milk is used for nourishment, dung for fuel and cow urine for medicinal purposes. And to Hindus, cows are to be protected -- not eaten. However, cows have won the hearts of non-Hindus in America as well. Helga Tacreiter, who grew up loving dogs, runs a 13-cow sanctuary in Shiloh, New Jersey, a project she started after working on a dairy farm. "I met the cows and I was just wowed by them," said Tacreiter. Tacreiter said she thinks of cows as people in the sense that dogs are sometimes considered family members.

Such sanctuaries are like little islands in a nation that remains in love with beef. Americans' consumption of beef went up from 66.6 pounds per capita in 1995 to an estimated 68 pounds per capita last year, according to the Department of Agriculture. At the Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary, Sastri's eyes dance as he watches his cows wander away. He wished more people knew them as well as he does. "They only see them as meat," he said. "Animals have a soul, personality, they interact. Unfortunately people don't see that."

Earth's Inhabitants Facing Water Crisis

Posted on 2003/6/10 9:48:02 ( 898 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 5, 2003: At one time water was considered an endlessly renewable resource, but this is no longer true as much of the world faces a serious water crisis. This is particularly evident in India where lakes and wells are drying up and monsoon rains are late this year. The Central Ground Water Authority says that in 286 districts, across 18 states, water levels have fallen more than 4 meters in 20 years. Mid-subcontinent cities such as New Delhi have saline water near the surface, whereas coastal Chennai and Mumbai have sea water intrusion in the water supply. Central Pollution Control Board scientist, R.C. Trivedi says, "Water demand in cities is galloping way ahead of supply, and since most urban areas don't have adequate systems for sewage, this seeps into the ground, polluting groundwater." A United Nations Environmental Program says, "Many of the world's natural underground reservoirs, upon which two billion people depend for drinking water, are under increasing stress." Because groundwater is cheap and easy to tap into, it's loss isn't only felt in India. Throughout the southwestern United States, groundwater is being removed annually faster than it's possible to replace from rainfall.

The Legend of Dwaraka....Myth or Fact?

Posted on 2003/6/10 9:47:02 ( 972 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 1, 2003: The Legend of Dwaraka, city of Lord Krishna, is it fact or legend? Historians studying ancient texts and eminent archaeologists have come together trying solve the mystery. Indian archaeologist Dr. S.R. Rao writes about his undersea find of the famed city in his book, The Lost City of Dwaraka. "The discovery is an important landmark in the history of India. It has set to rest the doubts expressed by historians about the historicity of Mahabharata and the very existence of Dwaraka city. It has greatly narrowed the gap in Indian history by establishing the continuity of the Indian civilization from the Vedic Age to the present day."

Malaysian Hindu Sangam President Honored by King

Posted on 2003/6/10 9:46:02 ( 1018 reads )


KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, June 7, 2003: A. Vaithilingam, President of the Malaysia Hindu Sangam has been awarded the Darjah Kebesaran Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN) (approximately, "Most Honorable Knight in Service of His Country") by Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertua Agong (His Majesty, The King) of Malaysia on the occasion of His Majesty's official Birthday Celebrations, Saturday, June 7, 2003. This very distinguished award carries the title of "Datuk," equivalent to the title "Sir" of those holding British knighthood.

Trinidad's Glorious Dattatreya Mandir

Posted on 2003/6/9 9:49:02 ( 959 reads )


TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, June 9, 2003: It's a most beautiful site to behold, say visitors nearing the Mandir. One passerby described it as "like visiting India itself" while foreigners who came in four maxi-taxis yesterday marveled at its beauty and serenity. They were all eyeing the magnificent 85-foot-high Hanuman murthi -- the largest outside India it's claimed, and the exquisite architectural designs of the pinkish/saffron (Kesari) colored Dattatreya Mandir at Orange Field Road, Carapichaima. Bala Swamiji, who has been living at the ashram for almost two decades, said the structure was built according to the Dravidian style of architecture of South India. Two gray concrete elephants provide water for devotees to wash their feet before entering the main mandir at the northern side. After passing the elephants, one enters the dome. The inside of the dome has seven stages of graded architecture, with numerous figures of musicians playing the various types of musical instruments in seven different colors. This is symbolic of inviting a guest into the main hall of the big mandir. The color schemes are the same as in India, Swamiji said. The same architectural style is evident inside the mandir dedicated to Lord Dattatreya. Inside the main mandir there are several smaller ones dedicated especially to Lord Dattatreya, Lord Siva and to the Mother Goddess. Subramaniyam Sthapati is on site sthapati (supervising architect) and twenty silpis (masons) were brought from India to do the artwork on the mandir and to build the Hanuman murthi, which took two years to complete. "We plan to have a primary and secondary school on site, a play park and garden with a beautiful landscape to bring peace to all who visit," Swamiji said. Readers may kindly contact "source" above for additional information.

Rock Art in Tamil Nadu Needs to be Recognized and Preserved

Posted on 2003/6/9 9:48:02 ( 1206 reads )


TAMIL NADU, INDIA, June 2, 2003: Rock art, with origins from prehistoric times, has been receiving publicity in Tamil Nadu for the past several years when G. Chandrasekaran, professor at Chennai's Government College of Fine Arts, formed a society called Roots. Under this banner, artists, art historians and archaeologists are attempting to save over fifty sites in Tamil Nadu from blasting by granite quarries. India possesses one of the three largest concentrations of rock art where the art form is expressed by paintings using wet paint or dry pigments rather than by petroglyphs, where images are engraved and etched onto the rock surface. Sites in Central India are well known, but the concentrations in Tamil Nadu have so far been neglected. Chandrasekaran has been studying large deposits of rock painting sites at Settavarai, Alampadi and Keelvalai in Villupuram. He reflects about a specific image depicting a deer or a goat on a 20 by 15 foot canvas at Settavarai, "Unlike the other images on the same rock canvas, the deer-goat image is executed with finesse and style by an artist who was sure of his/her lines and strokes." At Alampadi, huge reptilian images capture the rock surface while Settavarai boasts figures that could be placed anywhere between 3,000 BCE and 500 BCE. The rock art at Keelvalai was probably of a later period and depicts images of boating scenes and symbols such as the swastika. Even though these sites have been known by archaeologists for more than twenty years, very little has been done so far to preserve the art forms that are usually near granite quarrying sites. Art historian K.T. Gandhirajan says, "The issue here is not of Tamil culture and heritage. Rock art belongs to all of humanity. There are some 20 million rock art images in over 120 countries. What we have here in Tamil Nadu is part of an international heritage."

Malaysia's Sri Muniswaran Temple Relocating

Posted on 2003/6/9 9:47:02 ( 1478 reads )


KEDAH STATE, MALAYSIA, June 9, 2003: The MIC division here appealed to the Kedah government yesterday for land to relocate the Sri Muniswaran Temple in Jalan Kisap. The temple has been ordered demolished because it was renovated illegally. Division chairman T.Manogharan said the 80-year-old temple was one of the oldest Hindu temples on the island. "We understand that the temple was renovated without approval from the local authority, but we hope the state government would reconsider its decision," Manogharan said. He also urged the state to provide funds to help them relocate, and that they needed two to three months for that. The Langkawi Municipal Council and district office had moved heavy machinery into the area following countless reminders to the temple committee to relocate because it had encroached onto a public road. According to Manogharan, the temple community apologized for not having the foresight to notify the local authorities of their need to extend the temple, saying they were ignorant of the process. He also thanked Kedah CPO Datuk Supian Ahmad who mediated for the community over the matter. Manogharan said the police had urged the community to relocate the temple in three days. The temple committee would speak to Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain to provide a site for the temple relocation. In Alor Star, Syed Razak said the state had no intention to oppress the devotees. "But the building is too near the road, so it has to be demolished," he said. Syed Razak said the state was willing to talk with the temple committee if they wanted land for a new temple. However, he said, they would have to apply for the new land.

Pondicherry Girl Dances for 60 Hours for Guinness Book of Records

Posted on 2003/6/9 9:46:02 ( 1017 reads )


PONDICHERRY, INDIA, June 4, 2003: A 20-year-old classical danseuse performed bharata natyam for 60 hours, qualifying her to seek an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. Sangeetha, a final-year student at the Bharathiyar Balakalaikoodam, completed the targeted task at 9:15 p.m. last night after she began her dance at 8:30 a.m. on June 1. Unlike an earlier national record, where two Andhra Pradesh girls entered the Limca Book of Records by performing bharata natyam and kuchipudi each (for 40 and 50 hours respectively) by taking a break for 15 minutes after every eight hours, Sangeetha, who hails from this town, took a brief rest (admissible as per Guinness Book norms) only after every ten hours. Pondicherry Chief Minister N. Rangasamy attended the culmination of the taxing endeavor last night and presented her a cash award of US$533 on behalf of the Bharathiyar Balakalaikoodam. "Will power would help us achieve anything," he told the audience.

Chennai Temple to Have India's Tallest Hanuman statue

Posted on 2003/6/9 9:45:02 ( 1534 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, June 5, 2003: The Board of Trustees of Panchamuka Sri Jayamurthi Seva Trust have announced the creation of the tallest Anjaneya (Hanuman) statue in India, currently sculpted in Kelambakkam near Chennai. The statue will be installed in a temple being constructed at Panchavatee on the Tindivanam-Pondicherry National Highway. The temple is being built as a result of the divine ordainment to Anjaneya devotee Brahmasari Ramani Anna. Brahmasari Anna was invited by Santhanam to visit and grace his land. No sooner had he stepped on to the land than a vision of a magnificent temple of Lord Anjaneya rose before his eyes. "I had a vision. I was invited to grace the land of Santhanam. No sooner had I set foot than I felt the presence of the Lord Anjaneya. I saw a vision of his glorious temple standing there. I shared my vision with Santhanam and he generously donated his land." said Brahmasri Ramani Anna. Sculptor Padmasri Muthiah said the statue, sculpted out of a single piece of granite, is 36 feet high with five different faces, 10 hands and ornamentation and objects appropriate to each facet of the Lord's grace. Muthiah says, "It is difficult to sculpt on a single stone. The statue has ten hands with objects. It was quite a challenge. A slight mistake and the statue would be ruined. It took 36 sculptors to complete it in 26 months. Among all my works, this is my masterpiece." The statue will be installed at Panchavatee, 9 kilometers from Pondicherry on June 11.

Indian Immigrants Slow to Integrate into Host Societies

Posted on 2003/6/6 9:49:02 ( 966 reads )


PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD, June 4, 2003: Lamenting the fact that Indian diaspora was "slow to integrate into the mainstream of the host societies," a senior Indian official said that most Indians looked for a middle ground in most issues and avoided extremes. Speaking at a two-day seminar on "From Indentureship to Entrepreneurship," hosted by the Indian High Commission to mark the 158th anniversary of Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad and Tobago, Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs J. C. Sharma said, "It has become second nature for Indians to look for the middle ground and avoid extremes." Indians followed a 3,000-year-old tradition of diversity, accommodation and acceptance. Admitting that Indians in Trinidad had suffered from discrimination, principal of the University of the West Indies Bhoe Tewarie said that the community had adapted and progressed in spite of such obstacles and "the future of the Indian community cannot be divorced from the wider community in which we live."

Indians came to Surinam in search of Shri Ram 130 years ago

Posted on 2003/6/6 9:48:02 ( 1418 reads )


PARAMARIBO, SURINAM, June 5, 2003: The first batch of indentured laborers from India was brought here 130 years ago aboard the ship Lala Rukh and had the mistaken belief they were going to the land of Shri Ram and not Surinam. Upon arrival some were dejected, but others, who brought with them their faith in Ramcharitra Manas and couplets of Kabir, rose to the occasion and converted Surinam into practically a Hindi heartland, preserving their language and cultural ethos. As new immigrants they were often condemned in the local society and referred to as Coolie, Kalkatia and even Kuta (dog). But over the decades they have been able to carve a niche for themselves. The Hindi used in Surinam today is closest to the Sadhukkari language of Kabir with an admixture of Awadhi, Bhojpuri, English, Dutch as well as local languages. Surinam Hindus today say their ancestors boarded the ship with Ramcharitra Manas and went through the trying times singing bhajanas of Tulsi and Kabir. This built a bridge that still survives.

Delhi's Alms Receivers are Well Organized

Posted on 2003/6/6 9:47:02 ( 1015 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 4, 2003: Job: Sitting for six hours a day, stretching a hand out occasionally. Qualifications: None. Vacancies: Unlimited. Earnings: Uncertain. That's the classic version of the temple beggar, widespread in India. The job, qualifications and vacancies for the metro version, widespread in Delhi, are roughly the same. The ways in which they are different from brothers in alms elsewhere are as follows: Their workplace is variable; there are weekly transfers. Earnings never fall below US$4.00, and can touch $16.00 a day. Sometimes, there is a significant perk: group housing at nominal rates. Begging is among Delhi's most organized businesses. The weekly transfers of beggars from temple to temple are an indicator of how completely focussed they are on deriving maximum profit from your benevolence. The Social Welfare Department discovered that sets of beggars at major temples kept changing every week. Which means that a particular beggar can be at four or five different posts across the city in the course of a month. The effort, apparently, is to allow a level playing field for all members of the community, and prevent the growth of monopolies. Though beggar groups struggle to gain supremacy over a profit-earning area, it has not triggered violent crime in the past few years. "It appears there is a silent agreement between the kingpins. All work in tandem, with clearly demarcated areas of operation," said an official. In what appears to be an organized racket, officials say, some areas have been turned into full-fledged beggar colonies. "The accommodation is provided by kingpins who claim a large portion of the beggars' earnings," the official said.

« 1 ... 820 821 822 (823) 824 825 826 ... 1025 »
Copyright© 2016 Himalayan Academy. All rights reserved.

Get from the App Store Android app on Google Play