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October First Is World Vegetarian Day
Posted on 2001/9/28 23:45:02 ( 653 reads )


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USA, September 29, 2001: World Vegetarian Day has been celebrated since 1977. It brings awareness to the ethical, environmental, health and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. About one million people a year become vegetarians in the US, this report claims.




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Divorce Case Dismissals Soar Since September 11 in Houston
Posted on 2001/9/27 23:49:02 ( 623 reads )


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HOUSTON, TEXAS, September 25, 2001: Dismissals in divorce cases have skyrocketed in the Harris County Texas Family Law courts since Sept. 11. Couples now say they will try to patch things up. The Houston Chronicle reports that in the 10 working days since the day tragedy struck, about 400 family-law suits have been dismissed. "It's a small sample, but one supported by anecdotal evidence from lawyers with clients who suddenly want to stop even contentious divorces." One lawyer, Annette Henry, said she received telephone calls from clients right after the explosions, canceling their appointments. She waited for them to reschedule, but instead heard them say, "I just couldn't go through with it. Now I want to keep the family together." Henry says when someone files for divorce, the problems seem huge and insurmountable ... but with a tragedy like this, whatever (the problem) was, no longer seems so significant. David Wells, associate minister of counseling services at a Houston church is not surprised by the trend. He says people are finally working seriously on their marriages, wanting to get their lives in order, and asking for emergency help with their relationship problems.




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Hamilton Temple Makes Appeal for Funds
Posted on 2001/9/27 23:48:02 ( 620 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today





HAMILTON, ONTARIO, CANADA, September 28, 2001: Hundreds of Hindus mourn the loss of their sanctuary, as the Hindu Samaj of Hamilton Temple was deliberately set ablaze on Saturday September 15, 2001, in a mistaken backlash crime to the attacks on America. The fire totally destroyed the temple's main Prayer Hall, leaving much of the temple unstable. In addition, nine priceless icons of the Gods as well as hundreds of irreplaceable holy book were lost in the fire. Officials have concluded that this was an act of arson and are continuing to investigate the case. Insurance coverage is unable to match the cost of the damages, inhibiting the community from promptly rebuilding their temple. As such, many Hindus are without a place of worship until suitable funds are collected. The temple has issued this appeal: "Our dedicated volunteers have taken on themselves to collect necessary funds. In addition, we have established an account at Canada Trust/TD Bank account. Please deposit your donations in this account (account # 160-5000-873). Or call to make a pledge at 1-800-667-1069. We ask all communities to donate generously to help us get back on our feet and stand together against hate crime. e-mail contact: hindusamajhamilton@hotmail.com.




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Bill in Congress to Set Limits on Church-Sponsored Lobbying
Posted on 2001/9/27 23:47:02 ( 716 reads )


Source: Religion News Service





WASHINGTON, D.C., September 28, 2001: A bill recently introduced in Congress would allow churches to spend 20 percent of their money on lobbying and up to 5 percent on campaigning for or against individual candidates without risk of losing their tax-exempt status. Rep. Phil Crane, R-Ill., introduced the "Bright-Line Act of 2001," which would make clear how much churches can engage in political activities. Currently, churches are allowed to push political causes as long as such activities do not constitute a "substantial" part of the congregation's work -- widely interpreted to be about 5 percent. "Given the state of confusion surrounding the activities allowed by religious organizations, I believe it's time that Congress draw a bright line between sanctioned and unsanctioned activities that religious groups can participate in," Crane said. A "church" is an organization so designated by the Internal Revenue Service after meeting certain criteria (see www.t-tlaw.com/cf-14.shtml) and may be of any religion. Only a few Hindu temples (such as the Sringeri Sadhana Center in Pennsylvania and Barsana Dham in Texas) have taken advantage of the considerable freedom and privileges allowed by the church IRS designation. Most Hindu temples are religions organizations under the IRS and subject to much more stringent reporting and limitations.




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Multiethnic Solidarity Marks San Jose Vigil
Posted on 2001/9/26 23:49:02 ( 686 reads )


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SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, September 24, 2001: In a show of diversity, San Jose's first major public memorial to the victims of the terrorist attacks was led Sunday by clerics representing six faiths: Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism and Islam. Many of the 1,200 people gathered not only to pray for the victims but also to show their solidarity with their adopted country. "Today we send the victims our prayers in every language and every faith. We will not forget them," said San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales. "We must embrace each other, embrace our differences and share our common beliefs -- democracy, liberty, tolerance and justice." The more than 30 Indo-American groups that participated also kicked off a US$1 million fundraising campaign for the victims. The community is organizing volunteer efforts, ranging from a blood drive to a list of software engineers willing to help New York get back on line. About half of California's 314,000 Indo-Americans live in the Bay Area.




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Sikhs Hire Public Relations Firm
Posted on 2001/9/26 23:48:02 ( 575 reads )


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EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY, September 26, 2001: Sikhs in America continue a proactive response to incidents of harassment following the terrorist attacks. They've hired a public relations firm, MWW Group of East Rutherford, for an educative campaign that stresses tolerance for all minorities. It is also promotes the message that Sikhs have no political, religious or cultural links to followers of Osama bin Laden or the Taliban. No advertising is planned, but the firm is arranging for Sikhs to be interviewed by reporters. More than 500,000 Sikhs live in the United States.




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Supreme Court Restricts Festival Firecrackers
Posted on 2001/9/26 23:47:02 ( 590 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 27, 2001: A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Chief Justice A.S. Anand, Justice R.C. Lahoti and Justice Ashok Bhan, directed that no firecrackers be burst which could produce a noise beyond 125 decibels and that no cracker could be burst except between 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm during Diwali and Dussera festivals. Fire crackers are forbidden completely in designated "silent zones." The Court directed all the states and Union territories to strictly enforce these directions contained in the central government regulations issued on October 5, 1995.




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South Asians Site on Attack on America
Posted on 2001/9/25 23:49:02 ( 561 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, September 26, 2001: The South Asian Journalists Associations has organized the website at "source" covering every aspect of the September 11 Attacks on America with an emphasis on South Asian people and consequences in the subcontinent. This is the most comprehensive collection of reports from all angles HPI has seen.




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Astrologer Predicted Attacks on US
Posted on 2001/9/25 23:48:02 ( 614 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, September 26, 2001: A leading Indian astrologer Gayatri Devi Vasudev, editor of "Astrological Magazine," India's best-known astrology journal, says she predicted the deadly attacks on the United States nine months ago. She says further strikes are in store but they will not be as devastating. "It (the United States) should be geared for some more assaults of this nature but not of this magnitude," she said. She said the United States would ultimately triumph in its war on terrorism. "Now they have attacked America and by doing that it has only woken up a sleeping giant," Vasudev said. Her predictions in the magazine's January issue said, "The retrogression of Mars, though favorable for the dollar initially, can produce quite contrary results later and also carry seeds of violence for the White House." Gayatri Devi is daughter of the late B.V. Raman, one of India's foremost astrologers of all time.




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Sikhs Take a Proactive Response to Harassment
Posted on 2001/9/25 23:47:02 ( 624 reads )


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USA, September 26, 2001: Sikhs, who wear turbans and beards that cause them to be mistaken for followers of Osama bin Laden, say harassment began after the Sept. 11 attacks and hasn't stopped. But rather than hiding, many Sikhs in North Jersey are deliberately stepping into public view. They are attending memorial services, passing out flyers, and giving lessons on Sikhism to neighbors, coworkers, and anyone who will listen. "They don't know about your religion. They don't know about you. So, wherever you go, please tell them," Gurmit S. Chilana, a prominent local physician, told hundreds of Sikhs at a weekend religious service in Glen Rock. Chilana has printed a flier to put up in stores and other public places. Depicting two Sikh men in turbans and a boy in a stocking-like cap called a "patwa," it proclaims: "Mistaken Identity. Sikhs are not associated with Bin Laden."




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Hindu Leaders' Statements on Attacks on America
Posted on 2001/9/24 23:49:02 ( 550 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today





KAUAI, HAWAII, USA, September 25, 2001: The following are excerpts from statements of Hindu leaders received by Hinduism Today magazine on the September 11 terrorist attacks on America. Sri Pramukhswami Maharaj: "In this hour of need, grief and deep shock, our prayers, support and solidarity are with the people of the United States. We offer our deepest sympathies and prayers. May Lord Swaminarayan bless the victims whose souls have departed and give physical, emotional and spiritual strength to the survivors to overcome and recover from this catastrophe." Sri Swami Tejomayananda: "We in the Chinmaya Mission are with them in their hour of grief and pray that they find the strength and courage to face this grim situation." Swami Veda Bharati: "From this disaster we need to learn that violence is not a solution to any problem in the world. Let us have special sessions for prayer and silence with additional japa of Saumya Mantra for peace with prayer: may the minds prone to violence in all parts of the world learn the art of solving problems through nonviolence. May we all learn to forgive. May we all learn to invoke peace in our own minds and thereby evoke it in the hearts of even those who are our opponents. May the gurus of humanity continue to guide us in this direction." Sri Chinmoy: "At this juncture our only bounden Duty is to identify our prayerful hearts with the innocent, harmless and helpless victims and their beloved ones, our tearful eyes and the bleeding hearts of the relatives and friends have already touched the Compassion-Feet of our Absolute Lord Beloved Supreme. He is with His Infinity's Compassion-Affection-Love-Sweetness-Fondness taking care of His supremely chosen children who have recently arrived at His Heaven-Home. May America the Beautiful forever shine bright-brighter-brightest in the Heart of God the Creator and God the creation." Mata Amritanandamayi: "My darling children: at this critical time, the leaders and we need to practice discrimination and self-restraint. If we do not do so, many more lives will be lost. We should all sit down and pray for the welfare and peace of the whole world. This is how we can help all of our brothers and sisters." Amma Karunamayi: "My dear children! Today, we are in need of upliftment of human values, which is true religion. With unbarred humane outlook, through love and compassion, one can soften his heart and purify himself. Let your hearts be wide open with pure love and universal brotherhood. May the human hearts be with rich principles of unity, peace, integrity and equanimity. My blessings are always there to those who have suffered from the disaster and others who have escaped it. Let the latter spend at least a part of their time in practicing Dharma which alone helps them realize the Truth leading to universal peace."




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New Head Priest for Guruvayur Temple
Posted on 2001/9/24 23:48:02 ( 621 reads )


Source: The Hindu





GURUVAYUR, INDIA, September 24, 2001: Mr. Thekkedath Kuruthully Kesavan Namboodiri of Kumaranalloor in Palakkad district was chosen as Melsanthi, head priest, of the Sree Krishna Temple here today. The temple is one of the most popular and richest in India. Mr. Kesavan Namboodiri was chosen from among 26 applicants through a draw of lots held at the Namaskara Mandapam inside the temple at 12-30 a.m. The present Melsanthi, Mr. Kakkad Vasudevan Namboodiri, drew the lot just after the opening of the temple after the afternoon worship. For the 42-year-old Mr. Kesavan Namboodiri this is the second term as the Melsanthi after a six-month stint in 1997. Meanwhile, the temple has recorded a collection of US$277,000 this month. Besides, 4.75 kg of gold and 7.36 kg of silver were received at the temple as offerings so far this month.




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Tirupati Temple Stampede Injures Three
Posted on 2001/9/24 23:47:02 ( 596 reads )


Source: The Hindu





TIRUMALA, INDIA, September 25, 2001: Three devotees were injured, one of them seriously, in the stampede that took place at the conclusion of the auspicious Garuda Seva festival on Monday night. There was a heavy congregation of pilgrims at the Vahana mandapam where the festival was to conclude, situated in the vicinity of the main temple complex. The T.T.D. management as a precautionary measure had erected iron barricades in the Vahana mandapam area. The crowd was so heavy that all the measures taken by the T.T.D. proved insufficient leading to the stampede. According to temple sources, it is believed that the devotees standing close to the barricades could not withstand the pressure from the crowd at their back and fell onto the barricades.




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Pope Expresses Respect for Islam
Posted on 2001/9/24 23:46:02 ( 582 reads )


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ASTANA, KAZAKSTAN, September 25, 2001: According to this Associated Press report, Pope John Paul II said Monday that the Catholic Church respects "authentic Islam," making the distinction between it and the fanaticism that some fear will stigmatize the religion in the wake of the U.S. attacks. The report says the pope traveled to the country "to strengthen his own church, a tiny minority comprised mainly of descendants of Catholics who were sent into labor camps and exile here." The Pope was far less aggressive here than he was in India in November, 1999. Then he said to India's Catholics, "Just as in the first millennium the Cross was planted on the soil of Europe, and in the second on that of the Americas and Africa, we can pray that in the Third Christian Millennium a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent [of Asia];" "If the Church in Asia is to fulfill its providential destiny, evangelization must be your absolute priority;" and "I [the pope] pray to the Lord to send many more committed laborers to reap the harvest of souls which I see as ready and plentiful [in Asia]." Instead, John Paul advised Catholics Kazaksthan against aggressive proselytizing in a land of many faiths. To make his point, the pope used the words of a Kazak scholar, Abai Kunanbai: "Precisely because we worship God fully and have faith in him, we have no right to claim that we must force others to believe in him and worship him." Even the country's president was swayed, saying the pope was "probably one of the first leaders of the Roman Catholic Church who preaches conciliation between civilizations and between religious confessions." Unfortunately, the Pope did not preach conciliation in India.




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Appeal to HPI Readers
Posted on 2001/9/20 23:49:02 ( 671 reads )


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KAUAI, HAWAII, September 21, 2001: Hindu Press International requests its readers to send to us at "source" above any statements made about the September 11 attacks on America by Hindu religious leaders. We are collecting these as well as forwarding them on to world news organizations, in an effort to get the Hindu response to these events more prominent in the world media.




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