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Malaysia Priest Calls for Increased Roll of Hindu Temples

Posted on 2003/1/16 8:49:02 ( 855 reads )

Source: News Reports

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, January 10, 2003: A high priest is convinced that Hindu temples have a role in tackling criminal-related problems of Indian youths. Unorthodox and determined, Muthu Kumara Gurukal, 56, gets dejected when he reads the newspapers or hears news about Indian youths getting involved in street fights, crimes and drugs, wants the temples to share their wealth in uplifting and restructuring the Indian community. "Don't see the problem. Look for a solution.The solution lies solely with the temples," he told his audience at an evening temple sermon recently. Muthu Kumara Gurukal, who is able to relate the ancient Vedic scriptures to present-day situations, is highly recognised for his credentials and qualifications from leading Indian temples. The Hindu high priest is a highly sought-after speaker and a selfless community worker. He is part of the new wave of Hindu Renaissance, which the Malaysian Hindu Society is propagating nationwide, in a bid to awaken and educate Hindus on the importance of right action through spiritualism. "Use about one-third of the temple collection to provide food and clothing to the poorer Indians, and to increase the number of educated Indians. Temples should allocate 30% of their collections and donations to community service projects. The money could be used to turn the temples into community center to serve the poor, provide tuition to the students and enlighten them on Hinduism so that they could understand and adopt noble human values. Hinduism has a rich and diverse philosophy, and is an all-encompassing way of life. Our sacred rites and rituals are tools. They are the means through which devotees seek spiritual satisfaction." To spread the knowledge of Hinduism, Muthu Kumara is planning to set up a school to train Hindu youths who want to be priests. Being well-versed and having worked as a priest for the past 40 years, Muthu Kumara is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as the Malaysian Hindu Sangam has expressed full support of his move to help the community. Its president, A. Vaithialingam, said the objective was for Hindus to play an active role in affirming and reinforcing the strength of Malaysia's multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society. "Practically all Hindu temples and organizations have come together to support the Master Plan for the Hindu Renaissance in Malaysia.

A Celebration of Hinduism in North America

Posted on 2003/1/16 8:48:02 ( 1026 reads )


UNITED STATES, January 12, 2003: "Hindu Temples In North America: A Celebration of Life" by Mahalingum Kolapen is more than compendium of North American Temples. Apart from being informative, the tome also preserves the Hindu legacy and informs the reader about the ancient Indian culture and art form. And more than that, the book showcases the changing face of America and the journey of Hindus in North America. "The learning curve while working on the book was great, and I have tried to incorporate all that information in the book," says Mahalingum Kolapen. The author spent four years researching and collecting material. The book brings to light the significance of Hindu Temples and their relevance in contemporary North American society. "It fills a wide gap in the availability of authentic, credible materials addressing the cultural issues related to Hindus in North America, a fast-growing minority," says Mahalingum Kolapen. With the current project, Mahalingum says he "saw an opportunity to help place America's large Hindu community in perspective."

Call to Revive Bhajana Groups Gets Good Response in Tamil Nadu

Posted on 2003/1/15 8:49:02 ( 1069 reads )


KANCHEEPURAM, INDIA, January 8, 2003 : In response to the Kancheepuram ashram's call to start bhajana programs in villages, over 5,000 applications have come in to the ashram. H.H. Sri Jayendra Saraswathi said that bhajana singing was an ancient practice, but has been on the decline over the last few years. So far representatives from 2,000 villages have come to the ashram and collected percussion and ensemble instruments. A group from Walajabad also asked for pictures for their bhajana hall and books on traditional songs. His Holiness said the movements like Harinama Japavali and Harikatha were the most vibrant forms of rural worship and bound communities together.

Jodhpur Hosts International Conference on Yoga

Posted on 2003/1/15 8:48:02 ( 912 reads )

Redefine "Hindutva" Say Some Indian Religious Leaders

Posted on 2003/1/15 8:47:02 ( 852 reads )


PATNA, INDIA, January 12, 2003: The concept of "Hindutva" should be redefined on a broader perspective, salvaging it from what some believe are the "narrow confines" of a particular religion, two religious leaders said. "Love for all fellow beings, refraining from causing any harm to anybody with a spirit of sacrifice and dedication to come closer to the 'Supreme Soul' through spiritualism and meditation are the essence of the concept of 'Hindutva'," says Acharya Kishore Kunal and Ratan Lal Singh. They considered Hindutva as synonymous with an ideal lifestyle, devoid of greed, anger and feelings of revenge. They opposed intermingling of the pious approach of 'Hindutva' with nationalism of a particular country.

English Romantic Poets May Have Been Influenced by Hindu Philosophy

Posted on 2003/1/15 8:46:02 ( 880 reads )

Indian Citizenship for It's Diaspora Population -- Another Viewpoint

Posted on 2003/1/15 8:45:02 ( 851 reads )


SOUTH AFRICA, January 15, 2003: HPI ran a story where views from one South African Indian Hindu were quoted opposing Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's recent proposal for dual citizenship for India's diaspora. Thavashan Govender's response to this story follows: "I myself am a South African of Indian origin and a Hindu as well. I am proud of my cultural and religious background. To be once again a citizen of the motherland would be the ultimate honor! India should not regard Mewa Ramgobin and Fatima Meer as representing the opinions of Indo- South Africans. Many of us would certainly love having dual-citizenship and would consider it an honor." Readers may contact "source" above for further discussion.

Hindu Temple of Central Texas Announces Kumbhabhishekam

Posted on 2003/1/15 8:44:02 ( 927 reads )


TEMPLE, TEXAS, January 15, 2003: The Hindu Temple of Central Texas, 4309 Midway Drive, Temple, Texas, announces their kumbhabhishekam. The installation of the Deities and dedication of the temple will be held in three different stages. The first, for Lord Venkateswara and Goddess Padmavati (donated by the Thirupati Thirumalai Devasthanam), will take place on January 17, 18, 19; for Ram Parivar and Radha Krishna will occur on January 24 and 25; ceremonies for Lord Mahaganapathy, main deity, along with Lord Siva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Subramaniam, Ayyappa, Navagraha and Lord Balaganapathy will be held February 12 through 16. For further details of the Kumbhabhishekam celebrations and of temple activities, readers may contact "source" above.

Indonesian Police Official Blends Karma With Investigative Technique

Posted on 2003/1/14 8:49:02 ( 801 reads )

Source: Washington Post

BALI, INDONESIA, January 12, 2003: In difficult moments, I Made Pastika hikes briskly up a mint-green mountain toward a cool, silent place above the clouds. At the summit, after a two-hour climb, the Indonesian investigator in charge of solving the worst case of international terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001, sits cross-legged before an ornate, centuries-old temple carved of white stone, the highest Hindu temple in Bali. And then he prays. "I go there every time that I feel I need spiritual support, every time I'm facing a serious job," the Bali native said in a cell phone interview from the mountainside. "It gives me strength." A disarmingly direct official, Pastika blends respect for Western investigative techniques with reverence for his Eastern spiritual roots. His efforts have won him a measure of acclaim. With prosecutors preparing to charge the first suspects, Pastika has been praised by Indonesian civic leaders as well as foreign diplomats and human rights activists. Australia's deputy ambassador, Neil Mules, said Pastika is "an example of the best that Indonesia has to offer."

Christian Missionaries' Master Plan for Nepal

Posted on 2003/1/14 8:48:02 ( 954 reads )

Source: Nepal News

KATHMANDU, NEPAL, January 9, 2003: Christian missionaries have congregated on the outskirts of the capital city, where they are discussing the pros and cons of a strategic plan which aims to multiply churches across the Himalayas. They plan to achieve this by exploiting the marginal conditions of religious communities in the face of the worsening conflict. More than three dozen senior Christian missionaries, fluent in Nepali and mainly from the Western countries, are partaking in what they assert is an International Non-Governmental Organization Business Meeting that began on January 4. According to The Kathmandu Post which obtained a copy of the strategic plan, the missionaries assert in their vision statement that "We will work to establish churches in the Himalayan region, and sending churches and like-minded organizations in bi-vocational holistic ministry." The missionaries' strategic plan encourages such institutional projects as hospitals, something the document says has been the historical methodology of TEAM Nepal, a partner of the Himalayan Partners. "In keeping with TEAM's philosophy of Health Care Ministry, our health care initiatives are to facilitate the growth of the body of Christ by restoring physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness to individuals, families and community through preventative and curative medical services while demonstrating the love and compassion of Jesus Christ." The missionaries also plan to place personnel in national organizations or in government-sponsored positions, which is "another platform that can make an impact in church establishment." The missionaries "believe in ultimately establishing indigenous reproducing churches." The document continues with the belief "that missionaries are most effective when we teach and train nationals rather than doing the work ourselves."

South Africa's Indians Reject Dual Citizenship

Posted on 2003/1/14 8:47:02 ( 938 reads )

Kumbha Mela's Lost and Found Champion

Posted on 2003/1/13 8:49:02 ( 855 reads )


ALLAHABAD, INDIA, Kumbha Mela, 2001. The place is packed with nearly four million people. Stranded in the crowd, eight-year-old Subodh holds out a 10-rupee note (US$0.21) and sobs, "Please take this and help me find my father." The milling crowd has separated the two. After wandering around for a few hours, the boy finds himself before the "lost-and-found" camp. Soon, he is playing in his father's lap. 75-year-old Raja Ram Tiwari, who founded the camp, is happy each time a lost person is reunited with family. He has been helping people in this manner at many festivals and fairs since 1946. Tiwari has so far helped 400,000 adults and 25,000 children in six ardh-kumbhs, 46 megh melas and five purna kumbhs. In the millennium's first maha-kumbh in 2001, he reunited 130,000 people. Tiwari founded an organization called the Bharat Sewa Dal with 150 volunteers. He is now indispensable at the melas and has been nominated senior member of the mela committee. Tiwari's wife, Shanti Devi, also aids his efforts. "She takes care of the little children who get lost at the fairs," he says. The couple have three sons, who also help out whenever possible.

India's Construction Industry May Be Required to Use Fly Ash

Posted on 2003/1/13 8:48:02 ( 881 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 5, 2003: Use of fly ash in construction laying of roads and reclamation of low lying areas may soon become mandatory as the statutory period of 60 days for raising objections and making suggestions in this regard will soon expire. "Fly ash" is the environmentally hazardous byproduct of coal-burning power plants. The draft fly ash rules were notified last month by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The fly ash rules notified in September 1999 are being amended to make it compulsory for all agencies engaged in construction of buildings within a radius of 100 km -- doubled from 50 km earlier -- from coal or lignite-based thermal power plants to use fly ash bricks, blocks or tiles, the ministry has said. Though the minimum amount of fly ash to be used at present has been kept at 25 per cent, in due course the new rules require 100 per cent use of fly ash products. HPI adds: Iraivan Temple, located in Kauai, USA, has a monolithic four-foot-thick concrete slab foundation measuring 56 by 117 feet that was constructed using fly ash technology, the first large-scale demonstration of the technology. It was built under the direction of Dr. P. Kumar Mehta of the University of California. Temples in Houston and Chicago are also placing monolithic flyash foundations without reinforcing steel.

Mauritius to Run Ramayana Center

Posted on 2003/1/12 8:49:02 ( 1170 reads )


LUCKNOW, INDIA, December 30, 2002: To promote and propagate the Ramayana and the spiritual, social and cultural values that the epic holds, the government of Mauritius has taken the responsibility to run The Ramayana Center. Rajendra Arun, chairman of the center, briefed the press here on Saturday about plans to provide guidance and support for intellectual and moral development of the Hindu community and society at large, through the center. In the National Assembly of Mauritius all members, including Hindus, Muslims and Christians, unanimously passed the act related to this center. "This reflected the importance of the values of Ramayana," Arun said. Arun proposed to set up a branch of the center in India also. He said that it was necessary "as the feeling of insecurity had developed into fear, and that is the root cause of all ailments. Unfortunately people in India, which is the land of Rama, do not remember the message that Ramayana delivers."

Sri Lankan Refugees Eager to Return Home From India

Posted on 2003/1/12 8:48:02 ( 787 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA January 11, 2003: "The mood is upbeat among Sri Lankan refugees in various Tamil Nadu camps and they are all eager to return home," Union Minister of State for Home, C.H. Vidyasagar Rao, said here today. The Minister, who visited some of the camps, said the on-going peace talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam had given the refugees hope. The Indian Government was ready to repatriate those who were willing to return. There were about 69,098 refugees in camps spread over 23 districts and another 24,348 staying with their relatives in Tamil Nadu. Since 1983, the Indian government has spent US$6.1 million on maintenance of the camps.

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