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Hindu Press International
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Hindu Leaders' Statements on Attacks on America
Posted on 2001/9/24 23:49:02 ( 643 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 ( 745 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 ( 720 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 ( 701 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 ( 807 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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Hindu Among President's Religious Advisors
Posted on 2001/9/20 23:48:02 ( 785 reads )


Source: Religion News Service





WASHINGTON, D.C., September 21, 2001: Just before giving his speech to the joint session of the US Congress yesterday, President Bush met with an unprecedented array of leaders from across the religious spectrum in the Oval Office on Thursday and prayed for peace, wisdom and strength as America prepares for a war against terrorism. More than two dozen religious leaders -- from Sikhs to Hindus to Buddhists to the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church -- met with Bush for an hour and endorsed a joint statement. "We are grateful that the president has spoken out early and clearly to denounce acts of bigotry, racism and violence directed against Arabs, Muslims and others in our midst who have been erroneously connected to terrorism," the religious leaders said. "To yield to hatred is to give victory to the terrorists." Religious leaders said they were moved by Bush's appeal for prayer and the genuine faith they say he demonstrated during the meeting. Different religious views on war and retaliation did not surface at the meeting, but the religious leaders made clear in their statement that they stand behind Bush in a response "guided by sound moral principles." Uma Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Temple Society of America, (Flushing, New York Ganesha Temple) represented Hinduism at the meeting.




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Hindus and Sikhs Face Uncertain Future in Afghanistan
Posted on 2001/9/20 23:47:02 ( 681 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 20, 2001: The tiny Sikh and Hindu communities in Afghanistan face an uncertain future as the U.S. appears ready to launch military strikes in that country. According to representatives of the Afghan Sikh refugee community in the Indian capital, most of their relatives in Afghanistan had left their home and were living in four gurdwaras in and around Kabul. The refugees say there are some 2,000 Sikh families still in Afghanistan. The Hindu community, numbering in the dozens, was already under pressure after the ruling Taliban militia ordered dress codes for its members as a mark of identification. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 3,220 Hindus fled Afghanistan prior to the present emergency.




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Low-Caste Hindus Enter Rajasthan Temple
Posted on 2001/9/20 23:46:02 ( 692 reads )


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RAJASTHAN, INDIA, September 21, 2001: Over 1,000 lower caste Hindus, known as Dalits, have broken an age-old taboo banning their entry into Indian temples. The Dalit members went into a temple in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. The lower caste villagers say this was the first time they dared to enter the temple freely and it comes against a backdrop of an awareness campaign organized by civil liberty organizations. One of the group told the BBC that upper caste Hindus have long considered the Dalits untouchable and have barred them from entering temples, an allegation denied by the temple's priest.




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California Moves to Ban Bedis
Posted on 2001/9/20 23:45:02 ( 805 reads )


Source: India West





SACRAMENTO, USA, September 21, 2001: Senator Deborah Ortiz, Democrat for Sacramento, drafted a measure that would allow the sale of "bidis" only in bars and other businesses that do not allow minors to enter. Bidis, made from the flakes and dust of dark tobacco, are hand rolled, filterless cigarettes that often come in a variety of candy-like flavors. They are mainly imported from India and Southeast Asia and have become increasingly popular among young smokers because of their low price. According to the state attorney general, bidis produce three times the carbon monoxide and nicotine and about five times the amount of tar than a normal cigarette. The Senate voted 21-12 Sept. 4 to approve Assembly amendments to the bill and send it to the governor.




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Death of 250 Indians Confirmed in Attacks
Posted on 2001/9/19 23:49:02 ( 742 reads )


Source: UNI





NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 19, 2001: With India virtually confirming the death of about 250 of its citizens and people of Indian origin, in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the government today announced that Air India will provide free transportation of their ashes or mortal remains to Delhi and Mumbai. Similarly, the Indian Airlines will provide free onward transportation of the mortal remains up to the airport nearest to the native place of the deceased, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Nirupama Rao said here today. Facilitation counters will operate at International Airports at Delhi and Mumbai to ensure that the bodies or ashes are cleared promptly and smoothly. All passport-issuing authorities have been instructed to issue travel documents immediately without levying "tatkal" charges on the relatives of the injured, deceased or missing persons. The Indian Railways will also provide all assistance.




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Pakistani Hindus Flee
Posted on 2001/9/19 23:48:02 ( 728 reads )


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ATTARI, PUNJAB, INDIA, September 19, 2001: The only land route between India and Pakistan, the Attari-Wagah border check-point, has become a place of frenzied activity. The train and the bus plying between Delhi and Lahore, about 20 kilometers away from here, are the only means of surface transport between the two countries and pass through Attar-Wagah check-point. With sensitive developments unfolding across the border in the wake of terrorist strikes in the US, the minority communities, particularly the Hindus in Pakistan are increasingly becoming panicky. Five Hindu families arrived here last evening and said they did not intend to go back. One of them, Dula Ram said they had been intimidated into leaving Pakistan as the message was clear from the Taliban supporters in Pakistan -- "Either adopt Islam or leave the country." Hindus who had gone to Pakistan to visit relatives are returning in droves; the buses into Pakistan are nearly empty, those returning are packed.




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Advice for American Hindus
Posted on 2001/9/19 23:47:02 ( 786 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today





USA, September 20, 2001: Hindus who are harassed in America as a result of the recent terrorist attacks should immediately report the incident to the local police by dialing 911. They should also call the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hotline for reports of hate crimes following the hijacking attacks on September 11, at 1-800-552-6843.




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International Youth Camp in Bangalore
Posted on 2001/9/19 23:46:02 ( 744 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, Sept. 18, 2001: Nineteen-year-old Vinod Shastry, a second-generation Indian American, on his second visit to India, at the Jana Seva Vidya Kendra, a residential boys school 20 kilometers from Bangalore, is reciting from Tulsidas's epic "Ram Charitra Manas." Sixteen-year-old Mihir Pitodia, a Kenyan citizen of Indian origin on his first visit here, is attempting a yoga asana. Shastry and Pitodia are among over 90 foreigners of Indian origin who flew into India nearly a month ago to attend a 21-day Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) camp that aims to put them in touch with the Hindu in them -- something they can't really do in their own countries. "We are giving them grounding in Hinduism, imparting very basic knowledge about their country and culture. They should build upon it," says V. Nagaraj, one of the organizers of the camp who also facilitates the "intellectual" component at the camp.




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Yoga -- Everybody's Doing It!
Posted on 2001/9/19 23:45:02 ( 760 reads )

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Indian Malaysians Worried About Low Birth Rate
Posted on 2001/9/18 23:49:02 ( 741 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, September 17, 2001: Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, the chief of Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), says he was worried about the declining Indian population as it could directly reduce the political voice of the community. He said the community's population of 10.3 per cent of all Malaysians has now been cut to 9.4 per cent of the 23 million people. While acknowledging the socio-economic reasons for small families, he said fewer Indians meant lower political bargaining power for them. Datuk Seri Samy Vellu said that while it advocates bigger families, the MIC also wants Indian families to equip their children with better education. His concerns reflected those of Chinese community leaders who are just as worried about declining birth rates in their community. The Chinese today form 24.6 per cent of the population, compared to 37 per cent prior to the country's independence in 1957. The MIC is the biggest Indian political group, with seven representatives in the 193-strong parliament within the ruling, 13-party Barisan Nasional coalition.




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