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The Blessed Get Poorer
Posted on 2001/6/17 23:46:02 ( 734 reads )


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ENGLAND, June 15, 2001: The Church of England is in financial turmoil. It is merging parishes, chopping jobs and relying increasingly on "weekend priests" who are happy to work for nothing. It is squeezing the faithful for donations. Last autumn the Diocese of London admitted that it was raiding its reserves at the rate of US$1.6 million a year. A recent report suggested that the Church of England's 44 dioceses will be $17.6 million in the red within two years. A survey last month revealed that hundreds of priests now rely on State benefits to support their families. With stipends averaging about $27,200 a year, they have little choice. One great paradox about the Church is that although it embraces the principle that worldly possessions are not of great important, it managed to accumulate immense wealth during the Middle Ages. "There is always talk of the state being asked to help," one former cathedral dean says. But perhaps the reluctance to appeal for state help is rooted in a deeper unease: a feeling that the Church of England, far from being at the centre of the "British Establishment" is increasingly marginalized in a society that seems to get more secular by the day.




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In Defense of Ayurveda
Posted on 2001/6/17 23:45:02 ( 721 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, February 19, 2001: Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine whose treatises date back to the first millennium, has been given a bad rap by a report from the British House of Lord Committee on Science and Technology last November, 2000. In their report, Ayurveda is grouped with other disciplines such as Chinese herbal medicine and naturopathy and classified according to this article as, "an alternative discipline that offer diagnosis as well as treatment but for which scientific evidence is almost completely lacking." Needless to say, the secretary of the Indian government's Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy, Shailaja Chandra, has responded by sending a letter of protest to Lord Walton who headed the British committee. Ayurveda's popularity has grown in the U.K. and the West, and it is feared that if this report is published it could damage the good this form of medicine is doing. With extensive research and clinical trials having already been documented, Chandra is forwarding the results on ailments such as bone healing, menstrual disorders, and anxiety plus many others, back to the British committee. A delegation was also sent to London in March of 2001 to try to alter the views on Ayurveda.




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India Has Less Than 500 Homes For 75 Million Senior Citizens
Posted on 2001/6/17 23:44:02 ( 673 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 13, 2001: A 1998 case filed by four old men in the small town of Kollam in Kerala stresses the problems facing the elderly. The success of Kerala's primary health programs has resulted in a life expectancy here of 70 years, while the whole of India averages 59. A high percentage of younger Keralites work abroad, leaving their parents alone and uncared for. That is one of the reasons why Kerala is India's suicide hub -- every hour, one person commits suicide and nine people try to kill themselves. Three years ago these four men shocked their relatives as they demanded the legalization of assisted suicide in India. Their lawyer's office was flooded with letters from hundreds of senior citizens who supported them. Mukundan Pillai, one of the four, told the court that the elderly are increasingly discarded by their descendants. The government should either help them live, or it should help them die. Today almost 7 percent of India's citizens are elderly -- 75 million people, and the numbers are rising. A directory compiled in 1995 by the Centre for the Welfare of the Aged listed only 492 old age homes. So The nation needs 217,000 more homes to shelter all the elderly, if the young are no longer going to care for their parents.




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At 115, Swami Bua Charms Miami
Posted on 2001/6/16 23:49:02 ( 862 reads )


Source: The Miami Herald





MIAMI, FLORIDA, June 4, 2001: His Holiness Sri Swami Buaji Maharaj, has been in Miami since mid-May teaching hatha yoga at Wayne Krassner's Shakti Yoga Loft, where Madonna and other stars have practiced. "He won't tell you his age if you ask," explains Krassner who said the Swami "indirectly" revealed that he is 115. Krassner met Swami Bua in New York City, where the Swami has lived for three decades and where he founded the Indo-American Yoga-Vedanta Society. He still teaches free yoga and meditation classes every day he's in town. Swami Bua is happy to talk about his lifestyle: He consumes mostly fruit and vegetable juices -- figs, dates, kiwi, grapefruit and oranges are his favorites. The magazine Hinduism Today honored Swami Bua as Hindu of the Year in 1998.




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Genetic Study Indicates Gene Mixing in India
Posted on 2001/6/16 23:48:02 ( 775 reads )


Source: India Express





HYDERABAD, INDIA, May 15, 2001: According to a study in this month's Genome Research Journal, scientists said that India's higher ranking castes are genetically more similar to Europeans, and the lower castes are more similar to Asians. The study, done by an international team, is believed to be the most comprehensive attempt to date, to explore the impact of ancient western migrations on people in India. According to this study, the origins of people living in India are under debate. Some 5,000 years ago, Indo-European speaking people from West Eurasia entered India and purportedly mixed with native Proto-Asian population in the region in an "Aryan Invasion." This research would appear to support such a scenario, which has been under considerable attack recently. However, Prof. Richard Villems, one of the co-authors of the paper, when contacted by HPI, said, "Europe here may mean anything even slightly west from Indus river" and said it is most likely that the genetic material in question arose in the region of Iran and Afghanistan. He concluded, "a more correct interpretation is that in some upper castes, there is a statistically weakly reliable, but still apparent shift of frequencies towards those variants more frequent west of Indus. Europe as such has, however, nothing to do with that."




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Modern Asia's Anomaly: The Girls Who Don't Get Born
Posted on 2001/6/16 23:47:02 ( 741 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 6, 2001 : Women are making strides in both India and China, living longer and are more likely to be able to read and write than ever before. Despite this progress women are making, female fetuses are being aborted at startling rates in China and across broad swaths of India, new census data shows. The spread of ultrasound technology in these societies, has made it easy to abort unwanted daughters. In most parts of both India and China, it is a son who carries on the family line, inherits ancestral land, cares for his parents as they age and performs the most important ceremonial roles when they die.




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Texas Hindus File Suit Against McDonalds
Posted on 2001/6/16 23:46:02 ( 720 reads )


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New York, USA, June 12, 2001: After Seattle vegetarians, it is now the turn of Texas Hindus to charge fast-food giant McDonald's in a class-action lawsuit over the issue of beef-flavored french fries. The lawsuit alleges that from 1990 until the present the defendants intentionally concealed from the plaintiffs the use of beef in their fries and other products and advertised these products as containing vegetable oil and/or natural flavoring. Under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act of Texas, McDonald's has been charged with "causing confusion or misunderstanding as to the source of goods and services."




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Daughter Continues Iyengar Yoga Dynasty
Posted on 2001/6/16 23:45:02 ( 780 reads )


Source: Los Angeles Times





LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, June 10, 2001: Devotees watch and listen intently to this middle-aged woman from India. Geeta S. Iyengar, the world's leading female yoga teacher, challenges them to drop their lingering doubts and tap their inner strength to achieve proper alignment of various yoga postures developed by her father, BKS Iyengar. At the age of nine she suffered a kidney disease that left her breathless and occasionally unconscious. Her father admonished her to embrace yoga and within months she began to feel better. Yogini Iyengar is pleased by the growing recognition that greets both yoga and her own teaching. After four decades as a student and assistant to her father, she has increasingly moved into the forefront as the director of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute established by her father a quarter of a century ago in Pune.




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Taking a Big Breath, N.F.L. Tackles Yoga
Posted on 2001/6/16 23:44:02 ( 743 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, June 3, 2001: The New Age mind-body connection that is normally associated with actresses, supermodels and Buddhist monks is now the exercise du jour with some of the hulks in the National Football League. The Giants and Denver Broncos have worked with a yoga instructor to incorporate yoga as part of the team's diversity training. The seed was planted by fullback Greg Comella and wide receiver Amani Toomer, both students of Sarah Margolis and Marilyn Barnett, who run the Yoga Connection TriBeCa. "Coach Jim Fassel wanted to continue the theme of providing new and different activities rather than just the traditional running and lifting," said Dunn, noting that last year the team offered martial arts as part of its training regimen. "Yoga gave us that. Obviously, the flexibility that comes with yoga is important."




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Reusing Cooking Oil for Frying Food Raises Cancer Risk
Posted on 2001/6/16 23:43:02 ( 917 reads )


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BANGKOK, THAILAND, June 16, 2001: According to the director of the Institute for Scientific and Technological Research, Mr Phirasak Worasuntharosot, food prepared from cooking oil that has been used repeatedly is likely to be contaminated by cancer-causing dioxins. Laboratory tests indicated that cooking oil used more than a few times released carcinogenic free radicals or dioxins. He said hospitals were swamped with cancer cases and attributed the high number to the consumption of food cooked in lard or vegetable oil that had been used more than once.




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Nepal Honors Late King in an Ancient Ritual
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:49:02 ( 667 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, June 11, 2001: Dressing up to resemble the late King Birendra, a priest was banished from Kathmandu in a "katto" ceremony dating back to Nepal's ancient times. This ceremony, a rare Hindu rite performed on the eleventh day after the death of the King, is meant to cleanse the soul of the late King Birendra who was killed by his son, Prince Dipendra. The priest ritually leaves Kathmandu valley on an elephant, and this is symbolic of the dead King's spirit being freed from the area, and a means to mitigate the inauspicious aspects of his death. As part of the ritual, the brahmin priest is served a dish with some meat in it, the first time in his life he would have eaten meat.




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Pakistani Hindus Vow Not to Go Back
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:48:02 ( 739 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 13, 2001: "We will never go back to Pakistan," asserts Chander Pal, one of several Pakistani Hindus living here quietly since fleeing their country to escape persecution by Islamic zealots. "Here we feel at home. In Pakistan each day was like hell, but we suffered indignities silently as we had no choice," he said. Pal, 32, is one of some 150 Pakistanis who live in Sanjay Colony near the Bhatti mines in the Indian capital's southern fringes. Like the others he is determined to stay on in India. The Pakistanis follow their own customs and practices. They don't mingle with the Indians. Sanjay Colony has no regular supply of water and electricity, but there is a school, a small hospital and a police post. But despite the pathetic conditions, the Pakistanis say they feel safe and secure. These Pakistanis began trickling into India about 12 years ago. The men and women spoke up about their past in Pakistan. "Dogs and Hindus are treated alike there," said Dilip, who also came here in 1998. Pal said he envied Indian Muslims. "They enjoy so much respect in this country. Even if something happens to them, there are protests. No one ever cared for us in Pakistan."




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Man Shot While Performing Worship
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:47:02 ( 717 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA June 11, 2001: A decade-old dispute over possession of an unauthorized Shiva-Hanuman temple on the railway land, close to Bhairon Marg, took an ugly turn on Sunday with a man belonging to one faction firing at a rival who was performing puja. The attack, police said, was an attempt at taking control of the temple.




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Texas Storm Ruins Music Books
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:46:02 ( 779 reads )


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HOUSTON, TEXAS, June 11, 2001: For over twenty years, Houston-based internationally acclaimed musical duo Chandrakantha and David Courtney have charmed audiences with their performances of Hindustani classical music and bhajanas. Like thousands of others all over the Houston, they too experienced the wrath of Tropical Storm Allison last week. In the aftermath of the floods that all but devastated their quaint little home in the West University area, the couple are asking the community to help them salvage treasured music notes ravaged by water. They earnestly request volunteers who know how to read and write the Hindi and Telugu languages come forward to assist them in transcribing priceless music manuscripts.




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Roadside Shrines Disturb Traffic
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:45:02 ( 862 reads )


Source: Deccan Herald





BANGALORE, INDIA, JUNE 9, 2001: According to a rough estimate prepared by the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) there are at least 1,000 unauthorized roadside Hindu shrines in Bangalore. Shrines erected on footpaths, parks, and public thoroughfares are mushrooming all over the city. Roadside shrines, a strange phenomenon, endemic to Bangalore, are supported by the generosity of the public. Not only are they patronized, but these temples, within a year of consecration, draw a huge number of devotees. A shrine often begins as a tin shed, upgrades to an asbestos roof, and in no time has a concrete roof. The BMP is trying to limit these shrines, and has even demolished a few, but faces strong public resistance.




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