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Second Set of Pilgrims Leaves for Amarnath


Posted on 2002/7/20 9:48:02 ( 940 reads )


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JAMMU, INDIA, July 20, 2002: A second batch of 3,771 pilgrims on Saturday left for the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas from here amid heavy security, official sources said. The batch, comprising 3,022 men, 322 women, 14 children and 413 sadhus, left in 198 vehicles from MAM stadium, which is the base camp of pilgrims arriving here from different parts of the country, they said. The total number of pilgrims who left for the shrine situated at 3,952 meters in Kashmir Himalayas has risen to 6,452 for the month-long yatra which commenced on Friday. The first batch of the pilgrims will pay their obeisance at the shrine on July 22, after walking the last 35 kilometers to the cave over rough terrain. Each year, a natural ice Siva Lingam forms in the cave.






Uttar Pradesh Government Bans Pan Masala and Gutkha


Posted on 2002/7/20 9:47:02 ( 1007 reads )


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DELHI, INDIA, July 19, 2002: Acting on a high court directive, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday banned manufacture and sale of all brands of pan masala and gutkha (a tobacco product) in the state with immediate effect. Both are carcinogenic. The Allahabad high court had on Thursday banned manufacture, sale and advertisement of pan masala and gutkha in Uttar Pradesh and had directed the state government to issue a notification in this regard. On Wednesday, the Maharashtra government had announced a similar ban in the state.






UK Hindus Irked by Beefy Chicken


Posted on 2002/7/19 9:49:02 ( 985 reads )


Source: Press Reports





LONDON, ENGLAND, July 8, 2002: Vast quantities of frozen chicken adulterated with beef proteins are reportedly being consumed in Britain, presenting the risk of madcow disease, a development that has outraged the Hindu community in the country. Beef proteins are added to make the chicken absorb extra water in a process called "tumbling" so that it can be sold for big profits. Thai and Brazilian chicken breasts have been doctored in Netherlands and imported into UK in this way for at least five years. Food safety authorities have been aware of the problem since 1997. But they have only recently developed DNA tests sophisticated enough to pinpoint the beef proteins. "It's disgusting and a crime. People will not eat chicken if this is happening," said Daayal Sharma, former president of the Hindu Cultural Society of Bradford. It's also a lesson in why to be a vegetarian.






Arthritis Sufferers Find Relief Doing Yoga Asanas


Posted on 2002/7/19 9:48:02 ( 990 reads )


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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, July 13, 2002: Teaming up with the American Yoga Association, the Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis foundations have produced a guide called "Remain Active with RA Yoga." As one patron put it, "I have found it enormously helpful for my arthritic, cartilage deprived hip. The poses of yoga act like isometric exercises to strengthen and stabilize my affected right hip and weakened right leg." According to the RA foundation, "Yoga may be beneficial for people with arthritis because it balances physical and mental health and teaches stress management through breathing techniques and meditation." The guide has helped people suffering with arthritis to slowly incorporate the routines into their daily life under the guidance of their doctors and physical therapists.






First Human Clone To Be Born in December


Posted on 2002/7/19 9:47:02 ( 954 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, July 18, 2002: A French newspaper, Liberation, quoted controversial Italian doctor, Severino Antinori, that the first cloned human will see the light of the day in December. Fifty couples unable to conceive because of masculine infertility had volunteered for his cloning program. "I transferred 18 embryos created by cloning, and I obtained one pregnancy," he said. "The foetus has a good morphology." Though the identity of the parents was not divulged, Antinori said that the baby would not be born in Italy. A professor at the University of Torvergata, Antinori has been controversial. He made headlines in the past by helping a 62-year-old woman become the oldest mother ever, and last year in Rome he declared that he would clone a human within a year. Other researchers have warned that humans born of cloning would suffer from a number of physical abnormalities, including fatty livers, under-developed lungs and a defective immune system.






Fourth International Seminar on Ayurveda


Posted on 2002/7/19 9:46:02 ( 994 reads )


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JAMNAGAR, INDIA, July 11, 2002: Gujarat Ayurved University invites participation for its Four International Seminar on Ayurvedic Education, Research and Drug Standardization to be held at Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, January 5-7, 2003. The GAU is exclusively devoted to ayurvedic education, research and drug development since last more than 35 years. The seminar will focus its attention on strengthening and globalizing Ayurvedic Education in its original classical forms. For more information on this meeting, e-mail "source" above.






Deepavali in Toronto Announced


Posted on 2002/7/19 9:45:02 ( 1172 reads )


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TORONTO, CANADA, July 19, 2002: The Federation of Hindu Temples of Canada is holding its fourth Annual Deepavali Celebration on October 26, 2002 at the prestigious Coliseum in the National Trade Center of Toronto. Bollywood singers, Tassa (Trinidad kettle drums), Dance and Fashion wear are some of the events planned. For more information e-mail "source" above.






Sabarimala Temple Opens


Posted on 2002/7/19 9:44:02 ( 1161 reads )


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PATHANAMTHITTA, INDIA, July 15, 2002: The Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple will open for the five-day monthly pujas in the Malayalam month of Karkidakom that begins on July 17. The temple sanctum sanctorum will open at 5.30 p.m., the first day of Karkidakom.






India's New President


Posted on 2002/7/18 9:49:02 ( 920 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 17, 2002: A. P. J. Kalam, the father of India's missile program, is a far cry from the somber men who have occupied the sandstone presidential palace during India's past 55 years. The man expected to be named the new president on Thursday is a scientist who believes that fear of nuclear conflict averted war with Pakistan last month. He's the son of a minority Muslim family who has embraced the Hindu beliefs of its majority. Kalam, with gray, shoulder-length hair, would also bring a wardrobe that includes short-sleeved shirts and flip-flop sandals to the 340-room palace. Although born to Muslim parents, Kalam does not describe himself as Muslim. He reads Hindu scriptures each day and is a vegetarian. When asked about who would act as his first lady, the unmarried Kalam waved his hands and said, "No, no, I'm a brahmacharya.'' The Sanskrit word means someone who has chosen not to marry but to live a celibate life style.






Indians Working in Slavery Conditions Freed from US Factory


Posted on 2002/7/18 9:48:02 ( 934 reads )


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TULSA, OKLAHOMA, July 18, 2002: Thirty Asian-Indians held under conditions akin to slavery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have been freed, a report said on Thursday. The Indians, without proper visas, were working for a pickle factory on half the minimum wages and were denied adequate food, NTV reported. They were made to sleep in a small room in a warehouse and were locked in with a guard outside, it said. Some of them managed to escape from the compound and went to a nearby church to tell their tale of woe. One of those in the church happened to be a former US Justice Department official in the Civil Rights Division who contacted the authorities and had them released. The young workers said through a spokesman that they came here chasing the American dream of prosperity, but were without proper visas.






Religious Scholars Make Case for Peace


Posted on 2002/7/18 9:47:02 ( 926 reads )


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TIMES NEWS NETWORK, VADODARA, INDIA, July 15, 2002: It is not often that "saffron" [of Hinduism] meets "green" [of Islam] in post-Godhra Gujarat, however two religious scholars took on the task at a seminar on peace organized by the Lion's Club and Idara Khidmate Khalk. Islamic scholar and theologian, Maulana K. R. Sajjad Nomani said a majority of Muslims do not know what their religion stands for. "Muslims themselves have misinterpreted Islam and its practices. A modern and scientific religion is today looked upon as the refuge of fanatics. The Muslim community has to do serious introspection and educate their fellowmen on the true essence of Islam," Nomani said. He appealed to Hindus not to believe the wrong notions about Islam. "Just because somebody says that Islam is a religion of fundamentalists, don't believe it. Find out for yourself before making a judgement," he said.






The Christian Theological Struggle with Yoga


Posted on 2002/7/18 9:46:02 ( 976 reads )


Source: Religion News Service





MOBILE, ALABAMA, July 15, 2002: This report from Religion News Service provides insight into what happens when the Hindu practice of yoga is attempted by those of other religions. The article states, in part, "A few years ago, Susan Bordenkircher wasn't comfortable doing yoga. It wasn't that she got bent out of shape by any of the asanas -- downward facing dog, half lotus forward fold or the scorpion, to name but three yoga positions. She just wasn't sure if it was an appropriate activity for a Christian. Long associated with mysticism and Eastern religions in particular, yoga is denounced by some who claim it promotes pantheism and worship of self." ... An 1962 yoga book called "An Invitation to Christian Yoga," included, "sketches and written instructions for 25 yoga postures; each one is prefaced by a verse from the Bible. ...also a Christian adaptation of 'Salute to the Sun,' a series of movements devout Hindus perform at dawn as thanksgiving for a new day. Roth offers 'The Salute to the Son,' a series of movements designed to accompany the Lord's Prayer." ... "In recent years, yoga's popularity has boomed as many have searched for a few minutes of stillness and for low-impact exercise that fosters flexibility and strength. Celebrities, too, have joined the masses on their yoga mats. With the ancient exercises' contemporary resurgence, Bordenkircher urges those interested in practicing yoga to choose their instructors carefully. "It can be very destructive. I've really literally sat there and just prayed for discernment' at some seminars, she said, noting that she feels uncomfortable with those who suggest that humans possess divine power. Cecil R. Taylor, dean of the School of Religion at the University of Mobile, said he would advise those interested in taking a Christian approach to yoga to 'make sure it's thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Christ.' 'You'd be able to judge a lot by checking your spirit,' Taylor said. 'Sometimes people just instinctively know, 'This is just not what I ought to be doing.' They don't know why. It may be theological perceptivity.' "






Women Chain Snatchers Strike at Temple Festival


Posted on 2002/7/18 9:45:02 ( 946 reads )


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CHENNAI, INDIA July 15, 2002: A gang of women chain snatchers struck during a temple festival at Perambur this morning and relieved five women devotees of their gold chains, totally weighing about 30 sovereigns. They mingled with the crowd posing as devotees during the kumbhabhishekam of Dhandayuthapani Thirukkoil on Temple Road in Jawahar Nagar. They took away the chains from the victims when they were engrossed with the religious ritual. Their modus operandi is to target women devotees at temple festivals. While one woman would cut the gold chain, her associate would collect it as it fell to the ground. The other associates would keep pushing the victim to divert her attention. The bold operation of these women chain snatchers caught the police by surprise. A woman suspect was picked up later in the evening.






India's Government Contends Minorities Have no Absolute Rights to Run Education Institutions


Posted on 2002/7/18 9:44:02 ( 949 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 16, 2002: The Centre (e.g., the federal government of India) on Tuesday said the religious and linguistic minorities cannot enjoy "absolute rights" under the Constitution to establish and administer their educational institutions. Solicitor General Harish Salve representing the Centre told an eleven-judge bench of the Supreme Court that the minorities' constitutional rights should be subject to reasonable restrictions. Salve said the content of Article 30 conferring on minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions was not so wide as to exclude the operation of other laws designed to protect secular objectives. For instance, Salve said if the provision is made absolute, the government cannot interfere with the affairs of a minority institution which teaches secession or armed revolution. He said the content of the right should not overlap other provisions in the public interest. The bench headed by Chief Justice B.N. Kirpal was hearing a bunch of petitions on the extent of the rights the religious and linguistic minorities can exercise in running their educational institutions. Under India's constitution, minority religions, including Christianity and Islam, can set up and run their own educational institutions with government funding, and can teach their religion in those institutions. Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikhs can set up educational institutions and receive government funding, but are subject to close government management and cannot teach religion in their schools.






Ahimsa Can Destroy Terrorism


Posted on 2002/7/15 9:49:02 ( 1142 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 14, 2002: Speaking at the celebration honoring the 83rd birthday of the Jain Saint Acharya Mahapragya, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj said, "If only we could all accept ahimsa (nonviolence), it will help in destroying terrorism from its very roots everywhere in the world." Referring to terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir she said, "We have seen utmost efforts everywhere to put an end to the menace of terrorism, but everything would be solved only if we all adopt the concept of ahimsa as preached by our saints."




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