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Padayatra To Retrace Footsteps Of Adi Shankara
Posted on 2001/3/19 22:47:02 ( 750 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, March 19, 2001: Fifty-seven-year old Colonel S.S. Rajan set on a "padayatra" or foot journey, to cover a distance of 16,000 km in order to spread the message of peace, and to retrace the hallowed footsteps of Adi Shankara, as part of the spiritual renaissance. "Walking has its own challenges," says the retired additional chief engineer of the Army. "This is my tapasya (spiritual austerity)," he said. In a span of two-and-a-half years he will be visiting 180 places including sites in Pakistan and Bangladesh. "The aim is to promote unity in every corner of the sub-continent," he said.




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A New Home for Delhi's Monkeys
Posted on 2001/3/19 22:46:02 ( 723 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 18, 2001: An estimated 5,000 monkeys are roaming freely in the capital and in some cases creating havoc among the populace. In an attempt to rescue some of these monkeys and return them to their natural habitat, a non-governmental organization has formed a rescue center in the state of Haryana. Expecting cooperation to catch the monkeys from civic bodies such as the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, a spokesman from this group states they have been given no instructions to work with the NGO. Primatologist Iqbal Malik expresses his concern over the situation, "They have just enough space for 100 monkeys. But Delhi has some 5,000." Suggesting that in order to successfully relocate the monkeys a plan must be orchestrated; Malik advocates that a forest be allocated in the country, that the forest department be moved to the Central list so monkeys can be transferred to other states, and that a quarantine center be set up. Then and only then does Malik feel that is would be appropriate to have civic agencies begin trapping the animals.




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People For Animals Group Charged With Desecrating Ashram
Posted on 2001/3/18 22:49:02 ( 745 reads )


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LUDHIANA, INDIA, March 18, 2001: Resentment prevails among hundreds of devotees of Baba Kirti Giri against People For Animals (PFA, which is not the same organization as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA) for entering the ashram with shoes on and later taking away a couple of cheetah skins, including one used by the Baba for meditation, with the help of the police. Following intervention by local leaders, the skins, which the Baba said had been given to him by a devotee 32 years ago, have been returned to the ashram, but the devotees feel the PFA exceeded its limits in entering a religious place in search of animal skins. Sandeep Jain, president of PFA, could not be reached in spite of several attempts to do so. Meanwhile, PFA refuted the communal charges levelled against them by Kirthi Giri. Ajay Jain, general secretary, PFA, said that the officials had gone bare foot and visited the shrine just to seize the tiger skin which Kirti Giri had been using as a cushion.




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Taliban Kills Cows to Atone for 'Delay' on Statues
Posted on 2001/3/18 22:48:02 ( 717 reads )


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ISLAMABAD, AFGHANISTAN, March 15, 2001: The Taliban movement's Voice of Shariat radio said its supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had ordered the slaughter of 12 cows in the capital Kabul and at least three each in 29 other Taliban-held provincial capitals to atone for its "delay" in destroying Afghanistan's historic statues of the Buddha. The radical Islamic movement which seized power in 1996 issued a decree on February 27 for the destruction of all Afghanistan's mainly Buddhist statues on the grounds that they were heathen idols, and carried out the task despite international protests. Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil told reporters in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday that statues worshiped by the country's small Hindu minority had been spared.




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Cycle of Motherhood - A Sign of the Times
Posted on 2001/3/18 22:47:02 ( 777 reads )


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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, March 18, 2001: Your children have rights too. So expounds this article that delves into the role of woman in the West and how this has affected child-rearing. One hundred fifty years ago, women were expected to marry and bear children. Their primary responsibility was nurturing family members on all levels, as well as keeping everyone centered morally and culturally. Today's so-called modern woman has more choices, a career, marriage, and children. But to what avail? Thinking that they can do it all, women have found that their children are suffering the most. Children are faced with the same problems today as in the past, but with one big difference; they have no refuge, no place where they can be accepted no matter what. Mom is stretched so thin that she is seldom home and when she is home, she is exhausted. On a final note the writer of the article proposes a new social ethos, "Do not choose to have children unless you plan to stay home and take care of them," and "We can't recognize the clues of a troubled soul if we aren't around to see them."




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Hindus and Sikhs Protected from Taliban's Campaign of Icon Destruction
Posted on 2001/3/17 22:49:02 ( 691 reads )


Source: Religion News Service





AFGHANISTAN, March 14, 2001: Despite international condemnation, the Taliban ruler in Afghanistan has continued with destroying Buddhist statues in its countryside. The Taliban said they would allow journalists to the site in a few days. Fortunately for the minority population of Hindus and Sikhs who actively worship deities, the Taliban foreign minister offered reassuring words, "Their statues will not be smashed as they are worshipping them as part of their religious rituals." With Taliban armed troops carrying out the campaign of destruction, some Hindus and Sikhs have erected walls around their temple icons, just in case.




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Oil Massage for Infants
Posted on 2001/3/17 22:48:02 ( 727 reads )


Source: Reuters





DELHI, INDIA, March 1, 2001: Every new mother lovingly wants their infant to sleep well and grow to their potential physically. Dr. K. N. Agarwal recently published an article in the Indian Journal of Medical Research that advocates oil massage to advance these two goals for your child. The oil massage is an ancient practice in India, and detailed in the Ayurveda texts. In a study conducted at the University College of Medical Sciences in Delhi, four groups of infants receiving a 10-minute massage on a daily basis were compared to a control group that did not receive the massage. After four weeks the groups who received oil massages had gained weight, height and increased head, arm and leg circumference. The increases compared to the control group were significant and measurable. With the added boon of contented sleep, babies receiving massage had increased blood flow and levels of growth hormones in their systems.




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Course for Priest's Training
Posted on 2001/3/17 22:47:02 ( 848 reads )


Source: Abhiyaan Gujarati Weekly





RAJKOT, GUJARAT, INDIA, February 24, 2001: Bhanubhai Pandya, an Indo-Canadian Hindu Priest of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, inspired his son, Dr. Paresh Pandya, a professor of physics, to start a 2-month certificate course for training of priests at the Continuing Education Department of the Saurashtra University at Rajkot. Dr. Pandya worked for two decades as a "pujari" conducting ritual ceremonies and has conducted more than two-hundred marriages. He noticed that, with increasing numbers of Hindu temples worldwide, there is a great demand for competent priests. He felt that to meet this demand, a certificate of qualification can be useful. He prepared the project report with course contents and got the approval of the University. He had planned for twenty-five students but response was so great that he had to prepare a waiting list of sixty. Course is being attended by young and old, both men and women. They are from different professions, and have taken the course for a variety of reasons.




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India's Haj Subsidy Criticized
Posted on 2001/3/17 22:46:02 ( 686 reads )


Source: Telegraph Calcutta





NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 3, 2001: Muslim scholars in India were surprised over Saudi foreign minister Saud Al-Faisal's statements that his country's ulema will explain to their Indian counterparts that the Indian government's US$32 million Haj subsidy goes against the spirit of Islam. The Haj is among the five mandatory religious obligations. Every Muslim is expected to visit Mecca and Medina and bear the cost, including that of airfare, boarding and lodging, from "their own means." Muslim leaders said the Indian government started to subsidize airfare after it discontinued operating ships to ferry Hajis, as the pilgrims are known, to Saudi Arabia. The government of India not only supports major Hindu pilgrimages, but actively organizes them -- most notably the Kumbha Mela.




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Yoga Conference in Illinois
Posted on 2001/3/17 22:45:02 ( 747 reads )


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GLENDALE HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS, April 29, 2001: Featuring world famous saints and yogis teaching meditation and yoga, the Rejuvenation Yoga Institute of America is offering a free seminar on April 29, 2001. Seminars to be held at Ramada Inn & Suites, 780 E North Ave, Glendale Heights, Illinois, 60139. For more information contact the Yoga Institute at 630-260-8888.




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Contrite Karmapa Lama Returns Barefoot
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:49:02 ( 836 reads )


Source: Telegraph of India





BODHGAYA, INDIA, March 12, 2001: The 17th Karmapa, the Buddhist leader who had visited the sanctum sanctorum of the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya with shoes on, was compelled to make a second trip to the same place barefoot to appease the sensibilities of some monks here. This time before entering shrine, he stopped near the checkpost of the Temple Management Committee where he took off his shoes to walk silently towards the temple. "The Karmapa has come here with a gesture of penance. He meditated in front of the seat of Buddha's enlightenment," said one of his associates. On his arrival on March 6 in Bodhgaya, where Buddha achieved enlightenment, the Karmapa paid his first visit to Vajrasan in Mahabodhi temple, the inner shrine of Buddhists, but with his shoes on. After the Karmapa's gesture today, the temple's orthodox monks appeared mellow.




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Foot-And-Mouth Disease Detected In Punjab, Haryana
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:48:02 ( 772 reads )


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CHANDIGARH, INDIA, 12 Mar 2001: The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), one of the most contagious animal diseases now ravaging Britain has affected animals in some parts of Haryana and Punjab, though the situation is not alarming, officials from the two states asserted. The disease, which has claimed 11 animals in Haryana and 23 in Punjab, has been checked from spreading. Director, animal husbandry of Punjab, G S Chahal reported that only one village, Ghaloti in Ludhiana district, had reported some cases of FMD and the department teams immediately administered "ring vaccination" to animals to check the spread of the disease. He said 20,000-25,000 animals have been vaccinated in the state. This minimal response stands in stark contrast to that of the UK, where every animal within three kilometers of infected farms -- hundreds of thousands of sheep and cows -- are being slaughtered to contain the disease.




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Kerala Up In Arms Over Elephant Directive
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:47:02 ( 682 reads )


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SANU GEORGE, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, March 11, 2001: The decision by Union Minister for Social Justice and Environment, Maneka Gandhi, directing the state government to take over ownership of all domestic elephants, has elephant lovers in Kerala up in arms. K. C. Panicker, an elephant specialist and secretary of the Thrissur based Elephants Welfare Association, said the decision is totally impractical. "The Kerala government, which owned around 100 elephants not long ago, has just under 20 elephants today. Isn't this enough indication that it is just not possible for the government to maintain these elephants?" asked Panicker. In the past, mahouts were well trained and had a deep commitment towards these animals, today most of the mahouts on duty are amateurs. The Institute of Social Welfare in Ernakulam has filed a public interest litigation seeking to end cruelty to pachyderms. They have urged the state government to take steps to enact a law or amend existing rules for mahouts. The present Elephant Protection Act was enacted in 1879.




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Sikh Leader Readmitted to Community After Atonement
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:46:02 ( 853 reads )


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SURREY, B.C., CANADA, March 11, 2001: Excommunicated from the Sikh community in June of 1998, Giana Rattan Singh Girn, a Sikh leader, was recently readmitted to the fold after atoning for his sin. Apparently Girn used tables and chairs to seat people while feeding them in a community kitchen. This act was a violation of Sikh doctrine as dictated by Akal Takht, the primary seat of Sikh religious authority in the Punjab. Sikh community members are required to sit on the floor when participating in a langar, free feeding. For his atonement, Girn listened to Sikh devotionals for one hour each day, dusted devotees' shoes at the Temple in Surrey, cleaned utensils at the community kitchen and donated money to the Golden Temple. This issue of sitting on the floor has led to violent clashes among temple factions not only in Vancouver, but in several other American and Canadian cities.




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Forty-Seven Killed in Holi-Related Violence
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:45:02 ( 655 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 12, 2001: At least 47 persons were killed and 23 injured in Holi-related violence in different parts of Bihar. In the most serious incident, eight people died and six others were injured in Simthu village in Nalanda district on Saturday when two groups clashed and opened fire following a tiff over Holi songs, the state police headquarters said. In Patna district, three persons died after consuming illicit liquor. A person was shot dead at Fatuha.




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