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NRI Team Finds 50 Million Gujaratis Affected by Riots

Posted on 2002/9/11 9:49:02 ( 1050 reads )


AHMEDABAD, INDIA, September 9, 2002: NRI Sadbhavna Mission to India has collected $1 million from the NRIs living in the US, of which 80% has already been distributed for the riot-affected people. Names of the organizations through which these funds were disbursed, cannot be revealed "because some of them have been threatened," says Shrikumar Poddar of the NRI Sadbhavna Mission to India, which is visiting Gujarat for the first time since the riots. Aditi Desai, a member of the delegation and UN consultant based in New York, said, "We have come as human beings, and we have not slept nights thinking about what was going on here. We could not face the humiliation abroad when people told us this is happening in your country. The strong Hindutva influences, as spread by the spokespersons of Hinduism, had spread even in the US, where attempts were being made to interpret history in a different way," she told TNN.

Lord Ganesha Links to Websites for Chaturthi

Posted on 2002/9/11 9:48:02 ( 1145 reads )


September 9, 2002: Rediff's web guide has compiled what they believe are the best links for Ganesha Chaturthi. From a short history of the festival to virtual worship, a link to the famous Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai and photos of Ganesha immersions are a few of their picks. Check them out at "source" and enjoy Ganesha's darshan.

Dada Vaswani to Visit Puerto Rico

Posted on 2002/9/11 9:47:02 ( 1125 reads )


PUERTO RICO, September 11, 2002: Dada J.P. Vaswani is visiting Puerto Rico, as he does almost each year. Dada was just named Hinduism Today's "Hindu of the Year" for 2002. He gives spiritual talks to local Hindus and the general populace. On September 25, he will be speaking on, "Change Your Attitude, and Change Your Life" at the Caribe Hilton Ballroom. Admission Free. Confirmation or Reservation is not required. Simultaneous Spanish Translation Available. For more information give e-mail "source" above.

Swimmers to Help Ganesh Immersion

Posted on 2002/9/11 9:46:02 ( 1054 reads )


BANGALORE, INDIA, September 9: Environmentalists, take heart: the Lalbagh Horticultural Department is planning to employ five expert swimmers to immerse Ganesha idols in water for a nominal fee. The department's aim is to control reckless immersion of idols, which is causing damage to the Lalbagh lake, Joint Director of the Department of Horticulture, Lalbagh, S. Ashwath says. ''This will put an end to contamination of the lake to a large extent,'' Ashwath said. "The swimmers will be given strict instructions not to allow anything other than icons inside the lake. Before immersion, they will remove all puja material, including garlands and eatables, from the icons."

UK's Indian Restaurants Desperate for Chefs

Posted on 2002/9/10 9:49:02 ( 933 reads )

Source: India Tribune

LONDON, ENGLAND, August 31, 2002: Indian restaurants in Britain are currently gripped by an acute shortage of qualified cooks as catering academies prefer to teach Chinese, Japanese, Spanish or Italian specialties, rather than Indian cuisine, which is the most popular in the country. Restaurants are now recruiting candidates from all ethnic groups, plus appealing for more lenient visa rules. More than two million curries are served a week in over 8,500 food outlets. Indian food recently eclipsed Chinese food as the most popular ethnic cuisine in the UK, and is a US$3.6 billion-a-year industry.

10th Anniversary of the Maha Samadhi of H. H. Swami Krishnanand Saraswati

Posted on 2002/9/10 9:48:02 ( 1507 reads )


GHANA, AFRICA, September 9, 2002: A special puja was held Friday, August 30, 2002, at the Hindu Monastery of Africa headquarters to mark the auspicious occasion of the 10th anniversary Maha Samadhi of Swami Krishnanand Saraswati, former Guru Maha Sannidhanam of the Hindu Monastery of Africa and founder of the Human Service Trust of Mauritius. All the monastery branches throughout Ghana also conducted special pujas to mark this auspicious occasion. Swami Ghananandaji Saraswati, present head of the monastery, led the community of devotees in the distribution of clothing and food throughout the country and personally conducted a six-week retreat at the Accra Monastery for twelve devotees. For additional information e-mail "source" above.

Hindu Munnani Slams "Baba-Style" Ganesh Icons

Posted on 2002/9/10 9:47:02 ( 1098 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, September 10, 2002: The radical group, Hindu Munnani, has asked icon makers not to make statues of Lord Ganesh that show Him wearing a shirt and trousers and not the traditional Indian dhoti. Such icons are popularly called "Baba style" and are selling briskly across Chennai. Munnani claims they would not bring good luck to the buyers. It has been named after the Tamil movie Baba, which features superstar Rajnikanth and was released last month. Hindu Munnani plans to collect icons from various districts and take them to the Rameswaram town for immersion.

Ganesha Icon Immersion Spells Tension

Posted on 2002/9/10 9:46:02 ( 1124 reads )


HUBLI, INDIA, September 8, 2002: Immersion of Ganesha's icons by devotees after a colorful procession has assumed significance in Hubli-Dharwad for two reasons. One, the processions taking icons for immersion have triggered communal clashes between communities in the past. Two, it is the time of year when water becomes crucial. Devotees are already worried about the final act of immersing their idols to mark the culmination of the 10-day festival. N. K. Galagali, convener of Hubli-Dharwad Maha Ganapathi Mandal said, as per tradition, the icons are usually immersed in water bodies. However, this year, with almost 95% of the lakes and ponds in the city dry, the people are in a quandary. "We may be forced to create an artificial pond for the religious act," said Galagali. An estimated 50,000 clay icons are immersed every year in the city's lake and wells. Environmentalists are concerned with the pollution the icons create as the icons are made of clay, hay, cloth, paper, wood, jute, adhesives and synthetic paints. With two days left for Ganesh Chaturthi, various environmental organizations have requested the Corporation authorities to act fast and set up artificial ponds for immersion of icons to curb pollution.

Dada J. P. Vaswani Honored as "Hindu of the Year"

Posted on 2002/9/9 9:49:02 ( 1115 reads )

Source: Hindu Press International

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, September 5, 2002: At a function here Dada J. P. Vaswani was given the Hindu Renaissance Award 2002 as "Hindu of the Year" by Hinduism Today. The award was presented by Lavina Melwani, senior US correspondent for the magazine. In making the presentation, she said, "I am here today on behalf of Hinduism Today, which is an international magazine reaching more than 100,000 people in 60 countries. Its mission is affirming Sanatana Dharma and recording the modern history of a billion-strong global religion in renaissance. Starting in 1990, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Gurudeva, founder of Hinduism Today has honored one eminent Hindu each year who has most impacted the faith and spread its values, compassion and spirituality across the globe. Prior to his Maha Samadhi in November of 2001, Gurudeva wished to acknowledge Dada Vaswani as Hindu of the Year for 2002. I am very honored today on behalf of Hinduism Today to present to Dada this plaque and shawl blessed by Gurudeva's successor, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. The plaque reads: 2002 Hindu Renaissance Award Presented by Hinduism Today to Hindu of the Year, 2002, Dada Jashan P. Vaswani, spiritual head of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission in Pune, India, for a lifetime of exemplary preaching of Hindu dharma through his inspired and eloquent oratory, soul-stirring publications and a loving, saintly presence which envelops friend and total stranger alike, effortlessly transcending divisions of race, creed, politics and nationalities." Dada was then presented with the shawl by Dr. Jayaraman, Director of Bharati Vidya Bhavan, on behalf of Hinduism Today. Starting in 1990, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Gurudeva, founder of Hinduism Today has honored one eminent Hindu each year who has most impacted the faith and spread its values, compassion and profundity across the globe. Past renaissance winners are: Swami Paramananda Bharati ('90), Swami Chidananda Saraswati, "Muniji" of Parmath Niketan ('91), Swami Chinmayananda ('92), Mata Amritanandamayi Ma ('93), Swami Satchidananda ('94), Pramukhswami Maharaj ('95), Sri Satya Sai Baba ('96), Sri Chinmoy ('97), Swami Bua ('98), Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Divine Life Society ('99), Ma Yoga Shakti ('00) and Sri Sambamurthi Sivachariyar (01). Gurudeva met Dada for the first time in Oxford, April, 1988, at the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival. He was very impressed with this humble man who exuded love and spoke so eloquently. In March of this year, Dada visited the Hinduism Today offices in Kauai for the first time. While there, he gave a talk to the monks. He told them to make good use of every minute; to observe silence, to keep a daily appointment with God at least twice a day for 20 minutes; to always think of noble thoughts; always seek the lowest place. He told them that if they are called to perform a task that put them in some position, to do so out of obedience but otherwise always seek the lowest place. Dada explained that eventually one will see a light in the head and that light would begin to illumine you from within and then you would come to the place where you would see God. With an impassioned voice he said that if we could plant such people in places around the world, then perhaps in our "tortured modern world" we will be able to bring some solace to others. Hinduism Today has enjoyed his inspiring books over the years, helped announce his popular calls for a meatless day, and marveled at his tireless travel and eloquent discourses from the heart, carrying Hinduism's primal messages of love and tolerance. Hinduism Today magazine is the inspiration of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. In the early 1980s he made several world tours, visiting Mauritius, Sri Lanka, India, South Africa, Malaysia, England and other countries, and speaking to hundreds of thousands of people. He discovered that Hindus in each country were totally unaware of, or did not care, what was happening within the realms of their religion in other places in the world. Out of these tours came the mission of Hinduism Today to strengthen all the many diverse expressions of Hindu spirituality and to give them a single, combined voice because everywhere else their voices were individualized. He commissioned his monks to promote all Hindu denominations in the magazine and to report "everybody's good work." In 2000, he founded the Hindu Press International, a daily e-mail news service reaching thousands. Today Hinduism Today is a world-class, full-color quarterly magazine, reaching more than 100,000 people in 60 countries and has one of the largest Hindu websites in the world, with thousands of visitors a day. "Affirming Sanatana Dharma and recording the modern history of a billion-strong global religion in renaissance" is its mission statement.

Paris Hindus Celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi

Posted on 2002/9/9 9:48:02 ( 1035 reads )

Source: Agence France Presse

PARIS, FRANCE, September 9, 2002: An estimated 5,000 people marched through central Paris on Sunday in celebration of the Hindu festival of Ganesh, the God of wisdom and success, officials said. The festival in Paris of Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Siva, first started in France in 1995. The mostly Tamil Hindu community in France is estimated at 135,000 people who come from Sri Lanka and India as well as Vietnam, Nepal, Mauritius and Madagascar.

Hindu Vocabulary Added to Oxford English Dictionary

Posted on 2002/9/9 9:47:02 ( 1187 reads )

Source: SIFY News

NEW DELHI, INDIA, August 25, 2002: As Indian culture has become more popular in the United Kingdom, the influx of Indian vocabulary has become more common. Judy Pearsall, editor of the Concise Oxford Dictionary of English, says, "People are reading Indian authors in English more widely than perhaps they have done before." The article says, "The new tenth revised edition of Comprehensive Oxford English Dictionary, launched in India earlier this week, has massed hundreds of words of Indian origin." Among the 600 new Indian English entries are words such as Hindutva (philosophy of a Hindu nation and life), panchayat (village council), puri (flat bread), dosa (also a flat bread) and chai (spiced tea). The 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary was first published in 1884 and about 80% of the 77,000 entries are from British English. The other 20% come from American English, Australia, India and other former British colonies. It is the most authoritative dictionary of the English language.

Rajiv Malhotra's Latest Column of America's Academics of Hinduism

Posted on 2002/9/9 9:46:02 ( 1283 reads )


September 9, 2002: Excerpt from this very long essay (circa 20,000 words) by Rajiv Malhotra which appears on the Sulekha web site. Rajiv begins by quoting Wendy Doniger, Professor of History of Religions, University of Chicago. Quoted in Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 November, 1999: Prof. Doniger said to the Inquirer, "The Bhagavad Gita is not as nice a book as some Americans think ... Throughout the Mahabharata ... Krishna goads human beings into all sorts of murderous and self-destructive behaviors such as war. ... The Gita is a dishonest book ..." Rajiv then continues his introduction: "In my previous Sulekha column, I pointed out that whereas elite colleges in the West teach great respect for Greek and other Western Classics as being the bedrock of their civilization, it has become fashionable for elitist (i.e. Westernized) Indians to denigrate their own Indian Classics. Furthermore, these Indians see their education in Western literature as validating their Western identity (falsely equating modernization with Westernization), and go out of their way in putting down their Indian heritage. The present essay deals with yet another important discipline, namely, Religious Studies, which is growing rapidly in the US and in many other countries. Unfortunately, this is not so in India, where a peculiar brand of "secularism" has prevented academic Religious Studies from entering the education system in a serious manner. Therefore, most Indians do not have the necessary competence in this academic field to be able to understand how it differs from both (i) religious instruction that one expects to find in a temple, church or mosque, and (ii) political or popular ideological depictions of religion in the media. ... This essay's thrust revolves around the portrayal of India's religions in the West. Being unable to appreciate how and why academic Religious Studies is different from other activities that might appear similar, most Indians are ignorant of the abuses being caused in the West as a result of (a) the negative stereotyping of Indic traditions, and (b) the misappropriation from Indic traditions while erasing the sources."

Helpers Sought for Information Gathering Project

Posted on 2002/9/9 9:45:02 ( 1148 reads )


PUNE, INDIA, September 9, 2002: Prof. G. C. Asnani sends the following request: "We are looking for part-time teachers, students and housewives worldwide, to help us in locating and where possible, themselves providing, through e-mail system, world-wide information on current affairs, recent advances in different branches of science, fine arts, technology, history, Sanskrit, yoga, health, vedic mathematics, climate, environment, Art and science of maintaining a happy home, home-crafts, teaching aids including pictorial animation, sports, etc. Information should be particularly suitable for inspiring young minds including students at various stages. Interested persons may kindly write by e-mail to source above."

VHP Activists Lay Siege To Ranchi Station

Posted on 2002/9/8 9:49:02 ( 1141 reads )


RANCHI, INDIA, September 2, 2002: Hindu organizations led by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena and dozens of local temple committees today disrupted rail traffic, smashed vehicles, beat up shop-keepers and enforced a strict bandh (general strike) in protest against the Jharkhand High Court's orders to either demolish the Hanuman temple in front of the Ranchi railway station or to relocate it. VHP leader Pramod Kumar Mishra told The Telegraph that irrespective of the consequences, they would not allow the Ranchi station temple to be shifted. Mishra said the district administration was free to demolish the temple, though they would never agree for another location for the temple, which has been in existence for over 25 years at the place.

Hindu Youth Forum Held In California

Posted on 2002/9/8 9:48:02 ( 1150 reads )


NORWALK, CALIFORNIA, September 5, 2002: The Hindu Youth Forum of Southern California successfully organized their first ever Hindu Youth Conference on August 24 at Sanatana Dharma Mandir at Norwalk. This is the first time a conference of its kind held where all the activities were planned and executed by teenagers of the youth forum. A total of thirty southern California youth gathered and discussed issues affecting them. The paper/essay writing covered topics such as Hindu brotherhood, rituals and symbols in Hinduism, being a Hindu in American high school and college. Winners were Niyati Gupta, Rohan Gupta and Amogh Havanur. For more details on the activities of Hindu Youth Forum, contact e-mail source above

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