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India's Universities to Train Priests

Posted on 2002/2/3 8:45:02 ( 941 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, February 3, 2002: Soon there will be 21 universities giving lessons in various Hindu rituals such as annaprashan, mundan, mahurat, naamkaran, Karvachauth and more. The new course for aspiring priests, named Paurohitya Pathyakram, will have its own Department of Karmakand to teach students Vedic rituals as varied as observing shraadh, putting up a wedding mandap, and ways to maintain grahshanti in your home. Like the controversial Vedic astrology course being taught in several universities, this one will offer graduate, post-graduate and Ph.D degrees, and get a special grant from the UGC.

India, Israel "Made For Each Other"

Posted on 2002/2/3 8:44:02 ( 1020 reads )


WASHINGTON, USA, January 26, 2002: It is coming up to a decade now, Jan. 29, to be precise, since India and Israel established formal diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level. Since then, this report surprisingly states, Israel has become India's No. 2 arms supplier (after Russia) and now Jerusalem is planning to sell it Phalcon airborne early-warning systems worth US$1-billion. The news follows reports India has taken delivery of Green Pine radar of the Arrow system, upgraded cannons and unmanned aerial vehicles, useful weapons for guarding the line of control in Kashmir. In the past 10 years, trade between the two has quintupled to US$1 billion a year, mostly in the high-tech agricultural sector.

Churches Seek Right to Back Candidates

Posted on 2002/2/3 8:43:02 ( 1177 reads )


NORTH CAROLINA, USA, February 3, 2002: As far back as the Revolutionary War, America's religious leaders have taken to their pulpits to galvanize their followers on the political issues of the day, from taxation to slavery to abortion. But since 1954, when Senator Lyndon B. Johnson pushed a little-noticed law through Congress, ministers have been barred from preaching about political candidates. Under the law, churches are prohibited from endorsing or opposing candidates or risk being stripped of their tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. Nevertheless, the law is frequently flouted, and the I.R.S. rarely intervenes. Now religious conservatives are starting a campaign to remove the prohibition. The cause has been taken up by more than 12 religious conservative lobbying groups and is becoming a frequent topic on Christian talk shows on radio and television. Hindu temples in America should be aware that direct involvement in elections here could jeopardize their tax-exempt status.

Indian's "Holy Mud" Shrine Protected in War Zone

Posted on 2002/2/2 8:49:02 ( 1026 reads )

Source: New Zealand Herald

CHAMLIYAL, INDIA, January 23, 2002: Located 40 kilometers south of Jammu, the holy mud shrine dedicated to Chamliyal Baba, a 17th century saint having mystical powers, has been honored by Muslims and Hindus alike during the on-going conflict in the region. According to devotees, Baba was returning home from work in his fields one day when he was killed by thugs. One of close followers, suffering from eczema, was told by Baba in a dream that the soil surrounding his mortally wounded body would cure the ailment when applied to the inflamed area. After being magically cured, the disciple spread the word and a shrine was established for devotees to visit. Almost 350 years later, this shrine, on the border between India and Pakistan, is still considered a neutral zone where both Indians and Pakistanis reap the curative properties of the holy mud. Both armies allow cartloads of the mud to pass unhindered. Villages in the area have experienced constant fighting but the saint's shrine remains unscathed.

Thai Pusam Celebrated by 1.5 Million in Malaysia

Posted on 2002/2/2 8:48:02 ( 952 reads )


KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, January 30, 2002: More than 1.5 million Hindu devotees and tourists visited temples nationwide to participate in Thai Pusam celebrations. More than a million converged at the Sri Subramaniaswamy temple in Batu Caves, the main venue for the celebrations. Many visitors, including about 100,000 tourists, were at the temple before dawn to participate in the ceremonies as were the thousands of others at temples nationwide. Taking advantage of the large turnout, various nongovernmental organizations set up booths to promote their cause and collect donations. Among the activities organized included a blood donation drive, distribution of free food and drink, visits to the Ramayana Cave, Art Gallery and Valluvar Kottaam caves and a funfair.

Researchers Warn on New Sex-Determination Test

Posted on 2002/2/2 8:47:02 ( 993 reads )

Source: South Africa Independent On Line

JERUSALEM, JANUARY 31, 2002: Israeli researchers said on Thursday they had made progress towards developing what could be a test to detect the gender of a fetus only 16 days after conception. Currently the gender of a fetus can only be determined by ultrasound about 14 weeks after conception, or at 16 weeks by amniocentesis. A team at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital found the level of maternal serum HCG -- the hormone used to test whether a woman is pregnant -- was 20 percent higher in mothers who carried female fetuses than in those who were carrying males. The blood test for HCG, given just over two weeks after conception, carries no particular dangers for the pregnant mother, but Doctor Yuval Yaron, head of the medical team conceded that such early sex diagnosis could carry some risks. "Certainly, some paces like India practice fetal sex selection which I find unacceptable. I would not like to see the results of our test misused in this way." It is estimated two to five million female fetuses are killed each year in India, where male offspring have traditionally been favored over females.

Hindi Dictionary On-Line

Posted on 2002/2/2 8:46:02 ( 501 reads )


February 2, 2002: Readers requiring a Hindi dictionary may click on "source" above. The site has links to a number of dictionaries, including ones for Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Nepalese and Sanskrit, to name a few.

URL: Scientist Cross Pigs With Spinach

Posted on 2002/2/2 8:45:02 ( 1015 reads )


For those who had difficulty with the URL for this story yesterday, clicking on "source" above should get you to the BBC report.

Thaipoosam In Seychelles

Posted on 2002/2/1 8:49:02 ( 1202 reads )


SEYCHELLES, January 30, 2002: A flamboyant religious procession by the Hindu community was staged through the streets of Victoria in commemoration of the birthday of Lord Murugan. Popularly known as Thaipoosam Kavadi, the procession started at the Navasakthi Vinayagar temple where the devotees walked through the streets and back to the temple. The procession was made up of a group of 30 devotees called the Algo Kavadi who carried the semi-circular metal structures (the Kavadis) on their shoulders, some 15 others (the Patkavadi) who carried some wooden structures and a third group of some 20 women called Paalkudam carrying milk pots on their heads. The onlookers were attracted to the procession by the lure of traditional Hindu beats that echoed through the streets.

Arya Orphanages Teach Religious

Posted on 2002/2/1 8:48:02 ( 1087 reads )

Source: Press Reports

NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 21, 2002: Orphanages usually give only physical sustenance to abandoned or orphaned children who have lost one or more parents. Not so with the Arya orphanages started over 30 years ago by Swami Shraddhanand and donated to Des Raj Chaudhury. Today, in addition to taking care of the physical needs of 1,100 children, the institution educates and instills morals and values in their wards. Assuming the mothering role, teachers at the six orphanages are also responsible for religious instruction. Six-year-olds perform six o'clock pujas and recite Gayatri mantras and other slokas. As they mature, students are well prepared to enter society. Many return to serve at the orphanage. Operating expenses average about $US38.00 per month for each child, most of which comes from grants and donations.

Bangalore Hosts Huge RSS Meeting

Posted on 2002/2/1 8:47:02 ( 1061 reads )


BANGALORE, INDIA, January 27, 2002: The IT capital of the country is the venue three-day harmony meeting of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which began on Friday. Over 36,000 RSS cadres from 16 districts of southern Karnataka are taking part in the event, being held at Manyatha Nagar on the outskirts of the city after a gap of two decades. In the 270-acre camp site, located on the outer Ring Road, off Hebbal tank, 16 separate townships have sprung up, each having a capacity to accommodate 3,000 delegates. The highlight of the three-day event is the route march on Saturday afternoon in six different directions, each procession having 6,000 RSS cadres. Some of the top Muslim leaders, including former Union Minister C K Jaffer Shareif, have already visited the venue of the camp and the RSS leadership has assured the minority community members that there was no cause for concern as the processions would be peaceful.

Norway Group Tackles Forced Marriages

Posted on 2002/2/1 8:46:02 ( 961 reads )


OSLO, NORWAY, January 24, 2002: A self-help group in Norway is helping immigrants and refugees who have been coerced into forced marriages. Gerd Fleischer, leader of the group said, "Arranged marriages have nothing to do with religion." Her organization has helped young people from the Norwegian state church, Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist faiths. Last year twenty-three registered arranged marriages were identified as being under threat of death. The group helps its victims facing death threats to establish a new home and a new identity.

Scientist Cross Pigs With Spinach

Posted on 2002/2/1 8:45:02 ( 1103 reads )


OSAKA, JAPAN, JANUARY 24, 2002: Scientist in Japan say they have successfully implanted vegetable genes in a living animal for the first time. Researchers at Kinki University, near Osaka, inserted genetic material from spinach into a pig, which they say will produce healthier pork. The experiment has yielded 2 generations of pigs with the spinach gene known as FAD2. Research team leader, Akira Iritani, said the pigs with the spinach gene had produced less fat then normal. The experiment involved inserting the spinach gene into a fertilized pig egg, which was then implanted in a female pig's womb to produce genetically modified piglets. The FAD2 gene was found to convert about a fifth of the piglet's saturated fatty acids into healthier linoleic acids. Professor Iritani said he hoped to prove the genetically modified pork was safe to eat, though the article doesn't mention who he is going to test it on.

Fiji Christians Protest Evangelical TV Station

Posted on 2002/2/1 8:44:02 ( 987 reads )

Source: Fiji Sun

SUVA, FIJI, February 1, 2002: Christian churches here say the government breached protocol by not consulting them on the establishment of a new Christian TV station, Trinity Fiji. They object to the evangelical leanings of the new station. "If it was a TV station that preached a mature and radical message of Jesus according to the scriptures, and according to Christina tradition, fine. But the example of American Christianity that is come through the Pacific these days doesn't tend to be that. It tends to be fundamentalist," stated a Catholic social worker. The station transmits programs from the Texas-based Trinity Broadcasting Network. Mainstream Christians in Fiji have for years complained about the incursion of evangelical movements who have targeted not the Hindus, the usual objects of evangelism here, but fellow Christians, especially the Catholics.

Thai Pusam Celebrated in Singapore

Posted on 2002/1/31 8:49:02 ( 954 reads )


SINGAPORE, Jan 29, 2002: To mark Thai Pusam this year, 20,000 kavadi-bearers, milk-pot carriers and their supporters took part in the annual procession yesterday. This is a third more than the 15,000 who took part last year. The devotees made their way along a 4-km route from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road. The procession, which ended at midnight last night, was a glorious blaze of colour. Racial groups other than Indians also participated in the event.

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