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Famed Sri Lanka Scholar Passes On

Posted on 2002/2/7 8:48:02 ( 1154 reads )

Source: Hindu Press International

KOPAY, SRI LANKA, February 7, 2002: Friends and relatives in this village near Jaffna, Sri Lanka, announced today the passing on of Tiru A. V. Mylvaganam on January 19, 2002, at age 89. His passing is especially noted by Hinduism Today. The association of Tiru A.V. Mylvaganam and our late publisher, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, which endured for over fifty-two years, was certainly a most remarkable one. As a close devotee of Jnanaguru Yogaswami, Tiru Mylvaganam was present when Gurudeva visited the famed thatched hut in Columbuthurai and received the potent initiation with the slap on the back in May of 1949. It was Tiru Mylvaganam who first comprehended the significance of that initiatory moment and insightfully described it as a "coronation." Yogaswami's instructions to him to read, recite and reflect upon the Tirukural daily combined with his study of English at Oxford University provided an excellent background for translating Gurudeva's modern English version of Tirukural into modern Tamil, which he worked at daily for many years. He was the first person from Sri Lanka to attend Oxford University in England. Gurudeva regarded his work of putting the archaic Tamil verses into accessible modern Tamil as a key to the continuing use of the classic gem in Tamil-speaking communities throughout the world. It could not have been accomplished except for Tiru Mylvaganam's steadfast, one can say, historic efforts, made in the twilight of his life in service to two great satgurus who loved the Tirukural and understood its important place in Tamil homes and hearts. In 1985 Tiru Mylvaganam made a gift and garland of praises for his Gurudeva, composing in Sanskrit the Ashtotra, 108 names of Gurudeva, which is still chanted today whenever a Pada Puja is done in Gurudeva's honor. This list describes in a traditional manner the many accomplishments of Gurudeva, his cherished ideals, his establishment of Hindu institutions, and much more. Tiru Mylvaganam loved children and understood the great importance of passing along the Saiva culture and faith to them, that they would be the ones to carry it into the future. He also knew that Sri Lankan children were empowered by knowing English. In both these arenas he worked hard for many years at the Subramuniya Kopay Kottam as an elder, inspirer and teacher of English, thus helping the children better understand Gurudeva's written works. All those who knew this great soul may take pride in his vision, his loyalty to Saiva Neri and dedication to our Kailasa Paramparai, and hopefully they will be inspired to follow his noble example.

Hindu Conference for Trinidad

Posted on 2002/2/7 8:47:02 ( 1078 reads )

Source: HPI Correspondent, Anil Mahabir

TRINIDAD, February 7, 2002: The University of the West Indies together with the Hindi Foundation of Trinidad & Tobago and the High Commission for the Republic of India are hosting a conference, which will take place from May 17 to 19, 2002. The title of the conference is "Hindi Language, Literature and Culture: A Caribbean Perspective." In Trinidad, the Hindi language is taught at primary and secondary schools, at the university, the Gandhi Institute and at temples. Hindi is also taught in Guyana and Suriname; although in Suriname most, if not all, Indians already speak Hindi as a second language, after Dutch. In Suriname, Hindi is also spoken by certain non-Indians, who live in predominantly Indian areas. The organizers of the conference say, "It is now time for scholarly reflection and guidance on the teaching of the language in Trinidad." The purpose of the conference therefore is to focus on the teaching of Hindi in the Caribbean, to discuss the various experiences of teachers of the language as well as to interface with international scholars in the field. Scholars are being invited to make presentations on the teaching of Hindi as a foreign language, the development of language teaching materials for Caribbean people as well as the role of literature and culture, including films, and songs in the Hindi language program. The conference will take at the University of the West Indies. The deadline for submitting extracts is March 18. The deadline for the actual conference paper is April 18. Interested persons may contact the Conference Secretariat at the Centre for language Learning, University of the West Indies, E-Mail: hindiuwi@yahoo.com and cll@tstt.net.tt . Telephone/fax: 662-0758

UK Hindu Students Group Seeks Articles

Posted on 2002/2/7 8:46:02 ( 1117 reads )


ENGLAND, February 7, 2002: The National Hindu Students Forum UK is requesting Hindus all over the world to submit articles for their magazine "Hum." Articles should be 800-1,500 words long and should be related to Hindu philosophy or issues relevant especially to Hindu youth. Please send all articles in Microsoft Word "source" above

Nepal to Promote Religious Tourism

Posted on 2002/2/6 8:49:02 ( 1047 reads )


KATHMANDU, NEPAL, JANUARY 31, 2002: The Nepali government will give high priority to religious tourism and make it one of the major components for the tourist attraction campaign, the Kathmandu Post said Thursday. The Nepali government will concentrate its programs mainly at Pashupatinath where a large number of Hindus will come for worship during the Maha Sivaratri festival on March 12, 2002, and Lumbini where the festival of Buddha Purnima, which falls in May, will attract large numbers of Buddhists. The target number of domestic and foreign tourists for Maha Sivaratri is 400,000, says Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Bal Bahadur. The Nepali government has taken a number of initiatives recently to attract tourists, including reducing visa fees, easing visa procedures and opening up more peaks for trekking and expeditions.

Ten PM Concert Deadline too Rigid Say Mumbai Artists

Posted on 2002/2/6 8:48:02 ( 1080 reads )

Source: Afternoon Despatch & Courier

MUMBAI, INDIA, JANUARY 31, 2002: Veteran artists and performers are upset about the unfairness of the 10 p.m. deadline for the use of loudspeakers enforced by India's Supreme Court. The law states that any activity involving the use of loudspeakers or exceeding a decibel level that could be considered disruptive to residents of the area is not permissible after 10 p.m. Says Bharat Ratna awardee and Rajya Sabha member, Lata Mangeshkar, "I am incensed about this law. We have a concert once a year where the stage is elaborately decorated and people eagerly await these events. The light and the stage setting come together only after the sun goes down and it is foolhardy to expect that a show like this will be wrapped up in two hours." Many performers enjoy the freedom and ambience of an outdoor concert rather than the constraints of an enclosed auditorium.

Yoga Linked to Relief of Health Ailments

Posted on 2002/2/6 8:47:02 ( 1032 reads )


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, January 31, 2002: Hatha Yoga's intricate system of posturing, posing, bending and twisting is one of the hottest fitness programs offered across the US. According to the Yoga Research and Education Center in Santa Rosa, California, more than 20 million people in the United States practice yoga. Many practitioners praise yoga for its health benefits. Chiropractor Robin Huhn started taking yoga to relieve stress and discovered that some of the poses are similar to stretching exercises she gives her patients. Catherine Corbeaga, 56, has been practicing yoga for 14 years and teaching it for eight. Her inspiration was actress Katherine Hepburn, who is 94 and suffers from Parkinson's disease. "Several years ago I saw an interview on television with her in her home. She already was showing signs of Parkinson's but she was still very vigorous and flexible and strong -- which she attributed to yoga," says Corbaga. Connie Johnson, who also is a yoga instructor for Las Vegas Athletic Club, began doing yoga exercises 20 years ago after suffering a whiplash injury in a car accident in Connecticut. "I couldn't lift my head to look up at the ceiling." Johnson recalled. When the exercises helped her, she said she became hooked on yoga.

Denver Conference on Ending Corporal Punishment of Children

Posted on 2002/2/6 8:46:02 ( 1196 reads )


DENVER, COLORADO, July 6-7, 2002: A conference will be held in Denver, Colorado, on July 6 and 7 to note the progress that has been made in eliminating corporal punishment of children worldwide. Sponsored by EPOCH-USA, Save the Children Sweden, and the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children of London, the conference will feature speakers and researchers from around the world. For information, e-mail "source" above.

Appeal for Religion and Peacemaking Database

Posted on 2002/2/6 8:45:02 ( 1086 reads )


COLUMBIA, NEW YORK, January 30, 2002: The Center for International Conflict resolution at Columbia University (http://sipa.columbia.edu/cicr) and the Interfaith Center of New York (http://www.interfaithcenter.org) have been working to study and support the efforts of religiously inspired peacemaking throughout the world. They are combining efforts to create a Religion and Peacemaking Database (RPD) to document and make available the wide range of peace-making activities. Many of these efforts are only known at a local level, and thus the important models for peacemaking that they contain are not widely available, either to activists or to members of the international community concerned with conflict resolution. The database project is seeking relevant information about exceptional religious individuals and organizations involved in conflict resolution. To obtain more Information or submit a candidate, you can contact the above-mentioned websites or e-mail David Mumper, the project coordinator, at "source" above.

Abusive Teacher Arrested, Suspended in Delhi

Posted on 2002/2/3 8:49:02 ( 1162 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 31, 2002: Shambu Nath Singh, the teacher of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi's primary school at Sultanpuri accused of meting out corporal punishment to an eight-year-old girl, was arrested on Thursday by the Delhi Police. Last Monday, Shambhu, 33, had grabbed Rachna's hair and repeatedly struck her forehead against a table until her hair came out by the roots. She had failed to read aloud a passage in Hindi to his satisfaction. She now has a bald patch and refuses to go back to school. Shambhu has been charged with voluntarily causing hurt and wrongful restraint. He is currently out on bail. Officials of the Department of Education met on Thursday to initiate proceedings against Shambhu. He has already been suspended from the school where he worked since 1995. MCD Councillor Bansal said he would ensure the girl was given Rs 50,000 as compensation by the MCD. He also said action will be taken against O.P. Yadhuvanshi, the MCD area officer of Najafgarh zone, for not visiting the schools in his area regularly.

Thais to Shun Drug Dealers and Users

Posted on 2002/2/3 8:48:02 ( 1025 reads )


BAN PA-KWOW, THAILAND, January 28, 2002: Ban Pa-Kwow's 200 adult villagers, seated in a Buddhist temple, are asked to write the name of persons suspected of involvement in use or trafficking of drugs. After the unsigned papers are put into a box, officials read the names and record them on a blackboard. A person whose name appears more than 5 times must answer the assembly. A confession results in the accused being sent for medical help and a denial leads to more discussion among villagers. If a majority finds the accusations warranted, the offenders are made social outcasts. People are urged not to help them with their harvests or invite them to parties or even talk to them. This threat of social sanctions is the latest weapon in a widening war on drugs, especially methamphetamine, the synthetic stimulant that has been declared Thailand's public enemy #1. The Health Ministry estimates 2.4 million of Thailand's 62 million people use the drug. Because Thai villagers are such close knit communities, it is hoped that such sanctions will help wipe out the medium and small scale dealers.

Ousted Badrinath priest Takes on BJP

Posted on 2002/2/3 8:47:02 ( 1129 reads )


DEHRA DUN, January 30, 2002: In a serious blow to the BJP, which is trying desperately to retain power in Uttaranchal, the suspended head priest of the famous Badrinath temple has announced that he will campaign against the party. Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari today ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. The priest -- "Rawal" Namboodripad -- was suspended by the Badrinath Temple Committee recently. He had been having a running feud with the panel over the issue of improvement of facilities for pilgrims visiting the shrine. The committee constituted by the state government is believed to be controlled by the RSS and BJP. The seat of the head priest of Badrinath has remained with the Namboodiri Brahmins of Kerala since times immemorial. But the recent head priest had been in the eye of the storm since he took over two years ago. He wanted to improve the facilities for pilgrims, which was resisted by the orthodox members of the temple committee. Namboodiripad returned from Kerala just today, after hearing of his suspension. He charged that a BJP minister and some leaders had hatched a conspiracy to suspend him.

The Mystical River Saraswati

Posted on 2002/2/3 8:46:02 ( 925 reads )


BANGALORE, INDIA, January 27, 2002: Vanishing from the Northern Indian terrain over 2000 years ago, the river Saraswati's disappearance has puzzled scientists until traces of it were spotted in satellite photos. Spoken of in the Rig Veda, the mighty Saraswati originated in the Himalayas before flowing through what is today known as Haryana and Western Rajasthan and emptying itself into the ocean. Professor K.S. Valdiya, a 65 year old leading geologist who has received numerous awards, has recently published a book called "Saraswati, The River that Disappeared." In this publication Professor Valdiya speculates that the river vanished due to " tectonic upheavals which were common in that part of the country." Research from satellite photography provided further evidence of the existence of river sand and mud in underground channels that once served as reservoirs for the passage of great volumes of water. The professor believes that earthquake activity in the Siwalik terrene robbed the mighty river of its water.

India's Universities to Train Priests

Posted on 2002/2/3 8:45:02 ( 990 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 ( 1074 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 ( 1217 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.

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