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Hindu Press International
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Veerashaivas Called Upon to Form Separate Religion
Posted on 2000/12/15 22:49:02 ( 962 reads )

Source: Deccan Chronicle, Bangalore

MYSORE, SOUTH INDIA, December 6, 2000: Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha (ABVM) President Bheemana Khandre has called upon heads of all Veerashaiva monasteries to unite and mobilize Veerashaivas as a separate religion to strengthen the community. Speaking as the chief guest on the "Census Enumeration - 2001 and Awareness Tour," organized by the prominent Veerashaiva Mahasabha based at Suttur Mutt, Khandre reiterated that Veerashaivas were not Hindus as they revolted against the Vedic culture and, by this token, should be recognized as a separate religion in the census report. He denied that their demands would divide society on caste issues and told of injustices meted out to this community who are socially and educationally backward. Neither the Backward Commission Reports nor the Mandal Commission had benefitted their cause, he said. The government too had denied them a separate religion listing in column eight of the census form. Khandre called upon Veerashaivas to insist on their name being listed on the form.

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Hindus and Neo-Paganism
Posted on 2000/12/15 22:48:02 ( 1042 reads )


LEUVEN, BELGIUM, December 15, 2000: Those interested in the revival of pre-Christian, Pagan religions now underway in many parts of Europe and North America may enjoy reading the above paper by Dr. Koenraad Elst. Groups such as Lithuania-based, World Congress of Ethnic Religions work to rediscover and reconstitute the religion of their ancestors. With so little recorded tradition available, and much of that distorted, they often borrow heavily from the traditions of Hinduism, the world's largest surviving ancient Pagan faith. While sharing common ground with the neo-Pagan religions, Elst also candidly explains where the neo-Pagans part company with traditional Hindus, with regard to certain values, disciplines and established yogic traditions.

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Investigation Launched Into Temple Food Contamination
Posted on 2000/12/15 22:47:02 ( 853 reads )

Source: The Hindu, Chennai

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, INDIA, December 14, 2000: An inquisition by the crime branch of the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala, South India, has been ordered by the administrative board after a bloated lizard and a shrew tail was discovered in a prasadam (food blessed in the temple ritual) can by a devotee. Ruling out the possibility that the creatures were cooked or packed in the prasadam is the fact that the cooking process is done at 300 degrees Celsius. Neither the rat nor the lizard were charred. A similar incident of contamination at the Aravana Temple in November resulted in the high court ordering an investigation by the State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau.

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British Christianity in Crisis
Posted on 2000/12/15 22:46:02 ( 932 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND: Over a 10-year period Anglican and Roman Catholic church-attendance figures are down in England and Wales. Baptisms and church marriages are also in decline. The Anglican Church in Hereford is a case in point. Even with some 1,000 parishioners, weekly attendance averages only about 60. At the same time, other religions (not including Judaism) have tripled in number. One in four people in Leicester (a city in the British Midlands) is now a Hindu. Countrywide, Islam is the fastest-growing religion.

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Kumbha Mela On-Line
Posted on 2000/12/15 22:45:02 ( 901 reads )


HONESDALE, PENNSYLVANIA, December 15, 2000: Beginning on January 9, 2001, and continuing through the month, the staff of Himalayan Institute will post "the Kumbha Mela Times," a daily online newspaper covering the upcoming Kumbha Mela in Allahabad, India. Thirty million devotees are expected on the main bathing day in late January.

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Ayurvedic Pioneer Passes On
Posted on 2000/12/15 22:44:02 ( 1010 reads )


WILBRAHAM, MASSACHUSETTS, December 15, 2000: The family of Dr. Abhaychandra L. Mehta has requested HPI to inform Hindus that Dr. Mehta passed away on February 28, 2000, two days after his 83rd birthday, of pulmonary fibrosis. An ayurvedic physician, teacher and practitioner of pancha karma, Dr. Mehta was the former principal of Gujarat Ayurveda University Hospital in India and the founder of the Indian Cultural Research and Development Institute in America.

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Illinois Outlaws Sale of "Bedi" Cigarettes
Posted on 2000/12/14 22:49:02 ( 943 reads )


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, December 15, 2000: Illinois has become the first state in the nation to ban the sale of bidi cigarettes, tiny, hand-rolled, flavored cigarettes, which are popular among young teens. "Bidi cigarettes resemble marijuana joints, which may influence their popularity," said the Governor's statement. "The United Stages government's Centers for Disease Control found that bidis produce three times the nicotine and carbon monoxide and five times the tar of regular cigarettes." Bidis are often manufactured in India in sweatshop-like conditions, sometimes by child labor. The cigarettes are given candy-like flavors and colorful packaging that appeal to kids. Some think bidis may be a gateway to drugs because they look like marijuana joints and produce a powerful head rush. From January 1, violators of the ban in Illinois will be fined $100 to $1000. The Christian Science Monitor source above gives a complete story on US policy.

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Nashik To Host Kumbha Mela Festival In July, 2003
Posted on 2000/12/14 22:48:02 ( 900 reads )

Source: Indian Express

MUMBAI, INDIA, December 6, 2000: An estimated 250,000 sadhus and 700,000 pilgrims are expected to visit Trimbakeshwar in the Himalayas for a holy bath between July 30, 2003, and August 26, 2004, when Nashik hosts the Kumbh Mela. Dates will be ratified at a meeting on January 14 at Allahabad. According to the dates declared, the Sinhasta Kumbh period begins at 11:51 am on July 30, 2003, and will conclude at 11:49 pm on August 26, 2004. There will be 20 occasions for holy baths during the 13 months. Along with pilgrims, there are about 19 Mahants and 22 Akhadas of hermits of Vaishnav and Saiva sects who are expected to participate in the mela and government agencies estimate an expenditure of about US$65.2 million to accommodate the crowds, including improvements to the mela area. The Kumbh Mela is held once every four years at one of four holy places in India -- ie, Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain and Nashik. The 2001 gathering in Prayag (Allahabad) is expected to be the largest single gathering of human beings in history.

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Ramakrishna Mission Benefitting Society's Needy
Posted on 2000/12/14 22:47:02 ( 883 reads )

Source: The Hindu

NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 11, 2000: The Ramakrishna Mission has incurred an expenditure of over US$22,000,000 on education, health and relief as well as developmental works undertaken during 1999 - 2000. Over $14.8 million, much of it subsidies from the government of India, was spent by the Mission's educational institutions imparting knowledge to nearly 170,000 students. Medical services rendered to more than 5,100,000 people through nine Mission hospitals and dispensaries cost $5,000,000. Relief and rehabilitation programs undertaken by the Mission benefitted nearly 400,000 people in more than 800 villages.

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Flushing Temple Institutes Dress Code
Posted on 2000/12/14 22:46:02 ( 1095 reads )

Source: Hinduism Today

FLUSHING, NEW YORK, December 15, 2000: According to the latest bulletin from the Hindu Temple Society of North America which governs the Ganesha Temple in Flushing, a new dress code is in force. "Certain kinds of dress are inappropriate for attending the temple," says the bulletin. "These include shorts for both men and women; very short skirts, ripped or truncated jeans, etc."

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Liberation Through The Sacred Name of Ram
Posted on 2000/12/13 22:49:02 ( 936 reads )

Source: Dainkik Bhaskar, Bhopal

KHILCHIPUR, INDIA, December 5, 2000: To promote world peace Sri Ram Nam Jap, the chanting of Lord Rama's name, has been organized and inspired by religious leader Sri Balyogi Rammilan Das Ji Maharaj of Kashi at the Naharda Hanuman Temple premises. According to Sri Balyogi Maharaj, this was the first huge sacred offering of it's kind where the name of Lord Rama would be repeated in the forms of chanting, writing, speech and offerings. The program commenced November 30 with devotees bearing sacred urns in holy procession around the temple followed by an invocatory prayer to Lord Ganesh. The event concluded on December 6 with the distribution of blessed offerings. Sri Balyogi Ji's intention is to organize 108 such mahayagnas to propagate the well-being of all beings. The high priest, Yagnacharya Pandit Srinath Das Mehta, presided over the well-attended program.

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Nepal Hindus Try New Crematorium.
Posted on 2000/12/13 22:48:02 ( 914 reads )

Source: South China Morning Post, November 27, 2000

KATHMANDU, INDIA: To have our last rites performed according to the Vedas is the parting wish of all devout Hindus. With the shortage of wood for many of the crematoria in Kathmandu, Nepal, the government has established an electric crematorium in the area around Pashupatinath Temple. Traditional funerals, with wood and hay for fuel, are performed outdoors. However, the water level of the nearby Bagmati River is insufficient to properly dispose of ashes and remains after these traditional cremations, adding to the already polluted river. A survey of 5,000 citizens of Kathmandu conducted by the Lions Club supports the new electric crematorium. Similar crematoriums have been built in Banaras, India, and are in common use by Hindus elsewhere in the world.

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Essay Competition To Commemorate India's Republic Day
Posted on 2000/12/13 22:47:02 ( 1054 reads )


HOUSTON, TEXAS, December, 2000: To commemorate India's Millennium Republic Day Celebrations to be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, Texas, on January 27, 2001, the organizing committee is holding an essay competition covering various aspects of India. Dr. S. Kannappan, co-chairman of the committee, said the purpose of the competition was to generate interest in Indian heritage and culture among the youth. "At the very least, they will feel compelled to open a book and do the research," he said. Suggested topics include a history of India and/or Indian immigrants to North America, economics, culture, performing arts, folklore, impact of Indian immigrants on main stream America, science, technology and engineering. Students from elementary, middle, high school and undergraduates studying in the USA are eligible to submit essays or articles may contact for details. The deadline is December 29th, 2000.

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Indian Workers Win US$160,000 Pay-Out
Posted on 2000/12/12 22:49:02 ( 879 reads )


ALPERTON, ENGLAND: Indian stonemasons who were paid a mere US$0.96 an hour have won $160,000 in compensation from their employers. The 10 men, all from the same region in India, were working on the construction of a $11.2 million Sanatan Hindu temple in Alperton, North London. Their employers, Shirco Ltd, based in North London, have been ordered to pay the money to the workers following an investigation by the Inland Revenue. The pay, retroactive to their hire date, will bring their salaries up to the minimum wage of $5.92, which is only a fraction of the wage many qualified stonemasons earn. Enticed to work in Britain by promises of high wages the men had their passports taken from them on arrival. They were told that if they disobeyed they would be sacked and have to find their own way back to India. They lived in a shack on the temple site. One stonemason earned just $200 a month while working eight hours a day, six days a week. The case has disturbed many in Britain's one million strong Hindu community.

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Indian State Bans Beauty Contests
Posted on 2000/12/12 22:48:02 ( 947 reads )

Source: Star TV, December 13, 2000

NEW DELHI, INDIA: In a nationwide broadcast, UP Chief Minister Raj Nath Singh, declared, "We will not allow holding of beauty contests in the state of Uttar Pradesh as they are indecent. Showing bare bodies is not a part of our culture and tradition. Beauty is something which is given by nature and there should be no competition about it." For the beauty and fashion trade of Uttar Pradesh the chief minister's announcement has come as a rude shock. Star TV interviewed some such people who condemned the UP chief minister for enforcing this kind of cultural policing in the state. Of late Indian contestants have won several international beauty contests.

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