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EVOLUTIONS



POSTPONED: Official bestowal of the unprecedented "Parvatacharya" title (feminine equivalent of "Shankaracharya") on Guru Maa Jyotishanand Saraswati after sadhus, concerned with this ordination of a woman, threatened to parade naked and disturb a March 9 Haridwar, India, ceremony. The sadhus also noted that Guru Maa, 60, is Jain, not Hindu, and Shankaracharyas are usually chosen at an early age.

ABSOLVED: US astronaut Kalpana Chawla, 35, by the National Space and Aeronautical Administration from human error during a November, 1997, space mission in which a physics satellite she was assigned to release from the shuttle bay spun out of control. Two months later, NASA concluded the mishap was due to a series of small systems errors and called Chawla "a terrific astronaut." Chawla was the first Indian-born woman in space.

ATTACKED: Acharya Shankarananda Avadhuta (a senior monk of Ananda Marga) while valiantly saving a Chinese senior citizen in downtown San Francisco from being robbed. The robber hit Shankarananda with the butt of a gun, causing heavy bleeding, before running away. Shankarananda is now recovering at the Ananda Marga center in Los Altos Hills, California, after receiving stitches at the hospital.

RELIVING: Mark Twain's adventures in India is actor-director Sir Peter Ustinov. In Following the Equator with Sir Peter Ustinov--a four-part series being made for Granada TV--Ustinov, 76, retraces an around-the-world trip made by Twain in the 19th century. In Part Three of the series he explores Darjeeling, Rajasthan, Mumbai and Varanasi, comparing his observations in 1997 with Twain's 100 years ago.


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