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Four-Year Old Recalls a Previous Lifetime

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:47:02 ( 1053 reads )


CHANDNER, GHAZIABAD, August 1, 2003: Recalling his previous life in perfect detail, four-year-old Aishwary was taken by his parents in this life to meet his former family. At first, his father of this life was skeptical about the four-year old's stories, but he finally decided to look into the child's reminiscences. After contacting the villagers of Kamalpur to confirm Aishwary's details of his former life, the child's father of this life confirmed that Aishwary had been Vir Pal, an electrician who died on July 27, 1997. When Aishwary was taken by his father to meet his former family, he was able to recognize his former wife, children, uncle, aunt and his old friends. As a result, Aishwary has been the center of attraction in his village.

Circus Must Answer Animal Cruelty Charges

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:46:02 ( 1077 reads )


WASHINGTON, DC, July 31, 2003: The nation's largest circus will have to defend itself against charges that it mistreats elephants that perform under the big tent. A federal judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit by animal welfare groups claiming Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has abused Asian elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The groups claim circus employees routinely beat the elephants with sharp bull hooks, keep elephants in chains for long periods of time and forcibly remove baby elephants from their mothers before they are properly weaned. The suit was filed in 2000 by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, The Fund for Animals and Tom Rider, a former Ringling Bros. elephant trainer.

"Hello, My Name is GoVeg.com"

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:45:02 ( 1095 reads )


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, July 31, 2003: Changing her name legally from Karin Robertson to GoVeg.com has had just the effect the 23-year-old, employed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has wanted. Whenever she presents her driver's license at an airport, bank or anyplace else, a conversation is initiated about the benefits of vegetarian food or the treatment of animals on farms and in processing plants. GoVeg.com's mom and dad are supportive of her decision to change her name and her mother says, "I think she has a good reason for doing what she's doing." Her father regularly eats vegetarian food since having triple bypass surgery two years ago. GoVeg.com appreciates the full use of her name, without shortening it to "GoVeg" or "Dot."

Move Over Superman, Now Comes Hanuman

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:44:02 ( 1118 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 24, 2003: The Cartoon Network, an entertainment channel owned by the Turner Entertainment Network, is coming out with an animated series 'Hanuman-the Monkey God' next year for India. As the powerful saviour who is going to save the world from demons, Hanuman, is all set to give a tough competition to Western counterparts like He-Man and Superman. The concept remains the same as in the original but the story is set in the modern world, an imaginary place called Westport,where Hanuman saves the protagonists Chandler and his sister Maya from Rock Shasa, the modern Rakshasa (demon). Conceived and designed by leading animator Atul Rao, the pre-production of the 13-episode series will be over in a two weeks and move on to fore-production in 19 weeks, says Toonz President and CEO, Bill Dennis. More than 400 people are engaged in the project. The Adventures of Hanuman was part of Toonz's plans to tap the rich treasure house of Indian myths, classic and folk tales, with a series on the redoubtable court prankster Tenali Rama already in its final stages, says Dennis. "The legends of Hanuman are known not in India alone. In China, he is known as Shun Wu Kong, the wind monkey. In Thailand, he is the central character in Ramakiya, the country's most popular folk tale," Dennis said.

August Festivals and Resources

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:43:02 ( 1136 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, August 3, 2003: Our thanks to M P Bhattathiry (mpmahesh@asianetindia.com) for providing the following list of festivals and related resources. In this month, August 2 is Naag Panchami, 4 is Tulsidas Jayanti, 12 is Raksha Bandhan, 15 is Sri Aurobindo Jayanti, 19 is Sri Krishna Jayanti, 31 is Ganesh Chaturthi.

1.Sri Aurobindo's words - excerpts from the book India's Rebirth. It has helped me understand India.


2. Significance of Sri Krishna Jayanthi - source

3. Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi - source

4. Enshrining Ganesha - published by Jnana Prabhodini. This piece gives the manual of worship of Shri Ganesha, the rites to be performed before the immersion of the image. source

5. Sacred Trees of the Hindus - by Dr Satish Kapoor. Gives mythological & social linkages.


Biofeedback Used to Train Musicians

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:42:02 ( 1071 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, JULY 27, 2003: Once upon a time, to become a superb musician, it required never ending practice or face-to-face training with a guru to acquire masterful skills. With the high technology of the 21st Century, has come the development of gizmos that rely on a process called neurofeedback that trains budding musicians to clear their minds and produce more creative brain waves without striking a single cord.

According to a report to be published in a forthcoming issue of Neuroreport, researchers at Imperial College, London, and Charring Cross Hospital say the technique has helped musicians to improve by an average of 17 per cent, the equivalent of one grade or class of honors. Some "wannabe" musicians improved as much as 50 per cent when they were assessed on two pieces of music before and after neurofeedback sessions.

Known as neurotherapy, or more popularly as "no-hands Nintendo," the brain activity of music students was monitored through sensors attached to the scalp, which filtered out relevant brain waves and fed them back to the subjects in the form of a video game displayed on a computer screen. The participants learned to control the game by their mind power alone, consciously controlling the form of their brain waves, which in turn influenced their musical performance, musical understanding, imagination and communication with the audience A derivative of biofeedback techniques that originated in the 1960's, an in-depth report on this stimulating procedure can be found at the "source" above.

Godavari Pushkaram, the "Kumbha Mela of the South" Attracts Hundreds of Thousands of Pilgrims

Posted on 2003/8/2 9:49:02 ( 1404 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, July 30, 2003: Hundreds of thousands of devotees took a holy dip in Godavari river at the start of the 12-day Godavari Pushkaram in Andhra Pradesh, India. The Pushkaram is revered as the "Kumbh Mela of the South," and occurs once in 12 years. State officials said over 35 million pilgrims are expected to visit the state for a holy dip in Godavari during this period. The district of Rajahmundry alone is set to attract over 25 million visitors. Elaborate arrangements have been made by the state government to ensure smooth conduct of the Mela. Over 200 bathing ghats have been erected at various places spread over seven districts of East Godavari, West Godavari, Nizamabad, Khammam, Warangal, Adilabad and Karimnagar.

Astrologers Join Scientists to Foresee Quakes

Posted on 2003/8/2 9:48:02 ( 1029 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 31, 2003: New Delhi: Astrologers and seismologists are meeting in New Delhi on Friday to pool their ability to foretell earthquakes quickly and accurately, according to Vijay Madan, an executive member of the Astrology Study and Research Institute. "Scientists will analyse the seismic data recorded before the Gujarat earthquake as well as during its aftermath. We will match this with planetary configurations during the same period," Madan said. "Based on our scientific astrological predictions governments can take precautions, mitigate the fallout of earthquakes and put effective disaster management plans in place." A book titled "Predicting Earthquakes and Calamaties," by astrologer Lachhman Das, will be released at the workshop

Ramchandra Paramhans Attains Mahasamadhi

Posted on 2003/8/2 9:47:02 ( 1008 reads )


FAIZABAD, INDIA, July 31, 2003: Ramchandra Paramhans, chief of the Ramjanmabhoomi Trust and one of the main figures in the Ayodhya movement for close to eight decades, died this morning in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh. He was 90. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has condoled the death of the mahant. "The death has shocked me profoundly. His contribution towards the Ramjanmabhoomi movement will be etched in golden letters," he said. The mahant of the Ramananda Sampradaya was revered by the Sangh Parivar and a large number of followers for his command over Hindu religious scriptures. He spearheaded the Ramjanmabhoomi movement and held center stage in the Ayodhya movement for close to eight decades. Born as Chandreshwar Tiwari in 1913 in Singhanipur village of Bihar, the mahant had been based in Ayodhya since 1934. He was associated with the temple movement ever since the appearance in 1949 of Ram Lalla's icon in the Babri Masjid, built upon the site of Lord Rama's birth.

Muslims Donate Money to Repair Hindu Temple

Posted on 2003/8/2 9:46:02 ( 1051 reads )


BHOPAL, INDIA, July 30, 2003: The Muslim community in a small town in Madhya Pradesh has set an example in communal amity by generously contributing to the renovation of a 300-year-old dilapidated temple. The temple was in urgent need of repairs and few people visited it. In fact, many in the area did not even know about its existence. "Had it been not for our Muslim friends, the temple could never have regained its grand form," said Suresh Dubey, who took up the task of renovating the shrine. It was not until Dubey initiated the repairs that people started taking notice of it. And then to his surprise, many Muslims living close to the temple started donating money generously. At least 20 Muslims gave US$10.50 (Rs. 501, a decent contribution) or more for the renovation of the temple, he said.

Arizona: Protesters Fail to Mar Hindu Festival

Posted on 2003/8/2 9:45:02 ( 1071 reads )


SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA, USA, July 29, 2003: Several people stood Sunday morning near the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Scottsdale holding signs directed at a Hindu celebration across the street. The Hindu Temple of Arizona was celebrating the last day of its Ratha-Yatra festival by pulling a chariot down Hayden Road when several people appeared with signs bearing messages about Jesus being the only deity. The Rev. Brian Murphy, pastor of the church, said he does not know who the people holding signs were. He said they were not members of the church. Dinesh Updhyaya, the Hindu priest at the temple, said no one at the temple seemed angered by the protesters. It was quite peaceful," Updhyaya said. "Everyone is allowed their religion."

River Cruise to the Holy Cities Along the River Ganga

Posted on 2003/8/2 9:44:02 ( 1098 reads )


UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA, July 27, 2003: If visiting the River Ganga and experiencing first-hand the spirituality of Varanasi and Allahabad has been a life-long dream, then consider this cruise. In a fully air-conditioned luxury boat, tourists and seekers will be able to set sail on a seven-day voyage between Varanasi and Allahabad with stop-overs at the ghats of Varanasi. Sponsored by the Department of Tourism and Smita Associates, the cruise is expected to provide non-Hindus insight into Indian culture and will start in the fall of 2003. Called the Shiv Ganga, the river cruiser is 60 feet long and 20 feet wide and is equipped with a dining room, toilets, a library and computer room. Waste from the kitchen and toilets will be stored until after the cruise and will not be dumped into the river. Cuisine on the boat will be vegetarian. The article says, "With the introduction of river tourism, Allahabad would be brought firmly on the tourist map giving boost to tourism activity that till now has been confined to the Kumbh alone."

Protests Mar Kumbha Mela Flag-Hoisting in Nasik

Posted on 2003/8/1 9:49:02 ( 979 reads )


NASIK, INDIA, July 30, 2003: The Kumbha Mela began at Nasik on Wednesday, amidst a total boycott of the opening Dhwajarohan (flag hoisting) ceremony by sadhus and mahants from various akhadas (monastic orders). Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi and Maharashtra chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde opened the 13-month-long celebrations of Kumbha Parva by jointly hoisting a flag at Ramkund on the banks of Godavari river. The sadhus are up in arms against the Union Government following the Vajpayee cabinet's issuance of an ordinance to take over land and property owned by the akhadas and temples across the country. Hundreds of angry sadhus blocked a motorcade carrying several officials from entering the holy site of Triyambak, a few kilometers from Nasik. Thousands of Hindu devotees have flocked to Nashik and the nearby town of Trimbakeshwar in the state of Maharashtra for the Mela, dismissing fears of a fresh militant attack after a blast in a Mumbai bus. Nearly 10,000 policemen have been posted at both towns and authorities are stepping up security. People have poured in from all corners of India to attend the start of the fair. "I, along with fifty other students of our religious body have arrived here to get the blessings of the river Godavari Wednesday," said Sarvodas Swamy, a Hindu religious scholar. It is believed that a bath in the waters of the Godavari at Nashik and Triyambak wash devotees of all sins. It is also believed that the final rites of the dead, if performed on the banks of the Godavari during the Kumbha, results in Moksha (salvation) of the soul. For a related article on the history of the Kumbha Mela dating back to the pre-Harappan period click here.

Hindus, Muslims Throw Open Iron Gates, Hug Each Other

Posted on 2003/8/1 9:48:02 ( 1265 reads )


AHMEDABAD, INDIA, July 21, 2003: After last year's communal killings in Gujarat, huge gates came up around Hindu- and Muslim-dominated areas of Ahmedabad to keep mobs from each other's communities at bay. Fear among the Hindus and Muslims led to iron gates being erected in as many as 13 places.

However, on Sunday, the 20-feet high iron gates in Sayed Wadi and Isanpur areas of Vatva were thrown open, and residents from the two neighbourhoods went over to the other side, greeting each other with warm hugs. The occasion was a meeting organised by Sarva Dharma Quami Ekta Sadbhavana Samiti, a newly constituted conglomerate of voluntary groups devoted to communal harmony.

Observing that the iron barriers had only served to widen the gulf and deepen the mistrust between people of different faiths, members of the Sarva Dharma Quami Ekta Sadbhavana Samiti took the initiative to call the meeting to open the gates, thus rebuilding trust between Hindus and Muslims who had been living together for centuries. The eventual goal of the group is to restore peace and harmony to other communally sensitive neighborhoods of Ahmedabad.

Ten Postgraduate Sadhus Serving Bankura's Poor

Posted on 2003/8/1 9:47:02 ( 1089 reads )


BANKURA, WEST BENGAL, INDIA: August 3, 2003: Ten sanyasins from the Matrivedi Shamayita Math in West Bengal, India have founded a group called Atmadwip to make the poor economically self-reliant. The sanyasins are between the ages of 25 and 33, are very well-educated and come from middle class families. They help poor farmers in West Bengal's Bankura district, organise mobile medical camps in 14 villages. Close to 200 patients are treated daily by over a dozen doctors from various medical colleges who regularly offer free service at these clinics. Some of the medicines come from the samples that the physicians receive and the Math purchases the rest. The Math also runs an English-meduim school for girls. "Our aim is to groom tribal and scheduled caste girl children along with children from other castes and religions so that they may grow up without any caste prejudices or religious differences," said Sanyasin Pracheta. The sanyasins have rigorous regimen and work tirelessly on various projects. They wake at 3 a.m. and retire to bed close to midnight. Prayer, meditation and exercise are followed by the administrative activities of the Math which includes liaising with donors, banks, corporate houses and government agencies, managing the medical unit and the Math's publications. Prabhuji, the founder of the Math, has said that to starving people self-realisation has no meaning. So, he has asked the sanyasins to "to meet the minimum needs of the starving masses; Vedanta will follow automatically."

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