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London Sees First-ever Private Collection of Pre-Harappa Treasures


Posted on 2000/11/21 0:46:02 ( 1941 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND: A rare collection or pre-Harappan ceramics and sculptures being exhibited for the first time in London have been described by dealers as the oldest high quality treasures of their kind anywhere in the world. This collection of pots, figurines and tablets is from a site in the upper Indus, near Mehrgarh in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan. Their significance is the evidence they show of a pre-Harappan and pre-Mohenjodaro civilization that existed along the middle reaches of the Indus, dating back to 7,000 BCE. The article in the "Daily Pioneer" does not explain how a private dealer came into possession of these artifacts. One of dealer Gotz's prized exhibits is a Mehrgarh bull with a sheep's head and painted in orange vegetable dye. But his "piece de resistance" is a broken clay pot, circa 3,800 BCE, that depicts "pipal" tree leaves, fish and the earliest known representation of the mythical griffon, a winged horse, that reappears a thousand years later in the Mesopotamian valleys of ancient Iraq. Gotz's asking price for the pot is $95,000.






Monkeys Judging Morality


Posted on 2000/11/21 0:45:02 ( 1799 reads )


Source: Hindustan Times, November 11, 2000





PATNA, INDIA: In the state capital of Patna, India around the Sahara Indian building on Boring Road, monkeys are accosting smokers who venture into their territory. They have become the moral judge and jury of anyone caught smoking. After getting a few quick slaps, smokers quickly relinquish their fares to the persistent band of 14 monkeys. Office workers in the vicinity are terrified of the antics, as the monkeys often enter offices, sit about the room and do whatever they please. Zookeepers, upon request, may take the monkeys away, but for now they are providing live entertainment.






Mumbai Government Ends Reign of Prince of Wales


Posted on 2000/11/17 0:49:02 ( 1938 reads )


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MUMBAI, INDIA: Call it the latest victory for Chatrapati Shivaji. The Maharashtra state government decided Wednesday to rename Mumbai's Prince of Wales museum after the legendary Indian warrior and king. Shivaji already reconquered the main railway terminal, Victoria Station, and the city's name itself was returned to "Mumbai" from the Anglicized "Bombay." There are complaints about the movement, but it has been common practice in many countries to rid themselves of invader-imposed names. The museum was completed in 1914 to commemorate the Prince of Wales' 1905 visit to Bombay. It served first as a hospital due to the on-going World War I, and again during World War II. It now houses an outstanding collection of miniature paintings and other rare exhibits.






Ancient Disciplines Make For Modern Careers


Posted on 2000/11/17 0:48:02 ( 2177 reads )


Source: The Indian Express, November 17, 2000





VADODARA, INDIA: Increasing popularity of the ancient Indian disciplines like vastushastra (architecture), ankjyotish (numerology), hastrekha (palmistry) and ayurveda (medicine) have come to the rescue of Baroda Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya where enrollments had declined over the past decades. As a result of offering these courses, the college's enrollment has begun to increase. The very name, Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, creates the impression of a college where only Sanskrit is taught, but the new courses offered cleared up the misconception. The college now plans to start other disciplines like vyavharic ayurveda (practical ayurveda), samudrik shastra (body reading), karmakanda (religious rituals), ankjyotish (numerology) and conversational Sanskrit. Principal H.M. Pandey pointed out that people were going back to learning what was written in ancient scriptures. "Most of the students join these courses as there is demand for experts in these fields, both within the country and abroad,'' he said. Graduates are given the title of shastri. According to the teachers some who have taken these courses and graduated are now working in foreign countries. Others have been busy with assignments in the city or their hometowns. If these claims are anything to go by, the students are doing fairly well. And the ancient Hindu arts are being preserved in the process.






American missionaries asked to leave the country before Sunday


Posted on 2000/11/17 0:47:02 ( 1829 reads )


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MADURAI, INDIA: The Indian government has requested ten American missionaries, now staying on Rameswaram Island at the tip of South India, to leave the country by November 19. The ministry said they had not renewed their visas as they are required to do every six months. The American evangelists were working for the Meyyampul church in Rameswaram. India has not issued visas for foreign missionaries for quite some time, but allowed those in the country--some for 40 years or more--to stay on. However, those who stay must be diligent in renewals.






Mata Amritanandamayi - Healing With A Hug


Posted on 2000/11/16 0:49:02 ( 2079 reads )


Source: The Press Democrat, November 15, 2000





SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA: In the Marin Civic Center exhibition hall in San Rafael, the seekers and devotees sat on the floor before Mata Amritanandamayi, or Ammachi, a Hindu spiritual leader and humanitarian from India, waiting for her hug of benevolence. The report in the local Press Democrat treated the Hindu leader with great respect. It went on to say that her followers believe her hugs relieve suffering. Ammachi, whose full name means Mother of Immortal Bliss, was born in South India in 1953. Hundreds gathered to receive a gentle embrace. Those who sought a hug obtained a special token with a number - one that would determine when they took their place before her. By 1 p.m. volunteers reported giving out 750 tokens. Many of the hugs lasted more than 30 seconds. Afterward Ammachi gave each person flower petals and a "Hershey's Kiss" piece of candy. Visitors could learn about her "Mother's Kitchen" program, serving vegetarian meals to the homeless in Oakland and eight other U.S. cities. Brochures told of the hospital, orphanage and an engineering college she operates in India. Colette van Praag of Glen Ellen described her previous hugs with the spiritual leader as "a melting of the heart." Ammachi was a featured speaker at the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders held at the UN in August. She was one of only a handful of women religious leaders at the male-dominated event. In Zurich, a reporter once asked who it was that hugged her. "The entire creation hugs me," Ammachi replied.






Fiji Court Reinstates Constitution


Posted on 2000/11/16 0:48:02 ( 1972 reads )


Source: The Fiji Sun, November 16, 2000





SUVA, FIJI: Justice Anthony Gates of the High Court of Fiji ruled today that the 1997 constitution remained valid and ordered the president to summon the Parliament which existed prior to the failed coup of May 19, 2000. The case is going immediately to the Appeals Court, which will have the final say. The case was brought by Mr. Anu Patel, an indigent farmer, who claimed he had been adversely impacted by the coup and suspension of the constitution.






Melbourne Priest on Trial for Arson


Posted on 2000/11/16 0:47:02 ( 1820 reads )


Source: Australian Associated Press, November 14, 2000





MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Subramaniya Punutharajakurukkal, a priest originally from Sri Lanka, is standing trial in Melbourne, for arson and two charges of endangering life. He is charged with setting two mysterious fires at the Hindu temple in The Basin, east of Melbourne on the night of March 11, 1999. The Crown Prosecutor, Geoff Horgan, told the jury the priest used lawnmower fuel to start the fires, which included his residence beside the temple where his wife and child were sleeping. Horgan said the man wanted to stay in Australia permanently and to remain priest at the temple. But, he said, "historically there had been disharmony within the managerial affairs of the temple." The priest has pleaded not guilty.






Bringing Divali Cheer To Prison Inmates


Posted on 2000/11/16 0:46:02 ( 1891 reads )


Source: The New Straits Times, October 25, 2000





KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: In the true spirit of Divali, spreading light and love to all, devotees of Melmaruvathur Athiparasakthi collaborated with members of the Malaysian Hindu Sangam, the Divine Life Society and others to bring hope to Hindu inmates at Sungai Bulon Prison in Kuala Lumpur. The inmates were lavished with murukkus (fried snack), laddu (a sweet), packet drinks and rice pudding plus a traditional oil bath. Group coordinator L. Yogeswaran said, "The prisoners are also part of our society. We should make an effort to reform them and not neglect them."






Statistics Show Rise In Indian Student Enrollment In US


Posted on 2000/11/16 0:45:02 ( 2103 reads )


Source: The Hindustan Times, November 15, 2000





NEW DELHI, INDIA: There has been a sharp twelve percent rise in the number of Indian students, mostly Hindus, in American colleges and universities during the academic year 1999-2000. The Indian presence went up from 30,641 in 1996-1997, to 33,818 in 1997-1998, to 37,482 in 1998-1999 -- and now jumped to 42,337 in 1999-2000. A just released report from the Institute of International Education titled "Open Doors 2000" cites a five percent increase of all international students in the US, putting the total enrollment at 514,723, with Asian students accounting for 54 percent. Popular subjects pursued are business and management, engineering, mathematics and computer science. While international students are only three percent of America's total higher education population, they contribute more than $12 billion to the US economy by way of money spent on tuition, and related costs.






India's Leading Religious Book Publisher Announces New Series


Posted on 2000/11/16 0:44:02 ( 1835 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA: Motilal Banarsidass is launching a new series of books, "India's Scientific Heritage." Dr. L.M. Singhvi is the general editor for the series, which is expected to run at least 25 volumes and include Vedic and Jain mathematics and other sciences. They are looking for qualified contributors to the series. Contact: R P Jain, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 41, U.A. Bungalow Road, Jawahar Nagar, Delhi-110007, India. Email: mlbd@vsnl.com.






Deforestation is a major concern to the religious leaders


Posted on 2000/11/15 0:49:02 ( 2147 reads )


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BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL: Representatives of 11 major faiths of the world have jointly pledged to work for the protection of global environment. They made the pledge at a colorful ceremony during a three-day conference being held in an ancient Nepalese town, Bhaktapur, near the capital, Kathmandu. The conference has been organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and is being attended by over 500 delegates from 56 countries. The religious leaders - who represent Islam, Hinduism and Christianity among other religions - have also pledged to take actions "dedicated to the planet." Hinduism Today's reporter and photographer were in attendance, and a longer report on this meeting will follow.






Don't Call It Yoga, But Relaxation Techniques Work For School Kids


Posted on 2000/11/15 0:48:02 ( 1889 reads )


Source: The Boston Globe, November 9, 2000





BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: Schools faced with stressed-out children are introducing relaxation breaks using positive mental imagery (best for girls), or deep breathing or muscle relaxing (works on boys). Other methods include repeating a line from a favorite song, carrying a good-luck charm, have a buddy to turn to in times of stress. "It used to be," one educator told the Globe, "that the worst emergency teachers faced was the lights going out. Now many schools have a police presence, and all teachers are under pressure for students to perform on standardized tests. Kids are coming to school with more baggage than I've seen in 30 years of teaching." Books on stress-reduction methods are available from http://www.mindbody.harvard.edu.






Natives Of "New World" Protest At Vatican


Posted on 2000/11/15 0:47:02 ( 1966 reads )


Source: Catholic World News, October 13, 2000





VATICAN: A group of Hawaiians and natives of Caribbean islands held an orderly demonstration in St. Peter's Square on Thursday, asking Pope John Paul II to repudiate a 500-year-old papal bull that encouraged Christian nations to enter the New World to convert pagans. The small group of about a dozen presented a copy of the 1493 edict "Inter Caetera" to the Swiss Guard, asking them to take it to the Pope. "Take this back. We have no use of it. We never did," Steve Newcomb, director of the Eugene, Oregon-based Indigenous Law Institute, said, recounting his words to the guards. "And I told them to make sure it gets to the Pope," he added. The document issued by Pope Alexander VI authorized Christian countries to occupy and convert non-Christian areas of the New World. "We hold the Church entirely responsible for the loss of land, lives, and culture we have suffered," said Newcomb, who sent an open letter to the Pope raising the issue in 1992. "The bull perfectly symbolizes the violence that continues to afflict the world." Newcomb noted that as the Pope has used the Jubilee Year to offer apologies on behalf of the Church for injustices committed in her name over the past two thousand years, he would do well to formally repudiate the 1493 bull. "It's easy. He should just say 'I'm sorry,' " said Kamealoha Hanohano, a professor of linguistics at the Hawaii University in Honolulu. "It'd be good enough."






Hindus Hopping Mad Over Toilet Seat


Posted on 2000/11/15 0:46:02 ( 2136 reads )


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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: We're not sure what inspired this company to put Hindu deities on toilet seats. But they are surely in for some serious protests from the Hindu community, who will consider this an outrageous sacrilege. The company sells two seats, one with Lord Ganesha and one with Goddess Kali on the bottom side of the lid for $130 each. The Anti-Hindu Defamation site (hindunet.org/anti_defamation/) is looking into the situation.




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