HONORED: Pundit Lutchmee Persad for 50 years of devoted service to the Hindus of Trinidad and Tobago. So far, he has performed 110 yajnas, married 800 couples, developed 3,000 followers and trained 20 pundits, some of whom serve in Canada and the US. He introduced the use of English to explain Hindu scriptures and formed a Caribbean Pundits' Council.

ACQUITTED: Pushpendra Singh, Sumer Singh and others of murder in the 1987 death of Roop Kanwar in Rajasthan, who burned to death on the funeral pyre of her husband. Five thousand villagers who watched said she did so voluntarily in the Rajput tradition of sati. The prosecution was unable to produce a single eyewitness to contradict their account.

DEPARTED: Sri Swami Rama, founder of the successful Himalayan Institute in the USA and India, of unknown causes, on November 13 at Dehra Dun, India. Swami Rama's ability to stop his heartbeat under clinical observation astounded American physicians in the 1970s. His last project was a massive medical facility serving the area around Dehru Dun.

CELEBRATED: Birth centennial of ISKCON founder A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, throughout 1996. As part of worldwide celebrations, devotees spent a year gathering sacred waters from 1,008 holy rivers and pools. Bottles were sent worldwide for bathing Srila Prabhupada's statue on September 5. Doordarshan TV in India announced a five-year series on the founder's life, entitled "Abhay Charan," now in production.