SUCCESSOR: Swami Radhananda to Swami Sivananda Radha who passed away in November 1995. Initiated into sannyasa by Swami Sivananda in 1956, Swami Radha founded the Yasodhara Ashram located on the remote banks of Kootenay Lake in British Columbia, Canada. Swami Radhananda continues her guru's work and offers year-round live-in yoga training programs and retreats for children, teens, men and women.

ARRIVED: A Turkmenistan Airlines Boeing 757 at Amsterdam's Schipol airport carrying 173 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. All have requested asylum and are allowed to stay while their pleas are being processed, which could take years. The Dutch practice a policy of leniency toward Sri Lankans, compared with some less sympathetic neighbors. No reports indicate the aircraft was forced to fly to the Netherlands nor did the Dutch give permission to land.

NO REDUCTION: In the 20-year prison term of former ISKCON leader, Kirtananada Swami Bhaktipada, following an assessment of his physical condition. He plead guilty in August for his part in a fraud scheme. Suffering from various ailments, it was recommended he be placed in a chronic care unit of a federal prison in Kentucky. He still has a small but loyal following of devotees.

BLESSED: Sarah Ferguson, Britain's royal Dutchess of York, with sacred ash and a gold chain and cross, apparently out of thin air, by Sri Satya Sai Baba. Visiting India with a holistic healer, salwar-kameez clad "Fergie" told reporters in Bangalore she is interested in practicing homeopathy.