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Diamonds First Mined in India
Posted on 2002/7/21 1:47:02 ( 827 reads )


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USA, July 16, 2002: "Diamond" comes from the Greek "adamao" meaning, "I tame" or "I subdue," according to this story which appeared on the CBS program, "60 Minutes II." The adjective "adamas" was used to describe the hardest substance known, and eventually became synonymous with diamond. Knowledge of diamond starts in India, where it was first mined. The word most generally used for diamond in Sanskrit is "vajra," "thunderbolt," and "Indrayudha," "Indra's weapon." Because Indra is the warrior God from Vedic scriptures, the foundation of Hinduism, the thunderbolt symbol indicates much about the Indian conception of diamond. Early descriptions of diamond date to the 4th century BCE. By then diamond was a valued material. The earliest known reference to diamond is a Sanskrit manuscript by a minister in a northern Indian dynasty. The work is dated from 320-296 BCE. Today diamonds are mined in about 25 countries, on every continent but Europe and Antarctica. For 1,000 years, starting in roughly the 4th century BCE, India was the only source of diamonds. Diamond production has increased enormously in the 20th century. India's maximum production, perhaps 50,000 to 100,000 carats annually in the 16th century, is very small compared to the current production of around 100 million carats. Major production is now dominated by Australia, Botswana, Russia, and Congo Republic (Zaire), but South Africa is still a major producer, in both volume and value.




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Christian "Cross Farming" Causes Tensions
Posted on 2002/7/21 1:46:02 ( 768 reads )


Source: Rediff





KERALA, INDIA, July 8, 2002: The cross is continuing to be used physically by Christianity in Kerala in its centuries-old effort to seize more and more Hindu territories. Official Christian spokesperson Mathew Vadakkemuriyil publicly admitted that crosses have indeed been "set up" in forest lands in Kerala that select parishioners have occupied over the years. The admission came in the context of disclosures by land officials that the Christian encroachers could not produce titles to the precious forest tracts that they had annexed. Encroachers level the forest trees that have bred over uncountable years, sell the priceless timber and use the money to put up buildings and raise novel "cash crops." The money is also invested to build chapels and churches. Hindu writer P.R.J. Pradeep wrote that thousands of acres of land had been plundered by Roman Catholic Christians in the State over the past years. A land department official confessed that officials were helpless in stopping the plunder. He added: "They choose government holidays and arrive for the strike with arms."




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Spilled Holy Ash Empties US Post Office
Posted on 2002/7/20 1:49:02 ( 696 reads )


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PAOLI, PENNSYLVANIA, July 19, 2002: A leaky envelope of Hindu ceremonial ashes closed down the Paoli Post Office yesterday morning, as police and postal officials worried about anthrax. But it turned out to be just a scare. After an hour and a half evacuation, while postal inspectors confirmed that the package was not dangerous, the office resumed operation, a few minutes after 9:30 a.m. "No mail was delayed," said Debra Whyte, spokeswoman for the Postal Inspection Service. Whyte said postal workers started worrying after they noticed that a letter mailed to a local woman from a temple in India started leaking a "powdery substance" while it was bundled for delivery, about 7:55 a.m. yesterday. The workers called the police, who evacuated the building, and postal inspectors, who determined the powder was ceremonial ash from burnt wood (vibhuti, which is actually burnt cow dung). Hindu temples in America have been careful about mailing vibhuti for concern about just such an incident.




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Second Set of Pilgrims Leaves for Amarnath
Posted on 2002/7/20 1:48:02 ( 640 reads )


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JAMMU, INDIA, July 20, 2002: A second batch of 3,771 pilgrims on Saturday left for the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas from here amid heavy security, official sources said. The batch, comprising 3,022 men, 322 women, 14 children and 413 sadhus, left in 198 vehicles from MAM stadium, which is the base camp of pilgrims arriving here from different parts of the country, they said. The total number of pilgrims who left for the shrine situated at 3,952 meters in Kashmir Himalayas has risen to 6,452 for the month-long yatra which commenced on Friday. The first batch of the pilgrims will pay their obeisance at the shrine on July 22, after walking the last 35 kilometers to the cave over rough terrain. Each year, a natural ice Siva Lingam forms in the cave.




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Uttar Pradesh Government Bans Pan Masala and Gutkha
Posted on 2002/7/20 1:47:02 ( 700 reads )


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DELHI, INDIA, July 19, 2002: Acting on a high court directive, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday banned manufacture and sale of all brands of pan masala and gutkha (a tobacco product) in the state with immediate effect. Both are carcinogenic. The Allahabad high court had on Thursday banned manufacture, sale and advertisement of pan masala and gutkha in Uttar Pradesh and had directed the state government to issue a notification in this regard. On Wednesday, the Maharashtra government had announced a similar ban in the state.




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UK Hindus Irked by Beefy Chicken
Posted on 2002/7/19 1:49:02 ( 667 reads )


Source: Press Reports





LONDON, ENGLAND, July 8, 2002: Vast quantities of frozen chicken adulterated with beef proteins are reportedly being consumed in Britain, presenting the risk of madcow disease, a development that has outraged the Hindu community in the country. Beef proteins are added to make the chicken absorb extra water in a process called "tumbling" so that it can be sold for big profits. Thai and Brazilian chicken breasts have been doctored in Netherlands and imported into UK in this way for at least five years. Food safety authorities have been aware of the problem since 1997. But they have only recently developed DNA tests sophisticated enough to pinpoint the beef proteins. "It's disgusting and a crime. People will not eat chicken if this is happening," said Daayal Sharma, former president of the Hindu Cultural Society of Bradford. It's also a lesson in why to be a vegetarian.




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Arthritis Sufferers Find Relief Doing Yoga Asanas
Posted on 2002/7/19 1:48:02 ( 724 reads )


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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, July 13, 2002: Teaming up with the American Yoga Association, the Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis foundations have produced a guide called "Remain Active with RA Yoga." As one patron put it, "I have found it enormously helpful for my arthritic, cartilage deprived hip. The poses of yoga act like isometric exercises to strengthen and stabilize my affected right hip and weakened right leg." According to the RA foundation, "Yoga may be beneficial for people with arthritis because it balances physical and mental health and teaches stress management through breathing techniques and meditation." The guide has helped people suffering with arthritis to slowly incorporate the routines into their daily life under the guidance of their doctors and physical therapists.




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First Human Clone To Be Born in December
Posted on 2002/7/19 1:47:02 ( 675 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, July 18, 2002: A French newspaper, Liberation, quoted controversial Italian doctor, Severino Antinori, that the first cloned human will see the light of the day in December. Fifty couples unable to conceive because of masculine infertility had volunteered for his cloning program. "I transferred 18 embryos created by cloning, and I obtained one pregnancy," he said. "The foetus has a good morphology." Though the identity of the parents was not divulged, Antinori said that the baby would not be born in Italy. A professor at the University of Torvergata, Antinori has been controversial. He made headlines in the past by helping a 62-year-old woman become the oldest mother ever, and last year in Rome he declared that he would clone a human within a year. Other researchers have warned that humans born of cloning would suffer from a number of physical abnormalities, including fatty livers, under-developed lungs and a defective immune system.




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Fourth International Seminar on Ayurveda
Posted on 2002/7/19 1:46:02 ( 714 reads )


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JAMNAGAR, INDIA, July 11, 2002: Gujarat Ayurved University invites participation for its Four International Seminar on Ayurvedic Education, Research and Drug Standardization to be held at Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, January 5-7, 2003. The GAU is exclusively devoted to ayurvedic education, research and drug development since last more than 35 years. The seminar will focus its attention on strengthening and globalizing Ayurvedic Education in its original classical forms. For more information on this meeting, e-mail "source" above.




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Deepavali in Toronto Announced
Posted on 2002/7/19 1:45:02 ( 854 reads )


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TORONTO, CANADA, July 19, 2002: The Federation of Hindu Temples of Canada is holding its fourth Annual Deepavali Celebration on October 26, 2002 at the prestigious Coliseum in the National Trade Center of Toronto. Bollywood singers, Tassa (Trinidad kettle drums), Dance and Fashion wear are some of the events planned. For more information e-mail "source" above.




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Sabarimala Temple Opens
Posted on 2002/7/19 1:44:02 ( 831 reads )


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PATHANAMTHITTA, INDIA, July 15, 2002: The Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple will open for the five-day monthly pujas in the Malayalam month of Karkidakom that begins on July 17. The temple sanctum sanctorum will open at 5.30 p.m., the first day of Karkidakom.




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India's New President
Posted on 2002/7/18 1:49:02 ( 627 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 17, 2002: A. P. J. Kalam, the father of India's missile program, is a far cry from the somber men who have occupied the sandstone presidential palace during India's past 55 years. The man expected to be named the new president on Thursday is a scientist who believes that fear of nuclear conflict averted war with Pakistan last month. He's the son of a minority Muslim family who has embraced the Hindu beliefs of its majority. Kalam, with gray, shoulder-length hair, would also bring a wardrobe that includes short-sleeved shirts and flip-flop sandals to the 340-room palace. Although born to Muslim parents, Kalam does not describe himself as Muslim. He reads Hindu scriptures each day and is a vegetarian. When asked about who would act as his first lady, the unmarried Kalam waved his hands and said, "No, no, I'm a brahmacharya.'' The Sanskrit word means someone who has chosen not to marry but to live a celibate life style.




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Indians Working in Slavery Conditions Freed from US Factory
Posted on 2002/7/18 1:48:02 ( 636 reads )


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TULSA, OKLAHOMA, July 18, 2002: Thirty Asian-Indians held under conditions akin to slavery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have been freed, a report said on Thursday. The Indians, without proper visas, were working for a pickle factory on half the minimum wages and were denied adequate food, NTV reported. They were made to sleep in a small room in a warehouse and were locked in with a guard outside, it said. Some of them managed to escape from the compound and went to a nearby church to tell their tale of woe. One of those in the church happened to be a former US Justice Department official in the Civil Rights Division who contacted the authorities and had them released. The young workers said through a spokesman that they came here chasing the American dream of prosperity, but were without proper visas.




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Religious Scholars Make Case for Peace
Posted on 2002/7/18 1:47:02 ( 625 reads )


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TIMES NEWS NETWORK, VADODARA, INDIA, July 15, 2002: It is not often that "saffron" [of Hinduism] meets "green" [of Islam] in post-Godhra Gujarat, however two religious scholars took on the task at a seminar on peace organized by the Lion's Club and Idara Khidmate Khalk. Islamic scholar and theologian, Maulana K. R. Sajjad Nomani said a majority of Muslims do not know what their religion stands for. "Muslims themselves have misinterpreted Islam and its practices. A modern and scientific religion is today looked upon as the refuge of fanatics. The Muslim community has to do serious introspection and educate their fellowmen on the true essence of Islam," Nomani said. He appealed to Hindus not to believe the wrong notions about Islam. "Just because somebody says that Islam is a religion of fundamentalists, don't believe it. Find out for yourself before making a judgement," he said.




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The Christian Theological Struggle with Yoga
Posted on 2002/7/18 1:46:02 ( 689 reads )


Source: Religion News Service





MOBILE, ALABAMA, July 15, 2002: This report from Religion News Service provides insight into what happens when the Hindu practice of yoga is attempted by those of other religions. The article states, in part, "A few years ago, Susan Bordenkircher wasn't comfortable doing yoga. It wasn't that she got bent out of shape by any of the asanas -- downward facing dog, half lotus forward fold or the scorpion, to name but three yoga positions. She just wasn't sure if it was an appropriate activity for a Christian. Long associated with mysticism and Eastern religions in particular, yoga is denounced by some who claim it promotes pantheism and worship of self." ... An 1962 yoga book called "An Invitation to Christian Yoga," included, "sketches and written instructions for 25 yoga postures; each one is prefaced by a verse from the Bible. ...also a Christian adaptation of 'Salute to the Sun,' a series of movements devout Hindus perform at dawn as thanksgiving for a new day. Roth offers 'The Salute to the Son,' a series of movements designed to accompany the Lord's Prayer." ... "In recent years, yoga's popularity has boomed as many have searched for a few minutes of stillness and for low-impact exercise that fosters flexibility and strength. Celebrities, too, have joined the masses on their yoga mats. With the ancient exercises' contemporary resurgence, Bordenkircher urges those interested in practicing yoga to choose their instructors carefully. "It can be very destructive. I've really literally sat there and just prayed for discernment' at some seminars, she said, noting that she feels uncomfortable with those who suggest that humans possess divine power. Cecil R. Taylor, dean of the School of Religion at the University of Mobile, said he would advise those interested in taking a Christian approach to yoga to 'make sure it's thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Christ.' 'You'd be able to judge a lot by checking your spirit,' Taylor said. 'Sometimes people just instinctively know, 'This is just not what I ought to be doing.' They don't know why. It may be theological perceptivity.' "




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