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Buddhists in Malaysia Call for Action Against Cult
Posted on 2001/7/29 23:47:02 ( 758 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, July 29, 2001: The Malaysian Buddhist Association (MBA) has called on the authorities to clamp down on a widespread deviant religious cult which it says uses a Buddhist name but practices black magic, which is contrary to the teachings of Buddhism. The call followed the reported torture of a nine-year-old boy at a Chinese temple here. The MBA said the cult had existed for at least 10 years with its followers in housing estates in many states, especially Malacca. The Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia president said Buddhists practice compassion, patience and kindness and would not condone abuse. The Rev K. Dharmaratana, chief high priest of Malaysia of the Buddhist Mahavihara temple in Brickfields, said there was no system of physical punishment in Buddhism.




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Golden Kalasam for Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain
Posted on 2001/7/29 23:46:02 ( 751 reads )


Source: Aaj Tak Hindi News Channel





UJJAIN, INDIA, July 27, 2001: A one hundred kilograms golden kalasam has been installed on top of the famed Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain recently. Before installation, the pitcher-shaped spire was taken in a procession in the streets of Indore. It is reported that a business man based in Calcutta donated a sum of US$217,000 for this kalasam, which has been made with gold, brass and iron. Interestingly a thirty-four-gun salute was given by the police force in honor.




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Eco-Friendly Ganesha Festival
Posted on 2001/7/29 23:45:02 ( 573 reads )


Source: Aaj Tak Hindi News Channel





MUMBAI, INDIA, July 28, 2001: Massive preparations are now underway for the annual Ganasha festival in this city. A big change for this year is the use of environmentally sound materials for the huge temporary Ganesha statues which are placed in the ocean at the festival's end. The use of non-biodegradable building materials and toxic paint was polluting the water.




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Hidden Apartheid Against Dalits in India, Says Amnesty International
Posted on 2001/7/28 23:49:02 ( 619 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, July 26, 2001: A condemning Amnesty International report on racism around the world has attacked India for its "hidden apartheid" against 160 million Dalits. "Despite the abolition by law of untouchability, Dalits continue to be discriminated against on the basis of their descent," Amnesty said in its report, released the day Phoolan Devi was shot dead. "They are marginalized, particularly in rural areas," the report said. "Among the violations persistently reported are torture including rape, arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial executions." Amnesty said Dalits also suffer violence in the community. "Abuses against Dalits frequently go unpunished, with local police frequently refusing to record complaints by Dalits," Amnesty said. The report comes ahead of the world conference on racism in Durbaqn due in the first week of September and days before a preparatory meeting in Geneva.




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More Hindus Killed in Kashmir
Posted on 2001/7/28 23:48:02 ( 580 reads )


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DODA, INDIA, July 22, 2001: Police in Indian-administered Kashmir say that at least 15 Hindus have been killed by suspected Islamic militants in the remote district of Doda. The massacre on Sunday came a day after at least 13 people were killed when militants attacked Hindu pilgrims in Kashmir. The pilgrimage - which sees up to 100,000 Hindus trekking to the Amarnath shrine 14,000 feet up in the Himalayan mountains - was immediately suspended but has since been allowed to resume. Details about Sunday's attack in Doda are still sketchy as the area can only be reached after a 15-hour trek through the mountains.




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Milk-Feast for Snakes on Nagpanchami
Posted on 2001/7/28 23:47:02 ( 560 reads )


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ETA, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA, July 25, 2001: Snakes are worshiped and offered milk on one day in the month of Shravan known as Nagpanchami. In this whole district of Eta, people carefully coaxed snakes from their hiding places and offered them milk. More cautious souls drew figures of snakes for worship. On this day a large number of saperas, who rear snakes professionally, were out in the streets with their collection of snakes. Devotees could safely offer their worship, and the saperas make a substantial amount of money on this day. (from Hindi)




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Chilies Are So Hot, Birds Love Them!
Posted on 2001/7/28 23:46:02 ( 597 reads )


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ARIZONA, USA, July 25, 2001: Scientists Joshua Tewksbury and Gary Nabhan from the University of Montana and the Northern Arizona University have discovered why chilies are so hot, a question anyone first sampling a South Indian dish might ponder. They say the burning taste is an evolutionary ploy to stop mammals eating the pods and destroying the seeds. The researchers suggest that chili plants have evolved to produce capsicum as a repellent for animals (obviously unsuccessful when it came to humans), while still allowing birds to eat the fruits and disperse the seeds.




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Sydney Temple Disallowed Public Worship
Posted on 2001/7/27 23:49:02 ( 706 reads )


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, July 28, 2001: A newly constructed Hindu temple, Mukti-Gupteshwar Temple in Minto, has been denied permission for public worship or social functions under a city council decision labeled as blatant racism. The Campbelltown council decided against allowing conversion of this massive "private" shrine for public worship. Mayor Jim Kremmer opposed the rejection of the application, describing it as "racism." "It is absurd as 95 percent of the building is finished," Rama Misra, whose husband Prem Misra owns the temple said. Besides the "traffic congestion" and "blight on landscape" pleas, the objecting councillors have said the Misras tried to deceive the Campbelltown City Council by constructing a religious shrine on a land lot which they intended to use personally. One councillor, Bob Thompson said that the application did not comply with zoning laws. The Misras hope a peaceful demonstration would urge the council to reconsider.




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Restraining Order For New York Ganesha Temple Trustees
Posted on 2001/7/27 23:48:02 ( 584 reads )


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NEW YORK, USA, July 28, 2001: The Hindu Temple Society of North America (HTSNA), which oversees the operations of the Ganesha temple in Bowne Street, Flushing, New York, has been issued a restraining order and a show-cause notice by the New York State Supreme Court, Queens County, with a hearing date set for August 15. The driving force behind the case are two men, Sambasiva Venigalla and Venkaiah Dama, who alleged that the Society has flouted State Laws pertaining to not-for-profit religious corporations. Along with a few other like-minded souls, they have formed the Committee for Securing Voting Rights. In the opinion of the dissenters, not only is the Board of Trustees run in violation of state laws, but that it is often a law unto itself. Dr Uma Mysorekar, President of the HTSNA, said "all the allegations are false and we completely deny them." For now, both sides are awaiting the court's decision. In his order dated June 28, court Judge Joseph G. Golia has restrained the Society, and its Board of Trustees, who are the respondents, from encumbering the assets of the temple unless authorized by the members; from entering into any contract for expansion or construction of facilities; from incurring any expenditure other than for daily religious activities; from destroying or transferring any business or financial records; and providing to the petitioners a complete list of all members enrolled since 1995, with duly completed membership application forms together with proof of payment of membership dues.




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Attack Doesn't Dampen Amarnath Pilgrimage
Posted on 2001/7/27 23:47:02 ( 569 reads )


Source: The Hindustan Times





AMARNATH, INDIA, July 25, 2001: The collection boxes at Amarnath double up as mail boxes where pilgrims drop in their requests to Lord Siva. From the troubled housewife to the aspiring executive, these boxes get letters from everybody. And playing mailmen are the staff of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank who not only collect the money but also the letters from the boxes. They don't mind playing secretaries to God either. "If the letters have a return address, we write back on behalf of Bhole Nath (Lord Siva) and advise people," said Satish Raina, a bank employee. A commando who had lost his fingers and vision during a training course made a pilgrimage here in the hope that Bhole Nath would restore his vision. "I have to do well in my personal and professional life," he wrote to Lord Siva. "I know God makes the impossible possible." If the commando had come with an appeal, sisters Mohini and Madhuri in their early 30s were here on a thanksgiving mission. Dressed in new clothes bought for the darbar, their heads covered with red chunnis, they were here because their prayers had been answered. "My brother was involved in a dowry case for the past 20 years. With Bhole Nath's help, the case was finally disposed," said Mohini. She had an offering to make: a brass bell to offer at the altar. It hasn't been a safe yatra this year either. But the militant attacks and the unfriendly terrain has only made the pilgrims tougher. Newlyweds Ekta and Deepak Jindal from Kotkapura chose the pilgrimage for a honeymoon. Deepak is a die-hard devotee of Lord Siva. He has been here before and knows he would be safe.




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Texas Temple Receives a Traditional Facelift
Posted on 2001/7/27 23:46:02 ( 504 reads )


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DALLAS, TEXAS, July 22, 2001: For over ten years the North and South Indian congregation have worshipped at the Hindu Temple in Irving. Deciding that the building needed to reflect their culture, the devotees expect to spend US$2.1 million dollars in the next few years. The first significant addition is a gopuram in honor of Lord Ganesha. Twelve other Gopurams will be constructed in the future including ones dedicated to Lord Muruga, Vishnu, Brahma, and Lord Siva. Internally, ornate archways are being constructed in front of the temple Murthis. Skilled craftsmen from India (silpis) are transforming the temple into a traditional structure. Other future plans include a youth center, meditation hall and a senior citizen centre.




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California Hindu Sangam Photos Available
Posted on 2001/7/27 23:45:02 ( 685 reads )


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MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA, July 21, 2001: Pictures of the huge San Francisco Bay Area meeting of Hindus can be now downloaded from "source" above. The day-long event attracted 15,000 Hindus.




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Buddhism And Meditation Camp For Children
Posted on 2001/7/27 23:44:02 ( 582 reads )


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IRVING, TEXAS, JULY 22, 2001: When 12 year-old Nikki Meyer visited the dentist to have a tooth filled, she used the meditation techniques she learned in class to relax. Nikki and her brother, Michael, 11, are among the children who attended the Introduction to Buddhism and Meditation for Children class at Vajradakini Buddhist Center last week. Instead of soccer camp or swimming lessons, children spent five mornings at the center, learning about Buddhism. The class, open to ages 9 through 13, included meditation techniques, arts and crafts, teachings on love and compassion and how to overcome anger and jealousy. One morning's activities began with the children reciting a mantra of compassion. The children then made prayer flags, carefully lettering their good wishes for the world on brightly colored felt. The successful class may provide a model for similar programs at Hindu temples.




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Hindu Sangam Draws Thousands
Posted on 2001/7/24 23:49:02 ( 542 reads )


Source: San Jose Mercury News





FREMONT, CALIFORNIA, USA, July 22, 2001: Thousands of San Francisco Bay Area residents of Hindu background celebrated their cultural heritage in Milpitas in a first-of-its-kind gathering that brought together dozens of Indo-American groups that rarely associate. "You don't realize how many of us are here until we come together in one place," said Raj Patel of Milpitas, who attended the Hindu Sangam with his family. Event organizers estimate 10,000 people attended the celebration. That makes it one of the largest Hindu cultural gatherings ever on the West Coast. About 66,000 people of Indian ancestry live in Santa Clara County alone. More than 300 children presented a play of the Hindu story Ramayana. And a free buffet of traditional Indian food was provided.




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Congress Joins Sangh Parivar in Protest Against Christians
Posted on 2001/7/24 23:48:02 ( 547 reads )


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AHMEDABAD, INDIA, July 21, 2001: A new element to the three-year-old sparring between the Christian groups and the Hindutva bodies was added when the Gujarat unit of the All-India Christian Council charged the Congress with joining the Sangh Parivar (RSS affiliated) bodies to harass Christians. The charge followed a joint demonstration by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS, and the Congress leaders in Rajkot recently to protest attempts by the management of the St Mary Convent School in Rajkot to impose "Christian religious code" on the students by not allowing them to wear bindis and bangles. In a communication to the National Human Rights Commission, the All-India Christian Council demanded a probe into the Rajkot incident before alleging even the Congress had joined the communal forces in their tirade against the Christians in Gujarat. No explanation is given in this report why the Christians felt they could curtail the religious rights of their Hindu students.




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