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Ekadasi and Music Festival Draws Crowds to Guruvayur Temple
Posted on 2001/11/23 22:46:02 ( 710 reads )


Source: The Hindu





GURUVAYUR, KERALA, November 20, 2001: There is a heavy rush of devotees and Sabarimala pilgrims at the Sree Krishna Temple here as the 15-day long Chembai Music Festival in connection with the Ekadasi festival entered the ninth day today. The temple town is all geared up to receive the flow of pilgrims which is expected to reach its peak on Ekadasi on November 26. The Chembai Music Festival, a rare opportunity where Carnatic music lovers could listen to concerts of maestros as well as budding artistes, was extended to 15 days this year from the usual 12. The Guruvayur Devaswom which received 6,000 applications for appearing in the music festival invited only 2,800 of them. The Chairman of the Guruvayur Devaswom, Mr. M. Venugopala Kurup, said the devaswom expected over 100,000 devotees this Ekadasi season and has made all arrangements to meet the rush of devotees.




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Pilgrims Die in Temple Stampede
Posted on 2001/11/23 22:45:02 ( 674 reads )


Source: The Hindu





MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA, November 17, 2001: Pilgrims, visiting the famous shrine in honor of Goddess Sharda Devi at Maihar in Satna district after Diwali, were exposed to the threat of fire while climbing up the hill to the temple. Apparently a pile of coconuts were ablaze nearby the path pilgrims were ascending. Cries of "fire-fire" from a rooftop started a stampede of devotees. Sadly enough, the result of this frantic crowd resulted in the death of five women pilgrims and at least 22 others were injured. An investigation is also being conducted to determine if the coconut shell fire was started deliberately.




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Tributes for Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami in Edmonton and Illinois
Posted on 2001/11/23 22:44:02 ( 633 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today





KAUAI, HAWAII, November 24, 2001: Special temple meetings will be held in honor of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami at the Sita Rama Temple in Lemont, Illinois, at 3:00 pm in the Rama Temple auditorium. For further information, contact Sudha Rao at 630-782-2161. The Maha Ganapati Temple, 128 Running Creek Road Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, will conduct Mrithyunjay Homa in honor of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswmai beginning at 9:00 am, November 25. The temple announcement reads, Gurudeva's vision of a Ganesha Temple in Edmonton led to the building of the present Maha Ganapati Temple in Edmonton."




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Safety not to be Ignored at Deepavali
Posted on 2001/11/20 22:49:02 ( 656 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, November 18, 2001: Despite media publicity on safe ways to celebrate the Festival of Lights, a substantial number of casualties have occurred in Bangalore during Deepavali this year, city doctors say. Half-a-dozen hospitals in the city indicate that so far about 30 cases of burn injuries have been treated, with all but 3 serious cases being discharged after being given first aid. Most of the victims are children, says Dr. Shankarappa, Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery and Burns at the Victoria Hospital. "The most common source of injuries this time is misuse of rockets," says Dr. Shankarappa, by launching them at an angle rather than straight up. There are three other dangerous practices which need to be put down with a firm hand, the doctors feel: First, the practice of collecting unexploded or half-burnt firecrackers into a pile and igniting them. Second, holding lighted flowerpots ("fountains" in USA terminology) with hands and waving them around to make a dazzling display -- quite often these flowerpots explode. Third, bursting crackers in metal containers. This has the effect of a bursting grenade, This scatters shrapnel in a 360-degree radius, causing potentially fatal splinter injuries. "All these practices should be curbed," says Dr. Shankarappa. His suggestions for the safety of the public during future Deepavali celebrations: First, children should not be allowed to play with fireworks unsupervised by adults. Second, crackers are to be lit by adults and watched and enjoyed by children. Third, not to wear clothing made of synthetic material during the Deepavali festival.




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Hindus and Muslims Clash in Orissa, India
Posted on 2001/11/20 22:48:02 ( 684 reads )


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BHUBANESHWAR, INDIA, November 21, 2001: Hindus and Muslims clashed yesterday, setting fire to a dozen houses and shops in Orissa following a dispute over a plot of land said used both for human burials and grazing cows, police said. Eight people, including five Muslims and three Hindus, were injured in the clashes that occurred in Peteipur, a village 75 kilometers east of Bhubaneshwar. A temple was also damaged, said N.C. Padhi, police chief in the state. Authorities have imposed a curfew and deployed more police officers in the village. Infuriated over the damage to their temple, the Hindus carried out a demonstration that turned violent with protesters setting fire to several Muslim houses and shops, Padhi said.




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Chile, Other Spices Protect Bacteria from Irradiation
Posted on 2001/11/20 22:47:02 ( 706 reads )


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ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, November 21, 2001: Capsaicin, the "hot" in hot peppers, continues to amaze the medical researchers, according to this article on a web site devoted to hot (vegie and nonvegie) food. Scientists in India say that some common spices such as chile powder, black pepper, and turmeric can prevent bacteria such as E. coli from being destroyed by irradiation in low doses. The researchers say that their findings indicate that spice extracts could be used to protect healthy tissue in people undergoing radiation therapy. The research was conducted at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai, India. "The observed protection of microbes may essentially be due to the protection of their DNA by the constituents of spices," the researchers wrote. Chile offered the highest level of protection, followed by black pepper and turmeric. The findings from the study are not a cause for concern about irradiated foods. The irradiation doses routinely used to process prepared foods are high enough to kill any E. coli.




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Muslims Progress in Democratic India
Posted on 2001/11/19 22:49:02 ( 639 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 20, 2001: With nearly 150 million Muslims, India is believed to have more Muslim citizens than Pakistan or Bangladesh, and is second only to Indonesia. Why is it, the author of this article asks, that you don't hear about Indian Muslims -- a minority in this vast Hindu-dominated land -- blaming America for all their problems or wanting to fly suicide planes into the Indian Parliament? Indian Muslims have their frustrations, and have squared off over the years in violent clashes with Hindus. But they live in a noisy, messy democracy, where opportunities and a political voice are open to them, believes this author, and that makes a huge difference. M. J. Akbar, the Muslim editor of Asian Age, a national Indian English-language daily funded by non-Muslim Indians said, "I am not going to exaggerate Muslim good fortune in India. There are tensions, economic discrimination and provocations, like the destruction of the mosque at Ayodhya. But the fact is, the Indian Constitution is secular and provides a real opportunity for the economic advancement of any community that can offer talent. That's why a growing Muslim middle class here is moving up."




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Hindus Pray for Peace at New Year
Posted on 2001/11/19 22:48:02 ( 679 reads )


Source: Los Angeles Times





LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, November 17, 2001: To mark the Hindu New Year of 2058, more than 2,000 gathered at Valley Hindu Temple to light ritual fires, recite prayers for peace and offer food to Lord Krishna. The New Year was celebrated on the fourth day of the five-day festival of Divali, the festival of lights. At the noon service, devotees placed nearly 200 Indian delicacies representing all regions of India on a six-tier tower, the annkut or "heap of grains," at the base of a statue of Krishna. "Before any food is eaten in the New Year, it is first blessed by the gods," said Kadam Shodhan, a temple trustee. "It is believed that by offering the annkut to the gods on Hindu New Year, one's food supply is never exhausted." Worshippers gathered to chant mantras and offer prayers for world peace.




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Temple Theft Drawing More Attention in Orissa
Posted on 2001/11/19 22:47:02 ( 649 reads )


Source: The Hindu





ORISSA, INDIA, November 16, 2001: Recent temple thefts of precious murthis from the Sri Jagannath Complex in Puri has caused an investigation into the effectiveness of the police force of the state in recovering the stolen property. Quoting the article, "There had been as many as 19 temple thefts in the five years from 1996 to 2000. The police have been able to solve only eight cases." Similarly, "A total of 33 antique thefts were reported from 1996 to 2000, only five have been solved." The investigation has also resulted in the suspension of eight Jagannath Temple Police and eight state police. So far the police believe that the culprits are all part of one gang. However, they are not ruling out the possibility that antique smuggling may be part of the scenario. In the meantime, Chief Minister, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, has ordered extra security at the Sri Jagannath temple.




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UK Asians Warned To Quit Smoking
Posted on 2001/11/19 22:46:02 ( 612 reads )


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UNITED KINGDOM, November 16, 2001: An advertising campaign to warn Asian communities in the UK of the dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco is being launched by the government. It hopes to encourage people in Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian communities to quit the habit, particularly as they are more susceptible to the diseases that result from nicotine addiction. The Department of Health campaign will be launched to coincide with Ramadan, Islam's holiest month, when Muslims have to abstain from smoking between sunrise and sunset. The problem is serious as rates of angina, heart attack, stroke, diabetes and blood pressure are more than 50% higher than the UK national average among Pakistani and Bangladeshi men. Some 44% of Bangladeshi men in the UK smoke, compared with 27% of the general male population.




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Request for NY Times Article Clipping
Posted on 2001/11/19 22:45:02 ( 747 reads )


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KAUAI, HAWAII, November 20, 2001: We request any HPI reader to send us the printed version of the story on Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's passing that appeared in the November 18, Sunday, edition of the New York Times under "obituaries."




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Houston Hindus Celebrate Gurudeva's Life in Serene Shraddhanjali
Posted on 2001/11/18 22:49:02 ( 703 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today Correspondent Kalyani Giri





HOUSTON, TEXAS, November 18, 2001: Prominent Hindu leaders from Houston's many organizations and members of the local community gathered on November 18, at Keshav Smruti to celebrate the life of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, affectionately known as Gurudeva. The charismatic Hindu religious leader passed away on November 12 after a short battle with cancer at his ashram/monastery home on the island of Kauai. It was a poignant event attended by fifty people, beginning with a soul-stirring rendition of shlokas by Rathna Kumar, followed by shared memories and laughter as speakers told of their personal experiences when meeting with Gurudeva. Many told of his quick wit and related mystical experiences while in his presence. Speakers included incoming President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad Suresh Patel, India Culture Center's Harshat Patel, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh's Dinesh Shah, Hindu Student's Council representative Nutan Mehta, Punnyabhoomi editor Somarajan Nair and social activist Sam Kannappan. Nutan Mehta held aloft a copy of Hinduism Today magazine (started by Gurudeva and published by his order) carrying the cover story on the Hindu Student's Council and spoke eloquently of Gurudeva's championing the causes upheld by youth. It was also a ceremony with a difference. In deference to Gurudeva's love of the cultural arts, the program included a Kuchipudi classical dance item by Bharath Guntupalli, a student of dance guru Rathna Kumar. A student of Gurudeva's, Tara Barrie Hull, read from his works and told emotionally how the spiritual master's teachings had turned her life around. Sam Kannappan spoke of Gurudeva's visit to a home in Sugarland, where the backyard was bare. But three hours after Gurudeva had visualized three "beautiful trees" growing side by side in the yard, a city worker knocked at the door carrying three trees saying they were surplus, requesting the householder if he could plant them in his garden. "I still visit that house just to see those trees," Kannappan told attendees. Vijay Pallod of VHP spoke of Gurudeva's monks who had attended a conference in Houston. All lingered after the ceremony to revel in the peaceful atmosphere created just by reflecting on a great soul.




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Divali Nagar Sustains Trinidad's Cultural Diversity
Posted on 2001/11/18 22:48:02 ( 646 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today Correspondent Paras Ramoutar





TRINIDAD, November 19, 2001: The 15th Annual Divali Nagar ended with an inspirational observation by the President of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency President A.N.R. Robinson. He was among a host of dignitaries who included Prime Minister Basdeo Panday and Mrs. Oma Panday. Prime Minister Panday who visited the Nagar on Saturday night November 10, used the occasion to refer to the original Educational Concordat which was signed in 1960 by the then Premier Dr. Eric Williams Government and the Catholic Church which outlined how denominational schools were to be managed. In 1998, when the concordat was first revised a Cabinet Committee was appointed to ensure more involvement by other major religious groups including Muslims and Hindus. Prime Ministers Panday assured that a new concordat would ensure that the, "widest ever religious spectrum [would] be embraced in the operation of our education system." But the Divali Nagar platform also heard from Minister of Education, and also Minister of Human Development, Culture and Youth Affairs, Ganga Singh that the orthodox method of education has failed to teach citizens about harmonious living, and suggested that yoga exercises would be introduced into the physical education curriculum in schools, "to add spiritual discipline in that subject area and to help attack the problems of social deviance at their roots." MP for Chaguanas, Minister of Community Empowerment, Sports and Consumer Affairs, in an address at the closing night, that, "our cultural diversity in a multi-ethnic nation state has succeeded by preserving the identity of our indigenous people."




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Academic's Murder Sparks Hindu Protest in Bangladesh
Posted on 2001/11/18 22:47:02 ( 742 reads )


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DHAKA, BANGLADESH, November 17, 2001: Minority Hindus in the southern Bangladeshi port city of Chittagong have staged a violent protest following the murder of a prominent university professor Gopal Krishna Mahuri, who was shot dead at point-blank range on Friday by unidentified assailants. His killers escaped after the shooting. Protesters said he was killed because he was a Hindu, but it was unclear if the murder was connected to the persecution of Bangladeshi Hindus since the election. The murder of Professor Mahuri coincided with a visit to Chittagong by Bangladeshi Home Minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury. Professor Mahuri was a widely respected academic who had taught at Nazirhat College in Chittagong for more than 35 years.




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Sabarimala in Kerala Opens for Pilgrimage
Posted on 2001/11/18 22:46:02 ( 659 reads )


Source: The Hindu





PATHANAMTHITTA, INDIA, November 15, 2001: The sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple has been opened for the two-month-long annual Mandalam-Makaravilaku pilgrim season. The holy hillock witnessed a heavy rush today when the temple was opened for the pilgrim season. The Tantri (head priest), Mr. Kantaru Mohanaru, said that the Neyyabhishekam ritual would begin tomorrow morning, the first day of the Malayalam month of Vruschikam. The Police department has set up about 50 police aid-posts at Pampa and surrounding areas and over 1,000 police personnel have been assigned to monitor the law and order situation at Sabarimala and to control the vehicular traffic. This year's annual temple festival at Sabarimala will be held from December 9 to 18. The Makaravilakku season begins on January 1, 2002 and the temple will be closed on January 20 after the two-month annual pilgrim season.




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