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Tirumala To Build Temples For Scheduled Castes and Tribal Colonies

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:48:02 ( 958 reads )

Deccan Herald

TIRUMALA,INDIA, April7, 2003: Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam chairman P. Chalapathi Rao on Monday said the TTD Board of Trustees had approved the proposed construction of Geeta Mandirams in Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe ("untouchable") colonies across the state. Rao said the decision followed a two-day meeting of the Board members. As planned earlier, a total of 7,200 new temples will come up in the State with the government spending around US$3,000 on construction of each temple. The TTD will invite donations for the purpose and local residents are expected to share 10 percent of the cost incurred on the temple construction.

Younger Generation Seeks Darshan Online

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:47:02 ( 874 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 12, 2003: In their hectic lives of long work and study packed days, and temples a fair distance from home, devotees of the younger generation are tuning into God online. A survey has shown that "...young urban Indians, in the 16 to 24 age group, showed (that) a significant number of people observed religious rituals by praying at home and places of worship, observing fasts and celebrating festivals."Of those surveyed, 51% identify strongly with their religion. However, the average 20 year-old coping with work and school has a hard time visiting the temple daily. At www.onlinedarshan.com you can log on to many temple sites and attend or conduct a puja. Twenty-four-year-old Neerja Jain says, "I log on once in the morning and anytime I feel down. For me, darshan like this means you carry God with you everywhere. "Third-year Delhi University student Payal Jha adds, "I really don't have the time to visit a temple, but it's kind of cool to log on for my tryst with God."

Traditional Designs Capture the Fashion Scene in India

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:46:02 ( 955 reads )


KOLKATA, INDIA, April 6, 2003: Traditional fashion in the form of kurtas (Indian-style shirts) are still being worn this year by college students in India along with denim trousers. Designer Rashmi Kapur has promoted traditional designs with a new flare for the last eight years. Kapur says, "Kurtas are the ultimate in fashion and it's time one flaunted a kurta before they go out of the fashion radar." Using georgette, crepe, chiffon and khadi with embroidery, Kapur explains that many of her pieces are affordable and washable. Kapur's entire women's wear line consists of ornate cocktail saris, Parsi embroidery on kurtas or even Indo-Western kurtas with straight pants in fruity colors of lime, green and oranges. Kapur plans to expand into formal Indian menswear fashion and started by designing a kurta for her own son's wedding. She also plans to focus on the sari by making it more appealing to the young women.

Head Start Program Teaches Yoga in Maryland

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:45:02 ( 953 reads )


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, April 7, 2003: Yoga, a popular household word across the U.S. is now popping up in early childhood education. Head Start, a federal preschool program designed to give low-income children a better chance in elementary school, has now adopted yoga at a center in Baltimore. More than 400 children have participated in the program at the Meade Village Head Start Center. Children enter the classroom greeting each other with a traditional namaste. By using storytelling and songs, the children are led through breathing exercises and yoga poses. "They have stress in their life too. I want them to respect each other. I want them to see that everyone has a light that shines within them. "Oliver also recalls, "One little girl, after a session, said to me, 'I feel beautiful'. I think she just didn't know how to put into words that she was relaxed."

Multiple Sclerosis Patients Benefit from the Practice of Yoga

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:44:02 ( 874 reads )


OREGON, U.S.A., April 5, 2003: Findings from research conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University indicates that exercise and yoga can help patients with multiple sclerosis. Sixty-nine MS patients were divided into three groups. Group one participated in a weekly yoga class adapted for people with MS. Group two took a weekly exercise class using stationary bicycles combined with home exercise. The third group maintained normal activity levels. At the end of six months, the participants from all three groups took cognitive tests and answered questionnaires about their mood, sleepiness, fatigue and general quality of life. Barry Oken, MD and professor of neurology at the OHSU School of Medicine says, "While neither yoga nor aerobic exercise appeared to impact cognitive function, there was significant improvement in fatigue for the two intervention groups when compared to the waiting list group."

Fifth Annual International "SpankOut Day" on April 30

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:43:02 ( 1152 reads )


UNITED STATES, April 14, 2003: SpankOut Day USA was initiated in 1998 to give widespread attention to the need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote nonviolent ways of teaching children appropriate behavior. EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment Of CHildren) sponsors SpankOut Day USA on April 30th of each year. All parents, guardians, teachers and caregivers are encouraged to refrain from hitting children at least on this day, and to seek alternative methods of discipline through programs available in community agencies, churches and schools.

The website provides a "SpankOut tool kit" consisting of sample letters to local newspapers, radio public service announcements, down-to-earth guidelines on how to raise a well-behaved child without hitting and ten reasons for not hitting a child. Kindly log on to "source" above for practical suggestions and worldwide resources on how to teach children appropriate behavior without hitting.

Web Site Promotes Classroom Dissection Alternatives

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:42:02 ( 978 reads )


UNITED STATES, April 9, 2003: A Web site created by Students Improving the Lives of Animals (SILA), a University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign animal advocacy group, is providing information useful to individuals trying to convince schools to offer alternatives to dissection. The site, which provides listings of videos, CD-ROMs, books and other alternatives, is focused on classroom dissection as not only an animal welfare issue, but a student rights one. "Conscientious objectors to classroom dissection and vivisection are protected under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment from being forced to harm or kill animals in their public...education," according to a SILA spokesperson. "The courts agree, and for over decade, students at all levels -- from high school through college and even veterinary school -- have won the right to alternatives." SILA was formed during the Fall of 2001 to promote the employment of alternatives to classroom dissection and improve the welfare of University of Illinois and other laboratory animals.

Hinduism Today Requests Input for Article on Hindu Hospitality

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:41:02 ( 924 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, April 14, 2003: Hinduism Today magazine is working on a major article on the subject of "Hindu Hospitality." The article will cover all aspects of traditional Hindu hospitality, including what it is, what's expected of a host and of a guest, how to greet a guest, how to say goodbye, how the guest should behave in the home, how hospitality is supported in scripture and the historical writings and how it is changing today. If you can contribute to this article please e-mail "source."

Changes Likely For This Year's Amarnath Pilgrimage

Posted on 2003/4/13 9:49:02 ( 1024 reads )

The Kashmir Times

SRINAGAR, INDIA, April 3, 2003: Three major changes will distinguish the yearly Hindu Amarnath pilgrimage this season. Affluent pilgrims could fly to the Himalayan cave from Srinagar in state-owned helicopters. The shortest route, the Baltal route used by about 25% of pilgrims, has been widened from 6 ft to 12 ft, allowing for 1,500 instead of 800 pilgrims a day. And the famous health resort of Pahalgam, the base camp for the pilgrimage, shall remain open for non-yatra tourist traffic. Decisions made at a meeting of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board in Jammu last week suggested that the pilgrimage start on July 12 and conclude on August 12 to coincide with Rakhsha Bandhan. To date the pilgrimage continues to be a state sponsored affair with thousands of dollars being pumped into it. Expenses include security that requires thousands of troops, paramilitary men and many battalions of the state police. The meeting also noted the discovery of an ancient temple on the old Amarnath route near Chandanwari, which is claimed to be 800 to 2000 years old.

Singapore Hindus and Buddhists Pray to Stop SARS Outbreak

Posted on 2003/4/13 9:48:02 ( 919 reads )


SINGAPORE, April 6, 2003: Buddhists and Hindus recently came together for purification prayers to free the world from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The event was organized by the Singapore Buddhist Lodge and Arulmigu Velmurugan Gnanamuneeswarar Temple. Priests from Hindu and Buddhist temples recited prayers for 24 hours, seeking divine blessings and to help the world to be relieved of the SARS outbreak.

Kerala Hosts Dance Festival

Posted on 2003/4/13 9:47:02 ( 1055 reads )


KERALA, INDIA, April 13, 2003: The Global Malayalee Council and Sree Sankara School of Classical Dances are jointly organizing a national dance and music festival to be held at Kalady, Kerala, May 6-9, 2003. Some of India's leading dancers and musicians will be performing along with the top performers from Kerala's youth festivals. Organizers anticipate over 200,000 people to attend the four day event. Readers kindly log on to "source" above for further information.

Christian Evangelists Make Inroads Into Muslim Kashmir

Posted on 2003/4/13 9:46:02 ( 1128 reads )


SRINAGAR, INDIA, April 5, 2003: Kashmir is witnessing an increase in conversion from Islam to Christianity. Christian groups are putting the number of new converts at over 10,000 and a Sunday Express investigation confirms that conversions have been taking place regularly across the Valley. At least a dozen Christian missions and churches based in the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland have sent evangelists to the Valley and are sending in money through intermediaries based in New Delhi. Missionaries are getting immediate attention because they reach out to the poor, needy and those affected by violence. Also, they bring in a lot of money. Though conversions have not met any resistance from Muslim organizations, it has led to tensions between Kashmir's native Christians -- a minuscule community of 650 -- and the enthusiastic evangelists. The native Christians are increasingly getting vocal against the outsiders. "This type of conversions aren't good for local Christians who had shared a cordial relationship with Muslims here for centuries. The conversions they are doing are Biblically wrong. There are umpteen cases in which one person has been baptized thrice within a few months. These so-called evangelists have set up businesses in the garb of church and social work," says Pastor Leslie Richards, a native protestant living in Braen, Srinagar. "The converts here do it for monetary reasons and the people who convert them too do it for the same reasons," he adds.

How Lord Ganesha Charmed Shri Ma

Posted on 2003/4/12 9:49:02 ( 1236 reads )

Media Center

PONDICHERRY, INDIA, April 7, 2003: Mother of Shri Aurobindo Ashram, affectionately known as Shri Ma, was a great devotee of Lord Ganesha. The Pondicherry Shri Manakkula Vinayaka Devasthanam released a booklet in August, 2001, which gives an inspiring story of Shri Ma and her relationship with Lord Ganesha. "There is a famous 700-year-old temple of Manakkula Vinayaka adjacent to the Ashram. In the early sixties, Mother volunteered to give some land to the temple. It was a piece of land 120 feet by 12 feet belonging to the Sri Aurobindo Memorial Fund Society. Mother said it was to be done even if it meant demolition of part of the Ashram property. Mother also said that a partition wall could be built at the temple's cost if the temple management wanted to construct it, or it could be done at the Ashram's cost. The temple authorities had failed earlier to get the required land for Parikrama (path to circumambulate the temple) from the previous owner. So, they were very happy and grateful to Mother. Mother had recorded that in 1930 she had a vision of Ganesha during meditation and in that darshan, the Lord granted the boon of material help in abundance on Mother. The help 'came in torrents' as Mother herself described it."

Bhojshala Shrine Opens for Worship

Posted on 2003/4/12 9:48:02 ( 1146 reads )


DHAR, INDIA, April 8, 2003: A day after the Archaeological Survey of India ordered open the disputed Bhojshala shrine for Hindus every Tuesday nearly 600 people offered prayers there in an atmosphere of peace. The devotees, some of whom were beating drums, entered the shrine at 9:00 AM and there were no signs of any tensions. Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the local Hindu Jagran Manch Vishal Goyal has announced that Tuesdays would be observed as Deepavali in the city with lamps being lighted in every house in the evening. Like Ayodhya, Bhojshala is claimed by both Hindus and Muslims. For more information, see http://headlines.sify.com/1637news5.html.

Buddhism Comes Calling in India

Posted on 2003/4/12 9:47:02 ( 1134 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 28, 2003: Dalits, viewed as the traditional target for conversion, are not the only ones turning to Buddhism here. Even high-caste Hindus with upper middle-class backgrounds are increasingly attending Buddhist meditations. Their practice has a Japanese connection for there are about 100 Nichiren Buddhism cells in Delhi, says Madhumita Sen. She works for an international NGO and is a regular at the meetings of the followers of the Great Sage Nichiren Daishonin, a thirteenth century Japanese priest. Ms. Sen added that people from all social strata and faiths attend the meditation meetings.

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