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Fiji Holds 100th Anniversary of the Arrival of South Indians from Chennai


Posted on 2003/3/27 8:47:02 ( 1063 reads )


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LAUTOKA, FIJI, March 27, 2003: The 100th Anniversary Commemoration of the arrival of Fiji's south Indians will be held on Friday, April 11, with an Inauguration Ceremony at the newly established Lautoka Sangam Village in Lovu. Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam will hold its 77th Annual Convention in Lautoka, Fiji, on April 18, 2003. The Convention will be inaugurated by Hon. Justice Jai Ram Reddy at Churchill Park, Lautoka, attended by invited guests and over seven thousand Sangam members and supporters from all over Fiji, North America, New Zealand and Australia. A cultural program, arts and crafts expo, children's festival, food festival, fashion show, student's cultural night and the annual soccer tournament are some of the week's planned activities. Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam runs 26 primary and secondary schools, a Sangam Institute of Technology in Nadi, kindergartens and temples all over Fiji, the largest being the Sri Siva Subramuniya Swami Temple in Nadi. Kindly contact "source" above for additional information regarding the anniversary celebration and convention.






Two Teens Charged in Fire Bombings of Missouri Hindu Temple


Posted on 2003/3/27 8:46:02 ( 968 reads )


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CLAYTON, U.S.A., March 25, 2003: Two 17-year-old boys are charged with firebombing attacks at a Hindu temple in suburban St. Louis, investigators said Monday. The youths are charged with second-degree arson and criminal possession of a weapon in the attacks on the temple. St. Louis County Police said temple officials initially wondered if the attacks were crimes committed by ill-informed people who thought they were attacking a Muslim mosque. Although police looked into the possibility of a hate crime, the attacks apparently stemmed from boredom. "They wanted some attention, excitement," he said. The FBI is conducting its own investigation into the late-February fire bombings, which damaged the temple but caused no injuries.






Orissa to Stop Commercial Use of Lord Jagannath


Posted on 2003/3/26 8:49:02 ( 924 reads )


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BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, March 22, 2003: The Orissa Government will soon come up with a "culture policy" designed to stop the blatant commercialization of Lord Jagannath of Puri, state Panchayatiraj Minister Damodar Rout told the assembly today. The minister's announcement came after Speaker Sarat Kumar Kar directed the state government to take necessary steps to stop the "desecration and commercialization" of Lord Jagannath. "The Government would take some definite measures immediately to stop commercial use of the Lord Jagannath's name," Rout said, adding it would soon come out with a culture policy which would include banning vulgar displays of the Lord. The speaker's direction came in response to pleas by many members about the blatant misuse of Lord Jagannath's name in cheap cassettes and albums telecast by Doordarshan. This move comes on the heels of the Office of Trademarks Registry recent statement before the Delhi High Court saying, "The Emblems and Names Act of 1950 does not envisage inclusion of names of Gods and Goddesses in the schedule of the act. Only emblems of national importance and of secular institutions are sought to be protected."






Specially Trained Priests Give More Meaning to Hindu Rituals


Posted on 2003/3/26 8:48:02 ( 1189 reads )


Source: HPI





PUNE, INDIA, March 22, 2003: The inclusion of scientific understanding has added a deeper meaning to traditional Hindu ceremonies, thanks to specially trained priests by the Jnana Prabodhini's Santrika section. The head of Jnana Prabodhini, Yeshwant Lele says, "More and more people are curious about the rituals they have been performing blindly over the years. The priests trained by the society explain the mantras to the gathering and make the ceremonies move lively." Thirty people, mainly from a scientific background, irrespective of caste and sex, have recently finished their four-month course on how to conduct Hindu marriages, naming ceremony, thread ceremony, last rites and other ceremonies. Lele says, "Our Marathi and English booklets enable every family member to chant the mantras. The booklet gives the requirements for each ceremony and has an introduction and translation of each mantra. Our gurujis and purohitas involve everyone present. So, instead of only the yajman (the man who performs the ceremony) repeating the mantras, everyone present takes part. Explanations of certain rituals involve physics, chemistry, logic, philosophy and psychology."






Nepalese Hindu Monarchs Worship at Meenakshi Temple


Posted on 2003/3/26 8:47:02 ( 1003 reads )


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MADURAI, INDIA, March 24, 2003: Nepal King Gyanendra and Queen Komal Rajalakshmi Devi offered prayers and had "archana" at the Sri Meenakshi Amman-Sundareswar temple in Madurai on Monday. The King and his entourage, accompanied by the officials from the External Affairs ministry, were given a traditional welcome by folk dancers at the entrance of the temple. Later they were received by the temple priests with "Poornakumbha Mariadai" at the temple's south Gopuram. Goddess Meenakshi, the temple's main deity, was bedecked with the diamond crown, traditionally worn only three times a year. The King spent about an hour going around the temple where his majesty was presented with a silk shawl, books on temple history, and prasadam near the temple's Golden chariot, where the King and Queen were seated.






Maryland Temple Plans Fund Raising for Kauai's Iraivan Temple


Posted on 2003/3/26 8:46:02 ( 1086 reads )


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MARYLAND, USA: A fund raising dinner with live entertainment for San Marga's Iraivan Temple will be held on Saturday, April 19, 2003, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Murugan Temple of North America. The temple is located at 6300 Princess Garden Parkway, Lanham, Maryland. For further information kindly contact "source" above.






A Handy Guide and Description for Blessing Your Car


Posted on 2003/3/26 8:45:02 ( 1912 reads )


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NEW YORK, USA, May 25, 2002: Hindus bless all implements or items to be used for daily life, protecting them from bad influences and blessing them in God's name. This is true of things like homes, cars and motorized vehicles of all types. Emmigration hasn't hampered the tradition, and every temple in the US is prepared to do such blessings, one of the most popular of which is for a new car. At this website a devotee shares an instructive step-by-step description of her car blessing ceremony, complete with photos.






Paris Hosts Hindustani Music Fete


Posted on 2003/3/23 8:49:02 ( 1053 reads )


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PARIS, FRANCE, March 17, 2003: In Paris more than three months of festivities dedicated to Hindustani classical music from the 14th to the 20th centuries opens this week. It will include concerts, films, talks and a show of rare instruments from north India. Held at the Cite de la Musique from March 19 to June 29, the mainstay of the fete will be an exhibition of instruments, including sarangis and sitars, and including manuscripts, drawings and paintings from private and public collections. High points will be a forum on raga music and Kathak dance on March 22, including a full night of music put on by nine musicians from India. The Susheela Raman Quintet and the Trilok Gurtu Group with singer Shankar Mahadevan will offer the new sounds created by the mix of traditional Hindustani music, Western, blues and reggae.






A Reader Responds to "Inauspicious Thursday" Story


Posted on 2003/3/23 8:48:02 ( 1270 reads )


Source: HPI





KAUAI, UNITED STATES, March 23, 2003: Prof. R. Vaidyanathan gives his view on "inauspicious Thursday" which led Air India to cancel a Thursday flight out of North East India. He wrote, "I read with interest about people in Guwahathi considering Thursdays as not auspicious. It is not the people of entire North East. This belief is mainly in Assam. In Karnataka, a large number of people consider Thursday to be auspicious and the well-known Saint Raghavendra is offered special prayers/puja on that day. A popular song by actor/singer Rajkumar starts as " Guru vara Bandhamma" etc. (who came on a Thursday) regarding Saint Raghavendra. But many people in Karnataka consider Tuesday to be inauspicious. The train from Bangalore to Madras is not crowded on Tuesdays. They will not start factories or construction or long travel on Tuesdays. There was a report some time before that the Bajrang Dal students demanded that Tuesday be declared as weekly holiday in Lucknow University suggesting Tuesday is important/holy for Hanuman. It would be an interesting study to find out inauspicious and holy days as believed by different communities in India."






Arthashastra On-Line


Posted on 2003/3/23 8:47:02 ( 1478 reads )


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USA, March 23, 2003: Those interested in purusing Kautilya's Arthashastra may find the complete text at "source" above. Arthashastra is a remarkable treatise on sophisticated government written 2,300 years ago.






U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Says India Did Act on Gujarat Violence


Posted on 2003/3/22 8:49:02 ( 925 reads )


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WASHINGTON D.C., March 22, 2003: The Indian government has taken "much action" against those behind the Gujarat violence but it was not reflected due to the "agonizingly slow" legal system in the country, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca has said. "There have been a number of arrests and prosecutions," she said on Friday, responding to questions on the Gujarat violence during her testimony before a Subcommittee on Asia and Pacific. "The legal system in India is agonizingly slow and that gives the impression that nothing is happening. But the fact of the matter is that they did take action and they are continuing to take action," she said. "This was a stain on their secular record. And no one is more concerned about it, I believe, than the Indians themselves."






Mystery Powder Prompts Scare in U.S. Post Office


Posted on 2003/3/22 8:48:02 ( 1058 reads )


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FOXBORO, MASSACHUSETTS, March 20, 2003: A red powdery substance discovered Monday in a letter by mailroom workers at Invensys prompted a partial evacuation of the facility. With the heightened alert due to the war with Iraq, local firefighters were concerned when responding to a call about an unknown powdery substance at the Invensys mailroom. Deputy Chief Steve Bagley declared a Tier 1 alert, a low-level hazardous materials emergency. Also responding to the scene were five members of a regional hazardous materials team, who donned "hazmat" (hazardess materials) suits and entered the building to secure the letter mailed from an unfamiliar address in India. Local firefighters had planned to transport the letter for analysis to the state Department of Public Health in Boston the following day when they learned the substance in question was kumkum powder, used by millions of Hindu women and in temple ceremonies.






Air India Gives in to Customer Demand and Drops "Inauspicious Thursday" Flight


Posted on 2003/3/22 8:47:02 ( 978 reads )


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GUWAHTI, INDIA, March 19, 2003: So many people of north east India have refused to fly on Thursdays, Air India has been forced to change its schedule to Sundays. "It is now official. The flight will be on Sunday," said an Air India official here yesterday, much to the relief of the travel agents for whom it had been a big headache. "There is a long tradition of not doing anything good on Thursday afternoons. So why should one fly abroad?" asked Powal Barua of Travel Aid. Air India, which initially wanted to drop the flight, has now rescheduled it, giving in to the region's overwhelming demand. HPI is interested to learn the reason this area of India considers Thursday inauspicious.






Devotees Walk the Dakor Pilgrimage


Posted on 2003/3/21 8:49:02 ( 1070 reads )


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MEHAMDABAD, INDIA, March 14, 2003: All roads seem to lead to Dakor, Kheda district, as pilgrims of various age groups, from one to 75, walk the stretch of road for a "darshan of Ranchhod Rai" (Lord Krishna.) Close to a million people were expected to visit the pilgrimage shrine before the 17th, the Poonam of Holi. Since the early hours of Friday, groups of people passed along the road that joins Jashodanagar Char Rasta and Mehamdabad city. "I have made it a point to walk from Viramgam to Dakor every year for the past 30 years, except for one or two years when I had to miss it as I was not keeping well. Although it is getting difficult nowadays, I will continue to walk every year," said 75-year old Sakhiben Rathod of Viramgam. A large number of organizations have set up stalls every 50 meters along the road between Ahmedabad and Dakor. Water, juice, snacks and even food is being provided free. While devotees have been visiting the temple on the Poonam of Holi for many decades, recently the number of pilgrims has increased drastically.






Devotees Walk the Dakor Pilgrimage


Posted on 2003/3/21 8:49:02 ( 1076 reads )

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MEHAMDABAD, INDIA, March 14, 2003: All roads seem to lead to Dakor, Kheda district, as pilgrims of various age groups, from one to 75, walk the stretch of road for a "darshan of Ranchhod Rai" (Lord Krishna.) Close to a million people were expected to visit the pilgrimage shrine before the 17th, the Poonam of Holi. Since the early hours of Friday, groups of people passed along the road that joins Jashodanagar Char Rasta and Mehamdabad city. "I have made it a point to walk from Viramgam to Dakor every year for the past 30 years, except for one or two years when I had to miss it as I was not keeping well. Although it is getting difficult nowadays, I will continue to walk every year," said 75-year old Sakhiben Rathod of Viramgam. A large number of organizations have set up stalls every 50 meters along the road between Ahmedabad and Dakor. Water, juice, snacks and even food is being provided free. While devotees have been visiting the temple on the Poonam of Holi for many decades, recently the number of pilgrims has increased drastically.


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