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Correction for Online Meditation and Relaxation Web Sites

Posted on 2003/2/20 8:43:02 ( 1200 reads )


WASHINGTON D.C., January 13, 2003: The url for yesterday's HPI story describing internet meditation sites was incorrect. For the correct address click "source" above.

Tirupati Pilgrims Return Without Darshan

Posted on 2003/2/19 8:49:02 ( 983 reads )


TIRUMALA, INDIA, January 18, 2003: Thousands of pilgrims returned home recently without darshan of Lord Venkateswara, because the waiting time for the Sudarshan tickets exceeded 50 hours. Although the Tirumala-Tirupathi Devasthanams had geared to meet the rush of Ayyappa devotees, the arrangements fell into disarray. Angry devotees raised slogans against the TTD management and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister. Thousands of pilgrims, particularly those who had bought the special tickets, were upset at the long waiting hours and wanted to collect the laddus provided free with the tickets.

Thailand's Elephant Polo is Tons of Fun

Posted on 2003/2/19 8:48:02 ( 1039 reads )


HUA NIN, THAILAND, September 18, 2002: Top-ranked polo players have converged on this sleepy resort town southwest of Bangkok, swapping their horses for elephants in a tournament aimed at raising awareness of the plight of the endangered animals. Ten teams are competing in the five-day tournament for the King's Cup. The game of elephant polo -- versions of which were played in the jungles of Asia during the years when they were used for logging, transport, even as battle warriors -- was yanked from the dustbin of history in 1982 by a pair of unlikely proponents of the game. Thailand has joined the ranks of the steadily expanding international tour, which some players here said they want to see grow into a genuine league. The game pits two three-a-side teams of pachyderm, player and perhaps the most important ingredient, the mahout, who translates the will of the player to the animal. While far slower than the equine version of the game, the players are intrigued by the elephant's intelligence, and their seemingly intuitive play on the pitch. Despite the sporting appeal, those involved say that increasing awareness of the Asian elephant is a crucial aspect of the tournament. US$16,300 is expected to be raised for elephant conservation efforts in northern Thailand during the event.

Online Meditation and Relaxation Web Sites

Posted on 2003/2/19 8:47:02 ( 1025 reads )


WASHINGTON D.C., USA, January 13, 2003: Dozens of online meditation and relaxation web sites promise frazzled souls relief from the daily grind. Provided right at your desktop with a click of your mouse you can escape to nature (or its simulated sights and sounds) or practice desk-chair exercises (deep breathing, meditation and yoga) aimed at restoring that sense of well-being you lost at the fax machine. Readers may log onto "source" above for an array of web sites are available to check out.

Kurukshetra Hosts Hindu Youth Conference

Posted on 2003/2/19 8:46:02 ( 1010 reads )


TRICHY, INDIA, February 7, 2003: A Hindu youth conference began in the early hours with a Ganapati Homa here. Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders, Praveen bhai Togadia and Ashok Singhal, converged at Kurukshetra looking at this as the right platform to mold the Hindu youth in Tamil Nadu. The Sankaracharyas of Kanchi Kamakoti Peedam, H.H. Sri Jayendra Saraswati and Sri Vijayendra Saraswati, also addressed the youth. Gopaljee said the message of Kurukshetra would be service, self-confidence and culture of India. Only if Hindus are united and caste divisions are rooted out, can we achieve national unity, said Gopaljee. He said a plan of action would be presented to the Hindu youth and focus on ending internal divisions among the Hindus. Gopaljee said the massive conference was aimed at "rejuvenating the Hindu youth and guiding them in the right direction."

Statue to Siddhendra Yogi, Founder of Kuchipudi Dance, Consecrated

Posted on 2003/2/15 8:49:02 ( 1537 reads )


VIJAYAWADA, INDIA, February 12, 2003: To the chanting of Vedic mantras a statue of Siddhendra Yogi, creator of the world-famous Kuchipudi dance style, was consecrated in a temple constructed adjacent to the temple complex of Sri Bala Tripura Sundari and Ramalingeswara Swami in Kuchipudi Village, Krishna District. Kuchipudi exponent and internationally acclaimed dancer, Vempati China Satyam, said this was a very important day for all those performing Kuchipudi dance worldwide. "We must all remember that we are leading decent lives because of Siddhendra Yogi's bhiksha, and we must repay our debt at least in a small measure," he said. He hoped that the government would take steps for developing Kuchipudi as an international center for dance and tourism.

Footsteps of the Mahatma Tour

Posted on 2003/2/15 8:48:02 ( 1100 reads )


MASSACHUSETTS, USA, February 13, 2003: Mahatma Gandhi preached and practiced nonviolence which is now emulated by others. A two-week tour across North and West India is departing the United States on September 30, 2003, for India to walk "In the Footsteps of the Mahatma." The tour begins in Porbander, Gandhi's birthplace, on October 2, his birthday day, and will include visits to Satyagraha Ashram, Ahmedabad and Kheda, Bardoli, the Dandi Salt March Road, Aga Khan Palace in Poona and concluding in Rajghat, where he was cremated. Also included is a visit to the Taj Mahal. The cost is US$2,950.00 which includes all meals, five-star deluxe or best hotels in town and all transportation, excluding international air travel to India. For additional information, contact "source" above.

Calgary Hindu Awarded Order of Canada

Posted on 2003/2/15 8:47:02 ( 1499 reads )


CALGARY, ALBERT, CANADA, February 15, 2003: Dr Brijendra Sood of Calgary, Alberta, Canada has been named to The Order of Canada, the highest and the most prestigious honor bestowed on a Canadian Citizen by Canada. He will be receiving the insignia of this high honor from the Governor General of Canada at an investiture in Ottawa. The citation reads: "A dedicated physician, he has promoted multicultural awareness by recognizing and valuing the strengths of Canada's rich cultural mosaic. Since arriving in Canada in 1964, he has worked to develop and strengthen the social and cultural fabric of Calgary's East Indian community. He has played leadership roles in the city's India-Canada Association, Multicultural Centre, Hindu Society and Temple. The recipient of numerous honors for his ethno-cultural contributions, he was also named Outstanding Physician of the Year 2000 by the Calgary Medical Society." For more information contact Narindar Sood at "source" above.

Bangalore Temple Icon Consecrated

Posted on 2003/2/15 8:46:02 ( 1170 reads )

Source: Brahmachari Dhyanamrita Chaitanya

BANGALORE, INDIA, February 14, 2003: At 8:30 today, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma), installed the murthi at her newest Brahmasthanam Temple. Bells, traditional drums and horns accompanied the continuous chanting of the mantra "Om Sivasaktyaikya Rupinyai Namah" by the thousands of devotees present. Amma performed abhisheka to the idol, using water from kalashas presented to her by representatives from around the world, including Europeans and Americans. The unique murthi has four faces, each face depicting a different deity: Shiva, Devi, Ganesha and Rahu, symbolizing the unity inherent in the myriad deities of the Hindu pantheon: the One with many faces. Amma has consecrated 16 Brahmasthanam temples, both within India and abroad.

Billion Recitations for Goddess in Kerala

Posted on 2003/2/13 8:49:02 ( 1062 reads )

Source: www.srdm.org/ska

KERALA, INDIA, February 13, 2003: This press release states, "Jagadguru Swami Sathyananda Saraswathy Thiruvadikal, Madathipathi,Sree Rama Dasa Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is conducting Sahasrakoti Lalita Sahasranama Archana, hitherto unparalleled, for the peace and well being of the universe. The recitation of the names of the Goddess is planned to involve 10,000 priests, 5,000 assistants and 3,000 volunteer helpers on a daily basis." The formal recitation of God's name is done for several reasons. First, it is a devotional exercise to bring one closer to God by meditating on the His many forms and powers which are described by the names. Second, the sacred names are themselves regarded as a subtle form of God, the very sound of the words being directly connected to the Diety. Third, chanting as a physical process is extremely quieting to the mind and nervous system, propeling the chanter into a higher state of consciousness. Extensive training on the archana (name recitation) is being imparted to more than 300,000 people from all cross sections of the society across Kerala, parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uthar Pradesh and other parts of India. Click "source" above for more details.

Vedic course For Expectant Mothers

Posted on 2003/2/13 8:48:02 ( 1165 reads )


PATNA, INDIA, February 12, 2003: Sujeet Jha, a post-graduate from Hindu College in Delhi University, is opening a unique institution, Sanskar, in Patna. It will offer a course for expectant mothers, from pregnancy through the first five months of infancy, aimed at helping the child in the womb to absorb good "sanskar" (values) through Vedic chants. The two-month course, named "Vaidehi," will be include classes teaching the Vedic ways of bringing up children after birth. "It is our belief that child starts learning right in the mother's womb," said Sujeet. He said that expectant mothers would be taught Vedic slokas, yogic postures and exercises. The aim is to provide expectant mothers with confidence to undergo the experiences of childbirth and overcome post-natal depression. Sujeet's institute will also offer a course named "Lav-Kush," (after Lord Rama's children) for children ages 4 to 8, aimed at instilling a sense of self-discipline and respect for ancient heritage.

Seattle Area Hindus Bless Cultural Center

Posted on 2003/2/12 8:49:02 ( 1063 reads )

Source: Seattle Times

SEATTLE, USA, February 11, 2003: Just off Interstate 405 in Bothell, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, at the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center, Hindus began blessing the US$1.5 million center yesterday. The recently completed cultural center is a first for the Pacific Northwest. Since the 1980's area Hindus have been meeting for satsang while raising money, planning and building the center. They chose the four-acre plot in Bothell for its proximity to I-405 and other major roadways, because people are expected to come from as far north as Bellingham and as far south as Portland, said Ram Prasad, a member of the group. The meeting hall sits on just a portion of the four acres, leaving room for an actual temple, they hope to have built within five years. "I cannot emphasize to you how important this is to us. For a lot of people it is a dream come true," says Chittamuru, another member of the group. HPI: Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniyaswami gifted a Ganesha murthi to the group several years ago to help them bring up the temple and offered advice when called upon. Gifting Ganeshas to Hindu groups around the world was Gurudeva's custom, as he worked to help Hindus living outside India build temples for their communities.

Pesticide Content in India's Bottled Water to be Quantified

Posted on 2003/2/12 8:48:02 ( 982 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, February 12, 2003 : Following a recent controversy where a NGO, the Center for Science and Environment, found detectable levels of pesticide residues in some of India's leading brands of packaged water, India's health ministry has decided to bring amendments to the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA). The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) regulations now state that the content of any single pesticide in water should not exceed 0.0001 milligram per liter, total content of pesticides should not be more than 0.0005 milligram per liter and testing methods to be used by the industry would be prescribed by the BIS. However, they added that it might take some time for the final notification to come through as the bottled water industry would be given time to respond to the draft and also to make the necessary technological changes for the testing. Previous to this, the PFA Act had been vague on the issue of pesticide levels saying only they should be "below detectable limits."

Hindu Marriages Popular in Kerala with Non-Hindu Foreigners

Posted on 2003/2/12 8:47:02 ( 1252 reads )


KOCHI, INDIA, February 12, 2003: Traditional Hindu marriage rituals are fast becoming popular among Westerners who crisscross continents and fly to Kerala to take their wedding vows. The former Dutch palace at Bolghatty, now a hotel of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, was the venue of one such wedding on Monday. For the bride, Nicola Pauling, a journalist with Reuters and groom John Freeman, a pharmaceutical retailer from UK, Kochi was their dream venue, which they chose six months ago after a visit here. Two weeks ago, a Canadian couple, who had been married for 40 years, were married again in traditional Hindu style. HPI adds: British Rock star Mick Jagger and supermodel Jerry Hall were married in Bali on November 21, 1990, in a Hindu ceremony. A British high court ruled their Hindu marriage null and void August 13, 1999, because it did not adhere to the laws of Indonesia. Regarding marriage in Indonesia the law states, "Law No. 1 of 1974 concerning marriages in Indonesia, Article 2 (1): a marriage is legitimate if it has been performed according to the laws of the respective religious beliefs of the parties concerned." To be married in a Hindu ceremony in Indonesia one must already be Hindu, or sign a paper before the marriage that you are converting to the religion of your spouse (who must already be Hindu). A Hindu marriage of non-Hindus may similarly be invalid in India. A related question is whether Hindu priests should perform wedding ceremonies for non-Hindus if they are already married as was the case in Kerala. Bali priests rethought their policies after the Jagger annulment. Readers with comments, please send them to HPI.

Militant Hindu Group Cleared of Involvement in Missionary's Death

Posted on 2003/2/12 8:46:02 ( 1566 reads )


ORISSA, INDIA, February 12, 2003: This report from The Voice of the Martyrs, Canada, a Christian watchdog group, states, "Four years after the murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons, India's Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has claimed that none of the suspects are members of the militant Hindu group, Bajrang Dal. Graham Staines and his two minor sons -- Philip and Timothy -- were burnt alive as they slept in a jeep at Manoharpur in Keonjhar district in Orissa on January 23, 1999. Eyewitnesses to the murder reported that those responsible were shouting, 'Bajrang Dal Zindabad' ('Long live Bajrang Dal'). Several of those arrested for the murder were also reported to be members of the group that is actively opposing Christianity and Islam in India, including training volunteers to fight against them. Bajrang Dal [has always denied] any responsibility for the attack on Staines. 'We were framed,' said Subash Chouhan, the chief of the Bajrang Dal's Orissa unit. 'Now the truth has come to light.' "

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