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Elephant Race Held at Guruvayur Temple

Posted on 2002/2/25 8:47:02 ( 1059 reads )

Source: The Hindu

THRISSUR, INDIA, February 25, 2002: Out of a total of 40 of the 58 elephants of the Guruvayur Devaswom-run elephant shelter paraded before the Manjulal premises for the race, only seven elephants were allowed to run. The 39-year-old tusker, Kannan, emerged winner for the seventh time at the famous "anayottam" (elephant race) at the Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple. It is the seventh time that Kannan won. The seven elephants which participated in the race were received with blowing of the conch and "nirapara" at the front of the temple. There was a huge crowd on the temple premises to watch the race. The veterinarians, K. C. Panickar, Muraleedharan Nair, and ayurveda expert dealing with elephants, Avaniparambu Maheswaran Namboodiri, were also present at the scene. Only those elephants certified by the veterinarians participated in the race.

Shepherd Helps Police Recover Stolen Icons

Posted on 2002/2/25 8:46:02 ( 977 reads )

Source: The Hindu

TIRUNELVELI, INDIA, February 23, 2002: A tip-off given by a shepherd helped the police recover eight panchaloha (made of five metals) icons worth thousands of dollars, which were stolen from two ancient temples near here in the last two months. The DIG of Police, T. Rajendran, said that some unidentified miscreants took away four icons from the over four-century old Venkatesa Perumal Temple at Naranammalpuram about eight kilometers from here. On January 20, five icons were stolen from the Venkatachalapathi Temple at Narasinganallur. Karisoozhnthan, 13-year-old shepherd boy while grazing cattle near Tenkalam on Friday, spotted some shining objects beneath heaps of rejected limestones. A police party combed the area with the help of a sniffer dog and retrieved seven more icons from the heaps of limestones. The icon of Vishwat Thevar stolen from the Narasinganallur temple is yet to be retrieved.

Magazine on Hindus Released in Trinidad and Tobago

Posted on 2002/2/25 8:45:02 ( 882 reads )


TRINIDAD, February 23, 2002: Hindus comprise the second largest religious group in Trinidad and Tobago after Roman Catholics. Most Indians are Hindus, and Indians form just over half of the population (a total of 1.3 million) of the tiny Caribbean island. The Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council announces the publication and sale of its latest souvenir magazine, "Divali November, 2001, in Trinidad and Tobago." The theme of the magazine is the need for dialogue. It carries an interview with V.S.Naipal, the winner of the 2001 Noble Prize for Literature. There are insights into the lives of Hindus in Trinidad, political columns, and short stories within its 44 pages. Postal address for further information is Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council Swami Avenue, Don Miguel Road San Juan, Trinidad and Tobago West Indies or e-mail "source" above.

Author Seeks Authorities on Globalization From the Hindu Perspective

Posted on 2002/2/25 8:44:02 ( 926 reads )


USA, February 25, 2002: Noted religion author and editor Ira Rifkin is seeking Hindus who have written and spoken extensively about economic and cultural globalization for inclusion in his forthcoming book on religious attitudes toward globalization and how globalization has impacted religion. The book is intended as a general introduction to the subject for readers with a religious/spiritual perspective, or having an interest in that perspective. Nine or more traditions, including Hinduism, will be surveyed. Separate chapters will be devoted to each of the traditions. Activists, theologians, academics, religious/spiritual leaders and others from the pro- and anti-globalization camps are sought. Ira writes, "I'm looking for Hindus who can articulate the views toward economic and cultural globalism that are dominant in the Hindu world. I'm also interested in how Hinduism as a religion has been changed by globalism, and how Hindus, long members of a global religious/ethnic/national culture, cope with the rootlessness that accompanies globalization." HPI readers are invited to e-mail him at "source" above with their recommendation, including contact information. Because the book is being written for a North American audience, it would be best if those recommended lived in North America.

Toronto Temple Desecrated, Meeting Called for February 24

Posted on 2002/2/24 8:49:02 ( 1058 reads )

Source: Press Release, Federation of Hindu Temples of Canada

TORONTO, CANADA, February 24, 2002. According to this report on February 8th, 2002, the Gayatri Mandir of Toronto was vandalized. The sacred statues to which worship is dedicated were disfigured. The right hands on the icons of Lord Siva, Shri Hanuman, Devi Lakshmi and Devi Parvati were chopped off. The head of Mother Durga was also chopped off and the icon of Sri Ganesha was smashed against the walls of the temple. The vandals left graffiti in green paint on the walls with circles and various symbols. The Federation of Hindu Temples of Canada calls upon the mayor of Toronto, the chief of police, political leaders, all faith communities and members of the Canadian community at large to join and pray with them and collectively condemn such outrageous acts Sunday February 24th, 2002 @ 2:00 PM @ Gayatri Mandir located at 983 Dupont Street, Toronto (Dupont & Ossington). For information please contact: Nirvan Balkissoon at 905-814-1751 or 905-812-3028; Pandit Suraj Persad at 416-530-1899; Pandit Ganesh Persaud 416-537-7570

Priest Killed, Kanchi Acharya Escapes Temple Car Collapse

Posted on 2002/2/24 8:48:02 ( 960 reads )

Source: The Hindu

VELLORE, INDIA, February 24, 2002: A temple priest was killed and Vijayendra Saraswathi, the junior Acharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Math, had a providential escape when the temple chariot of the Vallimalai Murugan temple collapsed after an axle of one its front wheels broke. Police here said the annual brahmotsavam of the temple, over 30 km from here, was held today. At 6 p.m., the festival was inaugurated with the pulling of ropes of the temple car by Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi and M.S. Chandrashekharan, Ranipet MLA. The 25-foot car had hardly moved 50 feet, when the axle broke suddenly. As a result, the entire car collapsed on the road. Suresh Iyer, 25, a Melpadi village priest seated on the car, fell down and was trapped below the heavy ornate car. He died on the spot. Two youths, Ravi and Rajaraman, were injured and admitted to hospital. Three persons received simple injuries. Work is on to remove the debris. Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi was only a little distance away when the accident took place.

Renovation Complete On Ancient Balinese Temple

Posted on 2002/2/24 8:47:02 ( 976 reads )

Source: Jakarta Post

KARANG ASEM, BALI, February 22, 2002: Nineteen Hindu Pedanda high priests from all over Bali gathered to jointly conduct a rare religious ritual at Pura Goa Raja, one of 18 places of worship at Pura Besakih, the mother temple for Balinese Hindus, near Karang Asem. The priests walked around the Goa Raja temple while chanting to pray for world peace. Rituals, running from December 25 to February 28, have been conducted to commemorate the anniversary of Pura Goa Raja, after the completion of the temple's renovation project. I Gusti Ngurah Oka Supharta, an expert in ancient Balinese literature, said that Pura Goa Raja is considered one of the holiest and most important temples in Bali. Kusuma Dewa Lontar (palm-leaves) inscriptions recorded that Pura Goa Raja was a holy site where Sang Hyang Naga Tiga (three holy dragons) -- Sang Hyang Naga Ananthaboga (symbolizing earth), Sang Hyang Naga Basuki (symbolizing water), and Sang Hyang Naga Taksaks (symbolizing air) -- emerged. It is believed that Pura Goa Raja was the original source of the Balinese island. The three elements -- water, earth and air, were believed to have formed the island about 3.7 billion years ago. "The renovation and the ceremonies were conducted to preserve Pura Goa Raja as the original place of the Balinese people and the place where our prosperity came from, said I Gusti Mangku Kubayan Manik, a temple priest.

New Temple for Hamm, Germany

Posted on 2002/2/23 8:49:02 ( 997 reads )

Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine

HAMM, GERMANY, February 22, 2002: Workers are still building the temple devoted to the goddess Sri Kamadchi Ampal, but next month the special painters will come from India to color the Gods inside for the official opening in July. This gritty city on the eastern fringe of the Ruhr industrial region will have what the builders say will be the largest Hindu temple in continental Europe. To Siva Sri Paskarakurukkal, the project attests to divine will and his business acumen. Paskarakurukkal is a Tamil from Sri Lanka who arrived in Germany in 1985. Like many other of Germany's 60,000 Hindus, he had only a prayer corner in his apartment. With the help of the city authorities, Sri Paskarakurukkal found a premises in the Uentrop district, in Hamm. The simple white hall measures 88 feet square. Its exterior will be painted with red and white stripes while the larger of the two towers will be 55 feet high corresponding to the laws of one school of temple building. The estimated building cost of almost US$1.7 million is being raised through donations and interest-free loans.

Twenty-Eight Pilgrim Centers Set to Become Tourist Attractions

Posted on 2002/2/23 8:48:02 ( 880 reads )

Source: The Hindu

HYDERABAD, INDIA, FEBRUARY 18, 2002: Twenty-eight temple places in the state have been notified for incentives and concessions to be given to private parties for developing them as pilgrim tourism centers. The places are Srisailam, Mahanandi, Ahobilam, Mantralayam, Kurnool, Kandimailayyapalle, Mukha Lingam, Annavaram, Drakshramam, Antarvedi, Mandapalli, Ryali, Vemulawada, Kaleswaram, Dharampuri, Bhadrachalam, Basar, Nacharam, Arasavalli, Sringavarapukota, Korukonda, Dwaraka Tirumala, Hanamkonda, Vontimitta, Mangalagiri, Medak, Jarasangam and Khammam. The Minister for Tourism, T Srinivasa Yadav, said as a first step the Government had invited private investment to develop facilities in Tirupati. He said, the government, through the AP tourism Development Corporation, had taken up pilgrim facilities like guesthouses and upgrading of existing hotels/restaurants at a number of places. In Tirupati, ten hi-tech coaches were introduced, a multiplex theater and religious theme and amusement parks

New Edition of "On Common Ground, World Religions in America" Released

Posted on 2002/2/23 8:47:02 ( 897 reads )


USA, February 23, 2002: The Pluralism Project of Harvard University announced the release of the second edition of their CD-ROM, On Common Ground: World Religions in America, currently available from Columbia University Press. The CD-ROM has increased functionality across platforms, enhanced color display, and includes active links to the World Wide Web. The primary content remains similar to the first version: through text, image, and sound, the CD provides a snapshot of an historical moment in an emerging multi-religious America. The newest version is compatible with Windows 2000, Windows NT, Mac OS X and many other operating systems. For more information, click "source" above.

Punjab 'Holocaust' Warning

Posted on 2002/2/23 8:46:02 ( 875 reads )


PUNJAB, INDIA, February 20, 2002: We are heading towards the greatest holocaust of unborn girls in human history, according to Sabu George, a girls' rights campaigner. Girls are viewed as a burden in this community of farmers, where in the past some families would ask village midwives to kill a newborn baby if it turned out to be a female. Now because of ultrasound technology, they do not have to wait so long. A simple scan can reveal the sex of an unborn baby, and if it is a girl, the family is likely to force the mother to undergo an abortion. Sex determination tests were banned in 1994, but they continue to be performed and they are blamed for a dramatic drop in the number of girls. According to India's 2001 census, nationally there are 927 girls for every 1000 boys up to the age of six, down from 945 in 1991. Affluent states in the north and west, where ultrasound clinics first sprang up, have the lowest figures. Punjab is at the very bottom, with just 793 girls for every 1000 boys. "As the shortage becomes more and more, you will find much, much greater violence against surviving women," said George.

South African Carnatic Violinist Dead at 78

Posted on 2002/2/23 8:45:02 ( 1099 reads )


DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, February 20, 2002: The country mourns the end of an era in the passing of an incomparable violinist and music teacher, "Sangeetha Kalaimani" Arunajalam Govindsamy Pillay. Born in Pietermaritzburg in 1924 he came under the tutelage of Edward J. Govindaswami who taught him classical music and Tamil literature. In 1948, Pillay went to India to further his studies in music and literature. He took his training in violin from his guru Vidwan N.G. Krishnamurthy Iyer and after achieving proficiency in the art, the title "Sangeetha Kalaimani" was conferred upon him. Upon return to South Africa he found that opportunities in his field of expertise were limited, so he worked in the Department of Justice as a Tamil court interpreter. Pillay accompanied local and visiting carnatic musicians and taught music to his many students, mostly children. He served on the adjudication panel for the Tamil Eisteddfod and was an active member of the Vivekananda Mission of South Africa. He was articulate in both Tamil and English, but had a profound love for the Tamil language and literature. A close friend of Pillay's, Palanisamy Devan, a retired superintendent of education, eulogized him. "He played with incredible accuracy and dexterity.....and the most difficult passages were effortless. He truly believed that music is divine," Devan said. In a foreword to her dissertation on Music Amongst Indian South Africans submitted to the University of Natal for the degree of Master of Music, Melveen Jackson, lauded Pillay for "teaching me much about Indian music, music in South Africa, Indian literature, spirituality and humanity in general."

Are Indians Unaware of Their Rich Dance Culture?

Posted on 2002/2/23 8:44:02 ( 929 reads )


AMRITSAR, INDIA, February 18, 2002: After teaching his ancient art of Oriya dance to students in Singapore, Shashadhar Acharya returned home to pass on his skills and passion during a theatre workshop organized by Sangeet Natak Academy and Guru Nanak Dev University. Upon reflection of his experience in Singapore to that of India Shashadhar Acharya said, "He was impressed with the group in Singapore who showed a genuine interest in the dance. However, he felt that his countrymen remain largely unaware of the value of their rich culture and traditions, including folk dances." Having taught at the National School of Drama for ten years and at the Sriram Centre for Art and Culture in New Delhi, Acharya further elaborated on the techniques of the Oriya dance style and compared them to that of classical dances.

Delhi's Dazzling Sari Exhibition

Posted on 2002/2/23 8:43:02 ( 970 reads )

Source: The Hindu

DELHI, INDIA, February 23, 2002: "The world's most graceful dress for women is just six yards of untailored cloth. A few deft operations and you step forth with poise and presence. Here in these pages is the secret of how to do it...." Thus goes a leaflet presented by the Central Cottage Industries Emporium (CCIE) to coincide with Lavanya, a sari exhibition currently on at its premises in Janpath. Featuring a fine collection of Patan Patola, Rajkot Patola, Tie and Dye from Jamnagar, Kanjeevarams and Banarasi saris, the exhibition, indeed, unravels the beauty that is the sari. To unravel the mystery of sari weaving, especially the Patan Patolas, the CCIE had arranged presentations and talk by the eminent designer Bela Singhvi on February 16. Besides propagating the art of wearing and weaving a sari, the exhibition has also brought together a breath-taking collection of some of the finest textiles of the country -- a display that is sure to dazzle the visitor. Sponsored by the Development Commissioner for Handicrafts, the 10-day exhibition, which closed February 26, is also providing a glimpse of the rich embroidery work which goes into the making of a sari.

Truce After Two Decades of War in Sri Lanka

Posted on 2002/2/22 8:49:02 ( 830 reads )


COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, February 22, 2002: The Sri Lankan Government and Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to a permanent ceasefire as part of a Norwegian initiative to end almost two decades of civil war. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has signed a memorandum of understanding drawn up by Norwegian negotiators which puts an indefinite truce in place. The chief negotiator of the Tamil Tigers, Anton Balasingham, said the memorandum would come into force on February 24. The agreement is expected to be very detailed, covering treatment of civilians by both sides, conditions for movement of unarmed combatants in each other's territory and issues like fresh recruitment.

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