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Icon Recovered from Well Inside Puri Temple

Posted on 2001/11/12 8:49:02 ( 961 reads )


PURI, INDIA, November 12, 2001: The icon of Madan Mohan, found missing from Sri Jagannath Temple, was recovered from inside a well in the temple complex on Monday, official sources said. Another icon of Narayani, also missing since Sunday, is yet to be traced. The two feet high astadhatu (eight metals) idol of Madan Mohan, regarded as representative of Lord Jagannath was sighted in a well inside Nilachal Upabana in the 12th century temple complex. Fire brigade personnel pumped out the water and retrieved the icon, the disappearance of which had caused commotion in the temple town forcing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to seek a government probe. There are over a dozen wells inside the shrine complex and efforts were on to pump out water from them to trace the icon of Narayani.

Returning to Religion -- Fashion or Natural Transition?

Posted on 2001/11/12 8:48:02 ( 950 reads )


NEW YORK, USA, November 10, 2001: Shoba Narayan, a working mother residing in New York, reflects on her return to religion. "Recently, I had an epiphany of the sort one normally experiences in middle age: I realized that, within my social circle, religion had become quite fashionable. Many of my friends are middle-aged Hindu Indians with successful careers and at least two children. Like me, they came to this country over a decade ago, usually carrying nothing more than a suitcase and a few hundred dollars. They wanted to offer their kids the best of the East and West: Eastern tranquility combined with Western go-getting. So we return to the temple. Last weekend, for instance, I stood before the icon of the God Ganesh at the Hindu temple in Queens, muttering incoherent Sanskrit chants as I clutched the hands of my four-year-old daughter, Ranjini. I felt like an impostor caught in the middle of a strange, surrealistic set. I was part of the scene, yet I wasn't. I had become a born-again Hindu, that's what. Now on Sundays, I drag my daughter to the temple. Instead of wearing figure-hugging designer clothes, I wear voluminous saris. I don't scoff at tradition; I attempt to follow it. I have turned into someone I had sworn I would never become: a Hindu mom."

Funding for Spiritual Healing Study

Posted on 2001/11/12 8:47:02 ( 1002 reads )


SCOTLAND, U. K., November 12, 2001: Researchers at a Scottish university have been awarded government funding to investigate the effects of spiritual healing on asthmatics. The Scottish Executive is backing a team of scientists from Aberdeen University in their bid to test the effects of spiritual healers on 50 people and will investigate claims by practitioners that they can channel healing energies by passing their hands over a patient's body. Some asthmatics claim to have derived some benefits from spiritual healing but researchers at Strathclyde University say the problem is closely related to dust mites.

Empowered Dalits Convert to a New Home

Posted on 2001/11/11 8:49:02 ( 956 reads )


HIVALI, INDIA, November 11, 2001: In Uttar Pradesh, Dalits are taking Buddhist vows and firing parting shots at the upper castes. Leading the movement is Udit Raj, an income-tax official who headed the November 4 conversion ceremony of thousands of "outcaste" Hindus to Buddhism in Delhi. "Since we were thwarted in Delhi [by the police preventing more Dalits from attending], I will now carry it on in villages," says the president of the All-India Confederation of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribe Organisations. Of the 7,000 residents of this dusty village, 3,000 are Dalits. Udit Raj says: "Embracing Buddhism is a sort of homecoming for us. Buddhism, after all, was born here." A forest of hands goes up when he asks, "How many of you will further propagate the Buddhist message? Let nobody address you as a Dalit. Tick him off and tell him to address you as a Bodhi."

Two Sacred Icons Stolen from Jagannath Temple

Posted on 2001/11/11 8:48:02 ( 934 reads )


PURI, INDIA, November 11, 2001: Close on the heels of the burglary at the 11th century Lingaraj temple at Bhubaneswar a week ago, miscreants stole two icons including that of Lord Madan Mohan from the Sri Jagannath temple here early on Sunday. The two-foot-high ashtadhatu or eight metal idol, regarded as the representative of Lord Jagannath, was found missing when workers came to open the sanctum sanctorum of the 12th century shrine at dawn on Sunday. The silver idol of Narayani, the deity of the new moon day, was also untraceable, temple administration sources said. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that his government would ask for a CBI inquiry. In the meantime, the investigation is being carried out by the state crime branch of police.

Hindus gather for Durga Puja in Wales

Posted on 2001/11/11 8:47:02 ( 1078 reads )


CARDIFF, WALES, October 26, 2001: Hundreds of Hindus joined together in Cardiff for a feast at the city's India Centre as the community joins others across the world in celebrating Durga Puja. Friday's colorful event marks the culmination of 10 days of festivities and religious ritual at the Centre in Splott. Up to 200 of Cardiff's Hindu community have been gathering there each day, in worship of the goddess Durga. The President of the Hindu Cultural Association (Wales), Prabhat Kumar, described it is a major event in the Hindu calendar. A statue of Durga was commissioned in Kolkata (Calcutta) and imported for the event. The India Centre was opened two years ago. Since 1989, committee members had been driving up to 250 miles every Sunday, going from door-to-door collecting donations from the 8,000 strong Hindu community across south-east Wales. The UK Millennium Commission finally came to their aid, ten years later, offering a grant of US$466,000. This enabled the committee finally to build the $874,000 community centre.

This Diwali Has Lost Its Sparkle

Posted on 2001/11/10 8:49:02 ( 942 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 10, 2001: Markets are relatively deserted, retailers are disillusioned. It's apparent that a depressed economy has eaten into the country's biggest spending season, with everyone penny-pinching. Business has been less than ever before and shows no sign of picking up even with the festival of lights only a few days away. With higher international prices and a deepening economic slowdown, jewellery dealers, big and small, say business is less than 50% of that expected. There is, in fact, no sector that is not feeling the pinch. People are thinking twice about making smaller purchases too. Apparel stores across town have slashed prices and are offering freebies and discounts galore. State emporia, too, have put up traditional festive season discounts, but the festivities are clearly low-key. Puneet, a dealer in dry fruits, says demand is poor. "The war, tighter security is affecting the mood of the people. Nobody is spending." Even the price of gold is being impacted, according to a report by Reuters. They say, "Traders and industry officials said demand for gold jewelry in top-consumer India is likely to remain depressed despite the Hindu festival Diwali and the wedding season this month because of high international prices and a deep global slowdown." The price of gold briefly reached $300 after September 11, but has now dropped back to around $280.

Devotees to Sati Temples Do Not Glorify Sati

Posted on 2001/11/10 8:48:02 ( 981 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 7, 2001: A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the commission of sati (Prevention) Act 1987, which bans sati and its glorification, but held that the act did not apply to existing sati temples. The 1987 Act was enacted in the wake of the suicide of Roop Kanwar on the pyre of her husband in September, 1987 at Deorala in Rajasthan. There are, however, a number of ancient temples, many in Rajasthan, upon the site where a widow had committed sati in the past. The contention on behalf of the sati temples involved in the legal action was that the temples and the devotees concerned neither observed any ceremony in connection with the practice of sati, nor did they support or glorify the commission of sati as defined under the Act.

Seminar on Hindu Dharma Success With Educators

Posted on 2001/11/10 8:47:02 ( 1039 reads )


HOUSTON, TEXAS, November 8, 2001: A hundred teachers, counselors and psychologists from the Houston school districts gathered at the Strake Jesuit College to attend the first seminar on Hindu Culture And Values, held by the World Hindu Council of America (Vishwa Hindu Parishad / VHP) -- Houston Chapter. Erudite Hindu scholars and members of the community sought to simplify for the better understanding of those attending, Hindu concepts of God and worship, scriptural teachings, traditions, arts, culture, family and social structures. The three-hour seminar, the first in a series of many held in the hope of promoting better understanding between teachers and their students of Hindu faith, went a long way in dispelling several misconceptions about Hindu beliefs. "This was a super learning experience," enthused clergyman Rev. Roger D. Christman. Houston Independent School District psychologist Dr. Kellie Gray-Smith was excited about future seminars of the same. "We learned a lot," she said. For more information email VHP president Beth Kulkarni at "source" above.

Christian Radio Station Warned Over Content

Posted on 2001/11/10 8:46:02 ( 1025 reads )


LONDON, U. K., November 10, 2001: London-based Premier Christian Radio was given a "yellow card" by the Radio Authority for a number of breaches of program rules, including criticism of other religions. Premier said it has since introduced "rigorous measures" to prevent offensive material being broadcast in future. The authority warned of "substantial sanctions" if more occur. They included one instance where the Koran and the holy books of Hindus and Buddhists were described as "full of superstition and absurdities." The watchdog's program code does not allow religious beliefs to be denigrated or attacked. The Radio Authority, a government agency, is responsible for all stations except those of the BBC, and invites any complaints about radio broadcasts to be e-mailed to : reception@radioauthority.org.uk

Bangladeshi Hindus Held at Border

Posted on 2001/11/7 8:49:02 ( 1105 reads )


BANGLADESH, November 7, 2001: Bangladeshi border guards have detained 124 people belonging to the country's minority Hindu community while they were trying to cross the border into India. Police officials from the southern border district of Satkhira said the detained included many women and children. None had any valid travel documents. Local journalists say these Hindu families were apparently fleeing their villages following reports of torture on Hindu communities in different parts of the country. The detained Hindu families told police officials they were travelling to India to meet relatives. Civil rights groups in Bangladesh say Hindus are being targeted for having voted against the ruling four-party coalition in last month's general election.

Divali Nagar 2001 Opens in Trinidad

Posted on 2001/11/7 8:48:02 ( 1044 reads )

Source: By Anil Mahabir, Hinduism Today Trinidad Correspondent

CHAGUANAS, TRINIDAD, November 6, 2001: The annual Divali Nagar opened tonight at the National Council of Indian Culture grounds located in Chaguanas, central Trinidad, the birthplace of 2001 Nobel Literature Laureate VS Naipaul. The feature address, at the opening ceremony, was delivered by Swami Shri Manas Datta of Mysore India. The Nagar, which runs until the night before Divali day, will feature religious songs, books, lectures, theatrical performances and readings from the Ramayana, Gita, Vedas and Upanishads. A special emphasis will be on the works of Indian-born artist Satya Narayan Mourya, who is being featured at the Nagar for the second consecutive year. Lighting the first deya was Pundit Ramesh Tewarie of the Edinburgh Hindu Temple. The Prime Minister of Trinidad, Basdeo Panday and his wife Oma Panday will be visiting the Nagar on Saturday, November 10th. Two formal dining areas for patrons with gourmet tastes will be opened this year, as well as a food court which will serve vegetable "Indian" dishes indigenous to Trinidad, as well as vegetable dishes from all over the world. The theme of the 2001 Divali Nagar is: "The Hindu Contribution to World Science." Thousands of Trinidadians, many of them non-Hindus, as well as non-Trinidadians, are attracted to this annual week-long event.

Temple Chariot Burned in Flushing, New York

Posted on 2001/11/7 8:47:02 ( 952 reads )

Source: India Tribune, Chicago

FLUSHING, NEW YORK, October 24, 2001: The 20-foot-tall chariot of the Ganesha temple here was burned in a suspect arson attack. The chariot had been used for two decades to take Lord Ganesha around the streets of Flushing in the annual Ganesh Chaturthi festival. No one was hurt in the incident, and only the chariot burned, as it was kept in the back yard of the priest house across the street from the temple. The artistically carved chariot was made in Karaikkudi, Tamil Nadu, South India.

British Schools Want Ban on Caning Lifted

Posted on 2001/11/7 8:46:02 ( 1058 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, November 6, 2001: More than 40 British private schools are asking the High Court to restore corporal punishment two years after it was outlawed. Their headmasters say that discipline has plummeted, and students have become more unruly since the cane was banned. Physically punishing children with a cane or anything else was outlawed in fee-paying schools in 1999 and in all state schools two years before that. Since then, any teacher carrying out any form of corporal punishment faced being sent to prison. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children condemned the move to restore corporal punishment, saying children should enjoy the same protection from physical assault as adults. Director Will McMahon of the Forum on Children and Violence, said that if force is used on children, they are taught that it is right to inflict force on other people. Increased teacher training in alternative, nonviolent, methods of discipline successful in many schools around the world is needed.

Hindus Celebrate Festival of Thimithi in Singapore

Posted on 2001/11/6 8:49:02 ( 1033 reads )


SINGAPORE, November 6, 2001: About 3,500 Hindu devotees walked barefoot across a 6-meter-long pit of red-hot coals yesterday to celebrate the annual Hindu festival of Thimithi. They gathered at the Sri Mariamman temple in South Bridge Road to offer prayers hours before performing the fire walk, which is a form of penance or thanksgiving in honor of the Goddesses Sri Mariamman and Sri Draupathai Amman. Only men are allowed to perform the ritual. The Sri Mariamman temple was packed with about 6,000 visitors, who had come to give moral support to the participants. A priest from the temple led the way in the firewalk, carrying a karagam--a silver pot containing water, neem leaves, flowers, lemon and other sacred items on his head. He was followed by the devotees. Some walked while others dashed across the pit of burning embers. When they reached the other end of the pit, they soaked their feet in goat's milk. They then smeared turmeric powder on the soles of their feet and on their forehead so that they would be blessed from head to toe.

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