Self-realization fellowship's 1997 desk calendar Inner Reflections is, no exaggeration, simply stunning. Each weekly page is faced with a phenomenal photograph from life's awesome visual wealth highlighted with a spiritual quote from Paramahansa Yogananda. Even the occasional surrealism remains true to the radiance of real nature. For the fifth year in a row, the calendar won the gold medal in the US National Calendar Awards competition.
Last september, new delhihosted a 5-day event called "Mystique India, '96" coupled with a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) conference. An estimated 300,000 visited over 100 consultants and 200 modern stalls (costing US$1,000 each) presenting mystical books, holistic health systems, magnet therapy, village handicrafts, spiritual, social welfare, educational and research institutions, rudrakshas, gems, yoga, aura photography, hypnosis, vastu, yantras--you get the idea. Over 150 astrologers, palmists and numerologists gave free consultations. Ayurvedacharyas and other therapists gave visitors free treatments, while NRIs tackled everything from international banking to match making. For information on the '97 event: Bharat Nirman, 588 Asiad Village, New Delhi, 110 049
Two Incomes Equals Double Stress
The average annual us family dual-income is US$54,865. When only the husband is employed, that figure drops to US$38,255. That's one reason working moms who want to go home find it hard to quit. But Linda Kelley, author of Two Incomes and Still Broke?, says, "They may waste huge amounts because they don't have time to comparison shop. They may spend on such stress rewards as get-away-from-it-all vacations. Then there are guilt-buys for the children whose parents are rarely home." It can be done, she advises. First figure the cost of working. Add up child-care, commuting, wardrobe, lunches out, convenience goods, housecleaning help and second income taxes. Some couples actually lose money on their second income. Project a tighter budget based on the husband's income. Prepare for more time alone and finding new friends and activities. Mothers who quit work cite the one-year mark as the point when they felt comfortable in their new [original?] roles.
Kareem Jabbar Yogi
Kareem abdul-jabbar, arguably the greatest basketball player of his time, practiced yoga throughout his 20-year career, even after he converted to Islam. Yoga magazine reported that the 7-foot 1-3/8 inch Kareem says, "Yoga was the best way to keep my elasticity. I used it preventively because it's really effective in that respect. Yoga is an integral part of a well-organized training. It will help someone achieve elasticity, persistence or whatever he wants." When he retired in 1989, Kareem had set NBA records for most points (38,387) most field goals (15,837) and most minutes played (57,446).
Krishna's New Rock Opera
Aswiss iskcon devo- tee Guido J. von Arx has conceived a rock opera called "The Song Divine," dedicated to ISKCON's founder Srila Prabhupada on the occasion of his 1996 birth centennial. Based on the Bhagavad-gita, Mahabharata and the Srimad-Bhagavatam, it "synthesizes the ancient wisdom of the East with the modern music and art of the West." With music by Vlatko Stefanovski and Hariprasad Chaurasia, the English script by Arx is in clear, rhyming verse. In Scene Three, Krishna advises Arjuna: "Perform your duty. Stand and fight! Rejoice in its beauty. And spread its light."
Manick Sorcar's spice Ganeshas bring India's multi-media to the US. His recent Denver show drew worldwide attention for his collages of news clippings which portray newsmakers like Gandhi. As a boy, he excelled in helping his magician father with lighting, backdrops and sound effects. Later he received awards for his Denver Airport lighting system, multimedia art and animation. Such is the value of taking a career that flows from the family. It's in his blood.
Muslims Burn Java Churches
On october 10, a mob of 2,000 enraged Muslims from the town of Situbondo, East Java, Indonesia, destroyed one Hindu temple, two Christian schools, an orphanage and 24 Christian Churches. They were seeking a local Muslim sect leader named Saleh who had escaped from a court hearing where he had been charged with blasphemy against Islam. It was rumored he hid in a church. Five people, a Christian minister, his family and one worker, died trapped in a church blaze. According to Christianity Today, more than 200 Indonesian churches have been been burned or vandalized since 1991.
Situbondo Muslim, Catholic, Protestant and Hindu leaders promptly issued a joint statement condemning the riot, saying, "We hope religious and community leaders will work shoulder to shoulder to foster peaceful coexistence between religious communities." The incident marred Indonesia's reputation for religious harmony. In this world's fifth most populous nation, 85% profess Islam, but acutally the majority follow a unique, syncretic faith of Hinduized indigenous spiritual beliefs overlaid with Islam. The constitution includes religious tolerance, and representatives from Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, Catholicism and Protestant Christianity hold government seats.
Village women usually work with hand-held hammers for a week, suffering injuries, to produce a knee-high pile of gravel worth US$8 for roads and concrete. A South African Bahai, Crispin Pemberton-Piggot, has invented a rock crusher that requires no fuel, oil or spare parts, only costs US$1,435 and weighs just 200 kg. It can safely produce ten or more wheel barrows of crushed rock a day. Designed in consultation with the ladies and computer modeling, the machine's hand-turned fly wheel shatters any rock between two plates with a sudden 15,000-kg force. It could revolutionize village-level gravel production throughout the world.
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India's Ayurvedic "Tourism"
Statistics on India tourism show a decline in sightseeing visitors but a growth rate of 10% among tourists coming to India for health reasons. Many "five-star" ayurvedic clinics are completely booked. Dr. T. R. Chandrashekaran, from Kerala, who oversees the small, four-rooms only, quality care Kairali Health Resort in New Delhi, told Hinduism Today, "We are seeing about 100 visitors a month from Japan, Germany, Switzerland, USA, etc. They stay an average of 14 days for serious problems like arthritis or spinal spondylitis which require complex treatments and deep daily oil massage. We provide everything, all the food and ayurvedic herbal preparations. Others may only have single-day treatments like the 17 Japanese coming tomorrow." A 14-day stay would cost 25-30,000 rupees (US$700-835). Very reasonable, considering that a simple two-hour knee operation in the US would cost US$8,000 and you would be out of the hospitial in 6 hours, while a hospital stay of 14 days with physical therapy would run US$20,000 and up.