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BHATKAL, KARNATAKA. INDIA, March 30, 2015 (Bhatkal News): HPI Note: The original article states:

"Bhatkal Hanumanth Temple's historical Rath (Chariot) was pulled on March 28 evening by a huge gathering of Hindu brethren with traditional fervor and in a peaceful manner. There were special arrangements for pooja (worship) and in the evening, the chariot was pulled by large number of devotees."

"Thousands of devotees had flocked here for seeing the rath and its pooja (worship). This event designates historical Hindu-Muslim brotherhood and as usual today also, a group of Hindu brethren under the leadership of Surendra Shahnbhag, went to Chirkin Shabandari's house at Sultan Street and took permission from Ansar Shabandari to pull the chariot."

This article, ... /articleshow/45944454.cms,
recounts the origin of the custom--but gives no precise date--in this town which saw severe communal riots in 1993:

"Every April, the Channapattana Hanuman Temple in the middle of the town takes out a procession of its prized chariot, carrying the God. But it is not done without the permission of the Muslim Shahbandari family.The story goes that several years ago, the chariot broke down during an annual procession. The temple authorities and local Hindu worshippers didn't have the money to repair it and get on with the procession. That's when Shahbandari family pitched in with funds. Since then, the ritual of seeking their permission before taking out a procession began. 'Many years later, some youths found it ridiculous to seek permission from a Muslim family and protested. That year, the chariot was brought out without permission and it's said to have developed a snag again in front of the Muslim house. No one has broken the ritual since,' says Qamaruddin Mashaikh, a local. As a tradition sweets are exchanged between the temple authorities and the Shahbandari family during the ritual."



EDISON, NEW JERSEY, March 28, 2015 (Dharma Conference): Hindu Students Council (HSC), the largest Hindu youth organization in North America, announced today that it will host the Global Dharma Conference 2015 to commemorate its 25th Year Anniversary on September 11-13. The 2015 conference, to be held at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, in Edison, New Jersey, aims to explore and understand the multi-faceted applications of Dharma for the Self as well as for the Society and the World - whether through the multi-faceted systems of Yoga or the invaluable teachings of Vedas and Vedanta. Hence, the conference will feature talks, workshops, performances and music that depict various expressions of Dharma.

With a theme of "Reconnect, Rejuvenate and Realize," Global Dharma Conference 2015 will build upon the success of the first conference and will feature several prominent dignitaries, speakers, celebrity guests and artists from around the world. For more information, please visit and or email us at



Like treasure hidden in the ground, like flavor in the fruit, like gold in the rock, and oil in the seed, the Absolute is hidden in the heart.
-- Akka Mahadevi, twelfth-century Vira Saiva saint



INDIA, March 30, 2015 (by Rupa Subramanya, Firstpost): An unsettled and ongoing debate in the area of foreign development assistance concerns the extensive role played by faith-based organisations (FBO). In the US context, in particular, FBOs have been heavily involved in the delivery of both domestic social and foreign development assistance activities funded by the US government. One of the principal avenues through which FBOs receive taxpayer support is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Indeed, several major US-based FBOs, which receive USAID funds, are active in India in a big way. An obvious concern is that when explicitly religious organisations are funded by tax dollars, what happens if those organisations are tempted to use the funds for proselytising activity rather than just the intended humanitarian or charitable purpose?

Nothing prevents an FBO from quickly transitioning from a humanitarian activity such as disaster relief to evangelizing to the same group of people -- and such activity is widely reported. Second, as monies are fungible, the fact that FBOs receive government support means that they can transfer money away from humanitarian activity toward proselytising, and still come out ahead financially. This sort of activity, blending charity and Christian evangelism, has aroused the concern of the Indian government. "Can social service not be performed without resorting to conversion and will any country allow changes to its demographic character?" asked India's Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently while addressing a government commission charged with protecting the rights of minorities in India.

For more, go to source



UNITED STATES, March 25, 2015 (Washington Post): Rice, the lifeblood of so many nations' cuisines, is perhaps the most ubiquitous food in the world. In Asia, where an estimated 90 percent of all rice is consumed, the pillowy grains are part of almost every meal. Rice is popular because it's malleable--it pairs well with a lot of different kinds of food--and it's relatively cheap. But like other starch-heavy foods, it has one central flaw: it isn't that good for you. White rice consumption, in particular, has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes. A cup of the cooked grain carries with it roughly 200 calories, most of which comes in the form of starch, which turns into sugar, and often thereafter body fat.

An undergraduate student and his professor at the University of Sri Lanka have been tinkering with a new way to cook rice that can reduce its calories by as much as 50 percent and even offer a few other added health benefits. The ingenious method, which at its core is just a simple manipulation of chemistry, involves only a couple easy steps in practice. "What we did is cook the rice as you normally do, but when the water is boiling, before adding the raw rice, we added coconut oil--about 3 percent of the weight of the rice you're going to cook," said Sudhair James, who presented his preliminary research at National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Monday. "After it was ready, we let it cool in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. That's it."

More at source.


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