Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wisdom Network News

Thanksgiving the Hinduism way
Thanksgiving is a way to express one’s gratitude toward our families and friends. Interestingly the Hindu religion also expresses thanks to family and friends in a unique way. The Hindu religion worships many Gods and also believes in giving respect to elders. Parents are considered next to God. In Hinduism the gesture of touching one’s feet to seek blessings is a way to show one’s respect and gratitude. (

In Bara district, where the "living Buddha[-to-be]" meditates, more than a million Hindus are preparing to sacrifice half a million animals during the festival of Gadhimai Mela. Actress Brigitte Bardot wants the inhumane practice stopped. More than 12,000 police agents are mobilized for the occasion. (

Buddhists in Vietnam appeal for UN protection
GENEVA, Switzerland -- Followers of the Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh are being harassed in his native Vietnam, and they need the United Nations to step in to protect them. In a meeting this week with an official of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), representative Trung Hai appealed for "protection" for monks and nuns who are facing "ever-stronger pressure" from the authorities. (AsiaOne News)

China has stake in Kashmir's peace: separatist
SRINAGAR, India — The leader of Indian Kashmir's moderate separatists said on Saturday that China has a stake in peace in restive Kashmir as part of the disputed Himalayan region is under Beijing's control. The statement came amid rising Sino-Indian tensions over a Chinese embassy policy of issuing different visas to Indian Kashmir residents and the disputed Indian border state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Brother: I would "probably" watch her sex tapes
Carrie Prejean's brother, Billy Arnone, says he hasn't seen her sister's sex tapes but would "probably" watch them if they were put in front of him. In an interview with, Arnone defended his sister, but didn't do a very good job of it. (Sawf News).

8 religions to mark National InterFaith Week
Representatives of eight religions gathered at Imperial this week to share insights from their faiths and to mark the beginning of National Interfaith Week.The event on Monday evening brought together speakers from Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, and Sikhism. (
  • Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Hundreds of Buddhists and animal rights activists are protesting the Hindu festival of Gadhimai Mela in Bayapur, Bara district (southeastern Nepal). During the event, half a million animals will be slaughtered. More than a million Hindu pilgrims are expected to gather for the occasion on November 24-25. Nepali authorities have deployed more than 12,000 police officers.

Laos and Burma sign travel and tax treaties
RANGOON, Burma -- Myanmar and Laos strengthened relations with the signing of visa-exemption treaty for their respective citizens and a double-taxation avoidance agreement, state media reported Saturday. The two agreements were signed Friday in the military's capital of Naypyitaw, 350 km north of the old capital Rangoon, The New Light of Myanmar reported. Myanmar Prime Minister [Dictator] General Thein Sein (pictured) received the visiting delegation led by Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. Burma and Laos, both members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), are ranked among the world's poorest countries. While Myanmar, also called Burma, has been under military rule since 1962, landlocked Laos has been under a communist regime since 1975, and remains a one-party state.

Ajahn Brahm's Buddhist nun controversy
A wonderfully detailed explanation of the relationship between the monastic community and the Vinaya, the text of rules for the monastics and one of the three main bodies of texts or Pitakas, was published on the Buddhist Channel website yesterday by ex-monk in the Thai forest tradition Kester Radcliff. (

Shroud of Turin claim sparks new debate
Nearly invisible words found on the cloth prove it was used to bury Jesus, a researcher says. Skeptics weigh in

How you can eat meat and not kill

It might be possible to produce steaks in vats without any livestock. Technology will soon advance to the point where it will be possible to grow meat inside labs, without the need for the actual living things that wear it for some time before being killed for it, say scientists. Even today, it is possible to grow tiny nuggets of meat inside special laboratories around the world, but the existing capabilities do not even come close to the vast amounts needed to satisfy the needs of the general population. Pork chops or burgers cultivated in labs could eliminate contamination problems... (Times of India).

INTERFAITH VOICES: A look at Hinduism
Hinduism is the world's oldest religion, dating back to 4000 B.C., and it is the third largest (after Christianity and Islam [when the estimated 1 billion Buddhists in China are not counted]) with nearly 900 million believers. In Alabama, Hinduism may not even make into the top 10 religions. Yet, there is a small but growing and vibrant Hindu community here in the River Region.

Indonesian lessons for secular India
If you had to pick the place in the Muslim world least susceptible to any kind of religious extremism, it would be hard to find a better candidate than Indonesia. The world's most populous Muslim country is on Islam's eastern edge, separated from the faith's Arabian birthplace by space and time. Islam washed up in the archipelago in the 12th century, took root in the 15th and became dominant as late as the 17th. For the most part, it arrived through trade rather than conquest... (The Times of India).

Tibetans to thank India, raise freedom song
BANGALORE, India -- Buddhism, Tibetan medicine, chaam dance, monastic chanting. It will be a peek into the Tibetan way of life at a festival here to thank India for providing a home to refugees from the "Roof of the World" for five long decades. The three-day long colorful cultural festival in Bangalore... (

9,000 Buddhist devotees to plead for Ming Yi
Since August last year, over 9,000 Buddhist devotees from Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan have signed a petition vouching for Ming Yi’s contributions and character to plead for leniency for him. The petitioners claimed that Ming Yi had made tremendous contributions to society. In the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami, Ming Yi led a humanitarian mission to Sri Lanka to help the homeless and displaced people there. He took another team to Indonesia in 2006 to assist the earthquake victims. (The Temasek Review).

Third day of fee protests at California universities
Students continue to occupy UC-Santa Cruz hall in protest of fee increases. University officials say they need to raise $505 million to avoid further cuts. Students issue demands to administration; official says there will be no negotiations. Demonstrators entered their third day of a building takeover at UC Santa Cruz on Saturday in protest of a tuition increase, an undertaking that a school spokesman called futile. The occupation of Kerr Hall is just one of several demonstrations across University of California campuses this week after the regent's board approved a 32 percent increase in tuition Thursday. (CNN).

Aung San Suu Kyi allowed to meet senior US envoy
Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has reportedly sent a letter to the head of the country's military government, calling for direct talks. Ms Suu Kyi has not met Senior General Than Shwe since 2002. The move comes after a recent visit by two senior US diplomats - part of Washington's new policy of pragmatic engagement with Burma. (BBC).

Buddhists from 2 Koreas to hold joint ceremony
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean Buddhist monks headed to North Korea on Saturday for a joint ceremony with monks there, showing the countries continue civil exchange despite a bloody naval skirmish earlier this month. The 13 South Korean monks in the Cheontae Order plan to hold the ceremony at a Buddhist temple in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, said a Cheontae official, who asked not to be named because she was not authorized to speak to media. (AP).

Growing Gains: 6 jobs with rising numbers
In a competitive job market, maximizing the potential of your education could hinge on a question of numbers: How many workers might be hired in a given field?

Prostitutes on display at venerable London gallery
LONDON -- The National Gallery in London, one of the world's great public collections, has put on display a seedy reconstruction of Amsterdam's Red Light District in a rare foray into contemporary installation art. (Reuters).

Atheist billboards are misguided
If parents wish their children to be brought up as Christians, or, for that matter, atheists, what right do others have to stop them? In their latest poster campaign, Ariane Sherine and members of the British Humanist Association appear to have decided that it is a Very Bad Thing that parents might try and bring up their children within a religious or philosophical framework of their choosing. They suggest it is wholly unacceptable that anyone might suggest that their own child might belong to a particular religion. (

Atheist student groups flower on college campuses
On college campuses, atheist student groups search for acceptance and struggle for identity. Whenever a student gets within a few feet, Anastasia Bodnar waves and smiles, trying to make a good first impression before eyes drift down to a word many Americans rank down there with "socialist." (ABC).

Obama presses Burma for Reforms
President Barack Obama waves after stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore.President Barack Obama has become personally involved with the United States' effort to engage with the government of Burma, making a direct appeal for the release of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners. At a Leaders meeting in Singapore, Mr. Obama reaffirmed America’s willingness to improve relations if... (VOA).