May 25, 2014 |
President Obama has invited India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, to the White House, squashing a State Department ban that kept Modi out of the United States when he was the Hindu-nationalist leader of business-oriented Gujarat state. Is the new leader a friendly capitalist, or a dangerous sectarian? I asked business leaders and scholars from Philadelphia's rising Indian community. Highlights: "The promise of a competent government and rapid economic growth have trounced the feudal forces of caste and regional interests," says Kris Singh , the India-born, Penn-trained engineer who built Marlton-based Holtec International into a global power-plant supplier.
February 11, 2013 |
I peered over the edge of the Queen's Bath, an immaculate, now-empty pool where the ladies of one of India's great empires once bathed. Then my guide, Kumar, pointed outside. "That's the moat," he said, motioning toward a deep trench ringing the building we were in. "The king filled it with crocodiles so that no one could watch the queen in her bath. " The bath was just one of many amazing buildings that I saw during my visit to Hampi, a small town in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka.
October 25, 2010 |
R USSELL BRAND and Katy Perry actually went through with it. The hirsute British rascal and the busty U.S. pop star deemed too dangerous for "Sesame Street," were married Saturday at the luxury Aman-e-Khas resort and tiger reserve in northwestern India, an anonymous hotel official said. Although we don't believe that either Russell or Katy is Hindu, a Hindu priest conducted the ceremony, which was attended by family and close friends. Security was strict. Because a London magazine had exclusive rights to the affair, photographers and reporters from other outlets were not allowed on the property.
May 12, 2010 |
The last year Kitty Bleyler and Alva Mullikin played field hockey for Upper Darby High School, the team won five, lost three, and tied one. Not bad for "the two little shorties" who powered the attack from right and left wing, recalled Mullikin. Though they stood barely 5 feet high, the pair would race down the field, outpacing even their own teammates. "Oh, those were the days," Kitty Bleyler, now Katherine Rann, recalled at a luncheon for centenarians in Delaware County.
May 24, 2009 |
A part of Bhoo Devi was still a tub of mud last week. But as two priests crouched on the floor Thursday, scooping out the mud and shaping it - here a hand, there a foot, now a face - it took on the coarse, dark contours of a goddess: the deity revered by Hindus as Bhoo Devi, or "Mother Earth. " "This is soil from the seven holiest rivers in India," explained Kasiram Dikshith, a priest of the new Bharatiya Temple in Chalfont, where Bhoo Devi was taking shape. Around him, a dozen Hindu priests from across India were busily weaving sacred grass and making intricate yantras, or mandalas, out of colored rice.
May 5, 2009 |
In a bucolic Chester County township that values open space, a Hindu sect's request to build a temple about two-thirds the size of a football field has caused a stir. The group, which has been meeting in a West Pikeland Township farmhouse since 2000, says a new complex is needed not for its small congregation but rather for its statues, which become living gods once installed. And those living gods, members say, need their space. On March 16, the township rejected the request for a 35,470-square-foot temple complex, approving a 5,000-square-foot building.
December 4, 2008 |
Dealing with terrorism in India is being called President-elect Barack Obama's first foreign-policy test. As we saw last week in Mumbai, political and religious divisions in the world's largest democracy make our disagreements seem tame by comparison. So when Obama named economist Sonal Shah to his transition team, the unifier invited division. From India to the United States, Hindus, Muslims and Christians criticized her appointment, alleging that she has links to Hindu militants.
November 8, 2008 |
Many in the Indian community in the Philadelphia area are celebrating Diwali, a Hindu religious festival that is also a secular holiday, a time to take pride in Indian culture and identity. "Anyone can walk in and really get an immersion into Indian culture, and learn about Diwali and what it means," said Jennifer Au, director of grants and international programs for the YMCA of the Upper Main Line in Berwyn. "It's our way of promoting global awareness. " Diwali is the most widely observed holiday in India, Au said.
July 14, 2007 |
Angry comic on meditative path Michael Richards, who was defrocked as a comic last year after he spewed a racist rant during a stand-up gig, has gone Siddhartha: He is on a spiritual journey in Cambodia. "That night, when I was insulted and disrupted, I lost my heart; I lost my sense of humor," Richards said of his night of shame. Richards, 57, who is questing with his fianc?e, Beth Skipp, sometimes hangs with folk from the L.A.-based Nithyananda Foundation, which follows the teachings of 29-year-old Hindu monk Nithyananda, who, his group says, is "on a mission to reestablish the science of inner bliss on planet Earth.
June 17, 2006 |
More than a century after she lived in a rowhouse on Sansom Street, a chain-smoking mystic and her teachings still attract spiritual seekers and the curious. Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky helped introduce Eastern religions to the West and practiced the occult. She inspired devotion and suspicion, and some researchers say the modern "New Age" movement began with her. Blavatsky was a cofounder of theosophy, which the Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines as "various philosophies professing to achieve a knowledge of God by spiritual ecstasy, direct intuition, or special individual relations, especially a modern movement following Hindu and Buddhist teachings and seeking universal brotherhood.