17 Stories

One Key to Civilization's Rise? Fear of an Angry God

It's why strangers work together, say researchers

(Newser) - The belief in all-seeing and punitive gods may be a huge factor in how modern civilization came to be. So report researchers in the journal Nature after studying nearly 600 individuals from eight communities, including plant cultivators on the South Pacific island of Tanna, wage laborers on Fiji and in... More »

3rd Muslim Man Killed Over Beef

This time, an 18-year-old burned to death

(Newser) - For the third time in less than a month, a Muslim man has been killed over beef. In the most recent incident, an 18-year-old truck driver was burned in the cab of his truck in an Indian-controlled part of Kashmir Oct. 9 because he was suspected of transporting beef; he... More »

Idaho Lawmakers Refuse to Hear Hindu Prayer

GOP senator slams 'false faith'

(Newser) - Three Republican state senators in Idaho skipped the chamber's daily invocation yesterday because they objected to the guest chaplain's religion. The three didn't take their seats until after Hindu cleric Rajan Zed had finished his prayer, which focused on selflessness, the AP reports. "Hindu is a... More »

Cow-Pee Soda: Miracle Cure?

Hindu sect says so

(Newser) - An Indian Hindu group says it has a cure for some "70 to 80 incurable diseases ," but it might not appeal to everyone. The miracle medicine is cow urine—specifically, pee from a virgin female taken before sunrise, LiveScience reports. The head of a cow shelter in northern... More »

Rustlers Target India's Sacred Cows

As meat consumption rises, so does black market beef

(Newser) - Cows are famously regarded as "sacred" in the Hindu faith, and as such, killing cows is illegal in much of India. But as the country increasingly develops a taste for beef, a black market of illegal slaughterhouses is also growing, and alongside it, cattle rustlers are stealing more and... More »

Stampede Kills 10 at 'Largest Gathering in History'

Massive gathering attracts up to 30M devotees to bathe

(Newser) - At least 10 people were killed and a dozen more injured today after a stampede broke out at a train station in the northern Indian town where millions of devout Hindus gathered for a religious festival dubbed the "largest human gathering in history." As many as 20 people... More »

Hindus Can Sue Restaurant for Serving Them Meat

They want New Jersey eatery to foot price of trip to India for purification

(Newser) - Easy winner for lawsuit of the day: A state appellate panel in New Jersey has ruled that Hindu diners can sue a restaurant that mistakenly served them meat for the price of a trip to India, the Star-Ledger reports. The 16 vegetarians say they must purify their souls and can... More »

Debate Rages Over Yoga's Roots

Controversy spreads after Hindu group's claim

(Newser) - An American Hindu group is calling for yoga fans to be more aware of what it says are the practice’s roots in Hinduism—and the suggestion has ignited intense reactions and a debate over yoga’s origins, the New York Times reports. Those weighing in on the matter include... More »

India Elders Get Death in Honor Killing

First use of capital punishment for this crime

(Newser) - The village elders hunted the young couple down, dragging them from a bus, strangling the groom and forcing his bride to drink pesticide in an honor killing with roots thousands of years old. But for the first time, India has sentenced the murderers to death for their actions, setting up... More »

Obama Talks Childhood, Breaking Friend's Arm

He did not want to be president when he was 6, but did break kid's arm

(Newser) - In lieu of actually going to Indonesia—the visit was put off to seal the health care deal—President Obama recently sat down for an interview with a television station from the country where he spent some of his childhood. His breathless interlocutor appears focused on confirming or debunking myths... More »

Indian Temple Stampede Kills 63

Most of the victims were women and children

(Newser) - A stampede broke out at a Hindu temple in northern India today as thousands of people jostled one another to get free clothes and food, leaving at least 63 people dead and dozens more injured, officials said. Most of the victims of the stampede, whose force was so great that... More »

How Jindal Traded Vishnu for Jesus

Hindu-born La. governor's conversion could help McCain

(Newser) - When political observers talk about Bobby Jindal’s vice presidential credentials, they often mention that his devout Christian faith might sway the base. It’s a curious advantage for the Hindu-raised son of Punjabi immigrants, but Jindal’s conversion was the sincere product of a deep spiritual quest, the Wall ... More »

$10M Bond Allows Guru to Leave US

'Swami Ji' follower puts up cash after sex charges in Texas

(Newser) - A Hindu guru charged with groping two underage girls will be permitted to leave the country, despite 20 counts of indecency, after a follower put up $10 million to guarantee his return. Given how much money's involved, the arrangement to allow Prakashanand Saraswati—known as Swami Ji—passage to India... More »

Gods Go Hungry in Food Crisis

Inflation takes bite out of traditional offerings at Indian temples

(Newser) - Skyrocketing food prices have a new victim in India: Hindu deities. Supplicants offer milk and other food at temples where they pray, but with the cost of staples soaring, many are unable even to feed themselves, the Washington Post reports. "If poor people don't even have enough for bread,... More »

Indians Worship Two-Faced Baby

Little girl hailed as reincarnation of Hindu god

(Newser) - Indians are coming from far and wide to see a two-faced baby born in a tiny village, ABC News reports. Many think the little girl with four eyes and two mouths is a reincarnation of the Hindu god Ganesh. "Some people say she is like a goddess," a... More »

India Lifts Gere Kiss Warrant

Charges from smooch that scandalized India dropped

(Newser) - An Indian court has lifted an arrest warrant for Richard Gere issued last year after he publicly kissed a Bollywood star on the cheek, AFP reports. Outraged Hindus held rallies and burned Gere in effigy after he planted a few kisses on Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS awareness rally. "... More »

Nepali Goddess Retires at 11

Kumari briefly deposed last year after traveling abroad

(Newser) - Sajani Shakya, one of Nepal's living goddesses, is officially retiring at age 11, the AP reports. Religious leaders briefly stripped the Kumari of her divine status last year after she defied custom and traveled abroad, but her premature retirement isn't related to the controversy, officials say. She has "come... More »

17 Stories