45 left dead but tropical storm misses 100,000-strong refugee camp in Burma by some distance
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Monday 28 February 2011
100BC: Religious sacrifice
In the Lotus Sutra, the doctrine upon which Mahayana Buddhism is founded, the bodhisattva Medicine King offers himself to Buddha by performing various acts of self-mutilation, including burning parts of his body.
Friday 18 February 2011
China's current status as a fountain of wealth probably means that Marco Polo's book will persist as the preferred British reading on early East-West contacts. But while he deserves due credit for his powers of observation, his standpoint remains throughout that of an expat, separated from the locals by communication barriers and concerned with the cultural sphere mainly when it affects his ability to make money. Three centuries later, we do find a man who did learn to speak the language, and to read the difficult literary texts of the cultural heritage, with the much more ambitious aim of changing China's way of thinking.
Sunday 13 February 2011
Once you get out of the Beijing suburbs, the road takes you through the hills, an increasingly dry landscape as you head north along a dusty, winding course. After just 50km, you are in a craggy, mountainous area where the breakneck expansion of the Chinese economy has no influence – more like the China we know from the long, shimmering ancient tapestries on silk.
Saturday 12 February 2011
Indian authorities have cleared the Karmapa, Tibetan Buddhism's third most important leader, in an investigation into how $1.35m (£840,000) in cash made its way to his headquarters in northern India.
Tuesday 04 January 2011
Hundreds of villagers flocked to a wedding ceremony yesterday between a 16-foot female python and her slightly smaller mate – both believed to be magic snakes that bring prosperity and peace.
Saturday 01 January 2011
Friday 31 December 2010
Anyone who has heard the religious historian Karen Armstrong speak on a public platform about the origins of faith and its role in our world will know the buzz her oratory creates around her subject. Her erudition and ability to convey complex ideas on the page, in a series of best-selling books which include A History of God and biographies of the Buddha and Muhammad, has long been widely admired. But in the flesh Armstrong brings an extra, more urgent dimension - the power to challenge audiences to consider afresh their prejudices about religion, and thus their own behaviour.
Wednesday 10 November 2010
Buddhist monks in Cambodia will be banned from taking part in a water festival this month to prevent undignified behaviour such as mingling with scantily-clad women and seeing couples kissing, the country's chief monk said today.
Saturday 11 September 2010
It's hard to pinpoint the best thing about western Arunachal Pradesh, but it's easy-peasy to put your finger on the worst. Undoubtedly, it's the yak-butter tea. The oily slicks on the tea's surface are disturbing enough, but then a rancid salty taste tinged with decaying leaves causes my throat to constrict on impact. Just two days into my Arunachal journey and I've already imbibed three doses of this in friendly villagers' homes.
Saturday 28 August 2010
Tuesday 10 August 2010
Friday 25 June 2010
Harvey's three pieces here are based around the notion of instruments simulating not so much the sound as the mannerisms of human voices. "Scena", for instance, features five tableaux in which the violin behaves like a diva.
Saturday 29 May 2010
Buddhist monks yesterday in a procession marking Vesak, or Buddha's birthday, at Borobudur temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia.
Monday 03 May 2010
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 3 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 4 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 5 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
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