October 28th, 2010
05:07 PM ET

Dalai Lama talks of retirement

The Dalai Lama would like to retire.

"I'm also a human being. ... Retirement is also my right," the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet told CNN's Hala Gorani in Miami, Florida, this week.

Without saying exactly when, he said, "Sooner or later, I have to go. I'm over 75, so next 10 years, next 20 years, one day I will go."

The Dalai Lama also said he supports recent protests in Tibet, where students marched in opposition to government plans to teach university classes in Mandarin Chinese, instead of the traditional Tibetan language.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Buddhism • India • Leaders • Tibet

October 28th, 2010
03:48 PM ET

My Take: Why the Dalai Lama became a global icon

Editor's Note: Arri Eisen is a professor of pedagogy in Biology, the Institute of the Liberal Arts, and the Center for Ethics at Emory University.

By Arri Eisen, Special to CNN

Why has the Dalai Lama become more than just another leader in exile, just another Nobel Peace Prize winner? Why is he now an international icon of peace and positive possibilities?

The other day, some friends and I were sitting around chewing the fat, and I brought up this question because the man himself was preparing to visit our campus.

Just 20 years ago, as a Harvard scientist named Herbert Benson tells the story, he asked about inviting the Dalai Lama to the U.S. and the response was ‘Dolly who?’

What’s happened in the meantime?


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Buddhism • China • Culture & Science • India • Opinion

October 20th, 2010
07:08 PM ET

Report: Obama to skip Sikh Temple in India partly out of head covering concern

President Barack Obama will not be visiting the Golden Temple - the architectural pride of the Sikh faith - during his trip to India next month, according to the New York Times:

Revered by Indians of all faiths, it is a cherished emblem of India’s religious diversity. So it was no surprise when the gold-plated marvel was promoted as the likely third stop on President Obama’s visit to India, scheduled for early November.

But the United States has ruled out a Golden Temple visit, according to an American official involved in planning. Temple officials said that American advance teams had gone to Amritsar, the holy city that is the site of the temple, to discuss a possible visit. But the plan appears to have foundered on the thorny question of how Mr. Obama would cover his head, as Sikh tradition requires, while visiting the temple....


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Asia • Barack Obama • Hinduism • India • Politics

October 17th, 2010
06:54 PM ET

10 killed in stampede at Indian temple

At least 10 people were killed and as many others injured in a stampede that broke out during a ritual at a Durga temple in Bihar, India, the nation's official Doordarshan news agency reported Sunday via the Indian government's website.

The stampede broke out Saturday night, the news agency said, at the temple in Bihar's Banka district during the "Navrati" festival, one of the most celebrated festivals of the Hindu calendar.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Hinduism • India

October 3rd, 2010
04:22 PM ET

My take: Muslims, Hindus should accept India's holy site verdict

[cnn-video url= http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2010/09/30/bpr.india.holy.site.verdict.cnn%5D
Editor's Note: Farah Akbar is a New York-based writer who has contributed to Islamonline.net and Salon.com.

By Farah Akbar, Special to CNN

A wave of unexpected calm has blanketed India since the verdict on the disputed holy site known as Ayodhya was delivered on Thursday, with one-third of the land going to plaintiffs who represent the Hindu deity Ram, a third going to a separate Hindu group and a third to a Muslim group.

The land has been a catalyst for communal violence for years. Deploying 190,000 officers to keep the peace, India had braced itself for what it feared would be a replay of violence from decades past.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Hinduism • India • Interfaith issues • Islam • Opinion • Violence

August 26th, 2010
04:18 PM ET

Nuns mark Mother Teresa's 100th birthday

A solemn Mass at the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, India, marked the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa's birth on Thursday.

People from all walks of life gathered at the global headquarters of the order of nuns, which Mother Teresa founded 60 years ago.

"It's a great day of joy for all of us to celebrate the gift of Mother's life," said Sister Nirmala, Mother Teresa's immediate successor. "Mother who allowed God to live in her has put a bright light in the world, enlightening the hearts and minds of so many people."

Read the full post

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Catholic Church • Christianity • India

August 4th, 2010
04:23 PM ET

‘Spiritual Ritalin' for hyperactive kids?

Anyone who's had to watch a hyperactive kid may have asked for divine help at one time or another. Now there's another resource to calm unruly children: Spiritual Ritalin.

In an intriguing article titled “The Child-Meditation Miracle” in the Daily Beast, Gwynee Watkins  says more meditation centers have been answering a growing demand by frazzled adults who want to teach meditation to agitated kids: 

Merriam-Webster defines the act of meditating as “to focus one’s thoughts on, reflect on, or ponder over.” FULL POST

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Asia • Belief • Buddhism • India

July 27th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My Take: Can yoga solve India’s caste problem?

Editor's Note: Ravi S. Kudesia is founder of The Leadership Yoga and is an initiated student of Kriya Yoga.

By Ravi S. Kudesia , Special to CNN

Just over a week ago, regular Belief Blog contributor and religion scholar Stephen Prothero posted on the ills of the Indian caste system. In it, he places the burden squarely on Hinduism’s shoulders. By doing so, he stepped into a centuries-old debate about the origins and future of the oppressive social institution.

The responses were impassioned, but hardly innovative. Most detractors argued that today’s caste system has little actual basis in Hindu scripture. The hymn Prothero cited, the Purusha Sukta, comes from the Vedas–books so ancient that they're widely considered the oldest extant Indo-European texts.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: India • Opinion

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.