One Mom's Thought
Shikha Malaviya concluded her recent article on the question of mothers working by stating, "Hindu society has not handed down a clear verdict" [Sept. 1995 issue]. I think the question is, "Will there be a Hindu society in the future if mothers work in the world?"
If mothers work, who will provide the stable home base from which the husband and children face the world? Raising the children [in America] is left in the hands of those in daycare or teaching positions of Christian, Jewish, atheist, New Age beliefs, imparting what they believe to our children. Staying home on maternity leave is not enough. What about the rest of the child's impressionable life?
Have we become so blinded by the glare of western materialism that we have forgotten our Hindu dharma, duty, responsibility? The grihasta's (householder) duty is to "raise children of strong moral fiber to carry on the tradition" [Dancing with Siva].Thus if a mother abandons her husband, children and home, what will the pattern for her children be? Does this make her feel fulfilled?
Staying home, being a homemaker, depends on what the mother's perspective is. If she is always thinking, "This is demeaning," then it will be; if she thinks of motherhood as a challenge and looks for creative ways to take care of her family and fulfill her own interests, then she will feel satisfied. When her children are grown up, she will know that she has contributed everything she had into making them who they are. Her children will be responsible citizens, not just a product of the non-society the West has become.
Being given the opportunity to be a mother in this life shows that this is her pattern, her duty, her destiny. She has a job to do, and it is a big one, an important one. She is the role model for her children, teaching the next generation the right way to live. Let's remember our Hindu teachings, fulfill our Hindu dharma, and create a Hindu society for the future.
Valli Sendan, Kauai, Hawaii, USA
My Alma Mater
I graduated from a RK Mission school in 1962. I am proud of my alma mater. It inculcated in me strong Bharatiya values. I take pride in my Hindu heritage every moment since I came to this country eighteen years ago. It is important that these schools can function freely in India.
I am very much disturbed by the method chosen by the RK Mission authorities to declare their organization as a minority religious entity. It was totally wrong and ill-advised. I believe that the root of all these controversies lies elsewhere, as pointed out by Dr. Karan Singh [Sept. 1995 issue]--the so-called constitutional "protection" of minority religions.
Today, there is a proliferation of English medium schools that are run mostly by the Christian missionaries of foreign origin in India. Almost all the students coming out of these schools are from Hindu households. I don't think these students, the future of India, appreciate fully their own culture after growing up in an alien environment. In consequence, this situation is destroying the Indian psyche. To counteract this trend, it is absolutely necessary for Hindu religious organizations and leaders to recognize this part of the religion, i.e., service to the poor, the weak and the downtrodden in addition to building temples and interpreting the scriptures. In the former endeavor RK Mission is doing a splendid job.
Syamal K. Bhattacharya, York, Pennsylvania, USA
Dreaming of God
A wonderful article on the Sadhus of Rishikesh. I thoroughly loved learning about these fine men devoting their lives for God. Sometimes I feel like I'm standing on an island with God, surrounded by people just not interested. Most people seem to be surrounding themselves with all the immediate demands of their daily activities (usually not including God). This article helped me see the variations of expressions that we can have of the Infinite. Also, it made me feel not alone. When I finished the article, I fell asleep and for hours dreamt of God standing near me, watching me with patience.
Name withheld by request, Creswell, Oregon, USA
Need Bangladesh News
Please publish more news about Bangladesh Hindus. Bangladesh has sixty-eight thousand villages and every village has an average of five to ten temples. You can imagine how many temples exist in Bangladesh. All are in danger!
Syamal Chandra Debnath, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Sharan and Tagore
I found your article on the internet before the magazine arrived in Paris. It is a marvelous article, a fantastic way to present Shiv Sharan to your readers [October, 1995 issue]. Many thanks. You were very kind to grant my observations so much space, which I need now to deserve. I was particularly interested in the part concerning the Agamic tradition.
Concerning Tagore, whom you refer to three times, I do not believe it can be said that Alain Daniélou "disliked" him to some extent. He, in fact, considered that it was Gandhi (not Tagore) and Nehru who knew nothing about Hindu culture. It is true that Tagore was as westernized as the others, but Daniélou always maintained a profound respect and friendship for him. It was a question of caste, no doubt, as they were both aristocrats.
Jacques Cloarec, Paris, France, Europe
Save the Old
A group of Tamil scholars in Tamil Nadu formed an association to save and publish at least 100 books found by them in arts, literature, culture, philosophy, religion, etc., all of which are in danger of extinction. One may join their association by paying $200 at one time or spread into four equal installment. Each subscriber will receive two or three books worth Rs. 400 per year. Detailed information is available at Kala Samrakshana Sangkam, 33, Dwaraka Nagar, Thanjavur, 613001 India. They need our support, sympathy and encouragement.
A. Bala-Subramaniam, Auburn, Alabama, USA
I have enjoyed your article on stress [June 1995 issue] and fine quote from Chandogya Upanishad--"The Atman is not reached by the man devoid of strength." I salute you, sir, for highlighting a timely quote, universal in nature, from the deep and rich writings of Hinduism.
Vinod K. Sarin, Waterloo, Iowa, USA
Make it Lifetime
Today my annual renewal notice arrived, and I realized that I will receive one of these annually for the rest of my life. That being the case, please accept the enclosed check for my lifetime subscription. I can no more imagine my life without Hinduism Today than I can imagine missing my daily meditation practice or weekly puja.
Your paper has been of immeasurable value to me as it serves as a gentle but persistent guide and push on the path of dharma. I am deeply grateful that your service has taken this form. It is truly a blessing to the world.
Benjamin C. Collins, Tustin, California, USA
* On page 10 of our October issue, the address for Treasures of the Heart, where you can order the book Ribhu Gita, had two mistakes. The correct ordering information is: 1834 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, California, 95060, USA. Tel: 1-800-465-0376 (USA/Canada only), 408-458-9654 (US and international), fax: 408-425-0407. Order today!