Welcome, welcome, and a most hearty welcome to the team of sevaksselflessly performing a much-needed religious service. Our newest franchisee in India is Sri Krishna Kumar, ayurvedic evangelist, entrepreneur and a power behind India's ayurvedic movement. There he is, standing with me in Kerala. He is intuitively teamed with the Sri Asoka Varma family [right]. Together they will be printing and promoting Hinduism Today throughout India. Their work begins this month and, with Divine guidance from within, will continue into the future of futures. In traveling across India we learned time again how much this Hindu family newspaper is appreciated. This was a rewarding journey for Acharya Palaniswami, editor, and Tyagi Arumugaswami, managing editor, who pilgrimaged with me on this mission to strengthen the future of Hinduism Today in India, to enlist writers, artists, distributors and more. While welcoming new readers in India, I also invite you to join in this global effort to inform and empower Hindus. Write to me if you are inspired to help our Indian team, in ways small or large. I will personally reply. Yes, India has awakened to a new era, and this journal is the only global diary of that Hindutva renaissance.
There is a special word that stays with me after returning from two months of traveling through India: both in the North, up to Jammu, and in the South, to Mahabalipuram. This Sanskrit word, prapatti, well depicts our new dedicated team. Its meaning is given in the lexicon of our book, Dancing with Siva, Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism,a 1,008-page text that was so very well received in the many cities, cultures and sampradayas we visited.
Prapatti: "Throwing oneself down." Bhakti--total, unconditional submission to God, often coupled with the attitude of personal helplessness, self-effacement and resignation. Rishi Tirumular states: 'Unless your heart melts in the sweet ecstasy of love--my Lord, my treasure-trove, you can never possess' (Tirumantiram 272). It is in this concept of the need for self-effacement and total, total surrender, prapatti, that members of all Hindu sects merge in oneness, at the fulfillment of their individual paths."
"Complete surrender to what?" This is the big question of the emerging Indian middle class who are being trained from Western corporate manuals as detailed as any Agama, but with two important elements missing: God and devotion. What do God and devotion have to do, anyway, with a modern corporation that gives a better material life and an upper thrust into the big time of easy money and the social position it brings? God and devotion are simply out of focus in the midst of such newness for once-traditionally-raised Hindus of almost every sect.
Yet, we know that God does have a place in modern daily life, as the Vedas explain: "Like the household fire, devotees seek the glory of the Lord even from afar and enshrine it in their inner chamber for enlightenment. The glory of our Lord is full of splendor, all-illuminative and worthy to be honored in every heart."
Whom do we and the modern Hindu executive give total surrender to in the midst of stress, in the worriment of "Will I still have my job tomorrow?" "Will my wife find a babysitter for tonight?" or "How will I ever meet the deadline for this project?" Whom must we worship: an image, a concept, a person? These may not always be available. But an inborn feeling from the soul is always there to venerate.
Nearly everyone in India has a soul that understands prapatti. It was incredible to see the devotion and be a part of it among Hindus on the streets, in their homes, in palaces, apartments and condos. Despite corporate training programs, prapattiis inherent in India, complete surrender, whether to Krishna, Ayappan, Muruga, Shiva, Ganesha, Rajarajeshwari, Swami Narayana or the family satguru. Yes, prapattiis one word that the soul of all India's peoples understand, whatever their chosen beliefs: corporate, religious, atheistic or scientific. The soul presides.
What is it that the ambitious executive is to worship or acknowledge the existence of? What is it that can help him to relieve stress? It is God energy, the same energy that is intensely felt when corporate stress is at its height. God energy is experienced by completely surrendering. It is felt in the simple raising of a hand or a leg when walking--and knowing that physical energy comes directly from God, who has so many names.
God energy is also experienced by observing the light within the mind that lights our thought pictures, like the images on a TV screen, no matter what the image may be--violent or happy, constructive or devastating--the light is the same, unconcerned, emanating from its source, God's light, parajyoti. The light of the mind, the movement of our bodies, have their source in God energy. Are we talking "Stress Makes You Strong, Part Two?" Yes, maybe we are. In the middle of the most stressful condition, we can think "prapatti." The more we submit to our karmasand bear them happily, the wiser we become. After all, we are only facing what we have set in motion. Think about it. It's true. Action and reaction is a never-failing divine law. Send energy out in thought, words and deeds; it returns.
With a positive attitude we can begin to look at stress as our friend, an intense, divine energy, a spiritual tapas, automatically called forth to help face even the most difficult corporate challenges and prevail over them. Yes, stress does make us strong, stronger still when we give into its source, God's energy, and the divine light of our mind, the One without a second.