Where is the Action Plan?
Your journal is quite fantastic. An especially helpful addition would be action plans. Regarding the article Educating India, (Apr. 1999), what can we Vedic people do to help rectify this injustice? Who can we contact? Is there a database of important leaders that we can call, email, fax, etc. to lend our moral, spiritual, emotional and financial support? Insight without action leaves the soul unfulfilled.
* Shraddha, thank you for this excellent suggestion. We try when possible to provide access to action resources. For lists, contact:
a) American Hindus Against Defamation
--Ajay Shah (integral) email@example.com
b) Indian American Intellectuals Forum
--Prof. Romesh Diwan, (integral) firstname.lastname@example.org
c) Foundation for the Advancement of Arts and Sciences of India
--Prof. Ravi Kulkarni (integral) email@example.com
Pejawar is in Karnataka
We eagerly wait Hinduism Today's arrival, with its brilliant articles. Your magazine is worth its weight in gold. Choodi Shivaram's Educating India (Apr. 1999) is well researched and succinctly reported. We found one error: "Sri Vishvesha Theertha Swamiji of Pejawar Monastery" is in Udupi, Karnataka State and not in Kerala as printed.
Sunanda and Uppunda V. Bhat
Wider Coverage is Better
I was very happy to see the March cover story giving so much prominence to ayurveda (Rediscovering Ayurveda, Mar. 1999.) Unfortunately the article was on one institution rather than on ayurveda in general. Your correspondent could have done better justice to the intent to propagate ayurveda by contacting a larger number of institutions and individuals.
P. R. Krishnakumar
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
Root Cause of Animal Sacrifice
I tend to disagree with Maneka Gandhi when she states that "discussion of animal sacrifice should be divorced from religion" (Animal Sacrifice, Apr. 1999.) The root cause of animal sacrifice is the misinterpretation of religion by Hindu priests, who deliberately or ignorantly misguide their clients. Animal sacrifice flies in the face of the basic tenet of Hinduism, ahimsa parmo dharmah ("Nonviolence is the supreme religion"). Even Manu Smriti, often cited to justify animal sacrifice, takes a very dim view of animal slaughter: "Meat can never be obtained without injury to living creatures....shun the use of meat (5.48). He who permits the slaughter of an animal, he who cuts it up, he who kills it, he who buys or sells meat, he who cooks it, he who serves it up, and he who eats it, must all be considered as the slayer of the animals." (5.51)
Detroit, Michigan, USA
More Than Relaxation!
Readers need a counterweight to the hypothesis that hatha yoga was ever intended to serve the visible purpose of reducing "stress." Yogic postures and "diaphragmatic breathing" are meant for the realization of the Absolute by harnessing dormant powers within the human body and by accumulating tapas. The practice of hatha yoga must be restricted to adherents to the Hindu philosophy that, by intense effort, the individual soul can merge into an impersonal "Ocean of Being." Otherwise we will convert the fabulous gifts of ancient India into a New Age faddish facade, like Chinese T'ai Ch'i Ch'-uan /Chi Kung has become in the absence of any true understanding of Taoist philosophy.
Slough, Berkshire, UK
Beauty and Simplicity
I have seen so many magazines and newspapers of Hinduism but Hinduism Today is the greatest. You have really mastered the balance between beauty and simplicity.
Ayurveda, World Health System
"Ayurveda, India's Affordable Health System" (Mar., 1999), prompts me to add that ayuveda can also be the world's health system. An important aspect of this is adapting the ayurvedic energetic model to local herbs and foods. Dr. Vasant Lad and David Frawley started this work years ago. By using local herbs and foods, ayurveda will remain affordable in any country. My own five years experience practicing ayurveda in Europe shows that this local adaptation, in most cases, gives better results to the patient. This shows the greatness, the universal nature and vision of the rishis who developed the methodology of ayurveda, which remains as valid today as ever.
Hindu Temples Must Educate
During the last two decades, many Hindu temples have come up in America. But temples are custodians of Vedic heritage and have onerous duties, not limited to ritual worship alone. Their real test lies in how far they are able to spread Vedic literacy among the youth. They need spiritual awakening and temples have to fulfill this obligation. Temple trustees need to focus on Vedic literacy through Bal Vihar, Sunday schools, Gita classes. Living in a multi-racial and materialistic Western society, left to themselves, the youth are likely to pursue false identities of life, not relevant to Vedic culture and Hindu ideology.
Ved Vyas Gandotra
Siddeshvari Devi Right On!
What a wonderful message to humanity. I am distributing it to all the Southern Christian people who work with me. That Car Won't Bring You Happiness, Minister's Message, (Mar. 1999) They enjoy receiving your Minister's Message whenever I come across such a powerful one. Many acharyas taught "Happiness is in you." But they don't explain what it means. Sushri Siddeshvari Devi correctly identified that Happiness. Devi's simple message to young and old alike is an eye-opener. That part of soul identified with the Brahman is endless bliss which is residing in you. Seek that happiness. My children understood this message and its truth as explained to them in their desire for the materialistic things. I cannot believe a 39-year-old young saint can give such a powerful message that touched our hearts deep inside. I believe it's a God's message through this saint.
* Maneka Gandhi's husband, Sanjay, died in an airplane accident. He was not assassinated as stated on page 34 of our April issue article, Animal Sacrifice.
* The scholar in the white shirt of the second photo of page 33, Om Muruga! (May, 1999 was not Patrick Harrigan, but Alexander Dubianski of Moscow State University.
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