LATEST INSIGHT SECTION
The magazine HINDUISM TODAY is a treasure of information on Sanatana Dharma. My first browsing today of the magazine left indelible impressions in me. The article on karma yoga in the Jan/Feb/March, 2016, issue is thought provoking and full of inspiration.
The Insight section in the Jan/Feb/Mar, 2016 HINDUISM TODAY, entitled Karma Yoga, opened my eyes wide. How you all must have felt while writing it! I had many different thoughts and surprises. I am glad that karma yoga is a part of my life, with all my heart. I read the entire article the day I received it. Amazing grace.
I thoroughly enjoyed your special coverage of Karma Yoga—Jan/Feb/Mar, 2016. Having been thoroughly convinced of the non-dualistic Vedanta philosophy for a long time, I especially liked Shankara’s quote, “The conclusion of the Gita and all the Upanishads is this, that moksha can be attained by knowledge alone, unaided by action.” Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga can be the means to Jnana Yoga but cannot be the ends by themselves.
ALBANY, CALIFORNIA, US
Greetings from San Antonio. I enjoyed reading the article chronicling Hinduism’s evolution from Jaffna to UK in your Oct/Nov/Dec, 2015, issue of HINDUISM TODAY. It touched a personal chord in more ways than one. The late Mr. Ratnasingham and Mrs. Ratnasingham’s (referenced many times) daughter Geetha is married to my mother’s late sister’s son, Dr. Maheshwaran. Geetha Ratnasingham’s “voice” is referenced on the last page of the article. My first cousin Dr. Maheshwaran, along with his parents and siblings, left Colombo, Sri Lanka, for UK in the 1980s as a result of the ethnic unrest.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, US
PASSED AROUND TO ALL
It was a pleasant surprise to receive the courier delivering HINDUISM TODAY. The cover photo gives the impression that we are actually present at the arati for Ganga Mata in the evening; excellent photography. First the magazine changed hands within my family members and everybody wanted to look at the article and the photos. Then came the turn of the pilgrims who are on short stay with us. By the time I could lay my hands on the magazine, three days had passed! Everyone appreciated it and wanted to have a copy. We all appreciate the sincerity, efforts and hard work everybody puts into bringing out the magazine with great detailed information.
Rajiv Malik ji, I thank you for remembering us and sending us the magazine. Your report is true to every aspect we discussed. I am glad to inform you that we look forward to your next visit with warm hearts.
CUBAN HINDUS NEED RESOURCES
First, I sincerely hope you’re receiving the Lord’s blessing. Second, I want to thank you for all the work you’re doing in favor of Hinduism. If I knew you before, I’d be a better Hindu than I am now. But here in Cuba we have a proverb, “better late than never,” and I firmly believe that. Thank you so much for all your efforts and for giving us so much enlightenment. Let me know if you have any mission in Latin America I can write to and ask more questions. Your message is only known by English-speaking Cubans such as myself. I’m from Cuba and it’s a difficult country to get information about the rest of the world, but it’s also a country with many spiritual needs. Here there are different Hindu communities that go unknown. These institutions and communities are not officially recognized. I know many persons with interest in Hinduism and many of them are not practicing right now because they don’t have the information required and no suitable spiritual guide.
✓For materials in Spanish and other languages, see himalayanacademy.com/readlearn/other-languages [http://himalayanacademy.com/readlearn/other-languages]
HINDU ASSOCIATION OF EUROPE
In the Oct/Nov/Dec, 2015, issue, the article covering London’s Hindu Temples was interesting. However, the first Hindu temple was established in 1920 in Earl’s Court in west London. It was functional only for four years. In 1932 the Hindu Association of Europe was formed in London by a group of professionals including several medical doctors. Founding members included Dr Krishna Kumria who arrived in the UK in 1917, Dr. Dharam Chowdhary who arrived in 1928 and Dr. Baldev Kaushal in 1931. The founding president of the Hindu Association of Europe was Dr. Kaushal, who was a family physician in practice in Bethnal Green, East London. In the 1950s, meetings took place in NW London in a hired hall, and in 1962 a new Hindu Centre (without the title Europe) was established in NW London to act as a social, cultural and religious body for the Hindus in the UK. In 1967 the Hindu Centre London acquired its own premises.
DR. RISHI AGARWAL
PRAISE FOR PM MODI
We are a fourth-generation Indian South African family. We are immensely proud of Narendra Modi and the BJP party for the sterling work that they are doing. They have accomplished so much in the short space of time in office. PM Modi’s hard work and absolute dedication to improving India has inspired millions of Indians living abroad. He has been able to instill a sense of pride in Indians all over the world.
DR. NISHANI RAMFOL
KWA ZULU NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA
I, like my many Hindu brothers and sisters, am very grateful to you and your organization for this tremendous work you have undertaken. I am a student of Vedanta myself and am a reader of vast topics pertaining to ancient Indian history and philosophy. I was first introduced to your organization and efforts through the books of Shri Ram Swarupji. I strongly believe that India badly needs a Hindu renaissance, which will be good not only for this ancient nation but for the entire humanity. I would be keen to help in any small way in this great cause.
I am a Hindu living in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. I want to ask why Hindus in Indonesia look different from Hindus in India? Both celebrate and use spiritual singing; both celebrate Diwali. I would think they would be the same, since we share the same cultural practices.
CENTRAL SULAWESI, INDONESIA
TO MY FELLOW HINDU YOUTH
Religion and spirituality aren’t for everyone, and in fact, Hinduism acknowledges that. In the concept of the purusharthas (four goals of human life), half of them are non-religious; kama (pleasure) and artha (prosperity) are seen as valid goals of life. (Ancient India seemed to think so as well, producing texts like the Kamasutra and Arthashastra.)
I have nothing against Hindus who examine their religion, decide for whatever reason that it’s not for them, and move on with their lives. What makes me sad is when second-generation Hindu youth in the diaspora leave their religion because they were never exposed to it in a way that allowed them to ask questions and receive substantive answers; because their parents made them come to temple but never explained what the rituals mean; because they never bothered to learn what their religion actually teaches. I see this happening with the majority of Hindu youth around my age. I think of this as the ultimate freedom. Our atma (divine soul) is within us, waiting for us to realize that it’s there, but we have the freedom to figure it out through any path: knowledge, devotion, service, music, art or meditation.
I also believe that we have the tools within our religion to combat misogyny, casteism, homophobia and racism. When Shiva is depicted as half-male, half-female in the form of Ardhanarishwara, and when ours is the only major world religion to worship God in female form, how can we justify sexism and misogyny? When we have countless stories about gods, goddesses and heroes spanning the gender and sexuality spectrums, how can we justify homophobia and transmisogyny? I believe that Hinduism has much to offer each of us individually, and that it also has much to offer the world. I wish more Hindus my age felt that way too.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, US
Thank you for the courage to examine the controversial topic of gay marriage (“Same-Sex Marriage and Hinduism,” Jan/Feb/Mar, 2016). As the authors summed up the diversity of opinion within the Hindu community, “The situation remains complicated.” I would add, change is not just complicated, but often dangerous.
I visited Mauritius and South Africa from Nov. 21 to Nov. 30 on an educational sightseeing tour. The group of 45 were warmly welcomed by temples, cultural organizations and individuals who even took us to their homes. Though there seems to be a slight neglect of the use of Tamil, the religious aspect is very much intact in temples and cultural organizations. I also noted that the 1.4 million Hindus in South Africa and the 95,000 Hindus of Tamil origin in Mauritius are all doing well economically and socially, with our Hindu faith very much intact. The success stories of present-day Hindus in these two countries, whose forefathers left India almost two centuries ago to work in the sugar cane fields (as in Malaysia, too) are the result of hard work against many odds. Though they had all left India to seek their fortune and return back to India, a large minority remained in their new homeland.
RASAH, SEREMBAN, MALAYASIA
✓ The Digital Dharma link to the HT App for android was incorrect. The link for both devices can be found at bit.ly/HT-APP [http://bit.ly/HT-APP]
✓ On see here [ch02-2.html#page_33] of the January, 2016, issue, the bottom right photo is mistakenly identified as a group of shaven headed boys spending a few weeks as monks. Actually it is a group of girls who are spending a few weeks as bhikshunis, Buddhist nuns.
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FOR THE GRANDCHILDREN AND BEYOND
So that Hinduism Today may be there when needed most
FROM THE TIME THEY WERE FOUNDED BY Gurudeva (Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami), I have seen HINDUISM TODAY and the monastery that produces it grow by leaps and bounds,” explains cardiologist Dr. Shun Sunder of Lancaster, California. “I have seen the old versions of HINDUISM TODAY and the new versions of HINDUISM TODAY, and the addition of modern technology. Under the leadership of Gurudeva‘s successors, it has grown to be a truly global, dharmic magazine.”
Dr. and Thilaka Sunder have made the Hin-duism Today Production Fund a beneficiary of their life insurance—quite generously so. And they have also made it a beneficiary of the life insurances of their two sons, Luxman and Anthan, who give support to the magazine in vari0us ways.
“We have done this to follow Gurudeva, who taught that it is our sacred duty to transmit our religion and culture to future generations, and that among the best ways to accomplish this is through supporting the Production Fund that sustains HINDUISM TODAY. Giving is also our way of thanking Gurudeva for sharing his vision with us and the world, and our way of keeping that vision alive.
“With my children’s participation, we constitute two generations pulling in the same direction. I plan to one day donate in my grandchildren’s names, too, so that we’ll be three generations joining in this most noble work.
“I cannot imagine a more worthy cause. Let us all join in! All Hindus can be a part of this effort. We can together make sure that our magazine will always be there to bring light to those who need it most—and to future generations who, as I see it, will need it even more than we do.”
Visit www.hheonline.org [http://www.hheonline.org]. Subscribe to our Hindu Heritage Endowment and Production Fund newsletters at www.gurudeva.org/email-news [http://www.gurudeva.org/email-news]. Contact us at or call 1-888-464-1008.
Three generations pulling together in the same direction: Above, Dr. and Thilaka Sunder. Below, their two sons with families, Sarmela, Anthan, Sayini, Luxman and third-generation Sahana and Sayan.