what interests me about hinduism Today is the vast enthusiasm shown by young Hindus settled in the West. There is evidence in their queries and comments of an abiding and loving faith in the traditional values and the way of life called Hinduism—values which have stood the test of time. The glories of ancient Babylon, Greece and Rome are now found only in museums and libraries of the world. But Hinduism is still a living faith. Hinduism Today’s unique role is strengthening the link between Hinduism as a faith and the eager-to-be-informed Indian diaspora. 

S. Narayanan
new delhi, india

In Need of Answers

there are several unanswered questions floating in the growing Hindu population such as, what should I do with Gods’ pictures when I do not need them? Why is there worship of stone? Why do we use coconuts, turmeric and kumkuma? What is their significance? Why do swamis sit on the tiger’s skin but preach ahimsa? We need answers but can’t find them in the scriptures. Why are mantras powerful, in what context, and who proved their power? These frequently asked questions need to be answered.

A. Bala-Subramaniam
auburn, alabama, usa

Exciting Tool

by profession i am an english tea——-cher, and I have been involved in computer assisted language learning for 11 years (“A Cool, Calculating Computer-Educated Generation,” publisher’s desk, May ’96). The computer can be used by a teacher to create a rich environment for learning, but the responsibility to use the medium effectively is as great as that of a teacher using a text-book effectively, or perhaps greater, since huge amounts of information are available, and the computer is entrancing and engaging regardless of whether it is being used effectively. 

Simon Sergeant

Forge Ahead

there are many large dams in the world, and they are constructed after taking the opinions of experts (“Religion and Environment Conspire to Tear Down Tehri Dam,” July ’96). In case it is necessary, a religious site may be shifted to a suitable height after taking the confidence of religious leaders of the region. When the temple of Jaganath Puri was renovated, the deities were shifted to another place and returned after performing religious yagnas and prayers. Hindu religion is very elastic and has found solutions for shifting even an important temple coming in the way of development. I am of the opinion that such dams should be finished as early as possible without any delay. 

Shankerprasad S. Bhatt
chicago, illinois, usa

No Prohibition in Scripture

our scriptures, from vedas to puranas, including the Ramayana, Mahabha-rata and Srimad Bhagavatam, have numerous examples of alcohol consumption, both by celestial and mortal beings (“Unacceptable,” letters, Aug-Nov ’96). Ayurveda prescribes several wines and spirits of medicinal value, like draksharistha, asoka-rishta, mritasanji-vani–sudha, drakshasava, to name a few. 

Prasad Banerjee
toronto kalibari, ontario, canada

Expel the Aryan Theory

i congratulate dinesh agrawal who has exposed this baseless theory of Aryan invasion (“Aryan Invasion Theory,” my turn, July ’96). Let us cremate the theory of Aryan invasion of India as promoted by British rulers, because there is no truth in it. 

-Dr. S. Sharma
nothingham, england, uk

Conversion Right and Wrong

i am an ardent reader of hinduism Today, and I feel a sense of pride in being a Hindu after reading and understanding Hinduism. I am particularly impressed with the article about Dilip Singh Judev (“Operation Homecoming,” June ’96), who is doing a fantastic job by reconverting the tribals back to their original religion, i.e., Hinduism. By God’s grace, I hope there will be more such people in every country to perform such a great service to our religion, Sanatana Dharma. 

R. Rajendran

when hindus in india and nepal face conversions to Christianity through intimidation and manipulation by missionaries, they perceive condescension and even disdain, but cannot stop the act of conversion for the fear of challenging the highly structured mechanics of Christian evangelism. Missionaries from the rich countries of the West do not accept Hindus’ claims that their human rights are being violated by the missionaries of the Christian churches. The resultant affect Hindus face is the religious partitioning of India, where the Christian converts’ demands create new political pockets in India—carrying transformed values animus to Hindu religion and culture. The resistance given by Dilip Singh Judev is a good start, but he alone cannot stop conversion of the Hindus. He needs his state’s political backing through legislation and support of all Hindus from home and abroad. 

Priya B. Mukhopadhay
-montreal, quebec, canada

i would agree with one fact, that if people are converted by force or by any other means of cheating, then Hindus have every right to bring them back (“WHF Augurs: 21st Century Belongs to Hindus,” Aug-Nov ’96). Otherwise, let everybody enjoy their freedom. It is strange that Nepal has this law, “No one is allowed to convert one’s faith.” This is simply inhuman, anti-Hindu, and too much interference by the state in a person’s spirituality. It is true that a huge amount of money from Western countries is being spent on conversion in countries like India and Nepal. This money is as useful for the country’s economy as the billions of dollars sent by NRIs to their countries. I see that the only real problem with this conversion is, if the remote future, Hindus become a minority and face the consequences of perishment. I agree that it is a real threat, but the solution lies not in reconversion, but in making these people’s lives comfortable with respect and dignity. If that does not happen, the work of WHF and VHP will prove to be worthless.

Dr. Ashok K. Jain
dallas, pennsylvania, usa

Mankind’s Origin

i was happy to read the article on
the Origin of Man (“How Did Man Arrive on Earth?” July ’96), and especially noted the Vedic references. The declaration by Sage Tirumular in the 2,000-year-old scripture Tirumantiram [verse 381-410] which recapitulates the essence of creation is most appropriate, and gives a scientific and logical presentation to the subject.

Selva Nadarajah
kuala lumpur, malaysiaLetters, with writer’s name, address
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