MAHA MANTRA BANK
Omkareshwar is the foremost of the twelve Jyotirlingamsof Lord Siva. Since last year, we have been propagating the glory of the incantation of the Aum Namasivayamantra. We receive about five thousand letters everyday depicting Aum Namasivayain different languages. We have them adorably touched to the Jyotirlingam and then keep them carefully in a mantra bank. By now we have a total of 45 crore mantras.
Swami Shivoham Bharti, Omkareshwar, Khandwa, Madya Pradesh, India
OUR SOUL'S REFUGE
Sri Sri Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji, the spiritual head of Adi Chunchanagiri matha in Karnataka, has the image of real serenity and an impeccable demeanor. A revolutionary thinker and a realized soul, the peace of God shines in his face and dwells in his heart. In a world where asura saktireplaces deva sakti,where people are becoming more and more irreligious, where man the spirit deliberately slips into man the animal, the only hope is to seek refuge at the feet of a saint. In today's world morality and spirituality have disappeared, and science has been put to destroy the flower of manhood. Sannyasins are the beacons of light.
Professor H.H. Anniah Gowda, Mysore, India
A CASE FOR NAMASTE
During my daily morning commute to college, I was listening to the morning edition of National Public Radio. Growth of Islam in America was the topic of discussion. They talked about how interested the youths were to preserve their religion and culture. The microphone picked up a few young Islamic friends greeting each other. "Assalamualaikum and Mualaikumsalam" were the preferred greetings, as opposed to "Hello," or "Wuzz Up?" What a homely feeling, I thought! Now, without getting fundamental about this, what would happen if I saw a Hindu friend of mine at lunch and said, "Namaste," instead of "Hi?" Isn't that what I would usually say to a relative or friend of the family at home or at an Indian gathering?
There I am, walking into class, the same morning, and an African-American classmate of mine behind me sees another African-American, and guess what is said? So, the case for "namaste" is proven. For a change, let's get out of this realm of saying "Namaste," when only our parents are around. Next time you see an Indian friend, just say "Namaste!"
Bhuvnesh Khosla, Alma, Michigan, USA, Aryamerica@aol.com
TIME FOR SHARING
When some of my close friends started to narrate their impressions of a visit to Swami Dayananda's Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, I could not resist the temptation to try it myself. More than a retreat, it was a real treat to try to discover one's true spiritual self through the study of Vedanta. Swami Dayananda's lectures were only part of the total picture. There was much to do all day–puja, guided meditation, yoga and classical music. Vedic chanting, bhajans and satsang enriched the day's activities. A creative vegetarian menu was another hallmark of the spiritual camp. I returned home with the sense of exhilaration, upliftment and a feeling of pride in being a Hindu.
Melkote Ramaswamy, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
ASTROLOGY WITH CARE
I found your article on astrology quite interesting [Nov. 1995]. I don't criticize people who have faith in astrology. I personally have some reservations about it. In this day and age, it is extremely hard to find a competent and reliable astrologer. Even if the astrological forecast is reliable, it can have negative consequences, regardless whether the forecast is good or bad. If the forecast is good, it can make a person complacent in his efforts. If it is bad, it can make a person over-anxious and prompt him to think and act irrationally.
Pradeep K. Srivastava, Detroit, Michigan, USA
DHARMA SANGH TODAY
We would like to inform you of the existence of our association, Dharma Sangh (Indian and Mauritian Hindu Community Centre). Located in the greater Paris urban area, it has, since its inception back in 1989, known a continuous development. As a matter of fact, the Centre fulfills the expectations of the Hindu community in France, including many French citizens who wish to respect the Hindu dharma. During the past two years, we have been able to create a temple and a large assembly hall. The devotees have now an opportunity to gather for the major festivals, marriages and other ceremonies. Teachings and practices are provided by Pundit Vishwanath Shastri, from Varanasi. His teachings center on several aspects of our tradition–Jyotish, Ayurveda, Dhyana Yoga and Sanatana Dharma in general.
C.K. Dwivedi, 88, Rue Hoche, 92700 Colombes France
PRAISE & ITS REASONS
Thank you so much for your coverage of the milk miracle [November, 1995]. It was absolutely thrilling to read about it! My heart almost stopped, however, when I saw you had printed only 500 additional copies of Loving Ganesha, Hinduism's Endearing Elephant-Faced Godfor your readers. Are you sure that's enough? I'd better get my order in immediately!
Hinduism Today has always been terrific, but the last few issues have been particularly outstanding. If you're interested in specific feedback, let me add that my husband and I especially appreciated the mind-bogglingly fascinating article on Sri Ganapati Sthapati's Mayan explorations. I usually write this kind of speculation off as making mountains out of coincidences, but the correspondences he discovered (as well as those mentioned by Sri Narahari Achar in the November My Turn) were truly thought-provoking. The description of Lord Ganesha along with your invaluable instructions about how to contact Him in the center pages a few issues ago melted my heart. I love all your articles about saints and Deities, and the recent articles about Jyotish were fantastic. I'm encouraging all my friends who are interested in Vedic astrology to purchase a copy of your November issue.
Linda Johnsen, Sonoma, California, USA
I enthusiastically look forward to Hinduism Today's appearance every month and I read it cover to cover. I find it interesting and have gained deep insights into our ancient heritage. Nowhere else could I have gained the knowledge of beliefs as richly and beautifully as from your newspaper. The varied topics and important issues which Hinduism Today deals with and addresses have caused stimulating and unifying discussions at the dinner table and brought our family closer together in our beliefs. I feel deeply indebted to you and the good Hinduism Today is promoting in my life as well as around the world in the lives of other young people born and living outside India.
Soniya Shankar, Bishopstown, Cork, Ireland
I hope and pray that the super standard of Hinduism Today is maintained. I can assure you it's the only paper which is so captivating and knowledgeable. Well-seated in the chair, one is taken to all the holy sites of India and other parts of the universe. Long live Hinduism Today and may Lord Siva's blessings pour in torrents to all of the staff who work hard to produce this paper which we are enjoying, and studying at the same time.
Nageswari Nadarajah, New South Wales, Australia
HT DRANK MILK
I read your article on the miracle of Lord Ganesha drinking milk. I wanted to try it myself but I didn't have a statue. So I found a picture in your newspaper and proceded to feed Lord Ganesha a teaspoon of milk. Well, the milk began to disappear! I spilled three drops but after two hours, except for one drop, the entire spoon of milk was gone!
Fay Roosevelt, Locust Valley, New York, USA