Alok Kumar’s book Sciences of the Ancient Hindus, 2014, is a masterpiece that throws authentic light on how the ancient Hindus in India discovered the basics and had made advances in so many sciences, such as mathematics, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, medicine, health and so on. Many other civilizations were not even born during India’s discovery of those arts. Plenty of references are given; just the bibliography is 49 pages long.
Alok Kumar’s volume will dispel any doubts about who invented what. This book is a must for any library. The author may want to develop the material in two or three, lighter paperback volumes. That will be much easier for handling and reading, particularly by senior citizens and school students.
PRABHAKAR G. JOSHI
LIBERTYVILLE, ILLINOIS, US
Thank you very much for publishing the book review on Indra’s Net by Rajiv Malhotra in the Oct/Nov/Dec, 2015, issue of HINDUISM TODAY. Malhotra has been fighting this battle against very powerful, entrenched and biased academia for many years and deserves our support.
Another excellent article in the same issue, passing on our Heritage by Shiva Seejore, talks about preserving our heritage in the present Kali yuga.
We all could play our little part by recognizing that what is written about Hinduism in school and university texts, and taught by teachers and professors, is not necessarily true or accurate. It has been a long battle to change these resources. We cannot and should not wait and do nothing until we change academia.
Parents of young Hindu children need to learn about our true heritage from reliable sources and lead a life according to our highest moral and ethical principles. Just earning money and providing luxury items to children, or going to temples and performing rituals without understanding their significance, is not enough.
Expose children at the youngest possible age to our traditions and to their significance. Once they are exposed to negative ideas in schools and universities, it is very difficult to eradicate those ideas from their minds. Start Sunday schools, bal vihars, in all neighborhoods and enroll the children.
Temples can become centers for learning, and with the help of the Internet a large number of families can be reached to provide true knowledge about Hinduism in an easy to understand language. HINDUISM TODAY’S website is an excellent source for these activities.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
OTHER LONDON TEMPLES
I always enjoy reading HINDUISM TODAY. The Oct/Nov/Dec, 2015, issue was no different. I appreciate all of the articles, however, I felt it hard to believe that the cover story—London’s Hindu Temples—had no mention of the Swaminarayan temple in Neasden. As per Wikipedia, the Neasden temple is Europe’s first traditional Hindu stone temple and as per the Guinness book it is the biggest Hindu temple outside India. The temple is truly mesmerizing in art and architecture, and I always had a very peaceful experience there.
If the focus of the article was Saivite temples it would have helped if you had made the headline more specific. Also, the Neasden mandir houses murtis of Siva, so even if the focus was on Saivite temples it still deserved a mention in the main article.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
The Oct/Nov/Dec 2015 cover titled London’s Hindu Temples should have been London’s Saivite Temples, as the article was meant to only focus on Saiva temples.
I was surprised and disappointed to learn of the little-publicized embargo of food, fuel and other necessary goods crossing the border from India into Nepal, especially in view of the catastrophic earthquake there. Does not the ideal of ahimsa override any political reasons to put pressure on another country? This embargo seems like striking a person when they are already down.
KAUAI, HAWAII, US
I read with interest your piece, Jyotisha, Hindu Astrology, October/November/December, 2015. From the perspective of Advaita (non-dualistic) vedanta, law of karma, actions, performers of actions, fields of actions, modes of actions, times of actions, reasons of actions, results of actions, free will, predetermination, and the like fall in the domain of maya (cosmic delusion) which is a potency of Brahman, for Brahman is all there is, according to the Upanishads. Therefore, my philosophy is to have the primary focus on moksha (liberation from the cycles of birth, death and rebirth), while performing my actions skillfully, sincerely, honestly and selflessly, using our intellect, as long as we are alive, without paying any attention to astrology, which is also a part of maya.
ALBANY, CALIFORNIA, US
ONE WITH GOD
One hears and reads about being one with God in reference to liberation or moksha, meaning they have reached the ultimate. However, that’s using a dual phrase to connote a singularity. Monism (mono means single) is an alternate perspective to dualism. Monism is, in essence, what the Sanskrit word advaita, meaning not two, suggests as well. Although, this word uses duality to mean singularity. Both monism and dualism are traditional perspectives of all that is, different ways to look at Siva, and each can be useful in its own dimension.
Can you create? Of course you can—not just “things,” inventions or art; you can create your life and your response to it, moment by moment. Being “made in God’s image” means having God DNA, being able to do what God does, i.e., create and enhance the universe. Everyone is one with God? Yes! But if you’re not feeling it, perhaps you haven’t been practicing it. It’s time for the phrase “one with God” to evolve by adding another dimension. Use “one within God” from now on. A creator within a creator.
PORTLAND, OREGON, US
This letter is in praise of vegetarianism promoted by HINDUISM TODAY. However, one should be careful to avoid genetically engineered vegetables in which bacteria and plants are unnaturally joined by combining their DNA.
The result is toxic vegetables containing toxic protein insecticides inside them.
WILL M. DAVIS
KAUAI, HAWAII, US
✓In our article on Varanasi published in the July/Aug/Sep, 2015, issue, we inadvertently neglected to thank Dr. Rajni Kant and Professor Yogendra Mishra for their kind assistance to our India correspondent, Mr. Rajiv Malik, before, during and after his visit to the city. Without their assistance, Rajiv’s comprehensive coverage of Varanasi would have been much more difficult.
✓The missing photo credit list for the Oct/Nov/Dec, 2015, article London’s Hindu Temples: Shree Ghanapathy Temple Management committee; Highgate Hill Murugan Temple Management committee; Mr. S. N. Navarathnam; Mr. Prashanthan Chandravarnan; PK Del Mar Creations; Fiona Reily Photography; Dr. Vatshalan Santhirapala; Dr. Ramai Santhirapala
Letters with writer’s name, address and daytime phone number should be sent to:
Letters, Hinduism Today
107 Kaholalele Road
Kapaa, Hawaii, 96746-9304 USA
or faxed to: (808) 822-4351
or visit: www.hinduismtoday.com/letters [https://www.hinduismtoday.com/letters]
Letters may be edited for space and clarity and may appear in electronic versions of HINDUISM TODAY.
ANNUAL STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP
Statement of ownership, management, and circulation (required by USPS DMM 707.8.3) of Hinduism Today, published four times a year at 107 Kaholalele RD, Kapaa, HI 96746-9304, for October 1, 2015. General business offices of the publisher are located at 107 Kaholalele RD, Kapaa, HI 96746-9304. Name and address of publisher is Swami Bodhinatha Veylan, 107 Kaholalele RD, Kapaa, HI 96746-9304. Name and address of editor is Swami Sadasivanatha Palani, 107 Kaholalele RD, Kapaa, HI 96746-9304. Name and address of managing editor is Swami Arumugam Katir, 107 Kaholalele RD, Kapaa, HI 96746-9304. Owner is Himalayan Academy, 107 Kaholalele RD, Kapaa, HI 96746-9304. There are no known bondholders, mortgagees, or other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities. The average number of copies of each issue during the preceding 12 months is: (a) Total number of copies printed: 13,004; (b) Paid circulation: (1) Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, and counter sales: 6,501; (2) Paid or requested mail subscriptions: 3,628; (c) Total paid and/or requested circulation: 10,129; (d) Free distribution by mail: 1,017; (e) Free distribution outside the mail: 1,074; (f) Total free distribution: 2,091; (g) Total distribution: 12,220 (h) Copies not distributed: (1) Office use, leftovers, spoiled: 784; (2) Return from news agents: not applicable; (i) Total: 13,004; Percent paid and/or requested circulation: 82.89%. The actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date is: (a) Total number of copies printed: 13,238; (b) Paid circulation: (1) Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, and counter sales: 6,209; (2) Paid or requested mail subscriptions: 3,984; (c) Total paid and/or requested circulation: 10,193; (d) Free distribution by mail: 656; (e) Free distribution outside the mail: 1,391; (f) Total free distribution: 2,047; (g) Total distribution: 12,240; (h) Copies not distributed: (1) Office use, leftovers, spoiled: 998; (2) Return from news agents: not applicable; (i) Total: 13,238; Percent paid and/or requested circulation: 83.28%. I certify that all information furnished above is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this statement or who omits material or information requested on the statement may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including multiple damages and civil penalties).
Swami Durganatha Shanmuga, Administrator
PUBLISHER’S VISION FOR HINDUISM TODAY, PART II
Including our magazine in your estate plan is the most powerful way to guarantee its future
“THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE been supporting HINDUISM TODAY during these first thirty-five years of its existence,” says HINDUISM TODAY publisher, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. “Thank you for helping carry forward its mission—disseminating Sanatana Dharma’s incomparable teachings to today’s hungry world in a way that it understands and appreciates. You have been an invaluable part of the team.
“Now is a good time to take our next step and make the magazine solidly secure going into the future. The need for its contents will only grow over the coming decades, and we want to be sure it is there, financially independent and fully functional to respond to the demand.”
“What is that next step? It is to strengthen the Hinduism Today Production Fund to the point where grants can cover all of the magazine’s production expenses. Then it will have become financially independent.
“It is a huge step, but we can take our time and reach the goal incrementally through estate gifts. When enough donors have told us they have included us in their estate plan so that their collective gifts amount to USD 5 million, then we will know the magazine’s future is solid and secure, no matter what ups and downs the world may bring.
“The gifts of donors who have told us they have included the Fund in their estate plan currently amount to 1.5 million. So, we have 3.5 million to go.”
If you have already included the Hinduism Today Production Fund in your estate plan, then please do let us know, so we can add the amount to our ongoing tally and know that we are that much closer to the goal.
Publisher Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami: with his team who devotedly watch over the Hindu Heritage Endowment—of which the Hinduism Today Production Fund is a part.
Otherwise, when the time comes to make your estate plan, or to revise it, please do think of our magazine and its perpetuation. Readers of the future will benefit immeasurably and thank you for your generosity and vision. You will have done a great service to Hinduism and to the world.
There are many good reasons to make one’s estate plan. As you will undoubtedly want to include non-profits to some extent in your giving, you can, with competent guidance, judiciously select which assets to give to heirs and which to leave to non-profits, resulting in a considerable tax advantage to you. Even more tax benefits will accrue when you make your gifts at the time of maximum earnings.
Competent professionals are available to offer guidance in these sometimes complex matters.
You can also visit our website www.hheonline.org [http://www.hheonline.org], which is rich in valuable information on this subject, pleasantly presented with clarity and relevance. Subscribe to our Production Fund Newsletter at gurudeva.org/email-news. [http://gurudeva.org/email-news]
Or contact us at or 1-888-464-1008.