“The Hindu View of Mindfulness”(Publisher’s Desk, Oct/Nov/Dec 2019) is a great study for those interested in understanding the Hindu perspective. The author does an excellent job of providing an overview of philosophical concepts and providing practical tips for how to incorporate mindfulness into our daily life.
The Benefits of Ghee!
Thank you for the article “The Buttersweet Benefits of Ghee” (Oct. 1998). I came upon it while searching the web. It helped me a lot.
Media’s Negative Slant
This is a beautiful exposé on our complicated portrayal in the American media landscape: “Hinduism in the American Media” (Oct/Nov/Dec 2021). You’ve done a laudible job of taking us through the various ereas. I’ve had a hard time contextualizing why this is so troubling to me. I think I’d rather be attacked than erased. The issue is that the media do both at the same time. They erase our connection to Hindu things like yoga, meditation and mindfulness, and then turn around and attack us for casteism, our Gods and our Vedas/Upanishads. It’s disheartening to say the least. But I am glad other young Hindus are talking about it! We have hope if our eyes are open!
Back to Basics
Kudos for the knowledge you have imparted in the educational insight “Hinduism in a Nutshell” (Jul/Aug/Sep 2019). I know we can all gain from it. I am thankful for Hinduism Today. I have been a Hindu all my life, but am still learning the fine points needed to live the right way—to be good, do good, not expect anything in return and leave the rest to God.
Your Amazing Self
Thank you, beloved Satguru, for your Publisher’s Desk, “Introducing an Amazing Person,” (Jan/Feb/Mar 2023), and for always explaining with incredible clarity about our internal universes. We are greatly blessed to listen to you and follow you. Aum Namah Sivaya.
Studying this article changed a lot for me. I was feeling sad and so lazy. Now I feel uplifted. Something I will remember to practice is being kind in thought, word and deed.
Sankara Narayanan K
Thoughts of Vrindavan
Hello, I am Kavita from Himachal Pradesh. Thank you for the article on Vrindavan (Oct/Nov/Dec 2003). I visited the sacred town on Holi where the festival was celebrated with passion and joy for Krishna ji. The colors on everyone’s face made me smile from my heart. I forgot about my problems and all other things in world, just going on singing “Radhe Radhe.” That was the best moment of my life. It is wonderful that this is a movement to clean up the holy town. There is so much plastic being used and needing to be removed from the streets. Please connect me to those cleaners so that I could help purify Janha ji’s property. It will be blessing for me.
Mysticism in Meditation
Thank you for sharing this excellent article “Hindu Mysticism,” June 1987, which focuses strongly on the use of crystals. While crystal power is not a new concept, it has seen renewed interest in recent times with claims of healing and contacting spirit guides. The article offers a word of caution, however, that any method of contacting the higher worlds can also contact the lower ones. Also, once an object is used for Hindu worship, it must be regularly worshiped or disposed of properly. The piece provides an interesting perspective on the use of crystals in Hinduism and offers a glimpse into the mystical side of the religion.
The article entitled “Siva Advaita” (March 1994) confuses the Shiva Vishishtadvaita (Shaiva qualified nondualism) of Shrikantha with Shiva Advaita (Shaiva nondualism) of Appayya Dikshita, which are totally different systems. The former is one step below Shiva Advaita and Advaita Vedanta, which are close to each other and are the highest steps, according to Appayya in his work Sivadvaita Nirmala. An exponent of Shiva Advaita, he wrote several other books on this subject. While Appayya Dikshita is considered to be the first exponent of Shiva Advaita, this doctrine was originally embedded in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad of the Yajurveda (Treta Yuga), the foundational text of Shaiva sampradaya (Shaiva tradition), wherein Shiva as Rudra is equated with Brahman (the absolute). That ultimate reality in this system is both personal (Saguna) and impersonal (Nirguna). On the contrary, in Shiva Vishishthadvaita stress is laid upon Saguna Brahman.
Surely, Milosz’s objection is not reasonable. He unnecessarily draws a difference between the terms Shivadvaita and Shiva Visishtadvaita. Sri Appayya Dikshita, in his commentary on the bhashya of Sri Nilakantha Sivacharya, popularly known as Sivarkamani Dipika, establishes that Shiva Visishtadvaita and Shivadvaita are one and the same. Not even a single doctrinal difference could be seen there. To avoid confusion, Appayya Dikshita maintained the term simply as Shivadvaita. Further, the work of Appayya Dikshita is called Sivadvaita Nirnaya, not Sivadvaita Nirmala as mentioned by Milosz. In his book Sivadvaita of Srikantha, Dr. S. S. Suryanarayana Sastri (former HOD of philosophy, University of Madras) has dealt extensively with the system of Shivadvaita based on Dikshita’s Sivadvaita Nirnaya, Siddhantalesa Sangraha, Sivatattva Viveka and such other works. I would suggest that Milosz study Sr. Sastri’s book. Sometimes, Appayya Dikshita also uses the term Shuddhadvaita to denote Shivadvaita. Sri Sastri asserts that Shiva Visishtadvaita and Shivadvaita are one and the same.
Dr. S. P. Sabharathnam, Sivacharyar
Convincing Young Hindus of Their Religion’s Value
“Life is meant to be lived joyously;” our religion is the guidebook to make it so
By Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today
Contemporary Hindu youth tend to be indifferent to religion, asserts A. Rambachan, professor of religion at Saint Olaf College in Minnesota, USA. In a 2017 Hinduism Today article, he writes that unless we take serious action, “Most [young Hindus will] pursue a fine education, achieve success in their careers, live productive…lives—all without any significant commitment to the Hindu tradition. It will not inform their choice of a profession, a marriage partner, their leisure activities or their political values. They will not conceive that religion might contribute to the pursuit of their primary life goals, or that they may have religious needs.” Their choice, he says, is not between Hinduism and another religion. It is between Hinduism and no religion at all! In this situation, he urges, “We need to be clear about the ways a Hindu world view enriches individual and community life.”
He has well expressed our magazine’s mission! For several years, Hinduism Today has published articles and opinion pieces by young people who share their religious outlook and experience. In the April 2023 issue, for example, there are three such articles. One is by 13-year-old Krathu Sankaranarayanan, “Celebrating Navaratri, Tamil Style.” Another is by 14-year-old Tanesha Kumaraswamy, “My Super Summer Camp.” A third is by Shreya Mahasenan, a senior at McGill Univeristy in Montreal, “Why I Hold to Hindu Values.” All three express enthusiasm for the Hindu religion and highlight its blessings. This forum gives opportunities to young authors to formulate their convictions and sentiments and for young readers to hear and share in them.
The young need to realize what a treasure they have at hand—which is theirs, which is their heritage, and which begs to be enjoyed.
On practically every page, the magazine presents religion as being very real, and of very real value. Hindu religion and philosophy teach that life is not designed to be darksome or onerous, but a joy when lived rightly. “Life is meant to be lived joyously,” the founder of our magazine, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, proclaimed.
Please help Hinduism Today remain financially strong and secure to continue broadcasting a beautiful and salutary philosophy that people of all ages so urgently need today. Donate now or occasionally to help meet ongoing expenses. Your gift will be especially meaningful at this time of soaring prices.