During the month of May we have a special guest at our ashram here in Hawaii, Pundit K.N. Navaratnam. He is an accomplished elder writer and astrologer from Sri Lanka, now living in Australia, and he is here to work with our staff on in-depth research into the science of the stars. You can look forward to more insights on this in future issues.

It might interest you to know that HINDUISM TODAY is the only publication in the world where the editorial staff lives its life according to the ancient principles of ayurveda, Vedic astrology, agamic nitya puja and Natha sadhanas. For example, we plan our schedule according to the muhurta calendar of suspiciousness. Our days off are not the usual Saturday and Sunday weekends, but Purnima, Amavasya, Prathama, Ashtami and Navami – days set according to the cycles of the moon. So when people call us on a Monday morning, we may be "on retreat" and attending to the spiritual side of our ashram life here in Hawaii.

Our important staff discussions do not fall during the inauspicious rahu kala period, nor during prabalarishta yoga, nor any of the nakshatras of harsher energy flows. For seven years we have been working on computerizing this panchangam, and we are now able to announce that it is released this year, six editions or more, one for each of the major time zones around the world.

All of this is part of living what one preaches. If we are to speak of dharma through the pages of this paper, we consider it essential to live it ourselves. This principle is described in a true story from the life of Mahatma Gandhi. One day a woman visited Gandhiji with her 9-year-old son asking, "Please toll my boy to stop eating sugar. The doctors say he eats too much and may die of diabetes. He will not listen to me, but he will obey you if you him no sugar." Gandhi asked the lady to come back in a week. When she returned, Gandhi told the boy, "Never eat sugar again." Head held down, the boy submitted. The mother asked "Why didn't you tell him that last week? We had to travel so far." Gandhi replied, "Last week I myself was still eating sugar."

The moral of the is that words have no power, no authority, nor do they go deep into the minds of others unless those who speak them are living to the best of their ability. For us this means following the Sanatana Dharma, which includes not only Vedanta and Siddhanta, but jyothisha, ayurveda, agamic worship, raja yoga and adjusting to the four ashramas of life.

Finally, I would like to introduce our readers to our newest correspondents. These two young professionals work in Malaysia, specializing in Asian news, features and documentaries. Inar Nathan has been a journalist for seven years. Her interests gravitate toward Asian culture, sports, women and children and conservation issues. She has done research articles for the World Health Organization and is adept at photography. Inar has travelled widely, visiting most Asian nations, Europe and America. She is personally inspired to work on social issues, especially those touching the lives of women and children.

R. Sittampparam's background has tended toward the arts, and in particular the cultural gifts of Hinduism – music, literature and lifestyle. He taught mathematics and science for four years before succumbing to a life-long desire to be a writer. A short stint with freelance newspaper reporting taught him the discipline of the craft, but he wanted more. So he began to dedicate his time to writing poetry on the Indian arts and drama. He has staged eight plays in Malaysia's community centers, all sponsored by a small group of friends and family.

These two professionals have teamed up with freelance writers and computer and financial specialists to found the Asian News and Feature Services. On special assignment, they will bring you the modern-day happenings of dharma in Southeast Asia. Their page one story on Islamic conversion law and page seven book banning are this month's major contributions from ANFS.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.