Into each life some rain must fall. That old axiom came to mind as we weathered the century's strongest hurricane on the Garden Isle of Kauai, the world's most remote land mass, the most northerly of the eight-island Hawaiian chain. That's where we live, near the extinct four-million-year-old volcano Mount Waialeale, one of the wettest places on the globe, receiving an amazing 600 inches (that's 40 feet) of rain each year. But not a drop in the last nine days, for drought has followed disaster. These demons of destruction come to our Garden Island about every ten years – "Hiki" in 1950. "Doe" in 1959, a tropical storm in 1969. "Iwa" in 1982, and now, right on schedule, "Iniki" in 1992.
As I see it, everything that was strong survived, and everything weak was destroyed in the face of wind gusts measured at 194 miles per hour at the Kauai NASA station. The whole island was engulfed and few escaped damage. We sustained over $500,000 worth of damage at our beautiful ashram-temple complex. Others were less fortunate. Over 8,000 homeless families. Agriculture ruined. All but one of 70 hotels remain closed. No electricity and no telephones, except the occasional cellular phone.
What is to be done with all this energy? From a mystical point of view, external or internal, negative or positive, energy can be run through the converter named jnana and turned into a creative force. At our spiritual center, we put most of ours into newer and bigger and better publications, including HINDUISM TODAY, with four pages of color and a European Edition, no less. And, surprise, something new, a replica of something familiar – HINDUISM TODAY READER'S DIGEST, in Dutch.
The scriptures say adversity makes strong men stronger. It is always best to face adversity and success in equanimity, and we have to confess we enjoyed fetching water in buckets, beating our clothing on a rock by the river and cooking over an open tire. All these simple joys reminded us of the many times that our swamis lived the village life on the Jaffna peninsula.
We want to share our heartfelt appreciation with the countless swamis, temples, individuals and Hindu institutions worldwide who faxed us and came forward without ever being asked with financial contributions to help with the repairs and rehabilitation that lie ahead. That response brought tears to the eyes of the residents of a devastated Kauai Ashram. We want to thank each and every one for responding so lovingly.
Some of our readers may be wondering will we ever publish again. The answer is: not only will we publish, but HINDUISM TODAY will be bigger and better than ever. For our pan, we promise in our public service to not miss a single issue, to continue recording the history of a modern Hinduism impartially, without bias, without interruption, on into the future.
In that spirit, we say welcome to our newest franchisees who are now publishing HINDUISM TODAY in the United Kingdom: Mr. Bharat Kumar Gheewala, his son Kshitij Gheewala and Mr. Anil Proag (who is already known to our readers as the power behind the Indian Ocean Edition). Bharat Gheewala was born and raised in Kenya where industrial and development management were his field. He earned a degree in economics in England and today works with groups who export products from the UK. Mr. Gheewala is also involved with a Hungarian-based company on World Bank financial projects.
His wife, Kusum, educated at the Sri Aurohindo Ashram in Pondicherry, is deeply involved in teaching and cultural activities. They have been instrumental in the success of Swami Krishnanand's Human Services Trust. In fact, the Gheewala family has a remarkable history of service to others in India, Africa, Mauritius and the UK. They will be competent stewards of the Hindu Family Newspaper in Europe. Welcome to them and to all our new readers. Those in Europe who wish to see Sanatana Dharma spread are encouraged to step forward and render all help and encouragement to the Gheewala family and Mr. Proag in their new service to the world. Their address and phone are at the bottom of page three.
Article copyright Himalayan Academy.