Erratas in Inscriptions Article
In my article “Temple Inscriptions” (Apr/May/Jun 2023), factual errors had crept in its editing: 1) Rajaraja’s Tanjore temple is made of hard granite, not sandstone. 2) Chola copper plates were inscribed in Tamil, not Nagari script. 3) The upper and lower Kollidum Anicuts built by the British in the 1830s have nothing to do with the river Narmada. Kollidam is a tributary of the Kaveri. I shiver to think of the letters that will flow to the editor’s desk. Please update me of any comments so far received. Reverentially,
Keeping Rudrakshas Sacred
The rudraksha is divine for Hindus. I hope this divinity is not lost in Nepal due to Chinese entry into the market. The Nepalese need to maintain a long-term perspective with balanced approaches, so that they don’t lose credibility (divinity). Giving due respect to rudrakshas will protect them always. (See “Sacred Rudrakshas” Jul/Aug/Sep 2023.)
Stand Strong in Hinduism
In reply to Dharmesh Patadiya, author of “My Unfortunate Conversion” (Apr/May/Jun 2022), I had an experience in college similar to yours. I was lonely on campus. This attracted me to Unity. They are on their best behavior to attract you and make believe that they are genuinely amazing. Some of them actually are really good people in general. My advice to help other youth to be strong in such circumstances is:
1) Teach the basics of Hinduism yourself at home, and in school if possible. Just as Christians promote their 10 commandments, we should formulate 20 of ours and teach those.
2) You must be a proud Hindu to keep practicing. Anything that can rekindle your faith and keep it burning will be of help.
I’m intrigued by Sanatana Dharma, and really enjoyed your article, “My Unfortunate Conversion.” I was raised in a strictly Christian home and attended Christian schools my entire life. I am now opening my eyes to its fear-based teachings, and would love to learn about the beautiful spiritual tradition of Hinduism. Where can I go to learn more? The Hindu temple near me does not hold weekly lessons. Thank you.
“Beloved Mystic Mountains” (Jul/Aug/Sep 2022) was a most captivating article! India’s mountains hold a special place in Hindu mythology and spirituality, and this piece beautifully explores their significance. The author’s descriptive language transports the reader to these sacred peaks, evoking a sense of awe and wonder. It’s fascinating to learn about the different mountains and the legends associated with them. This article serves as a reminder of Hinduism’s rich tapestry of beliefs and tradition. Thank you for sharing this enlightening piece!
Land Surveyor Auckland
School Holiday on Diwali
I applaud the author of “Why Not Close School on Diwali” (Oct/Nov/Dec 2021) for raising this important issue. The closure of schools on Diwali is a step towards building a more inclusive society in which all individuals, regardless of their cultural or religious backgrounds, can thrive and feel respected. Let us embrace the spirit of Diwali and celebrate the rich tapestry of diversity that makes our world a vibrant and harmonious place.
The images you have used in “14 Questions People Ask about Hinduism” are beautiful (Jul/Aug/Sep 2023)! And the way you answered these questions is so satisfying!
Excellent! An extensive and elaborate effort made to put the eternal wisdom in simpler words ! Lots of blessings and good wishes !
Mrs. Shilpa Datar
Honoring Our Environment
I was mesmerized by Savita Tiwari’s beautifully written article entitled “Hinduism Nature’s Guardian” (Apr/May/Jun 2023). It captures so well Hindu Dharma’s holistic connection with creation. It offers insight into how we can develop our inner environment so that we can improve our outer environment. Too many religions remain aloof from nature theologically, with catastrophic consequences for nature. The article shows Hindu Dharma’s priceless contribution to protecting nature. At a time when policy makers too often think that reducing carbon emissions will by itself solve climate change, the article shows how a deeper oneness with nature offers the best solution. Thank you.
Mysticism and Virtual Reality
I was fascinated by the article “Virtual Reality & Temple Mysticism (Apr/May/Jun 2023). I’m glad to see that technology is spreading to all corners of the world, and being used by devotees of all kinds. This is an amazing time to be alive.
Thrice Daily Sadhana
“Performing Sandhya Vandanam” (Jan/Feb/Mar 2022) was superbly written, answering the key questions which arise in anyone who follows the discipline of sandhya. I liked the notes on the upanayana as well, and the comment, “Mother always tells me that mind is the basis of everything.” This is so well put, and could be rephrased as “Thought is the basis of everything” (quoting from Yoga-Vasistha). The finishing lines regarding the classical religions is such a important revelation! Thanks for a sweet, beautiful article on this classic ritual!
Ahimsa Has its Limits
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article “Merit, Demerit and Liberation” by Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami (Jul/Aug/Sep 2023). I agree with everything he says, except when he implies that according to the teachings of Hinduism, the principle of nonviolence must be adhered to in every case without exception. Yes, ahimsa (nonviolence) is indeed an important part of the teachings of Hinduism, but even in the Gita, a holy scripture for Hindus, Lord Krishna does tell Arjuna, “Fight for the sake of duty, treating alike happiness and distress, loss and gain, victory and defeat. Fulfilling your responsibility in this way, you will never incur sin” (verse 2.38). It was the rigid adherence to the principle of nonviolence on the part of Indians that allowed foreign invaders to invade India with impunity and rule Indians for a thousand years or so before the nation became independent on August 15, 1947.
√Editor’s Note: You rightly point out that Satguru gives the basic definition of ahimsa, but does not go into the regrettable exceptions that common sense allows. “Ahimsa is not causing pain to any living being at any time through the actions of one’s mind, speech or body.” Those exceptions were included in his July 2014 Publisher’s Desk column: “Is the principle of nonviolence absolute under all circumstances? My Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, answered this question by stipulating a few ‘regrettable exceptions.’ The first exception applies to extreme circumstances, such as when faced with imminent danger, in which case individuals may elect to injure or even kill to protect their life or that of another. Another exception applies to those who are members of a police force or armed forces. However, even those individuals should not use violence unless absolutely necessary.”
Credit where Credit Is Due
In response to the point-counterpoint “Clash: Who’s Stealing Yoga?” (Oct 2010), sadly, it is true that Deepak Chopra has used Vedic shastras and Hinduism to make himself and his family rich. He has not used his vast wealth to help the poor people of India. The ancient, wise people of Bharat definitely left precious jewels for humanity. Chopra and others in the West have stolen and manipulated our ancient traditions and Vedic knowledge, claiming it as their own. Chopra and others are able to do this because Hinduism does not have an organization to challenge such affronts. Sadly, quite a number of our Indian people are trying to steal from Hinduism and at the same time pulling Hinduism down to impress the West. Vedic knowledge, which is written in the Sanskrit language, belongs to India. The West claims that Sanskrit and everything to do with Vedic knowledge belongs to them. Hinduism is and will always be part and parcel of Vedic scriptures and yoga. No one can change that, just as no one can change the source of the Bhagavad Gita. etc. We must make this clear to Chopra and others.
More Educational Videos, Please!
I came across the video “Questions about Hinduism,” published on your youtube channel: www.youtube.com/user/HinduismTodayVideos. It is very good. Please make more videos like this that include other questions that children are facing from children of other faiths in schools in the USA and other countries. Sometimes this makes Hindu children ashamed of their religion because of negative interpretations of Hindus, which is especially strong in American academia. Example questions: “Why did Lord Rama leave Sita while she was pregnant? Is he anti-feminist?” I would suggest collecting more questions from Hindu students directly. Please provide logical, philosophical answers, which is possible because Hinduism is deeply connected with science. It is not differentiated from science and philosophy as are other faiths. I believe this kind of program will help Hindu the community as a whole. And I strongly believe it is one of the primary responsibilities of monasteries to dispel doubts in people’s minds.
√ Correction on Photo Credits
Our apologies: a collection of photos were incorrectly credited in the Jul/Aug/Sept 2023 issue in the article “Sacred Rudrakshas.” The following photos were taken by photographer Thomas Kelly: the two images on pages 18-19, the top image on page 21, the bottom-left image on page 24, the center-right image on page 25, all photos on page 26, the bottom-right photo on page 27, and the top left and bottom-right photos on page 29.
Making Hindu Mysticism Available to the Young
Hinduism’s great treasure chest is meant to be opened and its contents used
By Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami,
publisher of Hinduism Today
A major trend today among religiously/spiritually inclined youth is to prefer individual practice over the group worship activities their parents favor. They are searching for something solid for their lives, something they can depend on which has clear and undeniable meaning to them personally. They are looking to experience sacredness. That upward search together with the body of knowledge sages have gathered about it through the millennia, its collected wisdom, its guidelines and teachings, is what is called mysticism. It is a spectacular element of Hinduism we regularly cover in Hinduism Today, which the magazine’s founder, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, described artfully in an article we published in a past issue:
“No other faith boasts such a deep and enduring comprehension of the mysteries of existence, or possesses so vast a metaphysical system. The storehouse of religious revelations in Hinduism cannot be reckoned. I know of its equal nowhere. It contains the entire system of yoga, of meditation and contemplation and Self Realization. Nowhere else is there such insightful revelation of the inner bodies of man, the subtle pranas and the chakras, or psychic centers within the nerve system. Inner states of superconsciousness are explored and mapped fully in Hinduism, from the clear white light to the sights and sounds which flood the awakened inner consciousness of man. In the West it is the mystically awakened soul who is drawn to Hinduism for understanding of inner states of consciousness, discovering after ardent seeking that Hinduism possesses answers which do not exist elsewhere and is capable of guiding awareness into ever-deepening mind strata.”
Hinduism Today continually showcases these marvels. On pages 10-11 of this current issue, for example, I suggest that aspirants keep in mind that it may take several more lives to attain moksha. But no effort is lost, I point out, as normally we pick up in a next life at the exact point where we left off last time. Such a meaningful tip can prove most encouraging to the seeker and make his pursuits more serene.
Please help Hinduism Today remain financially strong and secure so it may continue to broadcast a beautiful and salutary philosophy that the young—and people of all ages—so urgently need today.
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