Peaceful Good Wishes
Canada is renowned for the tolerance with which it embraces the diverse traditions and values of its people. Although we celebrate this special time of year according to our different customs and religious beliefs, we all share a common hope for world peace and harmony.
May the blessings of this season be bountiful and may they bring you serenity and happiness.
Jean Chretien, Prime Minister, Ottawa, Canada
Praising the Parliament
I appreciated the quote by Ma Jaya which you included in your issue on the Parliament of the World's Religions [Nov., 1993]. Incidentally, your coverage of the Parliament was very impressive. I was very interested in what you presented, partly because of having been very involved with the press at the Parliament, partly because of living at Kashi Ashram in Florida and partly because I used to be a Senate correspondent in Washington and am very interested in journalism in general. Your coverage of the Parliament was the most insightful and intensive that I found.
Brahma Das, Roseland, Florida, USA
Sikh Seeking Sameness
I am Namdhari Sikh and don't regard any difference between Hindu and Sikh. Being a religious person, all religions are the same and true followers of religion have no need to criticise others. But, when somone only wants to pretend and show-off, then he becomes a fanatic, and that is bad. So follow the true principles of your religion and give love and respect to everyone.
Surjit Singh Jeet, Institute of Namdhari Sikh Studies, Forest Gate, London
I've always found the reporting in Hinduism Today to be of the highest quality, as was the case on the current "cults" debate [Aug., 1993]. I suspect that the Indian community is interested in separating itself from those few Eastern-based groups that seemingly exploit members, and I try to distinguish between these organizations and the larger body of Hinduism in my talks and studies. All major religious traditions have problematic groups that claim connections to basic doctrines, and in this regard Hinduism is no different from any other faith.
Stephen A. Kent, Associate Professor
University of Alberta, Canada
Bharat and Bulgaria
I went to India and spent seven wonderful months there. Most of the time I was in the ashram in Munger, which is run by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, where I learned priceless lessons. Your newspaper keeps the flame of my inspiration alive. When I receive it every month, I go on a mental trip to India and the memories come alive again. The contact with India and its people has thrilled me and ever since I have come back (more than five months ago) I have been describing my experiences in front of different groups.
Quite unexpectedy, I noticed many similarities in the habits and behavior of Bulgarians and Indians. But, on the other hand, this should not suprise me at all, because the tribe which formed the basis of the Bulgarian nation has migrated to our lands from Northern India.
In your July issue there were some very interesting articles on vegetarianism. I think it would be very beneficial if more Bulgarians had the chance to read them. The meat-eaters are very unyielding with their argument that meat is indispensible for the health of humans, and we do not possess the necessary scientific facts to prove that it is not so. Is it OK if I translate those articles and give them to some newspaper? I think the newspapers that specialize in health topics will be interested.
Todor Zahariev, Bulgaria
In Global Dharma [Aug., 1993] anti-Hindu reporting has been perpetrated: "Hinduism has converted 383 communities to its body compared to Christianity's 267 and Islam's 112." The so-called 'aborigines' are Hindus already. When Christianity, Islam, Communism and multi-national Smithianism convert them to their inferior systems, it is their gain and our loss. When we reconvert them, that is no conversion.
B.S. Sanjal, Varanasi, India
I do hope that your newspaper will acquaint the Hindus living away from India with the source of Hindu Dharma and not only to the mythological informaiton about it. The Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Geeta are the source of Hindu Dharma. The homogeneous wholeness of cosmic life, the mysterious, interrelatedness of all things and beings inhabiting the planet, the divinity and sacredness of life and the built-in equal status of all living beings obliging us to have reverence for life, are some of the salient characteristics of our Vedic heritage.
The Hindus who have gone abroad with the sole purpose of acquiring money and physical comforts must be made aware that dedication to atma-paramatma-the existential essence of life-is the ultimate purpose of human life. Instead of aping and imitating non-Indian ways of life, they should carry the torch of Vedic culture to all parts of the globe.
Himachal Pradesh, India
I love to read the Publisher's Desk and My Turn as soon as I get the paper. Publisher's Desk, by Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, is inspiring. In very simple language, Swamiji shows the way ahead. Next year Hinduism Today is starting its 16th year. Would it be possible to put all the articles of the Publishers Desk in a book form? I am sure all the subjects taken up by Swami are a treasure to be treasured.
Vikram Madhoo, Triolet, Mauritius
Editor: There is such a book published by readers in Malaysia called Satguru Speaks on Hindu Family Life. $4.80. Jiwa Distributors, 46A, 1st Floor, Jalan Silang, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In the letter "Stop Cheating Ourselves" by Govind Thakkar [Oct., 1993], he is perfectly right when he says that all religions are not the same. I think Hinduism is the most superior philosophy ever formulated by mankind in all its history of thousands of years. Shri Thakkar very earnestly points out that we better get rid of our avidya and start inculcating some pride in Hinduism. I congragulate Shri Thakkar for his brilliant thesis.
Dr. Nawinchandra Khanduri, Nagpur, India
More Articles on Ashrams
Your report on Sri Aurobindo ashram and Auroville was excellent. I would like to see more such reports on other ashrams in India, such as Swami Ramdas' Ananda ashram in Kanhangad, Shanti ashram of Swami Omkar, Sivanadashram in Rishikesh, the Monghyr School of Yoga, the Shirdi and Satya Sai Baba ashrams and various others. Perhaps a section should be devoted to this aspect only.
Another suggestion I would like to make is to stress the lives and writings of our saints and sages, past and present. This aspect of Hinduism is the most enlightening and inspiring, and definitely warrants a place in a publication of this nature. Hinduism is sustained by the lives of the great beings that have graced and blessed it. Hindus need to read (and re-read) about their lives and teachings.
K. Nadesan, Braamfontein, South Africa
How to Save the World
The scientists manipulate nature and turn it into a product. This is then sold to society and then, and only then, are the problems from that product looked at. By then, it's too late to discuss the ethics/morals or preventative measures.
In any case, the problem is that most of the world does not have a proper philosophy, which has logic inborn. Only Hinduism and Indian philosophy can help save this world.
Stephen Shiva Stepman
Surrey, United Kingdom
Hindu Youth in the West
Being raised according to Hindu philosophy while living in the West, as a Hare Krishna youth, has given many of us a perspective on life very similar to the young Indians who are growing up here as well. As I read through the stories and experiences you print about the Hindu young people, I can relate with what they are going through.
My question to you is, how can we share our experiences and similarities with one another and gain valuable insights from them? I look forward to any such opportunities.
Chaitanya Mangala Dasa, Los Angeles, California, USA