This month our color poster venerates the oh-so-ancient Yajur
Veda, the sacredly revealed scripture intoned by Hindu priests
in temples and shrines great and small the world over. The name
of this Veda indicates its special meaning and importance.
Yajur comes from the verb yaj, "to worship, adore or honor,
especially with sacrifice or oblations." The Vedas envision a
universe where everything, every act, every word and every
thought is a sacrifice to the One. Flowers sacrifice their
nectar to the bees. Bees sacrifice their honey to the bears.
Bears sacrifice themselves to the hyenas. And on and on, life
sacrificing itself to life.
On a higher plane, man sacrifices himself to mankind, and
ultimately mankind sacrifices itself to God. The oceans
sacrifice themselves that clouds may soar above. The clouds
sacrifice their being that rains may fall. The rains sacrifice
themselves that rivers may flow. The rivers sacrifice their
waters that crops may flourish. Thus, in a thousand ways, every
part of existence is giving of itself that the rest may exist.
Countless dogs, rats, rabbits and cats are sacrificed daily on
the altars of the scientist's laboratory to protect and prolong
the life of humans. For only in a human body can one attain
moksha, the ultimate release from the cyclic woes of karma.
This is because the human body has the 14 chakras which no other
body in any other world has. Every living creature sacrifices
itself to another, but only man to God. Finally, even the Gods
are sacrificing themselves to the Supreme God in final merger.
Sacrifice is the very nature of the universe. Explain it
differently and you will be wrong.
Our little friendly Hindu Family Newspaper welcomes this month a
wonderful new Malay-speaking readership. As the chart shows,
Malay is the ninth largest language group on earth, more than
Japanese and much more than German or French. Ever since 1957,
when Malaysia achieved independence from Christian Britain, the
country has been working hard to replace English with the
indigenous Malay language-first in schools, then universities
and lately in government and the courts. This means that our
younger generation of Hindus will know of dharma in Malay, will
speak more Malay than English. Not only that, but all Hindus in
Java and Bali, and millions of Hinduized Indonesians will, for
the first time, be able to see in the pages of Hinduism Today
what is happening in and to Hinduism globally.
The Malay Supplement, nobly named Akbar Hinduisma, will for a
year or so be included along with the Malaysia English edition.
Later it will become an independent edition of its own. This
magnificent step forward is the brain-child of our Malaysian
editor, Pathmarajah Nagalingam. As you can see from the picture
taken when he visited our Hawaii ashram in early March, Pathma
is more than happy with his new expansion, which is built on a
foundation of five years of vigorous and uninterrupted religious
service as our very first franchisee, printing and distributing
Hinduism Today throughout Southeast Asia.
Sri Pathmarajah Nagalingam, 37, a CPA with a modest practice in
the heart of Kuala Lumpur, has been an ardent missionary and
seeker since his high-school days, protecting, preserving and
promoting Sanatana Dharma. He taught extensively throughout
the country, feeling "that every man must contribute to society
before he leaves his mortal frame." He wrote me, "I feel that in
a single generation, not only can we can reverse the downward
trend of Hindu society in Malaysia but actually elevate
Malaysian Hindus to a super-exalted community through Hinduism
Today. Information alone changes a people. Unbelievable things
are happening in today's world that were not dreamt of two years
ago. The same things can happen to Hindus here in my country.
Again there is the karmic wild card. Just a small team working
cohesively for a few years is enough to make a change, for the
chain reaction has an astronomic progression." Now Pathma's
publications team pushes forth Akbar Hinduisma for the youth,
reaching out to Hindu communities in Malaysia, Indonesia and
Bali, networking them on dharma's international information
Happily married with two daughters, Pathma affirms the Skanda
Purana's exhortation that the wife is a spiritual and material
luminary, and bringing up daughters is ten times more
meritorious than raising sons. In his spare time, he reads
Clavell, plays flute, chants the Yajur Veda, meditates and
tinkers with Macintosh computers in his high-rise and high-tech
graphic design firm.
World's Top 10 Tongues:
Rank, language, # of Speakers in Millions
1 Mandarin 844
2 English 437
3 Hindi/Urdu 338
4 Spanish 331
5 Russian 291
6 Arabic 192
7 Bengali 181
8 Portuguese 171
9 Malay 138
10 Japanese 124