Alok Kumar’s book Sciences of the Ancient Hindus, 2014, is a masterpiece that throws authentic light on how the ancient Hindus in India discovered the basics and had made advances in so many sciences, such as mathematics, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, medicine, health and so on. Many other civilizations were not even born during India’s discovery of those arts. Plenty of references are given; just the bibliography is 49 pages long.
Alok Kumar’s volume will dispel any doubts about who invented what. This book is a must for any library. The author may want to develop the material in two or three, lighter paperback volumes. That will be much easier for handling and reading, particularly by senior citizens and school students.
PRABHAKAR G. JOSHI
LIBERTYVILLE, ILLINOIS, US
Thank you very much for publishing the book review on Indra’s Net by Rajiv Malhotra in the Oct/Nov/Dec, 2015, issue of HINDUISM TODAY. Malhotra has been fighting this battle against very powerful, entrenched and biased academia for many years and deserves our support.
Another excellent article in the same issue, passing on our Heritage by Shiva Seejore, talks about preserving our heritage in the present Kali yuga.
We all could play our little part by recognizing that what is written about Hinduism in school and university texts, and taught by teachers and professors, is not necessarily true or accurate. It has been a long battle to change these resources. We cannot and should not wait and do nothing until we change academia.
Parents of young Hindu children need to learn about our true heritage from reliable sources and lead a life according to our highest moral and ethical principles. Just earning money and providing luxury items to children, or going to temples and performing rituals without understanding their significance, is not enough.
Expose children at the youngest possible age to our traditions and to their significance. Once they are exposed to negative ideas in schools and universities, it is very difficult to eradicate those ideas from their minds. Start Sunday schools, bal vihars, in all neighborhoods and enroll the children.
Temples can become centers for learning, and with the help of the Internet a large number of families can be reached to provide true knowledge about Hinduism in an easy to understand language. HINDUISM TODAY’S website is an excellent source for these activities.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
Other London Temples
I always enjoy reading HINDUISM TODAY. The Oct/Nov/Dec, 2015, issue was no different. I appreciate all of the articles, however, I felt it hard to believe that the cover story—London’s Hindu Temples—had no mention of the Swaminarayan temple in Neasden. As per Wikipedia, the Neasden temple is Europe’s first traditional Hindu stone temple and as per the Guinness book it is the biggest Hindu temple outside India. The temple is truly mesmerizing in art and architecture, and I always had a very peaceful experience there.
If the focus of the article was Saivite temples it would have helped if you had made the headline more specific. Also, the Neasden mandir houses murtis of Siva, so even if the focus was on Saivite temples it still deserved a mention in the main article.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
The Oct/Nov/Dec 2015 cover titled London’s Hindu Temples should have been London’s Saivite Temples, as the article was meant to only focus on Saiva temples.
I was surprised and disappointed to learn of the little-publicized embargo of food, fuel and other necessary goods crossing the border from India into Nepal, especially in view of the catastrophic earthquake there. Does not the ideal of ahimsa override any political reasons to put pressure on another country? This embargo seems like striking a person when they are already down.
KAUAI, HAWAII, US
I read with interest your piece, Jyotisha, Hindu Astrology, October/November/December, 2015. From the perspective of Advaita (non-dualistic) vedanta, law of karma, actions, performers of actions, fields of actions, modes of actions, times of actions, reasons of actions, results of actions, free will, predetermination, and the like fall in the domain of maya (cosmic delusion) which is a potency of Brahman, for Brahman is all there is, according to the Upanishads. Therefore, my philosophy is to have the primary focus on moksha (liberation from the cycles of birth, death and rebirth), while performing my actions skillfully, sincerely, honestly and selflessly, using our intellect, as long as we are alive, without paying any attention to astrology, which is also a part of maya.
ALBANY, CALIFORNIA, US
One with God
One hears and reads about being one with God in reference to liberation or moksha, meaning they have reached the ultimate. However, that’s using a dual phrase to connote a singularity. Monism (mono means single) is an alternate perspective to dualism. Monism is, in essence, what the Sanskrit word advaita, meaning not two, suggests as well. Although, this word uses duality to mean singularity. Both monism and dualism are traditional perspectives of all that is, different ways to look at Siva, and each can be useful in its own dimension.
Can you create? Of course you can—not just “things,” inventions or art; you can create your life and your response to it, moment by moment. Being “made in God’s image” means having God DNA, being able to do what God does, i.e., create and enhance the universe. Everyone is one with God? Yes! But if you’re not feeling it, perhaps you haven’t been practicing it. It’s time for the phrase “one with God” to evolve by adding another dimension. Use “one within God” from now on. A creator within a creator.
PORTLAND, OREGON, US
This letter is in praise of vegetarianism promoted by HINDUISM TODAY. However, one should be careful to avoid genetically engineered vegetables in which bacteria and plants are unnaturally joined by combining their DNA.
The result is toxic vegetables containing toxic protein insecticides inside them.
WILL M. DAVIS
KAUAI, HAWAII, US
✓In our article on Varanasi published in the July/Aug/Sep, 2015, issue, we inadvertently neglected to thank Dr. Rajni Kant and Professor Yogendra Mishra for their kind assistance to our India correspondent, Mr. Rajiv Malik, before, during and after his visit to the city. Without their assistance, Rajiv’s comprehensive coverage of Varanasi would have been much more difficult.
✓The missing photo credit list for the Oct/Nov/Dec, 2015, article London’s Hindu Temples: Shree Ghanapathy Temple Management committee; Highgate Hill Murugan Temple Management committee; Mr. S. N. Navarathnam; Mr. Prashanthan Chandravarnan; PK Del Mar Creations; Fiona Reily Photography; Dr. Vatshalan Santhirapala; Dr. Ramai Santhirapala
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