April/May/June 2019 Kindle

Our feature story takes you on the grueling and grace-giving trek to the Himalayas on the famed Char Dham Yatra, which winds through four powerful pilgrimage sites: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri. By foot and helicopter, car and donkey our brave writer and sidekick photographer visit each temple and bring back not only their own impressions, but the testimonials of those who have endured the difficult journey. They stumbled upon two modern-day spiritual leaders who speak affectionately about this magazine. Read their paean.

In this issue's Publisher's Desk editorial, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami teaches us ways to cope with life's difficulties, offering some yogic ways to turn a negative happening into a blessing and a boon.

Our 16-page educational Insight section explores the nine rasas: joy, love, courage, disgust, fear, compassion, wonder, humor and peace. These are the human emotions that lie at the heart of traditional Indian literature, theater, music, art and all creative forms of communication. Wil Geraets, from the Netherlands, teams up with Lakshmi Subramanian to unravel the complex feelings and their many relationships. Wil explains what each one means in our practical life and Lakshmi explains the bhavas, the role of the audience and more.

Ever hear of soft power? It is the influence a nation has to impact another nation without coercion, using instead the positive forces of culture and knowledge. Aspects of India's soft power include yoga, ayurveda, Bollywood, food, art, music, fashion, temples and more. The first-ever Soft Power Conference was held in Delhi in January, and our editors were flown to India to participate. Read about this strategically important gathering and how it may affect India's future on the global stage.

Tough talk. That's an apt summary of Madhu Kishwar's article on the ongoing effort of Christian missionaries to make converts by any means. Their distaste for PM Modi and the RSS is unpacked and their tactics are revealed. Madhu begins with her own story of being a bright teenager in a Catholic school, and she ends with what we can do to protect Hindus from the well-funded efforts of the evangelists. Fascinating!

Dance and art are strong in this issue. The sister of the amazing Priyamvada Sankar extols her long life as a dance teacher and performer, taking us back to when she was honored by Prime Minister Nehru. For art, we explore the world of the Indian miniature, a form that still lives on in small workshops in India. It's a highly disciplined art form and the author brings us insights of its requirements, including how a brush is made using just a few hairs from the tail of a squirrel.

Our book review is about The Jewel of Abundance by Yogacharya Ellen Grace O'Brian, who returns to the roots of yoga to teach us how to live a truly abundant life. Naturally, she defines prosperity in a way that includes spiritual well-being, but she is pragmatic enough to help us build material riches along the way.

My Evolutionary Religion extols the Hindu ideal of flexibility and ongoing change. There is of course our popular Quotes & Quips section with humor, cartoons and pithy sayings, Global Dharma with stories from around the world and Digital Dharma. It's a rich issue, with something for everyone.

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