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In this issue's Publisher's Desk editorial, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami extols the goal of affectionate detachment and how to achieve that state of peaceful cooexistence with the universe. He explains how we end up with negative attachments to people and emotions, then gives us various methods to rid ourselves of such barriers. He assures us that when we learn how to live with affectionate detachment, we can and will enjoy a more harmonious life.
Our Insight section takes us on a soul-stirring journey through ten enlightened master's great departures and offers ten reasons not to fear death. Accompanied by mystical artwork, we learn how these masters spent their final moments of life and the absolute clarity with which they perceived. The ten reasons listed are potent reminders that death is to be joyfully prepared for and meditated upon, never to be feared. The exaltation of leaving the physical body has been echoed throughout all of time by supreme sages of all faiths. We gain needed stability and wisdom from following the examples of great souls.
For our feature story, we take a pilgrimage to the holy town of Tiruvannamalai in the South of India. This town surrounds Arunachala Hill, a premiere place for Siva worshippers. The article brings us to the many holy sites and aspects of the exalted spiritual land. This includes the ashram of the grand sage, Ramana Maharshi. We learn of the Girivalam of Arunachala hill, the bare-footed, nine-mile-long circumambulation around the holy mountain. Along this path are eight lingams worshipped in small temples. It is said that those who perform this walk are freed of sin and attain liberation. This feature story also introduces us to some of the ashrams, saints, sadhus and siddhars that live within this divine abode. Our photographer captures the intangible darshan of Tiruvannamalai and helps us feel what life is like in the presence of the holy mountain.
Vatsala Sperling introduces us to India's world-leading homeopathy practices. Her first-hand report describes the effectiveness, personalization and precision of this medicine which is notably different than drug-based treatments. You will come away from this unique article understanding why 100 million Indians solely use homeopathy for their medical care.
On page 60, we feel the praise of the Mother Goddess, Akhilandeshwari. She teaches us that no matter what challenges we may face we can use them as the very vehicle for our evolution. The author shares her connection with this Goddess and how Akhliandeshwari is a beacon of transmutation, wisdom and blessings.
We bathe in pure jnana in this issues's scripture section, covering verses 33-63 of Sarvajnanottara Agama. Emanated from Lord Siva to Lord Skanda, this Agama outlines the yogic ways of posture, mantra and breath control. He also imparts wisdom of the 36 tattvas, or categories of existence. In the selected verses, Siva expounds the aftermath of Self-Realization and how one lives once God has been known.
A wonderful personal testimony from a Chinmaya Mission devotee shows the power of that institution to inform and uplift. The author describes the deep impact and metamorphosis that she went through once she discovered the Mission. The organization, founded by Swami Chinmayananda, is dedicated to selfless service, devotion and the teaching of Vedanta. A big emphasis is placed on nurturing the youth through a variety of programs, classes and activities. Enjoy this insider’s perspective of one of the most prominent Hindu organizations existing today.
This edition of Global Dharma introduces us to the world record holder of “oldest yoga teacher,” Tao Porchon-Lynch. She will be turning 100 in August of 2018. Her motto? “There’s nothing you can’t do.” Over in India, Lingayats, a sect of the Virasaiva tradition, were granted minority status, giving them the freedom to run their religious institutions without being State government oversight. We also cover a 67-mile spiritual trek in Trinidad & Tobago, a high school in California named after Ganesha, devotional dancing of monks in Assam and more!
There is plenty more to be enjoyed in this edition: cartoons, Quotes and Quips, letters from our readers and a young Malaysian Hindu’s pilgrimage to Hawaii.