.January, 1888 ".... - ..... ;..- Canada . ... . .. C$4.95 Malaysia .... . RM5.50 Singapore ...... . .S$4 UK .. ...... £2.50 o 74470 12134 3 Letters to the editor , subscription and editorial inquiries should be sent to Hinduism Today, 107 Kaholalele Road, Kapaa, Hawaii 96746-9304 USA. E-mail: [email protected]. HINDUISM ToDAY (ISSN# 0896-0801), January, 199B Volume 20, No.!. Editorial: 1-808-822-7032 (ext. 241); subscriptions: 1- 808-822-3152 (ext. 238) or (in USA) 1-800-89°-1008 (ext. 238); advertising: (in USA) 1-800-85°-1008 or 1-808-823-9620. All-department fax: 1-808-822-4351. HINDUISM TODAY is published monthly by Himalayan Academy; Sat guru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Publisher; Acharya Palaniswami, Editor. USA subscriptions: US$3g/1 year , $74'2 years, $lOg/3 years, $60o/lifetime. International rates are an additional $10 per year. Also distributed through major subscription agencies worldwide. CalIl-8oB- 822-7072 for bulk orders (ext. 230) or permission to publish a HINDUISM TODAY article (ext. 227) or fax 1-808-822-4351. Printed in USA. c 199B HIMALAYAN ACADEMY. 107 KAHOLALELE ROAD. KAPAA. HAWAII 96746-9304 USA. ALL RICHTS RESERVED. COVER: In a stone mortar and pestle, Dr . VIrender Sodhi, M.D. , of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic in Bellevue, Washington, crushes herbs to create . medicines, as the costly cures of the West give way to simpler alternatives. Page 20 .' ,. '" ,., >< o C) JANUARY, 1998 INTERNATIONAL Cover Story: The Sick Are Demanding Medicine to Mend its Ways 20 Challenge: Fbrvor Over Fire-walking 24 Education: 5-Star Hotels Help Mauritius Youth Rediscover Hinduism 26 Rishikesh: Swami Omkarananda: Little-known, Much-needed 32 Rehabilitation: Reiki Returns to India 38 LIFESTYLE Insight: Confused .A6 -; ut Hinduism? Here's.the Final Word(book) 28 Of Kids and Camaraderie 41 Fusion: A Facile Flautist Faces East 45 Protest: Ban of Offensive Aerosmith CD 47 OPINION Publisher's Desk: A Word of Praise for Our Women of Vision 10 Letters 12 My Turn: Health Is Nothing New to Me 13 Editorial: Forget Your Body Gripes 16 Astrology: Enter the Age of Aquarius 44 Healing: The Universe's Remedial Force 46 Minister's Message: Limitless..Growth Is Yours by Abandoning Limitations 50 . DIGESTS , ' Diaspora !: Quotes & Quips Evolutions /' 7 News in Brief 17 Digital Dharma 48 49 56 www.HlndulsmToday.kaual.hl.us Ap llmbtr: AuooIated , ..... 1897 Edlto .... Choice webatte award

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Page 1: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

.January, 1888 "....-.....;..-

Canada . ... . .. C$4.95 Malaysia .... . RM5.50 Singapore ...... . . S$4 UK . . ...... £2.50

o 74470 12134 3

Letters to the editor, subscription and editorial inquiries should be sent to Hinduism Today, 107 Kaholalele Road, Kapaa, Hawaii 96746-9304 USA. E-mail: [email protected]. HINDUISM ToDAY (ISSN#

0896-0801), January, 199B Volume 20, No.!. Editorial: 1-808-822-7032 (ext. 241); subscriptions: 1-808-822-3152 (ext. 238) or (in USA) 1-800-89°-1008 (ext. 238); advertising: (in USA) 1-800-85°-1008 or 1-808-823-9620. All-department fax: 1-808-822-4351. HINDUISM TODAY is published monthly by Himalayan Academy; Sat guru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Publisher; Acharya Palaniswami, Editor. USA subscriptions: US$3g/1 year, $74'2 years, $lOg/3 years, $60o/lifetime. International rates are an additional $10 per year. Also distributed through major subscription agencies worldwide. CalIl-8oB-822-7072 for bulk orders (ext. 230) or permission to publish a HINDUISM TODAY article (ext. 227) or fax 1-808-822-4351. Printed in USA.


COVER: In a stone mortar and pestle, Dr. VIrender Sodhi, M.D., of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic in Bellevue, Washington, crushes herbs to create . medicines, as the costly cures of the West give way to simpler alternatives. Page 20 . '

,. '" ,., >< o C)


/-a~~' INTERNATIONAL Cover Story: The Sick Are Demanding

Medicine to Mend its Ways 20 Challenge: Fbrvor Over Fire-walking 24 Education: 5-Star Hotels Help Mauritius

Youth Rediscover Hinduism 26 Rishikesh: Swami Omkarananda:

Little-known, Much-needed 32 Rehabilitation: Reiki Returns to India 38

LIFESTYLE Insight: Confused .A6-; ut Hinduism? • Here's.the Final Word(book) 28 Pilr~J1tingi Of Kids and Camaraderie 41 Fusion: A Facile Flautist Faces East 45 Protest: Ban of Offensive Aerosmith CD 47

• OPINION Publisher's Desk: A Word of Praise

for Our Women of Vision 10 Letters 12 My Turn: Health Is Nothing New to Me 13 Editorial: Forget Your Body Gripes 16 Astrology: Enter the Age of Aquarius 44 Healing: The Universe's Remedial Force 46 Minister's Message: Limitless..Growth Is

Yours by Abandoning Limitations 50

. DIGESTS , ' Diaspora

!: Quotes & Quips Evolutions


7 News in Brief 17 Digital Dharma 48

49 56


Ap llmbtr: AuooIated , .....

1897 Edlto .... Choice webatte award

Page 2: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998
Page 3: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

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I am pleased to welcome you to the free digital edition of Hinduism Today magazine. It is the fulfillment of a vision held by my Satguru

Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, founder of Hinduism Today, to bring the magazine’s profound Hindu teachings to the widest possible audience. The text of each issue has long been available on the Web, right back to 1979, but without the photographs and art. Now you have here the entire contents of the printed edition, with all photos and art. Plus, it is interactive—every link is live; click and you go to a web page. You can participate in the magazine in a number of ways, accessed through buttons on the right. And you can help support this free edition in two ways: make an online contribution (even a small one); patronize our specialized advertisers. Explore the resources here, enjoy our latest edition and e-mail us if you are inspired.

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Hindu Bar Protested \ V fITH PICTURES OF LORD W Siva and Lord Krishna

sharing the walls behind the liquor bottles with pop stars and models, "Karma," Chicago's newest nightclub, is one of the first Hindu "theme bars." The American Hindu Anti-Defama­tion Co'alition is "shocked at the

misuse of sacred Hindu sym­bols to promote alcohol-serving establishments." They report a Lord Ganesha at the entrance, a giant Siva Nataraja on the dance floor and "a man wear­ing three heads that appears to represent Lord Brahma danc­ing erotically on a pede'Stal."



I congregated for a lunar eclipse ceremony in September, attempting to gain attunement with Rahu, the being in Hindu astrology associated with the waning cycle of the moon's orbit. The eclipse was the last to be

Gilded rites of Russian religious history: the Orthodox Church


ReligiOUS Umits Are Law


ernment and signed by President Yeltsin gives the Russ­'an Orthodox Church protected status. Critics charge it

curtails the rights of other faiths-such as Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Hinduism. The new law protects Russias his­torical religions from missionary faiths, especially those whose leadership is dubbed "foreign"-such as the Roman Catholic Church-which have grown dramatically since communism fell in 1991. Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and indigenous Pagan reli­gions are safe under the law because significant sections of the Russian populace have traditionally followeq them. The new law requires a faith to be registered for 15 years before it can gain official legal status, and it must curtail its activities in the meantime. Even though various religious groups were consult­ed, this is virtually the same bill that was vetoed by President Yeltsin a few months ago under heavy international pressure.

seen in Thailand this century and is blamed by many for the country's abysmal economic sit­uation-half the banks are closed due to failed loans. That Thailand's Buddhists maintain a strong connection to Hindu tra­dition is attested to by the fact the world's largest statue of Rahu is located in Nakhon Path­om, where the ceremony took place. The Prime Minister 's

wife, Phankrua Yongchaiyudh, is a prominent believer in Hahu\; impact, and would have gone to the eclipse ceremony but for a critical press.


Palace prayer hall


Ridgely Est ate to RK Mission


York businessman, was en­chanted by the personality and Vedanta philosophy of Swami


Just, Say No


vegetarian and animal rights activist Jennie Garth just made an anti-burger ad for PETA­People for the Ethical Treat­ment of Animals. "Want to make sure the meat in your fridge won't poison your fami­ly?" goes the ad designed for newspapers and magazines. "Throw it out. There's never been a better time to go vege­tarian." Her character, "Kelly," on the popular TV soap is also a vegetarian. The twenty-five year old married actress adopt­ed vegetarianism for ethical reasons, and lives with four dogs, one cat, one canary, two goats and a chicken named Fri­da. Jennie's also a new mother.

Vivekananda when he barnstormed America in the 1890S. The swa­mi stayed several times at Leggets 83-acre Ridgely Estate in the beautiful New York countryside. The Ra­makrishna Mission re­cently acquired the property and dedicat­

ed it in October as the "Vivek­ananda Retreat" under the guid­ance of Swamis Swahananda and Atrnarupananda. The Manor House is for permanent residents; the Macleod House accommodates ten women and the Leggett House six men.





Page 5: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998


Monk'S' Turn


the Buddhist Mahasangha of Sri Lanka recently meditat­ed an'd prayed en masse in fa­vor of Sri Lanka president Ku- . maratuil"ga's peace proposals to end the country's civil war and against the report of the "Sin­hala Commission" which sharply criticized her plan.

Jagadguro Dr. Chandrashekhar Shivacharya Mahaswamiji offering amti to the sacred bilva leaves

The action was in resp-onse to a demonstration a few days earli­er by 400 monks in support of: the commission and is the strongest action to date by the powerful 35,000-strong Ma­hasangha advocating a: peace­ful, rather than a military solu­tion to the war.


90 Days of Bilva Puja in Kashi VASHI IS SIVA'S CITY OF LIGHT

I'on the Ganga River in northeast India-one of the old­est cities in India and the world. Among Kashi's many monastery pilgrim sites that sit in the city's narrow lanes, the Jangamawadi Math (monastery) is well knoWI,l and fFequently sought out. The Math dates back to the sixth century and is

now garnering more fame and good merit by helping peace in world affairs tJrrough 90 days of ceremonies centering on the bilva leaf, sacred to God Siva. The bilva (Aegle marmelos) or woodapple tree, is second only , to the pipal (fig) tree in signifi­cance in the very ancient Saivite sacred horticulture. The monastery began th,e "Koti Bil-


God's Word, Sages'Voices

Purified, empty, peaceful, breathless, selfless, infinite, indestructible, stable, eter­nal, unborn, free, he is es­tablished in his own glory. Having seen the Self who is established in His own glo­ry, he looks upon the wheel of life as a wheel that rolls on.


What people call salvation is really continence. For through continence man is freed from ignorance. And what is known as the vow of silence, that too is really con­tinence. For a man through continence realizes the Self and lives in quiet contemplation.


The Self resides within the lotus of the heart. Knowing this, consecrated to the Self, the sage enters daily that holy


varchana" rites on Guru Purni­rna-July 20, 1997-and ended them on October 20th. On the first day, 300,000 bilva leaves were offered to a Sivalinga. Alongside the rites were two major conferences-All India Veerashiva Conference and All" India Shivacharya Confer­ence-and lectures from promi­nent scholars. Participants and devotees numbering in the ' thousands came from all cor­ners of India.


Novice monks in Sri Lanka

sanctuary. Absorbed in the Self, the sage is freed from identity with the body and lives in blissful consciousness.


o Lord of the home, best fmder of riches for our children are you. Grant to us splendor and strength, 0 Master of our home.


Never may brother hate brother or sister hurt sister. Unit­ed in heart and in purpose, commune sweetly together.


Let there be no neglect of the duties to the Gods and the fathers. Be one to whom the mother is a God. Be one to whom the father is a God. Be one to whom the teacher is a God. Be one to whom the guest is a God.


May God-who, in the mystery of His vision and power, transforIDS His white radiance into His many-colored creation, from whom all things come and into whom they all return-grant us the grace of pure vision.


Verses are drawn from various sources. Those taken from The Vedic Experience by Prof Raimon Pani!ckar are available at www. HinduismToday.kauai.hi.uslashramlDir-New.html#VedExp.html


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Page 6: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

PUBLISHER'S DESK Second Generation (3-96), and a Day in

Women' of Vision · ,

the Life of India (2-97) . She writes, "My vision for the future of llinduism includes a better place for the Hindu woman. In the Vedas, women are respected for what they are in their own right; for example, Gargi, Lopamudra and Maitreyi. In today's soci­ety, despite all th'e advancements that women have made, they are still looked upon as adjuncts, oruy as somebody's wife, In a "Man's World"

Intuitive and compassionate, ladies are among the fine~t visionaries. .. and best journalists

mother or sister, but not for their own ca­pabilities and talents. Of course, all those relations are important, but a woman's own worth and talents need to be respected, nurtured and cultivated, with enc.!?urage­ment from their fathers, husbands and,

BY SATGURU ' SIVAYA SUBRAMUNIYASWAMI later, sons. I strongly feel that Hinduism, if rightly understood, has never been just a blind faith, but a rich, variegated source of '

MIGHT SAY THE THIRD OF THE A-B-C'S OF GOOD is choosing insightful journalists. This month,

take great pleasure in introducing to you a remarkable of seven ladies who are guiding, through their contri­

to this magazine, the course of Hinduism in the modern world. That might seem overstated, but think about it. Their in-depth insights into problems and farsighted suggestions

for solutions have made HINDUISM TODAY a vital part of the Hindu home. The visionary nature and inherent sensitivity of women, after all, far supercedes that of men. Men explain and women teach. Men preach and women nurture. We call our entire group of journalists the renaissance team, as they monitor and guide the global, eternal renaissance of the world's oldest faith. Seven women journalists (pictured be­

low) have been with us for many years, and we invite more to join their midst. Of course, there are other women who have been and will continue to be ihstrumental in the Hindu renaissance in vari­ous capacities. In our universe theYJ' include Kirin Bede, prison reformist and author; Madhu Kishwar, editor of Manushi maga­zine; Anita Raj, journalist, dancer and model; Brahmacharirti Maya Tiwari, writing on sadhana, health and women's issues, and many others. To anyone we have neglected, pardon us for not mentioliling you, but you know who you are and how dearly you hold the vi­sion of Hindu Dharma. We honor you and tQ-.e many more who will volunteer their efforts in the future. Here is some background on HINDUISM TODAY'S visionary women journalists and some thoughts from them that I think will inspire you.

Freel~ce journalist Archana Dongre lives with her J.iusband, a computer engineer, in Los Angeles. She has been in the US since the early 1970s. Born in Pune, Maharash- . tra, schooled in Mumbai and Nagpur, lin­guistically gifted, she excelled in all other languages and sciences. She earned a de­gree in e'd.ucation and an M.A. in Sanskrit language and literature. Excelling at broad research pieces, her latest articles In HIN­

DUISM TODAY include Adopting Indian Children (4-94), Tribal Art (2-95), Theosophy (6-95), Home, Sweet Europe (9-95), ISKCON's


such fascinating, appealing sciences, like jnana TlWrga and bhakti TlWrga. In the truest, literal sense of the word Dha1"1lW, which sig­nifies 'moral sustenance,' Hinduism has all the potential and power to save humanity. I worked in different fields, took college courses in many diverse subjects, but found that no matter what I did, I came back to writing. I just pray to God to give me strength and long life so I can do something significant for my work and my family so I can make a difference and leave a mark."

Shikha Malaviya is a freelance writer with a B.A. in mass communications and English creative writing. Formerly a Worldviews editor for the Minnesota Daily, editor of The Hindu Mandir Patrika, and Baathcheet Indo/American journal, she is now pursuing an M.A in liberal studies with an emphasis on literature by Indian women. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and daughter. Among her HINDUISM TODAY contributions:

Mixed Marriages (2-94), Wife Abuse (6-94), \yomen: Home or Career? (9-95), Tantra: Feminizing Divinity (11-95) and A Color­fully Crafted Fair (6-97). Shikha summarizes he( vision: "HINDUISM TODAY is a vehicle in forging the traditional with the modern iri respect to Hinduism. It is my hope that HINDUISM To­DAY will continue its groundbreaking work and give others like myself the opportunity to create a greater dialogue for such a rich and diverse religion.:'

-Lavina Melwani, who is from New Delhi, writes for publications in the US, India, and the Far East. Her family is originally from Sindh. She resides in New York with.: her husband and two children. Lavina is active in Children's Hope, a charity to as­sist childreh in India. Her sensitive touch features social issues and the arts, includ­ing New York Loves Ganesha (11-93) , Mixed Marriages (3-94) , Afghanistan Hin- '

dus (6-94), Famous Vegetarians (1-95) , The Grand Dame of Kathak (3-95), Women Film Directors (2-95) , The Veggie Revolu­tion (12-95) , the UN aUer 50 years (2-96), Sky Is Not the Limit (4-97), 35mm Mega-Memoir (12-97) and Hear Krishna's Flute ( 11-97) . In sharing her vislbn, Lavina tells us, "I have always loved the way Hinduism allows one to have a close, one-on-one relation­ship with a very personal God. It is a very loving, elastic and all­embracing religion, and I hope in the years to come these will be

the features the world will get to see, rather than the fundamental­ism or rigidity e~oused by a few."

Prabha' Prabhakar Bhardwaj is a free-lance journalist living with her husband in Ke~ya. She grew up in JanlffiU, North India. She left a .Masters in economics to get mar­ried, * 6 years later earned a Bacpelors De­gree in Journalism in Hyderabad, then moved to Kenya to teach journalism at Nairobi University. She sp~cializes in envi­ronment and gender issues and has pub­lished many books, among them, Body and

Mind, Women and Environment, translated into Spanish, French and English. Prabha was a key member in writing two environ­mental action plans, one f0r the Kenyan government and one for the UN. Her contributions to HINDUISM 'TODAY include: Kenya Temple Moves (9-94), Kenya's Hindu Kids (9-94), Kashmir Pandits (11-94), Hindus Return to Uganda (12-94), The Ganeslia Milk Miracle (12-95), Hindus in West Africa and Dressing for Heaven b-97). In her vision, Prabha Prabhakar is deeply concerned for the future of Hinduism: "I have seen five generations in my own family, from my grandparents to my grand-daughter, and Hinduism is successively getting more diluted with each genera­tion. HINDUISM TODAY has the capability to attract the younger generation in a very pragmatic and rational manner I plan to reacB. out to the Hindu youth of today and future generations scat­tered arOlmd the world by coming down to their level. I am ree searching Hindu rituals from birth to death for a book on that subject to attract the young to our traditional religion. There should also be emphasis on caring for elders so that they are not neglected in their late years, an unfortunate modern trend."

V:G. Julie Rajan, a medical editor, part-time grad student, and freelance writel'living with her husband in Philadelphia, seeks to uplift the status of women and minorities. She was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. She is currently writing and seeking a publisher for a book entitled, Studying Evolution of IJindu FeTlWle. Her ambitious HT .stories include Pat Robertson's denouncement of Hinduism as dE?monic (7-95), Prenatal Sex

DeteFmination in India (4-96), Puja in Washington (96-12), Books about ~ndu Women (1-97) and Dissolving Boundaries (8-97) fUld this month's Alternative Healing. Julies vision: 'J\s a writer, I would like to encourage Hindus to return to and appreciate Hin- I

duism in its most pure form, one of tolerance and love, untainted by schisms of caste and sect. Second, I -hope to better the lives of women and the minorities, in an attempt to encourage the view that we are all one under God, regardless of gender, creed and socio-economic status. Thirdly, I hope to encourage Westerners to respect the beauty and practicaliJ:y of Hindu spiritualism and to put to rest historical stereotypical bias." . .

Anandhi Ramachandran is a senior dance instructor at Kalakshetra Academy of Arts in Chennai and a free-lance journalist. Her most recerh article in HINDUISM TODAY was the feature on Ramana Maharshi in March, 1997· Of her 'vision of the future, she shares, "Hinduism is complete in these two words, Amrittam gaTlWya, meaning, 'Take me to­wards a deathless fate.' The most impfessive feature of Hinduism is that it has made spir-

itual awakening simple enough to be understood by anyone, edu­cated, uneducated, adult, children, men, women, rich or poor, white, black or brown. Today we need a uniting en~rgy and guid­ance to bring together all Hindus. Politics is not the answer. It is more harmful to give the shade of religion to politics, for it divides

• people and wnlps up violence. Fanaticism is harmful in everything. The need of the hour is awakening of the spirit. A world leadership is necessary. Hinduism is perhaps the worlds oldest religion. If there is unity among those who live according to dharma, it may be possible to unite the world.'<fhe younger gener­ation is looking for meaning in their life. The world has become very materialistic, vengeful and war torn. Sanatana Dharma can change the f ituation. Dharma is common to all. HINDUISM TODAY is bringing out the truth, and in easy words explaining how to adhere to dharma. From Nepal to Kanyakumari there are many sects of Hindu religion. HINDUISM TODAY is bringing them closer together. The most important aspe6t of education is character building. HIN­DUISM TODAY can help parents to educate their children."

Choodie Shivaram, a journalist for 15 years, with a B.A. and a full law degree, resides in Bangalore with her husband and two children. She was a popular journalist in Bangalore before leaving her full-time work to raise her children. Her more than 20 articles in HINDUISM TODAY since 1995 include Pandit Haripr~sad Chaurasia (10-95) , Crafts by Women (1-96), Kerala's Ma­triachy (2-96), Ganesha Factory (3-96), a

Tobaccoless Village (3-96), Tirupati's Priests (6-96), Madhavacharya's Birthplace (11-96), Joint Families at Risk (1-97), India's Beauty Contest (3-97), a Saint's Self-Willed Death (9-97). Choodie's vision statement: "My involvement with HINDUISM TODAY opened my eyes to the real side of Hinduism. Besides the content of the magazine, during the course of penning articles, I was com­pelled tb refer 'to a number of books oq varied subjects on Hindu philosophy. I was forced to speak to a number of traditional and modern scholars. I was awe struck by Hinduisms profundity. I feel sad to think of how I squandered an important P¥'t of my early life in ignorance. I realize that a whole lifetime is not sufficient to understand the beauty that is Hinduism. We had an~ have great scholars who have written brilliantly about the religion and com­mented copiously on innumerable scriptures. My windows of per­ception and understanding of the religion have just started unfolding. Today I am extremely proud of being a Hindu, arid this pride comes not by vanity or by virtue of my birth as a Hindu, but by the better understanding of the religion and its greatness. With me, my family has come under the influence of the true essence of the religion., and now I am content that J will not fail in my duty, of exposing my chilc!ren to a. better understanding of the religion."

Interestingly enough, while I was working on this column on a Macintosh Powerbook, two ladies of vision who live on our island of Kaua! came and sat with me and two swamis at our editing session near the ocean amidst coconut palms. They are Marilyn Wong and Barbara Curl, local participants in a national organiza­tion called the Women of Vision, having just finished organizing a major conference on our island where 120 women leaders came to inspire their sisters to teach a spiritual approach to life and collab­orate for the benefit of all humanity, including the men! We shared with Marilyn and Barbara this page, knowing they would take strength from the strength of our Hindu women's team. They did and said they would read it at their gatherings. Was our meet­ing with these high-minded ladies an accident or a divine coinci­dence? Or was it, perhaps, women's intuition?




Page 7: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

Ioo~---------------:--------------------------------------------.......---------- -- ------------------------~ ,

The Limits of ToleranceP I ENJOY READING YOUR PUBLISHER'S DESK. Elich is very thought provoking and full of wisdom. Your last one on "Forgi~ing Others Is Good for Your Health" [PUBLISHER'S DESK, November, '971 is very impordmt when ?~O­pIe are so angry and intolerant. Our traditlOn has taught us to be v~ry tolerant. Sometimes I wonder if we should have som;e limits or g1fidelines. For the past thousand years we have tolerated many foreign in"¢asions. These invaders have converted us to their religion by sword, or a bowl of rice, or by offering ed­ucation, and we have tolerated them. Foreign rulers have abducted our women, and we have not been able to do anything about it. Some of them have made us crawl on our streets, killed us and beaten us up with the help of our own brothers, and we have toler­ated that. Should there be any limit to our tolerance? Are there any guidelines-what and how much should we tolerate and under what Circumstances? What is important­our peace of mind or our freedom of choice and the welfare of all Hindus?


, [email protected]

v'Yes, the history is horrific, and we should not forget. But the size of the crime does not limit tolerance. Indeed, the greater the transgression, the more true tolerance is re­qUired. It's easy to forgive small i11juries. It's hard to absolve the kinds of misdeeds you speak of An unforgiving mind is no founda­tion for Hindu welfare.

Our Very Existence Is a Success IN JAMAICA WE HAVE A HINDU ORGANIZA­tion called Prema Satsangh of Jamaica. We have been dedicated to the propagation of our culture and our religion, reaching out to peoDle in different spheres of life and assist­ing all. We hold free medical clinics, cele­brate festivals and conduct camps in aid of teaching the young children about their cul­ture. Our islandwide membership of about 200 has worked hard these past 25 years to develop this worldWide reputation that Pre­rna Satsangh can be proud of. Should anyone be interested in participating in any of our charities please e-mail or WTite to us.




, [email protected]

Not a British Lackey THANK YOU FOR YOUR GLORIOUS ARTI­cles on Vaish:ri"avism. I eagerly read the arti­cle "Tradition in Decline" [MONASTERY, No­vember, '97]. In-the eighth paragraph, Bhas-


:GETTERS kar Misra i~ quoted, "The deterioration start­ed right after the British annexed Orrisa. Mr. Kedarnath Dutt, administrator for the British, heavily criticized the maths of Or­risa in 1860, and in 1868 an ad hoc commit­tee was appOinted to review their affairs." I agree with .everything he says except the portrayal of Mr. Kedarnath Dutt as an ad­ministrator for the British. Mr. Kedarnath Dutt (Srila Bhaktivinode ' Thakur) is a prominent Vaisnava Acharya in the Madhva~ Gaudiya sampradaya. He is well known even today for .his volumes of heartfelt WTit­ings. Mr. Kedarnath Dutt's motive for criti­cizing the leaders of the maths was not done to serve the British. He wanted spiritual leadership to be~exemplary. He campaigned for everyone to live up to the brahrninicaJ.. principles of purity, austerity, honesty, mercy and devotion. Srila Bhaktivinode "Thakur was the father of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, who remained celibate his entire life. Both of them WTote extensively in English and sought to spread Sanatana Dhar­ma all over the world. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati is the guru of my beloved guru, A.c. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Prabhupada. Sri­la Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Mah,araja in­structeQ Srila Prabhupada to go preach in the West. Their collective motive has always beenoto spread Krishna consciousness world­wide because they are dedicated servants of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, not the British.


, [email protected]

Bhakti Reinforcement Needed I READ WITH INTEREST YOUR ARTICLE "Tradition in Decline," as I had visited Puri recently. Since so many maths are becoming destitute, it's no wonder they have become so rupee conscious. Knowing beforehand I would not be allowed to enter, I made a pil­grimage to Lord Jaganatha's and Sri Sakhi­gopaf Mandirs due to their unparalleled his­tor,,}' ofbhakti. The demands for hundreds of rupees (actually, it started at over a thou­sand) to view the temple from adjacent compounds is nothing more than a business. This is why I don't find- it surprising that Haridas Thakur's Mandir is doing so well. All I heard there was the sweet sounds of bhajans,' so they got the biggest donations.


Law Needs Changes .-THERE IS THE POPULAR MYTH IN THE minds of many Trinidadians ang Tobagians that our nation is a secular nation that does not discriminate .against any of its citizens [Legal Ine~ty, LAW AND ORDER, December, '971. Within the laws enshrined in the statute

books there is legislation which protects Christianity and provides legal muscle to suppress non-Christian religious groups. The Maha Sabha again has adopted a Civil Lib­~rtarian stance on this matter, advocating that the laws not only accommodate the rights of Hindus but also that of Muslims,. Baptists and other faiths. The'magnanimity of Hinduism allows the Maha Sabha to do no less. To some, these are laws which are nev­er enforced, like so many other laws in Trinidad, and therefore the Hindu commu­nity need not fear. Yet the law of blasphemy­tHat continues to protect those who attack our religion reqwes changes. '


'[email protected]

There Is a Distinction TEN YEARS AGO A GOOD FRIEND, WHO WAS suffering from cancer, decided to fast to death [A Saint's Self-Wille'd Death, CONTRO­VERSY, September '97]. He stopped taking food and liquid. As lie was at home, his beloved wife and children were able to be with him. It all happened in peace. A few moments before his death, he opened his eyes, looked at each one of them and said, «Goodbye." His death was a conscious death, and in peace. This was not a suicide. The action and reaction of suicide can nev­er be peaceful. The result of suicide is very, very painful, especially for the person in question and those who stay behind.



Corrections The National Research Institute for Self Un­derstanding of Ghanshyam Singh Birla in Quebec [To Goddess, With Love, December, 1997] should have been referred to as 'The Palmistry Center." In their website address, "Galaxy.html" should be capitalized. •

Addresses for agencies that assist Nepal's ,Deuki (In God's Name, Dec. 1997] are: 1) Child Protection Cepter, Mehlauli, District Baitadi, West Nepal; 2) UNICEF," Country Office, Phulchowk, Lalitpur; 3) UNICEF, Re­gional HQ for South Asia, Lainchaur, Knth­mandu; 4) Snehi Women's Awareness Center, Deomandu, District Baitadi, West NepM

Letters with writers name, address and daytime phone number, should be sent to:


107 Kaholalele Road KAPAA, HI, 96746-9304 USA or faxed to: (808) 822-4351 or e-mailed to: [email protected] ~

Letters may be edited for space and clarity and may appear in electronic versions of HINDUISM TODAY. \., INDICATES LEITERS RECEIVED VIA E-MAIL



HINDUISM TODAY was founded January 5, 1979, by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, for the following purpOses: 1. To foster Hindu solidarity as a unity in diversity among all sects and lin­eages; 2. To inform and inspire Hindus world­wide and people interested in Hinduism; 3. To dispel myths, illusions and misinformation about Hinduism; 4. To protect, preserve and promote the sacred Vedas and th~ Hindu reli­gion; 5. To nurture and monitor the ongoing spiritual Hindu renaissance. We invite our read­ers to share these purposes with us by writing letters, contributing reports and articles on events, sending news clippings and encouraging others to subscribe.

Publishe~: Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami Administ. Director: Paramacharya Bodhinatha Editor-in-·Chief Acharya Palaniswami Publisher's Aide: Acharya Ceyonswami Deputy Editor: Acharya Kumarswami Managing Editor: Tyagi Arumugaswami Graphics Director: Tyagi Natarajaswami Mauritius Editor: Tyagi Murugaswami Mauritius Staff Writer: Tyagi Devaswami ProdJPro'nwtion Manager: Tyagi Kathirswami Deputy Managing Editor: Yogi Kasinatha Managing: Editor's Aide: Yogi Rishinatha Editor-in-·Chiefs Aide: Yogi Yuganatha Advertising Manager: Sadhaka Jothinatha SubscripHon Manager: S"adhaka Haranandinatha Correspondents: Gowri Shankar & Anantlhi Ra­machandran, Chennai; Choodamani Shivaram, Ban­galore; Rajiv Malik & Mangala Prasad Mohanty, Delhi; ~ S. Gopalakrishnan, Kerala; S. G Debnath, Bangladesh; Archana Dongre, Los Angeles; Lavina Melwani, New York; Prabha Prabhakar Bhardwaj, Kenya; Dr. Hari Bansh Jha, Nepal; Parasram Ramou­tar, Anil Mahabir, Trinidad; Dr. Devananda Tanda­van, Chicago; v.G. Julie Rajan, Philadelphia; Rad­hika Srinivasan, New Jersey; Shikha Malaviya, Minnesota. Artists: A. Manivelu, S. Rajam. ~.

Cartoonis:ts: Barry Geller, David Lourie, Mario de Miranda, Manick Sorcar, Gary L. Stair, Bob Thaves. Photo Contributors: Thomas L. Kelly, Stephen P Huyler, Dev Raj Agrawal, Phal S. Gir?ta, Tony Stone Images, Photobank, Art Wolfe Inc., Gordon Wiltsie, Indivar Sivanathan. WeB Masters: Deva Seyon, Sadhunath;n Nadesan. Scanning: VIkram Patel, New York. Distribution: Jiva Rajasankara, Bangalore; Dohade­va Samugam, Singapore; Chudikadevi Saravan, Sel­laduraLPerakasam & Rohini Kumar, Malaysia.

AyurvedB: Choic~st H'ealth-Care Choice We already possess an age-old healing art capable of preventing most disease


EGINNING IN 1979, I raveled from the east to the west coast of the United States, talking to

people about ayurveda. It was on a small scale, usually in someone's private home or even in the backyard with a few chairs. They didn't even know how to pronounce the word ayuroeda. Now it is growing, becoming quite popular and many people have been touched by the ayurvedic way of life!

During my journey, I learned that the people in the United States are looking for alternative systems of healing: When a sys­tem has limitations, naturally people look for an -alternative system to fmd answers to their problems. It is my experience, in the last 14 years of teaching ayurveda in the United States and the United Kingdom, that people are extremely open to it. Everyone wants to know what is his or her plakruti, the individual constitution, and the vikruti, the present, altered state or imbalance.

Ayurveda is the art of healing that con­siders every individual uniquely. Ayurveda is not only herbal medicine. It deals with

.,:each problem directly at the root cause, using diet, lifestyle, proper yoga postures, meditation and certain sounds for healing ' purposes. Its discipline requires one to learn about one's own life so that one can defInitively have proper health of body, mind and consciousness. ""

Ayurveda is the science of life. And life is all; life is body, mind and consciousness integrated. In that sense, ayurveda is the right kind of alternative system of medicine. Initially, the medical community was not open to ayurveda. In modern medicine, the mind is separate from the body and the .­body has nothing to do with the mind. But as more research occurs, the West is com­ing to the realization that there is an inti-

mate relationship between body, and mind. Today many medical professionals are open to yoga therapy and meditation. They respect the system and like to learn and incorporate ayurveda into their practice. -

In the b eginning, my students were mostly lay people who had the time to learn something. They came for ayurveda and

their own self-healing. Many students felt their lives changed and healed. But slowly, the students are increasing in number and are more dedicated to learning ayurveda. Many are professionals-chiropractors, acupuncturists, even medical doctors and nurses. These professionals are coming to 'learn ayurveda, and they have the goal in their hearts to become ay urvedic healers.

In our institute, students in the first year just come to learn ayurved:t As they study, they want to learn more in depth, so they join our gurukula program. A total education in ayurveda to become a BAMS-~achelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery-has similar requirements as a medical doctors', taking seven to nine years. Probably the most realistic option is for Western medical doctors and professionals to incorporate soqte ayurveda into their practice, rather than to go back to medical school.

Ayurveda has been used to treat th~ whole patient for almost· 10,000 years. It was only 200 years ago that ayurveda be­gan to be looked upon as secondary med­ical care. It is now rising to itS' former prominence as the preferred health care option. My vision is that there will be regu­lar ayurvedic medical colleges and schools af the university level where full graduate courses of ayurveda can be learned.

DR. VASANT LAD, director of the Ayuroedic Institute, New Mexico, USA, has been prac­tising ayuroeda for more than 25 years.




Page 8: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

LoVING GANESA 800 Lavishly Illustrated Pages on Ganesa

by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Learn about Ganda's powers, pastimes, mantras, miracles, nature, science, fOI;ms, sacred symbols and much more! There

is no book about Ganda that's more complete. The fOl;d of Dharma comes to life threugh the pages of

this inspired masterpiece. Loving Ganesa makes approaching Ganda.easy and inspiring. '~copy of

Loving Ganesa ~hould be placea in every library and Hindu home (Sri Om Prakash Sharma)."


Softcover, SOO pages, 5l,6¢x Sl,6," $23.95.

SACRED AUMS CD If you've looked every­where for a graphic for your project that reflects Indian culture, but nothing quite meets your needs, tHis CD ROM may be your answer. Now you can have hundreds and hundreds of Aums, Hinduisl!1's sacred symbol of the Source ot all, in styles you?ve never: dreamed of. They can be used anywhere: in publicatio)ls, on the Web,

A tasteful arrangement of South Indian and Sri Lankav dishes perfected in homes and temples as offerings to the Lord. Indian ashrams serve the finest cruelty-free meals enjoyed an~here, and the monks at Kauai?s fIindu Monastery carry 011 that 6,000-year-old tradition. Believing that good food is humankind's best medicine, they are sharing their secret

collection of recipes gathered over the years. Includes a comprehensive introduction to a}'\lrveda as it applies to nutrition and health, including the values of spices and herbs and their effects on the body. Sturdy wire binding, sW' x II;' 104 pages, $19.95.

as framable ad, wallpaper, bumper stickers or T-shirts. It took years to collect1hese from the far COI;ners of the Earth. High-Res images in Adobe Pliotoshop or Illustrator. Macintosh format only. Special intreductory price: $49.95.

THE VEDIC £XPERIENCE Back when we were gathering Vedic verses for Danciqg

with Siva, we could hardly believe our eyes when we came upon this thoughtful anthology from the VediG Samhitas,

Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads and other scrWtures. This Vedic epiphany tells the story of the universal rhythms of

nature, history and humanity. The translation and abundant commentary are the-work of renaissance thinker Raimon Panikkar- the fruit of twelve

years of daily sadhana in Varanasi between 1964 and 1976 while he lived above a Siva temple on the Ganges. He considers it perhaps his

most significant literary contribution. Motilal

Banarsidass, Delhi, 1977, smythe case bound,

cloth cover, sW' x 8l,6," 1,000 pages $41.

• • , \~ I'" i r

RUDRAKSHA PRAYER BEAD NECKLACES It's very hard to find rudraksha prayer strands of this quality, and the price is unbeatable. The beads are sacred to Siva and endowed with healing properties. The beads are of uniform size, 3/S inches in diameter, in two styles: lOS beads on flexible thread, or 54 silver capped beads. Can be worn as a necklace or around the wrist. $25.

DANCING WITH SIVA. Special Hard Cover 5th Edition, Limited Quantity (Only 500 Printed)!

TIns remarkable 1,00S-page sourcebook covers every subject, answers every question and quenches the thirst of the soul for knowledge of God and the Self. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami has spent over

SO years in deep study, meditation and samadhi to create this masterpiece. Clearly written and lavishly illustrated, expertly woven with 600 verses from the Vedas, Agamas and other holy texts, 165 South Indian

paintilllgs, 40 original graphics, a 40-page timeline of India's history and a 190-page lexicon of English, Sanskrit and Tamil. A spiritual gem and great value at twice the price. "The most comprehensive and

sensitive introduction to the living spiritual tradition of Hinduism ... a feast for the heart and the mind (Georg Feuerstein)." Smythe case binding, 5W'x Sl,6;; cloth, gold embossed cover, $56.

~aillitt HindI! ~l!t:i:.r 1 . ........ - SAIVITE HINDU RELIGION

What every Hindu parent needs: intelligent, nonviolent, tradi­tional texts for their kids- an authentic, illustrated, seven­book series called The Master Course, teaching philosophy, culture and family life. Book One, at the 6-year­old level, is available in an Hindi-Tamil-English edition. Book Two, at the

6 to S-year-old level, is now available in an English-Tamil Malay edit~on. Softcover, sW' x 11." Book One: Hindi­Tamil-English. 170 pages. $15.95. Book Two, English-Tamil-Malay, 196 pages. $15.95.

Softcover edition (pictured) is $29.95.

SANTOSHI DEVI Can't find good Hindu books for your children? This beautifully illustrated c~ildren's book by Gayatri Rajan tells of a little girl's personal relationship with Lord Ganesha. Perfect bound, sW'x II;' 3S pages, printed in South Africa, watercolor illustrations throughout. $lS.

HINDU MAluuAGE SAMSKARA Author OJ;. Prem Sahai has carefully detailed

the procedures, rites, traditions and attitudes that make the Hindu wedding a binding sacrament not

only for two individuals but two families. Cloth cover, printed in India, 6" x 9;' 130 pages, $IS.

BRASS DEITY MURTIS We commissioned craftsmen in South India to make

quality bronze murtis for the home altar, hand forged and etched in the traditional way. Six-inch standing Ganesha,

three-inch Sivalinga, and a six-inch Ardhanarishvara.

With this handsome piece of Indian jewelry for men or women, you can wear the most sacred Saiva mantra, ''Aum Namasivaya;' all day as a reminder of God's grace at work in your life. Best quality, made in India from silver, copper and brass, with the mantra in Sanskrit Devanagari script. Band is five-eighths inches wide. Excellent for gifts. $30.

Supplies are limited. Each statue is $40.

CRYSTAL PRAYER BEADS Quartz crystal is considered

one of the purest conductors of spiritual energy, highly prized even for temple icons. Prayer.

beads for mantra recitation made from crystal are very

special. These small, smooth beads on a white thread have a

wonderful, holy feeling. Twenty­inch strand of lOS beads,

quarter-inch diameter. $25.

Send your order and payment to: Himalayan Academy Publications, 107 Kaholalele Road, Kapaa, Hawaii, 96746-9304 USA. Or fax your order with credit card number and expiration date to 1-808-822-4351, or phone 1-800-890-1008, ext. 238, or e-·mail: [email protected]. All pric~s include shipping to USA and Canada. Overseas, add 10%.


Page 9: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998


Wear Your Body, Like a S'andal ',

and the indwelling Sel£" The old texts knew tlie secret of long and vigorous life­that we have to be balan'ced, have to live purely and simply in service to the Divine, have to stay in touch with our innermost Self, the source of all our thoughts, our emotions, our organic systems. illness is due to spiritual ignorance, not mere physi­cill impairment, anq the regaining of our . native well-being is'a spiritual exercise, not

Indias wisdom decrees that worrying· over­much about your health is simply not healthy

a surgical or chemical one. Still, there is one malady that everyone who survives to mid-life has to face:jara, decrease and old age. The Upanishads speak of this in­evitability and teach l}s how to prepare spiritually for it.



and death prowl daily in the village of mortality, and man, at once forceful and fragile, is ever vigilant to keep these twin beasts at bay. This month HINDUISM TODAY ex­plores America's very recent and very important discovery

of India's healing arts. It is a timely. acceptance that will undoubt­edly bring more well-being to Americans, in addition to more cost­effective health care. The trouble is th~t Western'ers live in body consc~ousness overmuch, identifying themselves almost exc.lusively with the physical. As scholar and ayurvedic teacher Vamadeva Shastri wrote me rec~ntly: "We in the West think too much about our bodies and try to physicalize everything, including the spiritu­allife. We have redu,ced yoga to asanas, its physical side, and tantra to sex. The Western mind tends to pursue yoga not put of renunci­ation, service or love of God, but as a new form of enjoyment (bhoga) and personal achievement. Unless we tell a W.estern audi­ence how yoga will make them look better or feel better physically or mentally, they are not interested in it. There is something narcis­sistic about these attitudes. We are conditioned to a-life of enter­tainment and expect the spiritual life to be of the same order."

Our ancestors were also concerned about health and long life. In the early Vedic Samhitas we encounter their struggle >yith disinte­gration, disease and-Cleath, and affirmations of health. Listen to the Arthava Veda (XIX, 60, 1-2): "1¥-y my voice remain strong, my br~ath unfaltering, my sight and my hearing acute! May my hair not turn gray nor my teeth become blackened, may my arms not gro~feeble 1¥ld slack! May my thighs remain sturdy, my leg's swift to go, my feet neither stumble nor flag! May my limbs remain whole, each performing its function, may my soul remain ever unconquered!"

We in the 199os are also engaged in a struggle for well-being, facing the dire reality of a power that seems to rob us of our health and then return for our life. Yet, in the Vedas man remains deter-.• mined to face the menace, to struggle, and in the ·end to win. As Raimon Panikkar writes: "He has in his hand a medicinal herb, on his lips a sacred mantra, in his heart a burninlP; hope, and in his mind an unflinching faith. He is well aware of the complex"web of relations which crisscrosses the whole of reality, and he intends to intervene in Older to restore any lost harmony and balance."

The oldest and foremost ayurvedic text, Charaka SamMta, . afflf!llS, "Ayu, life, is said to be the harmony of body, senses"mind


Meanwhile, in mid-life, health remains.a vital concern. Our monastic family on the garden island of Kauai has evolved a

system you might find useful in your family. It is premised on the axiom that healing comes from within, not from outside us, and on the ideal of simplicity-avoiding excessive, intrusive and exhorbi­tant cures. We work each day on our health, thus forestalling illness. Whenever one among us is ill or injured, we follow a three­step strategy. F4;st, efforts are directed at self-healing. This includes meditation, change of schedule, sleep and work, visualiza­tion (energy flows where awareness goes) and attentive care of one another. If self-healing proves ineffective, we move to step two: ayurveda. This brings changes in our diet and other balancing of the forces, in consultation with our ayurvedic doctor. Ninety-eight percent of all ailments will respond to these two natural steps. But for that last two percent, we willingly and thankfully turn to an al­lopathic doctor who looks after us all. While major injuries, cuts or infections may require skipping steps one and two, it is :vith the greatest reluctance that we would ever go under the surgeons knife.

Instead, we find ways to live with lifes little aches and pains, our flus and frailties, taking them as part of the natural order. Our Paramaguru, Siva Yogaswami, urged followers to "Wear the body like a sandal." He -meant that we dont fuss about our shoes. If they get scruffed or pierced, worn or ripped, we go' on walking in them. Treating the body like a sandal, asking it to be functional and not fretting over every ouch and affliction is a spiritu'al practice that avoids the' pampering of this temporary abode. It also brings heal­ing in its wake and joy even in the midst of somatic maladies.

This weele'we saw a marvelous expression of this from' an unex­pected source. In a 9.ocumentary on the mysteries of the universe, noted British physicist Stephen Hawking was interviewed. Prof

Hawking suffers from Lou Gehrig's dis­ease, a life-threate~g nerve disorder that impairs muscle use. It has twisted. 'his body, paralyzed his limbs, destroyed ' his speech and left him bent helplessly in a wheelchair. Yet he endures, using a computer's voice to communicate his bril­liant ideas to the world. Asked what' he feels about his illness, he ,slowly typed these courageous words, "I try to lead as I

normal a life as possible, and not think about my condition, or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which are not tp.at many." Heres a man who knows he

is far more than his body, 'and who has risen above the gravest of disabilities. His life radiates the ideal of identifying with consciousness and shames those of us who routinely carp and complain about lesser infirmities.



"lgnor8nce is a powerful m8gici8r1) n the hum8n mind. It m8kes invisible th8t which is most visible-God."


Sage, mystic and philosopher Swami Omkaranan~a Saraswati, a direct disCiple of the late Swami SivanandiL of Rishikesh

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Not yet settled in a permanent home, the soul takes temporary shelter in a body. Tirukural, Verse 340

The answers are ·already within each of us. Good luck matching them with the corre­sponding questions. Swami Beyondananda

They had no idea who I was other than some weird blond per-son. We just began to communicate and laugh. Despite the~ poverty, they're very happy people. I found mysel£ laughing all through India. Ameri­can actress and staunch Indophile Goldie

Hawn on her first trip to India. She daily worships Lord Ganesha.

• Yikes! l 't:year-old Jyothi Palani upon hear­ing this complex quote from So. Radhaknsh­nan: "Any event has an endless past and an endless future, it is never-ending and nowhere-ending. This tantalizing endless­ness which marks it as unreal invites the soul to press on to the absolute."

Some pundits in India are like dogs s'tting in the grass. '!hey do not eat grass them­selves, but wont let hungry cows eat it ei-

I>IfAJe'A'1IfG·CA1 by David &- Ted ~--~------------~

.PJ.lARMA,'YOUWII.L fie FeD WHEN mllF 81" HAND IS ON 11-


ther. Russian Swami Sadashivacharya complaining about those who don't adhere to the spiritual knowledge they have learned, but still refuse to allow those who are not of their stratum to partake of it.

The only thing I will eat with eyes is a potato. Chelsea Clinton, daughter of the us President, upon entering Stanford Univer­sity. She recently became a vegetarian.

King Akbar asked Birbal, his Hindu minis­ter, where he gained his vast wisdom. Bir­bal instantly replied, "From the fools. I observed the actions which rendered one a fool and gave them up. So I got wiser and wiser. There is no dearth of fools and mad men in this world to be my teachers."

Many people in the West are not aware how Hinduism has gradually slipped right into our own ~ulture through the New Age.

'From a Christian guidebook on how to 'pray for Hindus.'


Heat Generator

J(CORDING TO A NEW YORK Times report, scientists recently discovered that the sacred lotus (Nelwmbo nUcifera) is a heat­

producing plant with the remarkable ability to hold its temperature be­tween 85-96 de­grees Fahrenheit Forty lotus flowers generate as much heat as a 40-watt bulb, while 70 can produce as much heat as a person at rest. Scientists are still baffled as to how the lotus manages this.



Page 10: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998


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Page 11: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998


Low-cost, low-tech, old-fashioned healing i~ resuscitated by,.uS$13 billion industry




probably gave little consideration to the impact of Rene Descartes upon

impendin7 diagnosis and treat­ment. But maybe you should have, for this 16th-century French phi­

losopher-famous for saying, "I think, there­fore I am"-postulated that the human body is just like a machine. This, in turn, led to the development of the kind of medicine-like­ly practiced by your doctor-which treats disease as one would fix a machine, me­chanically, with minimal regard for the per­son as a whole.

SIQ,.wly, reluctantly, this so-called "modern medicine," which has dominated for hun­dreds of years, is changing. Its mechanical approach of drugs and surgery has many ad­vantages, especially with regard to infec­tious disease and structural damage, but also many limitations. It tends to ignore the patient's lifestyle, minimize his mental state and dismiss his spiritual needs-and as a re­sult misses relatively simple forms of pre­vention and effective treatment for condi­tions unsolvable by either' drugs or surgery.

A great change is in the wind, led not by doctors, but by patients disillusioned with the unfulfilled promises of more drugs and more surgery, unable to pay their ever-in­creasing medical bills, unaccepting that they are "just like : machine" and unwilling to be treated like one. Traditional. Hindu medi­cine-ayurveda>-is yet a small part of this


/ ,. change, but the Eastern philosophy of the connection and interrelatedness of body, mind and soul is very central. The trend is so strong that the US government is devoting US$12 million a year to fund a new depart­ment, the Office of Alternative Medicine, to study and promote it. In 1996 OAM director Dr. Wayne B. Jonas stated, "One out of every three Americans saw an alternative health-care practitioner in 1990." ,

Just what to call this many-faceted revolu­tion against the mechanistic approach is un­clear. Western medicine is often called al­lopathy, though this is not a precisely accurate term. All other approaches are called "alternative medicine," "holistic med­icine" or "traditional medicine," even though m~y such methods are relatively modern. The alternatives come in many flavors: ayurveda, acupuncture, acupressure, home­opathy, traditional Chinese medicine, chiro­practic, massage, aroma therapy; meditation, yoga, therapeutic touch, herbal remedies, reflexology, naturopathy, reiki (see pages 38 and 46)'and more. These methods are low­tech, low-cost and involve a more personal re­lationShip between doctor and patient. The focus is as much on prevention as on cure. In some cases, the main treatment appears to be a daily dose of plain common sense~

Take something as basic as diet. Folk wis­dom tells us, "We are what we eat," and "We dig ~ur graves with our teeth." The 2,000-year-old South Indian Tirukural advises: "The body requires no medicine if you eat

only after the food you have already eaten is .digested." But the article on medicine in the 1992 edition of the ElJcyclopedia Britannica naively states, "There are relatively few dis­eases in which specific diets are of proven benefit."

"Not so," rebukes Dr. Neal Barnard, r.res­ident of the Physicians Committee for Re­sponsible MedicinE:" a Washington D.C. watchdog group. Citing the research of Dr. Dean Ornish sh.owing the overwhelming impact of change in diet in treating heart disease, Barnard states, "In a few years, a patient who was not given a vegetarian diet after their first or second heart attack, and who then goes on to have another heart at­tack, is going to bring a malpractice suit say­ing, 'Why didn't you give me the best care?' That will change doctors in an instant." And

., consider that just a few months ago a mas­sive analysis of 4,500 studies showed changes in eating habits could prevent up to 40 percent of the world's cancer.

"The real explosion of interest in alterna­tive or complementary medicine has taken much of the medical community by sur­prise," explains Barnard, 'because it is more powerful than allopathic medicine in so many ways. For example, to treat clogged ar­teries with a coronary bypass graft costs US$30,000 to $40,000 for one person. It is very dangerous, and you have a six percent risk of brat in damage. Some people don't sur­vive the operation. In the best case, you have to do it all over again within six or sev­en years because"the arteries block up. If, on the other hand, you follow the regime devel­oped by Dr. Ornish-very low-fat, plant-

based diet, modest but regular exercise, re­ducin$ stress in your life-without ever in­cising the chest and without ever filling a prescription, 82 percent of people have their blockages start to dissolve within the first year." Those stunning resul1:s are attracting the serious attention of doctors, insurance companies, universities and the US govern-ment. '

Acceptance remains an uphill battle. . Barnard • observes, "Doctors are certainly amongst the more conservative people there are. When you've learned a whole set of treatments and modalities, one doesn't easi­ly set those aside, even when there is com­pelling evidence that one should." AD.d when one adds the impact on income that will re­sult from a shift away from expensive, high­tech procedures, the establishment's consid-

erable resistance to alternative medicine is easily understood.

In 1977, as a medical school student and devot~e of Swami Satchidananda, Ornish conducted the first pilot study in which yoga was used to treat patients with heart disease. "Patients not only felt better, but even in a month in many cases we were able to measure improvements in the underlying heart disease and blood flow to the heart." The study was repeated in 1980 and pub­lished in the leu-mal of the American Med­ical Association-the coveted "seal of ap­proval" and the reason insurance companies may now cover his treatment programs.

"Part of why I spent 20 years doing re­search was to demonstrate how powerfu1 simple changes in diet and lifestyle can be," states Ornish. "We often think of advances ·in medicine being a new drug or a new sur­gical technique. People have a hard time be­lieving that these simple choices-how we eat, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke, or how much exercise we get- can make such powerfUl differences in their lives, but they do. In my research, we've been using the very 'high-tech, expen­sive, state-of-the-art measures to prove the power of these very ancient, low-tech inter-ventions." •

Therapeutic touch: A surprisingly wide­spread technique now finding its way into many allopathic hospitals is "therapeutic touch." Nurses (mainly) are trained to sit near the patient, even during an operation (see sidebar, next page), talk to him, comfort him and by moving her hands around his body allow life energy, prana, to flow through her and rebalance the patient's life forces-a process similirr to reiki. As a result, the patient is more relaxed during the surgery, less likely to develop complications and recovers sooner. This practice was pio­neered in the early 1970S by New York Uni­versity Professor Dolores Krieger and Dora Kunz. It has spread widely in the nursing profession and won the acceptance of doc­tors because it works, even though there is na...allopathic medical explanation as to why . it should. According to;he Nurse Healers Professional Associate of Pennsylvania, ther­apeutic touch is now practiced by an esti­mated 20,000 to 30,000 professionals , most­ly in the United States and Canada.

Ayurveda: .The traditional Hindu system of medicine has yet t9 make a significant impact on mainstream medicine in the West. Maharishi's Transcendental Medita­tion movement is ~orking to popularize ayurveda in the West. So is Dr. Deepak Chopra. Individual practitioners such as Dr. Virender Sodhi (cover photo) and Dr. Vas­ant Lad (see My TURN, page 13) run suc­cessful clinics-cum-schools in the USA. In India, ayurveda is enjoying a resurgence. "Middle and upper class people who had



Page 12: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

shifted their allegiance completely to allopa­thy," states Praveen Chopra in Life Positive magazine, "are again trying out ayurveda and other therapies after bad experiences wjJ:h allopathy. The result is the .J:>lossoming of ayurvedic clinics and hospitals all over India." •

Enter the spirit: Direct advocacy of reli­gion and spirituality is the final assault upon the machine paradigm of Descartes. "When you are dealing with cancer, sermus illness, or/ chronic illness where the medical com­munity knows that they have done their best, people often pull on their own re­sources," said Dr. David Larson of the Na­tional Institute for Healthcare Research in Maryland, USA. The NIHR is a private, non­profit organization that conducts research, educates and provides outreach on the rela­tionship between spirituality and health. "Frequently the deep part of peoples' belief is {heir spirituality and religion. There is strong research that shows faith is very ben­eficial in terms of pre-venting illness. You live longer if you are committed to your faith."

Even among practitioners of alternative medicine, however, there remains a strong reluctance to fully bring forward the spiritu­al/side of treatment. For example, Dr. Janet Macrae explains that she will not identify the energy manipulated in therapeutic touch as prana unless she is asked specifi­cally about it. Other practitioners do not worry about what their views might be con­nected to. "Some people do feel a little at sea with things that seem to come from far away. Other people have the opposite re­sponse-they are intrigued and excited," said Dr. Barnard. "When I talk about diets, I dbn't mince words, I say vegetarian. As long as you reassure people that you have good research to back up what you do, you'll have


no problem. Ornish has been doing beauti­fully, he-ll use the word yoga. "

Why now? There are many theories that explain the recent interest in alternative medicine. "Touching, feeling and comforting is a human necessity which is missing in this country," says Dr. Senthamarai Gandhi, a New Jersey internist. During her residency training in India, Gandhi said, the approach to patients was much more humanistic. Gandhi believes that alternative medicine brings simplicity to a patient whose mind is cluttered by the challenges and confusions


store manager Joseph Randazzo, 69, lies on an operating table at Co-

of modern medicine. "The more we techno­logically advance and scientifically advance, it seems that the more disease we develop," she said. "People might be unsure of why medical and technological advances do not answer their ailments, and for that reason, people may just want a more simple ap­proach, a spiritual approach, to medicine."

"The question is not: 'Should Americans be trying these new approaches?'" states Dr. Ornish. "The fact is that many of them al­ready are." He finds that modern medicine often fails to address the underlying causes

lumbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City in the throes of a triple coronary bypass," opens an eleven-page 1996 article in Life magazine on alternative healing. "The cardiothoracic surgeon has plunged his hands deep into Randazzo's chest cavity and works to bypass a clogged artery." At the patient's head during the two-hour operation,

the article goes on, "The hands of Helen McCarthy, a nurse trained in therapeutic touch, hover a few inches above Ran­dazzo's pale forehead, making gentle circular movements, as if polishing the air. McCarthy believes that a person's energy field extends beyond the skin into the air around him and that by consciously directing the flow of energy through her hands to the patients body she can-without even touching him-help him relax and stim­ulate his recovery. When she

The unseen: Energy healing at hospital

[rap singer] Snoop Doggy Dogg were to share the Carnegie Hall stage with Isaac Stern, the partner­ship would be no less incongruous. But this scene is just a partic­ularly dramatic man­ifestation of an extra­ordinary detente +

taking place in Amer­ican medicine."


feels an area of congested en­ergy, her hands linger over that spot, smoothing it out."

"The sight of a surgeon and an energy healing working side-by-side in one of this country's most prestigious hos­pitals has a forbidden air. If

Yet there is irony here. Had the patient adopted another kind of alternative therapy earlier-better diet-he might have avoided his clogged ar­teries altogether and not need­ed therapeutic touch to help him survive major surgery.

of disease. "If you do not treat the cause, it's a little like mopping up the flood around a sink that1; overflowing without actually turning off the faucet."

Enter the government: Public demand for more natural therapy caused the US govern­ments National Institute of Health to create the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) in 1992 to evaluate other approaches. While it is true to some extent that this office was expected to do a certain amount of "de­bunking," it has acquitted itself well in pre­senting a fair and comprehensive picture of the America alternative care scene.

US insurance companies have taken note of the increased use of alternative care. One reason is their customers are demanding they P4Y for it-in OAM's 1990 statistics, only a quarter of the $13 billion spent on al­ternative care was paid for by insurance. For example, Oxford Health Plans, Inc., which serves 1.5 million people in the Eastern USA, just began reimbursement in 1997. Even before the change, a third of their members were seeing alternative care. More than half of US insurance companies are ex­pected to fi)llow suit over the next two years, according to Landmark Healthcare of Cali-fornia. '

Education: The needed change in attitude toward alternative medicine is beginning to occur as medical schools adjust their train­ing programs. An article in the September 1996 issue of Life magazine reported that 34 of the 125 mediCal schools in the US, in­cluding top schools like Johns Hopkins, of­fered courses in alternative medicine. Dr.

Ornish has started a program in innovative medicine at the University of California. In 1996, the OAM and other government agen­cies officially recommended that "medical and nursing education should include infor­mation about complementary practices." They also recommended training include in­formation on alternative medicine, including philosophical or spiritual paradigms.

Harvard University has its "MindIBody Medical Institute," funded in part by the philanthropic and staunchly religious John Templeton, one of the world's wealthiest people. A December, 1997, program offered courses "to continue to explore the relation­ship between spirituality and healing in medicine and to give perspectives from world religions and to discuss the physiolog­ical, ne~ological and psychological effects of healing resulting from spirituality."

On the horizon: Many physicians feel it is inevitable for alternative therapy to be ac­cepted alongside modern medicine. "I see an increasing integration of the two. It has been greatly unbalanced," prophesies Bar­nard. "But surgery will always have a role for late stage cases. We will see an assignment of roles based on the strengths that they have." Thls approach is called "complemen­tary or "integrative" medicine.

"I see ayurveda as a much larger umbrel­la with a much greater perspective O'n the healing process," states Dr. Hall?ern. "I would-,like to see ayurveda remain a sepa­rate, independent profession here in the United States. I see no reason for it to be in­corporated into general medicine. In order


Ayurveda: (clockwise from far left) Pickers at the Maharishi Ayur-Veda farm in India select fresh herbs; display of finished produ,fts; hand-sorting; processing in stainless steel vats; sorting. (below) Dr. Neal Barnard, preSident of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

for Western medicine to adopt ayurveda, ei­ther Western medicine would have to com­pletely change its outlook on the under­standing of the cause of disease, or it would attempt to extract out of ayurveda that which it finds useful, in which case ayurve­da would become diminished and would loose its integrity as a healing science. I be­lieve that ayurveda will follow a course sim­ilar to acupuncture and chiropractic and be­come the fourth major licensed health care profession in the United States."

The final answer to health care really should be self-care. Must we simply trade one set of doctors and their methods for an­other? Or should we learn, as Mahatma Gandhi counseled, that every person can be his own doctor and learn to lead a disease­free life, especially through balanced, nutri­tious diet. He said, "I can cure 999 cases out of 1,000 by nature cure alone." Many alter­native doctors advocate taking personal re­sponsibility for one's illness, understanding that good health is the body's natural state, and ill health is generally a result of poor diet, lack of exercise, stress and unhappy, unproductive life styles .... Unless we take that advice and apply it in our lives, we remain dependent upon otlJ.ers for our well-being. Consider the old Indian saying about the limits of medicine-"If the patient is lucky, the doctor becomes famous." ..,;






Page 13: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998
Page 14: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998


Kids with Class Teaching programs for Hindu youth find a surprising venue at Mauritius' sumptuous hotels

By RAJEN MANICK, MAURITIUS AN YOU IMAGINE YOURSELF FOR A moment comfortably sell-ted in the lotus posture on a marble floor in

the conference room of a five-star hotel meditating to discover the Self within? Several times 'a year a lucky

group of young Mauritius Hindus are doing ju~t that, part of the innovative Siva Yoga­swami Youth Retreat Programs organized by the Saiva Siddhanta Church of Mauritius (locally known as the Saiva Dharmasala). Instigated under the direction of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (publisher of


HINDUISM TODAY), and run by two of his sannyasins, Tyagi Murugaswami and Tyagi Devaswami (with the consideraQle help of local family devotees), the programs are de­signed to instill knowledge of Hinduism and develop an increased sense of self-worth.

With the advent of the 21st century, the young Hindus of this island nation, im­mersed as they are in Western culture, edu­cation, music, television and movies, find it difficult to integrate themselves harmo­niously into the traditional Hindu frame­work. Many believe Hindu values are out of fashion, because no one gives them rational

explanations of the m~y "whys" that plague their minds. No doubt parents are trying their best, but they can only pass on what little they themselves have learned from their own parents about temple worship and home rituals. When it comes to philosophical questions asked by their better educated chil­dren, mothers and fathers are at a loss. The result: youth who know more about Madon­na, Spice Girls and "Beverly Hills 90210" than they do about karma, dharma, reincar­nation, ahimsa or yoga.

The island of Mauritius, with a population of one million, floats in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, near Madagasc~ .Most citizens are Hindu, and a Hindu govern­ment has ruled for many years. Some of the world's most elegant resort hotels have been' built along its idyllic beaches, frequented by rich Europeans on vacation. One of the unique features of the Satguru Yogaswami youth retreats and seminars is the use of these elegant seaside hostelries-ranging from quaintly picturesque, thick-thatched­roof bungalow-style inns like Marina Village and Villas Pointe aux Roches to the 2,000-acre deer wildlife reserve, Domaine du

Five-star classroom: Mauritian Hindu youth gather for class with Tyagi Muru­gaswami (center) at elegant hotel

gates in their chartered bus, are waved to by the Hindu security guards, and coast down flower-lined lanes to a cordial welcome in the lobby by senior management, they get a feeling of being special. Maybe someone thinks they are really worth something.

Worth is a big word in Mauritius. Bne boy explains, "Because these programs are so professionally put together and staged at such impressive hotels, it makes us youth feel like someone not only cares about us but thinks we are valued. Most people, even our parents, often just call us 'worthless.'" So, yes, instilling a secure sense of self-respect is a basic plus of the fancy sites.

These hotels are a joy to be at and easy to teach in. They are beautiful, picturesque, el­egant, classy and very clean. Everyone1'eels uplifted. Their conference room facilities are state-of-the-art, with video projectors for big-screen presentations, sophisticated sound systems and air conditioning.

Most critically, these venues work because hotel managers graciously offer low rates. Standard conference center and room rates-at US$300+ per night-are prohibi­tive. Why .. give the youth a break? Mr. Nor­bert Angerer, the cosmopolitan general manager of the spectacular four-star Le Grand Gaube Hotel, told HINDUISM TODAY,

the programs cost the youth a reasonable Rs.400/day (US$25). Each month there is one weekend program and in December a sev­en-d~ seminar. Local family members make all the arrangements and chaperone the events. The swamis conduct classes.

Ciassy content: The programs themselves are actually what take place at most ashrams, only the facilities are more mod­ern. All participants are required to dress in elegant Hindu clothing, which compliments the surroundings. Seminar topics include Sanatana Dharma, monistic Saiva Siddhan­ta, the soul, God, Hindu metaphysics and much more, all presented with the aid of ,., computer displays, sound systems and large video screens. Other sessions cover hatha yoga, near-death experiences, vegetarianism and reincarnation.

. Each dawn the youth have what often turns out to be their first experience of an early morning puja worship and meClitation, sitting on the seashore facing the rising sun. While religious teachings are the crux of the youth retreats, participants'" are treated to other activities which make the gatherings modern, exhilarating and adventurous. To mention but a few, there are deep-sea trips on a chartered catamaran or sailing ship, picnics on nearby islands, hikes into the is­land's deep gorges, non-competitive games, horseback riding, cultural and fashion shows put on by the youth and more.

Youths described the changes these re­treats have wrought: pride in their heritage, decisions such as taking a brahmacharya vrata, vowing to uphold chastity until marriage, or decisions to incorpo­rate vegetar'ianism, regular medi­tation, worship and hatha yoga practice in their daily life.

Chasseur, to palatial world-class mega-resorts like Le Touessrok, La Pirogue and Le Grand Gaube. "Not appropriate," a handful of doubters first whis­pered, suggesting the "kids" (ages 15-25) were being unnec­essarilx. pampered and good money wasted. They recom­mended instead the conserva­tive and austere free public gov­ernment camp barracks for overnight programs and temple mandaparns for day programs.

New Hindu campus: I.e Touessrok Hotel, renowned for its architecture /

Youth and adults alike endorse the programs. Mahesh Dayal, 18, son of the Commissioner of Po­lice, Mr. Raj Dayal, said, "I have always recommended my rela­tives and friends to attend these programs because I know these ' activities will..make them better Hindus." Dr. GM. Pilla; said, "It's a real opportunity for our youth to be in an active Hindu

But after two-and-half years, those initial worries have faded and everyone is delight­ed. The hotels have worked, and fantastical­ly at that. The most important reason is idio­syncratic to Mauritius. Because the tourist industry hotels are so expensive, most Mau­ritians simply can never afford them, nor in fact even see them, encircled as they are by high rock walls. Private guards, security po­lice and locked entrance gates keep out all but paying guests. Visitors are rarely al­lowed. So, when the seminar participants drive through the big wrought iron entrance

"Hotels like ours all try to do what we can for the citizens of Mauritius-more than just hire them. In these programs, we see a fine spirit, value and service to the youths. This inspires us to help." Kailash, the Hindu man­ager of Island View Club Hotel, agrees, "We know that these retreats are helping our youths understand Hinduism better, "so we are happy when we can give lower rates." Mr. Requin, the manager of five:'star Le Touessrok, appreciated "the dedication in educating the youth of today and instilling noble values in the their minds." As a result,

environment with two very competent swamis." Dr. Harry, specialist surgeon at the SSRN Hospital: "I .... always look forward to these youth activities for my children be­cause I know they . will come back home with valuable spiritual knowledge." The re­sults speak for themselves. Several hundred Hindu youth have attended and enjoyed these retreats. All who have participated feel as if they have awakened from a dream to find that the Hindu religion is not austere and irrelevant, but a treasure they have to protect, practice and preserve. ....I


Page 15: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

• ' abhisheka:~ "Sprinkling; ablution:'Ritu- highest, are: 1) muliidhii;a (base ~f spine): scribe a tt.;acher or gUide in any subjec~, such as al bathing of the Deity's image with water, • memory, time apd space; 2) sViidhishthiina music, danc~, sculpture, but especially religi;n. curd, milk,.honey, ghee, rosewater, etc. A special (below n~vel); reas~n; ~ . "'.a9ipura '(solar ha*a yoga: ~ 'porceftil yoga." A system of form of pujiiprescribed by Agamic injunction. plexus): willpower; 4) anahatll (heart center): physical anp mental-exercise developed in an-

· a~imsii: 3ffi;-m "Noninjury;' non:Violenc~ or ~, direct cognition; 5).v1Suddha (throat): divine cient times as.a means of rejuvenation and nonhurtfulness. Refraining from causing harm ' love; 6) iij1iii'(third,eye): divine sight; 7) sahas- used today in preparing the pqdy and mind to others, physically, mentally or einotionally. riira (crown of head); illumination, Godliness. for meaitation. . •

" iiratl: ~ "Light." The .. The seven lower chakras, from highest to· 'hell: Naraka. An unhappy, mentally and emo-• circling · or waving of a Ibwest, are'l) atala (~ips,: fear and lust; 2). vi- tionally congested, distressful ' area of con-

lamp-usl}aUy fed with tala (thighs): nlging anger; 3) sutala (knees) : sciousnes~ that can be experienced on the . ghee, Gamphor or oil-'-be· retaliatory jealousy; 4), taliitala (calves): pro- physical:, plane or in ~he sub-astral plane

, a h.oly per§on <;Ir the longed mental confusion; 5) rasiitala (ankles): (Naraka) after death of.the physical bo<;ly. It is " D~ity at the high selfishness; 6) mahiitaTa (feet): absence of acc~mpanied by}he to.rmented emotions of

point 9f p.ujii. :rhe flame is conscienq:; 7) piitiila (located in the soles of hatred, remorse, resentment, fear, jealousy and then: presented to th~ the feet): murder and malice. self-~Qndemhation. In the Hindu view, the

devotees, each ' passing ' his or her hands darsana: $ "Visiqn, sight," Seeing the Di- hellish experience is not permanent, but a through it ,rod bringing tHem to th; eyes three vine. Beholding, with inner or outer VIsion, a ' .. temporary coridition !Jf 0ne's own making. times, thereby receiving the blessings. . temple image, Deity, holy person or place, Hindu: ~ A followelj, of, or relating 'to, Hin-

'iit;raVa maia;: ~ "Impurity of smallness; with the desire to inwardly contact and receive duism. Gener,!}ly, one is understoqd to be a " , finitizing principle'." The individualizin:g veil the grace and blessings of the venerated being Hindu by being born into a Hindu family and

of du~lity that enshrouds the soul. It is the or beings. . T I practicing the faith, or by decl.aring oneself a source ,of finitude and' ignorance. :rhe pres- deva: ~ "Shiping one." A being living in the Hindu. Acceptance into the fold is recognized , i ence of'ii1;lllVa mala is what causes the rnisap- 4igher astral p1ane, in a subtle, nonphysical through the name-giving sacrament,.a temple prehension abdtit the nature of God, soul and ' I • body. Deva is also lised .in 'SCT\pture to mean 'Ceremony called niimakara1;la samskiira, 'given world, the notion of being separate and .dis- "God or Deity.'" • • to born 'Hindus shortly after birth, and to self-tinct from God and. the universe. A1;li,lva is the dharma: qq "That which contains or upholds decllJ,red Hindus who have proven their sin-root mala and the' las~ bond to be dissolved. ihe C08rp.OS." it is divine law, the law of being, • cerity and been accepted by'a Hindu.commu-.

. A~m: \to or ~ Often spelled Om. The mystic the way of righteousness, r~ligion, duty, 're- n\ty. While traditions vary greatly, all Hindus syllable of H,i~d)lism, placed at the begirming · sponsibility, ,¥irtue, justice, goodness and rely on t,he Vedas as scriptural authority. of most sacred. writings. As a,mantra, it is .pro- truth. Essentially, dharma is the orderly fUlfill- . japa: ~ "Recitation." noul1ced aw (as in luw), 00 (as ~n zoo), mm. • ment of an inherent nature,or destiny. Relat- " ~. Practice of concent1;atedly

with Lord Ganesa. The dot abo~e represents , con.du(;i.ve ~o spir!tu~ advancement. There are • . ' '~hile counting ~e repeti- • Aum.repr:esents the Divine, and is assooiated ing to the squl, it is the mode of conduct most V repeating a mantra, qften '

the Soundless So~d; Para'nada. • ,. four pnnClpal kinds.of dharma, as follows'. • hons qn a miila or sqand bhajana: 'If'~ Spiritual song. I~dividual or They are known collectively as -chaturdhar;- . . ' . of beads. It may be done • group singing of devotional songs, hymns ma: "fou~ religiou~ laws." 1) -'-rita: "Universal , ., ' silently or aloud. For Sai-and chants. law." 'Fhe'inherent order of the cosmos. 2) - vites, Nama\:l'Sivaya in its

bindu: ~ ''A dr<?p, small -, varna dharma: "Law of one's kind." 'Soc'ia1 various forms is the most treasured mantra particle, dot." 1) The seed duty. 3) -iisrama dharma: "Duties of life's used' in japa. The mantra Hiue-Raina-Hare-or source of creation. In .sta,ges:' "Human dharma. 4) -slladJiarma: Krish.Q.a is' among the forerpost Vaish.Q.ava the 36 tattvas, the nucleus "Personal law." One's perfect individual patteIn mantras. or first particle of transcen- ' through life, according to .on,e's own: particular . jivanmukta: ~ "Liberated soul." A being dept light, te.chnically called physical, mental and emotional nature. who has attainel' ni;vikalpa samiidhi- the r~-Parabindu. 2) Small. dot di~hii: <!Jan: "Initiation.'! Action or process.by alizati~n of the Self, Rarabr'ahman-and is'lib-W0rn on ~he forehead be- which one is entered into a new realm of spir- erated from r~irth while living in a human

tween ihe i=yeqrows, or in cl).e middle ,of the itual knowledge 'and practice by a teacher or body, This 'attainment is the ' culinination of forehead. It is a sign tha~ on.eis a Hindu: Mysti- preceptor through the transmission of bless- lifetimes of intense striving, siidhana and tapas, cally,j:t represents the "third eye;' or th~ "mind's' ings .. Denotes initial or deepened cpnnection requiring total renunCiation, sannyiisa, in the

, 'ey'e;' which sees things tliat the physical eyes with the teacher and,his lineage and 'is usually cunent incarn<ftion. . cannot see, The foreliead dot is' a reminder to "accompanied by ceremony. Most Hindu karma: ~ "Action, deed." Karma refers to 1) use and cultivate one'~ spir~tu9{ 'vision. , scho'ols, and especially Saivism, teach that , any act.or ,deed; 2) :the principle of,cause and

brahmacha,ya: ~ "Divine conduct." Con - only ·with initiation frGm a sat guru is enlight - effect; 3) a con'seguenc'e, '.'fruit of action" or "af-trolling 'lw~t by remaining c~libate when sin- , enment attain~ble, ter effect" whith sooner or later returns upon gle, ieading t~ faithfulness il). rparri\ige. . ' grace: "Benevolence, iove, giving," frol}1 the the doer. Wha.t we sow, .we shall reap in this or

chakra: ~ "Wheel." Any of the nerve plexes or '. Latin grafus, "bel0ved, agreeable." God's pow- future lives. Selfish, hateful acts will bring suf-centers of force and consciousness located er oftevealmerit, anugraha sakti ("kindness, fering. Benevolent actions will bring loving,re-within the inner bodies of man. The seven- shoWIng favor"), by which souls are awakened . acti0ns. Karma is a neutr.al, self-perpetuaring principal chak~as ~re situated along the spinal to their true, Divine nature. ' la,w of the inner cosmos, m~ch ~s g~avity is-an cord from its base tothe qanial chamber. Ad~ grihartha:~ "Householder:' Family man or impersonal law of the outer cosmos, CUfionally, seven chakras exist belgw the spine. woman. Family of a married couple and other Karma is threefold: saiichita, priirabdha and They are s~ats of instinctive consciousness relatives. 'Pertaining to family life. kriyamiina. -saiichita karma: "Accti.niulated and constitute the lower or hellish world. guru: ~ "Weighty one;' .indicating a being of . actions," 'ifhe;sum of all karmas of this life and . ~ .' The seven upper chakras, from low~st to . great knowle<;lge or skill. 11.. term used to de- past lives. -priira~~ha !<arma: "Acti.ons be-


Page 16: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

gun; set in motion." That portion of sanchita karma that is bearing fruit and shaping the events and conditions of the current life, in­cluding the nature of one's bodies, personal ·tendencies and associations. -kriyamiinp

• karma: "Being made:' The karma being creat­ed and added to sanchita in this life 'by one's thoughts, words and actions, or in the inner worlds between lives. •

kundalin,: Cflo;g[&;f.l "She who is coiled; ser­p~~t powe;:!' The primordial cosmic energyin e.very individual which eventually, through the practice of yoga, rises up the sushumIJii nii{jt. As it rises, the kUIJt;lalinl awakens each successive chakra. Nirvikalpa samiidhi, en-1ightenment, comes as it pierces through the door of Brahman at the core of the sahasriira and enters!

loka: fflcf; "World, habitat, realm, or plane of existence." From lac, "to shine, be bright, visi­ble." A dimension of manifest existence; cos­mic region. Each loka reflects or involves a particular range of consciousness. The three primary lokas are 1) - Bhuloka: "Earth woFld." T.he world perceived through the five senses, also called the gross plane, as it is the most dense of the worlds. 2) -Antarloka: "Inner or in-between world." Known in Eng­lish as th.e slJbtle or astral plane, the interme­diate dimension between the physical and causal worlds, where souls in their astral boq­ies sojourn between incarnations and when they sleep. 3) -Sivalpka: "World of Siva," and of the Gods ' and highly evolved s.ouls~ Th~

. causal plane, also called Karal).aloka, existing deep within the Antarloka at a higher level of vibration, it is a world of superconsciousness and extremely refined energy.

.Mahiideva: ~ "Great shining one; God." Referring either to God Siva or any of the highly evolved beings who live in the Sivaloka in their natural, effulgent soul bodies. It is said in scripture that there are 330 million Gods.

mahiiprasthiina: ~ "Great departure." Death of the physical body.

mahiisaVtiidhi: t1~I~t111tf "Great enstasy." The deatl1, or dropping off of the physical body, of a great soul, an event occasioned by tremen­dous blessings. Also names the shrine in which tl1e remains of a great soul are entombed.

mantra:t:F3f "Mystic formWa." A sound, sylla­ble, ,word or phrase endowed with speciJl power, usually drawn from scripture. Mantras are chanted loudly duripg pujii to invoke the Gods and establish a force field. Certain mantras are repeated softly or mentally for japa. To be truly effective, such mantras ~ust b-e given by th~ preceptor tl1rough initiation.

moksha: tiTaT "Liberation." Release from trans-• migration, samsiira, the round of births and

deaths, which occurs after karma has been re­solved and nirvikalpa samiidhi-realization of the Self, Parabrahman~has been attained.


Same as mukti. monastic: A mpnk or nunk (based on the Greek

monos, "alone") ~ A man or woman who has withdrawn from the wor[d and lives an aus­tere, religious life. either alcl'ne or with otl1ers in a monastery. Terms for Hindu monastics in,­clude siidhaka, siidhu, muni, tapasvin, vairiigl, udiisin and sannyiisin. (Feminine: siidhikii, siid­hVI, m(ml, tapasvi,nl, vairiiglnf, and sannyiisinl.) •

mudrli: ~- "Seal." Esoteric hand gestures which express specific energies.or powers.

niida: ~ "Sound; tone, vibration." Metaphys­ically, the mystic sounds of the Eternal, of . which. tl1e highest is the transcendent or Soundless Sound, Paranada, the first vibration from which creation emanates. From Parana­da comes Pral).ava, Aum, and further evolutes of niida.

nii(jJ: ~ "Conduit." A nerve fiber or energy channel of tl1e subtle (inner) bodies of man. It is said tl1ere are 72,000. These interconnect tl1e chakras. The three main niit;lls are named it;lii, pingalii and sushumIJii. -itjii: Also known as "chandra ("moon") niit;ll,,it is pink in color and flows downward, ending on the.left side of tl1e body. It is feminine in nature and is the chan­nel 9f physical-emotional energy. - p ingalii: Also known as surya ("sgn") niit;lf, it is blue in color and flows upward, ending on the right side of the body. It is masculine in nature and is the channel of intellectual-mental eneJ;gy. -sushl!m1Jii: The major nerve current which passes through .the spinal column from the 'muliidhiira chakra at the base to the sahasriira at the crbwn of the head. It is the channel of kUIJ t;lalinl.

namaskiira:~ "Rev­erent salutations." Tradi­tional Hindu verbal greet­ing and mudrii where tl1e palms are joined together and held before the heart or raised to the level of the fo rehead.

namaste: ~ "Reverent salutations to you." A traditional verbal greet­ing. A form of namas, meaning "bowing, obei­sance,"

nirvikalpa samiidhi: f.'1r~~t11 1lf "Enstasy (samiidhi) without form or seed." The realiza­tion of the Self, Parabrahmau, a state of one­ness beyond all change or diversity; beyond time, fo; m and space.

Pati-pasu-piisa: ~ ~ qm Literally: "master, cow and tether." These are the three primary elements of Saiva Siddhanta philosophy: God, soul and world-Divinity, man and cosmos­seen as a mystically and intricately interreliit­e'd unity. Pati is God, envisioned as a cowherd. Pasu is the soul, envisioned as a cow. PiiSa is the all-important force or fetter by which God brings souls along' the path to Truth.

prii1Ja: 11fOT Vital energy 'Or life principle. Liter-

ally, "vital -air," from the root prat:!, "to breatl1e." PriiIJa in the human body moves as five primary life currents known as viiyus, "vi­tal airs or winds." These are priiIJa (outgoing breatl1), apiiIJa (incoming breatl1 ), vyiiIJa (re­tained breath), udiiIJa (asceI]ding breatl1) and samiiIJa (equalizing breath). Each governs crucial bodily functions, and all bodily ener­gies are modifications of these.

""" pujii: 1f:31T "Worship,

r adoration:' An Agamic rite of wOl:ship per­formed in the home,

~ temple or shrine, or to a

. ( person, such as tl1e sat-/ ' guru. Its inner purpose

is to purify tl1e atmos­phere around tl1e object worshiped, establish a connection with the inner worlds and invoke tl1e presence of God, Gods or one's guru. Dur­ing pujii, the officiant (pujiir!) recites various chants praising tl1e Divine and beseeching di­vine blessings, while making offerings in ac­cordance with established traditions. Pujii is the Agamic counterpart of tl1e Vedic yajna rite, W which offerings are conveyed through the sacred homa fire. -iitmiirtha.pujii: Pujii done for oneself and immediate family, usually at -home in a private shrine. -pariirtha p ujii: "Pujii for others:' Pariirtha pujii is public pujii, performed by authorized or ordained priests in a public shrine or temple.

punarjanma: ~ "Reincarnation." From punab, "again and again," and janma, "taking birtl1."

reincarnation: "Re-entering the flesh." Punar­janma; metempsychosis. The process wherein souls take on a physical body through the birtl1 process. The cycle of reincarnation ends when karma has been resolved and Parabrah­man has been realized. This condition of re­lease is called moksha. Then tl1e soul continues to evolve and mature, but without the need to return to physical existence.

sacrifice: Yajna. 1) Giving offerings to a Deity as • an expression of homage and devotion. 2) Giving up sometl1ing, often one's own posses­sion, advantage or preference, to serve a high­er purpose. The literal meaning of sacrifice is "to make sacred;' implying an act of worship. It is the most common translation of tl1e term yajna, from tl1e verb yuj, "to worship." III Hin­duism, all of life is a sacrifice-called jlvaya­jna, a giving ' of oneself-through which comes true spiritual fulfillment.

siidhana: mq-;::r "Effective means of attain­ment." Religious or spiritual disciplines, such as pujii, yoga, meditation, japg, fasting and austerity. The effect of siidhana is the building of willpower, faith and confidence in oneself and in God, Gods and gur.u.

siidhu: ~ "Virtuous one; straight, unerring." A holy person dedicated to tl1e search for God.

• A siidhu mayor may not be a yogi or a san­nyiisin, or be connected in any way with a guru· or legitimate lineage. Siidhus usually have no fixed abode and travel unattached from place to place, often living on alms.

Saivism (~;aiva): ~ The religion followed by those who worship Siva as supreme God, of whom there are about 400 million in the world today. Oldest of ilie four sects of Hinduism.

siikiihiira: ~ "Vegetarian diet." From siika, "vegetable;" and iihiira, "eating; taking food." .

Siiktism (Siikta): ~ '''Doctrine of Rower." The religion followed by those who worship the Supreme as the . Divine Mother- Sakti or DeVi-in Her many forms, both gentle and fierce. Saktism IS one of tl1e four primary sects of Hinduism.

samiidhi: ~ "En­stasy," which means "standing within one's Self." "Sameness; con­templation; union, wholeness; completion, accomplishmen t." . Samiidhi is the state of

true yoga in which the meditator and the ob­ject of meditation are one. Samiidhi is of two levels. The first is savikalpa samiidhi ("enstasy with form or se}!d"), ide'i-ttification or oneness with the essence of an object: Its highest form is the realization of the primal s.)lbstratum or pure.consciousness, Satchidananda. The se€­and is nirvikalpa samiidhi ("enstasy without form or seed"), identificafion with the .')elfin which all modes of consciousness are tran-

• scended and Absolute Reality, Parabrahman, beyond time, form and space, is experienced. This brings in its aftermatl1 a corr,iplete trans­formation of consciousness.

sampradiiya: ~ "Traditional doctrine of knowledge." A living stream of tradition or tl1eology within Hinduism, passed on by oral training and initiation.

samsiira: ~m "Flow." The phenomenal Viorld. Transmigratory existence, frauglit with im­

·permanence and change. The cycle of birth, death and rebirth; tl1e total pattern of succes­sive earthly lives experienced by a soul.

i annyiisa: Rm "Renunciation." "Throwing down or abandoning." Sannyii!i;a is. tlie,repudi­ation of the dharma, includiIJg tl1e obligations and duties, of the househ~lder and the accep ~ tance of the even more demanding dharma of tl1e renunciate. •

Satchidiinanda (Sachchidiinanda): ~r~C:J '1~ "Existence-consciousness-bliss." Lord Siva's Divine Mind and simultane'ously tl1e pure su.." perconscious inU;:d of each individual soul. It is perfect love and# omniscient, omnipotent consciousness, tl1e fountainheag of all exis­tence, yet containing and permeating all exis­tence. It is also called pure consciousness, pure form, substratum of exist~nce, and more. In .

Advaita Vedanta, Satchidananda is considered a description oj the Absolute (Brahman). Whereas in monistic, or suddha: Saiva Sid­dhanta it is understood as divlne form-pure,

.' amorphous matter ~ or energ1-not as an equivalent or tl1e Absolute, formless, "ataftva," Parabrahman. In tl1is latter school, Parabrah­man" is radically transcendent, and Satchida­nanda is Known as the primal1lnd most per­fectly diVine form to emerge from tl1e formless.

sin: Intentional transgression of @ivine law. Akin to tl1e Latin sous, "guilty:' Hinduism does not view sin as a crime against God~ but as an act against dharma-moral order-and one's own self. It is thought natural, if unfortunate, that young souls act wrongly, for they are liv­ing in nescience, the darkness of ignorance: Sin . automatically brings negative conse­quences. In Hinduism, there· are n<3 such con­cepts as inherent onnortal sin.

Smiirtism: ~ "Sect based on tl1e ~econdary scriptures (~mriti)." The most liberal of tl1e four major Hindu denominations, an ancient Vedic briihminical tradition (ca 700 BCE) which from the 9th century onward 'Whs guided and

. deeply influenced by the Advaita Vedanta teachings of tl1e reformist Adi Sailkaq.

soul: The real being of man!. as distinguished from body, mind and emotions. The soul­known as iitman or purusha----is the suni of its .

• two aspects, the form or body of the soul and. tl1e essence of the soul-the essence or nucle-

. us of tl1e s0ul, Pure-Consciousness (Pariisakti or Satchidiinanda) and Absolute Reality

"(Parabra,hmcm). This essence was never creat­ed, does not change or evolve and is eternally identi'Cal with the Supreme God's perfections of Parasakti and Parabrahman.

swiimi: ~ "Lord; owner." He who know~ or is .master of himself. A respectful title for a Hindu monk, usually a sannyiisin, an initiated, orange-robed renunciate, dedicated wholly to religious life.

tantra: ep;r "Loom, metl1odology:' 1) Generally, a synonym for siistra, "scripture:' 2) A synonym for the Agamic texts, especially those of tl1e Sakta faitl1, a class of Hindu scripture providing detailed instruction on all aspects Of religion, mystic knowledge and science. The iantras are also associated with the Saiva tradition. 3) A specific metl1od, technique or spiritual practice within tl1e Saiva and Sakta traditions.

tapas: ~ "Heat, fire." 1) Purificatory, psyche­transforming spiritu;l disciplines, severe reli­gious austerity, penance and sacrifice, includ­ing endurance oJ pain and bodily mortifica. tion. Scriptures generally warn against ex­treme asceticism which would bring harm to ' the body. 2) On a deeper level, tapas is the in­tense inner state of kUIJt;lalinl "fire" which stimulates mental anguish and separates the

-individual from society. The association with a satguru, Sadasiva, brings the devotee into

tapas, and it br-ings him out of it. The fire of tapas burns on the dross~ of sanchita karm"as.

. This is the source 'of heat, dismay, depression and striving until tl1e advent of final and total surrender, prapatti. Guru bhakti is the only force that can cool the fires of tgpas.

tattva: ~ "That-ness"-or "essential nature." Tattvas are the primary principles, elements,

"States or categories of existence, the building blocks of the universe. Rishis describe tl1is em­anational process as tl1e unfoldment of tlIirty­six tattvas, stages Qr evelutes of manifestation, des l ending from ,subtle to gross.

Vaish1Javism (Vaish1Java): ~ One of the four major religions, or denominations of Hinduism, representirrg roughly half of the world's 'one billion: Hindus. It gravitates around the worship of Lord Vishl).u as Person­al God, His incarnations and their consorts. The doctrine of avatiira (He who descends) is especially important to Vaishl).avism.

vrata: Wl "Vow, religious oath." Often a vow to perform certain disciplines over a period of time. Vratas extend from the simplest person­al promise to irrevocable vows made before Gog, Gods, guru and community.

'yajiia: <:Rr "Worship; sacrifice." One of tl1e most central Hindu concepts-sacrifice and surren­der through acts of worship, inner and outer. 1) A form of ritual worship especially preva­lent in Vedic times, in which oblations-ghee, grains, spices and exotic woods-are offered into a fire according to scriptural injunctions while special mantras are chanted. The ele-

.. ment fire, Agni, is revered as the divine mes­senger who carries offerings and prayers to the Gods. Yajna requires four components, none of which may be omitted: dravya, sacrificial substances; tyiiga, tl1e spirit of sacrifiCing all to God; devat ii, the celestial beings who receive the sacrifice; and mantra, the empowering • word or"chant.

• yoga: m.r "Union." From yuj, "to yoke, har­ness, unite." The philos­ophy, process, disci­plines and practices whose purpose is the yoking of individual consciousness with

transce.ndent or divine consciousness. One of the six-systems of ortl1odox Hindu philosophy. Yoga was codified by Patafijali in his Yoga Su­tras (ca 200 BCE) as tl1e eight limbs (ashtiinga) of riija yoga. It is essentially a one system, but historically, parts of riija yoga have been devel­oped and emphasized as yogas in themselves: P,lominent among the many forms ,of yoga-are hatha yoga, kriyii yoga (emphasizing breath control), as well as karma yoga (selfless service) and bhakti yoga (devotionall"ractic~s) which could be regarded as an expression .of riija yoga's first two limb~ (yama and niyama).


Page 17: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

" > '"


Q L-____ ~ ____ ~~~ __


European-born Hindus "move to India to fulfill their gurus mission of educating hill children



a giant. Live like a saint." This co­gent affirmation of S;.vami Omkara­nanda Saraswati resonated through­out my stay at Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, his Indian headquarters

adjacent to the Sivananda Ashram in sadhu­laden Rishikesh. Swami began the Ashram 30 years ago on the bank of the river Ganga to facilitate realization of God in daily life and to render selfless service to the local hill people. I met the Ashram's team of migrated Europeans-led by Swami Vishveshwara­nanda Saraswati-who manage the educa­tional and cu tural institutions in the Tehri

Garhwal region surrounding Rishikesh. In 1947 at the tender age of 17, Swami

Omkarananda was initiated into sannyas by the late Swami Sivananda. He promulgates the teachings of Adi Shankaracharya, foun­der of the Smarta sect of Hinduism, and personally worships Goddess Shakti. ThirJ ty-two years ago on divine orders, Swami Omkarananda left India to teach eager seek­ers of Truth in Europe. Now permanently residing in Austria, he has brought hun­dreds of Europeans formally into Hinduism through the namakarana samskara. Over 170 of them have been initiated by Omkara­nanda as renunciate monastics-sannyasins and sannyasinis. One of his earliest initiates

is Swami Vishveshwarananda who, from 1967 to 1982, 1trained ~losely with hinI in Europe.

"I was a good pilot and loved flying," Vishveshwarananda told me. "I met Swami Omkaral!1anda in 1965 and was mesmer­ized, led from darkness to,light." At one stage he asked Swami· whether to continue flying. S,wa­mi said he should choose be­tween spirituality and flying. So he quit flying. It was a surprise to his co-pilots, but he never looked back. "Switzerland is full of material comforts. I chose to renounce this and came to the path of spirituality. "I was surely a Hindu in my previous birth."

In 1982 VishveshwarananCla was sen"t to India to serve as vice­president of Omkarananda Ash­ram Himalayas, and is now Om­karananda's designated spiritual successor. They communicate daily, and while Omkarananda has not visited India for 32 years, the Ashram runs so well it is as if he is personally present.

they had attended top academies to perfect technical, including computer, skills. Upon their request in 1992, they were initiated by Swami Omkarananda. Two girls, j ages 22 and 18, are now known as Swamini Vira-

nanda's central teaching: "Practic~ the yoga of synthesis. Be a karma yo;;i, bhakti yogi, raja yogi, mantra yogi, jnana yogi. Love the all-pervading, all-knowing God with all your heart and soul. Experience Him here and

now, and distribute the fruits of that Experience to all mankind."

To effiCiently distribute those "fruits," high-tech is the norm. Unlike other ashrams with their spartan facilities, Omkaranan­da's is outfitted with cordless phones, new computers, fax ma­chines, a compact offset press and a website (omkaranan da-ashram.o?g) . Rishikeili has daily power cuts, but that's no " cause to interrupt the Ashram­thanks to a huge generator which assures the constancy they need for so many projects. Forgetting God any time is dis­allowed, so a stereo system plays "Hari Nam" chanting all day.

Vishveshwarananda is assisted by a core team of monastics: Swa­mi Satchidananda; Swamini Gau­rishankarananda, Swami Vish­varupan.mda and Somashekhari, all from Europe. Laudably, they have become official citizens of India to amalgamate with the lo­cal community. "Jealous people spread misinformation that we were foreign agents of Christian missionaries," laments Swami Vishveshwarananda. "This is rub­bish. But unfortunately I cannot change skin color. We hold Indi­an passports now and are Hindus because of our past karmas." De­parting from tradition, the Ash­ram houses men and women, but Vishveshwarananda affirms that "Women are viewed as divine mothers .. Purity is maintained."

Spiritual giant: Swami Omkarananda lives at his hilltop forest ashram in Austria, ministering daily to all seekers of Truth

Eight cows-inspired by the tunes of bhajans-produce more milk than the Ashram re­quires, so extra milk is sent to other ashrams. Monkeys and snakes regularly visit and are of­fered food. They are not harmed, and therefore do not harm the residents. A public li­brary, homeopathic center, guest house and Patanjali Yoga

. CeI}ter on the banks of the Gan­ga serve community needs. At the Yoga Centre, Ma Usha Devi, a Swiss devotE1e, teaches hatha yoga and meditation daily.

"In a worldly person the energies flow downward-the stomach and b/el1y are warm. For the spiritual in­dividual the energies rise upward­the face and heart become warm."

Smaller Omkarananda ash­rams are located in nearby Mu­nikireti and Lakshman Jhula. They are referred to as temples because of their daily p~jas and havanas. Visitors can meditate, study scriptures or perform kar­ma yoga. The Ram Mandir in particular allows nature lovers t9 PARA.MAHAMSA OMKARANANDA SARASWATI

Sri Narasimhulu: senior man-ager of the nearby Sivananda Ashram, ap­preciates the Europeans' dedication. "Most monastics here are Swiss and Geqnan. They take temple management seriously. Their love for their guru is rare. They ha,ye been asked to serve in Rishikesh as it is a poor area. They have taken the guru's order seri­ously. If h.e asks them to jump in Ganga, they will do so. That is the level of devotion."

There are also eager young monastics set­tling ~in. Three Swiss and German youth, who grew up in Swami Omkarananda's Aus­trian ashram, recently visited India on holi­day. Enamored with spiritually-charged Rishikesh valley, they sought and received blessings to settle there for good. In Europe

jananda and Swamini Tripurambikananda, and one boy, age 13, is Swami Vidyabhaska­rananda. All three are now plunging into sadhana, Sanskrit, scriptures, asJrology, aca­demic studies, temple worship qpd, of course, the cold river Ganga for holy dips.

Rishikesh is known for being slow and re­laxed, but activity in Omkarananda Ashram cruises at breakneck speed by comparison. The day begins at 4AM and ends late. The Ashram residents I met-Indians and Indian citizens of European origin-live a disci­plined life, balancing sadhana (spiritual dis­cipline) and service. There are fixed timings for pujas, meditation classes, bhajans and yagnas. Mathavasis fulfill Swami Omkara-

grow trees, fruits and vegetables. Education: Now we come to Omkaranan­

da Ashram's most crucial community ser­vice-academic and cultural education. Twenty-six sch'ools, including two dance and music academies, are overseen in urban Rishikesh and the distant hill areas-some so rural they can only be reached on foot or horseback. Most hill people live in abject poverty, and their childrens' only source of education is through the Omkarananda Ed­ucational Society. I was warmly received at Omkarananda Saraswati Nilayam, a large city school with 1,000 pupils. Priyanka Ra­jwar, a ls-year-old student here, told me with joy, "We have excellent rapport be­tween teachers and students, with freedom



Page 18: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

and understanding. At home I have a temple and I meditate on God-the Superpower." Most students are Hindu and the principal, Mr. R. D. Pawar, explains how they learn Hin­duism through a "moral sci­ence" class. "We teach from the Panchatantra, Hindu scriptures and Puranas, and recite Hindu prayers, includ­ing Ganesh Stuti. But there is lack of proper books through which we can teach Hinduism in plain English."

Remote hill schools are lo­cated in picturesque settings, far from city life. Many are in economically backward vil­lages, hence more affordable fees are asked-just 25-50 ru­pees per month. These schools are franchised by local social workers and business­men, but most are not self-suf­ficient economically and de- '" pend totally on subsidies from the main ashram. One teacher complained about a lack ofba­sic teaching materials, low salary and poor working condi­tions. But Swami Vishvaru­pananda reminds, "The schools are regularly inspected and funds provided according to needs. Still, with so many schools it may of course happen that some teachers are not satis­fied. Whatever comes to our no­tice is certainly looked into and given proper attention." Despite any shortcomings, parents are happy and feel Omkarananda schools are better run than gov­ernment schools, with more emphasis on moral education.

My stay at the Omkarananda Ashram was joyous. The wor­shipful sadhanas performed by the monastics and contribution of the ashram in serving the hill people, should be emulated by other religious institutions. Swp.­mi Omkarananda has even of­fered HINDUISM TODAY a large, building near the Ashram for operating in India. A big boost will be given to the Omkara­nanda institutions if Swami de­cides to revisit Rishikesh. His many adorers here are longing that the great soul who took Hinduism to Europe 32 years ago will one day visit. Swami says he is "still awaiting orders from the Divine Mother." _

Hilltop learning: Omkarananda Kunja Shishu Niketan hill school in Agrakhal has breathtaking views

European Home Base Converts practice Hinduism in Christian heartland

B AVING ENJOYED A thousand years of peace, Switzerland is the world's oldest

democracy. This land of stun­ning landscapes and Unit­ed Nations conferences is also home to Swami Omkarananda Saraswati's primary ashram, founded in 1965. The ashram rapidly sgread wings to Germany, Austria, Eng­land and France. Swami himself lives 50 miles away, at his small ashram in Austria, which he has not left for 12 years.

Over a 30-year period,

Daily pujas (ritual invoking of the Gods) and Rudra abhi­shekas (bathing the Deity image) form the substratum of ashram life; For the "peace,

Monastics take turns tending the havana and offering prayers through the fire. With­out a break their vigil has continued for roughly 201,480

hours-an extraordinary feat of spiritual continuity matched by few ashrams.

Three decades of Om­karananda's discourses are recorded on magnetic tape and comprise tens of thou; sands of typed pages. These pearls of wisdom reach seekers through the Ashram's two magazines.

Monastics cultivate skills in the ashram's secretariat, . press and publication de­partment, video, audio, an impressive 170 Euro­

peans have relinquished family life to take sannya­

Fire vigil: nonstop Swiss devotion to God computer sections, admin-

sa diksha in Omkarananda's monastic order. You won't fmd anything in their lives but pure worship of God as the Divine Mother, and supreme dedication to their guru.

progress and prosperity 6f all mankind," a 24-hours-a-day Akhanda-Sarva-Devata ha­vana (fire ceremony) lights the Ashram's temple-like central rooms, maintained since 1974.

istration, maintenance and renovation of properties, and on new sites in the Austrian Forest Ashram. In the Ashrams Sanskrit and Vedanta Academy and Library, higher philosophi­cal studies are pursued.


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Page 19: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

HINDU ASHRAM AND TEMPLE IN THE HEART OF EUROPE (Founded 32 years ago, in 1965)

P aramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati (b. 25 Dec.

1929, India) is a born Sage, Mystic, Philosopher and acknowledged as such by Saints of India and Scholars and University Professors of the West. At the age of thirteen he was plunged in spiritual experience; at seventeen he obtained Sannyasa Diksha from the world-renowned Swami Sivananda, Rishikesh, Himalayas; later he received his Sri Vidya Mantra Diksha from the omnipresent Divine Mother Meenakshi of Madurai Temple and secrets of higherTantra and Vedic Yagnas from Siddha Purushas. He is a versatile genius and a literary giant having to his credit over 200 publications, some of which are distributed around the world in fifty languages. In his hands, Hinduism is applied science in all its highest dimensions. His Ashram is a myriad-faced Hinduism in action. He founded Ashrams in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, England, France, Himalayas. Any scholar, any seeker of Truth, can visit him in his Austrian Ashram and obtain profundity of knowledge on any subject in the vast field of timeless Hinduism. Any vegetarian aspirant of Satwic Nature and required qualifications, of any caste, colour, creed, race, can receive through purificat!?ry rites the Hindu sacraments like Upanayana

and other Dikshas and thus become a Hindu. Rooted in the Consciousness of the Infinite and the Eternal, Swamiji holds in his heart the quintessence of every known and unknown religion in the world and, therefore, is in a position to serve pre-eminently every religious community and every scientific circle around the globe.

Who in Hindu India and the Hindu West does not know Sri Krishnashanker Shastri, the Founder and Trustee of both Sri Bhagawat Vidya­peeth and Sri Vallabha Nidhi, and the Editor of Janaka/yan from Ahmedabad, India? He visited Omkarananda Inter­national Ashram, Switzer­land,and wrote thus:

"I had longed to see the Ashram, having read about it in books, and having heard from the renowned scholar of superhuman intelligence, the eminent and profound Philosopher, Shri Badrinath Shastri of Baroda, about its Founder­President, Sri Swami Omkaranandaji-Tapasvi, ascetic, highly intelligent, attached to the Lotus Feet of Mother Maha Tripura­sundari-a pure-hearted Yogi whose fame has spread far and wide .•. Moved by the divine Power, I happened to travel to Switzerland to this holy and unique place, the Ashram, during the special Puja celebration of Shri MotherTripurasundari and

Nava Durga. A heavenly grove! I have no word to speak or write-but I cannot help saying that this Tapo­vana is nothing but the everflowing Waters of the holy river Ganges, or a her­mitage made supremely divine by constant chanting of the holy Mantras and by penance-a blissful state of Liberation (Nirvruti-Ananda)!

"Instead of making the futile attempt of describing it in

words, it would be more proper to have a bath in this holy water. When I beheld the Swamiji, I felt that I saw the Incarnation of Muni • . Bharadwaja, who contin­uously offered Ahutis at four altars and practised Mantras, Tantras, the mystic rites and philosophies. Administering the institution, discoursing, and guiding for twenty-four hours a day, with an ever­smiling face for all residents


and visitors, remaining in the state of detachment, blissful, happy, and like the ever-glittering sun, one who has transclmded the ego, Swamiji also advises like a close relatiive and benefactolr, like a Divine Father and Divine Mother to all those who come in contact with him. He is proficient iin whatever work is being undertaken, and is always wishing the good and welfare of all humanity.

I realised the presence of Mahayogi-King Pruthu in humility; Vachaspati in morals, Bhagirath in industry,Jaimini in preaching, innocent like a child, an orator like Vasishta, like Kubera in charity, Dhruva in devotion and Prahlaad in the constant chanting of the holy Names of Divine Mother. The Ashram is as great as the greatness of Swami Omkarananda. The Ashram

is like a huge hermitage, full of devotees, who are spreading culture, spiritual ideals, faith, and all the highest values of character; and induces in visitors tranquility, divinity, bliss and joy. What is more, the place bestows honour upon everyone; and all the as­pirants seem to be the living angels on earth, and the living lights of our most revered Swamiji."

His Divinity Vedadarshanacharya Mahamandaleshwar Sri Swami Gangeshwarananda, the most celebrated ex­ponent of Vedas and Vedic rituals and the recognized All-India Leader and founder of the G. Gangesh Chaturved Samsthan and G. G.lnternational Ved Mission, in Bombay, who at the age of over 95 years visited the Omkarananda Ashram in Winterthur for Ved Pratish­tha, was particularly delighted with the unbelievable activities of this unique Ashram, with the most holy atmosphere of its Temples and with the high quality of performance and purity ofthe young Sannyasis. Here are some extracts of his Tribute to Swamiji and his spiritual community:

" ... Ved Mata Gayatri drew us here to breathe the intoxicating Vedic atmosphere and to feel the divine touch of various Mantras. I have visited a number of Ashrams and Mandirs in India and abroad, but never did I experience such a deep spiritual happiness charged with purity and simplicity.

"Bhagavan Veda has chosen the most beautiful seat, where, in the constant flow of Vedic mantras, Omkarananda is reflected. Our young teenage sisters reciting Shree Suktas, Purush Suktas and Rudra­dhyaya Mantras fluently in perfect original Sanskrit accents is indeed remarkable and highly creditable."

See article on page 32.


Page 20: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

,. <

" o ...

• • Reiki

Working within: India's Reiki 1rUlSter, Nalin Nirula, attunes to the flow of universal life-energy to heal and harmonize this force in others

Born in India and evolved in Japan, an ancient spiritual healing skill comes home

By LAVINA MELWANI, NEW YORK AN GALL-BLADDER STONES DISAP­pear without surgery, and umbilical hernias vanish? Can cancer cure it­

self? These have been some of the amazing experiences of people who have practiced reiki, the Japanese

art of self-healing which has its roots in ayurveda. The word Reiki (pronounced "ray-key") is Japanese for universal (rei) life­force energy (ki). It is this energy which is flowing throughout the cosmos and to which each living being is connected from birth. It is known as prana in ayurveda, and it is re­ferred to in the Atharva Veda (one of the four Vedas). It was red'iscovered by Dr.. Mikao Usui in Japan about 175 years ago as reiki, an unconditional, divine and loving healing energy. (See also page 46.)

Since then, reiki has caught on in many parts of the world, becoming a passing fad for some, a w~y of life for many. Now it has come full-circle back to India, where the idea of self-healing first originated. The an-


cient Atharva Veda verse observes, "Skilled, dexterous and empowered by the Divine for healing is our left hand, for it removes blocks in the free flow of joy. And yet more potent is thi; divinely empowered right hand, for it contains all medicinal capacities of the uni­verse, its all auspicious healing touch bring­ing peace, harmony, welfare, opulence, joy and liberation from all toxic conditions of matter-birth, death, old age and disease." In cities like Delhi and Bombay, reiki is the new buzzword, with people from all strata

. of society turning to it for their physical and mental well-being. Doctors are using it on cancer patients, policemen are leaning on it and dIsabled children are expanding their abilities because of it. Reiki is also a fashion fad for high society.ladies and a c~ing tool for government servants.

Several reiki Senseis, or initiating teachers, reside in India. Among the most 'well known are husband-and-wife team Nalin and Renoo Nirula, who co-authored the best-selling Joy of Reiki (220 pages, FUll Circle, New Delhi,

RS140). Nalin is qualified in ayurveda, home­opathy, pranic healing, naturopathy and rei­ki, and is a psychic. Renoo is a psychoanalyst and clairvoyant.

Nalin and Renoo came to reiki by a cir­cuitous route. Nalin had always wanted to be a healer. His grandfather had been the chief civil surgeon in the State of Patiala, and sev­eral uncles and aunts were doctors. Yet, with the family in the food business, Nalin was sent to the prestigious Cornell University in New York to learn the hotel business. Back

, in India, he found himself in the family food trade, until he decided to stop selling food for the body and find food for the s oul.

He had always had an affinity for Lord Krishna and now embarked on a rigorous spiritual path with ISKCON, travE1ling all over the world. He got his brahmin initiation at the Gaudiya Mat~ in Mayapur, West Ben­gal. Renoo, whose father had been with the UN, graduated frQm London College of Art, and had worked as an art therapist with dis­turbed children. The couple discovered rei­ki at a seminar they attended with their two children, and life was never the same. Recalls Nalin, "We experienced a lot of emotional negativities clearing away. The burden of pain, sadness, fear, self-blame and guilt just dissolved. An inner happiness, fulfillment

and spirit of joy came, although our external lives had not yet changed so radically."

Their 12-year-qld son, Arjun, found that reiki energy could be utilitarian. Nalin re­veals';'He discovered that the channeled en­ergy df miki could re-charge drained battery , cells! For months after learning reiki, we did­n't buy ar~ batteries. We renewed them with reiki-untH the novelty wore off"

Spiritual mechanics: What is this power known as reiki which can rekindlif.the hu­man , spirit as well as revive depleted>. D­cells? The Nirulas, who have initiated about 1,000 people into this self-help system, told HINDUISM TODAY, "Reiki is an experience of the joy that is missing in people's lives due to stress and strain." The reiki flows from what ayurveda calls the pranamayakosha, "sheath of vital energy." It is an electric, lightening energy ...vvhich is normally free-flowing in people. 'When it gets disrupted or blocked, diseases manifest. But when this spiritual energy and the material energies are' har­monized or realigned, we return to health.

"Just as television waves flow in the at­mosphere but require a suitable receiver tuned to its frequency to reproduce the sound and visual picture, individuals need to be/re-tuned to the reiki energy to remain

. healthy or to regqin lost health," explains Nalin. "The reiki master opens the chan­nels-gives you a new connection, as it were-and empowers you to heal your life. Reiki healers are channels of healing. This energy is not our own. We are not the heal­ers, but a conduit or pipeline for the divine energy. There is nothing' of me in the heal­ing. I'm Hot giving anything from my side. It's not mine to give, it is the Divine's."

When disease develops, malfunctions oc­cur first at the energy accumulators and pumps, known as the chakras, which corre­spond to the endocrine system directing the body's vital functions. The disorder then passes on to the physical body. The healing energy of reiki creates a positive flow of health,pecause the physical body, the ener­gy body lmd chakras are all interconnected. Reiki realigns every energy, arid people feel happy, satisfied, balanced and at peace. Practitioners, known as channels, must be nonjudgmental and unconditional in their love. They are able to work with stress with­out allowing it to accumulate, which would cause themselves physical, mental or emo­tional problems. The energy comes down from the crown chakra to the third-eye and the throalt, centering in the he:art from where it flows lOut into the hands onto different parts of the body and to different chakras. One can even heal from a distance.

Says Renoo, "reiki is Japanese, but it has a very old history in India. There is a reference in the Vedas whICh shows how healing was done by touch and voice, the Saple as reiki. The special quality 0f reiki i~ unconditional

, .

love. You could 'be the worst criminal, and reiki will not, reject you. The blaming ten­dency disappears, and that's the really heal­ing part. You start loving yourself"

reiki diehards believe that it can cure or improve just about anything from schizo­phrenia and depression to a failing mar­riage. It can also help one to give up meat, smoking or drugs. The Nirula's reiki tradi­tion teaches healing at 26 points of the body, and there is a 21-day treatment cycle for chronic conditions. There are also cleansing meditations and affirmations which can be used to heal a person or relationship. Since it offers both emotional and physical healing, it has caught on with many people, from politi­Cians to movie stars like Waheeda Rehman, Sushma Seth and Chandrachoor Singh. Age is also no barrier, *i.th eighty-year-olds sit­ting alongside eight-year-olds. Says Renoo, "We are healing planet Earth. We are heal­ing the cities and countries. I've been tend­ing healing to all the bomb-blasted areas in Delhi. We work with children in scho'ols and send healing for the environment."

The Nirulas have documented many dra­matic cases where lives have been turned around .. People with diabetes, cancer and arthritis have improved without surgery or medication. Offers Nalin, "'Ql.ese Reople ended up .healing themselves. The modern medical view is that most disorders are psy­chosomatic, since all are stress-related." They have trained seven doctors in a South Delhi hospital, where emergency cases that are wheeled into the Cardiac Care Unit are given a few minutes of reiki. Says Renoo, "You can see the differences on the monitor, and the recovery rates are phenomenal."

. Th re are three levels of reiki mastery, but finding a true reiki teacher can be a chal­lenge. According to Nalin there are many fakes floating around, "Some people get up in the morning and declare, 'I am a reiki mas­ter,' with no knowledge or initiation. There's even an advertisement in the newspaper where y.$lu can get reiki attunement or initi­ation by correspondence. That!> a laugh!"

School principals often send troubled chil­dren to Renoo, who encourages them to take responsibility an.d fmds that with reiki, their mindset changes -instantly. Reiki calms the intensity of anger these children "feel and dispels their feelings of helplessness. Re­cehtly a school in Delhi had an opening for ten disable'8. children to enter integrated classes with normal children. A flood of 500

. applications came in, from which the ten most suited were chosen. It was no surprise to Renoo and Nalin that five of the ten ap­plicants were children who had unde"i-gone reiki. It seems that we will be hearing a lot more ~bout this life-enhancing healing in the years to come. ....'



Canada's Ohariot Maker Sri Lankan temple craft crosses the Pacific '


S THAPATI SARAVANAMUTHU JEYARAJA is just one of 100,000 Sri Lankan

. " Tamils settled in Ontario, Canada, but c he is earning distinction. While living

in Sri Lanka, his father, Saravanamuthu Sthapati, and his uncle, Thambithurai Sthap-ati, taught him the ancient car­penter's art of building tram­tional temple chariots, and he became a respected "ordained" ~ craftsman. He brought his skills ~ with him to Ontario, where he ~ has crafted temple doors and §


large and small chariots. For ~ ~=--=~0..::..2'-d this type of ornate, technical J'eyaraja and traditional woodworking, Hindu temples in the US and Canada now have an eager alternative to importing stha­patis from India. Canada's Jeyaraja is ready, willing and obviously able. .-


Tower of power: Montreal's chariot festival


Page 21: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

Gurani Anjali (Guruvi)

Author, poet, songwriter and artist. Hear her message for the body, mind and spirit. Experience the Yogic per­spective. Books: Ways of Yoga, Rtu (meditational poems), and the soon­to-be released: Think on This. Audio cassettes: Someone is Calling, From the Silent Depth Within Me and other works. Yoga Anand Ashram. Tel 516-691-8475 • Mailing address: 49 Forrest PI, Amityville, NY 11701-3307 USA . http://www.santosha.com

Pooja-Shop Sale. Up to 50% off

Happy-new-year and after­Diwali sale: until January 31, '98, we are discounting all our items 10-50%.

• Holiday gift certificate available . • Lakshmi-Vishnu shank (conch shell), silver coins • Pooja items: pre­packaged items for havans, arti lamps, bells, brass oil lamps, holy-water cups, and much more, including fresh mango leaves shipped any­where in USA/Canada • religious statues in all sizes,

Pooja International

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Gayatri MandirlPragya Yug Literature Ctr., 2046 W Devon Ave., Chicago, IL 60659 USA. Open every day 11 AM-7 PM, arati at 11 AM and 7 PM. Gayatri yagya each Sunday, 12 PM. Also: sacraments, yogasanas, medita­tion, physical/mental/spiritual fitness education. Divine Vedas Scripture (in Gujarati, Hindi, or English), only US$5 during holiday season.

incl. new arrival of very large ones • extensive variety of Narmada River Shiva Lingams, all sizes (30% off) • large selection of religious books in English, Sanskrit, Gujarati and Hindi-classics (Tulsidass or Valmikis Ramayan, all Purans, etc.), puja books on all Gods, bhajan books and much more (most books, 25% off) • single- to 14-faced rudrakshas

For information: Gayatri Pariwar Yugnirman, Chicago: 847-692-7712.

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• sandalwood, tulsi and rudraksha malas • wedding poojas • sari blouses, sari falls and petticoats, men's, children's kurta pajamas • lotus seed and all types of IndianlHindu artefacts and useful items • USA's most complete spiritual/pooja shop • Prompt delivery • Ask for our free list of items • M.Card, Visa, Am.Ex credit cards OK.

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Th e Expanding Light retreat center offirs a wide variety of workshops and retreats in yoga and yoga teacher 's training, medita­tion, Ayurveda, alternative healing, chakras and Kriya Yoga. For a free 24-page guide to programs, call 800-346-5350.

Yoga philosophy, meditation, and "plain living a nd high thinking"are the foundat ion s for the Ananda inten­tional communities, which are based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi). There are seven Ananda communities-in N evada City, CA (Ananda Village); Assisi, Italy (Ananda Europa) ; Palo Alto

and Sacramento, CA; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; and our newest near Brisbane, Australia. Three of the comm unities have schools based on the Education fOr Lift philosophy. Ananda's retreat facility, The Expanding Light, offers programs year-round in yoga, meditation, alternative healing, and the spiritual lifestyle. The Ananda Course in Self-Realization is available for home­study in meditation and yoga. Books and m usic by Yogananda and Ananda's founder, Swami Kriyananda, are available from Crystal Clarity, Publishers. We also offer a healing prayer network and support to 70 Ananda meditation groups in the U.S. and abroad. Visit us at http://www.ananda.org

The Ananda Cou rse in Self-Realization is a Audio Book: Read by Swami Kriyananda, a comprehensive home-study course with instruc- close, direct disciple who lived and studied tion ill beginning and advanced meditation, yoga with Paramhansa Yogananda. The original postures {or higher awareness, breathing exercises, 1946 edition of Autobiography of a Yogi yoga philosophy, diet, nutrition and vegetarian- audio book is $29.95, includes six cassettes ism, deepen ingyourspirituallije andKriya Yoga (app rox . 10 hours) of selected chapters. To prepa raton . For a brochure, order or for a free catalog,

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Ananda, founded in 1968 by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, is not affiliated with Self-Realization Fellowship. 40~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


- -------- ._-------- - - - - ---


Thle Art of Rapport Good feelings cr~ate the basi~ for talKing

ALKING TO AND GUIDING CHILDREN is ol,le of the beauties and responsibili­

;ties of parenting. It's also the most chal­' lenging, if not terrifying, area of parent­

ing-a monster-in-the-closet for moms and dads. What do you say when little 4-year-old Raksha decides she wants to keep a pet hamster in her bed, next to the teddy bear? Or how do you explain to 8-year-old Ma­kunda that grandmother has just died­what Is death, where did she go after death,

what is reincarnation? These situations and questions demand good skills ,(and knowl­edge) in talking with your children. There­fore, in Hinduism parents are un~rstood as the child's first guru: an awesome responsi­bility. How do you do handle it?

Two months ago HINDUISM TODAY re­viewed a book by parenting expert Dr. Fitzhugh Dodson. called How to Discipline with Love. He makes the crucial p oint that discipline is really teaching. To make disci­pline an opportunity for teaching takes real communication skills-not beyond any par­ent's ability, but you have to understand the

proces~, and then take the time to use it. Several ' of Dodson's methods focus on

talking with children. The first is called rapport: cultivating an emotional connec: tion which demonstrates that you, on a feel­ing level, want to understand your child. It is a "mutuallildng and respect," as Dodson puts it. It means you want to share in your chitd's world through talking and express­ing positive emotion. Rapport is not a cor­rective measure, but a bridge of interest

and friendship that makes the road to guidance and correction smoother. Dodson calls this an "emotional foundation."

We'cannot teach through pos­itive discipline without estab­lishing rapport. Rapport may seem obvious, even built into the parent's inborn love for their children. It's not. You have to work at Gfeating rapport. Most parents, according to Dodson's thousands of case experiences, do not establish rapport with their children or they ignore the need for it. Dodson says: "Par­ents believe tlieir children shmlld obey requests and com­mands simply because children should obey parents. This is like a teacher assuming the class will want to work on a history lesson simply because the teacher tells them to. Not so. The cliild has to feel good about the teacher in orper to fulfill the teachers wish. It is the same whether we are . talki:Qg about a school teacher or a parent-teacher."

Developing rapport. means spending time doing things to­gether and simply talking with

your children at their level, or what they want to talk about. Often it's just being to­gether silently, simply feeli.ng the good bonding of parent and child whilE(enjoying an activity. Rapport is always a good feeling. It can easily be broken. Speaking sharply can break it. Then it needs to be repaired. With rapport maintained, the next step of talking with your children-called feed­back-can be learned and used. We will discuss feedback in next month's parenting column. ...


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Page 22: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998



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Ganges clayfired statues for puja, meditation. Sixty beautiful handpainted images including

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Beautiful wooden puzzles. Krishna, gods and goddesses. Also two games for Hindu children: Memory and Dominoes. Call Lakshmi: 209-337-2477 (USA). [email protected]

Malas, malas, malas! Tulsi, rudraksha, lotus, sandalwood, rosewood and semiprecious. Sil­ver and gold capped in rudraksha, sandalwood and tulsi. Sacred images and more. Call 1-812-323-9768 or write for catalog. Sacred Woods, 1916 Arden Drive, Bloomington, Indiana, 47401-6731, USA.

Quality Incense from India. Golden Rose. Neel Kamal Pure Sandal­wood cones, and more. Tel 970-949-6329 USA Email: [email protected]


Spirituality & healing in medicine-IV & V, December 14-16, 1997, Boston, Massachusetts and March 22-24, 1998, Houston, Texas (USA). Directed by Herbert Benson, MD. The course will explore the relationship between spiritu­ality and healing in medicine and give perspectives from world religions. Contact: Professional Meeting Planners, tel: 1-800-378-6857 or 781-279-9887, Fax 781-279-9875. E-mail: [email protected].

Excellent correspondence course on Vedic Astrology by Jyotish Krishnan, recipient of several awards including the recent award of Jyotish Vachaspathi by ICAS, India. Normal cost for four courses, US$558 (November or De­cember registration: $200 off). Tel/fax: 972-783-1242 or write PO Box 852892, Richardson TX 75085-2892 USA.

Vedic Astrology classes, workshops, tutorials, books. Offered by Umananda (Stephen Quong, Ph.D., Jyotisha Vachaspati), in Mount Shasta, California. 17513 Grizzly Den Road, Lake Shastina, CA 96094-9448, USA. Tel: 916-938-2997. Website: www.jyotisha.com

For inspiration, call 808-822-7482 (or 808-822-SIVA) day or night for a recorded sermonette by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Sixty upadeshas are rotated and changed daily, each one is ten to eighteen minutes in length and covers topics such chakras, the story of the soul, handling karma, fear, worry and other states of externalized consciousness, affirmations, putting teachings into practice, establishing oneself in sadhana, color meditations, and much more.

The Hindu University of America, Houston Campus (Texas, USA) is now enrolling students for Master's Degree, effective Fall '97. For more information, contact Dr. Lal Sardana,

tel: 713-666-2225.

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Free educational flow charts on all aspects of Hinduism. Write to Viswanath. Am I a Hindu? [ISBN 1-879904-06-3] Box 56697, New Orleans, LA 70156-6697 USA.

Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj Meditation Blessings. Peace, bliss and Self-Realization at­tained through meditation. Receive a photo of Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj , holy ash and meditation instructions. No charge. Send name, address and phone number to Dhyana Center of Roanoke, 833 Woods End Lane, Roanoke, VA 24014-1423 USA

Find God. "What right has a man to say that there is a God ifhe does not see Him?" Any­one with a burning desire to honestly know God, please contact Dr. Aruna, 183 Jalan Besar, Bukit Tengah, 14000 Bukit Mertajam, Penang, West Malaysia.


Affordable gems/jewelry for ayurveda, astrology, meditation. Satisfaction guaranteed. Mail order. King Enterprises, 1305 N. H St./ A-289-T, Lom­poc, CA 93436-4377 USA. Tel: 805-736-0449 (business hours.)

Astrological gemstones. Specially chosen for their metaphysical qualities by Umananda (Stephen Quong, Ph.D., Jyotisha Vachaspati). Call 916-938-2997 or visit website www. jyotisha.com for current inventory and prices.

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Beautiful devotional sculpture and masks. Classic cast stone murthies for your home, temple or retail shop. Ganesh, Shiva, Laxmi, Sarasvati, Durga, Buddha. Ht: 2 ft. (61 cm) or 4-5 ft. (1.2-1.5 m). Free catalog, tel: 800-608-8632, 515-472-8115. Vedic Sculpture Studio, 607 W Broadway #136, Fairfield, IA 52556-3200 USA.

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As reviewed in this issue. CD and cassette through House of Musical Traditions. Tel: 800-540-3794 or 301-270-9090 Fax: 301-270-3010 (USA)

Exquisite Vedic paintings done to order. Art book, Windows to Spiritual World. For free fly­er: Pushkar, PO Box 1094, Alachua, FL 32615-1094 USA. Tel: 904-462-0144.

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~----------------------------------~ 43


Page 23: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998


the winter of 97/98 will be wet. Varuna will definitely bring El Nifio to the West.

The ecliptic energy for 1998 is far greater than normal as well. Rahu is in the sign of his greatest enemy, Leo, and Ketu is in his enemy sign-Aquarius. The full eclipse on August 21, 1998, should be extremely intense, as a square between Mars and Saturn will also be in effect. This kind of energy is profound for the spiri­tual aspirant. It gives us opportu­nities to remove that which veils us from see ing the truth of our­selves more clearly. I call the ecliptic phase of 1998 "the Mir­ror," as its primary purpose is to show us the reflection of our­selves that we would rather ig­nore. This is Lord Siva working with us on the most personal lev­el. Siva will shine bright in our heart while Rahu is in Siva's abode of the Sun (Leo).

River of life: YOung and old revel in purifying Ganges baths at the kumbha mela in Haridwar, India

Jupiter in Aquarius marks a pe­riod of harmony in worldly rela­tionships. The constellation of Aquarius is the sign most inter­ested in bringing unity toward


Reli~quish Duality's aane defective governmental issues. There will be bonds and truces in the Middle East this year. For­eign trade through the first four II}onths of 1998 should improve.

Time to spiritually rejuvenate as Jupiter enters Aquarius But, Jupiter's harmonious influ­ence will be tested when his nemesis, Saturn, moves into his most unfavo~able sign of Aries on


ask for better 'astrological alignments in 1998. Jupiter, the planet of elEpansion , and wisdom, is moving into Aquarius

(Kumbha), the sign of spiritual rejuvenation and ... brotherly love, on January 8th. This brings the conscious mind into awareness of the oneness that we all share. Jupiter in Aquarius seems. to fmd ways to bring people .. together, whether through loving relation­ships or natural disasters. The primary aspi­ration of 1998 is letting go of the boundaries that prevent us from seeing Qur unity and oneness. Jupiter in Kumbha is stronger and more transformative this year b,.ecause the lunar nodes, Rahu and Ketu, share their ecliptic axis with Jupiter. Jupiter sharing his space with Ketu's energy of wisdom brings a metamorphic effect because Jupiter and Ketu are natural enemies. This means that wIsdom gained will be from surrendering. Letting go, whether material, emotional or spiritual, is the ultimate intent of this con­junction.

Jupiter's moving into Kumbha also marks the big Kumbha Mela this year in Haridwar,


India. Nowadays Kumbha Melas are hap­pening more frequently in various locations, but scholars believe the original Melas were only held at Haridwar every 12 years, when Jupiter enter~d Kumbha. The high point for this largest gathering of humankind on Earth is when the Sun conjuncts Jupiter on February 23124, creating a Snayoga (bathing combination). The energy for the Kumbha Mela is far stronger this year, for Jupiter and the Sun are joined by Mercury and Ketu. This energy creates the perfect time for pu­rification. To top it off, the whole stellium is squared by the very transfprmative Pluto. Pluto is a purifier and remover. ~ energy is ruled by the higher vibrations of Agni, the God of fire. Though this Kumbha Mela oc­curs every 12 years, the chances of repeat­ing this special planetary energy are slim, so 1998 is a very good year to participate.

Another intriguing effect of Jupiter in Kumbha is the weather. Within the realm of Aquarius lies the nakshatra (star cluster) called Satabishak. This nakshatra is ruled by Varuna, the God of water. With so much emphasis on Satabishak, it is no surprise that

April 17th. This brings a conflict, as Jupiter is trying to expand the natural qualities of Saturn (Aquarius is ruled by Saturn), and Saturn's positive side is being restricted by the constellation Aries. The duality of the relationship between Jupiter and Saturn will start to peak around May and June.

Normally, we seem to unconsciously find ways to distract ourselves from moving to­ward the only real truth (God). It seems as life goes on, we wake up every morning dealing with the illusion and the drama of life. The year of 1998 is arranged to take us back to the'real part of ourselves th/!t is un­consciously searching for Truth. Its not that 1998 is going to be difficult, it is just that the light that exists inside of us will be glowing( looking to be directed in an appropriate manner. And for spiritual aspirants already llirecting themselves toward pure conscious­ness, 1998 will be a priceless gem. __


CALIFORNIA 91403. PHONE: 1.818-771-5967, E-MAIL: [email protected]


Follow YOllr Bliss An American flautist finds his Hindu soul


I When you find that bliss, you say, 'Ah ... That's real music.' That is the feeling I go for." American-born,

forty-year-old flautist and composer John Wubbenhorst knows about bliss. His life has been a mystical musical odyssey, and his de­but GD, Facing East (70 minutes, Facing East Productions, $15.98), epitomizes his adventures in rapture. It is by far the most successful merger of Indian and Western music and instrumentation to date. As Wubbenhorst confides, "I could name innu­merable East-West explorations that were pretty lousy. I've heard where someone sticks a saxophone with a sitar and says it's fusion, but it's not really happening. It has to come from a deeper level."

Wubbenhorst's depth comes from two years of study with India's maestro, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, coupled with twenty-five years of "soaking in the Vedic culture," in­cluding aY1llrveda, astrology and "two hours of meditation each day." He recalls how he fell in love with Indian music at age 13, "It really hit me on a deep level. I would listen to Ravi Sh;mkar, and it was obvious that he was extremely relaxed and at the same time very precise-two seeming opposites. But that's what: you have to be. In fact, the two things Hari Prasad would say over and over again were, 'Relax,' and, 'More precise.' He said litt;le else. He is such a quiet man."

Wubbenhorst studied Western classical music with Kim Haley of New York's Jul­liard School of Music and jazz composition at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and with Darius Brubeck. Meanwhile, his love and appreciation of Indian music grew, and his spiritual seeking intensified. He told HINDUISM TODAY, "I learned Transcendental Meditation from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi when I was fourteen. I enrolled in his uni­versity in Fairfield, Iowa, when I was sixteen years old. I stayed for five years. He wasn't there, but I must have seen thousands of hours of him on video. I was totally in love with him. There are these great people on the planet who really have expanded con­sciousness. These are the most precious peo­ple." Yet through these rich years there was a yearning for something more.

Polished timbre: Wubbenhorst now plays the Indian bamboo flute alrrwst exclUSively ,

"I had this idea of studying the bamboo flute when I was eighteen," John recalls. "But I doubted for a long time. I thought, 'I can't fmd any teacher. I can never be suc­cessful. ' Finally, the idea didn't go away, and I said, 'I just better do this! ' I stopped doubt­ing, and it turned out great. It just goes to show you that if you follow your bliss, every­thing works out. The saying, 'Doubt is death,' is true." Wubbenhorst went to India not expecting to study with Hari Prasad Chaurasia, but study with him he did. As Wubbenhorst relates, "There were only four or five people he was teaching. He came every day fOr three hours and didn't charge any money. Sometimes he would fly all night, get off the airplane and come direct-1y to the lesson. He blew my mind. I've been around great jazz and classical musicians, but I've never seen such a love for teac'hing."

For Wubbenhorst, spirituality and music are inseparable. He explains, "The ;agas are a great spiritual sadhana for me. When I play the flute, I feel like I'm being drawn into this huge raga, and each one is a huge,

beautiful ocean in and of itself After play­ing for a while, you disappear. And I think the goal of a lot of yoga is that the small ''1'' disappears and you're into something big­ger. After all, this ego that we have is not the reality. Its not at all what we are. In addition, the bamboo flute is so charming, so earthy and so mystical. It feels so complete and nat - • ural. Its beyond words. The sound draws you

fin 1 f r ,.

to er evels 0 consciousness, and tHe raga structures are deeper laws of nature. So, you are drawn into these deeper, subtler aspects of creation, and the surface levels fall away. Hari Prasad told me, 'I think that is the real­ity. All this other stuff t> the dream.' "

Wubbenhorst's dream of Facing East came true with creative cop.tributions from Sandip Burman on tabla, Zolton Lantos on violin and nine other talents. The unique perfor­mances, exquisite compositions and sensitive orchestration prove out his theory, "If you're getting bliss, that's the reward. If you feel bliss, someone else will have' to feel it." __


301-215- 5049; www.i-a-p.comlfacingeast

J AN U ARY, 1 998 HIN D UI S M T ODAY 45


Page 24: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998



Reiki:. Restoring Pmna's Natural Flow A system of gradual relief asks the practitioner to simply be a conduit for cosmic energy



name for an ancient heal­~ ing method rediscovered

by Usui from the Sanskrit Buddhist scriptures found in monasteries in Japan. Ki, chi, qi, prana, vril, aeth, lesser light and pranic force are synonyms for the life force that flows through and about our bodies. Prana is Siva's Cosmic Force. It gives life to the body and mind and flows in the subtle body. The subtle body exists within and through our physical body. In Hin­duism we talk about the nadis that are the nerve-like conduits for prana. The subtle body communicates with the outside world at sensitive points on the skin, called rnar­rna or acupuncture points. As we have learned from the science of acupuncture and acupressure (also Do-IN, polarity treatments and massage), if something oc­curs to disrupt the rtormal balanced flow of prana through our bodies, disease @ccurs.

.Reiki practitioners are initiated into the method by six or more attunements by a Master that enable the student to open his pranic system to cosmic forces. These are given with explanations of the system and sometimes particular routines. Students are instructed and supervised in practice ses­sions to recognize pranic flow in them­selves and the subject. Every person has certain contact points on the pody that acts as an area of transfer of the pranic energy. The most common points are the. palms, fmgertips, whole frontal body (the reason for reiki embrace), forearms and feet.

The practitioner transfers prana to rnar­rna points on the patient's body, causing an increased, more natural flow of p rana within the patient. At the contact point there may develop an intense heat or cold­ness depending upon conditions. The prac­titioner knows intuitively how long to spend at each contact point in order to bring


about the harmony desired. Is this a mind control effort?

No, after the initial intention of the practitioner to bring about harmony, he or she need not concentrate on what he is doing and even may carryon conver­sations with others in the room. In fact, if the practitioner tries to direct the flow and amount of prana, the treatment will not

succeed. Prana has full consciousness and knows how to bring about health. The practitioner must never assume that he is doing the healing, for it is a healing using the Div4ne Cosmic energy.

Does reiki work? Yes, it is very effective in bringing about peace and comfort to the patients. It has often brought about slow relief from pains and other disease condi­tions. Rarely there is a sudden and almost miraculous total healing. The patient tends to relax completely and his subconscious mind also relaxes. The combination of the relaxation-getting out of the way of the flow-and tq.e revitalized pranic flow al­lows the individual to heal himself

Some Masters have added more attune­ments, new symbols and even different historic beliefs. The ancient system has three initiations, the third being that of the teacher. Symbols are used to intensify the flow of prana, for mental and physical con­ditions as well as distant healing.

Traditionally, the practitioper does not charge for his services, though h(l. may take a love offering. He merely acts as a conduit for the transfer of pranic energy from the universe to the patient as a result of his initiation and attunement to subtle forces.

DR. TANDAVAN, 77, retired nuclear physi­cian and hospital staff president, lives in Chicago, where he specializes in alternative healing arts. Visit his home page at the HINDUISM TODAY Website.

EVOLUTIONS 150TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY: of Theo­sophical Society president and free In­dia crusader Annie Besant was com­memorated on October 1. Born in 1847 in England, Besant was ahead of her time. Unhappy with Christian views on suffering, she moved to Benares, India, founding the Cen­tral Hindu College (now Banaras Hin­du University) amidst British op- Lover of Bharat pression to help children regain their ancestral heritage.

SAVING TIGERS: is the passion of Jenny Osgood, a 16-year-old British girl. She organized a 7,ooo-signature petition to the Prime Minister ofIndia-home to two-thirds of the remaining 4-7,000 wild tigers on Earth. The London Environmental Investigation Agency flew her to India in Rajasthani painting October, 1997, to personally present the petition dur­ing "wildlife week." Read her story on the web at: www.5tigers.orgljenny.htm

TRANSITION: Eugene "Mickey" Finn in Boston, USA, on October 19, 1997, at the age of 76. An admitted thief, con artist and drug addict, Finn one day sought relief from a hatha yoga teacher and promptly changed his life. He was inspired to teach yoga from his apart­ment for free for decades, introducing hundreds to Sri Aurobindo's teachings.

FIGHTING: with Hindu Gods may be the plot in upcoming episodes of "Her­cules, The Legendary Journeys," ac­cording to TV Guide. Greek Gods are commonly bashed in the series. To , show your concern that Hindu Gods not be disrespected, write to: Hercules Productions, c/o Pacific Renaissance Pictures, PO Box 90409, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland, New Zealand. Hercules vs. the Gods

o -<


Le~~al lh,reat Forces Aerosmith CD Change . Malaysia Hindu Sangam gets offensive album withdrawn from stores throughout Malaysia


. , defamation Coalition (AHADC) of , . the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of Amer­

ica lambasted Sony for tne Aerosmith band's ED cover based on the traditional image of Lord Krishna dancing upon and subduing the multi-headed serpent Kaliya [July, 1997]. Their protests resulted in an apology from Aerosmith and a promise from Sony to change the cover as soon as the first run of four million was sold. The AHADC re­ques~ed the CD be pulled iminediately from the shelves" but was unsuccessful in getting this demand met. The same cover was still on sale in American stories in October, though the new cover was on the groups website.

Not so in Malaysia, thanks to the Malaysia Hindu Sangam. They bludgeoned Sony and its distributors with section 295 of the Penal Code of Malaysia which "does not allow anything offensive to any religion to be pub­lished." No such legal recourse is available in America, where the Constitution's First Amendment on free speech allows one to say just about anything about a religion.

p. Murug~ah, chairman of the Social and Welfare Committee of tlJ-e Sangam's Penang State Council, brought the album to the at­tention of the Ministry of Home Affairs, who in turn contacted Sony. Peter Wong, Sales M§l11ager for Sony Music Entertain­ment (M) S:DN BHD of Malaysia, summari­ly issued a letter to its dealers informing them, "It has been brought to our attention by the Ministry of Home Affairs concerning the purported offensive cover of the Aero­smith Nine Lives album. Due to the sensi­tivity thereof, we would request that the sales of this album be stopped ilIlffiediately. Kindly make the necessary arrangement to take these albums off your shelv~s. Our sales representatives will be collecting them to enable us to exchange them with the new album covers."

This must have been a painful move for Sony, for the local newspapers were giving the album rave reviews. As of October, the CD and cassette versions were back on Malaysian shelves, with the new cover. The album is apparently popular, a tribute to people's,desire for coarse and obscene lyrics sung to uninspired American rock tunes.

Murugiah has called on MHS members throughout Malaysia to act as the eyes and ears of the Hindu community by monitoring and rep0rting any item which might have contents offensive to the Hindu religion. Mageswaran Palany of Malaysia told HIN­DUISM TODAY, "The Hindu population here is less than ten percent, and yet we made it happen. I hope that every country can do this so that no one will think of playing with Hindus' religious feelings in the future."_



Surrounding Iraivan Temple is an

extraordinary botanical garden

paradise, providing an area of

contemplative, natural beauty.

Pilgrims enjoy groves of plumeria,

konrai, hibiscus, heliconia, native

Hawaiian plant species and more.

At the entrance to the 5 J -acre

sanctuary is a forest of healing

rudraksha trees. Send US$ J 2 to

purchase a single-bead necklace of

a sacred rudraksha, receive as our

gift another bead to plant and sup­

port the Iraivan Temple project.


E-mail: [email protected] http://www. HinduismToday. Kauai. hi. us/ashram/lraivan. html




KAPAA. HI 96746-9304 USA


Page 25: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

"May the light of Diwali May"the flames of

Brahma Swarup Varma, Direclorof Administration, IHRF 621l11ini Drive, Monroeville, PA 15146-1917

Phone: 412-733-1118 Fax 412-733-2224 E-mail: [email protected]

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48 ~~~================================================~==.

'" TIjE QUEEN APOLOGIZED for the 1919 massa­cre of 379 unarmed Indian profusters in , Amritsar during her 1997 visit to India. At a state barlquet in New Delhj., she ad­mitted that there had bren some "difficult episodes" in Britain's past, of which Jallian­wala Bagh-site of the massacre-was a "distressing exam­ple." She and hus-band Prince Philip Queen Elizabeth II earlier placed a wreaTh at the Jallianwala Bagh memorial in Amritsar, where tens of thousands of Sikhs gave her a warm welcome. Philip, whose father-in-law, King <;;eorge VI, was the last "Emperor of India," also took a barefoot tour of Gandhi's ashram near Ahmedabad.

AMERICAN CHARITIES GOT A SCARE in Septem­ber when a Texas judge ordered a Southern Baptist ChristAan Church to hand over $27,687 donated by a bankrupt church member to the man's main creditor. The judge's rulling rested on the contention that the man had given the money to the church "without receiving a reasonably equivalent value in exchange." The judge apparently saw no "value" in the' church's religious ser­vice. If it stands, the law puts all charitable contributi.ons at risk of having to be re­tfrrned one day. The shocking ruling is un­der appeal to higher courts. A law has been introduced in the US Congress to protect churches (including Hindu temples) and charities from such claims. In the Texas case, the creditor defended _the decision, "The money he paid to the church was my mOIJ.ey, not his money. If someone had robbed me and donated the money to the church, would the church nave to retprn the money? \les." . I '

IMPROVEMENT IN DIET-mainly by reducing meat and increasing vegetable consump­tion-could prevent up to 40 percent of all the world's cancer, according to a massive analysis of 4,500 studies by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research FUnd. Largely as a result of health concerns, the -number of vegetarians in Britain has doubled in recent decades and now stands at eight percent.

THE L1BERiU "R-1" VISA pro~ision allowing up to 5,000 viSa slots for nuns, priests, reli­gious brothers, lay preachers, religious in-


structors and missionaries to work in this country at the request of US-based reli­gious organizations is close to approval as a permanent part of US immigration law. US Hindu organizations have used the relative­ly easy to qualify for visa to bring monks, priests, musicians and others to ~erica.

INDIA'S SUPREME COURT has denied the tra­ditional sevaks, temple attendants, of the famed Jagannath temple at Puri a share of the money from hun dis, collection boxes, installed in the temple. They ruled the col­lection of the offerings was a "secular" ac­tivity which belonged to the domain of the state-run temple management. Most Hindu ­temples in lIidia, but not Christian church­es or Muslim mosques, are run by s(ate-ap­pointed boards and administrators, and not by hereditary trustees or boards elected by temple devotees.

FIJI WAS READMITTED to the Commonwealth ten y,ears after it was expelled at the behest of India, following a military coup. Their recently adopted constitutiop no lopger dis­cri~tes against the countr-y's large Indi­an population. Fijian Prime Minister Siti­veni.Rabuka has formally approached India to restore the diplomatic and economic links between the countries which were cut after the coup.

THE SEARCH'FOR THE PERFECT SPOUSE is go­ing out of this world on board the Cassini space vehicle now headed to­ward Saturn. The European Space Agency allowed thousands of messages from earthlings to be pacfed aboard the Huygens pr~be, which will Cassini: will ET '7 do"? be launched from Cassinrti. onto Titan, Saturn's largest moon. One is a request fer a "tall, hand­some alien, romantic, if possible."

THE "LAST PAPERS OF MAHATMA GANDHI" which were stored for 50 years by v. Kalyanam of Chennai and recently donat­ed to'the Indian government are now available to the public at the Nehru Muse­um in New Delhi. 'Yhe unique collection contains rough drafts of some of Gandhi's famous speeches, and letters whh his frrui~ assessments of various issues, in­cluding partition.

ntAlLAND BUDDHISTS HAVE FOUND a unique plethod of saving the country's trees from illegal logging. The Northern Farmer's Net­work "ordained" thousands of the trees and wrapped them in the orange robes usually \ worn by Buddhist monks. There is no word on the method's success.

THE ORIENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY of Kerala has entered into an agreement with the All Kerala Elephant Owners Association to in"" sUre, yes, their elephants. The policies are a kind of combination of auto and health in­surance, providing coverage for collision li­ability as well as the elephant's illness or death. Kerala has 570 elephants owned by individuals, temples and the state forest de­partment. A shocking 162 have died in the last decade, a factor in the new coverage.

THE BLASPHEMOUS LIBEL L'AW of Trinidad [see December 1997 issue] is indeed a for­mal part of English COInmon Law and pro­tects in Britain, just as it does in Trinidad, only Christianity from "scurrilous" attack. UK Muslims attempted to use the law to sti­fle Salman Rushdie and his Satanic Verses book, but were refused by the court on the grounds the law protected no other reli­gions. One expert said this was only natural as England was an officially Christian coun­try. The law would appear to stand in viola­tion of the guarantee of equal religious free­dom in the UN Charter of Human Rights.

THE WORLD'S MOST ANCIENT MUSICAL instru­ment is a 43,000-year-old flute found in the Slovenian Alps in Europe in a Neanderthal hunting camp. The spacing between the second and third holes made in the bear thigh bone is twice that between the third and fourth, . meaning the flute could pro-

... duce whole and half tones. Cleve­land State Uni­versity ethrtomu­sicologist T. Temple Tuttle believes the Neanderthal's bone flute hole spacing .-would most likely match the South Indian system, rather th\ill the Western diatonic scale, according to a report in Scientifu; American. A second expert believes the complete flute (drawing above) had at least six holes and was some 37 centimeters long. Neanderthals are ancient inhabitants of Eu­rope believed displaced ty modern humans tens of thousands of years ago.



Page 26: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998

MINISTER.S MESSAGE amount of faith which moves mountains

Transformation into God's Loving Image

you may not have, but yop cannot deny that there is in you some little faith. If all in you is not receptive to the all-perfecting Divine Presence, there still lurks in you something which appreciates readily the things of Love, Light, Beauty, God.

Your love, when fully grown, is the saint. When the little faith in you fully flowers, it is the wonder-worker. Your wisdom, when fully developed, is the sage. Love is the Power of powers. Love all, at all times, in all circumstances and conditions, and even in the most difficult situations. Let nothing external, or internal, dry up the p~ennial springs of the silent, unobserved flow of your love for all.

Transmute the instinctive animal nature to unleash ,the noble powers of your soul identity

BY SWAMI OMKARANANDA SARASWATI Transformation of our entire inner na­

ture, of our thoughts, emotions, energies, is a wonderful way of acquiring tremendous spiritual powers. When we exceed the ani­mal and human nature, refme, exalt and illuminate our minds and hearts, wills and inner spirit, we gain the numberless powers that belong to our inner, self-luminous spiri­tual nature.


millions of ships, and sustain billions of tons of ice­bergs- if it sinks into the ocean and becomes the whole ocean. The image of God in the little, petty man has the wmite freedom, power, peace, joy, perfection and

becomes the supreme Lord of all creation-the moment it liberates itself from the limitations of phenomenal existence and obtains oneness with the Being of God, the highest, the greatest, the Absolute.

The space in the balloon can support all creation, all the stellar regions, all the worlds-if it knows, has faith in, the boundless space without, liberates itself from the confmes of the balloon, and becomes one with the space everywhere. Even so, if man can know and have faith in the universal, supra­cosmic, all-pervasive, absolute divine Consciousness-Power, God, he liberates himself from his own human limitations, limitations in knowledge, in love, in light, and becomes one with God. Nothing, at this stage of perfection, is impossible for man. Until this highest stage is arrived at, man can always work wonders and do impossi­ble things by contact in devotion, faith, prayer and love with Him who is the supreme Power, the wmite Consciousness, the all-cre­ative Light.

Everything great is within yourself. Yonder is a huge stone. Looking at it, we can remark that therein is a lion, or a deer, or a beautiful maid, or the Greek philosopher Plato, or an Eastern sage or a Western thinker -and we can go about chiselling the stone until that lion, or that deer, or that maid, or that philosopher or that sage emerges. Infinitely more true is this of the Consciousness within yourself You can set about working on it, and produce from it a philosopher, or a sage, or a person of supernormal knowledge, wisdom, love, powers, or an angel, or a joy, a peace, a grace, a per­fection-anything you desire. Work on yourself, and fashion any type of greatness or perfection you envision. Children look at the snow with which all the Earth is covered. One says that there is a little house in it, and sets about making that house from the snow. Another asserts that there is a toy in it, and begins fashioning the toy. The third one claims there is a man in it, and starts building up the snowman. Thus, each produces from the snow the image he has in his mind.

All the extraordinary qualities of nature that are characteristic of the world's greatest saints are there in you. If not great purity, some purity is present in you. If not endless knowledge, some amount of knowledge you do possess. Though not superhuman patience, a little patience you do command. If not great and all­absorbing love for God, some love for that which you rec~gnize as the Good, or the Beautiful, or Truth, or God is active in you: That


Constant experience of the Presence of God endows us with rare powers. The power to remain unaffected by difficult cir­cumstances, the power to rule the environ­ment and not to be ruled by it, the power of remaining peaceful, joyous, unshaken are

among the many powers that accrue to us from the practice of the Presence of God. Self-surrender to the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and all-loving, all-protecting, all-perfecting Divinity fills us with extraordinary powers.

Special concentration exercises awaken the divine powers in us. Meditation unfolds tile higher powers of perception and divine nature. Japa- constant repetition of the Mysti<;al Syllables-puts us in touch with the various powers of God. The Might, the Light, the Grace, the Peace of God manifest in our daily li~s.

Years of devotion and strict adherence to Truth bestow on us the power of ~aking true everything that we say, or wish, to anyone. Magnanimous nature, generosity and free bestowal of cl}arities liberate us from every type of want, and secure for us material and spiritual welfare and prosperity.

We acquire the power to live long by deep and rhythmical breathing. We also gain by it peace of mind, freedom from physi­cal and mental ailments, and get closer-to the knowledge of God. When we go on wishing welfare to all, praying for everyone, every creature, and desire the happiness of all that has life and breathes, we fmd ourselves in possession of great inner Light, Joy, Peace, Power, and our life is made secure .against accidents, losses and misfortunes. We become a great blessing to the whole creation.

...... c_-----SWAMI OMKARANANDA SARASWATI, 68, sage, mystic, philosopher, is Founder-President of several charitable trust societies, academic and cultural schools and a research institute for Science-synthesis.

Shri Anandi Ma-Mantras for Health

Shri Anandi Ma-Master in the tradition of Kundalini Maha Yoga- has recorded some of the most powerful, traditional Vedic prayers and mantras for use in support of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

• Shri Anandi Ma-Healing Mantras, a collection of mantras dedicated to Lord Shiva, Shri Krishna and the Divine Mother. Cassette #A365. • Mantras for Re-moval of Fear, for removing fears and worries at their source. Cassette # DYC-WI. US$13 each, (US$15 outside North America) includes postage. To order, send a check or money order payable to:

Dhyanyoga Centers • P.o. Box 3194 Antioch, CA 94531-3194 USA • Tel: 510-757-9361 Allow 4 - 6 weeks for delivery.

Shri Anandi Ma offers Shaktipat initiation, the Kundalini awakening. "With Shaktipat, the student is saturated with Divine Energy. The Kundalini is permanently awakened and, like a mother, constantly cares for and nourishes her infant." For more information, please contact us at the above address. Web: http://www.dyc.org

Visit Barsana Dham, Austin, Texas

Surrounded by green meadows, wild flowers and rose gardens, beau­tiful Radha Kund and Maharas man­dal is the jewel of Shree Raseshwari Radha Rani Temple which enlightens the world with its radiance of Divine Love. Barsana Dham is the main US center of the International Society of Divine Love. It provides the experience of the true devotional environment that prevailed in the ashrams of the historic saints of Vrindaban (India) 500 years ago. Guests enjoy comfortable guest rooms and fresh vegetarian meals, take part in the ashram's devotional programs, darshan and satsang with H.D. Swami Prakashanand Saraswati.

"Barsana Dham is pure Divine Grace. My pranams to Shree Swamiji for showering us with kindness and true knowledge of the Divine." -a visitor from Northern California.

International Society of Divine Love, Barsana Dham 400 Barsana Rd., Austin, TX 78737-9075 USA. Tel: 1-512-288-7180. Fax: 512-288-0447. www.isdl.org

Upcoming 1998 events at Barsana Dham: Maha Shivratri, Feb 28 • Holi, Mar. 14 • Ram Navmi, Apr 5

El\loy the Saraswati Mantra on CD

Saraswati Devi,a musical tribute to the Goddess of beauty, inspiration and music. The powerful Sarawati Mantra and other Sanskrit and Hindi songs. CD US$ 15 • Cassette $10 Shipg: to USA/Can, $4; other, $8. Gayatri Mantra, Maha Mrityunjaya also available! FREE CATALOG: Galaxy Recordings • 351 Av. Victoria Westmount, PQ H3Z 2N1 Canada Tel: 514-484-8090 • Fax: 514.488.3822 [email protected]

Superlative Tours to India-1997-98

• Tour 1: March 7-22, '98 Celebrating Phagwa (Holi) in India.

• Tour 2: April 10-24, '98 KimIbha Mela at Haridwar and other inspiring destinations.

For more information, contact: Kali Travel Ltd . • 169-1.2 Hillside Ave Jamaica, NY 11432-4498 USA

Tel: 718-291-9292 Fax: 718-262-0928

K.N. Rao's Journal of Astrology, Books

For the fIrst time, Journal of Astrology quarterly is available in the USA. Editor: K.N. Rao, founder of the world's largest astrology school in New Delhi.

• quality research articles in Hindu (Vedic) Astrology by established astrologers- of interest to new students or professionals • sample real-life horoscopes. • excellent material to en­hance predictive skills • articles by Sanskrit scholars on Hindu scriptures and references to astrology, omens, etc. Annual Subscription: us$39 .

Newly published books by KN Rao: • Karma and Rebirth in Hindu Astrology. $18.95 • Learn Hindu Astrology Easily. $9.95 • Successful Predictive Techniques of Hindu Astrology. $19.95 Also, by Deepak Kapoor: Prashna Shastra (Horary Astrology), 2-volume set: $32.90

Stellar Technology Group 119 Whittlesey Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052 USA Tel: 973-325-8135 • Fax: 973-325-7925 [email protected]


Page 27: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998
Page 28: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998



Hindu Heritage Endowment is a publicly supported, ch~ritable organization recognized as tax

exempt by the IRS on April 22, 1994. I~s employer ID number is 99-0308924. Fo'unded by Satg~ru

Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, its philanthropic;. mission is to provide secure, professionally man­

aged financial support for institutions and religibus leaders 6f all lineages of Sanatana Dhar~a. ~



Call the'Ban Diego Yoga Teachers Association hotline, and chances are you will reach Damara Shanmugan serving as a volunteer. A born activist, Damara has dedicated her life to giving and to serving. Recently her heart was touched by a very special school near Bangalore which teaches only blind students. Returning from a visit to India, she vowed to do what she could to help the students and has procured and shipped no~ only large numbers of braille books and supplies to the school but' also tape recorders and braille typewriters, all free of charge! Finding the truth in the old adage that the best way

. to bring jo.y into your own life is to Dring joy into the lives of others, Damara is dedicating her energies towards the creation of a permanent foundation and endow­ment to help educate and serve blil!d Hindus arOlJ.nd the world.


Nearly 200 children sit quietly in the school assembly. At a signal, they break into lively bhajan; some play drums and instruments, ot~ers clap their hands. All are healthy, well dressed~and well cared for. Next, a group of the students begins a traditional folk dance. Some form an inner circle while an outer circle rotates around them. Sticks rhythmically click as the dancers'" in the outer circle strike the sticks held by those in the inner circle. An average day in the life of children in any country of the world? In a sense, yes, but each of these children is blind, making this a very different school and a sur­prising performance. Ul)der the auspices of Sri Sri Sri Balagangadharanathaswami, this sc~ool provides free education for sightles~s children. The Saivite Hindu Scriptural Fund for ~~e . Visually Impaired was created to permanently provide financial support to produce braille Hmdu educational materials for this and other Hindu blind schools.

INVESTMENT TIP: "The good news is that you and your spouse have a lifetime income, numer­ous tax breaks, and a Wealth Replacement Trust passes a completely tax-free inheritance to your children. Qualified plans like IRA, SEP and KEOGH restrict the am<zunt you can contribute, tax heavily on withdrawal and subject it '[your money] to an excise tax. They even tax your money if it goes to your children, including federal estafe tax and potential excise tax. Few plans o!fer as much latitude and numerous benefits as the Charitable Remainder Turst." Tip }rom Rajesh Jyotishi of Shalin Financial Services, 1-800-451-5561.


As a,public service, HHE occasionally w,ill offer the opini~ns of various lipaDcial planners. However, it endor~es ~either these advisors nor_ their counsel, and recommends that a1l1l1dlVIduals seek profeSSIOnal adVice from several sources before mak1l1g lffiportant long-term deci sions.

--------------------------------------------~--------------------------R ECENT DO NORS

Hindu Businessmen's Association Trust Kriya Haran $180.00 Gunasekaran Kandasamy $33.44

Vel Alahan US$135.00 Gunasekaran Kandasamy $109 .36 Total $33.44

AdiAlahan $43.00 Umah Rani Palanisamy $100.36 Loving Ganesha Distribution Fund Paramaseeven Canagasaby $7.71 Balan Rajan $200.00

Eric Mitchell $10.00 Vel Mahalingum $11.26 Saiva Siddhanta Church $12,396.69

Total $10.00 Manogaran Mard"mootoo $114.43 Loganatha Shivam $500.00

Vishwanaden Moorooven $4.54 Pal aka Shivam $500.00 Mathavasi Medical Fund

Satya Palani $10 1.00 Surya Ganesha Sundaram $123.00 Gowri Nadason $30.00

Deva Rajan $1,628.60 Total $15,000.50 Total $30.00

Jnani Shanmuga $8.23 Kauai Aadbeenam Annual Archana Fund Mathavasi Travel Fund Aditya Vinadhara $361.00 Sukanta Caremben $0.66 Erasenthiran Poonjolai $75.00 Total $2,414.77 Yajataceyon Caremben $0.44 Total $75.00 Hindu Orphanage Endowment Fund Gopiladeva Doorgiat $3.60 Nepal Kumari Goddess Education Fund Gunasekaran Kandasamy $33.44 Saroja Devi Doorgiat $9.88 Richard Stocker $2 1.00 Ramakumar & Sailaja Kosuru $20.00 Vanadeva Doorgiat $2.25 Total $2 1.00 Francine Martin $11.00 Amouda Koothan $0.90

Alex Ruberto $15.00 Egilen Koothan $0.90 Sri Subramuniya Kottam Fund

Total $79.44 Saravan Koothan $0.90 Andrew Schoenbaum $10.00

Souda Koothan $0.90 Total $10.00 Hinduism Today Distribution Fund

Jayaluxmee Moothoo $13.47 Sundari Peruman Memorial Fund Soondiren Arnasalon $28.36 Kamala Mootoosamy $33.25 Vijayam Amasalon $26.09 Markandeya Peruman $25.00

Kamaladevi Mootoosawmy $0.44 Total $25.00 Vayudeva Varadan $330.91 Yuvamanee Mootoosawmy $0.44 Ravindra Doorgiat $89.80 Dhanya Nadesan $16.71 Thank You Gurudeva Fund Chitravelloo Gunasegaran $7 1.84 Sivan Murrugappa Naicken $29.27 Anonymous $20 1.00 Kriya Haran $180.00 Kumaren Nataraja $9.01 Total $20 1.00 Diksha Katir $165.84 Ramsamy Natarajan $35.94 Thirunavakkarasu Nayanar Usha Devi Katir $49.40 Mooniamah Nellatamby $2.25 Gurukulam Fund Amravaddee Kownden $54.45 Selven Nellatamby $4.49 Vel Alahan $15.00 Toshadeva Lynam Guhan $131.58 Yoganathan Palani $2.40 $20.00 Anonymous Deva Natharaja $90.00 Calayvanee Ragaven $17.96 Prabhawatee Gooljar $10.00 Suguneswary Ponniah $133.83 Govinden San jeevee $15.00 Kriya Haran $10.00 Surya Sabaratnam $100.00 Hemavalli Sivalingam $1.01 Bhavani Param $5.50 Sinniah Sivagnanasuntharam $50.00 Kanta Ruban Sivalingam $1.01 Dhasan Sivananda $17.55 Dhasan Sivananda $15.77 Nandi Devi Sivanathan $1.77 Matthew Wieczork $30.00 Total $1,517.87 Potriyan Sivanathan $1.77 Total $108.05 Hinduism Today Endowment Trust Sithra Sooryanarayanan $3.26

Thirumular Sannidbi Preservation Fund Anonymous $1,436.46 Sivamalar Thuraisingam $0.68

Total $1,436.46 Priya Devi Utchanah $6.20 Shyamadeva Dandapani $25.00

Siven Veerasamy $60.00 Total $25.00 iraivan Temple Fund

Total $276.76 Undesignated Funds Peshala Varadan $820.25 Mohana Sundari Gunasegaran $70.84 Kauai Aadbeenam Monastic Endowment Anonymous $2,061.93

Total $2,061.93

We especially thank those young children who gave a small amount, Total Recent Contrib. us$23,408.52 tithing from their allowance each month, creating positive patterns early in life.

Total Endowment Funds US$2,240,993.50

INVESTMENT MANAGERS AND CONSULTANTS: Franklin Management Inc.; First Hawaiian Bank, Trust & Investmeht Division; Brandes Investment Partners, Inc.; Pacific Century Trust (Bank of Hawaii); Alvin G. Buchignani, Esq., attorney; and Nathan Palani, CPA. HHE is a member .of the Council on Foundations, an association of 1,500 foundations which interprets relevant law, inter­national and domestic, and accounting, management and investment principles.

I WANT TO PARTICIPATE. WHERE SHOULD I SEND ~ DONATION? You can send your gift to an existing furld, create a new endowment or request information through the address below. Credit card gifts may be made directly by E-mail. Or, use the HHE tear-out card in this magazine.


107 Kaholalele Road Kapaa, Hawaii, 96746-9304 USA

. Tel: (800) 890-1008, Ext. 222 Outside US: (808) 822-3152, Ext. 222

Fax: (808) 822-4351 E-mail: [email protected]

~ www.hindu.org/hhe/

Page 29: Hinduism Today, Jan, 1998


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Covering AU Bases


Tirtha's website is an electronic version of his ashram and holistic health 'center in Bayville, New York. At http://ayurvedahc.com, watch this American disciple of the late Swa­mi Shankar Purushot­tam Maharaj adroitly

For creative cures

apply ayuroeda, astrolo­gy and even Vedic ar­chitecture to pregnancy and child care, addic­tion, longevity, mental health and much more .


·j.\lternatives .,..-oDAY'S AVERAGE

I allopathic medical doctor ignores, even sCQffs at, "alternative treatment." But that is changiTIg, thanks in part to the new Office of Al­ternative Medicine, a

Find out why Anju proposed to f/ULrT'Ij someone her parents never expected VIDEO

Indian Fable Goes High-tech


ment is filled with rows of computers and hun­dreds of hand-painted

backdrops. Here he painstakingly in­tegrates live actors with animation to create award-winning videos for children, retelling classic tales from

India. Following hits like "Deepa & Rupa," his latest is "The Woodcut­ters Daughter," a fable adapted from the Panchatantra about a magicaIly­born daughter who chooses an extra­ordinary husband. US$18. Sorcar Pr0-ductions, 14565 West 58th Place, Arvada, Colorado 80004 USA.

section of the US gov­ernment's National Insti­tute of Health. Its man­date is to identify and evaluate unconventional health care practices. At its website (http://alt med.od.nih.gov/) you will fmd summaries of numerous healing sys­tems, plus a monthly on­line health news bulletin. Uncle Sam gets behind alternative health systems


Media = Real Ufe OEEVES' AND NASS'

"-Premise in T1l.e Me­dia Equation (Cam" bridg~ University Press) is that we resp0nd to computers (and other electronic media) just as we respond to real peo­ple. We're not talking only of attributing dark ulterior motives to the computer which just trashed 16 hours of your work. Did you know we

The \!celia Equation How ~ple 1rtat Computtrt,

Televbltm. ltnd New Media Uk~ Real People and Places

"Enjoying your dinner?"

react emotionally to a computer's praise or blame just as if it came from a real person? Or that we react differently to the same comments by male and female compute\" voices? The authors attribute this tendency to inadequate evolutionary advance­ment by humans· to deal sanely with machines.

Instill in us a whQlesQme, happy mind, with 8QQdwiH and

understanding. Then shall we ever delight in YQur friendship like

CQws whQgladly rejQ.ice in meadQws~reen. ihis is my jQyful message. RIG V EDA S}l.MHllA 10.25.1