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HINDUISM TODAY wns founded on January 5, 1979; by Satguru Sivayn Subrumunl· PUBLISHER: Satguru Sivayn Subramuniynswnml

January, 1997 "$2.95 ynswnmi to strengthen all Hindu lineages. Published by.Himalaynn Academy, 107
Kaholalele Road, Kapaa, Hawaii 96746-9304 USA. Edilorial Office Ph: 1·8()8.822-
ADMINISTRATIVE OIRECTOR: Acharyn Veylanswami
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Acharya Palaniswaml
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DEPUTY EDITOR: Acharya Kumarswaml
MANAGING EDITOR: Tyngi Arumugaswami
Q 1996 Himalayan Academy. AU rights reserved. lSSN# 0896-0801. GRAPHIGS DIRECTOR: 'I)lagi Natarajaswami
CORRESPONDENTS: Cowri Shankar & Anandhi Ramachandran, Madras: Chooda· PROMOTION/PRODUCTION: Tyngi Kathirswami
mani Shivaram, Bangalore: Rajiv Malik & Mangala Prasad Mohanty, Delhi: VTin· MANAOING EDITOR'S AID: Tyngi Shanmuganathaswami
davanam S. Copalakrishnan, Kemla: ShynmaJ Chandra Debnath, Bangladesh: Ar- ADVERTISING MANAGER: Sadhaka Jothinatha
chana Dongre, LOs Angeles; Lavina Melwan~ New York: Prabha Bhardwaj, Kenyn: SUBSCRIPTION MANAGER: Sadhaka Haranandi natha
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London; Ravi Peruman, San Francisco; Dr. Devananda Tandavan, Chicago; v.c. DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR: Yogi Kasinatha
Julie Raja n, Philadelphia. Web Masters: Dew Seyon: Sadhunathan Nadesan. SUMMER INTERN: Brahmachari Jothi Sendan
Affirming Sanatana Dharma and Recording the Modern History of a Billion-Strong Global Religion in Renaissance

I JANUARY, 1997'
. '1 I .. "7 '.

~~""d'-
.. . ,

INTE.RN Nfl ON'AL


Politics: Muslims Are Politicking to
Get Heard in America 17
Special Report: Joint Families, a Venerable
Tradition in Jeopardy 22
Literature: A Survey of Books by
. Hindu Women
,'and about
Mpvemen'ts: Struggle Over a
28
Powerful Kerala Ashram 34
Liturgy: Women as Vedic Priests 40
Art: 'Crace Flows f~Hl His Fingertips 48
Refugees: Bhutan and Kashmir Camps 49
-Worship:'"A City of Ten Million Icons 52
tfFESTYLE
Insight: IDndus View Death Differently 30
Str,iving: 72-Hour Marathon Dance 36
.Astrology: Hagpy Roman New Year 36
People: Peace Pilgrim's Worthy Walk 47
. ( O;PINION
Publisher's Desk: My MOJ;lastic Order's
!Mission Is HINnUISM TODAY 6
Editorial: Great Drarture, Death '
Is Not the End 8
..
Q
My Turn: Being a Hnndu in Ireland 10
Letters ,- 14
.
~
0 Healing: Are Hospitals Healthy? 44
'" Minister's fIlessage: Personal Peace .,50
...'"
:sz . "
DIGESTS
'"
l-
Quotes &. Quips !g Evolutions 44
,.~.. Dlaspora 11 Digital Dharma 54
..
Q
Brlef!y 20

"

MITA (P) No: 245/04190 Canada . ... .C$3.95 India .... .... Rs.50 Sri Lanka .. . Rs.BO . COVER: A father lifts his daughter to the heavens. This family of priests, with bttp:!' . . ..HlnlulamTtdQ.kauaLhLusl
PPS 120J/4I96 Fiji ... . .... FJD2.00 Malaysia .... .. RM5 Trinidad . ... TDB.OO four generations under one roof, lives between Cochin and Kerala's capital, Jliru-
Germany .. .. DM4.5 Mauritius .. .. .Rs.30 UK . . . . . . . £2.90 vananthapuram. Such large joint families are now threatened. See pages 22-26. • '
.
PUBLISHER'S DESK

Chronicling Hinduism's
Modern Experience \

How 25 penniless monks living on the world's most


remote land mass are making history by forging the future
BY SATGURU SIVAYA SUBRAMUNIYASWAMI
UST DAYS BEFORE WE WENT TO PRESS , THE ANCIENT RAJPUT Hindus in Durban had no idea what was

J
painting to the right was completed, greeting 1997 and preserv- happening with Hindus in Canada.
ing HINDUISM TODAY'S quantum leap far into the future of fu- Those in London had no connection
tures and beyond. The mathavasis in the painting are not from with their brothers and sisters in Kath-
some distant yuga; they are the stalwart sevaks that produce mandu. Hindus in India thought there I
this magazine each month. Many reader's queries have come on were none elsewhere. Thus, I was divine-
my e-mail, and even through what they call snai\ mail, asking how ly directed by inner orders from our Yo-
and why HINDUISM TODAYappears in so many nations. Here it is. gaswami Kailasa Parampara, by my
Everyone of my 25 monks is involved in its production, in ,ways Satguru in this life, to create a means to
small and large. Yes, they look and dress exactly like that, living interconnect Hindus worldwiae.
simply, meditating and serving with me here in a tropical jungle The editorial policies I have laid down
on our planet's most remote land mass, the Island of Kauai in the for the mathavasis are: to show both sides
Hawaiian Islands. And, yes, the giant banyan tree, sacred river and of every story; to put forward religious
natural waterfall are really here, too, along with par("ots and cows. leaders of all Hindu sects equally, ac-
When you visit some day, we hope not too long from now, you can knowledging their central role in the
meet and talk with some of my swamis, yogis and sadliakas. future of Dharma; to bring into the con-
A thousand years or more ago a great book was written, the sciousness bf Hindus and onlookers the
M.ahabharata, recording the history of Bharat. Now revered as a glories of this most ancient religion ~n the
religious scripture, it speaks of the glories as well as' the problems planet; to support tradition and its matu-
of that era and the wise solutions that dharma provides. Today in rity into contemporary times; to maintain
Bharat, India's official name in its constitution, this great religion a strict nonpolitical point of view, mean-
still flourishes and h~s recently moved explosively into. nearly ing not taking sides; to give a voice to
every country of the world with its temples, ministers, priests and cultural, artistic and spiritual leaders as
holy men and women. HINDUISM T\t>DAY has for the past 18 years well as to 'the common woman, man and
re€orded the history of this billion-strong religion in renaissance. It youth. In summary, our monastic order
has b~en acclaimed by some, perhaps generously, as a mod~rn-day has committed itself to foster Hindu soli-
Mahabharata, once again recording the Hindu experience in a darity as a "unity in. diversity" among all Satguru Sivaya Subramunlyaswaml at his Ha:*aii Ashram: to his right are Acharyas Veylanswami, Palaniswami, Ce yonswami, Kumarswami; t hen (clockwise ) Tyagis Kathirswal11i, S/Ian1~ uga-
new era. The small multi-national team pictured here have beEJn sects and lineages; to inform and inspire Hindus worldwide and 1Ia~lwswanu, Ska~clanatllQswa~nt,. DetJasw~l~t, ~atara)aswar/l1, ~1.unL~aswa.mt Arumugaswami and Muruganatlwsu;ami. Standing behind (left to right, in yellow) arc Yogis Rishinatlw, Tapodluma,
Vatraganat~la, Ekanatha and Kasina t/w . S'tting m front (left to n glIt, til w/"te~Sadhakos Yugan at/lO, Tyagan at/lO, T/lOndunatha, Hotranatha, Adinat/lO, Haranandinatha and Jothinatiia
the scribes and editors for a much larger group in the many na-
tions where live Indian Hindus, Sri Lankan Hindus, Malaysian
people interested in Hinduism; to dispel myths, illusions and mis-
information about Hinduism; to protect, preserve and promote the ,
Hindus, Mauritian Hindus, Singaporian Hindus, South African
Hindus, South American Hindus, Fijian Hindus and, yes, North
Hindu religion and to nUl;ture a truly spiritual Hindu renaissance.
It is the duty of my monastics to continue maintaining HINDUIS~ TraCing an Evolution with i'nnovative
Macintosh comput-
"empowerment
tools," flies team to
1989, August: Unique Yopa Journal as con-
franchise system tent-rich site viSited
American and European Hindus, too. The result is the living epic TODAY as our way of giving back an infinitesimal part of what this After 18 years as a newspaper, ers, tossing out o15so- Kauai to capture developed to print by thousands v.:eekly.
you hold in your hands. • profound heritage has given us, to be a reliable voice, to speak to we've reincarnated as a magazine lete photo-imaging first-ever pl1blica- paper in South
HINDUISM TODAY is just entering its 19th year of publication the ~any needs of all Hindus, to defend ahimsa, noninjury, to technology. tions network for a . Africa, Mauritius, 1995: HT acquires
since its founding on January 5, l B79. My three successors, the persist as a global presence, a resource of Indian spirituality, to 1979: HINDUISMTo- to new quarters; worldwide Apple UK, Holland, India blazing-fast 9500
acharyas seated just to my right in the painting, will carry it all on bring forth the ancient Vedic arts and sciences and. promote the DAY, a quarterly, is adopts newspaper 1987, July: ,,- Macintoshes. Every
training video. and Malaysia.
into the future of futures. Every Hindu order has its public ser- founded in Hawaii size, international - MacConnection monk has robes,japa
Vedas as the number-one scripture of Hinduism. By all this we
honors H.T for its 1987: HT goes 1992: Wow! Full mala and Power Mac.
vice, be it a hospital, eye clinic, orphanage, school, ashram, feeding
hall or priestly training center. This magazine is the primary pub-
may empower the next generation to come up strong in the rich-
ness of theiF heritage, with well-defined metaphysics applicable to
II \ as "a bridge between
East and West."
character.
'innovativ:e Desktop
1985, Sept: Spot col- Publishing. Big
monthly, adds new color explodes on
1996, Dec: Newspa-
lic .service desigr:tated by me for our order-along with teaching modern life, giving them security and faith in their work place, in , Monks trained in features, more color. the desktop.
per transforms into

I
or added, and we Bucks Award; well,
children's classes, building and supporting temples and giving away the corporate office, factory, field, or as a small businessman, en- typesetting and the 1988, Oct: Nine1ust- 1994: HT (and the magazine. New jour-
graphic arts. start publishing $500 was a lot back
money to worthy institutions. It was during a world tour years ago trepreneur, politidan or scientist. These are ambitious goals, but invented Mac lIs Vedas ) published nalists and photogra-
through Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Reunion, South Africa, we have found and trained, as of 1997, over 100 skilled and articu-
every two motJ.ths. then. ~ple Comput-
1981, Oct: The in;;- added to enHance electronically on the phers appear. Lots of
er, impressed with
India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Europe that I realized Sanatana late lay people around the globe to help make it all happen month house journal moves
1986, July: HT goes Hawaii's largest pub- Web, hailed by Pub- gain, so where's the
Dharma had no global voice and no network of communication. HT's use of Mac
after month. Jai Vasara Hindutva, jai, jai, jai. .. completelY digital lishing network. lisher's W eekly and pain?

I'
6 HINDUISM TODAY. JA UARY , 1997 JANUARY , 1997 HINDUISM TODAY 7
,
age of 32. Sankara, having conquered the
EDITORIAL mind, also died at 32. In Europe in the
Middle Ages, life expectancy increased to
36 by the 18th century. By 1841 it was 40
IIJOTES A IIJIPS I

Great:" Departure
.'
for an Englishman, 42 for his wife. Today it
is 70 for men, 75 for women. Hindu tradi-
tion says a natural human life is 120 years;
"As you would not bark back at a dog, do not
waste your t~me arguing with foolis,h people."
so
Exiting life, frequently fraught with fear
some hold this was once the norm in India.
Death may seem st§ltic, but it is changing. '
In modern times life-and death have both Sage Yogaswami (1872-1964) to devotees in Sri Lanka
and,trembling, can be an ex~lted experience been extended. Life has gone from a few
decades of vitality to many decades ending still savages." Thoma~ A. Edison (1847-1931), American inventor
with diminished health; death has changed
BY THE EDITOR from nature's swift reprieve to a man-made,
"I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
slow-motion decline which ever mo.re fre-
ENERAL. GEOR_\?E PATTON OF WORLD WAR II FAME, NO quently exhausts the em~tions and resources~f families. Death's when asked what he thought of Western civiliza~on '

fi
stranger to personal reincarnational remembrances (he victims have changed, ~o, going from the very young a few cen- .
claimed to recall previous battlefield experiepces as turies back (when most died as children) to the elderly (over 80% Even the ignorant will be reckoned wise, if they refrain from
Napoleon), once observed, "For Hindus deaclt is the most of deaths in the US occur over 65). speaking in the presence of the learned. Tirukural, Verse 403
exalted experience of life." This idea is naturally hard for Technological systems of life-support have introduced moral, le-
nOI1-Hindus to grasp-all the more so for atheists facing Eternal gal and medical questions about what constitutes death; and peo-
Oblivion and those of Abrahamic faiths which define death as a ple are struggling, literally at any cost, to stay alive. Our choice' for DID YOU KNOW?
punishment for man's sinful disobedience. To them, death is the ul- Most Bizarre: Americans having their heads removed and frozen
/
timate sign of man's spiritual failure, a belief which arouses in-
stincts of denial and injustice. One may feel penitent and guilty,
(at great expense) in hopes future medical advances will conquer
presently incura,ble diseases. Psychedelic guru Timothy Leary
Check, Mate!
not to mention uncertain about the'destination ahead. shocked many this summer by arranging after his death to have HE EARLY WAR GAME OF CHESS WAS INVENTED BY THE
No such thoughts attend the dying days of a Hindu. Of course,
there is much sadness surrounding the passing of friends and fam-
ily, but that is honest acknowledgement of our loving attachments.
Inside we know death is OK, natural, that the soul, even if it was
less than perfect in this lift?, is continuing its appointed journey
his head surgically removed as part of a filln shown at the Cannes
Film Festival (some think it a hoax).
Where, how and with whom we die is also changing. Academic
Geoffrey Gorer describes how death, once a socially recognized
inevitability, has become an.embarrassing private trauma in which
1 Hindus of India. In the BlJaisya Purana (550 BCE ) it is
described as a four-handed dice game. Originally called
Chaturanga ("four parts" ), its strategies are based on the
four branches of the Indian army-elephant (now bishop),
horse (knight), chariot
"Mind absorbed in God, no place to go." Poondyswami when asked
across life's oceanic I1hep.omena toward Liberation and will, in almost all outside solace, except from intimates, is deemed an in- (rook) and infantry
time and without fail, reach the other shore. The Hip.du's pre- trusion. Death, once the familys duty, has become the work 0'£ by a HINDUlSM TODAY staffer why he sat for 10 years at a roadside (pawns). Ponder the
sumption of numerous births mitigates the tragedy of death, paid strangers. Today in North America 75-80% of all ~eaths oc- shrine in South India without 17Wvingfrom his seat ' tactical minds of
whether the passage is his own or another's. So, Hind~ call death cur in hospitals, and 80% of those are "negotiated," shortened or early India when
by lofty names-,-Maha Samadhi, "Great Superconscious State" and extended ffi1tificially. Many terminal patients are under sedation, so World-weary, a man took refuge at an ashram. The swami told your miniature
Maha Prasthana, "Great Departure." instead Of the conscious death Hindus him, "You can stay here, but you must observe a vow of mauna, . army prevails over
To be near an awakened soul at the esteem, there is a dim and drugged in- the enemy and
time he or she gives up the body is sensibility at the end. silence. You will be allowed to speak two words every six months." you triumphantly
considered among the most blessed of In response to the exorbitant and me- He practiced hatha asanas, pranayama, meditation and karma call "Mate."
opportunities. While ordinary people chanical end-game played in hospitals, yoga for six months. Then, brought before the abbot and invited to
are remembered on ijleir day of birth, groups are organizing'to regain control. speak, he said, "Bed haid." After another six months, he spoke
Hindus honor enlightened souls on the People want to die at home, near na- again, "Food cold." Six more months w;mt by, and he informed the "In India from the beginning, in time of war, breastworks have
day of their departure, translated in' ture's soothing presence, with friends
English as "liberation day." having tea in the next room or listening swami, ''I'm leaving." The swami replied, ''I'm not surprised. been built of hQ!:el pillows. It was found that a cannon ball pould
If we view death as the opposite of to the bells from a nearby temple. They You've done nothing but complain since the day you arrived." , go thro' earth or sandbag, but when it hit a pillow it hit it with a
life, life is good and death is bad. But :.: don't want to experience a social mini- dull thud and dropped to the ground." Mark Twain (1835-1910)
death is the opposite of birth, not of life. ~ death first, followed years later by the "Nonviolence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all commenting after his fou,r-month lecture tour and hotel stays
Seeing life and death as collaborative : physical one. , evolution. Until we stop harming all other living:beings, we are in India and .Sri Lanka in 1896
parts of a greater whole called samsara 0 Death is personified in most cultures.
(the cosmic evolutionary cycle of birth- THe Greeks called him Thanatos, and '
death-rebirth), life is good and death is to the Romans he was Mors. In India TO BE MY PERFECT HE MUST NEVE!? &ET /w&RY, AND HE MIJ5T L.OV£ WHAT I WANT }S AN EQlJAL
I'V\STER> A P£R.50N MUST f)lfRYONE ALL THE SAME, O?PORTUNITY GURU·
equally good, though the Vedas are he is Yama, riding on a black wafer FilL 1V\f() QUALIFICATIONS.
f
clear that certain deaths, especially premature ones, are grievous.
The pious Hindu approaches death' ~s a meditation and a spiritu-
buffalo, dressed in red. The pigeoIY and owl are his messengers.
His weapon is a mace. He carries a noose, called kala-sutra, 0
J ! f
al discipline. The body's impendmg demise compels him to prac- "black thread," with which he snares the life force,,prana, and
tice detachment, which is difficult to achieve amid life's tumult. draws it from the body. He is also called Mrityu, "death," Kritanta, I I
Lord Yama's nearness compels new urgency to strive. No longer "the finisher," Bhimasasana, "he of terrific decrees," Pretaraja,
can he put it off No more excuses. No more distractions. Death's "king of ghosts," Kala, "time" and Dharma Raja, ''king of justice."
knock at the door reminds him of what is. transient and what is Hindu insights on death (see pages 30 to 33) include the hopeful
etffi-nal, and he knows instinctive'ly which to embrace. message of awakened sage~ who conquered it by conquering life
Impermanent though life is, we are getting more of it these days. and knew the bogy's dissoiution as liberation into the Light, as a
It is estimated that the average life span for prehistoric man was flowing of the finite into the Infinite.
only 18 years. In ancient Greece and Rome it was 20-22. Alexan- , For those surfing the Web for death resources, here's a good
der t~e Great, having conquered the world, died at the ripe 91d . place to start: http://www.trinity.edul-mkearlldeath.html

8 HINDUISM TODA); JA UARY 1997 JANUARY , 1997 HINDUISM T0DAY 9


MY TURN
, • I
DIASPORA I

It's Easier to be Hindu VEGETAR, IA N ISM

Holy Goat
in .Ireland than l'ndia In Hawaii
N HAWAII, MY NEIGHBORS

Years of self~depigration have created a


Iraise goats for food. I once ate
goat, thirtx-five years ago. I've Can plants produce petrol?
long since become a vegetarian
crisis of religious confidence for NRIs and asked forgiveness. That MODERN ALCHE!vIY
conversion brought spiritual re-
newal. I wear a golden O(n Herbal Hoax?
BY JAY KESHAVAPPA SHANKAR around my neck, proud to nev-
er again eat animals. I feed the nAMAR PILLAI, CLAIMS TO
T IS EASIER FOR ME TO BRING down. We were never encour- goats with leftovers. They love NJ.ave discovered a "petrol"

I
Loving Ganesa by Satguru
up my children to be Hindus aged to read the holy books, me now. I was stunned to find producing herb. In September
in the West than it is in In- scriptures, Vedas, Puranas or to Dalai Lama at the Hindu Center: a blessed spiritual presence one female marked with a re- demonstrations in Tamil Nadu,
Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, dia. My children here in Ire-
land have the freedom to ex-
perform pujas and rituals. The
occasion to visit the temple only SOUTH AFRICA
verse white image of the same
Om I wear. In my source book
he produced and burned the
fuel for government officials.
/
at once simple, deep and press their Hindu values and came on certain holy days. As a of names I found -rMahesvari, Other hydro-carbon producing
hJ~,ritage in a non-Hindu society
wllere people are tolerant and
boy, I was told that religion was
the affa1'r of old people. Nothing
Buddha, Most Merciful Great Lady, and Viveka and
named her Mahesvari Viveka.
plants have not yet been com-
mercially 'viable, so when Ra-
practical. teaches ever so many
eager to understand us. The was explained to us about our OUTH AFRICANS WERE BLESSED WHEN THE DALAI LAMA mar projected 10,000 litres a

S
MARY DEAL, HAWAlI
local Irish people take part in glorious heritage. We were even paid them a rare visit in August. Guest of the World Con- day at 5 rupees each, Indian of-
ways that Ganesas grace can be actively discouraged from Hin- ference on Religion and Peace, the political head of the Ti- ficials prepared to fund a plant.
programs of Bhajans. yoga, yaj-
na and the like. Lately, vegetarianism is du observances. My love for Hindu her- betan government in exile and spiritual head of millions of Bud- But, to their chagrin he failed to
attained by sincere devotion, song, becoming popular among them-while itage, if openly displayed, was ridiculed. I dhists addressed capacity audiences in Durban, Cape Town, produce fuel under controlled
Hindus arriving here are taking to meat had to study holy books and other scrip- Pretoria and Johannesburg. Young Africans were enthused. One conditions in October. One ~x­
prayer and meditation to bring eating. yve are fortunate to have contact tures in secret because this attitude to 20-year-old Christian, David Pascolo, said, "I find Eastern in- periment revealed a rp.ass in-
with tIre present Avataras like Bhagavan denigrate Hinduism in India is very fluences very interesting and am sure to be spiritually enriched crease from 1138 grams to 1422
Sathya Sai Baba and Mata Ainritan'anda wide spread., by the Dalai Lamas talk." Representatives from the Hindu, grams as well as sulphur, lead
greater harmony. contentment
Mayi and the many Hindu saints who Nehru and the Congress Party's idea of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Parsee faiths jOined the Dalai and. oleofins in the final prod-
come to the West to propagate Sanatana pseudo-secularism allowed the education Lama at the University of Durban-Westville's Hindu Center. uct-proof, said some scientists,
and spirituality into ones daily life. Dharma. Many of these saints are ridiculed system to give Muslims, and Christians free He emphasized the nonviolence of the Gandhian philosophy that Ramar had surrepitiously
and laughed at in India by "rationalists," voice to practice and teach their religions and voiced his aversion to conversion. "To me Buddhism is best, introduced petrochemicals.
An BOO-page illustrated resource. whereas in the West they receive enor- freely even in state- fund~ schools. The but that does not mean that Buddhism is best for everyone. It is
mous respect. indigenous religions-Sanatana Dharma better to follow your own religion rather than changing to a
I find the opposite situation in india in and its branches-were prohibited from new one. No one has the right to impose a religion on another." DANCE Malaysia:" Odissi dancer, Ajit
$ 19.95 plus shipping (US $2,
the midst of Hindu society. Everyth~ng teaching religion in state-funded ,schools. In B. Dasa, and renowned new
Foreign $4). Also in bookstores.
there is colOI:ed by Western glamor.1>eople India, secularism became something for
REI N'C A RNA T ION
Sacred Paths Delhi-based vocalist and com-
belittle long-held sacred values which not . Hindus, but not for Muslims and Chris- Journal was designed by bgilvy poser O.S. Arun on a uniquely
only India need;;, but the whole world. In tians. Hindu identity was scorned and and Mather, one of the world's INGAPORE' S MARCH DANCE Singaporean set designed as a
1-800-890-1008 the fast-moving Indian society it is very
difficult to bring up children as Hindus in
made a mockery. of
The waves of-Hindu shame of our owp.
Riding a Jaguar six top advertising agencies, I
with annual,sales of over 7.6
S production, "Sacred Jour-
ney," hit a high-
HindulBuddhist mandala.
With English
a Vedic way. It is "uncool" tp have a Hindu, h~ritage swept through even tiny villages. \ V fRAT VALUE DOES WEST- billion dollars. Targeting the water mark in narration, even
http://www.HinduismToday.
identity. Traditional culture is dying in - These deep-planted seeds of self-shame ru;e W ern civilization place on a millions in America and others the new Hindu non-Hindus
kauai.hi.us/ashram/ many big cities. Even in villages, a Hindu being reaped in present India, especjally Hindu theological concept? the world over who are aware classical dance were entranced
who openly displays his lifestyle or goes to among our youth, who ·haye no direction in Well, on October 3, Jaguar Cor- • of reincarnation, their creative trend to "break by the portrayal
the temple is laughed at. . life and are fast succumbing to Western poration spent us$300,000 for a design team followed an old out of over- of a dance stu-
. I was born in post-independen(India in influences. The indigenous and eternal single day's advertisement with Hindu tradition. Gods and the- worked legends dent's fall from
a small village in Tumkur District of Kar- religious heritage of India was neglected this lead line: "Reincarnation ological concepts often "ride" and jaded rou- purity into the
LOVING nataka to ~ Virasaiva (Lingayat) family. My and misunderstood by its own practition- I occurs when an old soul enters symbolically on animals. In this tines" such as egoistic entangle- I

parents never taught me abo~t our glorious ers. The result is that it is easier today to a new -- ~ • case, rebirth "rode" mans most Krishna and the ments of per-
GANESA Sanatana Dharma and, despite the fact that
they did pujas and practiced rituals, they
be a Hindu in the West than it is in India.
! hope and pray Hindu Indians wiH realize
body."
Their
,~ ...~ elegant piece of hot rod engi-
neering, the revolution-
cowherd girls.
Producer Mrs. Modern ; multilingual
forming arts and
back to the spiri-
had no idea of the significance of these their folly and regain their lost identity. eigh;'page ary new $70,000 Radhika Srini- tual path at the
ancient practices. To them it was simply .a pitch in the Wall Street Jaguar XK8 vasan brought together Singa- center of the mandala, "strong

J~- GU.Ar' JoguM'::~'I:g,


HIMAlAYAN ACADEMY PUBUCATIONS
I 07 KAHOIAlELE ROAD custom handed down without explanation. DR. JAY KESHAVAPPA SHANKAR, 47: is a pore's talented Bharata enough to be humble and
KAPAA. HI 96746-9304 USA By the time it came to my generation, consultant anaesthetist living with his wife Natyam dancer, Priya Arun, I wise enough to surrender."
these practices were no longer handed and three children in Cork, Ireland.
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Ayurveda Holistic Center A Comprehensive Approach to Yoga.•.
LETTERS Books by Swami Shankar
... based on the teachings of
Purushottam Tirtha:
Media Kinships ological c~ncept found nowhere else. Other Quashing Conversion in Malaysia Paramhansa Yogananda
HINDUISM IS LIKE THE CENTER-OF-GRAVI- than that, I have to agree he is beyond Hin- CI}RISTIAN MISSIONARIES ARE LURING
Yoga Vani (author of Autobiography
ty..,doll which regains its equilibrium howso- duism entirely. Signed, the Editor: unsuspecting poor Malaysian Hindus into ofa Yogi) .
Instructions for the attainment
ever it be disturbed. Wave after wave, of p hristianity. Alarming numbers of Hindus of Siddhayoga during sadhana.
alien invasions have come and gone upon Mr: Wright replies: are converted, and I·am (as a Hindu) so con- postpaid: US$13.50 (USA) • Yoga and Meditation
this sacred tenet, but none of t hem has real- THANKS FOR YOUR THOUGHTFUL RE- cerned. Unfortunately, there is nothing con- Retreat.
$16.50 (Canada)
ly succeeded in uprooting it. The Vedas, the sponse to my diatribe. How can I possibly crete that I can do. A small group of us here. • Yoga teacher training.
wisdom of.God, revealed to four rishis in the disagree with your points-they are all com- managed to save some families from being Guru Bani • Spiritual communities.
beginning of re-creation, were fJJ.e basis of 'pletely accurate. I suppose wKat I took converted. We go in and help these poor • Catalog of books,
100 ways to attain inner peace. music and videos.
cljrily life and culture. As a community, we (take) issue w~th is the fact that Sai Baba is families bX giving monthly rations of food How to live a spiritual life-for
are facing problems everyday.' We continue all that you say in terms of Hindu culture and some money for their expenses. Even monks and families. • Anandas home-study
to grow large in number, but our people and religion, and yet much more beyond the Hindu Sangam of Malaysia is quite up.- course in yoga and
postpaid: US$9.50 (USA)
continue to grow farther apart. If we did not that. The Sarva Dharma symbol is placed able to check this erosion. Hlndus here woui{! meditation.
$12.50 (Canada)
have ethnic media, we would probably be conspicuously on entrance gates, buildings, spend any amount of money on ceremonial
cut off from each other. , " publications, etc. that Sai Baba presides over. affairs, but normally tUrn a blind eye toward
,the poor, unfortUnate and helpless Hindus. Ayurvedic Products Distributors-wholesale or retail For a free cassette on Mystical Music and Talks
That Sarva Dharma symbol is a symbol of
RAMESH KALICHARAN
JAMAICA, NEW YORK, USA the unity of faiths, showing symbols of Hin- catalog: $1.00 (~ree ~ia e-mail) • Consultations. I-year call or write:
K. THURUVAN Ayurveda CertIficatIOn Courses in person or by correspon-
/' duism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and SEREMBAN, MALAYSIA Ananda
dence (US mail, or e-mail).
Is Sai Baba Beyond Hinduism? Zoroastrianism around its perimeter. This 14618 Tyler Foote Rd
YGlU MAY PROBABLY WELL RECEIVE OTH- may be an indication that Baba is-beyond In Equal Measure Ayurveda Holistic Center
Nevada City, CA 95959 USA
er, more eloquent and complete, responses Hinduism alone. MY HEARTIEST CONGRATULA:rIONS ON THE
c/o Swami Narayan Tirtha Math
to the Sai Baba artide ("Sai: Hindu of Year," eme~gence of HINDUISM TODAY magazine. I Tel: 916-478-7560 Extension 7025
hope that it will attain even gFeater heights 82A-H Bayville Ave • Bayville, NY 11709 USA
AWARDS, December '96), but I believe that Tel/fax: 1-516-628-8200
the article does a great disservice to the Shedding Light on a Light Festival and become a valuable resource to Hindus Ask for Swami Sada Shiva Tirtha Ananda Home Page: http://www.ananda.org
community of Sai devotees. Sai Baba does WHAT MAKES DEEPAVALI A UNIQUE NA- of all persuasions. Wliile I deeply respect· E-mail: Ananda@oro.net
E-mail: ayurvedahc@holistic.com
not guide a Hindu organization. He was tional event and perhaps the greatest socio- . the bent of its founder toward Saivism, it is
born and lives in South India, and must lead religious festival of India? The popular in- critical that the new magazine maintain ap- '. Ananda, founded in 1968 by Swami Kriyananda a
Web: httpllwww.holistic.com!listings/11709acl.html direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, is not'
and follow in t,he Hindu traditions of that terpretation that it marks the tUJiIl of the propriate balance by devoting proper atten- Free interactive dosha self-test and articles.
area, b1ft his teachings and organization are season,.-the advent of winter and the begin- tion to Vaishnavism, Saktism and other affilIated with Self-Realization Fellowship.
beyond culture and religion. Indians find it ning ofa commercial year, etc., is far too su- facets of our great faith, as in fact, millions
very difficult to avoid making foreign Sai perficial to justify the majestic solemnity of of rank and file Hindus do.
Centers into extensions of the Hindu reli- the Deepavali day. It is something far more - DR. MUKUNDA RAO
gion, making it difficult for non-Indian, sublime and profound than just a day of BUCKHANNON, WEST VIRGINIA, USA
non-Hindu followers of Sai Baba. The cen- light. It is actually the story of the eternal
ters are not to' be extensions of Hindu cul-
ture. Sai Baba repeats over and over and
conflict between darkness (which stands for V Agreed. That is our policy, !o give a pro-
ignorance, hate: falsehood and confusion) portioned voice to every Hindu lineage.
Vedic
o er agai]l that,he does not preach one reli-
gion, and that he is not creating a religion.
and light (which embotlies knowledge, love,
trt.Jth and clarity-more of a cleanliness of They Got it All Wrong . Astrology
He often exhorts his folfowers to' become heart than of house ). One of its many mes- RECENTLY WE BOUGHT A 26-ACRE PARCEL
stronger in their own beliefs and practices. sages is clearing away the cobwebs of confu- of land in Syracuse for our temple. We had in Paradise
He has told the Western centers to sing bha- sion and purging out the inward dross with a a big article in the local newspaper. One re-
jans in their own languages. Many of us love rekindled light of ?ope and understanding. porter came to see me regarding our project. March 14-17, 1997
to sing bhajans in Indian dialects, but this M OHAN LAL GUPTA I did some research from my big collection
creates separation rather than inclusion CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO, CANADA of HINDUISM TODAY and Grolier Encyclope-
whe)J. it comes to encompassing new follow- dia. I was not happy about the information ,
ers of Sai-as does this article telling Hindus An Kiding Technology in the encyclopedia about our religion. They for more
that Sai Baba leads a Hindu organization! , WORLDWIDE WEB SITE PROVIDES " start with caste system, women being inferi-
YOUR information
Sai Baba is the Avatar-flf our age for all peo- exciting and vital information about my 'or to men, sati practjce, etc. I want you to c.ontact:
ple of all religion. identity as a, !:Iindu. Hindus are a very in- publish an article about these British authors'
timidated lot when it comes to verbal dia- distorted image of our religion. INSTITUTE Of
TIM WRIGHT March 14-11, 1991
\o,jwrignt@ball.com logue or protest with the Muslims and Chris- ANIL K. VERMA, MD
VEDIC
KEAUHOU BEACH HOTEL,
tians. Hindus can't match' the aggression of CAMILLUS, NEW YORK, USA ASTROLOGY
V Hmmm! Let's see. Sai Baba was 'born to . these people while discussing facts about our \o,akverma@sprynet.com KaNA, HAWAII
(5 miles south of Kana P.O. BOX 2149,
Hindu parents, raised in a Hindu communi- precariOUs existence, or why these people
ty, took a Hindu name, wears the saffron- ought to at least apologize to us for their mis- Letters with writers n~e, address and daytime on the Big Island) SEDONA,
colored ve,stments of a Hi1'(du sannyasin, and deeds'. B~t then, why would a winner con- phone number, should be sent to: ARIZONA 86339
when he leaves this Earth will be honored cede to a loser who is ill-informed, mentally Letters, HINDUISM TDDAY (520) 282-6595
by/Hindu funeni.l rites' He teaches the high- colonized and lacks the courage to talk 107 Kaholalele Road 9 SPEAKERS, INCLUDING: to register with Visa
est form of FJ.indu philosophy, quotes from about his identity ' with confid~nce and KAPAA, HI, 96746-9304 USA
CHAKRAPANI ULLAL, DAVID fRAWLEY, DENNIS HARNESS,
pride? Ironically, internet bodes well for or faxed to: (808) 822-4351 or Mastercard call
Hindu scriptures, urges mankind to follow
Sanatana Dharma and directs an ' Clver- Hindus, if they are willing to organize and
or e-mailed to: CHRISTINA COLLINS, DENNIS flAHERTY, JAMES KELLEHER, 800-900-6595
letters@HinduismToday.ka.uai.hi.us
whelmingly Hindu follOWing to sing tradi- unitt; themselves. Letters may be emted for space and clarity and may EDITH HATHAWAY, LINDA JOHNSEN, AND WILLIAM LEVACY
tional Hindu devotional songs. You say lie is VIKASMOHAN appear in electronic versions of HINDUISM TODAY. BEGINNING AND ADVANCED CLASSES
an avatar, which is an exclUSively Hindu the- "'mohan@-;-re.com '" INDICATES LEITERS RECEIVED VIA E-MAIL
REGISTRATION fEES: (fOR MAIN SYMPOSIUM 3/14-3/16)
~
$145 BY JANUARY 10TH, 1997-$195 AfTER 1/10/97
14 HJNDUISM TODAY JANUARY , 1997
Autobiography of a Yogi Superconsciousness
:

by Paramhansa Yogananda by J. Donald Walters lim extremists use it to mean ''holy


$14.95 (Swami Kriyananda) war." Kennedy used the word to de-
The verbatim reprinting of $10.99 scribe some Republicans as over-
Yogananda's original 1946 unedited A culmination of nearly 50 years of zealous and extremist.
edition, with all its inherent power, teaching the science of meditation to Even Warner Bros. will edit its
just as the great master of yoga first thousands of people worldwide, by a movie, "Executive Decision," hefore
presented it. A treasure for all leading exponent of yoga and medi- its release in some countries in the
truthseekers! tation. FUll of insight for advanced Middle East and the Far East after
seekers. the company met with Muslim and \
To order or for a free catalog, call To order or for a free catalog, call Arab organizations that complained
Crystal Clarity Publishers: Crystal Clarity Publishers the movie contained imagery offen-
1-800-424-1055 1-800-424-1055 sive to)slam.
Hooper said most political pro-
gress is made from the bottom' up,
however. So he's teaching Muslims ",
new to this country to shed their
fear of standing up for their rights
Yoga and Meditation Aids which could lead to persecution in
their native countries.
The hand-crafted He encourages Muslim!) to partic-

A~
Written by Pola Churchill.
Amazing new book! Records meditation and yoga aids ipate in local radio and TV talk
people's dreams, visions and encoun- offered by The Ananda shows to explain their relfgion to
ters with Babaji-known to millions Collection are designed, .Americans and dispel S0me of the /
through Paramahanasa Yogananda's crafted and distributed COLLECTION Taking a stand: Muslims'gather to publicly voice worldwide concerns in New York City
stereotypes and prejudices they
Autobiography of a Yogi. His message from Ananda Village, a face. He also encourages the com-
of Truth, simplicity, Love and spiritual community in munity to open up its mosques and

,n .
karma Yoga. 27 stunning photos of Northern California. POLITICS centers to the larger community.
Babaji. $13.91 (inel. tax, sIh) overseas, Our products include zafu and half moon pillows, zabutons, "When we get a call that a
$15.08. Checks to: Pola Churchill,
PO Box 1537 Beverly Hills, CA
. 90213 USA. Tel: 213-980-7927.
meditation mats, as well as padded benches.
Ctetting Heard · America mosque has' been firebombed, very
often we find that the community
was very isolated-which breeds
suspicion on the part of the larger
Hindus can learn from Muslims' political activism
, .
community," Hooper said.
American Muslims are a diverse
community-in addition to Afri-
((Where Ganges, Woods, Himalayan caves and can-Americans, they include immi-
By DONNA ABU-NASR, WASHINGT~N (AP ) emerge now because of the influx of immi- grants or descendants of immigrants from
BRAHIM HOOPER TRAVELS AROUND grants in the '6Ds that brought Muslims not Asia and the Middle East. They don't vote as
men dream God. I am
hallowed; my body
..
I the country to teach Muslims how to only from the Middle East but also from the a homogeneous block. But Khaled Saffuri of
rhake th~ir voices heard, ~erican style. Far East, said James Zogby, who heads the the American Muslim"'Council said Muslims
For example, writing a letter to the edi- Washington-based Arab-American Institute. tend to vote overwhelmingly Republican be-
tor to criticize a government policy won't U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, R-
land them in jaiL Long-winded rhetoric will Va. , said, "They're getting a
cause they support conserv-
ative stands on abortion, ho-
touched that sod!":!: not help get their message across. ¥en who little bit more organized and
appear on TV talk shows ~ill have to wear we're starting to pay atten-
mosexuality and the death
penalty.
make-up, and no, it's not a feminine thing. tion, and I think in America Yet, he expects a "big
Hoo!ier's work as national communica- that's the pathway to power shift" this year because the
Marking the 50th anniversary of tions director at the Council on American throughthe ballot box." Clinton administration has
a
Islamic Relations is part of nationwide In Ips speech at the Republi- shown "lots of respect" for .
India's Independence Day, drive by American Muslims to become more can convention, House Speak- the Muslim community, in-
assertive socially and politically as an ethnic er Newt Gingri<;h, at the re- cluding a visit by Vice-Pres-
A Day in the Life of India and religious group. "Muslim political ac- quest of MusliIns, added g ident Al Gore to a mosque in
is a photographic celebration tivism is still in its infancy. We have a lot of "mosque" when he mentioneci ~ Washington, D.G Davis said
work to do," Hooper said. "It's not something "churches and synagogues.'" ; if the Muslim population "is
of this ancient, honored ' thats going to happen overnight." Calling Islam the falitest-grow- ",< L -_ _ _=.c...._ _ _.!=:,;,oJ smart they're going to have
Yet, already, the efforts are paying off The ing religion"1n America, Hill- New York: Street prayers to play 'poth parties because
civilization. Photo directed by community, which American. Muslim groups ary ,Rodham Clinton held a during a demonstration you don1t want to get taken
world-renowned photographer say numbers about 6 million;'v.as gained vis- . celebration iI} February-the for gJ;anted by one party."
ibility and recognition from top leaders that first of its kind at the White House-to mark He said politicians will pay more atten-
Raghu Rai, this stunning . it didn't have just a few years ago. Building Eid el-Fitr, the Muslim feast that en~s the tion to Muslims in the future "the more they
on that progress will be a topic of discussion fasting month of Ramadan. ' become givers and become involved." •
pictorial captures the historic and as the Islamic Society of NQrth America And Rep. JoseRh Kennedy apologized to This article is reprinted with permission
holds its 33rd annual convention in Colum- the ~erican Muslim Council in February ofthe Associate Press and is included here to
the contemporary landscape of
~ Collins Publishers bus, Ohio, beginhing Friday under the ban- for his use of the word "jihad." This central inform and educate US Hindus on how they,
this, the most spiritual of countries. A Division of HarperCollinsP"blishers ner of "Muslims for peace and justice." Islamic conceRt means the personal struggle too, can work effectively in the American
The Muslim community i,s beginning to to make. oneself a better Muslim, but Mus- political arena.
-"Paramahansa Yogananda, from "My India," a poem
J ANUAR Y, 1997 HINDUISM TODAY 17
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CLOCk'WISE FROM TOP : COLIN BEARD, {SKe ON, T.G. MAJUPURlA
20 tlINDU~SM TODAY JANUARY , 1997
Fami,ly i
I
M M
Mar;ried Married

00 Mar;r[ed sons
and spouses
grandsons
and spouses
great-grandsons
and sp0uses

Matters I t§nmwried

~~
Staying Together: ~ sons
Unmarried ~tl~ Um:: rried
grandsons gr
R. PREM SARAl OF IOWA, A fully developed grands0ns "
USA, is an authority on 1 0int family com-
ft
~
Unmarried nmarried ft~ft Un.married
the Hindu joint family. prises at least
His years of study were ' four generations Q daughters granddaughters Q 9 grreat
largely motivated by the desire L -_ _ ~=-________ ! ~
granddaughters
to keep his own family togeth-
er. Below, he succinctly sum- ance of his mother and support educates them fer proper deci- 3. No one owns anything. Each.
marizes for HINDUISM TODAY of spouse. Ifi the absence of sion-making in her absence. is a trustee for-t he joint family, •
the basic structure and duties. the elder brother, a competent extended-family, society and
Religious ceremonies: The el-
Membership: Father and moth- younger brother takes over. ' the nation.
dest son is to perform all these
er; sons and wives; daughters Distribution of duties: The. duties. His spouse joins' him. 4. Everyone\; voice and opinion
until married; grandsons and head of the family assigns has value and importance.
Others share and cooperate as
wives; granddaughters until ml(mbers according to their they are able. • 5. Everyone\; conduct is stIch
that intentions can never be
married; great grandsons and
wives; great grandda~hters
abilities and availability. The
mother is responsible for nurtu-
Basic principles: questioned. This includes hen- /
1. Every member sees that oring the traditions and fulfill-
until married. rance, clothing, household ac-
others get the best and most of ing spoken and unspoken
tivities, gift giving and
Head of the family: Father resources. Each person himself expectations of'the extended
acceptance of gifts. She con-
with support of mother. In the asks for the least, and last. family, society at large and
sults her daughtersoin-law and
abs'ence of the father, the most 2. All are willing to endure to the venerable principles of
wives of younger brothers arid
capable elder SOil with guid- relieve t.he oth~rs' burdens. Sana1ana Dharma.

publicly known more by family name than with each other and be prepared to sacri- miss those evenings after dinner when
individual identity. The socipl security, both fice- the essential principles of every lasting grandfather would collect all the "grandies,"
material and psychological, that a joint fami- commmunity. . tell us a story and show us the various con- '
Filial unity can bring prosperity: Four happy generations of Harilelas at their Hong Kong mansion; (inset ) George Harilela,family elder ly provides is unique and inestimable. Shared Failing families: I grew up in a joint fami- stellations in the sky. As I recall it now, it
- ./ responsibilities result in minimal \ seems like a bygone dream.
SPECIAL REPORT concern ever the basics of life- Our family disintegrated for all
money, food,.shelter and clothing. the reaso~s that a socjology text
, _SucE' concerns typically become would enumerate. It's s~d, but

Joint"Family 'at Risk all-consuming in a nuclear fami-


ly; a single husband, wife and
their children living together.
The Harilelas of Hong Kong
(left) are living proof of the joint .
family's value. Naroomal and De-
vibai Ijarilela came to China
breaking up was ine~itable.
Many joint families in cities
have fragmented. Even the
Pnibhat family, featured in
HINDUISM l'ODAY [May, 1995],
has decided to part. The rea-
Individualism has brought In{lia's traditional f~ily to the brink of extinction from Sindh in the early part of
sons are many. Glaringly evi-
dent are disagreements over
this century. In the 1930s, their property and assets. After the -
. ./ ,,-
serves Hindu values and attitudes.irrespec-
family was penniless. The six
brothers sold newspapers on the
head of the j amily expires, the
By CHOODIE SHIVARAM, BANGALORE living under: one roof and sharing one brothers dispute their Shares.
CURRENT TRENDS CONTINUE, THE kitchen and often a single bank account. Ex- tive of the moral turbulence that may rage street to make a living. Continu- ~ "This is because the elders have
of the 21st century may witness tended families include ·memMrs who live outside the home's walls. To lose this safe ously encouraged by their mother ~ not inculcated the right values
"A '.H~'_U"'Hof one of society's most in other dwellings or locales, near or far. haven of Vedic culture, they feel, would be a to stick together, they advanced i in the family. Growing materi-
and influential establishments, . With the nuclear age's nurturance of nuclear body blow to dharma. in their profession to eventually : alism drives them te crave for
joint family. In India, the joint families-;:most joint families have complete- The joint family f9Jms a veritable domestic join Hong Kong\; most successful " more. It is;.as if they were wait-
family is a sacred institution deeply ly disintegrated. Many that have stayed to- fortress, aptly symbolized in India by the gi~ businessmen. Their Harilela g ing for the head of the family to
rooted in Hindu h~itage. It has been gether haye independent kitchens, check- ant banyan tree, .whose every branch grows Group today owns hotels, res(au- "'" 1:.-.._= die. It's , disgusting when you
heralded as the cultural stronghold that has books and lifestyles, conditions contrary to roots which in turn support and feed the rants, travel agencies, real estate ', Helping hand: hear of such instan€es, which
berne Sanatana Dharma intact through In- the oldest customs .• main trunk. Joint families insure not only the . and stores. They have always are common now," laments Mr.
dia's inimical dominations. Lately, its pres- Few people welcome this trend t6ward dis- biological continuity of the human race, but lived as a joint family- now numbering 50- ly in Karnataka, surrounded by 13 U'ncles, Raman, a retired engineer.
tige has plummeted. Though extended fam- solution. But they don't lament, either. Most also the cultural continuity of society. They and have for many years occupied a palatial four aunts, grandparents and other live-in "Most joint families disintegrate when the
ilies exist in most parts of rural India and simply call it inevitable. However, religious successfully transmit ideologies, customs, mansion in Hong Kong, defined by separate relatives. The joys and pleasures of'growing elders lose moral authorit~~' says Mr. A.V
some cities, Joint families are harder and lead~rs, elders and members of functioning traditions, beliefs and val1es from generation quarters, and common dining, puja and up in suS;h environs are unbounded. I carry Subba Rao, an advocate. ''Also, there is a
harder to fhid. _ joint families are apprehensive, knowing that tp generation. Individuals may come and go, gathering space's. Their mother taught them with me most wonderful memories of child- common tendency for the head of thefami-
A joint family consists of many relatives this family structure, better than any, pre- but the family stands as a unit. Members are to pool their resources, work ~ard, be patient hood, filled with fun, affection and care. I ly to be "partial to certain children and '

22 H'JNDUISM TODAY JANUARY , 1997


,, J AN UARY , 1997 H I'N DUISM TOD AY 23
grandchildrE)n. Often, a glaring favoritism is instances are common. two sons live separately with their wives, but her forehead. None of the elders objected to too individualisfic. You cannot impose your joint families," asserts Mr. Venkatesl"i Murthy,
shown towards the daughters and daughters- Geetha, a young lecturer, moved out of a visit their widowed mother frequently. my being employed. They took care of my views on them. You have to be broad-mind- a professor of mathematics. "But we cannot
in-law. Secondly, some children ar~ ellploit- small joint family simply because she could
ed, while others are coddle'd. This differen- not get along with her sister-tn-Iaw. "My
Even functional joint 'families are being
transformed. One distinct trend in liberal
children. I had no worries on the home front. a
ed and make lot of compromises." say we did not .want industrializatio]J.. People
They would even allow me to act in plays," Why won't you stay? As the sun of mod- are now more concerned with their rights
tial treatment breaks down the relationships mother-in-law favor,s her kids," she com- families is the mother's use of the joint fami- says go-year old Bhargavi. "I enjoyed living in ernization has risen, the inconveniences of a than auties. The personal self has become all
rather than bringing aQout unity." plained, while the' employed sister-in-law ly as a day-care center to look after her chil- this family immensely. It did call fm; a lot of I joint family now seem to eclipse its merits. imp,ortant. No wonder joint families are on
Often it is the eldest son who selflessly said, :'She would never lend a helping hand dren while she pursues studies or a career. adjustments, but the advantages outweighed The head of the family, with absolute power, their way out!"
supports a large family, scicrificing many of in the kitchen." These petty differences The Nanis are a well-known family of theatre the disadvantages," she affirmed. ' may disallow an individual the liberty to ex- Joint families all-too-often treat women as
his own ambitions. Sadly, however, his sov- event~ally led them to part. artists in Bangalore. After marriage, Bhargavi Today the Nanis continue to live as a joint press opinions or pursue creative desires. non-entities, relegating them to the four ,
ereigntY, may be rescinded by younger mem- "With education and employment, women jOined the Nani joirl:t family of four genera- family with their two sons, daughter-in-law Members with such aspirations can feel con- walls of the kitchen. My mother would rarely
bers once they settle down independently. . have become more independent, and grow- tions living together. "They were traditional, and their children, but a basic shifrhas oc- stricted. If their desires exceed the cQmmit- step out of the kitchen or socialize with fam-
They fail to acknowledge his service. My fa- ing individualism attracts them towards nu- and there was discipline we had to abide by. . currfjd in family protocol. "Those days we ment to family duty or the will to resolve dif- ily members apd relatives. My aunts, on the
ther suffered immensely, both emotionally clear families," opines Mrs. Sh~ karan, who For instance, a daughter-in-law had to wake , adjusted to our elders. Now we adjust to the ferences, their departure is assured. "Indus- other hand, had freedom to socialize. When
and monetarily, because of this trend. Such lives alone in ~er Bangalore bungalow. Her up early and dress in a sari with kumkum on youngsters," Bhargavi revealed. "They are trialization shattered the very foundation of my mother had an opportunity to talk, she

noon, only to begin again by

One Dynasty Thrives evening. They use no modern


mixers, grinders, cookers or gas
stoves. This to me seemed like
Another Breaks Up
the most strenuous aspect of
Many helping hands make for light work their chores, but they seemed How one-:congenial clan called it quits
perfectly cheery. They sing
while working, chat when free /
EFYING ALL NOTIONS and share each others! saris members and grew fond of the
of disintegration, the and jewelry. There is no boss- family. "I advised them not to
Narasinganavar family ingaround. break up, but who listens now-
demonstrated to the In fact, fear and punishment a-days? They have fought and
world that the undivided fami- are not found in this family. . parted," she said dejectedly.
ly is still viable. Abdut 25 km "Mistakes are very rare. No one It w as gO-year-old Sonappa,
from the city of Dharwad, oversteps their limits"each one the eldest male, who had man-
Karnataka" in the .small village , knows his duties and abides by aged all family affairs. 8radu-
of Lokur, 170 kinfolk have lived the codes of the house. If ally, as he started losing hold
harmoniously for seven genera- someone errs, we stop talking on the men, his responsibilities
tions. They are bound together to him for a while and shun were transferred to Chandra-
by their Jain religion. "Why him. With that, he realizes his sekar and Narayanaswamy.
. should we fight," exclaims 72- fault and makes amends," ex- Chandrasekar: "No ill f eelings" Womenfolk are commonly
year-old Lokappa, punctuating plains Thimmappa. blamed for the breaking up of
his point with a perky fist. This family is an efficient .,
.a family, but this family attrib-
I
HE REDDY FAMILY HAD
"God has given us every thing, example of division of labor. lived as one unit for four utes c.ollapse of their dream to
and we are happy. ,Together- Each member is entrusted generations in a. village the men's conscious decision
ness is our strength, and coop- with a definite responsibility, near Kaiwara, about 80KM "to make lazy men responsi-
eration is our support." such as operating the flour from Bangalore. The men ble." "The women never
I Their mansion, Jaina Bhakta Agrarian kindred: (Left and clockwise) 1,000 Tons are pre- . mill, maintaining the edible oil worked in the fields. Some brought in differences. In fact,
Nivas, is the nerve center for . pared daily in the Narasingavar kitchen; gathering in the extracting unit, textile shQP, women assisted, but most han- they wanted the system to go
all..activity" It is where the fields fo r: tomato harvest; family portrait in mid-October fertilizer shop or repair of ve- dled the household chores and on. Even now they get along
women and children are hicles and implements. The took turns in cooking-a sub- famously," says Chandrasekar.
housed and where food for all love and affection is jealousy." family is totally seItreliant and stantial task at 50 kgs of rice . Upon break-up, their land
is prepared and served. They . what has kept us Agricult.ure is their occup,a- self~sufficient. Not once during and 100 ragi balls each day! holdings of 80 acres fragment-
have another house for mar- gO-year-old Annappa. The going," avers Bheemannp.. tion and source of income. The my visit did I come across The family lived comfortab1y. ed. Each got 9Ply 3/4 of an
ried couples, a granary and youngest is Bheemanna's year- FUll control over the finances family owns 200 acres of cul- ' someone lazing around. All,the Why, then, did they divide? acre. "But everyone is doing
their own Jaina temple. ling grandson. remains in the hands of Bhee- tivable land, a dairy of 69 cows women were continuously Mr. Narayanaswamy Reddy\; very well now, even with this
This fantastic family's so- I Being educated, the respon- manna, who makes the neces- and buffalos, a flour mill and a engaged in household chores. I young daughter, Susheela, con- small piece of land. Those
-'journ began when Narasingap- sibilities of finance and deci- sary' purchases and investments. fertilizer and pesticide shop. All could see that every member fided: "Out of the 50 men, only men who never worked are
pa migrated to Lokur from sion-making were entrusted to Clothes ~e bought for the en- requirements of food, grains; Bheemana: Respected leader contributes his or her might. 10 or 15 worked. The others now hard workers and are
Hathangalada, Maharashtra, Bheemanna by his elders from tire family at Diwali and new vegetables, milk; edible oils, These are tireless wor](ers. simply lazed around, taking life reaping go09 harvests from
400 years ago, with hIS broth- early on. Now, at age 68, all . year. "Money is a corrupting etc., are produced from their / the profit among ourselves or The Narasinganavars' life is for granted. This inequality led their fields," says Susheela.
ers and children. There have directives are issued by him. force and the root cause of all own efforts. All that they pur- buy fancy items. WhateveMve peaceful and simple~ Tradi- to the breakup." "We had no differences, and
been no fights ~r disputes over The elders may collectively trouble," avowed Lokappa. chase from outside are clothes, buy benefits the entire family." . tions continue. Elders serve Distraught by the split is we wanted to continue as one
property in their history. Now,' decitle on issues, but Bhee- "Everyone in our family is con- soap and tea. "We had a mere Being Jaina, they are strictly the family selflessly and lead . Narayanaswamy's mother, 70- unit. Even to this day we feel
l'arasanna, Lokappa and Bhee- manna's word is faithfully fol- tent because all needs are pro- 60 acres 40 years ago," certifies vegetarian. The women pre- an austere life, setting fine year-old Chok'kamma. She was like one big family. There are
manna, the three brothers, live lowed by all, including elder vided for. No one has an Lokappa. "Every year the prof- pare over 1,000 rotis a day, standards for the others, as working in the fields when I no ill feelings," maintains
with their uncles, cousins, cliil- Annappa. This solemn disci- individual savings. No one is its are invested on purchasing with 40 ladies taking turns four Bheemanna veriRed, '1\11 that met her. She related that, at Chandrasekar. But Susheela
dren and grandchildren. The pline and mutual respect is the rich or poor. All are equal. land or equipment for our agri- to five at a tirn~ They begin at we know is to worK hard, be barely eight years old, she laments, "We visi~ each other,
oldest is their maternal uncle, secret of their unity. "Mutual There is.no greed, selfishness or culture. We do not distribute 5AM and continue till late after; sincere and live an honest life." entered this huge house of 60 but it can never be the same."

/
24 HINDUI S M TOD A.Y J ,\NUARY , 1997 J A NU A R Y, 1 997 HI N D U ISM TODAY 25
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Wester~ influences fuel this trend. . It began in tile early 1970s, a time when the greater whole? Tradition tells us such sac- Urdu, Punjabi, and South India languages. pages of powerful wisdom-
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may be approaching the other end of that a time of loneliness and isolation The idea of was forgone. It also confirms that we each Free consultations by a reputed Vaidya from India. We secrets of God-Realization.
materialistic road. Members of an "inten- forming new families with people who bare- learn in our own time, at our own pace. "To stock all ayurvedic herbal products from Zandu,
tional family" essentially adopt each other ly knew each other was a risky proposition. keep a joint family, a spirit of selfless service, Baidnath, Sandu, Dabur, Thakur, Himalayas, Sevashram, "I love W omen of Power and
and live together as a j<'lint or extended fiffil- But many of these families survive today. tolerance and broad-rmndedness is a must. In Multani, Shahnaz Husain, etc. Grace. I was completely
ily. They may have been to~al strangers be- Cliildren who have grown up within these -modern living, to find these virtues is ex- • Unique Varities under one Roof: enthralled. The quality of your work is outstanding."
fore .their merger, but they instinctively kinships are now parents. Like a nOFmal fam- tremely rare," concludes Murthy. ...,.; Musical instruments, religious and pooja materials, sporting Linda Johnsen, author: Daughters of the Goddess.
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Women of Power and Grace by Timothy Conway, Ph.D.


"The secret of staying together
. Sagacity and self-sacrifice "~pell affluence in Bangalore
Tel: 718-899-5590 • Fax 718-899-7889 352 pages 1 35 photos 1 Softcover $16.951 Hardcover $20.
is a lot of sacrifice and compro- • 1404 Oak Tree Rd, Iselin, NJ 08830 Available from fine bookstores or from:
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aDERN STRESSES, CITY petty nlistakes. We turn a

H
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strains-and nilTlpant I blind eye. But if a member -Bringing India a Step Closer- Tel: toll-free 888-818-3010 or 805-564-2125 (free shipping)
materialism conspire to continues to err, I correct them
make urban joint fami- once and' recall ten nlistakes of
lies irrelevant or even extinct. theirs in a row. There is no . '
Many city-dwellers feel that scolding or punishment. Si-
the Narasinganavars (see page lence is our secret agent. Soon,
24) have achieved their rare tlJey realize their mistake and
" uccess only because fhey live fall in line," Krishnamurthy
in a village, with agriculture as explained. Talking back to
their occupation. But the fami- elders and disobedience are
ly of M.M. Krishnamurthy has absent here. 'The elders by
been living jOintly for four their exemplarx concluct have
generations in the 'midst of paved the way for unity.
bustling Bangalore. They even ''All the earning members
run a family business. contribute a portion of their
Krishnamurthys 40-member income to a common finance
fanrily is known as the "MM Garden City: ,Where the MM Industries family blossomoo together pool. All family expenses are
Industries family," MM indus- I met by this account. A perfect
try being the family business. landmark. "We prosper only the RK swamis. recorq of all expenses is kept
Septuagenarian Krishna- ~because of our unity. Everyone The family maintains aston- with .vouch~rs," says Krishna,
murthy, second. of four broth- in the family is expected to do ishil)g harmony and together- murthy. Youngsters are not
ers, is the head. He rejoices in their own job," Krishrramurthy ness. The ladies share given pocket money-Only the
joint living, he told me, "I can- told me. housework equally and get earning members handle .I

not explain the joys of living t The men were educated at along well. "No one is jealous of money. All requirements are
"'together. One has to live and Ramakrishna Vidyasala of the the other. Everyone has what filet by the elders. '(outh can-
experience it. It requires so Ramakrishna Mission in they want,) find that the ladies not go out without the permis-
much adjustment and patience. Mysore, where their culture often exchange their saris' and sion of their parents or elders.
It teaches you so many things." and discipline have their roots: jewelry. They take a rare joy in To me, Krishnamurthy di-
KTishnamurthys father, Mu- At home, upon rising, every this," reveals Krishnamurthy. vulged two secrets of a suc-
nivenkatappa, and uncle Mal- member first goes to the puja Girls in the MM family are cessful joint family, "To live
lappa, who live.d together alon&,: room and only after praying allowed to study as much as together like this, every~)lle
With their parents, started the comes for breakfast. They cele- they want, but they are not must contribute to the family,
business in South Bangalore. brate Ganesh Chaturthi and permitted to work. "It's agffinst not just money, but also shar-
Their children still live together Janmashtami on a grand scale, the family tradition," states ing the work equally. .lAnd
and continue the family enter- and host a spiritual retreat at . Krishnamurthy. The women there must be a strong leader,
prise which today is a local their house, preSided over by visit their relatives and attend a kind of benevolent dictator."

26 HINDUISM TODA.Y J ,\NUARY , 1997


L I ·T ERA T U R E Publishers
white the controversial ideas of sexuality women's lives 'which evade stereotypes. I
MOTILAL BANARSIDASS, 41 U.A. BUNGA·
and revolution that are often forbidden. We not only observe the wife's feelings

Books pouy Up'Hindu Women


LOW ROAD, JAWAHAR NAGAR, llO 007 ,
NEW DELHI , INDIA
As a second generation Indian woman in against her cheating husb81).d, but we
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tle of my life or the lives of of my friends. These are the bonds that consti-
Delving into the domain of dharma's daring women, past and present The crude nature of these entries make this tute so significantly a part of
AUNT LUTE BOOKS, P.O. BOX 410687,
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seems to be street-smart, we are assailed by female's life. NEW ISSUES PRESS , COLL'EGE OF ARTS
By V G. JULIE !\AJAN, PHIL~ELPHIA To be frank, an analytical app1;oach such as the passions experienced by Christianitys long, cerebral essays equally out "9f sync Banerjee opens with challengeS-: & SCIENCES , WESTERN MICH. UNIV.,
KALAMAZOO, MI 49008 USA,
F A SUDDEN, A BURGEONING IN'.rEREST as Altekar's can be tedious reading. The an- Saint Ther@se Neuman, offering readers an . With/the common South Asian experience. faced by women, framed in ' the MA'NOHAR PUBLICATIONS, zl6 ANSARI
in the status of Hindu w'omen has pro- tidote for this pedantry is Timothy Conway's inspirational study into the lives of profound- . That being said, Ou.r Feet Walk the Sky will more traditional situations of In- ROAD, DARYAGANJ llO 002, NEW
duced a multiplicity of books. The re- Wonien of Power and Grace (351 pages, ly religious women. ' allow you a glimpse into what it is like to be dia, and towards the end depicts DELHI , INDIA
RAMAKRlSHNA VEDANTA CENTRE,
sultant field of study is vast, with works Wake Up Press, $16.95). With lucid and lilt- Should your concerns center. more on tl1:e a worldly-wise Hindu woman today. women struggling in the fantasies UNITY HOUSE , BLIND LANE , SL8 5LG
of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and prose by ing diction, Conway reveals the nature of political and economic forces that have af- Arranged Marriage by Chitra Banerjee of the modern and traditional BOURNE END, BUCKS, UK
both Hindus and non-Hindus. Fresh titles fo-/ the heroically spiri- fected the Hindu woman, try Recasting Divakaruni (307 pages, Anchor, $21.00) fo- makeup of their very soul. I like SOUT~ ASIA B9>OKS (BHARATIYA
VIDYA .BHAVAN), P.O. BOX 502, CO·
cus on the inspiring lives of women saints tual woman by de- ,Women: Essays in Colonial History, edited by cuses on the challenges of women in ar- this book. LUMBIA, MO 65205 USA
conveying the pinnacle of feminine po- tailing the ex- Kumkum Sangari and Sudesh Vaid (372 ranged marriages. These fictional stories for Buyers be Wary ~ Before you ADVAITA ASHRAMA, P.O. MAYAVATI
tential-to be the '1iving pages, Kali for Women Press, $14.00). This adults offer a glimpse into the relationships rush'out to buy your next book VIA LOHAGHAT, 262 524,
PITHORAGARH, U.P. INDIA
Goddess." Others garble study offers a rainbow of readable essays of Hindu women struggling to reconcile the on Hindu women, examine
Hinduness and Indian- covering the cultural, social, re- transposition of tradition into modern life. the wide-ranging options. Julie Rajan, a Madurai'-bom
ness, or leave religion out ligious and economic Although fiction, the images, characters You'll discover devotional of- Hindu living in Philadelphia, /
all together. But virtually challenges faced by Indi- and their reactions evoJr;e a strong chord of ferings and dane ~d sometimes strengthens the distaff staff at HT,
all present the traumas and an women during British reality. Rather than harp on the cliche topic egregiously irreligious renderings. joining Lavina, Archa~ Choodie,
triumphs of Hindu women Christian rule, when pa- of arranged marriage versus love marriage, But that, avid readers, is Hinduism Prabha and Madhu. She broke our Pat
in some fashion, whether triarchy strongly imposed the author has created elev~n plausible today. . ~ Robertson story in 1 ~93.
they be crises of the past or its precepts on all women in
advancements of the present. India. As each essay is writ- .5
To understan.d the struggles
and progress of the Hindu
woman, you need a feel for her
historical relationships with so-
ten by a different author, Re-
casting Women gives a com-
posite view of the struggles
and changes in status of fudian
Donnish Delights \
/
"Great Women of
India," by Swami
Madhavananda
ciety, religion, politics and eco- women during the Raj.
nomics. India's being a multi-reli- The essays range from broad
Winnowing the world of words on women and Ramesh Chan-
dra Majumdar,
gious, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic topics such as "Marginalization of editors (Advaita
.J
country, its women often share the Women's Popular Culture in Nine- Ashrama, Almora).
same concerns as her compatriots teenth Century Bengal" to the "Women and Reli- "Women's Struggle: A History from Hinduism, A scholarly and in-
of other religiOJils. Even in the Indo- more case/specific issues in "Rural gion in India," by of the All India Buddhism, .;!epth look .at
Pakistani region, Sri Lanka and Women in Oudh 1917-1947: Bab Nancy Auer Falk Women's Conference Jainism, women and their
Bangladesh the concerns -of women Ram Chandra and ' the Women's (New Issues Press, 1927-1990;"' by Aparna ChristiaNity, contributions to Indian cul-
are oftentimes the same, only slight-
ly altered by religion. Thus, readers
Question. " Such studies provide a de-
tailed accounting of actual confronta-
Michigan) . An
impressively com-
K. Basu and Bharati
Ray (Manohar Publi-
i
WOMEN'S Judaism and Sufism. ture, religion and history
i STRUGGLE This work is unique through essays written by
often must study the status of Hindu women tions of Hindu women who found their prehensive armotat- cations, New Delhi).
indirectly, through the "Indian" or «South rights and respeG:t repressed,. ed bibliograppy of This fact-filled book
i :~: so . . . , ,:n,,<..t .::~" in its discussion of
the position of
Indian female scholars. This
book is more expansive tpan
Asian" woman.
,
Fiction is an even richer world, discussing 1,015 English liter- details the instigation, women in each of Women Saints of East and
M;my nonfiction books delineate the gen- woman's emotional and thought processes, a -ary wprks from 1975-1992. development and the religions. West, being thoughtfully di-
eral 'C oncepts. However, A.S. Altekar's The level that carmot be plumbed by even the Approximately 650 are by achievements of tKe vided into large sections, such
Position of Women in Hindu'Civilizatil;m (378 ..-deepest historical or sociological study. Fic- long-term residents of India: AIWC and its efforts, "Women in the Vedic as "Women in Sanskrit Litera-
pages, Motilal13anarsiaass, Delhi) is a well- tional works disclose ~ocietys perceptions of Topics range from legal,provi- through 63 years of service, to Age," by Shakuntala Rao Shas- ture," "Wome!} in Buddhism .1
rounded text, targeted towards the relation- her, as well as her picture of herself, in some- sions of Hindu law codes, to make the voices and powe~s of tri (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, and Jainism" and "Women'ln
ships between Hindu women and society. times blushing blatancy. ritual, to the transfor- women in India - Bombay). An intrigu- the Modern Peri-
This interesting and informative work spans A brazenly contemporary approach to lit- mative experiences known. Extensive ing and rev~aling study od." There is a
almost four-thousand years of experience. erature is voiced in Our Feet Walk the Sky that have inspired appendices make the of the status and obset- welcome reliance
Position of Women is superbly organized (372 pages, Aunt Lute Books, $12.95), offer- some women to re- book a rare reference vances of women as on the wealth of
according to the principle divisions of a ing South Asian wO!Jlen a release from mod- nounce all ties with on the subje6t, in- indicated, and in some Ij.indu scriptures.
woman's life, taking one through discussions periences of nine souls who gave up their ern social restricti'Ons, allowing them tc;> family and world. cluding short biogra- cases stipulated, in And chapters such
of issues such as "The P0Sition of the Wid-- lives to serve God through charity or mysti- forge spiritual qonnections within them- Subjects range from phies of 46 eminent Vedic literature. The as "Great Indian
ow," "Dress and Ornaments," "Marriage and cism.· Out of the nine, four are Hindu, and selves and with each other. This interna- wealthy women to the women . . relationship of wife to Women of the
Divorce" and "Proprietary Rights." Al- five are saints of Christianity and Islam. tional collection of short stories, poems and poorest poor, from . husband and the rites Nineteenth Centu-
though the author's study relies on surveys, The author not only contrasts ideas of saint- analytical studies from female authors at- women considered "Women Saints of bf family and ~arriage ry" provide ample
his own voice and opinions lie latent in the hood, but also compares the stature of tempts to blend both the conventional and living Goddesses to East and West" (Ra- constitute the primary focus, chronicles of women's lives
text. Not all women will share his viewpoint. woman saints of various faiths. ' individual experiences of all South Asian housewives, and young girls makrishna Vedarlta Centre, but you'll discover fascinating and balance out the historical
With this in mind, however, Position of C'onway is generous in his unbiased praise. women. The first collec?ion of its kind, the caught up in prost;itution. A " London). A collection of bi- detail and verses you are not themes. Buy the~ all
Women offers thorough, clear and thought- The love emanating from Hinduisms Amma editors and writers should be commended must-have in alllililraries. ographies of women saints likely to have heard before. and enjoy.
provoking infoI'mation. Mata Amritanandamayi is as carefully told for their boldness in printing in black and ! )

/
28 HJNDUISM TODAY JA NUARY, 1997 J ANUAR Y, 1997 HI'NDUISM TODAY 29
INS LG H T subtle body that the soul, if. needed, reincarnates, as described in fhe or' retire to' a seoluded place to practice japa'and yoga sddhanas, The
" . Shukla Yajur Vep,g., Brihadamnyaka Upanishad (4.4.5-6): "A man faJ:TIily takes c;rre not to disturb these efforts, !lor his retirement from
acts according to t4e-de,sires to which he clings. Aft~r death he goes t6 social obligation or interaction, realizing h,e has entered life's final

:'Death'"and,',Dying" ilie riext world bearing in his mind the subtle impressions of his
de~ds; and after reaping there tilie harvest of his deeds; he fe.t urns.
again to this w@rld of ~otion, Thus, he.who' has tlesires continues sun--
ject to rebirth," Death"according to Hinduism, is not the contradic-
tion bf life. Death' and birth are two si~es 'of life's ,cosmic cycle. The
culmination of that cycle is liber:ation ..As the venerable S~tguru Yo-
stagej that of ilie renunciate, or sannyasin.
. Maldng, the Transitiun Conscious!y: Knowing -that a conscious
.

death is the ideal, the Hill(;\u avoids excessive drugs or mind-numbing


medical: measures. He- cultivates detachment as death aRProaches,
knowing that loss is not sufferea. wh~n something is given up volun-
tarily, only when it is'taken from us by force. He is grateful for life, but
QUI' faith .guid~s o~r transiti0n from this'world,. offerinK solace to gaswaII,li 0'£ Sri. Lanka taught: ":By getting rid @f desire, man cli? put
, an end to birth altogether." .
not angry with or fearf'ur of.death. Dyin~ is not u~like falling asleep.
We have all experienced death many tirpes in past lives. The astral
~he suffering and those facing th~ foreboding c-ertainty' of de.atl) Resorvlng the Karmas: Many who have lHid a near-death experi-
ence-speak ofha~g com~,ba.ckto complete unfinished obligations to
body separates from the physical body, just a~ jn sleep. The differ-
ence is that the silver cord connecting the two breaks at the moment
children, parents or friends. It is a great blessing to know of one's im- 'Of transitio'n, signaling the pt>int of no re!urn~ _
Scriptures speak of leaving the bQ(;\y through one chakra or an-
EAD .ME FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT, FROM other, departing in a level of c~:msciousness of a particular chakra,
death to ,immortality," This famed "vedic which then determines where in the'inner worlds a person wiil find
himself after death. Those who depart full ofhatred·aiJ.d resentment
prayer proclc;rims the hurrian urge to survive, go to the world of those who also died in lower consciousness. Those
to conquer death and to know the joys of with lov.e ill their heart enter a world where abide others with sim-
ilar attainment. Therefore, during,transition a person must strive to
........_ . illu'minated consch:>usness, People oftEin be in the highest pbssible state of consciousness, cO{l@entrating on
the t013 of th~ head and holding'to lofty thoughts as he succumbs. A
pilgrimage to an isolated place in expectation of wt;lman in California narrated: "Shortly before my husband died, he
a vision, be ita jungle of'faun,a .an<;l.foHage' or ce-. held my hands and asked me to recite the Lalitha Sahasranama and
to say, the mantra we were initiated into. He repeated after me in a
m€nt and glass,. Every per$on is on a vision quest. loud voice' when suddenly his face began to shine with a luster, and
But for all 'souls, at the time of the great depar.- . he became overjoyed and beaming. He started almost shouting in
ture, m.ahap~asthana, a vision comes' as a tunnel joy that he was seeing the temple and the Deities-;-Siva, Ganesha
and- Muruga-smiling at him. In t4is glowing way he passed away
of light at the 'en? of which: are beings .of aivine shortly thereafter whpe I recited the mantra in his ear."
Those who die suddenly, through accident or murder, have no
nature. Many having had th€ near-death experience have sworn their time to prepare. Tracl.itionally, full death rites are not performed af- .
testimony of such transforming encounters. An American W0man ter such deaths, because rebirili is expected almost immediately. For •
who "died" durip.g o~ildbirth, but wa~.bro1.lght ~aGk'to'life by quick the same reason, rites are not accorded children who die youn~, be-
medical action, recounted: "It was.an incredible energy-a light y.ou fore adolescence.. In India, bodie's of accidental-death victims and
. wouldn't believe. I almost floated in it. It was feeding my conscious- -children. are buried in ~ cpmmon grave or put in a river. Since nei-
ness feelings of unconditional love, complete safety and complete, to- ther is possible ,in Westernized countries, cremation is accepted.
tal perfection. And then, and then, a piece of knowledge came in- -Funeral and Memorial Rites: Hindus traditionally cremate their
it was that ·I was immortal, indestructible, I cannot be hurt, cannot dead, for swift~r, more complete release of the soul. Burial, which
be lost, and that the worlei'is perfect." Hundreds of people'repor~ ,Preserves the bond, is generally forbidden. Death's anni3iersary is
similar experiences, affirming what Hinduism has ·always taught-. c'alled Liberation Day. For saints, if is celebrat'ed rather than the day
that death is a blissful, light-filled transition from one state to an- of birth. To some extent, the funeral rites serve to nofify the depart-
other, as simple and natural as changing clothes, far from the mor- . ed soul that he has, in fact, died. It is possible for a disoriented soul,
bid, even hellish alternatives some dread. A Vedic fvneral hymn not understanding that he is on the other side, to linger close fo the
.intones: "Where eternallu'ster glows, the realm in which the light di; physical plane. Be can still see this material world, and even observe
vine is set, place ,me, Puritler; in that deathless, imperishable world. ;;: his own funeral. Some of ilie ritual ch~ts address the deceased, urg-
Make me immortal in that realm where movement is accordant to ~ ing him to relinquish attachments ana. continue the journey. The
:vish, ih the third region, the third heaven of heavens, where the ~ rites are also for the living, allowing the family to say a respectable
worlds are resplendent" (Rig Veda, Aitareya Amnyaka 6-11). , ~ and dignined "farewe~," to express grief, loss and the mosaic of emo-
. Most often, before our own death, we encounter its reality in the Z tions they 'J;laturally encounter. The d~epest significance of the fu-
passing of friend~ or- family. OUl: thoughts during the rites, termed an- ~ neral rites lies in their yoKi.ng the inner and outer worlds, Bhuloka
tyesti samskam in Sanskrit, rum to God. We witpess the end of an- ~ and Devaloka, and their recognition that a family consists not just of
others life and ask, "What am I going to do with the remaining years its living generations, but its anoestors as well, Often a group of souls
of my own life?" All that is said during thes~ timesTeminds ps that life firm our condition, there is'a serene afld consoling center of our be- pending transition. A Hindu approaching deg.th works diligently to will sequentially incarnate into the same extended family, so that, for
qn earth is temporary. All our possessions, power, ego and learni,ng ing to which we can adjourn, the SOHrce within, It is more us than finis):! all his "business" of this lifetime, the alloted portion of his total . example, a grandson may be the returned soul of the father. In this
will end. Seeing this truth. we turn the mind toward God, toward lifes our body, more us than our mind and emotion. It will not die: It does karma carried into this birth to face and ~s01ve. If death comes while , way collective karma and dharma are. worked through, Those in the
ultimate goal, moksha, liberation, and toward the path Of dharma that not hurt or fear. As physical debility and death draw near, we seek loose ends remain (misunderstandings unres@lved, misd.eeds una- inner worlds help relatives living in the outer world. When their
will take us tnere. We do this not in tn,!pidation, but in assurance, this center, whether we eall it Paramatnia, God, Self or Divin~ Con- ' toned for or ooligations U1lfulfilled), another lifetime may be reqUired turn comes in the outer world, they strive to attain spiritual progf~SS
faith and gratitude for the opportunity to progress spiritually in this sciousness. In the Krishna Yajur Veda, Katha Upanishad" Yama, .to expire that karma. Thus; an aging or ailing HiRdu will be seen go- that is only possible in physical incarnation. Ceremsnial uniting of
physicai incarnation. . Lord of Death, explaiI}$: "Death is a mere illusi~:m whi~h appears to ing around' to' friends and enemies, .giving love, help and blessings, the deceased with his for~fathers and yearly honoring of.ancestGrs
Death is defined differently according to wnat people believe ' those who cannot grasp Absolute Reality, The SOUllS immortal, self- working to resolve (:;onflicts and differences, offering apologies and keep open the inner communication which makes the family pros-
• themselves to be. If they are only the body and brain (as with hu- existent, self-luminous and never dies," • fulfllling all known obligations. Ideally, he executes his own will, dis- perous and preserves its longevity.
manists or atheists), then death is the end of sensory experience, of It is the soul's subtle bogy,.linga sharira., that stores the "thought- tI;ibuting his preperties and duties to heirs, charities and endow- The Vedas proclaim, "When ~ person comes to \Yeakness, be it
self. If we live once, death ends our only ?ojourn on Earth and is energy" experiential impressions oflife, called samskaras. When the ments, n.ot leaving such t~ks to oiliers. . through old age or disease, he frees himself frsm ~ese limbs just as
naturally dreaded. If we are born again and again, it loses its dread • body dies, this nonphysical sheath continues 'g.s a constellation of Th~t done, he turns to God, reads scriptures, attends temple and 'a mango, a fig or a berry releases itselffrom its stl!lk" (Sukla' Yajur
in ,light of the souls pilgrimage to eternity. NO'matter how ill, how in.- subtle elements-dispositions, memories,.desi'res, etc. It is within this. amplifies meditation and devotion . .He may pjJgrimage to sacre'd spots Veda, Brihadharanyaka Upanishad: 4.3.36), ..
30 HINDUISM TODAY JANUARY, 1997
body to tJ:1e b~ck porch, remove . women did ear.lier, cover the te~ples, visit swamis, nor'take . 8. FIrst Mjlmorial next world. The pindas are fed

.R·ites of Transition
the clothes and drape it with.a body with wood and offer 'in- part in marriage arrangements. On the 3rd, 5th, 7th or 9th day, . to' the crows, -to a cow or ·thrp'wn
w~te clGth.. (If there is no potch, cense and ghee. With the clay Some observe this period up to. relatives gather for a meal of the in a river for the fish. Some per-
the hody can be sponge bathed ' , pot on his left shoulder; the . one year. For the death of deceaJied's favorite foods. A por- form't;his rite on the nth day af- '
and prepared where it is.) Each chief mOUFner'cirGles the pyre friel'lp's, teachers or students, ob- tiar/ is offered.beforehl.s photo ·ter cremation. Others perfo.rm it
applies sesame 'oil to the head, while holding a fire brand' be- servanc~s.are optional. While . : 'and htter.ceremonially left at an ·t wice: on the' 31st day or (11th,
INOU OE~IfH RITUALS . • lit near'his head and he is urged th~ big t0es. In a hospital, the and the bodY'is "bathed with wa- li,i.nd his back. At each turn mourning is neve~ supp'resseq. or , abaml.Qned pla~e-, alOI]g with 15th, etc.) and af~ei one year.
in all traditions f0110w a ' l0 conc.entr;:1te on his mantra. family has the death pertiTicate . ter £.rom the nine kutnbhas, aroU1)d the pyre, ~ relative ,detljea, scriptures admonish , some lit camphor. Customs fo]; Once the 'first sapindikarana is
uniform patter.n · Kindred keep vigil until the • signed immediately and trans- dressed, placed in a coffip (or knocl$s a hole in the pot with. a against excessive lamentation . this period are varied. Sdme of- 'completed, the ritual impurity
from theVeqas, great depwture. singing hymns: · po~fs the bady home. lJnder no on a pal~quin ) and carried to:. knife, letting water ('Jut, signify- . alxd encourage joyous·re- , fer pinpa (rice ~alls ) .daily for enps. Monthly repetition is"also
'Variations accord- praying and reading scripture. If circumstances shouIU the body . the homa shelter. The young . rng.lifes leaving its vessel. At the lease. The departed'soul ~=___ nine days. Otbers corribine all common for' one year.
ing to sect, regioP, caste ahd he 'calmot corne home: this hap- he embalmed or 0rgans re-' children, holding small lighted end of three turnS, the chief . ' is acut~ly conscious of these offerings with tfue fol- '
family traclitio~. Most. rit~s are , pens at the hospital, regardless move<;l for use by others. Reli- stick~, encirde the body, singing mourner drbPS fue pot. Then, ' emotional forces direct- lowing sapindikarana rituals 10. One-Year Memorial
fulfilled by the familY., all.of '. of institutional objections; ~ gious pictures are turnlfd·to the hymns. The women 'then walk without turning to·.f;:1ce the ' ed. at him. Prolonged for ·a few days or one qay At die yearly anniversary of the
whom participate, ipcluding·the wall, and in. some traditiops nllrr . rarouno the body and offer body, he lights the pyre and ' grieving can bold ' of ceremonies: , death (according to the moon
children, who need not be

2. The Moment of D'eath roES are covered. Relatiye:;'are puffed rice into the mouth to leaves the cremation grounds. hi~ in earthly con- ~ .. cruendar ), a' priest conducts the
shielded from the death. Oertain If the dying persop. is U:-nco.n- · beckoned to bid farewell and nourish the deceased for the The others folloW: At a gas-fu- . sciousness, inhibit- 9. 31st-Day Memorial shraddharites in' the home, of-
dies are traditionally performed scious at eiepartiUfe, a fariJily sing sacred sonw at the side' of journey ahead. A widow will . ele@ crematorium, sacreej. wood .. ' ing full transition On the JIst day, a , fering pi,{da to the' ancestors. '
.' by' a; priest but may also b~ per- . member chants the mantra sott- · the body plac'~ her tali (wedding pen- . and ghee are placed inside the to the heaven memorial service is This ceremony. is done. yearly as
formed by the family if no priest. ly in the right ear. If ll(me is dant) wound her husbands .' . coffin with the body. Where ' worlds. In Hindu helcl.. In some tradi- long as the sons of the deceased
• Bali,' it is sharne- ~
is available. Here is asimple out- known, '~um Nqrno Narayana" 3. The Homa Fire Ritual / • neck, signifying her enduring 1?ermittecl., the body is car.ried tions it is a repeti- are alive (or'fm a ~pecified peri- .
line of rites that CaJIJ be per- or '~um Nama Sivaya" is in- If available, a &'pecial funeral tie to him. The coffin is then ". around the 'chamber, and a ful to cry for ~ tion of the funeral od). It is now common in India
formed by Hindus.in any locali- toned. (This is 8lso done for sud- priest'is.calied. In a shelter- built closed. If u~able to bring the .small pre. is H.t in the coffin be- the dead. z, htes.'At.home·, all to observe shrail1J.ha for ances-
ty'Yariations are no.ted and den-death victims, suGh as on a by the.family, a fIre ritual (homa) 'body home, the family arranges ' fore it.i;:; consigned to the ~ thoroughly clean" tors just prior to the yearly
suggestions made for Hindus i,n battll'lfreld 9f. in a s:ar accident.) , is performed to bless nine brass to clean and dress 'it at the mor- flames. 'The cl,"emation switch 7,lIone-Gathjlr- ~ the house. A Navaratri festival. This time is
Western countries. Holy ash or sandal paste is ap- . 1Wonbhas (water- pots) and..onl'l tum;y rather than leave these then is engaged 'by the chief ing Ceremony " Yama: Lor~ of Doot.h · priest purifies . also appropriate for cases where
plied to the forehead, Vedic clay pot. Lacking the shelter, an duties to strangers. The ritual mourner. About 12 hours • '. the home, and . the day of death is unknown.
1. As Death Approaches verses are chanted, and a few· appropriate fire is<IDade-in 'the ~ homa fire·can be made at home . . . aft~r cremation, family men re- , performs the sapindikaranq;,
Tra<ditionally, a Itndu.dies at · drops o£ftnilk, Ganga or other home. The "Gruef mourner" , or kindled !it the crematorium. 6. Return Home; Ritual Impurity turn to colleft the remains. Wa- making on~ large pinna (repre- ffindu funeral rites. cap be sim;
home. Nowadays the dying are boly ~ater are' trickled irlto the leads fhe rites. He is the eldest Returning home, all bathe' and ter is sprinkled on the ash; t1].e senting the deceased) and three pIe or exceecli.ngly complex.
increasiRgly kept lin hospitals, mouth. After death, the body is son iLl the,case of the father's 5. Cremation share i~ cleaning the Muse. A remains,we collected on 'I- large small, representing the father, These ten steps, devotedly com-
even when recovery is dearly . laid in the homes entryway, death and the y~ungest son in Only men go to the cremation lamp and wat~(pot are set ~here tray. .At crematoriums the family grandfather and greatgrandfa- . pleted' according to the customs,
not p0ssible. Knowing the mer- with the head facing sOl}lh, on a the case of the mother's. In site, led by the chief mourI!-er. the body lay in state. TI,le water can arrange to personally gather. ther. The large ball is cut in means, and abi'lity of the family, '
it~ of <dying.at home among · 09t or the ground-:reflectihg a · some tradihlons, the eldest son T\,'Io pots are carried: the cl!l-y is changed. daily, and, pictures ' the l'emains: ashes and small tnr;ee'pieces and JOIned with' the will properly conclude one.
loved' ones, l;Iinqus bring the ill rElturn,to t~e lap of Mother; serves for_both, or .t he wife, SOLl- kumbha and another'containing remain turned to the wall. The pieces'of white bon~ «?iled small pimdas to ritually unite the earthly sojoum of any Hindu
home. When death is imminent, Earth. 1lle lamp is kept lit n~ar . in-law or near~st male relati..;-e. burning.embers from the homa. shrine room is closed, \:V1th "flowers." In crematoriums soul with the' ance.sfors in the soul.
, kindred are.notified. The per- the head and incense burned. A • The body is carried three times white cloth draping all icons. . these are ground to dust, and.
son is placed in his room or in doth is tied undeu the chin and .4. Preparing the Body counterclockwise around the ,During these days of ritual im- arrangements must be made to ·Rec,ommended.ResGurces·: Caring for Your o~n Dead, Lisa Carlson. Upper Access Publi~her.;,
the entrYWay of the house, with over the top of the head. The The chief mourner now per- pyre, then placecd upon it. All purity, family and close relatives preserve them. Ashes are car~. PO Box 457, Hinesburg. Vermont 05461. Dialogue with Death, Eknath !';aswaran. 1>Iilgiri Press, Box 477,
Petaluma, California 94953. Funeral and othe~ Sacramenis After Death, Jnana Prabodhiili. 510 Sadoshiv
ried or sent to India for deposi- . Petha.
do not visit othel's' homes,
.
the bead facing east. A lamp.'is . thun;lbs . are tied together,, as pre forms arati~ passing an oil lamp
over the remains, ·then offering
circumambulating, and some
arati, in the rites is counter- though neighbors and relatives, .- .tiOlJ.in fhe Ganges or placed,.
Pune 411.030; India. Qrihya Sutras, Sacred Books of the East Series. Motilal Ban=idilss. Bungalow
Road, Jawaharnagru; N,,,,. De!hi 7, India. Hindu Samskaras, pro Raj Bali Pandy,.Motilal Banarsidass. Life Af-
ter Life, Raymond A. Moody, B.mtam Books, 1540 Broadway. New York. New York 10036. Medl'tatlon and
Kasi, the Holiest Place to Die: A man awaits f1,is.gr..eat·deparliure; at . flowers. The male (or female, ' . clockwise. If a coffIn is 1!lsed, bring daily meals to relieve the them in an auspicious river or
. the Art of Dying, Pruidit Usharbudh Aryo. Himalayan Institute, Honesdale. Pennsylvan ia 18431. The Transi-
the moment of d:eath Ganga water is trickled into the mouth at the Clepending on the gender of the the cover is now removed. The . burdens during mourning. Nei- the ocean, along'with gm:lands t ion Caned Death, Charles Hampton, Theosophical Publishing House. 306 WesfGeneva Rd. Wheaton, illi·
Mukti Bhavan free hospice; oremamo1t grounds; women in mourning. deceas~d) relatives cm;rY,the men offer puffed rice as the 'ther.do they attend festivals ~d and flo"Yers.· nois 60187. Dilemmas of Life and Death, S. Crorn,well Crowley. SUNY Press, Albany; New York 12246.
Narayana Dharma Sangham
Trust. All these efforts were
thwarted by Saswatheekananda.
His followers claimed the coUrt
9rders did not apply to them .
. They even enlisted the PQP (the
Muslim People's Democratic Par-..
ty) on their side, whose cQ:air-
man, Abdul Nazar Madani, said,
"There should not be another
Ayodhya in Kerala, so the PDP in-
tervened in the Sivagiri issue."
The PDP was banned by the Ker-
ala government after the incident.
Swami Saswatheekananda de-
nies wrongdoing and complains,
"Even the British police re-
frained from attacking such pro-
testers during the independence ~ Narayana Guru [1856-1928]
str:uggles." He says the board ~ '--________________________________---'
cannot assemble, as such a meet- .
ing must be called by the out-go-
ing president, who is-himself
"The goal of qIl reli-
"They have come to power vio- gions is the same.
lating the bylaws and rules," he
. . argues. - Once'riv.ers reach
Tile cominunity is generally
relieved. . The trust's oversight the ocean, is there
State Body is firm!>, in sUfPort of
the new administration. An difference like shal-
<- Ezhave elder said, "The change
low and deep? Reli-
'"
";;
<
. of power is aPl?reciated by the
people." Prof M.K. Sanu, a fol-
gion has the role of
~~______~2-~~~____~~~~~ lower of Narayana Guru, told
Sarada Temple: Mountaintop center of Sree Narayanct-Guro movement that changed all of India's Southwest state of Kerala HINDUISM TODAY, "Had the po-
., . lice not intervened in time, Siva- creating in humans
MOVEMENTS , giri ,,"ould have become a land of
sin. It is the blessing of the Lord
the trend to ascend."

Kera~aControve~sy
that they came in."
- SREE NARAYANA GURU
The great reformer: During
his lifetime, Sree Narayqna Guru
was responsible for the-social and religious man." Asked to explain what he meant by industry." He implemented these ideals
transformation of the Ezhava commvnity, one religion, he replied, "If this war 'ofreli- through establishing centers of education in
who today constitute 50% of Kerala's 20 mil- gions should end', with self control all have each of his temples. He reformed the mar-
... lion Hindus. In his day, the "untouchable" to learn about afl religions. Then it will be- riage rituals to make them simpler and less
Narayana Guru's ashram stabilizes after violent power transfer Ezhava -Caste was barred entry to the tem- c.ome clear that, as far as basic tenets are .costly, dictating, for example, a maximum of
ples, and could not approach the outer walls concerned, there qre no substantial differ- ten guests. In a famous incident, Narayana
By VRINDAVANAM S. GOPALAKRISHNAN
closer than fourteen feet. Narayana Guru ences. The religion which thus evolves is the Guru arrived at a follower'S home just in time
HE KERALA POLICE ANTICIPATED RE- Devotees of Sree Narayana Gur.u, virtual ing his ten-year- term as pontiff, he wa~ ac- plotted a strategic response. He chose not to 'one religion' that we advocate." He did not to summarily terminate an overly elaboratt;

I sistence when they made their move to


enforce a court-ordered transfer of ad-
ministration at the Sree Narayana Guru
ashram at Sivagiri in SepteIllber, 1995. So
tRey came in plain clothes, surrounded the
patron saint of Kerala, were shocked. The
great swami had worked from 1870 to nis
mahasamadhi in 1928 to uplift the low-caste
Ezhavas, 50% of Kerala's people. The 52
monks of his ashram contr9lled dozens of
clJ.sed of autocratic rule, misappropriation of
funds (leaving many of the trust's instit\{-
tions bankrupt) and unseemly involvement
in local politics, especially through exploita-
tion of caste prejudice, the very curse Nara-
agitate for temple' entry, given the area's believe in conversion and countered the ex-
abysmal caste relations (Swami Vivekanan- tensive Christian and Muslim influence in
da had characterized Kerala as a "lunatic the area by direct action and preaching.
. asylum"). Rather, he quietly installed a Siva- Philosophically, Narayana Guru was an
linga at Arupuran and then at other places advaitan, but he denied the illl!sory nature
family celebration. Through his efforts, the
Ezhavas are today a respected community.
Swami Dharmatheerth, a direct discple,
summed up, "Narayana Guru created a rev-
olution before/ anybody knew its exact na-
main buildings and took the supporters of temples, schools, monasteries and".a hospital. yana Guru fought against. Swami Prakasha- around the state. The brahmin el"te chal- of the world as taught by Adi Shank!!ra. He ture or consequences, without antagonizing
Swami Saswatheekananda by surprise at the It was an outrage and contrary to expecta- nanda told HINDUISM TOD;.\Y that fear of lenged his right to encroach upon their pre- emphasized the presence of God every- anyone or demolishing any doetrine or at-
six-acre ashram. But a handful of renegade tions that some monastic descendants, in exposure forced Saswatheekananda to op"- rogative. He merely responded, "What is the where: "What's known as this man or that, tacking any sect or creed. No other teacher
monks backed, iIJ.credibly enough, by 500 whom he entrusted the movement, would, pose a proper transfer of power when his concern? I have only installed an Ezhava when probed, is in this world, a Primal Self ever accomplished his mission so peacefully."
members of the radical Muslir'n People's De- in 1995, do pitched battle with police. term ended. Siva." He also saw to the training of an Form." He was a devotee of Siva (as are most Swami Saswatheekananda has virtually
mocratic Party, refused to relinquish the "A monk who held the reins of power for • Complaints of mismanagement led to nu- Ezhav.a priesthood for the temples by estab- of Kerala's Hindus), influenced by Saiva Sid- exh'austed his legal options, and Swami
SB:arada Madam, the ashram's main temple, two terms and became heavily involved in merous court cases in efforts to wrest con- lishing a Brahma Vidyalayam at Sivagiri. He dhanta, but did not propound that philoso- Prakashananda anticipates no serious threat
and pelted officers with stones. The police politics and malpractice is responsible ,for tro1 of the extensive spiritual institution eventually founded more than a hundred phy's intricacies. . to hisnew administration. Already several
in turn charged with upraised 'canes. When the predicament," stated Swami Prakasha- from Saswatheekananda. On repeated or- Ezhava temples with non-brahmin priests- Later in life he stopped the construction of the monks who supported Saswatheeka-
it was over an hour later, 66 police and 75 nanda, the newly and' duly-elected presi- ders from the court, Swami Prakashananda bypassing upper-caste social controls. of new temples and focused on social action, nanda have rejoined the governing board.
demonstrators, including some monks, were dent of the governing trust. The monk in climbed the flight of steps of Sivagiri thir- Nararyana Guru frequently proclaimed, coining aphorisms such as, "Educate to be So, perhaps once again the mission of this
injured, and windows of the temple broken. question is Swami Saswatheekananda. Dur- teen times to take over the reigns of the Sree "One caste, one religion and one God for free; organize to be strong; thrive through great saint will proceed peacefully. _

34 HINDUISM TODA.Y J NUARY, 1997 JANUARY , 1997 HINDUISM TODAY 35


,,1
r
Peace Ycijna in Puttaparthi, India
, ,) " \ t I,:. t\
I
(March) , was dedicated to Mars, the God of A Yajna will be held in Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic
~
war, also identified with the Hindu God,
~ i .. Puttaparthi from January Physician and Director of the

, ':.:!
)' . . f
\··1
1 .'. :.
~

\
/. I I ~ Muruga. The following m'onth, Aprilis, was in
celebration of the Goddess Venus, or Aphro-
dite, Goddess of love and beauty. Next was
Maius, from Maia, "the great one," Goddess
of spring. Then came Junius from the prin-
16 to Feb 2, 1997. The
focus is national integra-
tion and the general well-
being of the Indian
people through peaceful
Institute, with visiting faculty,
offer the Ayurvedic Studies
Program, seminars and pri-
vate consultations.

,., ; L,:'
I \' ,; , '
I
f" ) ) -1. . ! " ciple Goddess of the Pantheon, Juno, God-
dess of marriage and the well-being of
social change. 108 Pandits Yearly Curriculum:
). .. \ ," ' ( .' ~'. ,.1' will participate. We seek generous contributions for this • I: Introduction to philosophy,
:.. t, : 1' J women. The remaIhing months kept their worthy cause. Make checks payable to: Sri Shirdi Sai Baba theory and systems (Fall).
./ "
1
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tilis, Sextilis, Septembris, Octobris , Novem-
Temple, 1449 Abers Creek Rd., Monroeville, PA 15146-3603
USA. • Tel: 1-412-374-9244 • Fax: 1-412-374-0940.
• II: Introduction to Ayurvedic
assessment (Winter).
...
~
,' ."I
, J (
bris and Decembris. The count began with • III: Introduction to manage-
< the original first month: March. Hence De- ment of imbalances (Spring).
cembris means the tenth month. After Cae-
E
U
• • sar's assassination, tl1e fifth month was re- • Correspondence Course by
Z
< 'named Julius; the sixth month was renamed Dr. Robert Svoboda, Ayurvedic Physician
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until 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII de- items for havans • Religious Statues in all sizes • Religious oil massage, herbal steam, cleansing diet, herbal therapy, etc.

Happy Roman New Year clared it official and made a few minor ad-
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Egyptian, Greek and Roman culture month and year. The main temple of Janus adopted the changes, Protestant nations re-
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vice of an Egyptian astronomer, Caesar facing !he rising sun, the other the setting New Year for some time. Great Britain and
reengineered the calendar, instigated the sun. Inside, the statue of Janus has one face her colonies held out until 1752. By then
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tion, he ordered the New Year moved from Forum by fountains of boiling water that the switch from Julian to Gregorian, Ben .
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miraculously gushed from the temple's stat- Franklin wrote: "It i~ pleasant for an old
first month was named after the Roman man to be able to go to bed on September 2, books from India. Stephen Quong
ue of Janus.
In Practice Since 1970
God Janus, whose t\'iO faces look both back- The following month, Februarius, came and not have to get up ~til September 14."
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'We are going to strengthen Giving the Best to Our Kids


Hinduism in our area. Our orphan-
Fiery prayers: The late Shri Shan~arrao Thatte, who began training program in 1975 ost of us spare no means to provide the best want to know WHY.
age children are good in studies LIT .URGY ,.
M for our kids. We shuttle them back and forth
endlessly to school, sports events, friends'
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada understood how important it is for
and leading a religious-centered

life. The gurukulam is playing a


Women Priestesses homes and the mall. We work hard to buy them what
they need, and push them to gain entrance into the
finest universities.
young people to have a solid cultural and religious
foundation. That's why he translated and published
60 Vedic texts, like Bhagavad-GWi As-It-Is, making
vital role in preserving and main- A shortage of male!celebrants prompts the Preparing one's kids for the world has been im- the ancient wisdom available in 90 modern lan-
portant throughout history. The great sages of guages for people young and old.
taining our Hindu identity." These
training of women to pe.rform the priestly 'arts . India admonished us to fulfil our parental He opened temples, now numbering
duties, but they also challenged us with a 400, where young people can visit,
are hard times for Sri Lankan By VL. MA1"JUL, 'PUNE • Not unexpectedly, orthodox male priests
broader vision of the task. have darshan, eat sumptuous prasa-
CITY OF PUNE, IN WESTERN INdia, and s~stris of Pune have criticised and op-

I
HE
children. Please give freely to has not only been a prominent cultural posed the trend, claiming it is against Vedic "One should not become a father, da, have their philosophical ques-
~enter, but has also been swift to assim- ~aw. Ac~ord~?g t~ tQem, this is. the first time mother, teacher, or king;' the Vedas tions answered, and dance and
llate modern trends. It was here in Ma- m the VedIc Hmau religion that women
the Endowment Fund for the harashtra state, for example, that many_first have assumed the priesthood: say, "unless one can deliver his de- chant happily with their family
came forward and called for the education Dr. T. H. Dharmadhikari, a well-known pendants from the cycle of birth and peers.
Tirunavakkarasu Nayanar of women and for widow remarriage. shrauta pandit, told HINDUISM TODAY and death." In London, for example, mem-
In 1975, one ranking harbinger of social there is no precise mention disallowing
Gurukulam in Barricaloa. change, Shri Shankarrao Thatte, began the women to recite Vedic mantras. There is In other words, we shouldn't just bers of ISKCON'S Manor Youth
training of ladies in priestly duties. At his certain evidence of womens pe;forming the give our kids the best that money can Forum hold regular weekend
r~si~ence he initially established two mar- thread ceremony, but there is no clear Vedic
1 - 800-890-1008 Ext. 245 nage,halls where he tutored a small group of sanctioI?- one way or the other. buy. We must offer them the best that get-togethers, spiritual retreats, and
1q to 20 ladies in various stotras and pujas. ,. These ladies are said to be more honest life has to offer. discussion sessions to help them bal-
http:// www.Hinduism Today. He also trained them in the intricate and 'and pious than thejr male counterparts. Young people need a world view that ance the pressures of growing up-
mystical kno:.vledge of Sanskrit mantras, Sri While male priests today may oot under-
kauaLhLus/ashram/ Rudram, Mahima, sacrificial tantra, mar- stand the meaning of the mantras they re- focuses not just on earthly success, but without forgetting God.
HinduHeritageEndowment.html riage rituals and thread cere:monies. The cite, the ladies are trained to offer explana- spiritual fulfillment. Without a deeper under- Throughout 1996 people of many faiths
distaff priests began to perform yajnas 'to tions. Day. by day there is a growing standing of one's self, God, and the purpose oflife, it's and traditions will celebrate the centennial of Srtla
. the various Deities. After a few years, hav- shortage of priests in our society, while peo-
ing grac!'u ated 8 to 10 groups, Shri Thatte pIe are becoming wore and more religious. tough to avoid peer pressure and the allurements of Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International So-
arranged a trip for them to demonstrate Some have begun to "depend on modern drugs, casual sex, and selfish materialism. Today kids ciety for Krishna Consciousness. You are invited to
their liturgical prowess to Indian and Hindu technol~gy suc~ \is tape recordings of pujas·. don't just do things because their elders say so- they join in saluting the life and work of this great soul.
ENDOWMENTS residents in England and Germany. The ladles are taking responsibility for these
Since his death .in 1987, his wife, Mrs. religious families, who express satisfaction
Pushpabai Thatte, has advanced"'-his work with their sacred duties.
HINDU HERrrAGE ENDOWMENT
I 07 KAHOlAlELE ROAD
under the name of Shankar Seva Samiti. It Communities outside India are also dis- Thanks to Srila Prabhupada ...
has:now spread to all parts of Maharashtra. qovering the value of competent priestesses.
KAPAA. HI 96746 -9304 USA The .idea of Hindu priestesses has been ac- In South Africa and Tri1idad, for example,
cepted by I?ost educated people, welcomed the Arya Samaj panditas are much in de-
Vedic culture is preserved for generations to come
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF HINDUISM as a revolutionary step in Indian society. mand for ceremonies and ministry. fI For more information please call ISKCON Communications at (301) 299-9707.
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Patients face inadequate insurance, hospital Ganeshas drinking


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~ums
ic illnesses. Today every hospital
also has a teaching and mon~tor­
the antibiotic and the offending
organism. Frequently this is
bhajans. She has
dedicated her
& Illustrations
ing responsibility for the health without patient consent and life and prodi-
aild wellness of its community. considered part of the blanket gious voice to
The larger teac}ling hospitals permit signed at admis;;ion. healing people
harbor specialists in various disease cate- TheEutritionists do not understand Sop ranD with guru through song.
gories and are elaborate structures for the concept of vegetarianism, and a patient
teaching every phase of the medical profes- cannot get a good vegetarian meal. Other VINDICATED: The US Equal Employ-
sion. Hospitals now 'range from the barely food is also often inadequate, and it has ment Opportunity Commission ruled
adequate to the best there is to offer. been said that malnutrition is very com- that Bruce Anderson, a vegetarian bus
Commonly, the cost of running the hos- mon in the modern hospital without sup- driver fired in June for refusing to
pital continues whetlier or not there are plemental and very expensive feeding. hand out coupons for free hamburgers,
empty beds. Hospitals are the most con- The current litigious nature of our soci- was discriminated against by his Cali-
hp lled illdustry in the USA by federal} ety encourages excessive testing-merely to fornia employer. He may return to his
state and local regulatory agencies. These satisfy medical and hospital protocols- job as well as receive attorney's fees
agencies, as well as the hospital commit- . especially the latest and most expensive and back pay. Yea, dharma prevails.
tees, put constraints upon the quality of
medical care, mortality, morbidity and
techniques.
The patient can control many of these LIBERATED: Swami Bhashyanandiijl, 79, Patterns & Borders
medical 'ethics. The most recent invasion is "errors" by insisting that he be an active on October 4th, former head of the
by insurance companies, which pay most participant in every decision that his physi- Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chi- othing lends a sense of Indian-ness to a design
of the patient's bills, but deny certain
ch~es, often without any good clinical
reason-all in order to keep their payouts
cian makes and demanding that some
thin~s be treated on an outpatient or hos-
pice basis. He has the right of a second and
cago, of heart failure after a long ill-
ness. He was born in India in 1917 and
earned degrees in English and Sanskrit
N better than traditional borders and patterns.
There are hundreds to choose from on this creative
as low as possible. They dictate the maxi- third opinion and to know his disease and before joining the Ramakrishna Mis- CD. Fall in love with the visual magic of Bharat and
mum length of hospital stay, regardless of th~ options of treatment. Most hospitals do sion Order at age 20. He served in any images are or-
the clinical condition of the patient. not allow alternative methods of treatment various capacities at Indian RK centers enhance your personal or institutional image.
M ganized in
The hospital's stated mission is the
preservation of life. This often means
that in spite of "living wills" (orders to
not resuscitate) the patient may be put on
and deny to patients the options of allopa-
thy, homeopathy, ayurveda, hert)al medi-
cines, acupuncture, laying on of hands,
. Reiki or even chiropractic adjustments.
and was sent to the US in 1964. A
dynamic religious leader, he was in-
strumental in developing the Chicago
Society and the
.~~~~.f~ ~~~~~~~e
.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
... ... ., .......... ... ... ...... ... ...... ......... ... ... ...... ... ...
themes, like nature,
Deities, people, borders,
life-support machines, contrary to his Many.....other issues are contrary to the Vivekan.a nda Monas-
symbols, etc. Use the
wishes or those of the family. Once on the patient's interest in the modern hospital, tery and Retreat in Fetch browser to get a
machine, removal is alm~t impossible, but we must admit that we have the most Ganges, Michigan, as quick overview, then
even though costs are mounting and no sophisticated treatment in the world today. well as founding double clic on a page
benefit is derived by the patient. many Vedanta
The greatest hazard is nosocomial (hos- DR. TANDAVAN, 76, retired nuclea( <physi- groups in the US and for a detailed preview.
pital acquired) infections from the many cian and hospital staff preSident, lives in Canada. We at HIN-
germs, viruses, toxins and allergens that do Clvi'cago, where he specializes in alternative DUISM TODAY fondly
not exist at home. The patient is suscepti- healing arts. Visit his home page at the remember his visits
ble to massive new infections since he has HINDUISM TODAY Website. with us in Hawaii. Bhashyananda

I
44 Bj NDUISM TODAY JANUARY , 1997
., Macintosh format only. No PC version available .
Pictured is our featured This extraordinary With this knowledge firmly in her heart
product-of-the-month from new book is and mind, she walked as a prayer and a
our assortment of aroma- authored by chance to inspire others to pray and work
therapy massage oils. These H.D. Swami for p~ace, averaging 25 miles a day. She
are rare Indian fragrances Prakashanand wore navy blue shirts and slacks, and a short
from ingredients carefully Saraswati, founder tunIc with pockets all around the bottom in
selected for their therapeutic of the International which she carried her only worldly posses-
value and for being natural Society of Divine sions: a comb, a folding toothbrush, a ball-
and non-animal in origin. Love, Barsana point pen, copies of her message and her
Dham and Shree current correspondence. She carried no
"Male Skin Toner" Raseshwari Radha money and would walk until offered lodging
A blend of hardy oils and Rani Temple. or food. At times she would miss a few
fragrances needed to meals, but generously complained, "My real
penetrate rough or dry skin. The Divine Vision of Radha Krishn is a Divine gift by Shree problem is everyone wants to overfeed me!"
Sesame seed oil, ashwagandha, Swamiji. It is a practical guide for all who sincerely desire to Her travel was not without danger. On --
turmeric, geranium and other experience the loving Bliss of Radha Krishn or any other one occasion a disturbed youth started to
natural flower essenses and essential oils. form of God as described in our scriptures. It fulfills the de- beat her. "I bathed ,his hatred with love even
votional quest of everyone, from a highly educated open- while he hit me," she said. 'l\s a result, the
This is but one from our over 225 Ayurvedic products minded aspirant to a simple-hearted devotee of God who is hitting stopped, and this boy was never vio-
imported directly from India. Buy directly from the USA's longing to receive His love and vision. • It incorporates the ·lent again." Another time she accepted a
largest bulk importers of Ayurvedic products. For the past philosophy and theme of more than 400 scriptures and gives ride from an unseemly character. She woke
25 years, our buyers have been traveling to India 3 or 4 times a crystal-clear view of the path to Supreme God. • For the after a short nap to find the man crying and
a year to insure our herbs are up to import regulatory standards. first time in hundreds of years, such a book in the English confessing he meant her harm, but simply
language has been published that reveals, in extensive detail, could not touch her. Such incidents were
Bazaar Of India Imports • Since 1971 the true Divine form of Radha, Radha Krishn, Divine Vrinda- rare. "No one walks so safely as those who
1810 University Ave ban and raganuga bhakti. • 464 pg. • $30 • Available from: walk humbly and harmlessly with great love
Berkeley, CA 94703-1516 USA and great faith," she said.' She did spend a
Tel: 800-261-7662 or 510-548-3332 The International Society of Divine Love, Barsana Dham, few nights in jail, but was always released
Fax: 510-548-1115 • E-mail: Tabla@ix.netcom.com 400 Barsana Rd., Austin, TX 78737 USA. when the police understood her mission.
Send for free, full 64-page catalog. Tel: 1-512-288-7180. After walking 25,000 miles, which took 11
years up to 1964, she stopped counting
miles, and speaking became her first priori-
ty, though she continued her daily trek. She
met with people on city streets and dusty
roads, in ghettos, suburbs, deserts and
trucks tops. She became a popular and
For centuries, the West has enjoyed beautiful translations of Perfect peace: Th1s self-proclaimed American renunciate lived like a Hindu sannyasini revered figure often interviewed by the TV,
the Upanishad, known as the Vedanta, "end:' or "oulmination" radio and press, invited to talk at schools
LIFESTYLE and churches across the country.
of the Vedas. But, alas, the other three major parts of the -J I Peace Pilgrim believed we hav~ entered a

Aotbology oftbc Vedas fo~ Modern Mall


aod COD temporary Celebration
as a rule, been pOQ)l'ly rendered.
world's oldest scripture have,
We at Himalayan Academy c0wld hardly lDelieve our eyes
when we stumbled on this thoughtful aPithology of tfie
'USA's "Peace Pilgrim" , crisis period in human history, "walking the
brink between a nuclear war of annihilation
and a golden age of peace." She felt it was
her calling to arouse people from apathy and
get them thinking and actively working fOr
Samhitas, Brahmanas, AranY<ilkas, Upanishads an61 01iher ma- Her life's march was both medium and message peace. She encouraged people to seek the
jor scriptures. This Vedic epiphany tells the :St0ry of the real source of peace within.
-- pure Veaanta, but her spiri- Once relentlessly ques-

I
rhythms of nature, history and man. Translation and com- ENUNCIATION IN INDIA IS ARDUOUS
enough, even though there it has been tual awakening was com- tioned by a reporter about .
mentary are the work of the brilliant renaissance thinker, Rai- the most esteemed spiritual path since pletely spontaneous, tied to her "tru~ identity," she re-
mon Panikkar. It is the fruit of twelve years of sadhana on the before recorded history. In America, no organized religion, East sponded, "This clay garment
it is even harder, where striving to live a or West. She was not a is one of a penniless pilgrim
banks of the Ganga in Varanasi, living in a Siva temJ5lle; I:le- homeless renunciate's life could well result Christian, never even en~ journeying in the name of
tween 1964 and 1976. Scholars consid€r it perhaps bis most in ridicule and arrest for vagrancy. Yet, from tered a Christian church un- peace. It is what you cannot
significant contribution to the liter-ary wor.ld. 1953 until her great departure in 1981, an til" she was 16, and then only see that is so very important.
extraordinary silver-haired American wo- to attend a friend's wedding. I am on,e who is propelled by
man lived this life to perfection. She gave "It came to me that God is the power of faith. I bathe in
Chapters on: 4. /rail and Decay herself the name "Peace "-Pilgrim" and . a creative force," she re- the light of eternal wisdom. I
SACRED 1. Dawn and Birth 5 . Death and Dissolution vowed: "I shall remain a wanderer until man- vealed, "a motivating power, am sustained by the unend-
2. Germination and Growth 6 . New Life and FreedoliYl . kind -has learned the way bf peace, walking an over-all intelligem:e, an ing energy of the universe.
ANTHOLOGY 3. Blossoming and Fullness 7, Twilight until I am given shelter, and fasting until I ever-present, all-pervading the Road: Her
am given food. " Walk she did, criss-crossing spirit-which binds every- ho1[W wandered with her
This is who I really am!"
Friends of Peace Pilgrim
the United States many times. She refused thing in the universe togeth- will send a free book on her
HIMALAYAN ACADEMY PUBLICATIONS Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1977, smythe sewn, e/oth bound, to reveal her preVious name, or be identified er and gives life to everything. That brought I life anywhere in the world.' Write to Peace
107 KAHOLAlELE ROAD
5 112" x 8 1/2", 1,.000 pages. US$35 .00 . + slh $3.50 in US; in any way other than "Peace Pilgrim." God close. I could not be where God is not. Pilgrim, 43480 Cedar Avenue, Hemet, Cali-
KAPAA HI 96746-9304 USA
$7 .00 outside US. Tel: 1-800-890-1008 ext. 238, Outside US: What she taught will strike the Hindu as You are within God. God is within you." fornia 92544 USA. __

BOOKS YOU CAN TAKE, SER I OUSLY 1-808-822-3012 ext. 238; Fax~ 1-808-822-4351 J ANUARY , 1997 HINDUISM TODAY 47
ART

Dexterity .to the Max Will They Ever


One grown-up artist's take orr fingc;r painting
See the Valley? I

Pandits' persistent plight


OF PANDITS RETURNED TO
Kashmir Valley in early October
from the bleak camps of Jammu in
which they have languished for six
years. It was a largely symbolic event in a
situation which, for the Hindu pandits, has
changed little since 1990 when 700,000 fled
the Valley in fear for their lives. This elite
group is.thought·to have lived in Kashmir for
"One God, One World" will be
the last 5,000 years. HINDUISM TODAY re-
ported on their plight in 1994, and staffers
chiseled in many languages into took an opportunity in early 1996 to visit the
Purkhoo and Geologi<;al Survey of India
the white granite ceiling of Ira ivan (GSI) camps a short distance from Jammu. Home sweet home: Boys play in front of a tailor shop refugee camp for Bhutan Nepalese
The situation at the camps is unchanged.
Temple, Americas first all-stone There are below minimal living facilities, no REFUGEES
schools and zero birthrate. Families live in
traditional Siva temple. In 1991
political limbo, classified by the government
. as "voluntary migrants," not refugees, and
ignored internationally. Each family re-
Booted O.u t of Bhutan
a small village was created ceives US$42 a month plus a food ration of
rice and dal. A few are employed.
in Bangalore. India, for I 00 The Purkhoo camp of ragged army tents 100,000 flee Buddhist nation's ethnic cleansing
sits on a desolate open river bed; blazing hot
in summer and freezing cold in winter. A
craftsmen and their families who Fing~rnail Creations: Tavkar in front of etche~ egrets and a dancing Ganesha single well serves 3,00d people. The GSI By DR. HARI BANSH JHA, NEPAL Nepalese people. One teen-age girl, Sita, said
group of.1,100 are better off, having com- ELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL PERSECU- the food provided the deportees was not ad-
are hand-caNing the Iraivan temple By LAVINA MELWANI, NEW YORK nology, will eventually,continue in the fam- mandeered the unfinished GSI building. is alleged to have forced 100,000 equate. Another lamented that the days
F GANESHA IS EVERYWHERE - EVEN IN ily tradition. FamIlies partitioned off the multi-story con- Hindus from Bhutan, the tiny 18,147 were difficult for therh, and they were not
to be shipped to the Garden Island

of Kauai. Call or visit our web


I a grain of rice-He is surely in the tip of
the fingernail-especially Suhas Tavkars
fingernail. How else to explain the mag-
ic that this New York-based artist cern create
with his bar~ hands? Take away his paints,
A graduate ofBombay'~ J.J. School of Art,
he uses blind embossing even at work to
make mock-ups of clients' logos. Employing
the carefully filed nails of his right thumb
and index fingertip, he embosses a design
crete structure with sacks and sheets into
makeshift living areas 12 by 20 feet.
Those who permanently leave the camps
for jobs are seen by those remaining as giv-
sq. km. Buddhist kingdom situated in
the eastern part of the Himalayas. Today the
refugees, most of Nepalese origin but claim-
ing Bhutanese citizenship, are settled in
ing up on any possibility of a return to their
nine camps in southeastern Nepal. Hindu
allowed to seek employment. Nearby, men
were playing cards. Others sat by idly.
The Nepalese have greeted the newcom-
ers with mixed reactions. Some residents
near the camp told HINDUISM TopAY die
site for more details. paint brushes and pencils, and he can stin on paper or foil by painstakingly etching ancestral Valley home and, therefore, as Nepalese have migrated to Bhutan since the refugees were living "like pampered chil-
give you exquisjte art. For many years, he the pattern into the paper to the appropri- abandop.ing the thousands-of-years-old pan- mid-nineteenth century, and by the 1980s dren." Gayatri Devi said, "The refugees have
has been creating elaborate Lord Sivas, ,ate depth. The r:esult is an intricate sculp- dit tradition. Certainly it appears more had conl'e to account for 25% of the nations been given so much aid that even many of
1-808-639-8886 Ganeshas and Hanumans, ballerinas and tural rendering· made. without tools. Ju~t as could be done to help the uprooted refugees, 1.2 million population. Fearing a threat to the Nepalese have benefitted from this. .
http://www.HinduismToday. Grecian sculptures. All he requires is a piece other artists keep their pencils sharpened their ethnic identity, Bhutan took measures
especially to see to the education of the chile Twenty-five percent of t.he nonnatives have
Kauai.hi.us/ashram/lraivan.html of paper, a keen eye and his low-tech but and paint brushes clean, he does the s~ dren. Nevertheless, for now, no one is comingto limit the Nepalese presence, one of which married locally and acquired Nepalese citi-
highly skillful fmgernails. with his nails. forward. ..'was to force the relatively recent arrivals to zenship. Quite a few are in service and busi-
Tavkar, who hails from Gujarat in India, Says Tavkar: "It's a demanding technique. return to Nepal. · ./ ness. They are not going back to Bhutan."
is the third generation in his. family to prac- If a line or/impression fails to satisfy me, it I had read that the conditions Others expressed concern for the people.
tice this unusual art. He draws ~s inspira- can't be undone." Recently his ballet-related at Goldhap camp were abom- Sunil Chaudhary reported, "Many refugees
tion from ancient temple sculpture. He can artwork was exhibited at the New York City '1nable, but when I went to the have been converted t.9 Christianity. Luth-
"ONE GOD, trace his family name back to the 14th cen- Ballet Gallery. He also uses his fingernail' Sanischare camp on July 1, 1996, eran World Service, noted for conversion, is
tury, but doesn't know how this unusual art art to produce special braille cards which \ I found a different story. I saw very active among tl}.e Bhutanese."
ONE WORLD" came about. He recalls: "My father was an
engineer and did this for fun. I wanted to
are sold at the Lighthouse for the Blind.
Others may praise Ganesha with words and
food, good schools, houses, a
well, health facilities and small
Talks between Nepal and Bhutan are at a
stalemate. India is suggested as an interme-
turn this hobby into commercial art." song, but Suhas Tavkar does it through his variety stores. I noticed tnat the diary-refugees must pass through India to
SAN MARGA IRAIVAN TEMPLE
Currently, Tavkar works at the Grey .Ad- wOhderful fingernail ar.t. He etches not children of the refugees were get to Nepal. But internationalizing the
107 KAHOlAlELE ROAD.
vertising Agency in New York, and this only Hindu Gods, but images of other reli- well fed, though their' clothes problem could lead to major complications
KAPAA. HI 96746-9304 USA
unique skI'll often come's in handy. He's hop- gions. He says art is universal, and, being a were unkempt. Overall, the con- between Nepal and Chin~ over Tibetan
ing his daughter, an art student at the pres- Hindu, he is open to all faiths and sees the ditions of the Bhutanese refugees refugees who similarly passed through
A TEMPLE BUILT TO LAST 1. 000 YEARS tigious New York Fashion Institute of Tech- good in all religions. ..' Jammu: Pyare Lal (left) head of Purkhoo camp and residents seemed better than those of local Nepal on their way to India. WI
JANUAR Y, 199 7 HI NDU ISM TODAY 49
, I

MINISTER'S MESSAGE listens to the teachings of nature becomes a


wise pe~son.
We must love nature abd our fellow man,

Personal' Peace Leads Love is lacking in the world, and this is


what the holy ones are giving to the people.
By giving this love to the people, they are

~ U~iversal ' Peace


elevating them to higher spiritual conscious- Through a combination of
ness. This is very 'important. The love
which the holy people give is very clear spiritual music mastery and
and full of pmity. It'is crystal clear. There is
no pollution at all in their love of mankind.
Knowledge without compassion is not musical intuition, Sri Ganap~
Practice daily meditation, express love, find enough. Just speaking knowledgeably is not
enough. We must be very kind and very athi Sachchidananda Swamiji
peace within, then the world will change simple. We must have .that pure and com-
passionate knowledge'which gives the great brings to an avid
BY K A RUN A MAY ( SRI V I,J AYE S WAR IDE V I -quality of forgiveness, forgiving others. '
, When we have only half-knowledge, with-
out understanding, we will be very strict
listener the curative and
y WISH IS UNIVERSAL PEACE, TO BE ACHIEVED and intolerant. We will always be

N through the cultivation of individual peace. If each commanding people. . inspirational power of
person is at peace in his home, in his city, in his Many people come for spiritual solace.
country, there will be peace in the whole world. Why They ask, "What must we do to overcome Indian spiritual music. /
is there discord and unrest in this world? It is selfish- all these miseries of life?" I tell them that
ness which perpetuates mortality and sensual life which meditation is the only method which can
leads to hell. Wisdom, dimJa prema, divine'love qpd forgive- give us a balanced mental state. Start with
ness all lead to immortality. at least 15 to 20 minutes early in the morn-
All religions should be honored. They all teach truth, and ing. The brahma muhurta hour is ideal,
they all seek to realize divinity. In following the teachings of between 3:30 and 4:30AM. If you're not
their own religIons, diose followers should lead a very simple able to do that, at least meditate before the
and very peaceful life. Whatever has been said in their scrip- sun rises, not after s.unrise. Gradually in-
tures is what they must'practice in their daily lives. They crease the meditation to one hour. Start the
must cultivate universal love and self control. This will make their day with meditation and end the day with meditation. As we..f>ro-
lives peaceful and happy. . ceed on the path of constant meditation, bad qualities.such as
The lifestyle we see everywhere in the world now is--very color- anger; jealousy and hatred will be reduced. External worship in-
ful, but when we look closely and examine it carefully, it is com- volving man.y rituals and requiring ;many things may be a bit hard
pletely empty. The emphasis on the material is why there is so for everyone. That doesn't mean that it is not important, but that it
much frustration and tension in daily life, and why people cannot is different from meditation which does not require externals.
find peace. To avoid such unnappiness is why a person must be- Amma's blessing is meditation. The meditation I give is the
come spiritual. Only then will he aohieve inner peace. Saraswati Mantra meditation, which is so pow~rful. It is the bijak-
He who has intens~ desire for God, who has the inner vision, sharas ("seed syllables") which inspire and enric~ the mind. They
only he understandN he universe. Your heart must be pure. When grant memory, the power of concentration and give the mind
you have inner vision, you can righ~ly understand the universe and peace. This meditation is a very simple process. You have to be
know what life is. This is the goal of life and to achieve that state like a baby iNfant who has no thoughts at all. The meditation state
of ab~olute consciousness, that poorna pragna, the seeker s~eks. is also without thought. Silently, closing one's eyes, one turns the His original
ThaNs why holy people from all religions come down to the level mind inward, concentrates and does the meditation by chanting
of ordinary human beings-to elevate them to that awareness. I the Saraswati Mantra. There is a lot of difference between prayer Meditation and Healing music
Body, mind and spirituality-these are three cages. A spiritual and meditation. In prayer we are always, talking with God. But in
seeker will go beyond all these cages. In his natural state, samadhi, meditation, God will be speaking to us, ,
the entire unive'r se is nothing but his Self. Whatever he enjoys in Liillguage is for sharing feelings with each other in this world. fuses ancient Indian instruments
this world is nothing but Self; time is Self only; wisdom is Self only. But in absolute silence is the connection with the entire universe .
He realizes he is not this body. In fact, when he achieves that without any disturbance. This is how, directly, soul to soul, goly with modern electronic synthesizer.
highest state of absolute conscjousness, he 'sees no differences at people transfer divine energy and elevated feelings without even
all. He sees everyone the same, and he sees the whole world as his open,ing their mouths. They transmit their feelings in silence. The powerful result promotes
own, knowing that the entire u~'verse belongs. to him: the rivers, Silence is the language of Divinity. I like silence very much.
the mountains, the trees, the birds, everything belongs to him. He
sees nothing as separate from himself. He knows that he belongs t6 / physical, mental and spiritual harmony.
nature, and natur~ belongs to him. In U. S.A., Call Toll Free
We must love and serve nature. Nature teaches us so much and 1-800-869-6616
giv.es every thing. But in return we do nothing for nature. So we FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON ADDITIONAL AUDIO/VIDEO PRODUCTS, BOOKS OR ABOUT PIN CODE #90
mbst not pollute. Not only physically. Pollution goes beyond the THE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS OF SRI SWAMUI, PLEASE VISIT OUR WEB SITE: www.dattapeetham.(om
visible and the material. It includes impme thoughts. Negative
thoughts will pollute nature, th'erefore our thoughts must always be KARUNAMAYI SRI VIJAYESWARI DEVI , 38, considered an' embodi- lu~~::l EINDIA:1. J E U RQJ~ E_:
pure. When thoughts are pure, nature also will be pure. Nature ment of the Divine Mother, lives at her forest ashram in Andhra
DATTA YOGA CENTER * SRI GANAPATHI SACHCHIDANANDA ASHRAM DATTA YOGA KREIS E.V.
has to be saved and respected. One who loves nature and who . Pradesh. After years of tapas, she now travels and teaches globally.
139 (HINOUIPIN (OVE. RIDGELAND, MISSISSIPPI 39157 DATTA NAGAR. MVSORE 570004 OBERKASSELER STR. 99 • D·40545 DUSSELDORF
, PHONE: (601) 856-4783 FAX: (601)856-1068 PHONE: (821) 22662 fAx: (821) 521797 PHONE:/FAX: (211) 552582
50 HINDUISM TOD AoY J <\NUARY , 1997
"The DaHa Yoga (enler is a non·prolil organization registered in Ihe USA
.
WORSHIP

City of Experience of aLife~__


10 Mil'lion
Icons
II If I were asked under what sky the human mind
••
A prodigious project
for world: peace fully developed and has found solutions to some of the
greatest problems of life, I would point to India ... 11
BY "CHOODIE SHIVARAM, BANGALORE
AMMASANDRA WAS JUST AN OBSCURE - Max Muller
I town 100 km from Bangalore until Sri
Samba Shivamurthy Swamiji decided
to propagate the greatness of Siva
through the consecration of many Sivalingas
dedicated to world peace and the welfare of
Bharat. When I visited the town, now called
Kotilingeswara, "City of Ten Million Icons," in India: Stone, pillar-shaped icons, 3.5 million so far, adorn every available nitch
all I Gould see were rows and rows of Siva-
lingas ranging in size from a few inches to a and a 12-foot-tall Vrishabeshwara, shrines So far, 3.5 million icons have been placed
108-foot Linga-shaped building. Over 500 fill the area for Sri Manjunatheshwara, Tri- here by devotees fulfilling a vow or seeking
devotees were present, many performing the murthi, Ashta-Lakshmi, Subramanya, the a beon. Pilgrims seeking the blessings of in-
ritual of prathishthapana, installation of a Navagrahas and many other Deities. The stalling an icon can do so for a fee. Acharyas
Sivalinga, with a priest's assistance. maiR attraction is the entrance from the and politicians alike (including late Prime
Sivalin ga means "mark or sign, of Siva." It highway to the central courtyard. The cylin- Minister Rajiv Gandhi) have done so.
is one of India's most prevalent and highly drical icons line the colonnade, perch upon Kammasandra is mentioned in the Ram-
revered temple' icons, a rounded, elliptical, rooftops and stand as sentrie s around every ayana as a yillage Rama's horse blessed as it
aniconic image usually set on a circular shrine and building. In some places they are wandered the land during the Ashwamedha
base, or pitha. It is the simplest and most packed so tightly that one cannot walk be- Yajna [horse sacrifice]' People believe the requirements of groups,
ancient symbol of Siva, especially of Parasi- tween them. Most are traditional in shape; oppulent Kolar gold fie}ds nearby are the re-
va, Reality beyond all forms and qualities. others have square bases. One is uniquely sult. The area is also cited in the Puranas as
The temple compl~x is situated on 20 acres five-sided with five spouts. a place where a fabulous ceremony was per- organizations, and
of land. Besides th~ 108-foot-tall Sivalinga "Koti" means 10 million. That;s the goal. formed by Dakshabrahma. ~
individuals. We work
METAPHYSICS The TV image,
closely with you to
left, was recorded
E-mails from Heaven? by Adolf Homes of
Germany. He says it
is Friedrich Juer-
ediums-persons able receiving messages through genson, a spirit re-
to go into a trance and telephones, answering ma- searcher who died
speak out messages chines, radios, computers and in 1987. At the mo-
from the Gods, devas TVs. The admittedly contro- ment the image was
or people "on the other side"- versial developments have a projected, a mes-
are common in Hinduism, in
both villages and big cities.
substantial following, especial-
ly in Europe and America.
sage from Juergen- satisfaction.
son appeared on
Few Hindus are probably The quietly growing field, The late Juergenson: From Homes' computer
aware that the West also has a called Instrumental Tran scom- beyond the grave; in life saying, in part, "We
long tradition of channelers, munication (ITC) currently are able to enter
who are now going hi-tech. In involves two dozen researchers Tesla). These beings are your structure in various ways.
a recent development, modern in eight countries who work, quickly mastering the art of I am sending you again a pro-
research laboratories in Eu- they say, with a team of more manipulating the energies of jection of myself" More mes-
rope are reporting extended, than 1,000 spirit beings (in- our modern technology-an sages and images are being re-
two-way communication with cluding ThoJIlas Edison, interaction giving direct physi- ceived on TVs and PCs at the
spirit colleagues almost daily, Madame Curie and Nikola cal evidence of life after death. research lab in Luxembourg.

52
718-291-Ll~"
HI N DUISM TODAY JANUARY , 1997
JOB S ' MEDIA

Electronic India Press Online


Immigrants NDOPHILES CAN AL-

I\NT A HIGH-TECH
Imost weekly find a new
Bharat magazine or
W job in America but
can't get a green card?
newspaper on line. One
ne.ed no longer spend
No problem. Get an in- $50 and up for a "snail
ternet connection, and mail" subscription-and '
you can work for any get the news two weeks
company in the world. late in the bargain. Up-
Such electronic immi- to-date links to electronic
grants "will be able to editions of Indian Ex-
work as quickly and eas- press, The Hindu and
ily as if they were sitting Deccan Herald newspa-
pers, as well as Outlook
and The W eek magazine, One of the on-line media
can be found at http:// /
Four cartoon characters guide yol).r jou:mey ugweb.cs.ualberta.cal-srinivaslindial. The presenta-
CD - ROM tion is stylish at these sites. Articles are frequently
accompanied by color pictures. Back issues are
Let's Tour India! archived and provided with e8$y-to-use search func-
tions. Recently, the popular almanac, Kalnimay, was
ONGRATULATIONS TO PADMINI MULTI- added at http://www.indiaworld.com.

BeamwO'rk to your boss


C media Ltd. for this wonderful interac-
tive CD tour of India. The quality of
graphics, sound and photos is first
class. Four animated guides are introduced by
Surya, the Sun, talking from your computer. Each
RELIGION

Parishes
from the pope and a
guided tour of Vatican
art. Most ambitious is a
in a cubicle 100 yards scene is narrated and accompanied by sonorous plan to set up 19,500
, down the hall from the Indian music. The digital sound effects are so Online AmericaQ Catholic
boss," says one US news- good, the lion's roar may cause the bravest among churches with their own
paper. We're not talking us a moments pause. The first character, Lalloo, ATHOLICS WORLD- Web home page. Hindus
about low-end data en-
try either. The same re-
tours you through India's major cities and all of
the states, introducing eleven domestic and wild
C wide are wasting no
time putting the Internet
would benefit from simi-
lar comprehensive plans
port says, "Highly animals. Raj helps you meet different people and
trained engineers and attend diverse Hindu festivals. Bhim travels with
technicians in Banga- you from present-day Bharat back through histo-
lore, India, will pump ry to 2500 BCE. Lastly, Munni invites you to visit
out computer software monuments, listen to music, see works of art,
code for a fraction- view vignettes of Indian dancers and clips from
sometimes one-tenth-of Bollywood films. Along the way are games and
the salaries of their puzzles to play. Any member of the family from
Western counterparts." four years old and up can learn much about the
Fast software production vastness that is India. Available for Windows (no Take a net tour of MichelangelO's Sistine ceiling
is beiIlg done by Mac version) for US$29.95. Order: Multisync
matched teams in the Trends Inc., 540 Gotham Parkway, Carlstadt, to use for their faith. Al- to put every temple and
US and India who work New Jersey 07072 USA. ready available are vast ashram on-line, plus en-
during each other's night Catholic resources, in- gineer easy web access to
on the same project. cluding weekly messages Hindu wisdom and art.

Tt-Iat frQm which beings are bQrn,


THat by which, Qnce bQrn, they live,
Tt-Iat intQ which, Qnce dead, they enter, is Brahman.
KRISHNA YAJUR YEO;1\., lAlTfIRIYA UPANISH;1\.O III, 1