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Affirming Sanatana Dharma and Recording the Modern History of a Billion-Strong Global Religion in Renaissance
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LI, ...."l""'''' sandaran dancers await their turn to perform. Their ·inove-
the butterflies in God Inelra's garden Our feature this month
the most splendorous surviving culture on Earth. p. .
199tf
• I",/,
I " .

INTERNATIONAL
Lead StorN: Precious Hiildu Island in an
Unsteady Muslim Nation 20
Religion: ISKCON Renounces Hinduism?32
Identity: Will the Real Hindus Stand Up? 33
Profile: Pagans Arise Again in Europe 34
MystiC: Me Taught Sun-Centered Yoga 38
"
LIFESTYLE
Resources: Touring Bali At Home 24
Videos: Indonesias RiJ.!g of Fire 25
Insight: Bali: WhereLive the Gods 27
i!arentIQ$ Your Kids Deserve Better 41
These Men Do Know it All 45.
Early Edition's Karma Class 41
OFINION
Desk: Making the Gods

A Reality in Our Daily Life 10
Letters 12
My Jurn: Tourisms Toll on My Atoll 13
Editorial: Hinduism¥ Identity Cnsis 18
WOlllen of Vision: ThE1 Cows Golden Gill 39
Healing: Don't Be Suckered by Sugar 44
Minister's Message: Women Are Anything
But Weak, Says . Santoshi Ma Ji 50
News In Brief 49
Digital Dharma 58
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COMMUNITY
Helping
Strangers
I
THOUGHT THAT WAS
awfully nice of them," said
Debbie Marsh in a hot and mug-
gy Yuba City, California, after
she stopped by the Sri Narayan
Hindu Temple for free cold
drinks and fruit. Every year
temple members serve whoever
drops bj', a continuance of their
East Indian tradition. "It's to
. please God," explains temple
spokesman Paul Mehta. '1Jl na-
tionalities, all cultures come
close to love each other." Marsh
told Mehta, "I think it's wonder-
ful you guys are doing this."
Thanga Battar, 67, performs the ablutions for the new Siva shrine
T E MPLES
Festival of Renewal in Malibu
T
HREE DAYS OF RELIGIOUS FERVOR FUELED DEVOTEES
June 5, 6 and 7 at the Shri Venkateshwara temple in Mal-
ibu, California. The event centered around the installation
of new deities in the Ganapati, Siva and Subramanyam shrines
of the new Siva complex. Twelve priests, headed by Thanga
Bhattar from New Orleans, with some 50 years of experience
under his sash, performed dozens of rituals, commencing lOAM
Friday and lasting until late Sunday afternoon. In addition to
the six resident Vaishnava priests, six Saiva priests were invited
to assist: Bhairava Sundaram from Boston; Bhairava Murthy
from Flushing, New York; Sundareshan from Nashville; Chan-
drashekhar Sharma from Detroit and Vaidyanathan Shastry
from Washington, D.C. An estimated 6,000 people attended. '1
have seen many temple events in South India, but this tops
them all in authenticity, approachability and enthusiasm,n
commented a tearful 75-year-old woman.
she found 93,900 hitr:;.
"When I searched ' Hin-
du braille: n she recalls, I
"there were 3 hits, and
upon inspection, none of
them actually offered
any Hindu scriptures in
braille, even though
there are about 3 million
blind readers of English
Presenting dharma to the disadvantaged braille in the world to-
FOR THE BLIND
dayn By founding the
SHIV A Braille Foundation,
B II D h
Damara hopes to tip the braille
rai e arma ' scale the other way She is send-
I
T Al:MOST SEEMED THAT IN
order to be blind and religious,
you had to be Christian. When
Damara Shanmugan searched
the internet for "braille Bible
n
ing braille transcriptions of Hin-
au teachings free of charge to
any individual school or library
that requests them. ,
CONTACT: P.O. BOX z6Bz. LA MESA CALIFOR-
NI A 9 1943 USA. E-MAIL. dshanmug@flash.net;
hltpllwww.flash.netl-dshanmugl
Reverent Hindu cow care
ANIMAL RIGHTS
Bovine Rescue
THE VERDICT IS S;r'lLL OUT
I on who was really saved, the
crying bovine or the men who
freed him. In either case, the
;
ECO-PIRATES
Stolen Sandals
,
"7\ WAKENED BY A CRASH, SON
Rof Kanlataka Cooperation
Minister, S.S. Patil, alerted house
security. But it was too late to
stop rogue tree poachers from
stealing a mature, sacred sandal-
wood tree. The brazen theft of
June 5 punctuates a persistent
concern for Bangalore police
and residents alike. Police com-
missioner L. Revannasiddhaiah
assures, "The latest is the handi-
work of a gang close to Banga-
lore. It is just a matter of time
before we apprehend them."
miraculous moment in a' Hong
Kong slaughterhouse has
changed the lives of many. One
bison, about to become beef, fell
to its lrnees and began weeping.
The ten seasoned slaughterers
who witnessed this also began
to cry "I began to shake," 0l1e
butcher recounts. "The hair on
my skin stood on end. We knew
that none of us would be able to
kill him." Collectively they
bought the bison and gave him
to a Buddhist monastery where
he could ''live the rest of his life
in peace." Only after assuring
the beast that it would not die
did it stop its tears and follow
the changed men to freedom.
Three workers have quit, vow-
ing never to kill another animal.
CLOCKWI SE FROM TOP: ARCHANA DONGRE; THE WEEK;
© THOMAS L. KELLY; DAM.ARA SHANMVGAN, COREL OCTOBER, Igg8 HINDUISM TODAY 7
/
'.1
I
,
.
PILGRIMAGE
A New Cave Is DJscovered
, .
band, Arun, describes the mus-
lim locals as "excellent people"
and adds, "Next year we will
bring our' children."
FASHION
E
VERY YEAR THEY GO.
ne threat of death qy
wretched weather or
weathered·terrorists can-
not dissuade them. These
hardy, humble pilgrims to
the Amarnath ice Lingam
cave are certain that the
benefits of their arduous
devotional trek far out-
weigh any risk of mere
physical calamity.
.------------::----------"., Unbeknownst to the
Bindi Hits
The Big Time
In 1996, weather
claimed the lives of 300.
In 1995, Muslim sepa-
ratist guerrillas staged
two bomb attacks upon
the heavily guarded pil-
grims. This year, well
over 30,000 pilgrims
reached the sacred desti-
nation. But many
rejoiced as much in what
they found along the
way. «Tell the people that
if you want to see Hin-
du-Muslim unity, visit
this place," Mrs. PooRam
Mehta of Mumbai told
The Hindu. Her hus- Trekking the rugged terrain,to Amarnath
THE VEDAS
God's Word,
Sages'Voices
Words cannot describe
the joy of the soul whose
impurities are cleansed
in deep contemplation-
who is one with his
atman, his own Spirit.
Only those who feel this
joy know what it is.
KRISHNA YAJUR VEDA 6.34
There is on Earth no
diversity. He gets death after death who perceives here
seeing diversity. As a unity only is It to be looked upon-
this indemonstrable, enduring Being, spotless, beyond
space, the unborn Soul, great, enduring.
SHUKLA YAJUR VEDA, BRIHADARANYAKA UPANISHAD
What people call salvation is really continence. For
through continence man is freed from ignorance. And
what is known as the vow of silence, that too is really
8 HINI?UISM TODAY. OOT\? BER, 1998
Melitas, on July 15,
Doda District security
forces had a lethal con-
frontation with foreign
mercenaries who had
planned to attack pil-
grims. According to
I10lice reports, three
militants were killed in
the gun fight and sever-
al automatic weapons
and grenades were
confiscated.
Elsewhere, in the
Zanskar Valley of east-
ern Ladakh, minister of
state for tourism, Tsetan
Namgyal, has disclosed
that a Siva Lingam
much lar.ger in size than
Amarnath's has been
discovered inside a sim-
ilar cavern at a height of
about 4,000 meters. The
discovery, now being
officially investigated,
was made by Buddhist
lamas during a recent
visit to the area.
I
T WOULD SEEM THAT THE
Coof Dot Club [Turning Cru-
el to Cool, July, 1998] has
capped 1l: cultural coup. Now,
Hindu youths' biggest concern
about wearing their bindi, the
Hindu sectarian forehead mark,
is whether it's in step with latest
fashions. Julys cover of the rave
teen maga'Zine, 19, shows a
young Euro-damsel sporting a '
Hindu bindi. But that's just the
bindi beginning. Stuck on
every cover in the UK was a
free package of bindis and
quasi-Indian tatoos.
The hindi-toting teen.-rrutg cover
continence. For a man through continence realizes the
Self and lives in quiet contemplation.
SAMA VEDA, OHANDOGYA UPANISHAD 8.5. 1.
By means of the hymns one attains this world, by the
sacrificial formulas the space in-between, by holy chant
the world revealed by the sages. With the syllable Aum
as his sole support, the wise man attains that which
is peaceful, unaging, deathless, fearless-
the Supreme.
ATHARVA VEDA, 'PRASHNA UPANISHAD 5.7
The Vedas are the divinely revealed and most revered scriptures,
sruti, of Hinduism, likened to the Torah (2 ,000 BCE), Bible New
Testament (200 Koran (600 OE) or ZendAvesta (600 BOE). Four
in number, Rig, Yqju.l', Sarna and Atharoo, the Vedas include over
100,000 verses. Oldest portions may date back as far as 6,000 BOE.
Who Is a Hindu?
':Acceptance of the Vedas with reverence; recognition
of the fact that the means or ways to salvation are di-
verse; and the realization of the truth that the number '
of Gods to be worshiped is large, that indeed is the dis-
tinguishing feature of the Hindu religion." B,G. Tllak's
definition of what makes one a basic Hindu, as quoted
by India's Supreme Court. On July 2 , 1995, the Court
referred to it as an "adequate and satisfactory f01"l"r/.Ula...
CLOCXW]SE FROM TOP: ROM.MEL AND SADHANA VARMA; 19; S.,..ij.AJAM
1
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PUBLISHER'S DESK
'Beings '
Are a Living'Reality
In Bali, as elsewhere in the Hindu world, the Deities
are a presence, impacting every part of life
BY SATGURU SIVAYA SUBRAMUNIYASWAMI
EVOTION TO GOD AND THE GODS OF HIN-
duism is alive in Bali, 'as our fascinating
feature this month proves. We realized this
during a visit in this beautiful island coun-
try while attending an International Hindu
Conference. The music, the art, the drama and
dance all reflect some aspect of spirituality. It is in
BaIi that an entire realm of knowledge, and practice
begins at an early age for children, It ranges from
the childlike wonder of the unknown and the myste-
rious to the deep reverence which comes with un-
derstanding of esoteric inter workings of the three
worlds. The Hindu view of existence is composed of
three worlds. The First World is the physical uni- ,
verse; the Second World is the subtle astral or men-
tal plane of existence in which the devas, angels and
spirits live; and'the Third World is the spiritual universe of the
Mahadevas, "great shining beings," the Gods. In the pantheon of
Gods there are said to be three hundred and million.
The religious life is to invoke' the harmonious working together of
these three worlds,
The most prevalent expression of worship comes as devotion to
God and the Gods. Hindus believe in one Supreme Being. The
plurality of Gods are perceived as divine creations of that one Be-
ing, So, Hinduism has one supreme God, but it also has an exten-
sive J¥erarchy of many, many Gods, Still there are many whp view
the <sods as mere symbols, representations of forces or mind strata,
or as various personifications generated as a projection of
mind onto an impersonal pure Beingness. In reality, the Gods are
individual soul beings, and down through the' ages ordinary men
and women, great saints and sages, prophets and mystics in all
cultures have inwardly seen, heard and been profoundly influenced
by these superconscious inner plane beings. Lord Ganesha, the
elephant-headed Deity, is suc!) a being. He can think, just as we
can think. He can see and understand and make decisions so vast
in their implications and that we could never compre-
hend them with our human faculties and understanding,
These intelligent beings have evolved through eons of time and '
are able to help mankind without themselves having to live in a
physical body. These great Mlilladevas, with their multitudes of
angelic devas, live and work constantly aild tirelessly for the devo-
tees of Sanatana Dharma, protecting and guiding them, opening
new doors and closing unused ones,
It is said in the Rig Veda, "He who is beyond all exists the
relative universe. That part of Him appears as sentient and insen-
tient beings. From a part of Him was born the body of the uni-
10 HINDUISM TODAN OCTOBER, Igg8
. ,
verse, and out of this
body were born the Gods,
the Earth and men."
As the Gods are indi-
vidual soul beings, so too
is humankind, The soul
body is a body of light
which evolves and ma-
tures into the likeness of
Purusha Brahman, just as
the seed of a tree one
day becomes a tree.
Within this body of light
and consciousness exist,
without beginning or
end, the two perfections
of Parabrahman and Satchidananda ..
Satchidananda is the superconscious
mind of the soul body-the mind of
Brahman. Parabrahman is the inmost
core of the soul. Many of the village
Deities in Bali and other countries who
protect children and crops are actually
souls living close to Earth in the astral
plane, still functioning through the astral
female or male body that is a duplicate
of their last physical. body.
It is in the temple that the three
worlds meet and devotees invoke the
Gods. The.temple is built as a palace in
which the Gods live. It is.the home of
the Gods, a sacred place unlike every
other place on the Earth. Hindus associ-
ate themselves with these Gods in a
very §ensitive way when they apprOach
the Though the devotees rarely
have psychic vision of the Deity, they
are aware of the God's divine presence. As they approach the sanc-'
tum sanctorum, they are fully aware that an intelligent being,
greater and more evolved than themselves, is there. Their Gods are
intently aware of them, safeguarding them, fully knowing their
inmost thoughts, fully capable of coping with any situation the
devotees may melltally lay at their Holy Feet. It is important that
the Deity be approached in this way-conscious and confident
that the needs are known in the inner spiritual worlds.
The physical representation of the God, be it a stone or metal
image, a yantra or other sacred form, simply marks the place that
the God will manifest in or hover over in His etheric body, It can
be conceived as an antenna to receive the divine rays of the God
or as the material body in or which He manifests in this
FirstWorld. When we perform daily puja, we are attracting the
attention of the devas and Mahadevas in the inner worlds, That is
the purpose of a puja; it is a form of communication, To enhance
this communication, groups build temples and individuals establish
altars in homes. Both become charged or magnetized through our
Heaven on Earth: An artist's view of a Village in Bali, where per-
haps more than anywhere on Earth, human life is deeply integrat-
ed with the angeliC worlds. Shrines and temples are'everywhere,
and Balinese Hindus make intricate offerings several times a day to
invoke the Deities' bleSSings and success for each endeavor.
. .. . ............ uu ...... J1". .. . . . . ............. unu ....... .. . .............. . . . ..... .. H .... . ... .. , . .. u .... . . ............ . . ......... ... . ... .
devotional thoughts and feelings which radiate out and affect the
surrounding environment. Soon the presence of these divine be-
ings-and this radiation from them is known as shakti--can be
felt. Shakti is a vibration of spiritual prana coihing from the God
and devas through the temple and home shrine. It is first experi-
enced in the simple physical glimpse of the form of the Deity in
the Later that physical sight gives way to a clairvoyant
vision or to a refmed cognition received through the sensitive gan-
glia within the nerve system: the chakras. Through these recep-
tors, a subtle message is received, often not conS'ciously.
not inlmediately, but the message that the shakti carries from the
Mahadeva manifests in the life of the devotees. This is the way the
Gods converse. It is a communication more real than the commu-
nication of language that is experienced each day.
Visiting a 'Hindu temple, receiving the shakti from the majestic
Gods, can altogether change the life of any individual, It alters the
flow of the pranas, or life currents, within the body. It draws
awareness into the deeper chakras. But the change is slow. The
devotee lives with t?he experience for months and months after
visiting the temple. The devotee comes to know and love the De-
ity. The God extends sublime psychic assistanCe, but never tests or
punishes a devotee. Shakti coming from the great temples of the
Gods can change the patterns of karma dating back many past
,lives, clearing and clarifying conditions that were created
hundreds of years ago and are but seeds now, waiting to manifest
in the future. Through the grace of these loving Gods and God-
desses, those seeds are removed, if the manifestation in the futur.e
would not enhance the evolution of the souL
If a temple or shrine is not available for worship, then it is possi-
ble to establish' a communication with Jhe Deity through visualiza-
tion, Take for example, Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed
governor of nature, dharhuL, science and knowledge. Worship of
Lord Ganesha is immediate; to think of His form is to contact
Him. Close your eyes for a second, visualize His :nurthi or form,
and a direct communication has begun. This is like .£lunching in a
€ode on a computer terminal which gives immediate access to a
central supercomputer. All information and answers to every ques-
tion are now available. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing,
we can use the d omputer terminal of our brain and code in' the
divine image of Lord Ganesha. We have complete access to His
grand computer mind which has been progranImed over eons of
time and naturally encomlDasses the of the universe in
all its ramifications and simplicities. I
Hindus look to God and t4e Gods for very practical assistance-
from affairs of employment, family and heart to knowledge both
secular and superconscious. Devotees devoutly believe that the
Gods, from their dwelling in the Third World, are capable of con-
sciously.working with the forces of eVolution in the universe and
they could tQ.en certainly manage a few simpler problems. Devo-
tees devoutly believe that the Gods are given to care for human-
. ' kind on the planet and see them through their tenure on Earth,
and that their decisions are vast in their implications. Their
overview spans time itself, and yet their detailed focus upon the
complicated fabric of human affairs is just as awesome.
The ancient Rig Veda (10.151.4-5) intones, "The Gods, led by
the spirit, honor faith in their worship. Faith is composed of the
heart's intention. Light comes through faith. Through faith"lllen
come to prayer, faith in the morning, faith at noon and at the set-
ting of the sun. 0 faith, give us faith!"
OCTOBER, Igg8 HINDUISM TODAY
/
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•• ". •••• """ ••• ,.,., •• "., "." •• , A •• AA \ •• , •• ",.", •••• A." ••• ",., A ••• 'I"

All Religions Are Not the Same
THE OCTOBER 1997 MINISTER'S MESSAGE
by ...Swami Dayananda Saraswati stimulated
much discussion, He sent a devotees querY,
with his response, to share with our readers,

LETTERS
'98] is as as it is dangerous.
Since when is one gorilla able to wipe' 0ut
millions of other gorillas at the flick of a
switch? We are not talking about relatively
harmless international political posturing
here, but the flagrant usage of the most
DEAR SWAMI DAYANANDAJI: WE ENJOYED YOUR hideous weapons of mass-destruction. I say
article in HINDUISM TODAY. Your statement, this as a Western European who has been
"all religions do not have the s1f}ne goals," drawn increasingly close to Hindl1i.sm in the
rise to some questions and doubts. past year, only to have been sent spiritual
Many raised the belief that ali religions are reeling by the explosions in the deserts of
equally valid. We assumed that this meant Rajasthan which were the decisions of a
that the ultimate goal is the same. One government which claims to be the political
scholar here says that all religions have pro- face of that most consumately life-respect-
duced great saints and liberated, self-real- ' , ing, life-affIrming faith, Sanatana Dharma.
ized souls. I would greatly appreciate it if D J J G R. , . ORDON
you would clear our confusion. BERLIN, GERMANY
PROFESSOR R. RANGA RAo
ILLINOIS, USA
DR. RAO, AS I MADE CLEAR IN THE 'ARTICLE
published in HINDUJSM TODAY, all forms of
prayer are valid, But each religion has its
own concept of moksa, which is what we
call the goal. The Veda says that you are the
whole and that you are already free and you
have to know that. Your being away from the
whole is by wropg thinking. Now, if some re-
ligions say that you are different from God,
the whole, that you are limited, and with the
blessings of God you have to redeem your-
self from your sin and go to heaven, how can
there be identity of goals-unless you inter-
pret the whole thing differently? To inter-
pret all this to' fIt info the Vedic vision of
moksa [liberation from rebirth] is to have
the Vedic knowledge in the fIrst place. It is
clear that we are away from the whole
by thought, so when some religious theolo-
gies advocate thoughts that separate us from
the whole, we cannot say that all religions
lead to the. same goal.
Christianity has not produced another
Christ. If anyone claims to be another
the theology cannot allow such a
claim, because Christ is the only son of God.
So too, Islam has not produced another Mo-
hammed. He was the latest and the last
prophet. By saying so, it cannot produce an-
other prophet. But there were always spiri-
tual persons in all traditions who transcend-
ed their theologies and talked about the
truth. But they were not produced by those
religions. They grew out of them. You can
not grow out of Vedanta to realize that you
are the whole. In fact:: you understand
Vedanta to realize that you are the whole.
I SWAMI DAYANANDA SARASWATI
ARSHA VIDYA GURUKULAM
PENNSYLVANIA, USA
Your Editcrrial Bombed
TO COMPARE THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT'S
actions to "gorilla dust" [Editorial, August.
I
12 ffi NDUISM TODAY OCTOBER, 1998
THE AUGUST, ' 1998, EDITORIAL PROCLAIMING
"India's nuclear threat mere gorilla dilst" was
the height of irresponsibility. To gloat over
the CIA's alleged failure at forecasting, while
ignoring the permanent change in risk of
holocaust to citizens of all nations strikes me
as superfIcial and unworthy of HINDUISM
TOD4Y'S usually high editorial standards.
PROF. ROBERT MANIS
COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF SOUTHERN NEVADA
,; LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, USA
V right-thinking human being will de-
plore escalation of such devastating arms,
and we do, too. Our purpose in the editorial
was not to say the obvious, though we per-
haps should have. It was to acknowledge
and celebrate India's newfound strength-
not of bombs but of rediscovered self-worth
add lost self-loathing caused by centuries of
cruel tyranny from outside. Bharats real,
profound and only endUring strength lies in
her spiritual heart, in her assertion of ahim-
sa and her native devotion. We will rejoice
with you when Pakistan and India disown
weapons of mass destruction forever, hope-
fully in the bargain bringing other nations to
do tTie same. The editor,
God, Not J;)eva; Atma, Not I
I APPRECIATE YOUR COMPARATIVE LOOK
at the two great traditions [Feb! '98, Insight
on Buddhism and Hinduism], which is neC-
essary to identify their common grounds
and and to establish a meaning-
ful rapprochement. The disappearance of
Buddlllsm from India was a major loss, since
Buddhism provides an ethical and philo-
sophical complement as well as a c.,9rrective
to Hinduism in its non-casteist orientation
and in its focus on universal compassion.
I..-take issue with some imprecise state-
ments made by the Honorable Yihua that
obfuscate the real issues and misrepresent
the differences. Her confused use of the
term deva in the sense of "God," is disturb-
in&> Early Buddhism is atheistic, while Hin-
duisms fundamental postulate is Brahman
(not deva), the Divine Reality, GOD, both
Absolute and personal. But devas are deities
with specifIc functions. It is those deities,
such as Indra, who are referred to as paying\
homage to the Buddha [not- Brahman]'
The other confusion is made between Self
and self Sh
t
surprisingly called it [Atman or
Self] "the center 1" and "abiding by its own
deeds." But karmas pertain to the psycho-
physical integuments of Atman, which, ae'-
companied by the karmic or psychic body,
is simply reembodied. lIt is to be ultimately
freed from karmic bondage and reincarna-
tion. Vedanta posits a unitary principle of
trans personal consciousness Atman as the
basis of all conscious and fluctuating expe-
riences. Buddhism denies Atmah (anatta) ,
which is the real point of difference. Both
fully coincide in their notion of self or "I and
mine" as the source of uffering, that one
must eventually extinguish.
\
PROFESSOR MAHESH MEHTA
WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA
Praises from Australia
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Will Tourism Trample
Bal.i's Hindu Heritage?
It may take more than borrowed sarongs and
behavior drills to curtail cultural pollution
BY MADE SURYASA
ALI IS A HINDU OUTPOST
the world's biggest
countiy, Indone-
sia, with more than 200
million people. It is impressive
that this tiny island of 2.7 mil-
' lion,.only 90 miles long and 50
miles wide, survived numerous
attempts to convert her inhabi-
tants to other faiths. Retaining
our Balinese Hindu belief sys-
tem has been a challenge. Today, perhaps
the biggest challenge of all is tourism.
For hnndreds of years the Dutch colo-
nialists kep't a hands-off policy in Bali, ex-
ploiting instead the Java and Maluku is-
lands, rich in spices, tea and rubber. ,
Attitudes changed in the early 20th centu-
ry. The 'Dutch attacked and razed Bali's
fIve major palaces. After slaughtering the
Rajahs and their followers in the Puputan
(Death March) of the major capitals of
Denpasar in 1906 and Klung Kung in 1908,
the Netherlands strove to change their im-
age, They created an intensive promoti0n
of Bali as an " F;nchanted Isle," "The Last
Paradise," etc .... to lure visitors to come
experience the arti»tic, traditional Balinese
way of life. Around 1914 the Dutch
line KPM brought Bali's fIrst
recorded tourist.
As early as 1917, reports began to circu- •
late that Balinese culture would be ruined
by tourism. In the 1950'S the Governor of
Bali was horrifIed to discover tQur compa-
nies promoting Bali as "The Island of Bare
Breasts." Cultural preservation and certain
types of tourism usually do not work to-
gether. Despite this, we Balinese under-
stood time and again that we have some-
thing valuable that we wanted to share, but
also to try to preserve.
Mass tourism was recently introduced to .•
the island by an Indonesian government
desperate for 'foreign currency. It is now
unrealistic for us to close the island to
tourism. Fortunately, tourism
with a cultural orientation can
help to maintain culture conti--
nuity and also give the Bali-
nese, historically an agricultural
community, an alternative way
to make a living. So, we try to
teach visito s how to Behave
when visiting spiritual/religious
events, and to encourage tour
operators and hoteliers not to
desecrate any artifacts that have religious
meaning. We are a very open society, and
we treat all visitors to the island as tamu, .•
guests. We greet and entertain ow; guests
with our traditional values and hope that
our guests beh\l-ve themselves.
We also tried to maintain cultural conti-
nUity by setting aside an arid but beautiful
beach in the south as a tourist resort, to
restrict close daily contact between tourists
and the Balinese. Unfortunately this policy
proved unsuccessful due to the machina-
tions oHhe recently deposed Suharto gov-
ernment and lack of local participatjon.
Suharto's family and cronies bought up
-most of the designated "green" areas of the
island. With hotel occupancy at just 76%,
they announced that there were not
enough hotels to heuse visitors, and the
Soutb Bali preservation project was
scrapped. Another challenge now is to let
some travelers know that Bali is not a "s"ex
tour" destination. Research done by Bali's
University of Udayana reveals that some
visitors ask for "services" they fInd else-
where in Asia.
It is very hard to control all tourism ac-
tivities. The best that we can do is to treat
situations case by case and, meanwhile, try
to strengthen the Banjars, our neighbor-
hood associations, as our last defense.
I MADE SURYASA, 39, a scholar and priest's
son, lives in California, teaches mask dance
and conducts tours to Bali (Danu Enterpr.)
OCTOBER, 1998 HINDUISM TODAY 13
/
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and abundant commentary
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•• 'll""" A •••••• \.,." \ •• A". A A • Al""'" A.""" I' •• l. lA" A Al"'. \ •• l • • 1 ••

EDITORIAL
du temples, worship Hindu Deities and
observe Hindu holy days. Even if they
Why
"I Am 'Not a -'Hindu
JJ
?
teach the Vedas and hold havanas and
pujas. Even if their founder is a Hindu
swami, born and raised in the faith.
Even if they wear the Hindu monk's
saffron robes and take the sannyasin's
initiation. If y ou ask them, they will
declare, "We are not Hindus."
Such a trend'is based on the
tenacious misconception that Hin-
duism is somehow unacceptable to the
non-Hindu world. Those who do
speak openly of their Hinduness know
this is not true. People these days en-
joy knowing about other paths, enjoy
Exploring the erosive power of self-alienation and
the mas9uerade that denies who we really are
BY THE EDI -TOR
HERE ARE TWO KIND OF HINDUS: THOSE WHO ADMIT
they are Hindu and those who will admit they are just about
anything else. I exaggerate, but not much. To be sure, such
identities are part of the political and social fashions of the
day, and fashions change. From century to century, overt affil-
iation with Hinduism becomes faddish and'then usty in cycles. In
recent years it has become voguish for,Hindus to openly and
proudly proclaim themselves. Five decades back, being a Hindu
was not cool, what with the Anglican British in charge and all.
Nine decades back, Swami Vivekananda, bucking the anti-Hindu
fashion of the late 1800s, spoke proudly of his Hinduism, and
called on others to do the same, as did Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo and
Swami Dayailanda. And so it goes, see-sawing back '8Ild forth.
Diverse reasons drive today!> Hindus to not openly
themselves with their heritage. They might lose their jQb or their
friends. They rriight forfeit members in insti-
tutions which have attracted large numbers of
Christians and Jews. They may feel Hinduism
has "backward" elements, such as caste or rit-
ualism, which they wish to distance them-
selves from. They may be cowered by a brash,
confident and aggreSsive Western cultural as-
sault and its superior attitudes, bOfJiowing a
contempt for Eastern culture and Hinduism
from foreigners. Or they may simply be
cultill"al Hindus, not all that religious.
While these may be advantageous reasons,
today the trend is shifting, and once again it is II:
stylish to embark on a journey of spiritual self-
discovery and claim one's Hinduness. Sudden-
ly, it may win an election or empower an insti-
tution. Witness the audaciously pro-Hindu
Swaminarayan Fellowship's astpunding growth
aild impact in the US and Europe, and com-
pare it to the conflicted "We Hindus, 8
yet we sort of are, but not really" position of @
the ISKCON movement [see page 32]. Politicians are showing the
press their home shrines. Executives are talking dharma at cocktail
parties. Even globe-trotting sWamis are saying, "I was a Hindu the
whole time. I thought you knew iliaC'
'Still, not everyone is following the fashion. Especially in the
West, institutions don't like the H word. Groups whose roots lie in
Indian spirituality prefer the neutral sound of words like yoga,
Vedanta or Sanatana Dharma, and use those instead of Hindu to.
describe themselves. This is true even if they build orthodox. Hin-
16 HINDUISM TODA;Y OC OBER, 1998
hearing other's spiritual passions and-
beliefs. The clearer, the better. No
apologies or dissembling needed.
Indian intellectual Ram Swarup, who
rediscovered his own Hinduness as an adult, notes that lmti-Hindu
Hindus are casualties of cultural illiteracy, self-loathing and self-
alienation. He is campaigning for Indians to rediscover their her-
itage, as he did. He writes from New Delhi, "A permanent stigma
seems to have st<\lck to the terms Hindu and Hinduism. These have
now become terms of abuse in the mouth of the very elite which
the Hindu millions have raised to the pinriacle of power and pres-
tige with their blood, sweat and tears. How did this happen? I
have come to the conclusion that the Muslim and British invasions
of India, though defeated and dispersed, have yet managed to
crystallize certain and intellectual-which
a battered Hindu society is finding very difficult to digest. These
residues are now in active alliance with powerful international-
forces, and are being aided and abetted on a scale which an im-
poverished Hindu society cannot match. Although at loggerheads
• ., among themselves, these residues have forged a
united front which is holding Hindu society under
siege. The danger is from within as from without."
Ram Swarup envisions a daY,when Hindus are
again centered in their dharma, proud of their
faith. His ideal is echoed by a profound statement
and fitting conclusion from Annie Besant (1847-
1933), the Englishwoman who became the leader
of the Theosophical Society: 'Mter a stugy of some
forty years and more of the great religions of the
world, I find none so perfect, none so scientific,
none so philosophic and none so spiritual as the
great religion known by the name of Hinduism.
The more you know it, the more you will love. '01e
more you ,try to understand it, the more deeply will
you value it. Make no mistake, without Hinduism,..,:
India has no future. Hinduism is the soil into which
India's roots are struck, and torn out of that,
will inevitably witlfer, as a tree torn out from i
place. Many are the religions and many are the
races flourishing in India, but none of them
stretches back into the far dawn of her past, nor is necessary for
her endurance as a nation. Everyone might pass away as they
came, and India would still remain. But let Hinduism vanish and
what is she? A 'geographical expression' of the past, a dim memory
of a perished glory. Her history, her art, her monuments all have
Hinduism written across them. And if Hindus do not maintain
Hinduism, who shall save it? If India's own children do not cling to
her faith, who shall guard it? India alone can save India, and India
and Hinduism are one."
,
-I
I
l
U
"I've been practicihg two months to say his name.
He's my so I it correctly!"
. ,
Silicon Valley engineer Vladimir Orlovsky, after demonstrating how fast he could address his Tamil boss, Balachandran
Frank and Ernest
We have kindly requested them to carry
only religious symbols. 1998 kumbha mela
. manager J.P, Sharma asking Naga sadnus
• not ·to tote pistols and other firearms dur-
ing procl.!. ssions to the Ganges '
. ,
The only problem with Yogi Berra is that
every time he exacerbated a 'situation it
just got worse. From our Editor
Smile! It takes only 13 muscles.
Frowning takes 64.
However beautiful sex may be,5t does not
open the door to a state of higher
consciousness. If that so, the majority
of people who believe ill sexual excesses
would all have achieved enlightenment
The Z::Zte Swami Sivananda Radha in her
book, KjJndalini. Yoga for the West
© 1996 TH Jl. VES, REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION
yts, .:t AL.L.
TO
1>0 YOU AS'1C1
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift from God, that's why it is
called the present.
\
With the passing of Sri Frank, the faith
community will soon be welcoming what
has come to be called The Sinatra Dharma,
which loosely translated means "The Eter-
nal My Way." Adherents to this movement
take inspiration, guidance and ritual from
their sCripfures known collectively as the
Vegas. Fred Stella,president of the Inter-
faith ASsociation in Grand
Rapids, Michigan, giving his humorous
take on the passing of Frank Sinatra
(1915-1998), American singer and actor
.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very
persistent one. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
When I moved from Roman Catholic to
I
__
OUR NlW PRACrlC! IS TO NOlO
CRmClSlNG IX2 JUIJGING
O1llER fEom.
<
Druid in 1980, this was considered incredi-
bly weird. It was something you wouldn't
dare mention at the office. But today, when
I explain that I worship the power resonat-
ing up through the Earts', people are 'inter-
ested. They say, "Now, Chris, how should I
celebrate the equinox?" Druid Chris
Turner, quoted June 22 by the Washington
Post as he and other Druids marked the
summer solstice at Stonehenge in England
DID YOU KNOW?
A Seed to Heal With
P.
RABHAT KUMAR SRIVASTAVA
claims to be the only person in
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calamities and adversities. «Rudraksha
emits electromagnetic waves to body
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ens intuitive faculties, overcomes nega-
tive thoughts and brings inner peace
and success."
OCTOBER, 1998 HINDUISM TODAY 17
I
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19
,
HINDU LANDS
Bali: .. Island
Oftha 'Gods
A tiny, lush enclave fights to preserve a magical
culture little changed over 'the millennia
Temple-bound: Balinese women take offer-
ings of fruits, flowers and rice to the Gods
ILMMAKER LAWRENCE BLAIR, MID-
through documel}ting Indone-
indigenous peoples, planned to
Bali, with its interrl{ltional air-
port and luxury hotels. But "When I fi-
nally arrived in 1975, on the desk of
the immigration officer who stamped my
passport was an. exquisitely Woven offering
of ,flowers with burning incense leaning
against his ink pad. Outside, I noticed an
even more elaborate offering affixed to the
radiator grill of my taxi. For this was the day
of offerings to active sharp and blunt objects
of our lives, .. . thus ritually connecting the of-
ficer's inkpad with the front of my taxi."
20 HINDUISM TODAY 0 TOBER, 1998
Bali-which means "offering" and is popu-
larly known as the "Island of the Gods"-
had cast its spell on Blair. It's a religious oa-
sis where two million Hindus, out of a 2.8
million total population, live and breathe
th.eir faith 24 hours a day.
Bali lies just below the equator in South-
east Asia, part of the world's largest stretch
of volcanoes. Peppered with mountains,
lakes, rivers and it has 2,147 square
miles of fertile land and history. Legend
states that the Supreme God, Ida Sanghyang
Widi Wasa, created the sky for Gods, the
Earth for animals and seas for fish. He de-
cided te create man in an earthly paradise.
Pulling a fish from the water, He held it to
the light. Its tail became the Kutri peninsula,
its gills Lake Bator, and its backbone the
range of mountains shimmering across the
length and breadth of the island.
Many have felt Balis blessedness-Hick-
man Powell, a 1930S visitor, called it a "vast
wonderland" and the "embodied'dreams of
pastoral poets," and India's Jawarhala1 Nehru
immortalizeq. it in the 1950'S when he
dubbed it the "Morning of the World." Adds
Blair, "It wasn't, surprising that the rest of
the world saw Bali as the living symbol of
, heaven on earth, where man and Gods, na-
ture and spirits, the within and without, co-
existed harmoniously in the best of all pos-
sible worlds. What did surprise me, was
fmding that the Balinese entirely agreed, and
took the unusual position the grass was
indeed greener on their side of tIte fence."
Tourists-1.2 million a year- have their
impact. Rima Xoyamayagya, a recent visitor,
says ''Areas around big beach hotels have
crime and a low vibration now." A thousand
hectares of rice fields are turned over year-
ly for development, much of it for tourism.
You can't drink the tap water, and when
stepping out of a hotel you're likely to be ac-
costed by liawkers. So why do travelers flock
to Bali? are eager to witness the non-
Western, uninhibited Hindu culture which
is Bali's charm. And the Muslim Indonesian
government, understanding the economic
benefits, tries to maintain it in several ways.
Hotels are restricted to certain areas. For-
eigners wanting to live in Bali are also con-
fined to special areas. Tourists aren't allowed
in the center of temples. And the rigidity of
Balinese social structures keeps tourists at
the "onlooker" level, where they are content

Island central: Festival at Pum Besak-
ih, Bali's preeminent temple complex,
situated just below the island's most sa-
cred mountain and volcano, Gunung
Agung. Two-and-a-half million devo-
tees pilgrimaged here over a 42-day pe-
riod for the massive Eka Dasa Rudm
ceremony in 1979. Siva is worshiper
most prominently in Bali, and Besak-
ih s three main sanctums are dedicawI
to different aspects of Siva, with
masiva" in the center sanctum.
to ooh and aah. HINDUISM TODAY inter-
viewed Hindu Balinese and outside visitors
to understand what fosters Bali's charm. '
Their 'nsights are shared in the cont ext of a
day in the life of Balinese village housewife
Men Parni, narrated by her nephew, Ny-
oman Wenten.
5am: First to arise, she fetches firewood,
water at the family well, then makes por-
ridge. After breakfast, her two children are
off to school and her husband to the nearby
rice field. Most Balinese eat very simply at
home-and mainly rice. It's consumed, us-
ing fingers, with a side dish of vegetables ,
and tofu, a spicy chili seasoning made fresh
daily, and soy' sauce. A banana leaf is usual-
ly the plate. eat little meat in every-
day meals, deriving most protein from soy
Visitors to Bali
NUMBERS OF TOURISTS IN THOUSANDS
1400
1200
1000
800
200
0---
1900 '60 '79 '88 '92 '97
and more converts to total vege-
tarianism are appearing with the desire to
eat pure food. Even though life is urbanized
in Denpasar, Bali's capital, six 16-and 17-
year-old youth (we'll call them the Youth
Group) told HINDUISM TODAY they daily
"offer cooked food to ancestors, devas and
buta kalas (evil spirits), worship at the fam-
ily house temple and recite Gayatri Mantra."
It's hard work for Men Parni's husband in
the fields, but the inseparable religion
(shrines to Dewi Sri, the Rice Mother, dot
the fields) offsets hardships of a 'lifestyle
largely unchanged since the 1600s. In the
1970S bureaucrats tried to impose the
"Green Revolution" on Bali's rice irrigation,
OCTOBER, 1998 HINDU ISM TODAY 21
/
Prayer time: Married women wear their hair in a bun; unmarried girls let a lock fall loose
but it failed miserably, and farmers reverted
to their intricate "water-temple" system.
8am: A festival is coming, so Men Parni
makes decorations out of young coconut
leaves for a couple hours. Then time to cook
lunch, which her husband returns to eat.
Before serving, she offers rice and salt to all
corners of the house and the family temple.
Dewan Nyoman Batuan, a painter friend of
Lawrence Blair, observes, "You don't need
much in Bali, just enQ.ugh to eat and to make
husband. Then she makes more decorations.
Unless the wife has an outside job, her main
duty .is to make offerings and care for the
house. may gossip with a neighbor or
help her- conduct a home ceremony. Kids re-
turn from school and play gamelan instru-
ments or help in the rice field. Young chil-
dren "are revered as divine. They're carried
everywhere, held in the protective arms
(without ever touching the ground) of a
family member until three months old.
necessary ritual offerings. Feed-
ing the Gods feeds your soul as , II
well."
The Youth Group feels Hin-
duism. fares better in Bali than in
India, because it's cared for by the
government, the Hindu Parishad,
teachers and village customs.
Most schools have a Hindu reli-
gion teacher who, besides parents
and priests, is the Balinese equiv-
alent of a guru. Most girls wis.b. to
marry Hindus. The Group be-
lieves the next generation will
even stronger than now. In fact,
Western visitors occasionally con-
vert to Balinese Hinduism, as in the case of
scholar Fred Eiseman: "The Central Hindu
Dharma Committee approved. Then a
peCianda (high-caste priest) at a Denpasar
temple said prayers and administered a pu-
rification offering, bestowing the name I
Wayan Darsana. I received a certificate
from. the committee signifying my religion."
12:30pm: Naptime for Men Parni and her
22 HINDUISM TODAY OCTOBER, 1998
Bali has an extraordinary sense of com-
munity, transcending Western ideals of lib-
erty and individualism and putting coopera-
tion above competition. Restaurant manager
I Komang Budastra, 27, says this "keeps us
from differentiating between rich and poor.
By following individual ways, people don't
share." When Nyoman Batuan invited Blair
to build a home on his land, he said, "It's not
my land anyway. Only Gods can own land.
Humans borrow it for awhile." The whole
village turned out to built! Blair's house.
6pm: An offering is given to the home's
four corners and temple. Men Parni and her
husband leave for their nightly dance per-
formances in temples all over Bali, to which
they often bring the kids. He is a drummer,
while she is an opera dancer. Dances begin"
at lOpm and last tilt""early morning. Bali has
20,000 public temples, and most homes have
a family temple. Each celebrates its dedica-
tion anniversary, which is frequent, because
the Balinese lunar year lasts just 210 days.
It's hard to miss a temple because
one occurs somewhere every day. But watch
.. what you wear-modest clothing with a sash
is the rule for everyone. Blair observes,
"Food and entertainment is right in the tem- I
pIe. If my childhood churches were like this,
I would've spent a lot more time'in them!"
The Youth Group say they always observe
at least five festivals: 1) Galungan, where de-
ified ancestors descend to former homes;
2) local temple anniversaries; 3) Nyepi, or
Day of Silence, during which the whole is-
land shuts down-people stay home to med-
itate (tourists can't leave their hotels), and
lights are out; 4) Saraswati puja; and 5) Pur-
nima-full moon. Miss Ayu Eka, 24, says she
pays homage to knowledge on Saraswati
Day. "I make offerings of yellow rice to my
temple and books." And children sweep
schools with brooms to honor their place of
learning.
Shadow pvppetry, dance, theater, carving
and other art forms are abundant. Nearly all
arts are religious, because all life is religious
for the Balinese. Paintprs aren't possessive
about their work, and even create many of
their canvasses together. Nyoman Wenten,
53, describes the flowering of a dance artist.
"My grandfather was an actor, puppeteer,
musician and dancer. I began at age six by
watching older dancers perform' at my vil-
lage, who I then imitated. My grandfather
saw I was interested, and corrected my
moves. One day he appeared with a cos-
tume and said, 'Let's g0 to the temple: I ?las
sc.ared. 'I've never performed with an or-
chestra!' He said, 'No problem, you can dp
it.' This was my debut, at age seve!}." Girl
dancers are at their peak at age 11, because
they're still 'Considered totally heavenly,<until
puberty. One instructor, Ms. Utuwarthi, uses
no mirrors for training. "If the inner dance is
right," she says, "it'll show itself outwardly." ,
With Bali's powerful belief that religion is
woven into every part of life, it's no wonder
iliat the Balinese Youth Group tells brothers
and sisters worldwide: "Keep Hinduism, it's
the great religion. All must learn its essen-
tials. We must be strong in faith and devo-
tion. God will always bless us." ..,.;
With SARA SASTRA in Denpasar, Bali, NYOMAN WENTEN
in California and RIMA XOYAMAYAGYA in Texas
I
\

: I
HISTORICAL BALI ;

ca 10ce: Indian traders bring Hinduism to
the northern Indonesian islands.
ca 650ce: Visited by Indian literati, Bali-
nese embrace Hinduism. Java and Bali
royalty marry. Many Javanese Hindus im-
migrate to Bali as eastern Java's Majapahit
empire takes over Bali.
1478: Muslims overthrow Java's Hindu
Majapahits, making Bali a refuge for their
Hindu nobles, priests and intellectuals.
1906: Dutch invaders attack Denpasar,
Bali's capital, massacre 3,600 Balinese
and capture the whole island .
1950: Dutch are overthrown and Bali be-
comes part of the Republic of Indonesia.
1963: Bali's highest peak, Mt. Gunung
Agung, known as the "navel of the world,"
erupts after a 120-year dormancy, killing
1,500 and leaving 85,000 homeless.
ca 19n: Television enters homes, offering
first glimpse of world tourists come from.
1979: Eka Dasa Rudra, Bali's most elabo-
rate ceremony, held only once each centu-
ry. Taking months to enact, it intends to
achieve a balance of good and evil
throughout the 11 directions of space.
Chip, chip: I B aka, right, a wood carver, takes full advantage of Bali's booming business.
" 3
Beyond Bali's FOllies
One professor's c?ntemporary take on things
YOMAN WENTE-tl IS AN ACCOM-
'plished musician, actor and dancer
tliving in southern California
. 1972, where he teaches at the Insti-
tute of the Arts in Valencia. He returns to
his vi!lage in Bali for three months each
summer.
On spirituality in performing
There is more thim just great talent. Spir-
its, Dewa Taksu, help the performers gain
stage presence or charisma. In order to
receive the Taksu, we must offerings
ana recite mantras before and after every
performance.
On tourism's impact
Hotels make us shorten our dance from
25 minutes to five. if you dance at the ho-
tel every night for a living, you don't have '
a 101 of energy, not the same soul1nspira-
tion as when you dance at the temple or
for rites of passage like the tooth fIling
ceremony or weddings. Certain sacred
dances shouldn't be performed in hotels.
Maestro: A spirited Wenten on drums
On village obligations and ceremonies
We have so many ceremonies that take so
much time and money. People are too
proud, spending hundreds of dollars and
getting in trouble fmancially. I used to ask
my mom, "Why-do you make huge offer-
ings?" She replied, "Well, the neighbor's
offerings are taller!" There is a movement
now to simplify ceremonies, like holding
collective and tooth-filings.
On the strength of the next generation
Many families can't afford to send their
kids to normal schools, so lads go to the
Christian schools and get converted. Our
youth need to be well educated in Hin-
duism. They learn some in school, but
just at surface leveL They only get
in depth every six months, so we need
more frequent teaching programs.
On nonviolence and meat-eating
We have blood sacrifices. Balinese are
educated to not hurt other living beings,
so we" must consider whether to continue
killing animals. I hope we can slow down
the offering of meat at temples. Recently,
my friend Sreeruvasan took me to a South
Indian vegetarian restaurant in Califor-
nia, and I really enjoyed the food!
On corporal punishment of children
My aunt raised a cane to scare me, but
dicW't strike me. Grandfather was differ-
ent. He spoke compassionately and loving-
ly. Now he is the one I respect, because
he had a different mentality for discipline.
1 NYOMAN WENTEN, 23202. REDBUD RlDGE
CIRCLE, VALENCIA, CALIFORNIA 91354-2037 USA
OCTOBER, 1998 HINDUISM TOD;\.Y 23
F
Experience Balis moods and colors at home
MAJOR BENEFIT OF BALI'S THRIVING
tourist industry to world culture en-
thusiasts is the abundance of medi-
ums to promote Bali's beauty. You
can enjoy vividly poetic descriptions by ear-
ly visitors, scholarly expositions of every as-
pect of Balinese life, full-size photos, music
CDs and detailed websites.
Foremost among the glossy, coffee-table
style overview books is Bali, Morning of the
World (97 pages, Periplus EditiQns), with fan-
tas tic rich photographs by world-renowned
Luca Invernizzi Tettoni. African.;born Eng-
lish writer Nigel Simmonds, living in Bali
since 1992, opens one chapter: " 'Do you be-
lieve in God?' We. were my Balinese
landlord and I, on the floor of his house in
Sayan, close to the town of Ubud, where
pamters and sculptors ply their trade amid
deep green rice fields and steep river gorges.
I wanted to rent his house; he needed to
make sure I was a suitable occupant. ' Do you
believe in God?' he repeated. ' I need to
know before you rent this house.' He was
24 TODA.Y OCTOBER, 1998
dressed, like the rest of the village that day,
in his temple clothes-an immaculate picture
of white and,gold, his cloth headdress set off
by a sweet smelling champaca flower tucked
in the fold of cotton cloth around his crown.
In the background I could clearly hear the
delicate tapestry of the gamelan .orchestra
playing for the temple ceremony. 'Yes,' I said,
'I believe.' "Good!' he said with a flourish.
'Then we will be friends.' " Another lavish
picture cornucopia is found in Offerings, The
Ritual Art of Bali [see page 30 J.
Balinese mask drama-you w.pn't know
the half of it without Masks of Bali (131
pages, Danu Enterprise), written by educa-
tor Judy Slattum. With full page photos by
Paul Schraub, the visually stunning masks
literally jump out at you. Masks are powerful
receptacles of wandering spirits, as well as
representations of witches, gods, animals
and people. Because many of the masks are
sacred and never displayed, most Western-
ers have not 'seen their spectacular detail
and craftsmanship.
Grace: The legong dance (part of
photo feature in Bali, Morning of
the World), said to be created by
a king who saw two devas (an-
gels) during a deep meditation
Gunung Agung, Bali's "dwelling
place df the Gods," is celebrated
in a small section of Sacred'
Mountain'S of the World (291
pages, University of California
Press,) by Edwin Bernbaum. Gu-
nung Agung plus every other tid-
bit about Bali is found in the
finest scholarly work weTe aware
of [see page 28], Bali, Sekala &
Niskala (two volumes, Peripltls
Editions).
Needing great photos of Bali to I
accompany your travel brochure?
Corel Professional Photos on CD-
Rom can help. Two CDs with 100
photos each cover Bali's length
and breadth. On their website
(corel.digitalriver.coml) you can
order a whole CD, or just one im-
age for as little as US$9.
World music lovers will be de-
lighted with the international
fame of Balinese gamelan which
has resulted in many fine CDs.
Music of the Gamelan Gong Keb-
yar (Vital Records), performed by
musicians from the National Insti-
tute of the Arts in Denpasar, Bali,
cqrries the essence of a frenetic
style that is now Bali's predomi-
nant musical force. Amazingly, the
US is home to 80 gaIllelan orchestras, the
most accomplished bring the Gamelan
Sekar Jaya based in Q.alifornia-they're
about to release a special CD to honor their
celebration of 20 years of artistry. Honoring
a major part of Bali's musical is the
Banyumas Bamboo Gamelan (Nimbus Re-
cords), a new CD of traditional music from
Centra Java.
I Now that we'ye seen, heard and read
about Bali, let's go! Lfimg years of tour,ism
yielded sensitive tour companies that
truly educate about Bali's Hindu
life, such as Art Research Tours (WW\¥-learn-
ingvacations.comlartis7.html), which offers
hands-on Classes in making offerings and
other artistry. Websites are burgeoning with
everything you need to know to plan a trip.
Most spectacular is the award winning Bali'
Online (www.indo.com). Also exciting is
Bali Paradise Online ( www.baliparadise
See you there! ..,.;
Publishers and contacts
PERlPLUS (SINGAPORE) PRIVA'!iE LIMITED,S LITTLE ROAD
#08:01. SINGAPORE 536983; DANU ENTERPRISE, 313 MC-
CORMICK AVE, CAPITOLA. CALIFORNIA 95010 USA; UNIVERSI-
TY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS, 2120 BERKELEY WAY BERKELEY
CALIFORNIA 94720 USA; VITAL RECORDS, 6485 CONLON AVE:
EL CERRlTO, CALIFORNIA 94530 USA; NlMBUS RECORDS, PO
BOX 7746, CHARLO'ITESVILLLE, VIRGINIA 22096 USA' GAME-
LAN SEKAR JAYA ( SAME ADDRESS AS VITAL RECORDS)
"1
DOCUMENTARIES
Vicarious
Voyaging,r
Remote and exotic,
r
Bali has been captured
on film for all to see
ORTUNATELy' FOR THOSE WHO DON' T
have the means to travel to Bali, the is-
land is one of the most thoroughly and
sensitively documented exotic destina-
tions. If you can settle for being an armchair
wayfarer, you're in for a lengthy and fasci-
nating journey to cultures and places you've
never even heard aboJlt, and people you
wouldn't dare to meet in person.
Released May 15, 1989, and seen by mil-
lions of public television viewers, the excit-
ing Ring of Fire series (four 58 min. videos,
Mystic Fire Video, New York) docu-
ments the ten-yeru: voyage of two filmmak-
ers, brothers Lorne and Lawrence Blair,
through the world's largest and least-known
archipelago-the spectacular islands of
Indonesia. The Blair brothers found them-
selves drawn into danger and. discovery in a
magical land where ancient myths still
flourish. "It was a"form 6f meditational sur-
render and possession by a higher energy,"
offers Lawrence. "Isolated and living for
• , 10ng1>eriods amongst little-known peoples, I
felt that we were drawing closer to the shad-
ow screen, beyond which lay a much subtler
and perhaps more dangerous adventure.
Trance and possession of every form were
all around us."
The Blair videos include, but are not lim-
ited to,J he island of Bali, which the Blairs
made their port of call. They end up living
there, with the local community volunteering
to build their house. ./
Sacred scapes: The temple lotus pool in Ubud; (inset) Lawrence Blair in his Bali home
A complementary Blair classic is Lempad
of Bali (58 min., $24.95, 1989, Mystic Fire,
New York), revealing the incredible and mys-
tically cf.eative life of Lempad, one of mod-
ern Bali's most highly revered spiritual fig-
Ures, now deceased. After accompanying the
Blairs throughoVt Indonesia in these five
videos, you will anguish at Lawrence's ac-
count of his brother's sudden' death in Bali in
Beyond the Ring of Fire (58 min., $24.95,
1996, Mystic Fire, New York). The story of
the tragedy. is briefly told, then this latest
, video records a new voyage of discovery,
eight years later, into some of the same areas
first visited in the initial series, as well as oth-
ers never previously filmed.
Keep your seatbelts fastened, there:s still
more adventure to be had. Bali: Beyond Good
and Evil (50 min. , $19.98, 1997, WinStar,
New Yqrk) centers around the spiritual
quest of Ed Ross, professor of fme arts at the
University of South Florida, who has re-
turned to the Indonesian island every year
for the last ten. Ed climbs the sacred volcano
of Batur in search of spiritual vision, visits
an astrological calendar-maker for personal
guidance and meets with Hindu priests and .
festivals. Revering Bali his special "place
of vision," Ed tenderly presents the place rit-
ual and prayer holds in Balinese life. He
comments, "To the Balinese, the spirit world
is real, and exists right here, right now."
A highlight of Beyond is an insider's look
into the enthralling kecpk, monkey dance, in
which Ed participates: The exciting, rare
footage of this dy.p.amic village perfor-
mance, along with personal meetings with
the dancers, leave us with a feeling of inti-
mate rapport with these gracious people-a
people who dare to defy change. ..,.;
MYSTIC FIRE VIDEO, 524 BROADWAY,'#604, NEW YORK, NEW
YORJ( 10012 USA. 1--800-291--9001 (USA). WINST.AR HOME
ENTERTAINMENT. 419 PARK AVENUE SOUTH, NEW YORK,
NEW YORI< 10016; , -ll0D-4'4- ,6go (USA); 212-674-9505·
OCTOBER, 1998 HINDUISM TODAY 25
26
Sacred Journeys to Nepal
Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville-
invites you to join us on our next
pilgrimages to wondrous Nepal:
.Oct. 25-Nov. 8,1998
• Feb. 17-Mar. 9 , 1999
Visit holy temples and shrines, view
the majestic Himalayas and meet
the Nepalese people. All meals are
vegetarian. Morning meditations.
Tel: 800-858-9642 or 804-969-3121
Fax: 804-969-1303 (USA)
yoga@yogaville.org
Yoga in Beautiful Bali
Enjoy yoga in beautiful, exotic Bali
with Barbara Benagh and JJ Gorm-
ley. 20 Jun-4 July 1999 tour includes:
15 days and 14 nights in Bali, accom-
modations, most meals, yoga instruc-
tion, Balinese arts studies, cultural
lectures, dance performances, and
group tours. US$ 2,290. Contact:
Sun & Moon Yoga Studio
2107 N. Pollard St., Arlington, VA
22207-3811 USA. Tel: 888-786-9642
yoga@sunandmoonstudio.com
A FAMILIAR
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Home PageJ/www.indo.com.hoteis / holidayjnn
'lPadltlonai 1am.1an Music on CD
A brand new release from
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• This village music from
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sing short melodic fragments or rhythmic patterns which fit
in with the complex drumming style. In Banyumas, this mu-
sic accompanies Ungger, a traditional all-night event of
dance, music, song and comedy.
• The recording was made during the 1996 UK tour of
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time this music had been heard outside Java. And now, it is
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!ldh,huUlCt rituals: Known in Balinese as a
this revered man in full regalia is of
bnlLbnuma, or highest class of priests, and
temple only at special times to
voweTftlUol.llWfrtn!ZS and commune with
ERHAPS NOWHERE ON EARTH IS HINDUISM
energetic and culturally explicit than
the tiny island of Bali. It has a unique ex-
pression, different than India, yet the same.
Perhaps it mirrors what Hinduism was like in
India 1,500 years ago. Let's explore a bit of
Bali's religious beliefs, temple structure and rites of
passage, excerpting generously from the scholarly
Bali, Sekala & Niskala, by Fred Eiseman.
August occasion: Young girls perform
the baris dance in a large temple's out-
er courtyard. Bali's temples are hubs
for traditional entertainment. If a
dance is especially sacred, it will be
performed in the temple's innermost
courtyard. Inset: A wooden dance dra-
ma mask Kumbakama, I
Ravana's younger brother:
('
Eons ago, seven celestial nymphs from the Pleiades
star cluster visited Earth. A prince fell in love with
one, and a child was born-half divine, half earthly.
That child is all children. And so goes the Balinese
version of human origins. If a Balinese child cries at
night, she is comforted by being shown the night sky
and gently told, "There is your mother, where we all
come from and where we all return. There's no need
for tears." "Religion is everywhere," wrote Gregor
Krausse, a young medical officer sent to Bali by the
Dutch army in 1912. "It causes all laws to descend
from Heaven to Earth, it allows nobody and nothing
to feel alone. Each duty is divine, each place holy,
each hour sanctified, every exterior feature is spiri-
tually connected with the inner life." Balinese call it
Agama Hindu Dharma, an amalgamation of elements
from Hinduism and Buddhism, mixed with indige-
nous customs. They produce a colorful mix of ritual
and doctrine dominated by two Hindu epics-Ma-
habharata and Ramayana-and the trinity of Brah-
ma, Vishnu and Siva; most temples being dedicated
to one of the three. Affinity is shown by an old Ma-
hayana Buddhist poem composed in Java: "The one
substance is called two, Buddha or Siva. They say its
different, but how can it be divided by two? Such is
how the teaching of Buddha and Siva became one.
It's different, but it's one; there aren't two truths." Ida
Sanghyang Widi Wasa is the Balinese equivalent of
the Supreme God of the Vedas, Brahman.
Balinese are never alone, but coexist with good and
evil forces. Life is devoted to maintaining an equilib-
rium, so that neither Gods or demons get the upper
hand. All religious practices are based on this princi-
ple, summed up by Balinese painter Dewan Nyoman
Batuan, "Everything has its opposite- up/down, day
and night, good and evil. If we can integrate these op-
posites, then we share the strengths of both in our
lives and our art." How is this done? Mainly through
honoring the Gods daily (in traditional dress) with
fruits, flowers, incense and food, and-where Bali de-
parts from classical Hinduism-honoring the demons
just as equally, but with meat and rotten vegetables.
If the demons are not constantly pacified, believe the
Balinese, they can wreak havoc and disrupt the bal-
ance. But if they are honored, they can actually be
helpful. Another contributor to a balanced cosmos is trance. Chan-
nelers, known as balians, are commonly hired by families to bring
through ancestors and other entities, who are asked if they are well
satisfied in their world, or if more offerings should be given to them.
In celebration of this integration is the arts. "Everybody in Bali
seems to be an artist," wrote Miguel Covarrubias in 1937. "Coolies
and princes, priests and peasants, men and women alike, can dance,
play musical instruments, paint or carve in wood or stone." And it's
still like that today. Whether carving a mask to represent a God or
performing a sacred dance to welcome the Deities in a temple, all
the arts strive to bring alive the Gods and demons from great epics.
28 HINDUISM TODAY OCTOBER, 1998
I Wayan Dibia, Director of the National Institute of Art in Den-
pasar, says, ''A dancer must purify herself with rituals, because
dance is a religious offering. It comes from Siva Nataraja. All move-
ment came from Siva when He created the macro and microcosms."
Temples: Every family compound (each contains homes for broth-
ers and their families) has its temple in the corner closest to Mt.
Agung. A village has three public temples: in the center is Pura
Desa, temple of the first settlers, dedicated to Brahma. In the moun-
tain direction is Pura Puseh, dedicated to Vishnu. At the opposite
end is Pura Dalem, dedicated to Siva. One of the oldest temples in
Bali, Goa Gajah, is a cave dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the only one
of its kind, thought to have been created during Bali's first contact
with Hindus from Java. Jitendra Russle, a recent visitor to Bali, says
he was told by a priest that twice people have tried to steal the an-
cient Ganesha icon. In the first case, the thief was attacked by a
rooster and fell to his death. In a later attempt, two thieves were
found in a trance on a roadside, with a rooster standing guard!
Each village temple is divided into three roofless sections. In the
upslope direction is the inner sanctum, which contains sacred
shrines. If the land is flat, the sanctum is elevated. During a temple
anniversary festival, carved humanlike figures are taken out of
repositories, placed in the shrines and Gods are invited to inhabit
them. This courtyard is divided from the
rest of the temple by a wall and a huge split
gate decorated with a carving of a leering
face, bhoma, whose fangs and bulging
eyes keep evil away from the holiest area.
A temple's middle section contains stor-
age rooms, a kitchen and pavilions for ar-
ranging offerings before they are taken into
the inner courtyard. Separated by another
wall and gate is the least sacred courtyard,
where secular activities are permitted: food stalls
are present and people relax, eat and chat.
The brahmana priests, pedandas, are revered
spiritual leaders. Besides conducting subtle tem-
ple ceremonies and dispensing holy water to fam-
S ilies, it's their duty to help other castes with
~ sculpture repairs, cremations, house purifications
t: and family temple anniversaries where they read
" ~ from the Balinese sacred scriptures, lontars. It's a
~ joy for Ida Rsi Bujangga Widnyana, a pedanda
~ who says he is "always asking God through
~ mantras and offerings to make the micro and
~ macrocosm safe and calm, and all life happy."
:oJ Rites of passage: Balinese mark, sometimes
with elaborate purification ceremonies, passage
from the godlike child to the duty-bound adult.
These include: birth, cutting of teeth, puberty,
marriage and death. The aim of these rites is to
purify and ensure the transition of one's spirit
from birth to death and later reincarnation.
Everyone HINDUISM TODAY interviewed said
tooth filing was the crucial ceremony. While a
certain implication in this ceremony is beautifi-
cation- the front teeth are evened out- the filing
is a symbolic reducing of the sad ripu, six per-
sonality characteristics: lust, greed, anger, drunk-
enness, confusion and jealousy. Ms. Ayu Eka, 24,
says it was important for her because "it gets rid
of bad habits," and Komang Budastra adds it
"makes us more godlike and calm."
Nyoman Wenten [see pg 23] describes the cer-
emony. "I had my tooth filing after graduating
from high school (it can happen between ages 12
and 18). I asked the priest to not file my teeth too
deeply, because its painful! The priest uses three
levels of files, from rough to smooth. Many offer-
ings were given-to the house shrine, where I lay
down, etc. With all the people around you, you go
into a different state of mind and don't feel the
pain as much. For the next three days you have to
stay home and eat food that is not chewed."
According to Bali resident Lawrence Blair, "In
recent years there's been a government attempt
to influence Hindus on Bali to be more monothe-
istic. But over the last year of political change
we've reverted to the rich brew of the original import from India, a
dash of Buddhism and much original island animism. This brew is,
to my· mind, what lies behind the much touted ' Bali magic' -and
which delights foreign visitors for the same reason that it vexes for-
eign academic ethnographers: namely, the endless varieties of ritu-
al expression, plus as many interpretive versions of what they mean
as there are lay and high priests of the some 20,000 active temples
and major shrines on the island. So, the recession may be bad for
business, but its been good for the soul of the island." ..,.;
With SARA SASTRA in Denpasar; Bali, and RIMA XOYAMAYAGYA in Texas
ORDER BALI, SELUA &: NISKALA FROM: THE CROSSING PRESS,
97 HANGAR WAY, WATSONVILLE, CALIFORNIA 95076 USA
OCTOBER, 1998 HINDUISM TODAY 29
/
I
Offering: Giant rice dough sculpture depicts Bali's three worlds. Inset: a typical offering
DEVOTION
Outstanding Offerings
Look no further for top standards of selflessness
NE BALMY EVENING IN UBUD, BALI
visitor Rima Xoyamaygya looked out
her hotel window: "Streaming by me
were 300 children and adults joyfully
carrying offerings to a temple festival. A
gamelan orchestra played alongside in a
truck, and all traffic was stopped. This was
my happiest experience on Bali."
Miguel Covarrubias wrote in 1937 that of-
ferings "are given in the same spirit as pre-
sents to the prince or friends, a sort of mod-
30 HINDUISM TODAY OCTOBER, 1998
est bribe to strengthen a request; but it is a
condition that they should be beautiful and
well made to please the Gods and should be
placed on well-decorated high altars." These
devotional creations are stunningly show-
cased in the coffee-table book Offerings, The
Ritual Art of Bali (160 pages, Image Net-
work Indonesia) , with lavish photos by
David Stuart-Fox and accompanying text by
Francine Brinkgreve. The following is ex-
cerpted from the book:
Except for once a year, no day passes
without offerings, found everywhere. Each
day the lady of the house places little flower-
laden palm leaf containers on a family
shrine. A driver places a similar offering on
his dashboard. Families graciously carry
towers of fruits and cookies to a temple on
its armiversary day. Whole villages some-
times create enormous offerings meters
high. Within offerings, wondrous details like
rice dough figurines and delicate palm leaf
creations are nearly hidden from view.
An offering is the most important means
of maintaining good relations with Gods and
demons. When presented to the Deities, it
expresses gratitude and thanks for Earth's
fertility, for everything making life. When
offered to the demons, it prevents them from
disturbing universal harmony. An offering
presented to souls of the deceased helps
them in their journey toward reincarnation.
So important in helping to maintain the
continual renewal of life in Bali, an offering
has a life cycle of its own. Its ingredients are
the fruits of the Earth, and stay fresh only
for a couple of days. Beyond
the ephemeral nature of the
materials themselves, the
gift is transitory by inten-
tion: once offered it may not
be offered again. Made one
day, gone the next, only to be
recreated again and again, it
symbolizes the hope that na-
ture itself will continue to
renew its fruitfulness.
After daily food is pre-
pared and before a family
starts eating, Deities, ances-
tors and demons receive
their share in the form of
many tiny offerings consist-
ing of small pieces of banana leaf with rice
and salt. Every day, too, they are given little
offerings called canang, palm leaf contain-
ers with colorful flowers and the ingredients
for chewing betel: betel leaf, areca nut and
lime. Apart from these basic daily offerings,
the complex Balinese calendrical system re-
quires more elaborate ones on many special
days, such as full and new moons and tem-
ple festivals. Gods and ancestors receive
their offerings on high shrines whereas
demons get theirs on the ground. .
Offerings also serve to cleanse or purify,
or act as a kind of seat for the invisible be-
ings witnessing the ceremony. Some offer-
ings are more decorative, such as the sarad,
a spectacular structure only seen at major
festivals, consisting of a bamboo framework
several meters high, totally covered with
brightly colored cookies made of rice dough.
Balinese certainly have no qualms about
displaying their devotion in grand
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31
I I
I
· RELIGION
Can it Be ,That the Hare
Krishnas Are Not Hindu?
ISKGON's Srila Prabhupadas edicts on religion are clear
HERE IS A MISCONCEPTION,"
wrote His Divine Grace
A.c. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada in 197'7 in Sci-
ence of Self Realization, " t h a ~ the
Krishna consciousness move-
men1: represents the Hindu reli-
gion. Sometimes Indians both in-
side and outside of India think
that we are preaching the Hindu
religion, but actually we are not."
In chapter three of the book
[available from Bhaktivedanta
Archives, P.o. Box 255, Sandy
Ridge, North Carolina 27046
USA],.this startling point is made
several times: "The Krishna con-
sciousness movement has no-
thing to do with the Hindu reli-
gion or any system @f religion ....
One should clearly understand
that the Krishna consciousness
movement is not preaching the
so-called Hindu' religion."
>
= u
"
.,
mains the case today, for Srila Prabhupada
left no.i successor with the authority to
change his spiritual edicts.
So why does the general Hindu communi-
ty mistakenly believe that ISKCON is a Hin-
du organization, when it never describes it-
self as such? Well, it sometimes does.
D.uring the recent ISKCON temple openings
in New Delhi and Bangalore, where news:
paper reports frequently identified the
grand temples as Hindu, the ISKCON press
releases, such as that of April 15,
1998, never used the H word.
Yet, when Indian devotees serv-
ing at each of those' temples
were aske"d in late July by jour- r-
nalists for this article, they said
it is a Hindu temple. The dis-
crepancy between public per- I
ception and internal policy is
further confused by the group's
official exceptions to the non-
Hindu position. Faced with dif-
ficulties, ISKCON leaders have
appealed to the Hindu commu-
nity to back them up, as in a dis-
pute over the Bhaktivedanta
Manor in the UK or when being
hassled by Christians in Russia
and Poland. In appeals to judges
and governments, the word Hin-
du is openly used. In other legal
cases, including one to the US
Supreme Court, ISKCON has at-
tempted to counteract the "cult"
l.abel by claiming to be a tradi-
tional Hindu lineage, and asked
other Hindus to affirm this in
the courts. Other organizations
who parted company with Hin-
duism, such as Transcendental
Meditation and Brahma Ku-
maris, do not compromise their
position under anX circum-
stances.
Followers of Srila Prabhupada
have assembled all of his letters,
books, lectures, interviews and
conversations on the Bhaktive-
danta Vedabase [alsp available
from Bhaktivedantd- Archives] .
This CD-Rom database yielded
18:3 references to Hinduism,
which were compiled and ana-
lyzel'i to understand Srila Prab-
hupada's point of view.
What also sets ISKCON apart
ISKCON founder: Srila Prabhupada (1896--1977) leading.bhajana
is its open repudiation and criti-
cism of HinduisJ;Il, especially among mem-
bers. There are :reports of Hindus who joi,ned
I1iKCON only to be taught to reject their
family's religion. "Previously we were HiJi-
dus. Now we are Hare Krishnas," sOlI}e said.
At the same time, the organization often ap-
peals to the'lfindu community and bU§iness-
men for financial support of its social pro-
grams and political help to protect ISKCON
from detractors. '
Often Srila Prabhupada would, simply
deny the existence of a religion called "Hin- ..
duism." He attributed the improper designa-
tion to "foreign invaders." At other times he
a,cknowledged the existence of the faith, but
considered it a hopelessly degraded form of
th'e original Sanatana Dharma of the. Vedas.
In his April, 1967, New York lectj..rres he re-
marked, ''Although posing as great scholars,
ascetics, householders and swamis, the so-
called followers of the Hindu religion are all
useless, dried-up branches of the Vedic reli-
gion." ISKCON, he believed, was the oilly
true exponent of the Vedic faith today. In an
interview given for Bhavan's Journal on
June 28, 1976, he said, "India, they have giv-
en up the real religious system, Sanatana
Dharma. Fictitiously, they have accepted a
hodgepodge thing which is called Hin-
32 HINDUISM TODAoY OCTOBER, 1 9 9 8
I
duism. Therefore there is trouble."
The Guru frequently explainecL his posi-
tion, and acted upon his beliefs in establish-
ing his dynamic society. At a 1974 Mumbai
lecture, he declared, "We are not preaching
Hindu religion. While registering the associ-
ation, I purposely kept this !lame, ' Krishna
Consciousness,' neither Hindu r ligion nor
Christian nor Buddhist religion."
Srila Prabhupada was aware that the Indi-
an community had a mistaken impression of
his Hinduness. In a 1970 letter to a temple
administrator in Los Angeles, he wrote,
"The Hindu community in the West has got
some good feeling for me because superfi-
cially they are seeing that I am spreading
Hindu reUgion, but factually this Krishna
Consciousness movement is neither Hindu
religion nor any other religion." That re-
Considering ISKCON's appearances-
member's dress, names, bhajana, festivals,
worship, scripture, pilgrimage, temple build-
ing; and so forth-it's little wonder that so
many have assumed they are Hindus. To
fmd out they are not will certainly surprise
many-Hindus and non-Hindus alike. It
may even surprise a few Hare Krishnas
themselves. wi
IDENTITY
Who Then
Are the
Hindus?
.,
o FIND OUT WHICH ORGAmZATIONS
with prominence in the West call
themselves Hindus, we tapped the mas-
sive power of the Internet's World Wide
Web. Many major Hindu, not exactly Hindu
the table below, including an excerpted
statement on their position.
The method isn't perfect, and ,perhaps
some ,.9rganizations don't quite mean what
they say (or don't say) on their web site. The
cle1p'est distinction is between those who
declare up front they are Hindus, and those
who never use the word "Hindu" any-
where-despite their teaching of Hindu
scriptures, worship of Hindu deities, etc.
and non-Hindu organizations have a web
site, and a search of each usually locates a
statement of identity, aims and purposes.
The resUlts of our search are summarized in
Swami Chinmayanallda: The founding mem-
ber of the Vishwa Hindu Paris had said, "My
mission is to convert Hindus to Hinduism"
The organizations which are fmnly in the
Hindu camp 'l[e those that share responsi-
bility for all Hindus. Those who have set
themselves apart are not necessarily con-
cerned with the promotion, protection and '"
renaissance of our religion. Hindus need to
educate themselves about: organizations, and
especially distinguish in their minds those,
such as ISKCON, the Brahma Kumaris and
·TM, who have completely forsaken the Hin-
du fold to pursue an independent path. wi
Organization
AryaSamaj
Chinmaya Mission
Gitananda Ashram (Italy)
Hindu Students Council
Hindu Temple Society of North America
International Swaminarayan Satsang (ISSO)
Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam
Nityananda Institute
Ramakrishna Mission (New York)
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
Saiva Siddhanta Church
Swaminarayan Hindu Mission (BSS)
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)
Yoga-Vedanta
Arsha Vidya Gurukulam
Divine Life Society
Ramanashrama (Ramana Maharshi)
Siddha Yoga Dham (Chidvalasananda)
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers
Social Service and/or Universalism
Ananda Marga
Gayatri Pariwar
M.A. Ashram (Mata Amritanandamayi)
Sadhu Vaswani Mission
Integral Yoga Institute (Satchidananda)
Satya Sai Baba
Self-Realization Fellowship
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
New Religions or Non-Religious
Brahma Kumaris
ISKCON
Transcendental Meditation
Veerashaivite
'"
Statement of Purpose
"move Hindu dharma away from all factitious beliefs, back to Vedas"
"Chinmayananda's ... primary aim was 'to convert Hindus to Hinduism'"
,
"If you are really interested in the Hindu culture and spirituality, click here"
"Learn about Hindu heritage and culture"
"Everything in Hinduism begins with worship of Ganapati"
"Our sampradaya in Hinduism is called Swaminarayan"
"propagation of Sankara's advaita based on Vedic tenets"
"Trika Yoga, an Indian Tantric tradition of Kashmir Saivism"
'based on Vedanta, both the religion and philosophy of the Hindus"
"[ Our] supreme task .. . is to consolidate the Hindu society"
"a traditional Hindu fellowship" [Subramuniyaswami, publisher HINDUISMTODAY]
"a socio-spiritual organization with its roots in the Vedas"
"foster Hindu unity, consolidate Hindu society, work for Hindu interests"
"Institute for the traditional study of Vedanta ..."
"Disseminate spiritual knowledge [by] yoga, and revival of true culture"
"ashram confers on devotees of all religions mental peace, bliss and happiness"
"Wisdom of India's ancient sages ... welcomes people of all faiths and cultures"
"Yoga can be practiced by individuals with any set of beliefs"
"an international social service organization"
"charitable and educational organization .. . integrating sciences with spirituality"
"infused devotion to God, love for fellow beings and spirit of s'elfless service"
"non-sectarian, non-political, non-communal body"
"a spiritual center based on principles of yoga and ecumenism"
"not come to speak on behalf of any particular religion, e.g. Hindu religion"
"reveal the basic oneness of original Christianity and original yoga"
"engaged in community services and spreading Vedic knowledge"
[Designated their organization as a new religion at Global Forum meetings]
"is neither Hindu religion nor any other religion."
"purely a practical technique .. . a science .. . does not depend on any faith"
"Veerashaivas call Veerashaivism a separate religion"
Note: InfoTTTU.Ltion here is based upon statements on each organization's World Wide Web sites. See www.hindu.orglteachers-
orgslidentityl for a complete listing of URLs to the complete original documents. Organizations wishing to clarify the infor-
mation given on their web sites, or those not listed at all, may send their position statement to the editor of Hinooism Today.
OC TOB E R , 1998 H I'NDUISM TODAY 33
;'
· RELIGION
Pagan
Po -ow
Representatives of Europes pre-Christian faiths
meet in Lithuania, last of Pagan nations
OR SIX DAYS OVER THE SUMMER
solstice, 200 representatives to the
World Pagan Congress met in Vil-
nius, capital city of the Baltic coun-
try of Lithuania. 1)1e modest event
augured well for what is being called
" Europe. As church mem-
bership drops across the continent, some are
harkening back to the pre-Christian days
when the Pagan religion flourished. That
wasn't so long ago in Lithuania, where Pa-
ganism was suppressed: only in the 18th
century. In nearby parts of Ukraine and
Russia, Pagan ritual never ceased. The con-
gress is one attempt among several to re-
gather the threads of tradition and re-estab-
lisP. ancient indigenous religions.
Timed to begin on- the June 20 solstice,
the 50 international participants joined their
local hosts and about half of Lithuania's 3.7
million people for national celebration of
Rasa, a Pagan festival. In the cities, people
just party late into the night, in the
countryside they assemble, as they have for
centqries, outside the villages on forest hills
Lithuania: Reviving a nation's Pagan past
34 HINDUISM TODA.Y OCTOBER, 1998
near rivers, themselves and kupo-
lines, sacred poles, with wreaths of herbs
and ferns, and build large bonfires. The
congress gathered for the night's celebra-
tions outside Vilnius, at the nearby K€r-
n ve ruins, medieval capital of Pagan Li-
thuania. Dancing around bonfires to ethnic
music was followed by setting floats with
candles adrift on the nearby Neris river.
This Rasa celebratjon is remarkably close
in practice and name to rasayatra, the festi-
val celebrated in North India in the lunar
monMl of Karttika (OctoberlNovember), by
nocturnfil dances in circles and representa-
tions of-the sports of Krishna. It is only one
indication of how closely allied these Pagan
faiths are with Hinduism. Lithuanian is ad-
ditionally the oldest living language of Eu-
rope, closely related to Sanskrit and ancient
Greek and hence widely studied by lin-
guists. These three languages were used as
a basis for the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-
European. '
Returning from the Rasa celebration at 3
AM, dawn, organizers wisely set the con-
gress opening ceremonies for -
late afternoon, at the statue of
Grand Duke Gediminas. He was
the 14th-century Pagan ruler
who defended Lithuania against
Christian crusaders seeking· to
convert his nation by force. In his
time, he declared that Pagans,
Catholics and 0 1;thodox Chris-
tians worship the same.,Qivinity in
different forms, and guaranteed
religious· freedom. His openness
did little good, for it is a fact of
European history that nation after
nation was converted to Chris-
tianity by conquest, and the exist-
ing Pagan faith in each forcibly
suppressed. Lithuania fell to the
crusaders in i41O, just fifty years
after Gediminas' rule. Pagan tem-
ples were demolished and church-
e; built upon their ruins. Even then,
church missionaries complained tlJat the
peasant population-who regarded the
Christians '8.s foreign invaders-were tena-
cious in holding to their old beliefs. The last
Pagan temple was closed in-1790. Paganism
and Lithuanian nationalism have since been'
linked, and provided a double reason for the
people's resistance to conversion. Even the
Soviet occupation following World War II
failed to eliminate Romuva, the national Pa-
gan church. Believers, including Jonas Trin-
kunas, one of the congress organizers and a
leading religious scholar, kept it alive through
to the nation's independence in the '80S.
On the 22nd evening, Lithuanians, Lat-
vians and Belorussians conducted a Baltic
fire ritual for congress members at the Ro-
muva temple, followed by Russian, Ukranian
and Polish rites. After the fire was lit, Dainas
[related to Sanskrit dhyanam, "medi.tation"],
ancient Pagan songs known as the "Lithuan-
ian Vedic hymns," were sung as participants
slowly circled the fire altar. Beer was offered
first to the FIre Goddess Gabija (tuso known
as Ugnis, the same as the Hindu FIre-God '
AgniY;- then to the Earth Goddess Zemyna,
the ancestors and finally to the deities of the
skies. Everyone was offered a sip of the
sanctified beer. The Russian Pagan priest,
Vadim Kazakov, smudged everyone's third
eye with ashes from the fire, in accordance
with traditions-this use of sacred
ash being another parallel to Hin-
du practice.
On the third and fourth day, c9n-
gress delegates discussed their con-
cerns, such as the on-going demoli-
tion of ancient temples in Greece
and the discrimination against Pa-
gans in the Czech republic, where
people have lost their jobs because
of their beliefs. They drafted a dec-
laration [sidebar] and have contin-
ued discussions on the Internet
(www.wwa.coml-audriusl) since
the event, working to set up a meet-
ing next year in Greece. ..,..;
Pagans celebrate: (clockwise from top) Congress
guests at statue of Gediminas, Lithuania's great Pa-
gan king. Fire ritual at Vilnius, June'22. Modem
druids at Stonehenge, England, on June 21 solstice.
At Vilnius
Pagans Define
Their Faith
E HAVE GATHERED TO EXPRESS OUR
solidarity for the ethnic, indigenous, na-
tive and/or traditional religions of Eu-
rope and the world. All cultures, native
religions and faiths should be equally valued
and respected. Each religion and each people
have their distinctive local traditions (faith,
mythology, etc. ) which articulate their love of
their land and history, and cultivate a regard for
the sacredness of all life and the divinity of Na-
ture. Just as Nature survives through a wide va-
riety of species, so can humanity be allowed to
develop freely and without interference along a
wide variety of cultural expressions. According
to our ancient traditional ethics, the Earth and
all creation must be valued and protected. We
as human beings must find our place within the
web of all life, not outside or separate from the
whole of creation.
We share a common understanding of our
position in the world, based upon our common
historical experience of oppression and intoler-
ance. Ethnic and/or "Pagan" religions have suf-
fered great injury and destruction in the past
from religions claiming they possess the only
truth. It is our sincere wish to live in peace and
harmony, and to strive for cooperation with the
followers of all other religions, faiths and beliefs.
We believe that the dawn of a new era of indi-
vidual and intellectual freedom and global ex-
change of views and information gives us an
opportunity to start again to return to our own
native spiritual roots in order to reclaim our
religious heritage.
We are worshipers of Nature, as most of hu-
manity has been for the greater part of hUlllan
history True indigenous religions should give us
love and respect for all that we see and feel
around, to accept all forms of worship which
emphasize sincere hearts, pure thoughts and
noble conduct at every moment of our life, to-
wards all that exists. Let us be proud of our re-
born ethnic religions. Our new Universalism
induces people not to remain closed within walls
of hatred and jealousy against those who are not
inside our walls. We established the World Con-
gress of Ethnic Religions to help all ethnic reli-
gion groups survive and cooperate with each
other. Our motto is "Unity in Diversity."
weER, vl VULSn o 27-4. LT-20og VILNIUS,
LITHUANIA. EMAI L: IONTRlN@TAIDE.LT
OCTOBER , 1998 HINDUISM TODAY 35
/
·
MYSTICS
,
Solar-Powered Seer
Gnostic of Surya Yoga the
Sun's divine powers throughout France
N THIS DEEPAVALI MONTH,
it is appropriate that we hon-
or a man of light. For thou-
sands of years, pious Hindus
have recited the-GayatFi mantra
in praise of Savitri, the quicken-
ing aspect of the life-giving 'Sun.
In o'ur own time, this ancient
solar teaching has had a most
ardent and convincing spokes-
man in the person of Omraam
Mikhael Aivanhov. The Bulgari-
an-born European master made
the life-bestowing solar being
the focus of his whole life and
teaching. Mainstream Chris-
tians denounced him, for Aivan-
hoy was a follower of Gnosti-
cism, a pre-Christian Pagan,
Je)Nish and early ChristiaI'J. eso-
teric tradition regarcted as
heresy by many orthodox. Over
the centuries, European mystics
have often turned to the syn-
cretic Gnostic theology as a sys-
tem within which to expound
their realizations.
Aivanhov was born in 1900 in
the village of Serbtzy in Mace- "
donia, a small Balk1Pl country §
just north of Greec1!. He early ..,
on became fascinated with spir-
itual matters. At the age of six-
teen, ,he was plunged into a state
of eostasy in which he experi-
enced everything bathed in, Z
ited nearly every country in the world.
When touring India in 1960, Aivanhov
was welcomed by severa'! renowned Hindu
sages, including Swami Nityananda, as an ac-
complished master from Europe. The title
"Omraam," bestowed on him by Neernkaroli
Baba when visiting that Indian sage, is the
French spelling Of the two sacred syllables
am and Ram. His devotees remarked upon
his return from Iiitlia that he seemed a
deeply changed man, different
even in physical appearance.
It was on the basis of his own
spiritual realization and of his
reading of what he called the
"Book of Nature" that Aivanhov
discovered in the Sun a great se-
cret. He observed, "Deprived of
sunshine, men could never have I
existed. Without his light, men
could never have had the faculty
of sight, and not only on the
physical level but also on the in-
tellectuallevel: they could never
have had understanding, for un-
derstanding is a higher form of
sight." Rivanhov taught that, as a
supremely intelligent being, the
Sun is responsive to our spiritu-
al intentions and aspirations,
able to reply "in a flash, like an
electronic machine." Thus his
teachings parallel the Gayatri
Mantra, "We meditate upon the
glorious splendor of the Vivifier
divine. May He Himself illu-
mine our minds."
and suffused with, light-an ex- European mystic: Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov in France, 1984
Aivanhov gave the name
Surya Yoga, "Solar Yoga," to the
conscious cultivation of that so-
lar umbilical to the Divine.
He explained: "By the practice
of Surya Yoga you establish a
link between yourse,lf and the
power that governs and gives life
to the whole Universe: the Sun.
That is why you must necessari-
ly get results! No book can give
you·what ,the Sun gives yO\!, if perience that left a lasting mark
on his understanding of the nature of exis-
tence. Aivanhov had learned Hindu philos-
ophy and yoga through the books of "Swami
Ramacharaka"-pen name of the erudite
Alnerican writer William Walker . Atkin-
son-published at the turn of century.
Aivanhov's yoga without a guru's guidance
proved hazardous. He later said, "I had
throwiJ. myself into certain yoga exer-
cises of breathing and concentration. One
could say that I.had lost my head. I spent
days and nights studying, fasting, meditating,
concentrating, breathing, and I became thin,
pale and very' weak." He experienced the
awakening of kundalini, the primordial cos-
mic energy which lays dormant at the base
of the spine. "It was a terrible sensation, as if
36 HI\'IDUISM TODbY 0 TOBER, 1998
my head was on fire. I was very afraid. I then
made gigantic efforts to make it go to sleep
again, and I succeeded. As I was so young, it
would have been the greatest disaster for me
if I had not been capable pf making this
force go to sleep once again." ,
A year later he found his teacher in the
saintly Peter Deunov (Beinsa Deuno), a
Gnostic master who had a following of tens
of thousands organized as the "Universal
White Brotherhood." At his teachers behest,
Aivanhov immigrated to France in 1937 to
spread the teaching of light outside. his
homeland. He lived and tirelessly taught in
France for nearly half a century until his
death in December of 1986. He also trav-
eled widely, saying once he thought he'd vis-
YQU learn to have the proper relationship
with him. If you want to create a bond bE;{-
tween you [and the Sun], you have to) ook at
him in all consciousness. If you do that,
there will ])e a communication of vibrations
between the Sun and you in which forms and
colors, a whole new world, will be born."
Master Aivanhov never wrote anything(
but his countless talks were recorded and
collected by his disciples. Over forty vol-
umes of these impromptu talks are in print
in English and other languages, with hun-
dreds more being planned for publication
over the coming years. .-
By Georg Feuerstein, California
CONTACT: PROSVETA S.A., B. P. 1 2 , 83601 FREJ US CEDEX,
F RANCE . BOOI:: MYSTERY OF LIGHT, BY DR. GEORG F EUER-
STEIN, PO BOX 1030 , LOWER LAKE, CALIFORNIA 9 5 4 57 USA
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Making and Using Ghee-The Royal Oil
"The purified soma juices
have flowed forth, mixing
with curd and milk."-Rig
Veda IX 1.24
Ayurveda extols ghee as an
incomparable tonic, as the
wondrous food of countless
virtues. "Ghee ... enhances
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conceivable circumstance. It
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WOMEN OF VISION
and insomnia by the time she came to me
The Buttersweet
BeneBts
for help. A10ng with dietary help, I recom-
mended a simple tea made trom hot water,
ghee and triphala which she took for three
months every evening after dinner. Her
condition is now vastly improved.
For centuries ghee has been used as a
reme,dy during the seasonal junctions when
diseases tend to become more prevalent. At
the onset of spring, a of ghee
may be taken with a few pinches of
turmeric every morning for a week or so.
Similarly, a tablespoon of ghee can be tak-
en for a week at the commencement of
summer with a teaspoon,of unrefmed·
sugar; at the onse'tofthe rainy sea-
SOFt combined with a few pinches of rock
salt; at the arrival of autumn with a tea-
spoon of honey and as winter sets in,
mixed with a teaspoon of molasses.
Proper preparation and utilization of the
essence of the cow is itself a form of
BY BRAHMACHARIN'I MAYA TIWARI
EDIC SEERS CONSIDERED MILK TO BE
most sattvic (peace-producing) food
humankind. From this salubrious
choice butter, buttermilk,
and ghee are made-that is, when
the quality has remaint:d pure and un-
o • tamp'ered with, Throughout the ages, milk has'
been used Widely but not wisely. Because,of
the corruption prevalent in todays animal hus-
bandry, we are in danger of losing this sacred
food of the earth. The crhel practices engaged
in minding the animals, as well as the arsenal of
poisons, and>hormones which are
used in their feed, all contribute to the misery
of this beneficent animal, the impa,irment of
her life-sustaining milk and the dimming of her
. natural Divine Light. But when butter, yogurt u
i
> and ghee are made from milk produced by '---___ --'!LL:;iIU
conscious organic dairy farmers, they are con-
Ghee is made by boiling sweet butter,
thereby ridding it of enzymes that could •
encourage bacteria. The quality of the
ghee depends on the quality of the butter,
as well as the means of making it and how
it is stored. Stored in the right conditions,
ghee not oruy lasts a 16ng time, but its
medicinal value increases as it ages. Used
in small quantity, ghee is ideal for cooking
as it does not burn unless heated excessive-
ly. It blends with food nutrients without
losing its medicinal quality and therefore
soothes and nourishes bodily constituents.'
Ghee is good for persons of all doshas
(constitutional types) and is a specific for
pitta. It no refrigeration, should be
kept covered, away from direct sunlight or
lieat and protected from any contaminants.
sidered to be our most nourishin.g and healing foods. Among them,
ghee stands out as the elixir for excellent health.
Sushruta, an ancient Ayurvedic seer, regarded ghee as an intelli-
gence-building principle that fosters the bodys confidence and
virility. Another ancient, Charaka, praises ghee's ability to promote
mem0ry and immunity within the body. From the perspective of
sadhana,. spiritual discipline, ghee is associated with the body's.
love. Its dominant action allows it to soothe our vital
tissues. In Ayurveda, ghee is used as a primary vehicle for conveYi
ing her:bal powders, essences and medicines into affected tissues
because it penetrates them and enlivens vital tissue memory,
soothing the body, inind and spirit of the patient.
Ghee also builds ojas, the body's primordial immunological force,
thereby reducing fatigue and stress while aiding the body to let go
. of its toxicity, Ghee may be used cooking to reduce fatigue,
. emaciation, loss of appetite and stress from time to time through-
out the year. Since the nature of is usually peaceful and nour-
ishing, it accommodates all metabolic types, restoring agni,
digestive fIre, and allowing the body to adjust to its newly attuned
state of revitalization,
A few stories may best serve to illustrate the vast healing powers
of ghee. Lynn had a. severe strep infection irl her throat. After one
week'bf gargling with ghee, turmeF1C and warm water, her throat
infection was gone, Eric, who had a chronic case of psoriasis, treat-
ed his condition oy applying a poultice made from ghee and neem
powder. One month later, Eric's skin ailment was completely cured.
Gita had suffered from years of nervous exhaustion, constipation
Ceremony of ghee making: In times of yore, Vedic monks basked
in the joyous ceremony of making ghee. This was held at pumima,
the full moon. In meditative silence they would oversee the vari-
ous stages of preparation. You, too, can approach ghee making as a
sadhana. Proceed with a clean body and a calm mind. As the
Vedic monks discovered, this sadhana can evoke the sattvic mind
and brings forili wondrous healing energies in its practice. Be
mindful of the aromas, sounds and presence of this delightful cere-
mony. For one pound of organic, sweet (unsalted) butter, you will
need a heavy stainless steel saucepan, a staipless steel spoon and a
glass storage jar, all sterilized in advance with bo$ng water. Melt •
the but.ter in the saucepan oyer low flame. Continue to heat until it
boils gently and a bUff-colored foam rises to the surface. Do not
stir the melted butter or remove the foam (which would result in
"clarified butter," common in Western cooking). Allow the to
cook gel}tly until the foam thickens arfd settles to the bottom of the
pan as When the ghee turns a golden color and begins
to boil silently, with only a trace of air bubbles on the surface, it is
" done, When it is cool, pour the liquid into the jar, making sure that
the sediments remain on the bottom of the saucepan.
MAYA TIWARI, founder of the Wise Earth School of Ayurueda, is
reviving and reintrodUcing Vedic Earth Sadhana teachings, An
established author, b.er columns for HINDUISM TODAY are based on
her newest work, Migrant Spirit: Recovering Our Ancestral'Memo-
ries, to be published in the spring of 1999. Tiwari lives reclusively
as a brahmacharini in Asheville, North Carolina, USA.
OCTOBER, Igg8 HINDUISM TODAY 39
/
,
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IJ
40
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PARENTING
.
Not Taking 'It Out on .Kids
Positive parenting without ,swats; threats or screams
By TARA K ATIR, HAWAII
( . au ARE OUT SHOPPING
. with your child. She
sees a treat and thinks
- she must have it. You tell
her, "No." She persists with
louder and louder protesta-
tions, ignoring what you '
thought' were fIrm "No's." Fi-
nally, you cannot stand it any-
.more and you angrily strike
her, telling her to be quiet.
Suddenly you are confronted
by a stranger who informs you
he is making a citizen's arrest
. . for abuse, and next thing
you know you are sitting in
jail. It has happened.
There are worthier ways to :
raise children. Newborns do
not arrive with a set of in-
u
structions on ho..y to be peace- II:
fully nurtured from infancy to
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.parents guidelines' for intelli- Don't hit: Her children were her teachers, says' Dr: Kersey
gent.,parenting, without hit-
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to cooperate, please you and be like you.
Kersey gives hundreds of suggestions for
parents to work with. Not one of them incor-
"YGU'UWAHTTO
READ HER IOOKI"

DON'T
TAI(£ IT
OUT ON
YOUR
KIDS!
"It is diffIcult to learn to
be an effective nonviolent
parent," Kersey says. "It
takes awareness, desire and
hard, honest work. It is hum-
bling when we realize that
h'ldr b ,. A Parent's Guide 10
our c 1 en ecome our Posilive Discipline
porates spanking, yelling or
threats. Those techniques do
bring immediate results.
Yes, out of fear your child
)'Iill stop. However, Kersey
says, by spanking, threaten-
ing p.nd yelling we are teach-
ing violence as a problem-
solving technique . and
creating a child who is re-
sentful, revengeful, rebel-•
lious, deceitful and believes
himself unworthy. Instead,
Kersey advocate.s, treat chil-
dren and,young adul.(s with
respect, and they will want
to please us and imitate us.
Discipline becomes easier,
teachers. They inspire us to
develop healthy, tolerant '--__ Kat _ ho_ Iin.::.: .L::;c (u... =Kc=-- rs_ cy,_E_ d.D_. _---l
and loving people." She puts
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ternalizes the rules his parents have placed
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••• , .It.l' ll •• 1 ••• ' •• ;'.l ,l"l \;",." •• 'll" ll.", ••• ' •• I' l' l' l', ll.ll ••• \ l' II ,I"

HEALING
Sweet and Insidious:
, .
Ptease Pass the
Few fully comprehend the serious physical
ailments. incurred from excessive sugar intake
. \
BY DEVANANDA TANDi\VAN, M.D.
UGAR'S EFFECT ON OUR
well being is a very contro-
versial subject. Any of the
following symptoms may be
related to a high intake of simple
sugar: anxiety, bed-wetting, tooth
decay, depression, diabetes, poor
.. \ . .
lIIlIIlune response, perSpIratIOn,
fainting, fatigue, heart disease,

ry loss, obeSity,' osteoporosis,
seizures, skin rashes, itching, rapid heart
beat, hoarseness, vaginal' itching, weakness,
marked irritability and many others.
The causal relationship of these symp-
toms is rather complex. For instance, a high
intake of sugars will produce an elevation
of insulin secretion. If the sugar is not all
utilized, the insulin will help convert some
of the sugar to fats which thEm are deposit-
ed in the arteries, especially the small ar-
teries of the heart. 1P.ose people who eat a
lot of sweet foods tehd to overeat, as the
sugars do not satisfy the appetite as well as
the more complex carbohydrates. That is,
they p.o not fill us. Since B vitamins are
required to help metabolize the sugars,
these are taken from the stored quantities,
which can easily be depleted. These factors
combined tend to produce not just obesity
but hypertension and heart problems.
Usually, by sugar we mean the highly
purified, concentrated, white product of
sugar beets or sugar cane. Alsp there are
other sugars such as: raw sugar, brown sug-
ar, fruit sugar, milk sugar, honey, 'sucanat,
maple, jaggery, etc. Of these, white sugar is
the most processed and contains a singular
structure of sucrose. Pure white sugar has
zero nutritional value and is only a source
of ,pure energy. The other sugars
mentioned contain some contaminates or
other plant products that give them some,
but minimal, nutritional value. The ideal
energy source in our diet is the complex
carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits and
44 HI)'IDUISM TODAY 0 TOBER, 1998
vegetables.
It has been shown that excess
dietary sugar will deplete the
stores of copper in the body.
There is also a disruption of the
calcium/phosphorous ratio, re-
sulting in some degree of bone
absorption. Reactive hypo-
glycemia, the result of sudden
increase in blood sugar levels,
will manifest as the many psy-
chological types of symptoms mentioned
above. This is the most easily treated of
conditions-one merely needs to lower the
intake qf sugars and increase the intake of
complex carbohydrates accompanied by
high fiber and low protein foods, which are
digested more-slowly, so that the sudden
rise in blood sugar level does not occur.
The biggest hazard to our dietary effi-
ciency is processed foods, for it is very easy
to obtain sugars in these without its pres-
ence being obvious. Who would think that
tomato catsup is high in sugar? Sugar and
salt are both the unsuspected offenders in
most foods. It is absolutely essen-
tial, for health's sake, to become a label
reader. It is that over 75% of all
sugar intake is hidden in the processed
foods that are advertised so highly: in the
media. These are the first things one
should eliminate to reducing dietary sugar.
If we could eliminate all hidden sources,
we could then control our intake and keep
it within the reasonable limiJ of less than
10% of all ingested calories. ....
We must also note that excessive sugar in
the diet is addictive, making us slaves to a
habit which may be equally as strong as
drug or alcohol addiction.
DR. TANDAVAN, 78, retired nuclearphysi-
cian and hospital staff preSident, lives in-
Chicago, where he specializes in alternative
healing arts. Visit his ho17l£ page at the
HINDllSM TODAY website.
EVOLUTIONS
RECOVERING: From quintuple heart by-
pass surgery at New York's Lenox Hill
Hospital on July 7 is H.H. Pramukh Swa-
mi Maharlij.
Swamishri had
arrived in New
York with a ret-
inue of 12 sadhus
for a nationwide
tour of Swami-
narayan Sanstha
temples and cen-
ters in North
America. The
tour was cut
short when Swa- Leaving hospital
mishri suddenly
fell ill. Thousands of fullowers and well-
wishers prayed and fasted for the 78-
year-old elders complete recovery. After
the successful surgery by Dr. Subra-
manian and his expert team of cardiolo-
gists (several of them Swami's followers) ,
Swami rested at a devotees house in a
quite suburb of New York. He had spent
6 days in the hospital before moving out
on July 13. As of July 26, Swamis condi-
tion is fme, and he is able to eat and
walk as per the doctor's advice. While
awaiting surgery, Swamishri requested
the saints present to sing bhajans and
he remained absorbed in worship.
EMBARKING: On a new and ambitious
blueprint for life are the world famous
classical Indian dancers C.P. Shanta and
V.P. Dhananjayan. Having been en-
riched by dance for so many years, they
now want to give back. Their venture is
Bhaaskara, a center for Indian culture
and arts which they are working to es-
tablish in scenic Kerala, on a small hill
near an ancient Siva temple. Facilities
will include courses in the Indian arts
for up to five-hundred students studying
in the gurukula system, a craft village
and a national theatre.
HONORED: By Pandit Leelapat Sharma,
head of the Gayatri Pariwar, Mathura,
was Kusumben Patel of Chicago on
April 16. Patel
was awarded the
"Gyan Mashal,"
the "Torch of
Enlightenment,"
in recognition of
her spiritual ser-
vices in spread-
ing the message Service awarded
of the Pariwars
Guru, Pandit Shree Ram Sharma.
--
"I,.l"., ••• 'I'".".". \ .•• , l \ , •• ,"', ••• ,. \., •• ,.".", 'l,") ll"'" t\ It'' 'I"

DIVINATION
Leafing Through a Life
The mysterious Npdi Shastras saw it all before
OIa oracle: Ancient rishi writes upon ola/ palm) the essence of the Nadi Shastras
I
MAGINE WALKING INTO A SIMPLE
, dwelling in India and having someone
: you have never met pull out an ancient
l palm leaf and begin reading about your
past, telling about the house you were born
in and the name of your parents. Hard to
believe, but persons are daily unnerved by
such details at the Chennai Mme of Mr. Du-
rai Subburathinam, a "Nadi Nadi as-
trology is relatively unknown in the West,
and even in India it's surrounded by mys-
tery. Thousands of palm-leaf bundles of
prophecy, going by the name of Nadi
Granthas in Tainil in South India and
Bhrigu Samhitas in Sanskrit in. the North,
expound minute details about a persons life,
including their name, caste, occupation,
medical problems and remedies for sins
committed in the past life. -Subburathinam
says the existence of the leaves can be
traced back at least 2,000 years. Reading the
leaves is a' hereditary profession, passed
down from father to son. The leaves are said
. to be aut'hored by the Sapta Rishis (seven
sages), who long ago used their divine sight
to look into the future and give details about
the lives of every soul who would one d.ay go
for a Nadi reading.
Another theory-different from the idea
that leaves exist only for those who will
come-is that readings for all possible horo-
scopes were written on the leaves. The re-
spected astrologer BV Raman spent many
years trying to unravel their mystery. He
found most readers were able to give de-
tailed information of one's past up to the
prese;;'t, but only a few could accurately pre-
dict the future. The best system, according
to Raman, were the 36 Tantra Nadis. Each
Tantra Nadi contains 1,588,320 astrological
charts, which re-occur every 360 years. A
third theory is that kshudra devatas (angels,
spirit beings) pass on information about the
individual to the Nadi reader.
Raman said>'The correctness of the fore-
casts depended upon the intensity of the rit-
uals performed and recitation of the mantra '
to propitiate the devata. " Raman cites an ex-
ample: "The native will be born in a holy
city on the coast of the ocean. At the age of
20, he will go to a foreign country. His
·mother will die at the age of 22 in his ab-
sence. He will marry at 13. At 32, he will be
a lawyer. He will always speak truth and
will be pure in heart. There will be no dis-
tinction between his thoughts, words and
deeds. Before the age of 65, 11e will meet the
king of the white race. He will resort to fast-
ing for the good of the world and will live
b.eyond the age of 70." These accurate de-
tails were on the leaf for Mahatma Gandhi.
In Hoshiapur , Punjab, the Nadi reader
casts a chart for the moment you walk in his
door and then proceeds to find the appro-
priate leaf, which may take hours. At Sub-
burathinam's Nadi centre in Chennai, only
your thumb print is used. The particular
pattern of lines in the center of the thumb is
identified, and the corresponding set of
palm leaves are then taken.
Subburathinam makes it clear that "We
are only Nadi reader/. What is written on
the leaves is read and explained' by us. We
ourselves do not add anything. Some clients
get irritated when some of the facts are un-
pleasant. We carmot help it. Common peo-
ple and VIPs from all walks of life have con-
sulted us. We show them the particular leaf
with the predictions, and some of our cus-
tomers are able to read the leaves on their
own. Some even buy their leaves for preser-
vation. The language 1; poetic, and the
script is the same as in the ancient temples.
We have only a certain amount of leaves.
Natives whose leaves are here will somehow
or other come to us at the appropriate age
specified on the leaves from any corner of
the world. Leaves are Shere not only for In-
dians, but also for foreigners belonging to
other religions. Who,ever is destined to look
into the leaves will come to us on his own
accord. The very word Nadi in Tamil means
' destined to come on its own accord.' So, we
do not advertise for our profession. Whoev-
er is destined to come will come. Faith is the
root of our system." \
WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM EXPRESS STAR TELLER. EX-
PRESS ESTATES, CLUB HOUSE ROAD, MOUNT ROAD, CHENNAI,
INDIA 600002 INDIA. HTTP://www. STARTELLER.COM
OCTOBER, 1998 HINDUISM TODAY 45
/
One God, One World, the theme of
the Iraivan Temple, will be caNed
into its stone ceiling in all the worlds
languages. It declares that peoples
of all religions seek the same One
Source in many ways and amidst the
seeming diversity of the world we
are ultimately a one race of Divine
beings. Contact us for information
on how to spread this message
and build this monument for the
generations of the next millennium.
1-808-822-3012
ext:237
fax: 808-822-4351
www.hindu.org/iraivan/
ONE GOD
ONE WORLD
SAN MARGA IRAlVAN TEMPLE
I 07 KAHOlALELE ROAD
KAPM HI 96746-9304 USA
A TEMPLE BUILT TO LAST 1. 000 YEARS
TELEVISION
Karma Comes Full Circle
Early' Edition delivers a lesson in Hinduism
,
: N THE POPULAR US TELEVISION SERIES,
1 Early Edition, young Gary Hobson, co-
manager of a Chicago bar, mysteriously
receives the next da)'s early
each morning. Think about it. If you have to-
morrow's news, you know what will happen
today. This gives him an overwhelming sense
of 'responsibility. He now has the chance to
halt disasters, save lives and otherwise inter-
vene'in destiny, which he dutifully does, of-
ten aided by bar partner, Chuck Fishman.
But the plots are thick, and he usually fmds
his own destiny intricately woven with those
he tries to rescue. And while there is a pru-
dent non-sectarian stance, there is always the
supposition that Hobson is being use<'i by
superior cosmic guiding force.
One episode early this year went a bit fur-
ther and borrowed from Hinduism, hinging
an ethical transformation of Fishman on the
law of karma. After a typical fateful turn of
events, Fishman is deep in trouble, faced
with an execution by mob thugs. Hobson and
Fishman turn to Crum, a retired police de-
tective 'fho is an earthy former beat-cop. So
it is all -the more potent and surprising when
Crum casually explains to Fishman that all
his problems are due to his own karma:
Fishman: Why is this happening to me?
Crum: Its your karma. Bad things have a
way of catching up with you. You reap what
you sow.
Fishman: You believe that?
Crum: In your case, absolutely.
Fishman: You can change your karma, right?
I mean, by ds>ing a good deed you can make
a difference?
Crum: I forgot tq.e rulebook.
At this point, Fishman, desperate for any
good karma he can earn, runs out. to help a
bag lady cross the street. :But it seems too
late. Caught by the mob, Fishman ends' up
trapped on a tugboat. Hobson and Crum
also become prisoners. A dejected Fishman
worries, «Crum says, 'You .reap what you
sow.' If that's the case, I'd hate tc;! be me at
harvest time."
With no hope for escape and having en-
dangered his friends, Fishman is overcome
with the burden of his karma. He confesses
to a series of past transgressions which, ac-
cording to him, reveal his flawed character.
He repents, begs forgiveness and vows ,that
if he ever gets out of this mess, he will
change his ways forever.
They barely, and Fishman later
learns that the bag lady he helped was actu-
ally a department store heiress millionaire.
Convinced that he is a decent man, she
gives him $100,000. True to his vow, Fish-
man decides to leave the bar in order to put
the money to use for the benefit of others.
His life has been forever transformed by un-
derstanding the law of karma. We may nev-
er see him again . .. but that's our karma.""
Moneesh Resources - Gifts and Books
For the past 18
years, we have
developed an ex-
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of gifts, statues and
books to support
you in your spirit-
ual upliftment.
• A broad collec-
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texts of all tradi-
tions, esp. Hindu-Vedas, Upanishads, Sutras, Puranas, etc.
• The finest rudraksha malas, custom made- gold-filled,
14k gold, with silver etc. • A wide collection of w.rist or
necklace malas in various stones and styles • Statues of
deities: Ganesha, Krishna, Shiva Nataraj, etc. • Posters,
calendars and notecards of deities 'from the finest artists-all
sizes • Puja and meditation items: Incense, prayer shawls,
wool meditation asanas, cushions and more
• Alternative health care remedies and books: ayurvedic
and herbal preparations, essential oils and related books
• Apparel: hatha yoga T-shirts and mats, meditation clothes,
kurtas and dhotis
Call or w.rite for our free catalog!
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I
/
The Book of the Century
"The Divine Vision of
Radha Krishn" is a
Divine gift by H.D.
Swami Prakashanand
Saraswati. It is a
practical guide for all
who sincerely desire to
experience the
loving Bliss of Radha
Krishn or any other
form of God as
described in our
scriptures.
The Divine Vision
of Radha Krishn
by His Divinity
Swami Prakashanand
Saraswati
It incorporates the
philosophy and the theme
of more than 400
scriptures and gives a
crystal clear view of the
path to supreme God.
The Divine Vision of Radha Krishn is, in fact, a reference book that provides the authentic
information about all the aspects of soul, maya, brahm, creation, karm, gyan, yog, sanyas, bhakti, darshan shastras, the Divine
abodes, bhakti tattva, bhagwat tattva, Krishn tattva, Radha tattva, Vrindaban tattva and the devotional path (of raganuga
bhakti) that reveals the Bliss of Divine Vrindaban. Hardbound, 6114 "x 9 112 ", 445 pages, 16 color pages, $45.
• The Desire of Your Inner Self. Definition of God • Dispelling the 15 Most Important Fallacies • What is Grace • The Oneness of
all the Forms of God along with Their Blissful Superiority • Kinds and Classes of Saints • The Creation of the Universe is still
a mystery to Physicists. Creation as Described in our Scriptures • Reconciliation of all the Philosophies (of the Jagadgurus) • The
Practical Side of Raganuga Devotion. Reconciliation of Shankaracharya's advait vad • How to Experience the Bliss of the Name ...
"It is astonishing to find Shree
Swamiji's penetrating perception of the
complexities of human nature and the
marvelous manner in which he co-relates
the teachings of all of our ancient
scriptures (the Vedas, the Puranas, the
Upnishads, the Brahm Sutra and the
Gita). His message, though rooted in
deep philosophy, is marked by clarity
and simplicity and is pragmatic. We
need the teachings of Shree Swamiji. "
- Justice Ram Nandan Prasad, M.Sc., B.L.
Visharad, New Delhi, India
"The Divine Vision of Radha Krishn is
the 'book of the century'. "
- Smt. Premlata Paliwal, Dir. , Vrindaban
Shodh Sansthan (Research Institute), India
"Really 'The Divine Vision of Radha
Krishn ' is a shastra for devotees of Priya
Priyatam. We should be grateful to
Shree Swamiji for one of the most
authoritative expositions of the spiritual
wealth of India ever to be published. "
- Dr. Krishnaji, M.A., Ph.D., D.Litt.,
Principal Institute of Oriental Philosophy,
Vrindaban, India
"This is probably the first book in the
English language that reveals the true
Divine form of Radha Krishn, Divine
Vrindaban and raganuga bhakti. "
- Prof. Dr. Jayamanta Mishra, Ph.D. Vyakaran-
Sah ityacharya, Ex-head of Department of
Sanskrit, Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, India
"The Divine Vision of Radha Krishn"
by Swami Prakashanand Saraswati a
spiritual discourse that answers all the
concerns of humankind. "
- K.Y.S. Rama Sarma, Editor-in-Chief,
National Herald, New Delhi, India
Please send me " The Divine Vision of Radha Krishn" for $45 plus shipping ($3.00 US/Can, $5.00 Intl.).
(Allow 2 weeks
Make checks payable to - International Society of Divine Love, and mail to ..............•............ Books & Tapes
for deli very)
Name Barsana Dham
Address 400 Barsana Road
City _____________ State ___ Zip ____ _
Austin, TX 78737 USA
,
International Society of Divine Love • Barsana Dham • Ph: (512) 288-7180 Fax (512) 288-0447 • www.isdl.org
An ashram in the raganuga tradition which is a main aspect of Hindu religion
•• •• """""l""' •• " ."'1"' ••• , •••••• ".\".,',.,
'-;K ., ,:.-:' -.
,L£;. 42S, .. _. ' __. ..LS:>. 2::.. . .....t£:..
BRIEflY",
A SAGJ OF THE FOREST, 80-year-old Swami
Vankhandi lives high on India's Nicllinba
mountain. He is using his spiritual clout to
save the region from poachers revive a
spirit of environmental stewardship among
locals and eve!) government
estation of the region. Other scientists point and these dishes are corrupting the morals
of tp,e young people."
officials. Swami has
plantyd more than 3,000
trees and hundreds of medi-
cinal plants, posted signs
identifying edible tree and
shrub species and healing
herbs, and he has b"anned
logging, foraging and hunt-
ing. The swami admits,
"Some people are not hap-
py with me, but the
trees and birds are."
TEMPLES WERE CLOSED to the public in Hy-
derabad, India, briefly in July. Priests in
most temples in and around the city per-
formed requisite rituals, but admitted no
entry to protest a double suicide of two
young priests-Srinivasa Shastry, 32, and
Ganapati Shastry, who served at the Sri
Sitaramanjaneya complex. The two were
found dead under suspicious circumstances.
Police conjectured the two were "unable
to bear the ignominy at ,the hands of
the temple management," whQ had
charged them with theft. The po-
lice arrested the temple Vice presi-
dent and ,two of the managing com-
mitt) e for abetment of suicide .
AUSTRALIAN PRESS DEFAMED the Hindu'
God Ganesha with a crude depiction
of Him in The Au.stralian, the nation's
leading newspaper, on July 16. The image
shows the most loved Hindu God.holding a
beer bottle, cake, a cigarette and a glass of
beer. It"accompanies an article which has
no mention of Ganesha, leading one to
wonder even more at the choice. Three .
hundred Hindus demonstFated peacefully
outside the office of News Ltd., publisher
of The Au.stralian. The deputy editor met
with Hindu representatives and promised
to publish an apology.
IN A FEW THOUSAND YEARS, a tick or two on
the cosmic clock, pilgrims to the Ganges
river may find a dry river bed. Scientists at
the Geological Survey of India (GSI) report
. that Oangotri glacier, the sburce of the holi·
est river, is melting and receding at a pace
that could leave the Ganges high and dry.
Ravi Kumar, a senior scientist at the GSI, '
attributes the of recession to increased
human activity and indiscriminate defor-
, to simply the natural evolution of the glaci-
er, river and planet. But Swami Sundara-
nanda, who lives in Gangotri, states, "In
1947 even this town was full of green cover.
Now it has turned into a concrete jungle."
,
EIGHTEEN LETTERS BY MAHATMA GANDHI were
sold for US$33,900 in July by the UK auc-
tion house, Sotheby's. Two British Asian
businessmen made the purchase for the In-
dian High Commission (IHC) in London.
The letters, written to Indian Moslem'
leader, Maulana Abdul Bari, reveal Gandhi's
anxiety over riots which had broken out in
protest of British rule. In 1997, the sale by a
Hawaii Hindu charity of a separate collec-
tion of Gandhi papers collected by V.
yanam was cancel).ed, and the Hin-
du group agreed to freely give the letters
over to the -Indian government. The distinc-
tion of the two cases is that the Bari letters
were written personally to Bari, and thus
were the legal property of his descendents.
BREATHE EASY! A car that runs OI} tankspf
compressea air, producing zero pollution,
was unveiled in France in February. It is due
to go into mass pro-
duction in Mexico
this year, where it
will eventually re-
place Mexico Citys
87,000 petrol and
diesel taxis, Invented
by race car engineer
Guy Negre in France, ,
the ZP engine runs
The hybrid harbinger on an integrated
system which starts
the car moving with petrol, then switches to
compressed air. A carbon fIltering system in
the engirJe results in emissions that are
cleaner than the surrounding environment.
The cost (electric) to refill the compressed
air tmtl< is estimated at $1.60.
IT WAS LOUD AND'CLEAR to all Afghanistanis.
On July 10, 1998, the Islamic Talibfm
movement, which rules most of Afghani-
stan, amplified a 1996 ban on audio cas-
settes and {ave citizens 15 days to dispose
of televisions, VCRs and satellite dishes, Af·
. ter the Is-day period, the religious police
promised to smash any equipment that re-
mained. The move aims to stop dilution of
Islamic culture by Western influenceS'and
give Afghans more time to pray. Mul-
lah Qalamuddin, a Taliban official ex-
plained, "We want to reform society and
make it 100 percent Islamic. Televisions
CLOCKWISE Fj\OM TOP: CENTER FOR INDIAN KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS;
KALA DANCE CENTER/PETERSON PHOTOGRAPHY; PEOPLE AND THE PLANET
RESIDENTS OF THE SAN FRANCISCO Bay Area
were lovingly introduced to the Hindu God
Siva through the Kala Vandana Dance Cen-
ters presentation,
Lord of Dance{ at
the Spangenberg
Theater in Palo Alto
on April 26, Ten
dances choreo-
graphed by Sundara
Swaminathan fo-
cused upon distinct
·aspects of Siva.
Each dance-and
aspect-was de-
tailed in the
event's program, Siva's dancing team
giving viewers not
only an exciting show, but a memorable les-
son in Hinduism as well. '
THE UNBECOMING BIDI (Indian cigarette) has
become a cult craze among teens in the US.
A recent study by a Community Center in
San Francisco reveals that 58 percent of
students at four S. F. high schools have tried
bidis, 40 percent had been smoking them
for over, a year and 45-percent of bidi
smokers were female. The S.F. Department
of Public Health stresses that bidis contain
7 to 8 percent nicotine, compared to 1 to 2
percent found in American cigarettes.
"'
THIRTY-SIX THOUSAND TEMPLES across Tamil
Nadu shut down for three days in June to
protest wage structures and benefits for
priests of non-senior-grade temples. Over
10,000 staff participated in the walk-out to
leverage a 23-point charter of demaids.
Priests performed the core rituals required
by Agamic rules, but once this duty was
dORe, they left. No individual services, such
as archanas, were provided, resulting in a
substantial revenue loss that the govern-
ment took seriously. On June 12, negotiators
came to agreement, including some wage
revisions, and the temples reopened.
AT LAST! FOR THOSE interested in
more than just basic food and lodging, we
have found the The Vegetarian Traveler
(294 pages, Larson 'Publications, uS$l5.95)
by Jed and Susan Civic. An extensive and
worthwhile guide, the environmentally sen-
sitive traveler can now fmd accommoda-
tions and food to suit his or her needs. Lar-
son Publications, 4936 NYS Route 414,
Burdett, New York 14818 USA.
OCTOBER, 1998 HINDUI SM TODAY 49
i
MINISTER'S MESSAGE
tioner J, the company of a male is banned.
"-
Moral Force,
For a male sadhak, the company of a fe-
male is not permissible. If will be more
appropriate if both live separately, because
the heart is not trustworthy. Our scriptures
say that when a girl is grown up, she should
not stay alone, even with her father.
Though father is lier creator, still even his
company, unchaperoned, has not been ad-
vised. So, the more the gap, the better it is.
Both have to practice restraint of senses.
Uri'ity'in
Forget the women-are-weak idea, thi.s Hindu
nun advises, and stop grasping for materialism
On abortion: According to our scriptures
jiva hatya [killing of the soul] is a maha
paap [a great sin]. It has been said that
killing of the child in the womb is a bigger
than Brahm hatya [murder of a priest].
.. Today's man is deeply influenced by West·
ern thought. So immersed is he in the blind
race for materialism that he has no time to
study his ancient scriptures, understand
them and follow their teachings. 'One result
is that this deplorable crime of abortion is
done in such an easy and simple manner.
Instead of indulging in this great sin, it is
better if the person leads a regulated life in
our system. We do not approve.
,
BY SRI - L A - S· R I SANTOSHI MA JI
WANT TO DO SOMETHING FOR SOCIETY. JUST BE-
cause I am a woman, I do not think this is an impedi-
ment in my path. Twelve years back, during the last
Kumbha Mela, Niranjani Akhara appointed me as one
of their Maha Mandaleshwars [senior abbots]' Though
I was not expecting this, t!Iese people pushed me forward
and honored me with this title. This decision was made by
tHe head of this monastic order in consultations with other
Maha·Mandaleshwars.
Whenever I determined to do something with a pure heart
and went ahead, I got willing support from all men and
women of our society. I have never expected anything in
return from society .• And whenever I initiated any work, I got
excellent cooperation from the people. That!; why I do not think
that being a women has ever been a limitation for me. ] have no
experience to substantiate the idea that I could do better if I were
a man. To my ol'her sisters alSQ I will like to suggest that not much
importance be given to the idea that if one is a woman, therefore ,
she is weak. If our soul power and mind power are fIrm, then
everybody cooperates, and everybody looks alike. It is of no signifi-
cance whether an individual is a man or a woman. All are parts of
God. All have the same soul and same prana, life force, The same
mind is there, and the same five senses are there.
India today: India's youth are forgetting our moral and cultural
values. They are going into modernity. But they must first stop at
the P9int where they are in life. From there, they must look, back
and identify and understand their ancient heritage and culture.
Once this is done, they can move forward again and learn to cQm-
bine the modern outlook with the ancient way of thinking.
We are all watching the situation in India. Due to the fall in
. "-
moral standards, there has been a fall in people's characters. To
build a society with people of high character we must provide
moral education. There is a high level of corruption and exploita-
tion of women in society, also .because of India!; race for material-
ishl. Man is lost in material comforts-and means. But our country
has never given importance to blipga [materialism]. India's innate
uniqueness is that even when one's feet are in bad shape, when one
has no proper clothes and a poor material standard of living, still ..
the happiness and contentment of the soul are there. Lack of mate-
rial things was never felt by oiu- people as something significant.
Our people were always happy at heart, because they had wealth
or-character and moral force. We cannot be safe until our people
revert back to our ancient heritage and high moral values.
On men and women staying in ashrams: In the state of param
siddhi [full realization], it does not matter. But until that stage of
God.Realization is reached, then for a lady sadhak [spiritual'prac-
50 HINDUISM TODA.Y 0 TOBER, 1998
On the harmony of mankind: At the
Kumbha Mela we have a glimpse of com-
plete Bharatiyata [Indianness]. People have
come from all four directions-East, West,
North and South-people whose languages,
eating habits and lifestyles are different. We
have a glimpse of unity in diversity in this great festival. From
outside we all look different, but in fact we are all one .. This spirit
of oneness should be imbibed by all of us. This is my message for
all tliose who have gathered here fr9m all over India and all over
the world. Pilgrims should also make an attempt to discover their
own selves. They must know who they are. They must not forget
their identity. Our eternal identity is one, and that is that we are
children of one God. He is the One who has created this entire
creation. People must remember Him. ....
A key principle of Indian culture is vasudhaiva kutumbakam
[the whole world is one family]. This thought has not been limited
to any caste, community or section of society. It has for the
entire universe. The entire cosmos is just the reflection of God.
Nothing is separate from God. So all human beings must recog-
nize this creation of God, this omnipresence of God. They must
understand that they are a part of the Almighty and should get
liberated hom feelings of lack of self cenfidence and weakness,
All must become knowlelJgeable. All should be blissful. All should
be healthy. Anarchy, violence and feelings of ill will towards oth- .
ers should be removed from this earth. Then only will people be
truly happy.
NIRANJA1(PEETHADHISHWAR SANATAN RATNA ANAT SRI
VIBHUSHIT PARAVRAJKACHARYA TAPOMURTI SRI SRI 1008 MAHA
MANDALESHWAR SANTOSHI MATA ]I ,
was interuiewed by Hinduism Today at
the 1998 Kumbha Mela. A senior female
abbot of the Niranjani Akhara monastic
order, she is based at a large ashram in
Raridwar where she lives with about
twenty sadhvis (nuns) of her "order while
overseeing the spiritual life of hundreds
of other sadhvis and thousands of devotees the world over.
An Experience of a Lifetim
ave terna
II •• If I were asked under what sky the human mind has
fully developed and has found solutions to some of1he
greatest problems of life, I woul(j point to India ... 11
- Max Muller
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M I SSION STATEMENT
Hindu Heritage Endowment is a publicly supported, charitable organization as tax
, I
exempt by the IRS on April 22, 1994. Its employer ID is 99-0308924. FOl,!11.deq by Satguru
- "
Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, its philanthropk\tnission is to provide secure, professionally man-
aged £mancialsupport f9r i!tstitutions and:religious leaders of all lineages of Sanatana
OC:rOBER, DONOR PROFILE "
If every Hindu diO. a little service throughout their life, supporting ,
their favorite temple or ashram, and left a part of their fortune, large
or small, at the time of their death, Hinduism would flourish on the
planet as it once did just a few centurie§ ago. So believes Ahila Devi
Ganesan of Sungai Petani, Malaysia. A strop.g-supporter of Hindu
dharma, she made the proud decision to devote her full time and
energies to her-family"following the tradition of womanly
Dharma. Finding Jhat' she owned an insurance policy that was not
needed, she has donated its proceeds. td Hindu Heritage Endowment
, as a legacy for future generatiorts'. She observed, "It is very satisfying
to know that by leaving an insurance policy to an endowment, I benefit not just one or two peo-
ple, but I leave a gift for generations around the world."
FUN, D OF THE MONTH

When Bala Shanmugam decided to create a memorial fund in honor of his father, A. Shanmugam,
he was joined by his mothgr, Sambugardevi, and other of the fam.ily. The fund pow gives
a permanent and steady income to the Abirami
Amman Temple at Thirukadaiyur! South India.
As long as the temple stands, it will receive a
check eaci1 year from the A. Shanmugam,..
Family Fund. In return, the temple is requested
to perform an archana (ceremonial blessing for
the fa-!Ilily) on the full-moon evening of each
month. Born in 1925, A. Shanmugam married
Sambugardev( at the age of 25 (wedding photo,
right). He pursued his path to God by way of .
service and spent much of his time, effort and
resources in assisting the less fortunate. He is
suryived by his wife of 27 years, his .son Bala,
and three other children. His wue teaches Tamil and Thevarams to local children, con-
do.cts Hinduism classes at a local and doep socio-religious work for the community.
- .
A PROFESSIONAL'S PERSPECTIVE: Wealth creation needs in;vestmeIolt acumen and some starting
capital. Howeyer, wealth preservation is more complex. It requires knowledge
of income tax and estate tax laws, as well as t'echniques of retirement plan:
ning. professional assistance in this area is very important. Proper
income tax planning and retirement planning will allow you to preserve
wealth for later years, while estate planning will preserve wealth for your
heirs. Whatever the size of one's estate, it always pays to plan. Dilip Vyas,
CLU, EAi of Valley Ta-x & Fi1Jancial Services, Inc., San Jose, California
1-408-723-319Q.
. As a public service, HHE occasionally will offer the opinions of various finanGial planners. However, it neither these advisors nor their
counsel, and recommends that all individuals seek J;rofesslOnal adVice from several sources before making lffiportant long-term deCiSIOns.
; ,
R E CENT DONORS
Hindu Businessmen's Association Trust Iraivan Temple Endowment Malaysian Hindu Youth Educational Fund
Adi Alahan $45.00 Anonymous $5,680.38 Jeyasreedharan $40.00
Vel Alahan $175.00 Kailash Sivam Dhaksinamurthi $191. 67 Total $40.00
Satya Palani $31.00 Ravindra Doorgiat $53.96
Mathavasi Medical Fund
Nathan Palani $22.00 Chitravelloo Gunasegaran $163.59
MatthewWieczork $12.00
Easvan Param $487.82 Mohana Sundari Gunasegaran $141.70
Vel Alahan $25.00
Deva Rajan $887.77 Kriya Haran $177.00
Gowri Nadason $30.00
Total $1,648.59 Edwin Hawk $1,345.57
Total $67.00
Hindu of the Year Fund
Selvanathan Jothiswarar $425.88
Mathavasi Travel Fund
Usha Devi Katir $41.20
VelAiahan $5 1.00
Diksha Katir $22.60 Erasenthiran Poonjolai $75.00
Total $51.00
Andrzej & Beatriz Kraja $50.00
Total $75.00
Hindu Orphanage Endowment Fund
Toshadeva Lynam Guhan $185.20 Saiva Agamas Trust
Anonymous $150.00
Santha Devi Muniandy $76.68 Matthew Wieczork $12.00
Theresa Kato $25.00
Deva Natharaja $100.00 Total $12.00
Alex Ruberto $30.00
Nalakini Niranjana $113.52
Saivite Hindu Scriptural Fund for the
Matthew Wieczork $24.00
Umah Rani Palanisamy $76.45
VISUally Impaired
GokuJa Vani $50.00
Kanthasamy Pillaiyar $110.00
Anonymous $15.00
Troy Zukowski $5.00
Deva Rajan $1,000.00
Total $15.00
Total $284.00
Padmini Samuthiran $325.05
Hinduism Today Endowment Trust Hitesvara Saravan $413.90
Sri Siva Subramauiya Swami Devasthanam
Trust
Anonymous $540.05 Loganatha Shivam $300.00
Bryan Bailey $5.00 Palaka Shivam $300.00
Vel Alahan $25. 00
Joanne Baryla $25.00 Rodney & Ilene Standen $10.00
Shiva Sookhai $20.00
Nils Victor Montan $15.00 GokulaVani $100.00
Total $45.00
Aran Sambandar $360.00 Vayudeva Varadan $110.70 Sri Subramuuiya Kottam Fund
Total $945.05 Peshala Varadan $693.00 Peshala Varadan $10.00
Hinduism Today Distribution Fund
Total $12,208.05 Andrew Schoenbaum $10.00
Vinaya Alahan $175.00
Iyarappan Temple Trust Total $20.00
Jatinder Bhan $46.00 Alphonse Van Well $50.00 Sundari Peruman Memorial Fund
Anand Greedhur $20.00 Total $50.00 Markandeya Peru man $50.00
Tarakini Gunasegaran $10.87 Kauai Aadheenam Annual Archana Fund Total $50.00
Tirunyanam Gunasegaran $10.87
Small Gifts to Fund $40.58 Thank You Gurudeva Fund
Rajan Kumar $71.00
Total $40.58 Vayudeva Varadan $42.00
Chundadevan Mahadevan $12.59
Kauai Aadheenam Monastic Endowment Total $42.00
Kartikeyen Man:ick $30.10
Si nniah Sivagnanasuntharam $105.62 TirumuJar Sanuidhi Preservation Fund
Jayaluxmee Moothoo $4.09
Govinden Sanjeevee $20.00
Kumaren Nataraja $8.25 Shyamadeva Dandapani $51.00
Sarkunavathy Sockanathan $7.39
Ramsamy Natarajan $49.04 Total $51.00
Dhasan Sivananda $24.95
J Srinivasaraghavan $20.00
Total $187.86
Tirunavakkarasu Nayanar GurukuJam Fund
OmkarTiku $52.00 Anonymous $108.00
Bhamar & Kanta Trivedi $50.00 Loving Ganesha Distribution Fund
Small Gifts to Fund $24.40
Priya Devi Utchanah $38.00 Eric Mitchell $10.00 Total $132.40
Appamal Athimulam $20.09 Total $10.00
Aravindraj Chandrasekaran $27.62
Mahajana College Hindu Endowment Fund
Total Recent Contrib. $21,612.32
Kamala Mootoosamy $17.1 7
Anonymous $5,000.00
Surya Sabaratnam $5.00
Total $5,000.00
Total Endowments at Market Value
Total $637.79
As of June 30, 1998 $2,536,037.45
INVESTMENT MANAGERS AND CONSULTANTS: Franklin Management Inc.; First Hawaiian 'Bank,
Trust & Investment Division; Brandes In'\restment Partners, Inc.; Pacific Century Trust (Bank of
Hawaii); Alvin G. Buc'hignani, Esq., attorney; and Nathan palani, CPA. HHE is a member of the
Council on Foundations, an association of 1,500 foundatiohs which interprets relevant law, inteJ;-
national and domestic, and gccounting, management and investment principles.
. I WANT TO PARTICIPATE. WHERE SHOULD I SEND MY DONATION? You can send your gift to
, an existing fund, create a new endowment or request information through the address below.
Credit card gilts may be made directly by E-mail. Or, use the- HHE tear-out card in this magazine.
to join our family of benefactors who are Strengthening Hinduism Worldwide. Thank you.
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" KAUAI'S HINDU MONASTERY
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FOOD
On-Une
Cookbook
N
o ONE HAS SOLVED
the interface prob-
lem between cookbooks
and kitchens, nor CDs
and kitchens, and cer-
tainly not the WWW
and the kitchen. FIngers
soaked in ghee 01; cov-
ered with flour just don't
go well with keyboards
and pointing devices. So,
if you want to try the
delicious recipes avail-
able at http://www
bawarchi.coml, print
them out first. "Your
Indian Cook,
Bawarchi" is
one part of
the web
site,
www.india-
world.co.in,
spoIlSored by India
World Communications.
Bawarchi.co alone is
huge, with recipes (in-
cluding some non-vege-
tarian, ones), feature sto-
ries (such as the 77
kinds of mangos grown
in Goa), glossary of
terms and correspond-
ing EnglishlHindi food
and spice names, tips for
cooks (such as making
perfect eggless cakes)
and a place to submit
your own favorite recipe.
Discover creative re-
placements to hard-to-
find ingredients, such as
khoya, buffalo milk
cooked down to a
semi-solid state and
essential for the
famed Indian sweets,
burfie and laddu.
North Indian dishes
tend to dominate,
with a lesser number
from the South.
Ibawaucb
..
This on-line chef delivers sumptuous home meals
ORIGINS
TheWeb
Weaver
MULTIM E DIA
Virtual Stonehenge
F
ORGET THIS WEB SITE IS REALLY A PRO-
promotion for Superscape programs and
I Pentium II processors (it won't run on
your Mac). Borrow a PC, if you must, but
check out www.connectedpc.comlcpclexplore/
stonehenge/ for a trip into virtual reality. Don't
just look at pictures of Stonehenge, the ancient
English Druid astronomical calculator, as you
might on any other website, but take a walk
through the giant stones, fly over them if you
like, jump backward to 8500BCE or forward to
the future, all with a click of your mouse. Don't
let the fog- part of the special effects-chill your
tour, and save lots of money over actually travel-
ing to the Salisbury Plain in southern England.
J
UST NINE SHORT YEARS
ago, Tim Berners-Lee
sought to improve com-
munications among re-
searchers at the Euro-
pean Particle Physics
Laboratory in Geneva,
Switzerland. The UK- Bemers-Lees system linked mankind as never before
born, Oxford educated,
son of computer engi-
neers developed ''hyper-
text" to uniformly link
stored in
the many computers al-
ready connected by the
existing Internet. And
voila!-the World Wide
Web. Just two measures
of the impact: 217,000
documents mentioning
"Hindu" and 2.5 million
referencing "India."
18063 LIFETIME
HINDUISM TODAY
107 KAHOLALELE ROAD
KAPAA, 'HAWAII 96746-9304
ADDRESS CORRECtION
REQUESTED
LIFE MEMBER HINDUISM TODAY REHArSSAHCE
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// ,/ '" / ,/, /, /'" //" /, /'" /, /, /, /'" //" /, /, '" //, /
'PARADISE
Cft
Bytes for "
the Masses
DATE ALL HARD-
I ware manufacturers
have been marketing
computers to the five
percent of India that
speaks English," said
Manu Parpia, president
of the Manufacturer's
Association for Informa-
tion Technology. MAlT
has begun a national In-
dian effort, named the
BharatBhasha Project
Just 13 of India's languages
(www. bharatbhashaorg),
to "make computers ac-
cessible to the 855 mil-
lion Indians who speak
vernacular languages,"
according to Parpia.
Both computer use and
progranling in any Indi-
an language will be pos-
sible from a standard
English keyboard. It will
also be possible, with
special fonts, to create
World Wide Web pages
in regional languages.
NOH-PROFIT
ORGANIZATION
U. S. 'POSTAGE
PAID
LIBERTY, MO
PER"!{T NO.

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