A Divine Language
Tamil is not just any local language, but a classical language with over 2,000 years of literary history [briefly, May '98]. It also happens to be the mother tongue of some 65 million people around the world. Along with Sanskrit, Tamil has also always been a "language of the Gods." We have a moral duty to protect the Hindu spiritual works in Tamil and give it its rightful place in the temples of Tamil Hindus.
Renuka Kumarasamy, Edison, New Jersey, US., firstname.lastname@example.org
The Colors of C.W. Leadbeater
As a Theosophist, I must respond to the block of text concerning C.W. Leadbeater in your article ["The Colors of Our Consciousness," insight, May '98]. The adjective "great," used in describing his work, is one that, I believe, many Theosophists would disagree with. Leadbeater was in my opinion a Christian riding on a Theosophical wave (see his involvement in The Liberal Catholic Church, Co-Masonry and the Adventist movement known as the Order of the Star in the East, which I understand many Hindus denounced in print), while it also seems that his work has done much to discredit true Theosophical thought and teaching alongside the great foundations of Eastern occultism and Hinduism. It is unfortunate that his name continues to turn up within, not just in, the same articles here and there, but often even the same sentences alongside the name H.P. Blavatsky, as we find in your May issue.
John Rau, Rodney, Michigan, US, Tsophia108@aol.com
Booking My Complaint
The "Book Barons of Delhi," article made an interesting reading, but I felt it to be incomplete [publishing, May '98]. It showed only one side of the coin. All of the six publishers covered were happy and had nothing to complain about, showing that things are good and nice with them. As a reader-consumer, I feel that the prices of Indian books are high. Much higher sales can be achieved if the prices are reasonable! After sales, service is also an area where some attention is needed. Indian publishers don't realize that once put off, it is difficult to attract a customer. Credibility and quick response help to increase the confidence of readers.
Prakash Mody, Toronto, Canada, Prakash_Mody@tvo.org
Why Just Women?
Just to be clear, the bindi (thilakam) is not just for women [letters, May '98]. It used to be a "must have" for all Hindus, men and women alike. No one is losing sleep over why the men stopped wearing thilakam or why they are not wearing dhoti every day. Is it expected that women should stick to the tradition while men embrace the Western culture and accouterments? The responsibility of carrying over the tradition to the next generation rests equally on men's as well as women's shoulders.
Subha Varma Pathial , email@example.com
It is every woman's prerogative to choose for herself what she would like to wear. I don't see any sons of Bharat going to school or work in America wearing traditional Indian attire or bindi. Why is it not expected of them?
Deepthi Kotihal, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, US
The rapid growth we see in children these days is due to the growth hormones that are fed to the animals. I think this could account for the early physical development in children and the early onset of menstruation in our young girls. The violence seen in young boys could also be attributed to this. They are being "forced" to grow physically before they are ready mentally and emotionally to deal with all the emotions that come with physical maturity. Children naturally are drawn to vegetables, fruit and grain products. They will not even consume sweet or salty items without learning to first.
Dove Grimes, firstname.lastname@example.org
I understand that Hindus believe that it is cruel and unnecessary to abuse or slaugther animals or to use them in experimental labs. There are animal welfare groups in the world who are trying to eliminate the cruelty. Their strategies and efforts have helped to a certain degree, but the cruelty continues. I am sad to say that a letter such as this would not be accepted by many of my fellow Christians. I am therefore asking for assistance from the Hindus.
Sara B. Maguire, P.O. box 180, Seal Rock, Oregon 97476 US
Voice of India was started in 1982, not in 1989, and not by me but by Ram Swarup ["Book Barons of Delhi, publishing, May '98]. It is not my individual effort. Several scholars and small businessmen have helped it to grow. What I emphasized to your reporter was that Islam and Christianity have continued to progress in India despite hundreds of thousands of books in all Indian languages, including English, having been published extolling all aspects of Hinduism down the centuries. We are telling Hindus what Hinduism is "not" so that creedal religions are not accepted as dharma and nailed as totalitarian imperialist ideologies like Communism and Nazism.
Sita Ram Goel, New Delhi, India, email@example.com
The passing of Sri Gyanamata is discussed accurately in your article ["Born-Again Books, reviews, April '98], except that she is described as a nun of the Ramakrishna Order whereas she was a nun of Self-Realization Fellowship, a direct disciple of Yogananda Paramahansa as mentioned in the article.
Sandy Martin , firstname.lastname@example.org
Expose Us to Hinduism
My family moved to America when I was two years old, and I never had the opportunity to immerse myself in Hindu culture as much as I would have liked. I was very happy to discover your magazine and cannot express enough how comforting it is. It greatly bothers me that I know more about Christianity and its customs than my own religion. I do not speak a language native to India, and the holidays, prayers and practices are a mystery to me.
Though born as a Hindu, a lot of people are not exposed to the proper teachings or practice of Hinduism. As usual, fingers are always pointed at the younger generation, saying that we have no interest in our religion, are going in the wrong direction, etc. How are these people to blame when the older generation is responsible to lead, and yet they fail to do so? Much emphasis is placed on education, career, etc., but there isn't a firm foundation on religion.
Vimala , email@example.com
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