As 1991 winds down, we celebrate two victories. First, and most importantly, I take great pleasure in announcing the Hindu Renaissance Award. Each year HINDUISM TODAY selects the ordained religious leader who has made a difference globally. This year the honor, and $1,008, goes to Hid Holiness Chidanand Saraswati, spiritual head of the Parmarth Niketan. It was only a few months ago that Muniji - as he is affectionately known - drove me to his Gangetic ashrams in Rishikesh.
Muniji, you truly deserve recognition for your contributions in 1991. It was you who were the driving force behind the underground temple in Australia. It was you who brought life to the Hindu-Jain temple in Pennsylvania. And it is you who is spearheading the long-overdue and strategically important Encyclopedia of Hinduism. It is you who is overseeing the 1000-room Parmarth Niketan which provides spiritual solace to so many seekers, and oversees 25 other ashrams. It is you who is promoting sanskriti, Hindu culture, through the India Heritage Research foundation, staging anti-drug yagnas in England. And it was you who joined with several of us for 5 remarkable days in Moscow to represent the Hindu dharma at the Global Forum for Human Survival, where you garlanded Mikhael Gorbachev with a strand of holy rudraksha beads. People know Muniji as a brilliant speaker in several languages, a soul sweet with humor and a compassionate counselor. Who is more qualified to be recognized as our 1991 Hindu of the Year?
The next victory, or it could be called a boon, is a small endowment received which will allow us to publish a new VIP/Introductory Edition of HINDUISM TODAY. For the past fourteen years, ever since we started publishing, Hindu leaders in lands not served by our four regional editions have not been able to afford the paper. But this endowment will allow us to reach out to all of you. This month the VIP/Introductory Edition will go to 22 countries.
Beginning with this issue, we intend to put a copy of the Hindu Family Newspaper into the hands of over 500 parliamentarians of India's Lok Sabha. We also will send copies to senators, congressmen, ambassadors and parliamentarians in various countries. We will give the paper to leaders of other faiths, and to their seminaries and centers of learning. And we will send it to groups around the world for free distribution to local Hindu elders. By spreading the remarkable story of the Hindu Renaissance, we hope to further our purposes.
I would like to personally welcome our newest readers who are opening these pages for the first time. I hope you enjoy the unique global view of Hindu dharma that finds its way into this journal each months.
With the January, 1992, issue, HINDUISM TODAY will be entering its fourteenth year. We now publish five regional editions of the paper: an International Edition printed in North American, an African Edition printed in South Africa, an Indian Ocean Edition printed in Mauritius, a Malaysia Edition printed in Kuala Lumpur and now the new VIP/Introductory Edition (also printed in Kuala Lumpur). This does not count the humble photocopy edition that Pandit Sewh Persaud is distributing in Suriname, South America, with our blessings, or the many publications that reprint our educational materials for their local area.
Our Letters to the Editor column is one of the most widely read sections of the paper, and we cordially invite you, especially the new readers, to write to us. This is your paper. Please use it and enrich it. Your thoughts can be shared with our brothers and sisters around the world, and your suggestions are also welcome as to how the paper can be improved. You will come to know that we openly accept advice and try to put it into action. Last year several readers wrote to say our type was too small. They were getting older and asked us if we would consider making the type bigger. We did.
HINDUISM TODAY is a non-profit publication. It is a public service of our order of swamis, yogis and sadhakas. They work very hard each month to bring you quality research, good graphics and thoughtful writing. While the monastics oversee the paper, it takes about 75 people worldwide to produce and distribute it. Some are professional journalists and businessmen, but many are just people who like to write or like to see that the paper gets into the right hands in their community. We also produce each month a 15 minute audio cassette of the major stories and features, called Hinduism Today on the Air. It is professional tape which is played on Hindu radio stations in several countries.
Article copyright Himalayan Academy.