The Story of Hinduism Today
By: Lavina Melwani - New York
As the new millennium approaches, the world's oldest religions is donning shining new clothes. The age-old Hindu philosophy passed from mouth to mouth in tiny villages across India is now going high-tech, thanks to Hinduism Today, the preeminent global journal of Hindu Dharma for over 30 years. This Hawaii-based publication is a sleek, easy-to-carry, full-color magazine. Its on-line version is just as eye-catching and brings every aspect of Sanatana Dharma to millions of Internet users across the world. Hinduism, which had always been the domain of unchanging swamis in far-off ashrams, is now entering the computer age with Hinduism Today. Founded by Satguru Sivaya Subramaniyaswami (1927-2001) and published by the Himalayan Academy on the idyllic island of Kauai in Hawaii, the magazine is totally service oriented. The current publisher is Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, the spiritual head of Kauai's Hindu Monastery.
Observed Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Gurudeva): "Hinduism Today was created to strengthen all the many diverse expressions of Hindu spirituality, to give them a single, combined voice because everywhere else their voices were individualized. There was nothing that encompassed the whole Hindu experience around the world. Every religious order has a mission and instead of starting an eye-clinic or an orphanage, we created a global publication to advance the cause of Hindu Dharma." Hinduism Today's rebirth as a full-color magazine is an idea whose time has come. According to Gurudeva: "It's something we've wanted to do for a long time, so it's just a natural evolution." It was indeed the logical outcome of Gurudeva's remarkable life and mission to give all Hindu denominations and their lineages a voice to and thus Hindus as a global community.
WHY Hinduism Today? While bookstores and newsstands are filled with countless newspapers and magazines, it was apparent there was nothing to satisfy contemporary Hindus, to articulate in modern language India's ancient wisdom. As Paramacharya Palaniswami, chief editor of Hinduism Today, points out, "Open up many books, and they are so cluttered with technical terms, obscure references and other languages that the average seeker would go about three pages and not pursue it further." Hinduism Today wanted to say all the important things, the profound things, but in an interesting voice which all could understand and appreciate. While Hindus living in India are surrounded by their culture and faith, this magazine's mandate was to also reach the millions of Hindus who are trying to keep their faith alive in far-off places surrounded by different cultures. In isolated, alien townships and cities, shared words can provide courage and enthusiasm, energy to keep true to a faith. Hinduism Today is a voice for Sanatana Dharma's all-embracing philosophy. It tells the world about India's cultural riches: ayurveda, classical dance, literature and drama, magnificent temples and profound traditions of worship, the healing power of meditation and yoga, and the virtues of vegetarianism. To those who are Hindu and to those merely attracted by the principles of Indian spirituality, it offers a common platform, a feeling of family, setting off good vibrations.
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