Hawaii's Ever Bubbling Volcano

The power of nature has a humbling effect, reminding us of our small place in Siva’s vast cosmic universe. Our own nearby volcano is an ever present reminder of the dynamic state of our planet. The volcano on the big island is considered to be in a state of eruption, but that state is more like a constant “bubbling” of the lava. Residents of what we know here as “The Big Island” (which has the same name as the state itself: “Hawaii”) keep a watch on the activity as they are all living on top of this boiling mass!

The US Geological Survey’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory division keeps constant and very detailed data on the current state of the activity. For the geologically minded among you, or just for a fascinating read you can find out about the nature of the lava tube, it’s location, depth and the exact state of things in the last 24 hours here: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov. They also publish photos daily. Click the photo or this link to see a larger version of the photo at the left.

How do Hindus view other religions?

We continue today with the four new questions and answers that Bodhinatha and the Hinduism Today team just completed. Tweet them. Save them for future use. But mostly, just enjoy them!

In India, where Hindus are the overwhelming majority, the rights of minority religions have always been honored. Hindus have welcomed, embraced and lived peacefully among other religions for centuries. During those same centuries, Hinduism itself evolved into hundreds of strains, and thus Hindus are fully at home with many different traditions and viewpoints within their own faith. Hence, they are naturally tolerant of other religions, respecting the fact that each has unique beliefs, practices, goals and paths of attainment, and not objecting when the doctrines of one conflict with those of another. Hindus readily accept the idea that it is not necessary, desirable or even possible for everyone to hold the same beliefs. And certainly such differences should never be cause for tension, criticism, intolerance or violence. An ancient Sanskrit verse summarizes the Hindu attitude: "As the different streams, having their sources in different places, all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee." Hindus do not proselytize, meaning they do not try to convert members of other faiths to their own. Proselytizing is based upon the belief that one's religion is the only true religion and everyone else should join it. Hindus hold the view that all faiths are beneficial. A devout Hindu is supportive of all efforts that lead to a pure and virtuous life and would consider it unthinkable to dissuade a sincere devotee from his chosen faith. They know that good citizens and stable societies are created from groups of religious people in all nations. While encouraging others to follow their chosen path with dedication, Hindus hold Sanatana Dharma to be the fullest expression of religion, and do accept sincere souls who seek entrance into Hinduism. Elaboration: When discussing other religions, Hindu leaders often quote a verse from the Rig Veda (1.164.46): "Ekam Sat, viprah bahudha vadanti," meaning "Truth is One, sages describe it variously." It conveys a core Hindu idea: that there can be multiple valid viewpoints about the Supreme. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, philosopher and former president of India, stressed this point: "The Hindu recognizes one Supreme Spirit, though different names are given to it." In expressing religious tolerance, Hindus sometimes cite the above verse to assert that all religions are the same. In reality, all religions are not the same, nor is that indicated by this verse. It simply says that all religions revere the One Truth; all believe in the One Supreme Being. Their beliefs and practices are different; their paths are distinct. Instead of saying, "All religions are the same," it is better to state that "all religions are good." Hindus share values common to all faiths: piety, love of God, respect for tradition, a stress on duty, responsibility and basic human virtues, such as nonviolence, truthfulness, compassion and charity. They know that good citizens and stable societies are created from groups of religious people in all nations. They also acknowledge and honor the many ways that religions differ. For example, meditation and yoga are commonly practiced in Eastern religions but not usually in Western faiths. The heart of a religion is its understanding of the soul's relationship to God. Hinduism and most Eastern religions believe that, at the highest level, God and soul are one, inseparable, while Western faiths maintain that Creator and creation are eternally distinct. Hindus support and participate in ecumenical gatherings with other religions, while upholding their own traditions. They confidently defend their faith, proceed contentedly with their practices and avoid the enchantment of other ways, be they ancient or modern.

Bodhinatha in Chicago

Our team on the road is in Utah today, but Sannyasin Siddhanathaswami was able to find the time and bandwidth to send some photos. Here is Bodhinatha on Lake Michigan getting a view of the city.

In the evening they had satsang at the Malhotra home.

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
Subscribe to RSS Feed
Audio Video Slideshows Images Publications Web pages