The tone of our journey changes as Sadhaka Satyanatha and I fly up to New Delhi for a day of special meetings with our several publishers. (Note: this report is being typed in the back of a car hurling toward Vellore on an Indian road, this being an appeal for typing anomalies amnesty) The morning is dedicated to Hinduism Today's India Edition team, seen here in a special BPT (blurred photography technology) format designed to create a home-spun sensibility.
The Hawaii team and the Indian team spent hours working out details of the India Edition, which they propose to inaugurate on April 13th, New Year Day. Rajiv Malik, our dapper senior India Correspondent joins in the discussions. We have brought a proposed edition, complete with stories, for their consideration and go through the various articles with them. Not all members of the team could be present, but much progress was made nonetheless. Fourteen months ago this team called Bodhinatha and myself to meet, sharing that they wanted to publish Hinduism Today in India after reading it since 1993. Their appeal went something like this: "Satguru, Hindus of India were once full of cooperation and goodwill toward one another. Now, times have changed and there is conflict and competition between all the groups, all the ashrams and gurus. Only in Hinduism Today do we find an expression of the original heart of the Hindu, a heart of fellowship and support of one another. We need that here. I can tell you that all of us believe that the future of our religion in India may well depend on Hinduism Today. "Rajiv was with us the whole day, looking after details, coordinating. After two hours, we adjourn for lunch, continuing the conversations that will guide the magazine's direction in India. At Bodhinatha's request, I asked each one what future articles they would like the Hawaii team to develop, articles that Indian readers would like to read.
They respond enthusiastically, clearly happy to be involved in the development of content. They know the work ahead for them is massive and challenging. They have to assemble teams of writers and editors, production experts, marketing and advertising specialists and more. But they also know they have a competent team in Hawaii at the ready, there to help.
They suggest we do feature stories on Hinduism in Cambodia, on the wonders of Madurai Meenakshi Temple, plus one that interviews 20 people on the question: How I Became a (good) Hindu.
One of the team members, Ashok Kapoor, is at the UN on this day. But he will visit Kauai Aadheenam in early February on his way back to India.
We summarize the next steps each must take, and say goodbye. Next we meet with Shakti Malick, owner of Abhinav Publications. They are the publishers of our Weaver's Wisdom multi-language edition in India. He brings news of the progress of his next work with us, a full-color edition of "What Is Hinduism?" which is on the press and will be delivered by March. He wants to publish "The Guru Chronicles" (they all do!) and we hand him a copy for his scrutiny. Next an animated 90 minutes with the head of India's most prestigious Indology publishers, Motilal Banarsidass, over 110 years old. Rajeev Jain brings two of his main editors with him and clearly they have spent hours to prepare their long agenda. We tackle them one by one. Rajeev pulls out two finished books, the ink still tacky. He is thrilled to show us Loving Ganesha. MLBD printed the first edition 3 years ago, and sold out. In recent months our team on Kauai gave updated PDF files and he presents the result. He also hands me "Dancing with Siva," the Indian edition. It's in black and white, but that was necessary due to costs. He informs us that "Living with Siva" has gone to the printer and will be ready in March, and then "Merging with Siva" by the end of the year. It's a great day, to see Gurudeva's written legacy move into the Hindu mind in the land where it all began. We are reminded of all the effort Gurudeva put into the trilogy from 1995 to 2001. He drove himself and his team every day, without fail, to write these spiritual masterpieces. Then, on his fasting bed, we brought him the final one, Living with Siva. He held it in his hands, smiled softly as if to say, "We did it. It is complete. "
The next morning Sadhaka and I are off to the airport for the flight back to Bengaluru, and now as said above are heading into Tamil Nadu to visit Sakti Amma at her Golden Temple. Jai Gurudeva!
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