As always, the Global Dharma pages have some interesting small stories from around the world.
The world continues to “wake up” to the huge legacy that Hinduism left throughout Southeast Asia. Here is a little known story from Vietnam:
UNESCO Protects My Son
In 1999 unesco designated the My Son sanctuary in Vietnam a World Heritage site. This is good news for Hindus, who can now rest assured that this treasure will be preserved. The site represents an ancient settlement and sanctuary area; eight groups of tower temples have been singled out. All are constructed in fired brick with stone pillars.
The Hindu architecture of Cambodia and Indonesia are well known, but not many know that a Hindu kingdom also reigned along the Vietnamese coast from the 4th to the 13th centuries. My Son, a small valley flanked by mountains, was the capital and religious center of the Champa Kingdom, which originated in 192 ce and was deeply influenced by the Saiva Agama tradition. Between the sixth and tenth centuries, fine temples were built for Krishna and Vishnu, but above all for Siva. Champa was eventually absorbed by the growing power of Vietnam to the North. Read more at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/949
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.