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Our feature story this issue is a tour de force taking you to and through the seldom seen culture and countryside of Assam. We call it "Awesome Assam," and the awesomeness is in full view through the creative lens of photographer Thomas Kelly and in-depth interviews of correspondent Rajiv Malik. Experience the diverse religious, linguistic and cultural milieu of the state's native tribal peoples and the later migrants from elsewhere in India.
Our 16-page Insight section is Acharya Vamadeva Shastri's lucid unraveling of the four states of consciousness: waking, dreaming, deep sleep and samadhi. He particularly explores the subtle worlds of sleep, dreams and their importance in life and relationship to the higher states of mind. There are also excerpts from the writings of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami on the astral world, and selected quotes from the Upanishads on the four states.
In his Publisher's Desk editorial, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami addresses the power of our words, specifically the importance of kindly speech. He parses four kinds of unkind speech--gossip, backbiting, joking and teasing--then shows us how to avoid these habits through focusing on courtesy, tact and sensitivity.
Science and mind studies are big in this issue. Is there a new science of consciousness evolving today? We think so, and since it has such deep resonance with Hindu mystical thought, we bring you the past, present and future of the unfolding revelations about consciousness, human perception, non-local being and more. Varun Khanna begins the journey for us in a lengthy discussion of Hinduism's contribution to the new "Science of Consciousness." Then Deepak Chopra, Rudy Tanzi and others guide the way. This field may have a tectonic impact on our future, on understanding what it is to be human, to be aware, to be evolving. A summary review of the three-day "Sages and Scientists Symposium" held in Los Angeles last September is provided by members of our editorial staff who attended.
We visit Bali for a festival of gratitude that features huge chariot-like structures called Dangssil pulled through the village. Then we explore Delhi for a survey of that city's plethora of veggie food options, Mumbai to see how the world's grandest Ganesha festival is run, and Durban to learn about an amazing TV series called "Sadhana--the Inward Path." This half-hour weekly show, the country's only Hindu series, is produced with world-class reporting and visual content.
There's more inside the magazine, including our fun Quotes & Quips with cartoon, an excerpt from recently translated Agama verses, Anant Rambachan's take on the future of Hinduism in America, and the amazing documentary film work of Benoy Behl on India's religion and traditions.
(Part Two) In April our Hinduism Today India correspondent Rajiv Malik and photographer Arun Mishra spent almost two weeks in the Vrindavan/Mathura area just south of Delhi. Their work generated two feature stories for Hinduism Today, the first in the Oct, 2016 issue and the second in January, 2017. The area is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in India. It is revered by all Hindus, but is especially sacred to those of the Vaishnavite traditions. The entire region is called "Braj" and is the boyhood home of Lord Krishna where many of His "leelas" or adventures took place as recorded in the Bhagavata Purana and other scriptures.
In April our Hinduism Today India correspondent Rajiv Malik and photographer Arun Mishra spent almost two weeks in the Vrindavan/Mathura area just south of Delhi. We present excerpts from the photographs in this part one slide show. Their work generated two feature stories for Hinduism Today, the first in the Oct, 2016 issue and the second in January, 2017. The area is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in India. It is revered by all Hindus, but is especially sacred to those of the Vaishnavite traditions. The entire region is called "Braj" and is the boyhood home of Lord Krishna where many of His "leelas" or adventures took place as recorded in the Bhagavata Purana and other scriptures.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami reads his editorial from the October/November/December 2016 edition of Hinduism Today magazine. "Dharma is a complex and comprehensive term with many meanings, including religion, divine law, law of being, way of righteousness, ethics, duty, responsibility, virtue, justice, goodness and truth. In its most general sense dharma is that which sustains the orderly fulfillment of an inherent nature or destiny. It comes from the Sanskrit root dhṛ, “to sustain; carry, hold.” Thus we can say that dharma is that which sustains the cosmos, human society and each member of society. Relating to the individual soul, it is the mode of conduct most conducive to spiritual advancement, the right and righteous path."
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami reads his editorial from the July/August/September 2016 edition of Hinduism Today magazine. "It is easy to talk high philosophy in Hinduism, 'man is God,' 'we are divine,' it is easy to say profound things...however to put these principles into practice to the extent that we really are a more spiritual person, that is the challenge. And that, is what we will explore here."