Path To Siva: A Catechism for Youth
Lesson 67 -- How Can We Be Strong Saivite Hindus?
Gurudeva taught, “Once we have chosen and accepted our faith, it is then our spiritual duty to learn it well and live by it as a wholehearted, contributing member of a faith community so that we pass it on in a vibrant way to those who come after us, the next generation.” To be strong Hindus, first we must learn our religion well. This means gaining a good understanding of the philosophy, the culture and the subtle mysticism. Second, we must live by it fully. This means having a solid commitment, a good character, and putting its principles into practice. For us, this includes adopting the gestures, attitudes, customs, ways of worship, dress and refinements of Tamil Saiva culture. The third step is passing our faith along to others. We all live in mixed societies, interrelating with people of varied backgrounds. You may find yourself being asked about your Hindu faith. Some questioners may have no religion. Others may reject religion and believe science has all the answers. You may be confronted by their questions: “Do you worship cows?” “Why are there so many Hindu Gods?” “Why do you wear the dot on your forehead?” Prepare yourself by studying the answers to such questions. Respond with confidence and kindness. Assume that the person really wants to learn. Yes, some may want to harass you, or turn you to their view. If you sense this is the case, smile and dismiss yourself without engaging further. You can also share your faith by conducting classes or sharing at public gatherings. In summery, we each stand strong for Hinduism by being good Hindus. Gurudeva has given us the tools in his Master Course Trilogy, Dancing, Living and Merging With Siva. Using these tools of philosophy, culture and yoga, we can defend, explain, protect, preserve and promote our Saiva faith.
If you want the files for your computer, a thumbdrive with all files is available for sale here, at Minimela.com which includes also the ebooks, artwork and additional priceless vintage Gurudeva audio and video from our archives.
Here’s a photo of some of our IT team, Natyam Jayanatha, Andre Garzia, Sannyasin Brahmanathaswami and Sannyasin Siddhanathaswami.
Andre Alves Garzia left Kauai for a two-day journey back to his home and wife Lily in Niteroi (across the bay from Rio) in Brasil. He spent a month here working on many projects and his visit was a great success. Among the thing he accomplished:
- Setting up a small Linux Server called “Buddhi” to back up our web sites daily and provide “disaster recovery” assurance for all our web content.
- Progress on our new SivaSiva app including a Hindu Panchangam module that will actually be released as a separate app.
- assisting the Pilliyar Kulam with their internal monk’s only web site that helps with coordination of all our monastic activities.
- Upgrading the software originally created by the monks to process photos and create these TAKA posts. This will allow other monks to contribute very easily and efficiently, even from the road
- Adding support to the media manager software we use in house to create web content. New innovations include Audio books and the Hindu Lexicon and FAQ content support systems. (Stay tuned for announcements on these, as we release some new content in the days and weeks ahead)
- Kick off discussions and advance planning for two major new web content initiatives relating to virtual tours of the Aadheenam and opening up access to our art archives in more user friendly ways.
The monks and Andre want to thank all our Digital Dharma supporters for their contributions which allow up to keep these initiative moving forward, always free and always ad free!
Andre Alves Garzia is here on Kauai since December 16 and staying for a month working closely with Brahmanathaswami on various IT projects, including our in house Caption Writer now called TAKAL which is the tool we use to create these TAKA posts automatically and efficiently.
Andre has been working off and on for Himalayan Academy Publications since 2004, and this is his fourth trip to Kauai. Years ago Andre completed 7 years in University majoring in film and media production. But his talents always leaned toward toward software development and he preferred coding to the idea of becoming a movie director. It was a perfect match for the Ganapati Kulam needs where media and digital technology converge every day. Over the years Andre has been advancing in his career and last year he was chosen by the Mozilla Foundation to be the lead in a project funded by the Ford Foundation to spread web literacy in and around the Rio de Janeiro area. The grant expired and the program shifted to other locations on the globe. Andre continues to volunteer for Mozilla in Brasil to help web literacy in the community but is now almost full time working for Himalayan Academy Publication while launching his own company. He plans to focus on offering training and consulting programs for the next young generation of web programmers who will build the internet of the future.
His wife, Elisangela Mendonça de Andrade Garzia aka "Lily" is a journalist. She is currently a producer, writer and assistant to the internationally renowned Canadian journalist, Stephani Nolen, who is heading up the South American bureau of The Globe and Mail, published from Toronto and now stationed in Rio. The Globe and Mail is one of the few publications that still prints 5-6 days a week and gets delivered to your home. With Lily's help, Stephanie brings a lot of interesting stories from South American into Canadian homes.
Thanks to our annual Digital Dharma drive donors, we are slowing making progress on a brave new initiative to create a "Mahaapp" for Lord Siva and all Siva's children worldwide. It will be called the SivaSiva in line with this ancient and famous mantra from our tradition. This a sneak preview... full details are top secret until we release betas. it's a huge project because our users have encourage us to make a "one stop shop" app, like they do now in China and Korea (instead of releasing 20 small apps...) Stay tuned. Please continue to give generously to the Digital Dharma Fund to support our extensive development costs.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.