Our Correspondent in Hyderabad

Today we are editing an article by our journalist in India, Kesava Mallia, and we noticed, at the bottom, a footnote. It was his discovery of our website, and since today we are about half way through our Digital Dharma Drive, and his message is so pertinent to the purpose of our digital outreach, we thought to share it with you. It might even inspire a few to help us enhance our digital presence in the world. Enjoy his take from the other side of the Earth.

One of my students called me yesterday to say that he read about me in the TAKA Blog – and that's when I read the blog for the first time.
I liked  your Daily Blog - TAKA.  It gives great insights on the various initiatives of the monastery--like Travel missions, festivals, Sadhana , etc - and above all about Gurudeva .

It is detailed, very well chronicled and has something for everyone. The most endearing part is that the stories on TAKA give importance to everyone involved in an activity. Even the supporting cast like drivers and photographers get their place under the sun ( through photographs/ slideshows)--which is so heart-warming to say the least.
I must also admit that you have done a wonderful job in scripting the digital strategy for Kauai's Hindu Monastery. I like your whole website as much ….. It's very vibrant and soulful--spiritual in thought yet contemporary in appeal – truly global.  While going through the website I came to know of innovative Initiatives which you are running like Innersearch Travel Study and Global Fellowship & Initiation. I found it all quite unique and powerful. What's even more encouraging is that website very beautifully complemented by You Tube, Twitter and Face book. I particularly liked watching the series on Guru Lineage on YouTube.
In my journalism career spanning 32 years, I have been privy to many a websites and digital strategies of spiritual organizations (in a very small way)– but yours is truly remarkable. It is designed for maximizing your reach to seekers and Hindus alike--which is the  only way to spread the message of Hinduism!
Wishing you a very Happy and Prosperous 2015 by the grace of Gurudeva. I have learnt from you that one can serve through Blogs also.
God bless and be well

In Happiness and Peace,

R Kesava Mallia

A. Manivelu Art Is Online!

As the Ganapati Kulam has completed the main work of the media studio renovation, the web team is hard at work.

Today we have put up over 800 images of art done by A. Manivelu. He was commissioned for many years to provide art for numerous publications and projects. All his artwork is now online and available for anyone to use to enhance their publications or digital projects. Click here for the copyright notice and re-use requirements for public facing media.

In the days ahead we have plans to optimize the delivery of these resources, which are a bit slow at the moment. You can download a larger version of most of the color art for personal use, such has getting color print for your living room. Be sure to right-click on the download button and choose "Save Link As".

New Aum Collection on Web!

For decades, the monks have collected graphic Aums from around the world. Makes sense. The Aum is an ancient symbol of divinity. The Aum is the first sound, the first movement of creation.

Today we are putting online over 1,100 of these sacred images. They are in two basic formats, JPG for most needs and EPS for vector images. We encourage CyberCadets to use these in holiday cards, Thank You notes, newsletters, web blogs, home art and other forms of communication, or to make creative T-shirts.

In fact, we would not infrequently find ourAums on T-shirts, tattoos, city graffiti and ceramics displayed in hotel lobbies. Everywhere. We are celebrating getting these online today, and applauding Sivarathna Manick who did the heavy lifting on this new resource. Please browse the slideshow and enjoy (and if you have a favorite one, you might even take a moment and send it to): sadasivanatha@hindu.org. Click here to view the entire collection of over 1150 aums. We end with our Hindu Lexicon's Aum definition:

Aum: Often spelled Om. The mystic syllable of Hinduism, placed at the beginning of most sacred writings. As a mantra, it is pronounced aw (as in law), oo (as in zoo), mm. Aum represents the Divine, and is associated with Lord Ganesha, for its initial sound "aa," vibrates within the muladhara, the chakra at the base of the spine upon which this God sits. The second sound of this mantra, "oo," vibrates within the throat and chest chakras, the realm of Lord Murugan, or Kumara, known by the Hawaiian people as the God Ku. The third sound, "mm," vibrates within the cranial chakras, ajna and sahasrara, where the Supreme God reigns. The dot above, called anusvara, represents the Soundless Sound, Paranada. Aum is explained in the Upanishads as standing for the whole world and its parts, including past, present and future. It is from this primal vibration that all manifestation issues forth. Aum is the primary, or mula mantra, and often precedes other mantras. It may be safely used for chanting and japa by anyone of any religion. Its three letters represent the three worlds and the powers of creation, preservation and destruction. In common usage in several Indian languages, aum means "yes, verily" or "hail."

Dancing with Siva in Moscow

Today we received these photos taken at the official release of Gurudeva's "Dancing with Siva" in the Russian language. Dinanatha and his team have worked hard to bring this masterpiece to the Russian-speaking world. It was released at the official journalists' center in the capital city, a palatial room as you can see. Here is the short report:


I'm glad to inform you that on December 7 in the center of Moscow at the Press Center of the Central House of Journalists (http://www.domjour.ru), we successfully hosted the presentation of the updated color version books of Gurudeva's "Dancing with Siva." This is a great gift for all Russians, spiritual aspiring souls, Hindus, and devotees of our dear Gurudeva. Thank you all! (Dinanatha Bodhiswami).
Aum Namah Sivaya.
With love,
Dinanatha B.

Digital Dharma Drive

Kauai's Hindu Monastery has as a principal mission bringing seekers onto the Great Path, guiding them as they unfold and providing the tools for continuing evolution as life looms, to be faced.

The website is the instrumental cause of this mission, and its reach is significant. We Googled the single word Hinduism this morning, to find our site #3 in the world. Not bad, especially with Wikipedia and the BBC as our major challengers!

In New Delhi last week we learned that india is one of the world's most active online communities, more than a million on Facebook and 20 million tweeting. Since that nation has one of the youngest populations (average age is 29), there is immense potential for young Hindus to begin discovering their faith and their traditions online. It's already happening. At the World hindu Congress we were approached by a young digital professional, Vikas Panday, who has hundreds of thousands following his blogs, but told us he needs authentic Hindu content. So we will be providing him that content starting in December.

With that, today we take joy in announcing the beginning of our 2014 Digital Dharma Drive, which will last for 60 days. Wish us luck! Or better yet.....

Here is the editors' appeal in full that all may understand the need and the goal.

A Message from the Editors

December, 2014

From the first day of his life's mission, in 1957, our Gurudeva, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, placed much emphasis on publications. What began with a mimeograph machine that he used to print his own books and literature evolved into the pioneering magazine, Hinduism Today, and a few dozen books in which he captured the essence of Hindu dharma and sadhana's profound path within. He directed his monks to reach the world through these works, uplift the spirit and serve humanity. Publishing was to be Kauai's Hindu Monastery's singular service, just as other maths and ashrams serve through hospitals, orphanages, eye clinics or retreat centers.

Following his edict, we have spent a lifetime crafting the tools and books, art and literature that convey the profundity of the Sanatana Dharma. Our magazine has reached the leaders of the Hindu world. Just last month our Editor in Chief, Sadasivanathaswami, was called to New Delhi to give the opening keynote talk for the media panel of the World Hindu Congress. With the changes happening in India, the conveners felt this is the time to strengthen Hindu media throughout the world, and called on Hinduism Today to lead the charge.

The resources produced by the monks have touched hundreds of thousands of people, from school kids learning Hindu history, to Rotary Clubs seeking to understand their new neighbors, to doctors wanting a Hindu take on medical ethics.

This seems to be a special moment for Hinduism, in India and beyond, and we are poised to be a significant part of that historic renaissance. In a way, we have been preparing for this moment since Gurudeva founded the magazine in 1979.

In the last decade our resource-building efforts have shifted toward the web, following the fast-evolving world of communications and publishing. It takes a deft team to gather and sculpt the needed tools and stories. Creating and sharing an articulate and graphically elegant repository of Hinduism is neither easy nor without costs. Hindu youth are learning their spiritual ABCs online, and millions of seekers are discovering Hinduism digitally. What they encounter should be thoughtful, lucid, elegant and authentic. That's what compels our annual fundraising campaign. It's a chance for you to help us to help explain and share Hinduism globally.

In his appeal, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami speaks of the need to provide support for the monks, to draw on a greater expertise. Yes, we could charge for the online books and magazine, but we are determined not to do that. We ourselves are seldom motivated to pay for online information. We like that it is without cost. But free to the world is not free to us. We have significant costs in running our websites. The needs are modest, but they are real.

Among those needs has been a space conducive to creative thinking and collaboration. For four decades the publishing team worked in a dim space, not exactly a hovel, but not much to inspire either. The recent changes in the Media Studio are changing that dramatically, and this year's contributions will help us complete a fresh and suitable facility, one worthy to be the headquarters of Hinduism Today and Himalayan Academy Publications.

In order to provide it all without charging for downloads, without showing advertisements on our sites, without commercializing our mission, we turn to you for help.

In 2010 we received $60,000, in 2011 we received $64,600 and in 2013 it was $55,600. Last year was $50,890. The goal for this year is $70,000. Our two-month-long Digital Dharma Drive ends on January 31. We hope you will join in helping us meet our goal. In the right hands, and leveraged by the unsalaried work of the monks, these funds will have a profound impact on the future of Hinduism around the world. Please make a donation today to keep our sites strong well into 2015.

Warm greetings this holiday season,

The Editors
Kauai's Hindu Monastery
Himalayan Academy Publications

Click here to donate

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