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.
Your parents are your first guru. They teach by example, explanation, giving advice and direction. Very often parents come to me for advice on the subject of raising their children as good Hindus. In response, I developed a list of ten key character qualities to develop in a child that were published in Hinduism Today magazine, July, 2002. These ten qualities - positive self-concept, perceptive self-correction, powerful self-control, etc.- are basic qualities needed by anyone who wants to be happy, religious and successful when they reach adulthood. For this first book of the Hindu Youth Series, I requested our team of editors, writers, artists and reviewers to create a set of ten stories illustrating how these qualities might be learned when growing up. They are set in modern US, India, Malaysia and Canada and intended for youth 14 and up--the time when we start to take responsibility for our own actions and when these important qualities should manifest.
Each story illustrates one concept, generally as instilled by the parents when their child is young and then as demonstrated in the youth when faced with a challenging situation. For example, the first quality, positive self-concept, is illustrated through the story of a young boy who successfully deals with a bully at school. Another focuses on two sisters who finally learn to get along by putting into practice "perceptive self-correction" as taught to them when they were children. A third, set in Malaysia, discusses the parallel lives of two sets of cousins, one that was taught "playful self-contentment" as children and the other that was driven only to succeed, at the cost of their own happiness later in life.
In one story, a girl who was raised a pious Hindu and even had a vision of Lord Ganesha when young questions her faith when she tries to get in with her school's popular crowd. But when Ganesha Himself causes her to avoid a bad accident, her faith is restored and her priorities set straight.
The stories follow the nonviolent child-raising principles of Positive Discipline: avoidance of corporal punishment, seeing mistakes as opportunities for teaching and letting children and youth learn by fully facing the consequences of their own actions.
Unfortunately, too many parents of all religions believe that disciplining their children simply means to correct and punish them when they make a mistake. However, a more important aspect of discipline is to develop character. I hope that this small set of stories will provide Hindu and nonHindu parents alike a means of instilling these all-important key character qualities in their children. -Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
Saravananathaswami leads the monks in today's homa in Kadavul temple. Sadasivanathaswami gives the talk of the week while Satguru is in transit back to the monastery.
We have a treasure trove of wonderful stories and images in our archives which may rarely be seen by many viewers. We are working to find ways to bring this content forward for our TAKA readers. Here is a 150 image slide show from our 2014 Innersearch to Mauritius
Our November 2016 news video covers events from October, 2016, including five brother monks from the BAPS Swaminarayan fellowship visiting the monastery; our satguru's jayanthi celebrations and Satguru Sivaya Subramuniya's Mahasamadhi observances.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.