A Message from Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
December 1, 2012
Namaste, and welcome to our websites, which have been aptly called "where Hinduism meets the future."
It has been our goal, since the digital revolution began in the 90s, to keep our web resources free. Anyone, anywhere should be able to access this spiritual knowledge without paying fees, without being bombarded by advertising, without opting in to this service or that list. But running a site of our size and complexity is costly. During the final quarter of 2010 and 2011, we reached out for assistance from all of you around the world who value the spiritual and educational content on our sites. We took inspiration from the model set up by Wikipedia, a world-class, free resource site that raises funds once a year to keep their good work going. The response was overwhelming, truly a wind under our wings, with contributions exceeding our expectations. In our How the Funds Are Used page we detail what we did with your previous generous gifts and what we hope to accomplish next year. Inspired by your enthusiastic assistance, we are back to ask again for your support to keep this momentum going.
Not long ago, before the now ubiquitous Internet, information was hard to come by. Sources were few but mostly authoritative, such as encyclopedias and books which had been carefully tooled by trained designers, editors and fact checkers.
Humanity quickly crossed the bridge to the other side, and now we find ourselves in the opposite situation. There is a monsoon of information from all kinds of sources. Every second, hundreds of millions of us around the globe are looking to the Internet for information on topics that interest us, including Hinduism. What we need now is organized knowledge that we can count on being authentic and carefully curated.
Our several sites provide that--and they do it for free and without ads or obligations of any kind. Nowhere else will you find such a wealth of resources about our faith, carefully researched and compiled from across the globe. How important is it to you to have good resources on Hinduism online? How important is it that your friends and business associates, your children and their teachers, when doing a search about Hinduism, find a place that explains it from the inside, without academic biases or gross misconceptions?
I can think of two more reasons you might consider donating. One is that your contribution will go straight to the enhancement of the sites and the content, and this year to upgrading the Media Studio where all our publications are produced. Your contributions do not go to staff salaries or administrative overhead, since these sites are created and maintained by selfless monks who work for free and live simply in a remote monastery on the island of Kauai.
The final reason to give is that a portion of your tax-deductible contribution goes into the Digital Dharma Drive Endowment that was begun two years back. We put 10 percent, almost $12,000, of the 2010 and 2011 contributions into this permanent fund. Each year we plan to add to that endowment, which will grow slowly, generating a steady income for decades to come, protecting the digital future of Hinduism, your religious heritage.
We are here, on the Internet, for you today. With your help, we will be here for decades to come, in the lives of your grandchildren--and perhaps in your next life.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
Guru Mahasannidhanam of Kauai Aadheenam
Publisher of Hinduism Today