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

The Aloha Dinner

Photos from the recent annual Aloha Dinner which took place in Malaysia. It included talks by Bodhinatha, a dance performance, a video summery of this last year, Vidyasishya pledges by several youth and of course, a lovely dinner together for those who attended.

Giving Thanks

As people across the United States celebrate Thanksgiving, the Monks of Kauai Aadheenam tuned into the vibration of thankfulness in their own small way. They had a classic thanksgiving meal together (minus the turkey of course) and enjoyed a moment to reflect on the many blessings which flood into their lives everyday.

Gurudeva, on Gratitude and Appreciation:
I have faith in human integrity, in that unfailing "still small voice of the soul" which each who listens for can hear. We are essentially pure souls temporarily living in a physical body. We can and should use our God-given gift of free will encased in love to make a difference in the world today, even if it is in a small way. All of us making the same difference together do so in a big way. Sishyas should be grateful to their gurus, husbands to their wives, wives to their husbands, parents to their children, children to their parents, students to their teachers and teachers to their students. It's far more effective to praise others and appreciate what we have than to find fault and complain about what we don't have! Gratitude and appreciation are the key virtues for a better life. They are the spell that is cast to dissolve hatred, hurt and sadness, the medicine which heals subjective states of mind, restoring self-respect, confidence and security. Shall we review them one at a time and consider a practice, a sadhana, for each? First, gratitude. It is a feeling within the heart that we cannot suppress for long when overcome with abundant memories of all the good that has come into our lives. Most often, people remember the bad happenings, perhaps because they make the deepest impressions in the subconscious and are not expected. Good happenings are expected and therefore tend to be overlooked. The sadhana here is to take out paper and pen and list all the good that has come into your life during the past five years. The list will grow as memory is stimulated. Should it not be possible to think of even one good thing, then write the affirmation several times, "I am a spiritual being of light maturing in the ocean of experience." Soon a good memory will come up, followed by more. Feelings of loving appreciation will begin to flow toward those who participated in the good times. Forgiveness then wells up for the bad times. Amazingly, on the day I was writing down these thoughts about gratitude, a Kauai islander handed me a paper on which was written the following wisdom from the Catholic mystic, Meister Eckhart: "If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." Now let's look at appreciation, turning our thanks toward the people in our lives. The sadhana of appreciation is to approach those you are grateful to and tell them, to their face, while looking deep into their eyes, how much you esteem and value them. Be specific. Find details to share so they know this is not a shallow compliment. Explain what each one has done to inspire this loving confrontation and convince each in turn that you are sincere. The look of a full smiling face, eyes shining and heart full of love, perhaps followed by a big hug, is convincing enough in itself. Words of appreciation are words people do not often hear. These loving confrontations do not happen nearly often enough among friends and relatives in today's world. Loving appreciation is a life-changing force just waiting to be used. Express appreciation to community leaders, business associates, spiritual mentors, family members and friends as often as you can. Loving appreciation is a magic formula that works both ways. When we commend another, we are automatically uplifted.

Excerpts from the Delhi Media Keynote

At the request of a few CyberCadets we are sharing today a selection of the Keynote slides delivered on November 21st in New Delhi. What is missing of course is the voice and the animations of the imagery, which are considerable. Still, it gives a general idea of the topic for those who are interested.

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

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