A Message from the Editors
December 7, 2019
For nearly thirty years Gurudeva and a team of several monks met each day between 3 and 6 or 7pm. He called it “the editing team” and loved to work near the ocean with the whales and green turtles just offshore. They would drive down each afternoon, park the Winnebago recreational vehicle (specially outfitted with computers for editing) near the water’s edge in Kapaa and work on his life’s legacy of inspired talks and writings. It was a self-imposed appointment he rarely missed if he was not traveling, and one he gave full focus to, going over every word, every phrase of every publication himself, often tweaking and adding insights to the work dozens of times before he would say to the monks, “That’s good.”
Though he printed his early yoga lessons by hand in the 1950s on an old-school Mimeograph machine at the San Francisco temple, Gurudeva readily embraced technological changes. One afternoon in 1984, having never seen or even heard of a Macintosh, he encountered this revolutionary computer in a small Apple store in the sleepy town of Kapaa. After playing with MacPaint and MacWrite for fifteen minutes, he walked out with a Macintosh 128Kb under his arm. Later, he bought each monk a Mac and gradually made the shift to digital typography. Takes one back to the LaserWriter, right? When the Internet swept up on Kauai’s shores in 1997, he urged the monks to publish a daily blog of monastery events, and “Today at Kauai Aadheenam” was born. TAKA, among the earliest (maybe the earliest) of blogs, has been issued almost daily since that time.
Gurudeva would celebrate where we have come today. He would love the ease with which his books are available, at no cost, to everyone who owns a mobile device anywhere in the world. The Capricorn in him would love the lack of massive investment costs that are required for major books to be put on printing presses, tens of thousands of dollars for each title. Then come the inventory costs, the shipping, the returns. All of that has been largely rendered unnecessary in the age of digital publishing. In our case, we are doing both, printed editions of the magazine, for instance, and then digital editions based on the elegantly designed PDF pages. Our Hinduism Today app, available to anyone with a mobile phone, anywhere in the world, is an example of the best of the Web.
Gurudeva would love that we don’t have to charge struggling Hindu students for the spiritual teachings, but can make them available for free. In the last decade, our resource-building efforts have shifted massively 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 for Hinduism Today and our Web resources. 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 order to provide information without charging for downloads, without showing advertisements on our sites, without commercializing our mission, we turn to you for help.
Yes, we could meet our costs by charging 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 it when needed information is available without cost. We have come to expect it. But free to the world is not free to those of us who create it. Our digital innovations entail significant costs, especially when we have to reach out for expert help and skills.
The goal for 2019 is the same as last year: $75,000. Our two-month-long Digital Dharma Drive will end at midnight on December 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 generous donation today.
With much aloha and warm greetings during the holiday season,
Kauai’s Hindu Monastery
Himalayan Academy Publications
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.