In the January/February/March issue of Hinduism Today Sheela Venkatakrishnan shares an experience of being denied entry to one of her favorite temples. Not herself, but two monks she was with that day in July as they sought to worship God Siva at the Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore. That denial of entry to pure and wholehearted Hindus did not sit well with Sheela and she wrote passionately about it:
"In my hometown of Chennai, I was visiting an ancient Siva temple with two monks who had traveled thousands of miles to worship at this renowned pilgrimage destination. One, brown-skinned with Tamil features, was clad in the orange robes of a sannyasin. The other, wearing the yellow robes of a yogi, was white-skinned, light-eyed, obviously not Tamil or even Indian. A small group of us waited eagerly to have darshan of the Gods in this famous temple in the presence of these two monks from the Kauai Aadheenam in Hawaii. A special ticket can give access to the inner shrine, nearer to the Lord. But on this day no access would be permitted for the yogi. The priest denied him entrance. If he could not go in, how could any of us? So, we had our darshan from the outer mandapam. The priest took our offerings to the Lord, performed arati and brought out the flame for us.
"Who decides these things? Here I attempt to express my feelings and thoughts surrounding what occurred, hoping to find solace for my aching heart and, ideally, contribute to finding a resolution to what seems to me to be a critical issue in the Hindu community."
For the author's full appraisal of this happening, stay tuned to Hinduismtoday.com
It's true, the first complete edition of our flagship magazine, Hinduism Today, has been published in the Russian language. It makes the international magazine potentially available to 166 million native speakers in that noble nation. Many do not know that a serious group of academics, and many non-scholarly citizens, regard Saivism as the original spiritual path in Russia, and they point to ancient Sivalingams and place of worship, and to philosophical footprints in history. Yesterday we received the second photo in the post from our Moscow editor Dinanatha Bodhiswami. It shows him at the famed French Institute in Pondicherry officially handing over the magazine to the experts there.
It took an immense effort and great teamwork to produce this edition, and an artistic eye to preserve the graphic sophistication and typography (nevermind making it all fit!). Congratulations to all who participated. Gurudeva would be thrilled to see this, and would offer his prayerful blessings that the magazine will continue for years to come in this newest incarnation. If you know someone who speaks the language, you can invite them to download the entire edition from this Dropbox link.
When she and her family visited in December, Shashikala Raja, of Michigan, learned that we have Satguru's publisher's Desk editorials translated into a number of Indic languages, but we were missing Kannada. She volunteered to be our translator, and upon returning home quickly submitted the first one, "One God, Many Divinities." It is now online and can be read here: https://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=5842
Kannada is the native language of nearly 40 million, most of whom are living in Karnataka state, where out Iraivan Temple carving site is located. So now the sculptors can listen to Satguru's wisdom.
Thank you, Shashikala, for opening the great Hindu heart and wisdom to a new and massive community. Below is the opening paragraph of the first translation, so all can enjoy the beauty of the script...
ಇತ್ತೀಚೆಗೆ ನಾನು ಲಂಡನ್ನಿನಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಎನ್ ಫೀಲ್ಡ್ ನಾಗಪೂಶನಿ ಅಂಬಾಳ್(ಅಂಬಿಕೆ)ಳ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನದ ಮಹಾ ಕುಂಭಾಭಿಷೇಕದ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಉಪನ್ಯಾಸ ಮಾಡಿದೆ. ಆ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ನೆರೆದಿದ್ದ ಅನೇಕರು ಹಿಂದೂಧರ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಹೊಸಬರಾಗಿದ್ದರಿಂದ, ನಾನು ಅವರಿಗೆ ದೇವಾಲಯದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಪ್ರಾಥಮಿಕ ಪರಿಚಯ ನೀಡಿದೆ. ಆ ನನ್ನ ಸಂದೇಶ ಇಲ್ಲಿದೆ. ಹಿಂದೂ ದೇವಾಲಯಕ್ಕೆ ಪ್ರಥಮ ಬಾರಿಗೆ ಭೇಟಿ ಕೊಟ್ಟಾಗ, ಯಾರಿಗೇ ಆದರೂ ಹಿಂದೂಧರ್ಮದಲ್ಲಿ ಅನೇಕ ದೇವರುಗಳು ಇದ್ದಾರೆಂಬ ಭಾವನೆ ಸುಲಭವಾಗಿ ಮೂಡಬಹುದು. ಹಲವಾರು ದೇವಾಲಯಗಳು ಹಾಗೂ ಪವಿತ್ರ ಶಿಲ್ಪಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರಥಮ ಬಾರಿ ನೋಡಿದಾಗ ಅಂಥ ಕಲ್ಪನೆ ಮೂಡುವುದು ಸ್ವಾಭಾವಿಕ. ಆದರೆ ಅದು ಸರಿಯಲ್ಲ. ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮದವರು ಹಲವಾರು ದೇವರುಗಳನ್ನು ನಂಬಿದರೂ, ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಪರಮಾತ್ಮ ಒಬ್ಬನೇ ಎಂದೇ ನಂಬುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಈ ಭಾವನೆಯನ್ನು ವ್ಯಕ್ತಪಡಿಸುವ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಪ್ರಾಚೀನವಾದ ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮಗ್ರಂಥ ಋಗ್ವೇದದ ಉಲ್ಲೇಖವನ್ನು ಪದೇಪದೇ ಮಾಡಲಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತದಲ್ಲಿ ಅದನ್ನು, "ಏಕಂ ಸತ್, ವಿಪ್ರಾಃ ಬಹುಧಾ ವದಂತಿ" ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ; ಆಂಗ್ಲದಲ್ಲಿ, "ಸತ್ಯ ಒಂದೇ. ಙ್ಞಾನಿಗಳು ಅದನ್ನು ನಾನಾ ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ವಿವರಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ" ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ.
What Are the Two Paths? Path to Siva, Lesson 37 (Jan 4, 2018)
Bodhinatha addresses the misconception that householders should be detached from their family and professional life. Using the Tirukural as a reference, he highlights that detachment for the householder means to be detached from one's wealth and possessions enough to be able to do charity. Then he describes key goals of monastic life and the service done by our monastic order, pointing out that the path of spiritual unfoldment, like an oak tree, takes many years to yield results. But we should have faith that the ancient methods and path will one day yield results.
Path To Siva, Lesson 37
Hinduism Today has a fascinating story in the most current issue, a story about higher consciousness discovered in outer space. In July of 1969 astronaut Edgar Mitchel was returning from the moon when suddenly something surprising happened.In a 1993 interview with Hinduism Today magazine, Mitchell offered that his deep-space samadhi could also be likened to the kundalini force, which can sit dormant in the first chakra at the base of the spine until it is awakened. "Yes," he said, "that's exactly what I was experiencing, the primordial energy of the universe, the primal and subtlest energies." Other astronauts, he said, told him they had similar spiritual experiences. He was the only one who really wanted to talk about it.
Read about his tale
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