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founde<lJanunry 5.

[979, by Satguru Sivnya Subramuniyaswami PUBLISHER: Sat guru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

September, 1887 "'2.85 lineages. l' ublisbed monthly by Himalayan Academy, 101 ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR: Paramacharya Bodhlnatha
\ ~'~~~~~3~~i,~ria~w:3:ii~ 96~74S.9304 USA. \blume 19, No. 9. Editorial Omce EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Acharya Palaniswami
PI j·8QS.822-3152 or 1·800-890-1008. Advertisinlf. PUBLISHER'S ASSISTANT: Acharya Ceyonswami
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$6512 years, S9513 years, $5OOIlifetime. Foreign rates on re- MANAGING EDITOR: Tyagi Arumugaswruni
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SUBSCRIPTION MANAGER: Sadhaka liaranandinatha
Affirming Sanatana Dharma and Recording the Modern History of a Billion-Strong Global Religion in Renaissance EDITOR-IN-CHIEF'S ASSISTANT: $adhaka Yuganatha

.8EPTEMBE;R, 1997

Sacred Art: Rajasthan's Marble Artists 17
Bali's Music: World Takes Note of the
Sophisticated.Gamelan 22
Cover Story: Thirty-Nine Die in Tragic
rue at Thanjavur's "Big Temple" 28
Italy: ''Who Can Be a Hindu?" 34
Controversy: Rationalists Attack Swami
'Nirmalanda's Death by Fasting 46
Triumph: First Malaysians Reach
the Summit of EV~l.est, Thank God 50

IlJsight: CUes and Clues, Unwritten
Rules -for Everyday Hindu Life 30
Interview: Ravi Shankar's Mantra CD 26
Devotion: One Man's Ganesha Temple 4Q.

Publisher's Desk: The Self God-
Speaking of the Unspeakable Truth 6
Editorial: Painful Protocols 8
My Turn: Why Icon Should Replace Idol 9
Letters 14
Healing: Natural No-Calorie Sweetener 44
Minister's Message: Discover{;;'g Your
Luljllinous Essence 52
Quotes & Quips 10 Evolutions 44
Diaspora 11 Digital Dharma 54
.Briefly 20

o 74470 12134 3 D . . .1NIr:

A Ir- AIucIatId .....
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(e-mail) Daily News Summary
PUBLISHER'S DESK The search is within: The Self God must be realized to be known,
does not exist, yet seems to exist; yet existence itself and all states of
mind, being and experiential patterns could not exist but for this

The Self
. God: ultimate redlity of God. Such is the great mystery that yogis, rishis,
saints and sage$ have realized through the ages by going within .
.. ... . .......... . ............"" u •••••• uu ............... . ........... . ............ . ........................... . .... . ..... . ..... .

weak muscle is very difficult to make strong, but if you exercise

life's Ultimate Goal over a period of time and do what you should do, it will respond.
Your nature will respond too. But you must work at it. You must
try. You must try. You must try very, very harct Very diligently.
How often? Ten minutes a day? No. Two hours a day? No. Twenty-
four hours a day! EveJ;y day! You must try very, very hard.
We are divine souls on a wondrous journey toward Preparing you for the realization of the Self is like tuning up a
violin, tightening up each string so it harmonizes with every other
realizati~n of the timeless, formless, spaceless Self string. The more sensitive you are to tone, the better you can wne
a violin, and the better the violin is tuned, the Detter the music.
The stronger you are in YGur nature, the more you can bring
B Y, SAT G U R U S I V A Y A SUB RAM U N I Y A S W A M I through your real nature; the more you can enjoy the bliss of your
true being. It is well worth working for. It is well worth craving for.
N THE MIDST OF BUSY LIFE, IT realization of his True Being. It is well worth denying yourself many, many things for-to curb
is sometimes difficult to ponder They say you must step onto the your nature. It is well worth struggling with your mind, to bring
such lofty ideals as life's ultimate spiritual path to realize the Self. your mind under the dominion of your will.
goal, but the quest for Truth You only step on the spiritual
Those of you who have experienced contemplation know the
comes to all eventually, and for path when you and you alone depth from which I am speaking. You have had a taste of your true
most it awakens for a time during . are reamy. When what appears Self. It has tasted like nothing that you have ever come in contact
,youth and old age. The great ones of real to you loses its appearance with before. It has filled and thrilled and permeated yoUr whole
tlie past have explained that our true of reality. Then and only then being, even if you have remained in that state of contemplation
nature is divine. We are not our are you able to detach yourself only sixty seconds. Out of it you have gained a great knowing, a
body, mind or emotions. We are di- enough to seek; to find a new knowing that you could refer back to, a knowing that will bear the
vine souls on a wonmous journey. and permanent reality. fruit of wisdom if you relate future life experiences to that know-
We came from God, live in God and Have you ever noticed that ing, a knowing greater than you could acquire at any university or
are evolving into oneness with God. something yQU think is perma- institute of higher learning. Can you only try to gain a clear intel-
We are, in truth, the Truth we seek. nent, you and you alone give lectual concept of realizing this Self that you felt permeating
The name of that truth-the essence permanence to, through your through you and through all form in your state of contemplation?
of our being-is the Self, with a capi- protection of it? Have you ever That is your next step. Those of you who are wrestling with the
tal S. In Sanskrit, it is called atman, Attaining the Ultimate, like carving ' stopped to even think and get a mind iIi your many endeavors to try to, concentrate the mind, to
or paramatma. Today I want to share a temple, requires diligent effort clear intellectual concept that try to meditate, to try to become quiet, to try to relax, keep trying.
with you an inspired talk about the the Self within you is the only Every positive effort that you make is not in vain. Every single
Self that I gave in 1959 just before my first visit to Hawaii: permanent thing? That everything else brick added to a temple made of brick brings that temple closer to
The Self: you can't explain it. You can sense its existence through is changing; that everything else has a completion. So keep trying and one day, all of a s~dden, you will
the refined state of ypur senses, but you cannot explain it. To know direct wire connecting it to the realms pierce the inner realms of your mind and enter into contemplation.
it, you have to experience it. And the best you can say about it is of joy and sorrow? That is the mind. Then you will be able to say: "Yes, I know, I have seen. Now I
that it is the depth of your Being. It is the core of you. It is you. After the realization of the Self, your know fully the path that I am on." Keep trying. You have to start
If you visualize above you-nothing; below you-nothing; to the effulgent being comes to life as you. Joy somewhere.
right .of you-nothing; to the left of you-nothing; in front of you- and sorrow oecome a study to you. You The Self you cannot speak of. You can only try to think about it,
nothing; in back of you-nothing; and dissolve yourself ~nto that do not have to think. to tell yourself that if you care to, in one way: feel your mind, body, and emotions, and
nothingness, that would be the best way you could explain the each in its own place is unreal. You know know that you are the effulgent Being permeating through mind,
realization of the Self. And yet that nothingness would not be the from the innermost depths of your being which is all form; body, which you inhabit; and emotions that you
absence of something, like the nothingness inside an empty box, that form itself is not real. The subtlety· either control.or are controlled by. Think 0n that, ponder on that, ,
which would be a void. That nothingness is the fullness of every- of the joys that you experience as you and you will fmd you are th~ light within your eyes. You are the
thing: the power, the sustaining power, of the existence of what come into your effulgent being cannot feel within your fingers. You are more radiant than the sun, purer
appears to be everything. be described. They can only be project- than the snow, more subtle than the ether. Keep trying. Each tiJIle
After you realize the Self, YQU see the mind for what it is-a self- ed to you if you are refined enough to you try you are one step closer to your, true effulgent Being.
created principle. That is the mind ever creating itself. The mind is pick ~p the subtlety of vibration. If you
form ever creating form, preservoihg form, creating new forms and are in haqilony enough, you can sense Subt~est ot the subtle, greatest of the great, the atman is hidden
destroying old forms. That is the mind, the illusion, the great unre- the great joy, the subtlety of the bliss that in the cav~ of the heart of all beings. He who, free frQm all
ality, the part of you that in your thinking mind you dare to think you will feel as you come closer and closer to your real Self. I
~u~ gem. You will later find that the light that you found within you
urges, beholds Him overcomes sorrow, seeing, by grace of the
is real. What gives the mind that power? Does the mind have pow- If you strive to find the Self by using your mind, you will strive ISm every pore, every cell of your body. You will later find that Creator, the Lord and His glory.
er if it is unreal? What difference whether it has power or hasn't and strive in vain, because the mind cannot give you the Truth; a that light permeates every atom Of the universe. You will later find YAJUR VEDA
pow~r, or the very words that I am saying when the Self exists lie cannot give you trutn. A lie can only entangle you in a web of that you are that light and what it ~ermeates is the unreal illusion Just as a light shines, diSpelling darkness, so also the Supreme
because of itself? You could livel.n the dream and become deceit. But if you sensitize yourself, awaken your true, fine, beauti- creatM by the mind. Self shines, dispelling ignor;ance. Just as a lamp spontaneously
disturbed by it. Or you can seek and desire with a burning desire ful qualities that all of you have, then you become a channel, a How strong you must be to find this Truth. You must become goes out if not fed with oil, so also the ego becomes extinct if one
to cognize reality and be blissful because of it. chalice in which your effulgent being will begin to shine. You will very, very strong. How do you become strong? Exercise. You must meditates unceasingly and becomes merged in the Self. There is
Malls destiny leads him back to himself. Man's destiny reads him first think that a light is shining within you. You will seek to find e~ercise every muscle and sinew of your nature by obeying the no higher gain than the Self.
into the cognition of his own Being; leads him further into the that light. You will seek to hold it as you cherish and hold a beauti- dictates. of the law, of the spiritual laws. It will be very difficult. A SARVAJNANOTTARA AGAMA



woit!tYOlk fay? ACCOrriiKg to ~

EDITORIAL NarayaKP.£hm.rifki,te-xt aJUi, ako to ~ m.oft and they don't need my contrary example MY TU?RN
to confound their step.
revered ShriJeyeitdr"" sarf.wo.iity of~

DisRense with th~~

Like me, your "'rather is counted different-
SIw.;tlcan.u:lJ.ry"" Ma:f:It., iIt- K~aJ4V, ""for
I.nauspicious or Not? tner Iw.£ every rijW to j~ kif ~Itt:er .
away. SW1U1{iji-wrote- 1M tJr.d ''''"'jri!w.£tov
1y. He has wed and lost his wife. It was a
~ ad event for most, a tragedy for a few. His
-loss sti ll registers as samsk{Lras, subtle im-
(lwlMeJwtder) wIw Iw.£ Loft kif faMdJw.,y1f!.i.;ti pressions in his heart of hearts. It vibrates
Anjali was pained and perplexed when her dad
coutd not give her sister~s hand in marriage
(wifo) Iw.£ ~ rijW tp do ~ KtJ.J1.I'!.i.Ica
D~ &~ away'"hM ~Itt:er). " Howev-el'j
~a.utlwriti.M ~ dec.idedeo play (joti
in his nervous system. It willJive with him
until his Grand Departure. His
bereavement, the sages knew, is a force and
a presence that is not conducive to the
Awful Word- Idol .
aJUi, dut.ied 1M ~ rijW to perforl1V ~ wed- Kannika Dhanam, though he can other-
BY THE EDITOR riiKg cermwny. They ~~ tkrem.ned wise join the celebration of the new Hindus can find a better term for Gods
to ftO!,,~~. TItM~~~feepvtO couples vows.
ULTUMLLY C],UELESS AS YOU CATCH A FLIGHT TO ~~ it UPOf//~ei.ve£ to ~ certai.Jt,traditio~ frlibwUtj The sages are cOIl,cerned wholly with sacred image in our temples and homes
~ bLbuiiy wiilwue 1t4;tiol"0 aJUi, t:Iw.. jWil1.J Hi;uU.d,11V "" bad • forging the purest and strongest marital
Calcutta for your first visit to India? Doni: despair. This bonds, which are a power binding man-
month our educational insight section focuses on cultural ~. Doit!t tIt.ey r~ tJr.d OfCb day, tIt.ey too wi/£ h percei.ved M Uv BY :OR. ANANTANAND RAMBACHAN
and wife, guiding the home and, by exten-
cues and clues for newcomers and travelers in India. While a,U£pi.ciolM w/wr., tkeir f['<JIMU ~ ~ m.aterid wortd? sion, th~ whole of the social matrix. So
our staff originally developed these lists to help pilgrims Swa.Hdj0 I b~yo~ lteip-I#.b to jeJdiy ~ tIu.~ bLUuifo~werf of these bonds, these sacred blending of MONG THE MANY PROBLEMS The word statue is also
avoid those mortifying protocol pratfalls, they have also proven , traditiof//. Heip-~ fee- tJr.d (joti if iIt- everytlWtj, e.ve.i'C/ widow> aJUi, forces and energies, must be protected, faced by Hindus is finding frequently u.sed to refer tel a
helpful for many Hindus living in other nations and returning to
their roots for the first time. Besides, it's fun reading. widowerf. lowe- tIrJ." to myjuher. H~ if jOdly to I#.b. You,., fiKcer~ fostered and nurtured to the best of our appropriate English termi- murti, but this has its own
Anja./i [Not her rM.i ~J capability. The sages judged that having nology for Sanskrit terms. drawbacks. It describes a
But that doesn't mean it's ail fun stuff In fact, some of the is~;ues the relationships of all present to sanctify This is important 'for those who sculptured, cast or molded
surrounding traditional cultural etiquette are painful and perplex- e:=:;4Ee:!'I:I"=:==":O:I:I!J::I:""x:o=~e:):=":=:l1e:::CI:IC=::O",::;:::::I::::=:t:X::I:,,=e:,:o=:::c:=:'=1:;::=:1!e:~I:I:=:;
the marriage be exemplary was impOI;tant. seek to understand, practice and figure, human being or an ani-
i~g to people, old-fashioned and worse. Sure, we ~an all understand We responded: Namaste, Anjali! Your e-mail touched our hearts. According to Swami Paramananda Bharati tran~it their tradition outside of mal. Usually it approximates to
that it's bad form to lick a stamp in India. Common sense tells us Sivaya Subramuniyaswami asked me to share some insights with of Snngiri Mutt, India, our sacred texts, , India. This is not always an easy the original size of the person
that hygiene is the reason. Not telling a mother how beautiful her you. He hopes they help, though he also knows that you may not shastras, ·say that a man's wife is integral to matter, and appropriate substi- or animal it represents.
new baby looks is harder to grapple with, but harmless enough. find all our thoughts consoling. As you know, we follow a strict and the living out of his karmas. She is needed tutes are often difficult to find. The term image is also used
But what about not allowing women into temples during their peri- traditional monastic life here in Hawaii. So in asking our thoughts, to make him complete, and in her absence Sometimes one has to q,e content in place of murti and is an
od or the social rule that divorces and widows/widowers cannot you will naturally get a traditional view. Mqny would disagree. there are karmas he cannot f.ulfill. This is with selecting from a number of imperfect accurate indication of the form which it
participate in rites of passage, including the weddings of their own Firstly, your father is obviously a worthy souL Of that there can one. Proof of this lies in the fact that if alternatives, and careful thought has to be represents. Murtis are meant to focus our
children? Those are hard ones to face. As if the Cosmos wanted us be no doubt. His sacrifice for his daughters is expressive of the- your father remarried, he would be exercised when all the choices are inade- minds on God. Unlike the word image, the
to know so, our publisher received a heart- best virtues of Indian spirituality, and your ma- permitted to give his daughter's hand. To quate. Some English terms are more advan- viewer is not asked to believe thaUhe mur-
rending electronic letter while we were work- turity is but a reflection of the light he has shed have a divorced person present, for tageous than others. They becom.e the ti is actually how God appears.
ing on the feature. It compellingly shows how on you and thus .the world. And who could instance, would br'ing that vibration (you means by which our beliefs are represented The search fqr a suitable English render-
painful such rules can be. Here it is: wonder that he would yearn to give the hand of . coul~ call it that possibility or potentiality) to people outside our tradition as well as to a ing of murti, however, is not fruitless. I
his daughter in marriage? Of course he would. of broken dreams and pFomises into the new gerteration of English-speaking Hindus. recommend the adoption of the term icon.
SWay"" N~! (jreetUrj" fwa.Hdji-: So, our heart must ache a).ong w.ith yours arena of the rite. People commonly say The term murti is familiar to all Hindus While there is some broad usage, it is em-
I pray tJr.dYOlkwi/£ ha.h~to ~~ my when we hear the story, especially knowing, as that the wedding would be "polluted." and is used to indicate the various repre- ployed primarily to denot~ a religious rep-
we do, that Hindu tradition is certain about its That is such a terrible apd untrue expres- sentations of God in our temples and resentation or figure. Icons are treated with
IuMtbreaK. My.fotlu<if ""widower: My m.otner
understanding in this matter. Any widow or sion, and it is not spoken of in our homes. Perhaps the most widely used Eng-
d.id24 yearf P.j0' ~ tkree-cluid¥}Jf/iIt-~ respect because they represent that which
widower is disallowed from j?articipation in the shastras. There is no pollution. Howev,er, lish term to translate murti is idol. I Often is sacred. In the popular culture of the
CM~ ofher YMPOl1£ib~ Jr.u,baJUi,. Like- "" tr~ HUv sacred samskaras. It is not that they ¥e impure, there,is an effect, an impact. Every person shudder when I hear a Hindu guide, giving West, the term does not resonate ne~ative­
~ ~ raUed~ faa~ ~ £u,x wyaJUi, nor lesser beings or any such nonsense. No. present will add an energy. Wanting the a temple tour to, a visitor, describing the Iy. FFom icon is derived the term iconogra-
fOcietat oblijatiol1£ to juid.e, aJUi, ~ 1M, fO Consider this: I am a sannyas·in. But I am disal- union t~ begin in a most ideal manner, murtjs on the altar or in the sanctum as phy, which literally means "writing with
M to ~ 1Mjooti aJUi, ca.ril'fj ci.ti.JZuu of~ lowed from attending that same wedding. This they asked sannyasins, divorcees and wid- idols. The problem) s that this term is com- icons." Iconography describes one of the
wortd. H~~wP.jedlMto par~ilt-ow _ . is fOf esoteric reasons, not personal or supersti- owers to stay apart from certain rites. monly used today to indicate something central purposes of mums in the Hindu
tious reasons, not dogmatia. or creedal reasoJ}s,
cuLtun aJUi, b~ proud ofit. W~ar~ IWW"~ The priests you approached in the tem- which is false and untrue. In the West, still tradition. Each mlwti is a onverbal state-
either., There are subtle spiritual laws at work in ples know the rules, but do not always have deeply influenced by the views of the ment about the nature of God. Like a
~ yowtj HiH.d.tv WOI4!el1/ witk fUCCMifrd such matters. I spoke to the Sivacharya priests
ca.reerr aJUi, P..I'(, ~xtrem.ely r~ cuLtund an esoteric understanding of the reasons Judea-Christian tradition, the term has a scripture consisting of words, a murti com-
about your questions. They explained th~t the behind them. They may therefore follow specific religious connotation. An idol is a municates knowledge about the Divine,
bac.kjroUJt.d,. W~ owe- ~ we- tJ.{~ today to /Um,. rishis of yore set certain rules in motion which the principles a bit superstitiously. Still, the false God, and idolatry is a term of rebuke and the viewer must be equipped with the
W~ar~/Um,. • reflected their sPiritual insights into wisdom's law ftself has merit, remaining part of OUlr and moral disapproval. We Call1].ot ignore necessary skirrs to "read" the meaning of
My luM~arifufol1V~fo«tJr.dmyfor .; way and how humankind can follow it. heritage. - that Hindus have been and continue,.to be the murti. For example, the symbolic ges-
tit.u Iw.£ beur.,dut.iedkif r;ijWto j~away kif . I understand the law which excludes me. I Not all follow these ideals. You yourself condemned by many for so-called "idola- tures of the murti, among others, are a
am a renunciate monk, one who has surrendered the family life, ' have found leaders who feel these customs trous practices." How strange it is for us to visual text or theology.
fecoitd> ~Itt:er at her marriP.j~ cermwny ~ to kif widower ftatu£. I thrown down the world and taken refuge in God wholly and irrev-
~t b~ tIw..t if//tIrJ." day MtiP.j~ tner~ ar~ HiJ.r.du; wIw b~ are outmoded. We would disagree, but appropriate a term to describe ourselves As Hindus continue to make the geo-
ocably. My presence at a wedding would be like water mixing with Hinduism is so broad, so compas'sionate, so which others use to condemn us! Perhaps graphical transition from East to West, we
tIwt widow> aJUi, widowerf ar~ hu.bil'fjerf ofcruet fuck aJUi, tltuefor~ oiL A young couple about to embark on their wedded life would be all-embracing, we can have within Gur spir- there should be a serious and concerted can'not be indifferent or heedless about the
~pi.ciolM at~f. confronted with the other possibility, with the opposite value, in a itual 'family both views and not fee1'threat- effort to avoid its use. challeNges of making the linguistic transi-
W~ lw.uefoUJt.d, tJr.d IW wh.er~ iIt- ~ fcriptwU if it fta.i:ed tJr.d "" sense. The bride might won der, silently, whether her new groom ened. What other faith can say that? tion. tt is necessary to be spiritually cre-
~or wo~hdut.ied~ rijWto ~ilt-cermw~ fucft,M would one day leave her to become a monk. By absenting myself, I Gurudeva sends you his love and DR. R AMBACHAN, 45; is a professor of religion ative in finding new words and symbols to
give them their special celebration without thoughts of such
~" becMU~ tIt.ey ar~ fPOlMeiMf. TIt,U if ridic.u,l.b1M furermtiof//) . blessings for a long, rewarding life guided at St. Olaf College, Minnesota, USA, where express ourselves confidently in order to
things. They are embracing worldly life more powerfully than ever, by God:s love and light. am shanti. he lives with his wife and three children. transmit our tradition to new generations.



"Let your motto be 'Forward, o'nward 8- upward.' Live Shyamal Chandra Debnath,
"The mutt works for integrated
lovingly 'and laughingly, leave peacefully and gracefully." Mutt's Cosmic yoga for mankind, revealing
cosmic cbnsciousness." The
Swami Vlvekananda (1863-19°2) Gita Push mutt presently has 13 branches
in Banglad~sh and abroad. Swa-
ERVING UP THE BHAGAVAD mi continues to draw new
comb is a God. The bowstring is a God. nonsense about yogis, Birbal? This parrot is Gita's lofty message to the young renunciates onto the path
The bushel is a God and.the spouted cup is not meditating. ItS dead!" "Only you can estimated one million Hindus of God Realizaton and service,
a God. Gods, Gods, there are so many, say such a thing, Your Majesty," said Birbal, visiting a famous shrine of "The Mutt will fly its flag forev-
there's no place left for a foot! " Saint reminding the King of his threat. ':.you said Sitakunda on a hill in south- er. We welcome disciples who
Basavanna, Virasaiva (1105-1167) you would execute the man who brought eastern Bangladesh is Swami have an aim to sacrifice tneir
Tapanananda Giri Maharaj's lives for mankind."
you news of the parrot's death." mindful mission. The elderly
"Hinaus are among the most enthusiastic swami, still robust in health and
and energetic devotees. By no means could speech, is head of the Sankara
DID YOU KNOW? Mutt (monastery), built near
our worship be judged idle! " A swami re-
sponding to a charge that Hindus are idol Marvellous Mangoes! Mrs. K Ramasamy, second from /eft, surveys temple construction the holy site. Pilgrims who so-
journ at the mutt can listen to
worshipers with too many Gods. SINGAPORE "the perpetual recitation of the
I HE HISTORY OF MANGO Gita" and receive f00d and
A farmer brought King Akbar a parrot. He cultivation in India stretches over Lady Leads Temple Funding medical supplies. Its grounds
had taught it to sing and talk. "0 King," he 6,000 years. With more than 500 extend for many acres, much of
said, "this parrot can talk excellently. Please varieties in many shapes "SINCE THE GODDESS WE ARE WORSHIPING IS A LADY, it wild and untouched. There is
we ladies also have a part to play," Mrs. Kalyani Ramasamy, now a dairy farm, vegetable
accept it as a gift." Delighted, Akbar or- and sizes, India is the 48, told a Straits Times reporter, explaining her work in fund gardens and orphanage. Swami
dered two servants to "Look after it welL world's largest producer raising for Singapore's new Sree Maha Mariamman Temple in Tapanananda is seeking inter-
Whomever brings news of its death will, of mangoes, both in Yishun. Her part went from proving to men that women can do national architectural help to
From a sacred mountaintop an enthused him~elf, be put to death." In spite of the quantity and variety. Its it to captaincy of a nine men and five women committee that develop "the Sankar Mutt and
spiritual seeker with his arms raised to the servan~' care, the parrot died. They most prized and fmest raised 3.2 million Singapore dollars in just three years. The men Mission, which will take over
on the management committee-on which she was a founding the social activities." The swa-
sky shouted, "I want peace!" Peace echoed thought, "How can we tell the King? He genre, the Alphonso,
member-"challenged me to raise funds from prayer events, and mi told HT correspondent Swqmiji initiates a sannyasin
back from the valley. He was so pleased. will kill us immediately." They remem- with a taste resembling I did. Slowly, I won their confidence." Mr. S. Karuppiah, 59,
Then he hollered, "I want love!" Love bered Birbal and told him about their a combination of necta- says, "We have no problems with her at the helm. She has very TRENDS & TRADITIONS
echoed acros~ the valley. Filled and thrilled problem. He felt sorry and said, "Leave it rine, pineapple and rose good ideas, especially when it comes to raising funds."
he screeched "I want enlightenment now!" to me." Birbal approached Akbar, "I have flower, is exported to the Middle East,
To his chagrin the response was, Then get sad news. Your parrot does not eat, drink, Singapore and Britain. Regrettably they MAURITIUS India Studies at Stony, US
back to your spiritual disciplines! I talk. He just lies there with eyes closed. I are not yet available in the U.S., except
think he has become a yogi and is ll1-editat- for canned pulp. In the meantime, visit Elderly Home on 'Sacred Soil N 1995,700 STUDENTS AT ST0NY BROOK STA'FE UNIVERSITY OF
"The pot is a God. The winnowing fan is a ing." Akbar was sad. "Let us go look." When India to savor the real thing!
Spacious rooms house 12 pe'ople
INew York petitioned for more Indian studies. In 1996 the fac-
ulty and Indian community raised over $100,000 for a center
God. The stone in the street is a God. The seeing the bird he exclaimed, "What is this '
M be a warm, idyllic refuge
in the winter years for 48 poor
each. A dining hall, recreation-
al!fV room and a large outdoor
which opened in April 1997 under the leadership of Prof S. N.
Sridhar, Director of the Center. University president Shirley
I EAT ALL KINDS OF VEGETA- MY FAVORITE FOOD IS WITH A LITTLE SEASONING, men and women (eventually sitting area each contribute to a Strum Kenny called it an "extraordinary" synergy of student,
BRUSSEL SPROUTS. YOU CAN DO WITH IT. IKE ALMOST ANYTHIN 96) who have no family. Mainly comfortable lifestyle. Wheel- activism, faculty dedication and community support. In cash-
for Hindus, the home complex chair paths cross to the temple, barren university budget land, SUNY administrators were de-
lies on the 13-acre which is being re- lighted and respond-
grounds of the fitted for the dis- ed, providing teaching
Sockalingum abled. Guest Hin- faculty and a fully
Meenatchee Am- du spiritual equiped facility on the
men Temple in teachers will pro- fifth floor of the li-
Port Louis. With a vide instruction brary. Courses include
backdrop of chis- and inspiration to Indian Civilization,
eled volcanic the residents. A Religions, Languages,
mountains and its building commit- Social Sciences and
architecture lying tee of five men, co- more. Prof Kamal
along a green river, ordinated by Dr. Sridhar says, "Courses
the home is de- GM. Pillay, raised are full, including
signed for peace- US$100,000 tor the half non-Indians."
ful occupation. Welcoming a refUge project.

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tions Secretary-General, Kofi 'J\s Secretary-General, I look to stated in a letter to Sharan that ethicists, Jin compared Confu- Austin, TX, 78737-9075 USA 560 Bridgetown Pike
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prejudiced against other peoples' beliefs
contribution. I believe that the Varanasi
Ghjtts should be recognized as a world her-
by's Caught Smuggling" in the June edition
of HINDUISM TODAY. I have a BUddha statue
when they haven't even studied the others'
scriptures. And if Judge Roy Moore would
itage site by the United Nations. Hinduism
J;1as nurtured many the world over, and I
that has been in my family for just over 37 speak the truth, this country wasn't founded think it would be appropriate for the "out- Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of India's Independence
years. After reading the article, I began to by Christians, because Native Americans side" world to contribute toward this good
search from where and when it came. As it were here long before Christians were. By work.
Father-Son duo
turns out, the statue is from Tibet, and was the constitution everyone has equal rights, OLIVER HOCKE NHULL
probably looted from there in UJ59. It is a so it is obvious this judge is arbitrarily inter- VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
statue of the Bodhisattva Manjushri, teacher preting the laws for his own purposes. "oliverh@intergate.bc.ca
of wisdom an.d compassion, anti is 600 years PHILIPS T AYLOR
old. My husband and I will be taking him to MINERAL POINT, MISSOURI, USA Ananda Marga: No Doomsday Cult
the Tibetan Government in exile in Dhar- I APP:(I.ECIATED YOUR ARTICLE ON MASS
masala, India. Addresses Are Helpful! suicide (The Spaceship Suicide, CULTS, July
TAMARA LEA BAKER I ENJOY RECEIVING AND READING HIN- '97) and the false connections drawn ' re-
"mermaid@poi.net DUISM TODAY. After each issue, I want to garding the influence of Eastern spiritual
contact different people and Hindu organi- traditions upon the Heaven's Gate cult. The ZAKIR HUSSAIN* SHUJAAT KHAN*
Why Call Our Scriptures Myth? zations. However, the articles almost never- article correctly referred to the flimsy con-
I HAVE READ THE BHAGAVAD GTTA AND provide the addresses and as a result it is nections drawn in a prominent Newsweek Gala Evening at
parts of the Bhagavata Purana. I am won- impossible to send any contributioii' or ex- article. I am surprised, though, that an even
dering why these stories are referred to as tend help. more overt allegation in the very same arti- CARNEGIE HALL
myths nowadays. I looked up the word myth GREESH C. SHARMA cle was overlooked. Newsweek gave a "top 154 West 57th Street at Sev.enth Avenue, New York City
in the dictionary. One of the many defini- YARDLEY, PENNSYLVANIA, USA ten doomsday cult" list, In which Ananda
tions in the Webster's Encyclopedic Un- Marga was cited as one such cult. Ananda Saturday
abridged Dictionary of the English Lan- Educating the Kids Margiis are the followers of Sri Sri Anan- September 13, 1997
guage is "a traditional or legendary story SEX EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT FOR CHIL- damurti, and are sincere practitioners of
that is concerned with deities or demigods dren not only at school but also at home. morality (yama and niyama), tantra yoga, 8pm
and the creation of the world and its inhab- The first phase is teaching it at school and and the intuitional science of the Vedas. Nu-
itants." In Sanskrit the word purana is de- the sec0nd is one-on-one question and an- merous Ananda Margiis in the USA wrote The most highly acclaimed performers of classical Indian
fined as history or myth. I have read in the swer sessions at home. As a father, I myself letters of protest to Newsweek for their gross music to appear on one stage for the first time
Uddhava Cita of the Bhagavata Purana didn't know how to handle the situation at inaccuracy in this matter. However, News-
about the curse of the sages on the Yadavas home when my children were young. I ap- week failed to print any of the articulate and
and the submerging of the city of Dwaraka proached my pediatrician who is an Indian respectful letters presented to them. Not
as a result. I have heard about recent exca- and the local school physician. He said it is only did they offer a slander upon Ananda
vations in Dwaraka which revealed the rem- important that the parents should be aware Marga and hence all tantric and yogic tradi-
nants 0f a submerged city. In other contem- of this two-step approach. He asked me to tions, but they failed to correct themselves
porary world religions the scriptural stories attend the session at their school on how to when presented with compelling evidence
are not referred to as myths. For example, in tackle this subject at home. Most Indians of the inaccuracy of their rep<?rt.
Christianity the Biblical story of the virgin feel that our children need not learn f-rom SHRAVAN KUMAR
birth of Jesus Christ is considered true even us, and it is enough what they have been ex- WASHINGTON D.C. USA AMJAD ALI KHAN AJOY CHAKRABORTY
today. I do not understand this glaring posed to at the schooL But the reality is that "proutwdc@prout.org
anomaly in Hinduism referring to the Pu- children are inadequately exposed about PI. lASRAJ
ranas as myths. their body differences early on in their life. THERE WAS AN ERROR IN THE ARTICLE ON
Their inquisitiveness increases as they ma- the Heaven's Gate Group. It says, ''There are
For tickets, please call 212.545.7536
NEWARK, DELAWARE, USA ture. Children need early preparation and no Catholic gurus, no Protestant gurus, no TICKET PRICES fOR CARNEGIE HALL ONLY
adeqt;.ate training because we live in the Muslim gurus, no Buddhist gurus." But of Balcony $20, $30; Dress Circle $50; Parquet $75, $100; Special Golden Circle $200
Tell It to the Judge electronic world and unwanted, harmful in- -course there are Buddhist gurus. The teacher
I THINK JUDGE MOORE SHOULD ENROLL IN for'mation abounds in the media. in a Vajrayana Buddhi~t context is considered Exclusive Tier II Boxes for 8 available
a comparative religious studies course be- BALA SUBRAMANIAN to be a guru. Other words also usea for such
fore he makes comments about the beliefs of ALABAMA, USA a person are lama and vajra master.
others (That Old-time Religion, CHURCH "aum@mindspring.cdm (Free Arts-in- Education Concerts featuring promising upcoming artists)
AND STATE, July '97). The main historical fig- BIG RAPIDS , MICHIGAN, USA September 4, 1997 through September 12, 1997
ure we think about when discussing the for- Time to Pay Back 'Ilctd@thenewage.com
mation of the United States is a man named I JUST M.TURNED FROM THREE MONTHS OF
Thomas Jefferson. In one of Jefferson's let- travel in India, on a pilgrimage to Her most Letters with writers nam'e, address and daytime
ters, which are detailed irt'a book, he corre- Holy sites, including Arunachala, Kanchi phone number, should be sent to:
sponded with a Unitarian Universalist. and Bhubahaneswar. I also went to Banaras, Letter.s, HINDUISM TODAY SEATTLE
Thomas Jefferson, wheh hearing the tenets the city of Siva, and. though. the spiritual vi- 107 Kaholalele Road Morton M. Symphony Ctr. The Paramount Theatre
of the Unitarian Universalist path, was de- bration of the centre is still palatable-the KAPAA, HI, 96746-9304 USA
or faxed to: (808) 822-4351
September 27 November 1 November
lighted, that he (Jefferson) had finally been pollution and garbage around the ghats is
able to apply a label to his own personal be- disgraceful. We should find some money letters@HinduismToday.ka~ai.hi.us
liefs. ,. here in the West to contribute to a fund that Letters may be edited for space and clarity and may
D ecember 6 December 13 December 19
SHAKTI G ANAPA1TI SUBRAMANIAM would be directed to clean up the garbage. It appear in electronic versions of HINDUISM TODAY.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, USA could provide jobs while making a positive " INDICATES LETTERS RECEIVED VIA E-MAIL For further information, call: WORLD MUSIC INSTITUTE
49 West 27th Street, Suite 930, New York, NY 10001 Tel 212 .545.1425 Fax 212.545.0362
Marriage Rites and Rituals of Hindus \~aJ"• •HRi."__• • •
, )
SAC-RED ARTS dye textiles, and lac items can be found in
Books by Swami Shankar Hindu Marriage Samskara by
Maniharon ka Rasta. .
Hunting for God'
Purushottam Tirtha: Dr. Prem Sahai.
Marble craft drives the economy of Kha-
Yoga Vani This book is a guide and MARRH\GiE zanewalon ka Rasta. Here are hundreds of
show['00ms and workshops spread like a
Instructions for the attain-
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practical manual for under-
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SiAMSiKARA pat~hwork quilt along the narrow lane.

sadhana. recortling the marriage

Rajasthan's Jaipur ,artisans bring the Gods and Every showroom is bursting with hundreds
postpaid: US$13.50 (USA) experience. Dr. Sahai gives of Gods. Next to them, the humans look
$16.50 (Canada) step-by-step procedure in a
angels of heaven to Earth in exquisite marble small and puny as they chisel on the gigantic
clear and organized but not statues, coaxing Godly graces out of the
Guru Bani overly complicated manner. white stone. The marble comes
A MELWANI , NEW YORK fro~ the mines of Markana
100 ways to attain inner By studying this book, a
peace. How to live a spiritual couple can deeply appreciate --"'" HERE WOULD YOU FIND ' which also provided the materi-
life-for monks and families. the profound step they are Siva lost in samadhi, Kr- al for the Taj Mahal.
postpaid: US$9.50 (USA) , ishna playing His' flute In the back rooms one can see -"
taking in their lives, and PREMSAHAI
$12.50 (Canada) consciously embrace with joy and Ganesha feasting on packing materials and boxes, for
the fullnes of this noble rite of passage. It is designed not sweets? In Jaipur's Khajanewalon a great many of these icons are
• Two-year Ayurveda Certification Programs in person or merely to inform, but also to become a lifelong part of the ka Rasta-The Lane of Treasures. part of a-thriving export trade to
by correspondence (either by post or via e-mail) family archives. It is the alternative Vaikunta foreign lands. As the immigrant
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Catalog: $1.00 (free via e-mail) • Consultations. ditions" - Hinduism Today. 150 pg. Hard bound. US$15.00 thousands of marble shops has world, a demand has been creat-
every deity from the Hindu pan- ed for marble deities in the tem-
Ayurveda Holistic Center Available through theon and more Gods gIld God- ples which are opening in many
clo Swami Narayan Tirtha Math Himalayan Academy Publications desses per square meter than parts of the Far/ East, the u.s.
82A-H Bayville Ave. Bayville, NY 11709-1671 USA 107 Kaholalele Road any place in the world. and Europe.
TeVfax: 1-516-628-8200 • Ask for Swami Sada Shiva Tirtha Kapaa, Hawaii 96746-9304 USA I got a chance to visit this sur- As the hour's ticked away in
E-mail: mail@ayurvedahc.com Phone: 1-800-890-1008 ext 238 - within USA real marketplace quite by seren- the heat of the Khazonwalon ka
Web: http://ayurvedahc.com (Free interactive dosha self-test Phone: 808-822-3152 ext 238 - for overseas dipity. My younger sister was Rasta, we still had not found the
and articles) Fax: 1-808-822-4351- 24 hours setting up a temple,in the garden God we were hunting for. We
of her Delhi home and on earli- had to take off our shoes every
er visits to Jaipur had scoured time we entered a shop with
the lanes and bylanes of Kha- Gods, Goddesses and holy men;
janewalon ka Rasta for ·the most every shop had Ganeshas, Krish-
loving images of her favorite nas and even Guru Nanak-but
Printworld Services Pte. Ltd. Gods. As she was leaving, she no Ardhanariswara. Toward day's
came across a rare st~tue of end we reached one of the last
The complete, unabridged Specialists in English language books from around the world Ardhanariswara-half Siva, half shops with very little hope.
edition of Paramahansa focussing (with more than 1,000 titles) on Hinduism, Indian Shakti, which combines the po- There sat the Ardhanarishwara
Yogananda's extraordinary civilization and culture. • . tent ~nergies of both. This mar- in a corne~. Partially.painted, it
life story is available now • Ma, Who is a Hindu? By N.T Nair. Provides a common ble idol has both male and Te- was waiting for my sister. The
for the first time in the platform for all sects and classes of Hinduism. Not dry or male aspects- Sivas matted locks, shopkeepers smiled. They knew
immediacy of the spoken technical. Suitable for enhancing life's everyday. serpent necklace and hermit's my sister would find them- or
word. • Yoga Philosophy by N.T Nair. Insights into the philosophy clothing merging with the sari Ardhanariswara would find her.
and practices of Yoga, as well as its goal: the unraveling of and jewels on the female side. The tourist guide book advises
Yoganandaji was a master the mind's mysteries, leading to the Self and emancipation. Since the statue had not yet one "to bargain every step and
storyteller, and his profound • The Worship of Lord Ayyappan by N. T Nair. The Pilgrim- been p¢nted, my sister had de- not to put on a defeatist atti-
and eloquent autobiography age to Holy Sabrimala and the worship of Lord Ayyappan. cided she would buy it on a later tude." But my sister, an avid ne-
readily lends itself to an audio • Journeys to The Lands of the Gods by Rajalingam Rajathurai. visit. The only problem now was gotiator, just could not bring her- .
presentation. The remarkable The author induces in the reader a desire to realize-self- that she had misplaced the ad- self to hagglt in this hallowed
saints and sages he intro- realization and God-realization-through pilgrimage. dress. How could she find it in Marble marvel: Ratan Chand paints statues which become Gods store. She asked, "How carll bar-
duces ... the colorful scenes • Understanding Hinduism by P.N. Unni and TP. Paran. The gain for God?"
the maze of thousands of shops?
and rich spiritual heritage of harmonious synthesis of theory and practice of Hinduism She was, however, confident that she would orately decorated. The Govind Dev'ji temple My sister was delighted, immediately
India ... his unforgettable integrates the temporal and spiritual life. Hinduism is man- find Him- or He would find her. was built in such a fashion that the king bonding with the figurine. The shop's icons
experiences in higher states of God-communion ... the centered. From the vast body of speculative and rationaJ: . Rajasthan is studded with cities, towns CQuid see the God from the Chandra Mahal painter, former muncipal worker Ratan
founding of his worldwide work in America ... the wisdom, literature on Hinduism, this book extracts the essence of and villages excelling in arts and crafts, and (Moon Hall). which is exactly opposite to it. Chand, a lean man witJ;!. a white beard, is to-
subtle humor, and divine insight of a master of yoga ... all are Hinduism. Supported by appropriate graphics. The talents of the traditional marble day court artist to the Gods. As is the cus-
Jaipur is certainly its crown jewel. Rajasthan
brought to vivid life in a sensitive and compelling reading by • The Worship of Shakti in Hinduism by N. T Nair (release: end has had skilled artisans wo king in brass, -carvers dill be seen in the newly-built Lax- tom here, the face are not painted until the
Academy Award®-winning actor Ben Kingsley. of August)
stone, clay, wood, ivory, silver, gold, marble, mi Naraih temple just outside the Pink City piece is sold. He immediately started the fin-
• The Non-Resident Indian- From Non-Being to Being by leather and textiles for hundreds of years. in Moodi Doongri. Having seen m~y of ishing touches asking, us to return after some
12 Audiocassettes, 18 hours Chandrashekhar Sastry. ''A verbal panavision of the Indian The kings and noblemen of Rajasthan these marvels, we returned to the Lane of time. When we came back, he put the tradi-
Handsomely boxed, with notes and photos US$48.00 immigrant the world over." were avid patrons of the arts and had always Treasures to find our own marble treasure. tional final touch on the eyes and there be-
(does not include shipping, or sales tax in California) Printworld Services Pte. Ltd. • 80 Genting Lane, Genting Blk encouraged their craftspeople, and the pe0- We ~ollowed Jaipur's bustling tributary of fore us Ardhanariswara's stony face was
.#04-02 Ruby Industrial Complex, Singapore 349 565 pIe of this dusty,CIesert kingdom seemed to lanes, each specializing in a certain craft. In transformed into mystic, be'atific glow. The
Self-Realization Fellowship. Visa/MC Orders (Dept.7HTA) . Tel: 65-744-2166 Fax: 65-746-0845. thirst for art. Everything from their homes Ramganj Bazaar, one can see workers creat- peerless He/She was ready to return with us
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Howard, opened consecration cE;remonies
'" to over 60,000 Sri Lankan Tamils. "Because
Pondicherry was a French protectorate, the
greed may be the underlying causes, not
~ultural or religious factors. India recently
In India:
Sri Jiva Rajasankara
Bhattacharya, featuring music,
dance, religion, social
customs, arts and crafts of
Mahesa Exports, 17 Income Tax Layout many countries of Asia. Each
at the Mandir Society of Australia's Maha earlier arriving Indian Tamils didn't need passed a law making husbands and in-laws
visas to travel to France," sources told HIN- Vijayanagar, Bangalore 560 040 approx. 30 minutes- US $34.50
Kumbhabhishekain for the Sri Vishnu Siva guilty until proven otherwise if a bride dies
Mandir on June first. Foundation stones for DUISM TODAY. The Refugee Council in Lon- within the first year of marriage. Since , Tel: 91-80-839-7118 • Fax: 91-80-839-7119 • The Cosmic Dance of Shiva.
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years earlier. An estimated 10,000 relations dropped by more than 50%.
Ms. Chudikadevi Saravan Reddy. Order #V72409
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on a USA tour until Economist. With hundreds of amendments souls of the 'living Buddhas' who reside in
Sri Ramesh Sivanathan Ritual music,dance in rich
September. He IS the recommended to Parliament and approved Tibet's temples and menasteries," report's
No: 14 Jalan Rawa, of.f Jalan Imbi cultural and artistic setting.
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ramam in 1926. The bership in tlie Commonwealth, from which the Dalai Lama, Beijing's greatest rival for
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SIVA IS NOW WORSHIP.PED IN OMAN, in what is rine and bromine are blamed. the 12,000 state-managed temples.
reportedly the first temple of its kind in
any Islamic country. Hindus have also been BROTHER MARVIN IS WORLD MUSIC incarnate. SUBJECTS OF THE WORLD'S ONLY HINDU king-
given cremation grouhds. Omans Sultan, The Trinidadian of African descent wears dom are well served by Diyalo, North
Al-Khubus, has even granted citizenship to akurta and America's Nepalese Community News
a Mr. Khimji, a Hindu businessman. Nehru hat, speaks Magazine. The quarterly publication from
Oman's first non-Muslim citizen. He was of "Mother India" Toronto has news, ~ssays, trekking, enter-
also honored with the Arab honorific title . and sings Hindi tainment and children's features. Contact:
for headman or senior clan leader and is and English lyrics Mr. Sharad Subba, 3-9251, 15 Avenue, St.
now "Sheik Bhairamji Khimji." in a hit song Michel, Montreal, PQ HIZ 3P4, Canada.
called "Jahaagi
en into disuse and are now dry or dilapidat- hood of the boat." Trinidadian "loves India France's best-known astrologer, Elisabeth
ed wesores at too many Hindu temples in It's about
,,- the Teissier, reveals in her book, Under the
Chennai. "While some of them lost their common experience of African slaves and Sign of Mitterrand,
scenic appeal years ago, a few are on the indentured East Indian workers with "mu- ....how the late French
verge of losing their ground, too, due to si~ of distinctly Indian origin," writes Anil president (just like ,,-
rapid urbanization and encroachments," re- Mahabir, who says Brother Marvin's follow- Ronald Reagan) "... re-
ports The Hindu. Multi-story buildings now ing in Trinidad and Tobago is "massive." alised astrology was a
hide many lovely tanks from view and have useful instrument of
even cut off the flow of natural rainfall that MEDIA'S FOCUS ON BRIDE BURNING paints In- power," and relied on
keeps them full and clean. dia as a dangerous place. But if statistics her for the timing of
can be u;usted, a study by Hindus Against referendums, ad- ,,-
THE TAMIL EXODUS from Sri Lanka continues the Abuse of Women presented at the Sec- dresses to the na- ' Teissier tells the time
unabated. Over 1,500 refugees have settled· ond International Conference on Bride tibn, even readings
in or near Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram Burning and Dowry Deaths in India puts on when Saddam Hussein would pull back
district. In Europe, Lithuanian officials re- USA in the lead of familial femicide. It says his troops during the Gulf War.
port unrest at a camp housing over 600 ille- USA murders of women committeCl by "in-
gal immigrants, including Sri Lankans. Italy timate relations" are 15 per year per million BRIEFLY is compiled from press, TV and
continues to intercept refugee-laden boats population. The rate in Pakistan'is 6.44 per wire-service reports and, edited by RAVI
off its Calabnan Coast. Paris, with its long- million. India's is 6.25 per million. The PERUMAN, award-winning radio journalist
established Tamil community, is now home study says excessive need for control and at KGO in San Francisco.


Gamelan: (left ) Gamelan groap at a house
ceremony in Blangsinga Village. (center)
Forging a metallophone key. (right) The sa-
cred Gamelan Semar Pegulingan ("Game-

ious er ussionis
Ian of the Love God") at Ketewel Village is
played only for religiOUS ceremonies and
has not left the temple in four centuries.

Balinese performing arts. Although the

academy is giving birth to a new generation
of professionals, music remains by and large
a nonprofessional, village endeavor.
N ALMOST ANY EVENING IN BALI, that the lead metallophone player was close to synchrony so that they fit together like two kind of gamelan ensembles have been docu- People participate in these groups from a
one can hear the bell-like tones of 70 years old. It was in great contrast with the pieces of a puzzle. But this is much more mented, and the list grows as a younger gen- very young age, and one is often surprised to
the gamelan-from the high, other music which had ~egun to fascinate me than a technical exercise. I once saw two eration of composers experiments with new hear intricate pieces being performed by
shimmering melodies of the met- at that time, Indian classical where there is a players in rehearsal working out their parts combinations and types of instruments. The children\; groups in which the average age is
Hi:tJlIU~I11Ullt:O to the deep, resonant gradual build-up of tempo and complexity. so that every physical gesture-from the ensembles range in size from the small gerk( only 12 years. I once attended a rehearsal of
tones of the gongs and drums- Even the structure of Balinese music way they raised their mallets to their body der wayang, a quartet of musicians who play the famed gamelan orchestra from the vil-
drifting across the rice fields as vil- seems unique. Over the centuries, Balinese language and facial expressions-were com- the demanding accompaniment for the lage of Pinda. As I scanned the players,
lagers prepare for yet another temRle cere- musicians have developed a musical lan- pletely matched. It was like a dance. wayang kulit shadow play, all the way up to mostly in the 30s or 40s at the time, I no-
mony. I firs~ encountered gamelan not in guage in which layers of melody and com- Because of the constant demand for musi- the massive gamelan gong, whose 35 or 40 ticed that one of the two jublag players was
The complex rhythmic Bali but in California when I sat in on a re- plex figurations are interwoven to produce a cal performances, there is a very large num- members perform the ancient and stately almost invisible. All I could see were his
hearsal of Gam~lan Sekar Jaya, the Ameri- dense tapestry of sound. The music is re- ber of 1}ctive music and dance troupes on
orchestral music of can music group I later jOined and now di- hearsed to perfect synchrony by musicians the island (one recent estimate put the total
ceremonial pieces required for village rituals.
This as tonishing degree of musical activi-
hands coming up from behind the instru-
ment. It dawned on me that this was a small
rect. Their Balinese teacher, Wayan Suweca, in a typical village gamelan percussion, or-
Bali rivals the best of requested I play the kajar, the beat-keeping chestra. No religious or secular celebration is
at well over 2,500). However, 'with the ex-
ception oflarge hot~1 or other tourist perfor-
ty is not intended only to maintain the tradi- child, probably no more than eight years old,
tion, out to extend it. New works are con- yet he pla,yed his part perfectly. He and oth-
classical traditions East instrument. At the time, I was a music stu-
dent at the University of California and fan-
complete without music and dance.
Organizationally, music and dance troupes
mances, little money is made. stantly being created and premiered. If er children in Pinda late! formed theit own
The most common kind of gamelan con- deemed worthy by the players and the audi- group, which played at an adult level of vir-
or West. Played jn tem- cied myself a pretty sophisticated musician. in Bali are rooted in the banjar-the funda- sists of bronze keys suspended over bamboo ence, such pieces are added to the existing tuosity. People do not lower their expecta-
I thought keeping the beat ~hould be easy. mental unit of community within the Bali- resonators in carved wooden frames, togeth- repertoire and may even gain island-wide tions for child performers, with the result
ples for the Gods or at Everything went well until the npddle of a nese village or town. Its guiding principle er with a number of bronze gongs, drums, popularity. The Balinese view this as a that they rise to the occasion and play with
complex composition when the whole piece and philosophy is that any group must strive cymbals and flutes. But there are bamboo "grafting o~new flowers onto the old tree"
concerts for people, it turned on its head metrically, as if the to exist as a coherent unit rather than as a! ensembles as well-entire orchestras of rather than a break with tradition-an atti-
remarkable skill and concentration. But they
still manage to remain' children, and have
downbeats were suddenly upbeats. I had no collection of individuals. Unlike in Western
is enjoying a sudden idea what was going on around me-this or classical Indian music, a single part or
bamboo marimbas or flutes. All gamelan in-
struments, no matter how or where they are
tude that insures the vitality of the arts here.
These ideals find clear expression today in
fun in the process.
The gamelan selur'tding is a rare and sa-
worldwide apprecia- was something outside my musical experi-
ence. At that moment I was captured.
musician cannot stand alone, but is integral to
the whole. For this reason, solo performance
played, are believed to contain spiritual po- the National Institute of the Arts in Denpa- cred ensemble, with keys made of iron with
wer which must be respected with proper sar, where many of the country's besf per- simple trough resonators. The one at Asak
tion. A special report The first real Balinese gamelan (pro- is essentially nonexistent in Bali. offerings and rituals, depending on the oc- formers, composers and choreographers village, for example, is so sacred it is kept in
nounced gha-meh-Ion ) I saw was in the vil- Gamelan music is interlocking, meaning casion and the date in the Balinese calendar work tG develop and transmit their arts to a its own pavilion, which is not entered by
by Wayne Vitale. lage of Pe1iatan. From the first note they that the faster layers of melodic rhythmic on which the gamelan was originally made. new generation. The Institute also serves as anyone except the priests 'and musicians.
started to pla¥ the stage exploded with ener- elaboration are divided into two comple- There is an amazing diversity of musical the focal point for an international commu- On those rare occasions on which this
gy, made all the more amazing by the fact mentary parts, which are played in close ensembles and genres. Some 25 different nity of artists and scholars interested in the gamelan is carried in a procession, all elec-
trical cables above the street must be sev- pentatonic, or five-tone, scale that is unique Each tone in this Balinese tuning system
ered, so that no man-made object is above to that particular set of instruments. While has a corresponding tone tuned slightly MASTER MUSICIAN through them and tell them whats going
the sacred iron keys. all !IDsembles of a similar type will be tuned higher or lower, so that ~hen struck togeth- on. Trance happens by building up the at-
The bronze instruments are all hand-
forged in Bali by using centuries-old tech-
niques. Each orchestra. is tuned to match a
to approximately the same scale: there is no
uniform standard of reference. Each thus
presents a unique sonic universe.
er the two notes produce a pulsating, tremo-
lo effect. This "paired tuning" is responsible
for the shimmering quality so characteristic
.1 'We Play to Entertain the mosphere around them with incense, offer-
ings 1l9d certain kinds of music.

of the Balinese gamelan.

.orchestras play at dazzling tempos- Gods-And the People' Philosophy of the notes
Ev~ry note in the gamelan has a partner
note detuned from it slightly to create pul-
The Gong Kebyar Orchestra enough to keep up with even the most nim:'
ble-fingered classical pianist. Western musi- sation when they are hit together. It is a re-
Most common in Bali is the full-scale gong kebyar gamelan of 30 musicians cians are amazed by the speed of these An interview with! Wayan Sinti of Bali flection of the Hindu concept of dualism
[in the sense of male/female, Siva/Shakti].
interlocking parts, by the pure unity of the
ensemble and the fact that all the music is -/ If you play one of those notes
Low-pitched metallo- learned completely by heart. One baffled Performer; teacher; scholar and • without its partner, it is not
phones The five-key Suspended Gongs composer for both gamelan or- complete. They are always nIt
Western sy mphony .orchestra conductor
all except bende
jegogans and octave
high, jublags
~ Set of 10 tuned gongs: one are for cyclic
90mmented upon his first gamelan perfor- chestra and dance, I Wayan Sin-
ti has w on abundant awards in
together. In gongs you have a
female gong and a male gong
person on the temmpong, ....mance, "Well, I don't know what they are do-

one octave lower than ing, but they are certainly doing it together." Bali's annual Festival of Arts played.together. They are even '
the1'eyong This sophisticated music attracted the at- and is a recognized expert in married' in a ceremony. The
classical music and vocal styles.
c::l ~/ tention of composer Claude Debussy in drums as well. You can't have

1889, and later of Colin McPhee in 1931 who With the help of translators one drum. The male and fe-
moved to Bali for eight years. McPhee espe- Wayn e Vitale, Seka1' Jaya's di- male play different parts which
Bamboo Drums
~/ Flute two-h e a d V cially was responsible for spreading knowl- 1'ectow, and Rajakumar Manick- interlock. The composite of i
~ ruling, wood drums edge of gamelan in the West. Today there am of MalaYSia, he shared the what they play is important.
one or kendang are more than 200 gamelan in America traditional attitudes ana. belief s
~ more wadon (fe- ~ of the Balinese gamelan 'musi- Women playing glimelan
alone, of which Sekar Jaya (below) is one of
\::p male) and / ~ 0 kempu1' the most widely known. Gamelan has be- cians with HINDUISM TODAY. Earlier it was the tradition that
Strings kendang
""" 1'ebab
lanang (male) keep~ beat ~ ~ come far more than an exotic import, today
influencing an entire generation of Western God and gamelan
only the men played gamelan. -
Recently, especially in a contest
composers and spreading its magic amon.z Thisvform of art is God's cre- of the yearly gamelan festival,
Gangsa section: Ten-key metallophones. The cen- \ /?\ kemong ~ ation. Every time t.h ere is a cere- there are female groups. There
ter ugal is the section leader, four perruu1es play ~ thousands of new devotees. ..
mony in Bali, it is accompanied are no mixed groups. The only
melody and four kantil follo~ octave~gher ~ CONTACTS: INDONESIA-I NYOMAN W INDHA, S. S.KAR, ST SI

2 2 7 3 16. STSIDPS@DE NPII.SA.RWASANTARA.NET.ID; I WAYAN by gamelan music. One of the time you ever see male and fe-
fundamental goals is to entertain male together would be at the

>< bende }A.YA, 6485 CONLON AVENUE, EL CERRITO, CALIFORNIA the Gods, to make the Cods feel two academies in a learning sit-

"...o ETY, 725 P{illK AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 1002 1. CANADA - welcome and for them to enjoy uation.

~ Set of 12 tuned gongs: four
BRITISH COL UMBIA V6 T 1Z2 CANADA . GBlUlANY -PROF. them. Through gamelan 'a. feel- Men and women playing
"" musicians on the 1'eyong DIETER MACK, MUSIKHOCHSCHULE FREIBURC,
14 ~lg~:M~~:~~~:=::
ing of gratitude for the Gods can together in concert in Ball
be expressed-gratitude that we Maybe... ..
~ ~==========================================================~ exist, that we eat, that we live,
that we have art and that we - The new gamelan
In today's era of identity pol- have a way to create beauty In 1914 a new kind of music
·A Western Rendition ' itics, Sekar Jaya's mu~ical ex-
plorations may raise some eye- Proper timing
was invented based on the pre-
existing styles. The older game-
brows. These people were not The music supports the atmos- Different drummer's beat: I Wayan Sinti playing in San Francisco Ian changed. They actu,ally
California's Gamelan Sekar Jaya wins acclaim in Bali born to Balinese music; they phere of what's happening in a
ceremopy You can't do a certain part of a group will pray in the temple for success
melted their keys down and
made this new kind of instrument to play
are I).ot returning to their
'roots'. Sekar Jaya's compose~s ritual until it becomes apparent to every- and unity of the ensemble before they do this new music, called Gong K.ebyar. In the
EKAR JAYA (" FLOWERING are border-crossers. As a result one together that this is the right moment the cqmpetition. Nothing is purely secular. last 80 years, this kind of gamelan has be-
Success") is an indepen- their work is potentially con- to do the next step.. Part of that whole feel- Even in rehearsals, there are offerings. come more widespread l}I1d popular. The
dent gamelan ensemble troversial; it can be interpreted ing is the music. The music is acting as a old style was much plainer and less -:
that has surpassed . all as either homage or plunder. medium for people to connect to one an- Ancestors adorned. The new style ranges from hard-
other American groups in en- they have themselves strug- other and to connect with the Gods who My father and my grandfather were musi- hitting and fast to sweet and mellow.
durance, sense of purpose anq: gled with the issue of musical are visiting the temple. cians. I do not know, but I hope they watch
acclaim. The group is based in exploitation, refusing at first to me from the heavens. Whenever we have Gamelan outside Ball
northern California, and has "meddle" with Balinese tradi- Religious and secular music ceremonieS-or cremation rites we offer, be- We have no problem w).th gamelan being
been performing since 1980. tion. But the Balinese them- The line between religious and secular in sides food, music and dance. We hope that played in other countries. Some gamelan do
The Indonesia press hailed it selves have proved to be the Balinese music and dance is rtot clear. In a . the ance~tors will enjoy these. Even though haveTa special spiritqal power. In consider-
as "clearly the finest Balinese most enthusiastic supporters of music festival you have two competing they are uead, they will wake up from the ation of that, those instruments should not
g amelan outside of Indonesia: Sekar Jaya's innovative, cross- gamelan playing on opposite sides of the heavens. play in certain situations, for example) in a
Unlike in Bali, few temples in cultural musical experiments. stage. On the surface that's a very secular pornographic film. From a cultural or artis-
America need the services of a By M ARC PERLMAN, Tufts kind of situation. People come and sit in the Trance compOSitions tic point of view, the people of Bali feel
gamelan, and Sekar Jaya must University, Massachus etts, USA audience, and th;y scream and yell. Even At times the priest will request certain very strongly there should not only be tra-
fund-raise to pay its way On stage in San Francisco: The 35-member American group so, there are many religious aspects. Before songs to bring someone into a trance state. dition, but there should also'be innovation
they do the performance each group does An ancestor or a particular God will actu- and new music. Things that come from out-
offerings. All the members of the gamelan ally come and inhabit someone and speak side could be adapted to Balinese tradition.
MUSIC Some of the pronunciations on the CD are
not in accord with Sanskrit grammar. Shri Anandi Ma-Master Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic

Shankar's New GD- SHANKAR: The variation tn pronunciation is

due to regional differences. People from
North India, South India, or from eastern
in the tradition of Kimdalini
Maha Yoga-will be offering
public meditation programs
Physician and Director of the
Institute, with visiting faculty,
offer the Ayurvedic Studies

Mantras by a Maestro' or western parts of India tend to pronounce

the same word differently. People from al-
most every state ih India have their own • Antioch, CA:
Program, seminars and pri-
vate consultations.

peculiarities of pronunciations. It was also August 1 & 2 Yearly Curriculum:

A rare rap with Ravi on his projects and future difficult to find people with superb voices Tel: 510-649-3005 • I: Introduction to philosophy,
who also have precise pronunciations. I did • Cleveland, OH: theory and systems (Fall).
consult with scholars during August 15 & 16 • II: Introduction to Ayurvedic
Pandit Ravi Shankar's new CD, the project. Tel: 216-261-8498 assessment (Winter ).
"Chants of India," produced by • III: Intra. to management of
long-time friend and student, What are your plans for the Shaktipat initiation will be imbalances (Spring).
George Harrison, and €onduct- Ravi Shallkar Foundation in offered by appointment each
ed by Shankar's daughter and New Delhi and CaliforniaP weekend. "With Shaktipat, • Correspondence Course by
sitarproteg¢e, Anoushka, 16, is SHANKAR: That foundation will the student is saturated with Divine Energy. After Dr. Robert Svoboda, Ayurvedic Physician
a del'ightful collection of bene- be a nonprofit organization de- Shaktipat, the Kundalini is permanently awakened and, • Weekend and Intensive Seminars: Ayurvedic Cooking, Psy-
dictory Sanskrit slokas and voted to music, the performing like a mother, constantly cares for and nourishes her infant. chology, Herbology, Pulse Reading, Sanskrit, Jyotish, etc.
mantras. In an exclusive inter-· arts and literature. The centers One may be of any religion, caste, or creed to benefit; for • Panchakarma-purification and rejuvenation by licensed staff:
view, now rare for the 77-year- will also house archives of my all persons, the field of inner joy is the same. After Shakti- oil massage, herbal steam, cleansing diet, herbal therapy, etc.
old musician, Ram Shankar spoke works and those of other fine pat, the Shakti will take the student to the ultimate goal, • Ayur-yoga-integrating Ayurveda and Yoga for the purpose
with HINDUISM TODAY'S correspon- musicians. The purpose will be without doubt." of returning each person to his or her balanced state.
dent Archana Dongre in Los jinge- to establish peace and harmony • Ayurvedic and Western herbs, extracts, oils, books, audio
/es, California. Excerpts: through. music. Eventually, I and video tapes and a quarterly journal.
will be spending more of the
HINDUISM TODAY: Is this CD specifi- year in India and less time Write/call for our mail order catalog and information:
cally for Western audiencesP here in California. The centers The Ayuvedic Institute • PO Box 23445
SHANKAR: No. I absolutely deny will also delve into more cre- Albuquerque, NM 87192-1445 USA
that. But, I did not do it only for ative projects, like my ghana- Tel: 505-291-9698. Fax: 505-294-7572
the Indian audiences. This has shyam or ballet productions.
been one of the most difficult
challenges in my life. There are When you had come back from
hundreds of CDs floating in the India in 1992 to make your Sri Curubhyo Namaha
market of various mantras and flome near San Diego you were Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation Inc. USA • Sringeri Sadhana Center invites you to the
stotras, which fall into three unhappy with the government.
grades-the traditional shastris'
chantings, mantras in beautiful
ragas along with musical instru-
SHANKAR: I did have some
problems \\iith the Indian bu-
reaucracy at that time, but all
Athi Rudra Maha Yagnam.
Conducted for the first time outside India
ments, and the cOIIlD,).ercial film that has been..,solved now. Our
tune version. I did no t want to government is now doing more
follow any of the above patterns,
neither did I want to give it a
than any other government in
the world as far as arts and mu- His Holi/Iess jagadguru
Z2-Septembrer 1~ Among Vldyas, l'ed. lS are supreme.
fn \~ Rudram ~ supreme.
West~rn garb, with full orches- Pundit Ravi Shankar: In.dia's almost mythical musical minstrel sic are concerned. Sankaracbor)'o Sri Bborali In Rudram, the Paochakshari
tration and big chorus. I took a
long time to decide my method in order to instrumental background is very subtle. He What is your advice to young musicians of
7frlba MabasulQmiji, of
smlgerl Sborada Peelbam,
Sringeri Sadhana Center "ijamas;lvaya" ~ supreme.
:indIn I~ the tll'O syllables
KtmUIloko, htdia.
keep the purity of the sound. I kept the is not a featured artist in it, nor did he America-either Indians or Americans- RD 8, Box 8116, Stroudsburg, PA 18360 USA ' Tel: 717-629-7881, 1-800-45HINDU "Sil'a" are supreme.
Vedic three-note tune and arranged some compose any music. His role was great as a wishing to learn Indian musicP , Dr. S. Yegna Subramanian: 609-530-0299, or S.S. Iyer 908-238-1119
ragas in the background, in flute, or violin, producer, in balancing, editing and mixing SI;lANKAR: Young people do not like advice.
or cello, harp or some such instrument, to which he did with love and expertise. You should give them something, and then CoincidiBg with the 50th Anniversary of India's Independence in August this year, Indians living in the US will have an unprecedented opportunity to
create celestial sounds. There is lots of reli- find out if they are interested. If they are, witness and participate in a spectacular Yagnam which will reverberate the powerful Vedic chant on Lord Siva - successively for 11 days.
gious singing with a very univ~rsal appeal. Does he respect Sanskrit as you doP by their own choice, that will be a great
You'll hear vina, bamboo flute and tambura SHANKAR: His love for the In~ian culture service to them. My daughter and her •.
but no sitar or sarod. From the vast Vedas, and Vedic culture is so great tha~you will friends, George Harrison's children, and TheAlhi. Rudra Maba Yagnam, the highest form of Vedic fire This Maba Yagnam will honor and encourage the Vedic
after six months of research, I chose a few not believe it. He has studied it, resulting rite to Lord Shiva, will be performed by 121 trained priests, the pandits,for their dedication tothe protection and propagation of our
several of my friends' young children have
majority of whomare coming fromIndia for this purpose. They will scriptures, theoasis of our Dharma.
mantras that denote peace and love. I grew in knowledge and a deep appreciation. He been favorably impressed with the new CD.' chant the most powerful prayer of Hindu scripture, called "Sri We appeal to all devotees to ayall of this unique oppoI:tunity to
up in a brahmin family listening to many of considers me as a guru, who has initiated Many years ago, when the Gandhi film was Rudram," (a 2(}.minute chant) 14,641 times, and perform 1331 participate in thisA1aha fagnam, offer their bestfinaneial support,
these slokas and Upanishadic'excerpts and him in all this. Thirty-one years ag0 I gave released, I found young people were im- homas during the Yagnam, starting onAugust 22. and receive the inflnite grace of Lord Siva.
became aware of their profound ~piritual him a book, Autobiography of a Yogi, and pressed with it. There is something in these Conducted for the flrst time on a magnitude unheard oL outside Sponsor at least one priest from India at US $3,000, or anyone
anti calming effect. All this effort is not just also Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda, that moves them. All my music has spiritual India, the homas will take place in specially built altars at the day's Rudra japa and homa at US $501, or any other prescribed
for Westerners or for Indians, but for uni- which changed him so much. Then through unClertones, and the young people are inter- Sringeri Sadhana Center, set against the majestic backdrop of the boma at US $51, for your welfare. Please Gall609-5~0-0299 or 908-
Pocono Mountains, in Stroudsburg, PA. The4900 hours ofprayer and 238-1119 (or any odler personal OJ corporate sponsorship category.
versal appeal. the music, he traveled so far, questing after ested in it. Not only in the 1960s, but even \\!dicceremoniesspanning 11 days are unprecedented in America. Website: http)iwww.asaneloom/sringeri
Maharshi Mahesh Yogi and Srila Prabhupa- today my audience comprises young people. The Sringeri Sadhana Center originated in July 1995 with the Tax deductible contributions In US dollars maybe made payable
How has George Harrison contributedP das movement. We meet quite often. CD available from: Angel Records, P. O. blessings of HIs Holiness Jagadguru Sankaraebarya of Sringeri to SYBF-Ath\ Rudram Account. 'Please mail checks to our
SHANKAR: His contribution in the vocal or Box 1592, New York, New York 10028 USA. Sharada Peetham, Kamataka, India, to spread Sanakmo Dbarmo • registered office:
in the West Discourses, Veda parayanams, lectures, and music IJ1Jis Yagnam is the bighestform afRudra Yagnam with Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation, Silverline Coq>orate Plaza, '-""\..
concertswill take place duringthis period. Foodwill beserved for all. 14641 recitalions afSri Rudram & 1331 Rudra Hamams. 53 Knightsbridge Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854. ~ ;}-
~~-,~~,-~~~~~~~~~-'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~l~7 -
.1:r~' ~ ,~~ ~~; ~~

• Only one of five fire

Critics Cite Various Oversights trucks contained water;
siphoning water from a
Thirty thousand people were gathered in the "Big temple," nearby canal was disal-
as it is also known; but safety precautions were fatally inadequate. lowed
• The blaze was fueled
Fire began In the huge yagasala, a tempo- by tons of clarified but-
rary wood and nylon pavilion for fire rites. ter and a synthetic car-
pet in the yagasala

400' • Electric transformers \

were overloaded with
thousands of lighting
9 decorations
• Only one narrow pas-

fire truck
sage provided escape
• Dozens of women
and a few children
Fireworks outside sleeping in the yagasala
temple wall: Drifting were victims in the
embers a possible cause stampede and fire

Devasted: Police inspect remains of the large tented area constructed for the rituals


Temple Ablaze!
Thirty-nine perish at reconsecration ceremonies
for Thanjavur Siva Temple in South India

While pilgrimaging to the temples of South pIe's interior was filled with thousands of
India, HINDUISM TODAY Deputy Managing people. All lights were turned off after the
Editor, Yogi Kashinatha, was present June 7, fire began-making it more dominating and
1997, when a tragic fire broke out during ominous. It burned strong for an hour, con-
massive ceremonies. His eyewitness account: suming the temporary wood-and-nylon pavil-
ion where special rites and homas are held.
lREWORKS BURST ABOVE U$-, THEIR A single fire truck parked next to the ya-
. glowing embers drifting effortlessly gasala contained no water to fight the blaze. chanting blared while colorful lights flashed. successfully seized all the primary kumb- This tragedy is not alone. Just a few days foot gold kalasa on top of the temple. He
across the temple courtyards. From Thirty-nine 9.evotees died and 250 were in- Inside the yagasala, fifty homa fires were has, and only two priests suffered burns. later 60 perished in a New Delhi theater, and consoled, "The dead are punyavan ,(merito-
the main temple, we first no- jured in the stampede to escape. They were. tended by 120 Sivacharya priests. Though Had the main kumbhas been lost, 1,000 last February, 204 died in Orissa. POliticians rious), for they would have uttered God's
ticed flames reach over the far corner mostly elderly women already tired and un- there was no visible outlet for the consider- years oj accumulated energy would have flung ch3Y"ges and countercharges. The Tamil name at the time of death. I am convinced
wall. One leapt and subsided, then another. able to cope with the crowd. A priest heard able heat and smoke, there was never any been dispersed, a major disaster. Nadu state government said it could not insist of their auspicious departure since they left
Our focus was riveted. We said, as if hoping , cries of "Siva, Siva!" from the dying. sense of danger. • The priests sought advice from H.H. S;wa- on preventative measures in this temple's their mortal coil at the holy temple. Karma's •
it were not true, but knowing in an instant Earlier in the evening, we mingled with This was only the fourth reconsecration of mi Jayendra Saraswati, Sn.ankaracharya of case, because it is controlled by the Central law is subtle but clear-~elfare ensues from
that it was, "That's the yagasala!" The flames the 30,000 pilgrims gathered to celebrate in Brihadeeswara in 1,000 years. For the event, the venerable Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Government as !l UNESCO world heritage good deeds and misery from bad aeeds.
paused momentarily, then flared in unmis- this temple town of Thanjavur. Music and a giant yagasala structure, 400 by 300 feet, (monastery), who was at the moment in monument-at 216 feet, its main tower is The afflicted have to recollect their past
takable fury. Sparks, embers apd smoke bil- was constructed of synthetic material and Shimla, North India. He advised they pro- Asia's tallest. HH Swami Gautamananda of deeds and atone piously as they are able."
lowed up forcefully from the intense heat covered with. a low, thatched palm leaf.roof ceed with the ceremonies, and two days lat- the Ramakrishna Mission, t hennai, said Another saint offered, "It is said that what-
below. We prayed the fire woule;! somehow Preceding days of ceremonies had parched er the ritual was completed. Afterwards, devotees should take an active role at events. soever one has on his mind at the time of the
be put out before going too far, but knew this roof to tinder dryness. The days-long H.H. Arunagirinatha Sri Gnanasambanda 'i\t least 1,0(J0 volunteers to ensure safety and great departure is the d,.estination within the
this was the farthest point from the fire ceremony involving more than one hundred' Desika Paramachar.iya Swamigal, head of comfort of devotees should be trained. Fire inner lokas, and sets the pattern for the next
truck. A sea of terrified people were hud- priests "recharges" the temple. As part of Madurai Aadheenam, the olcJ:est monastery .fighters, emergency exits, and restraining of life on Earth. Those ,blessed souls, who had
dled in between. The flames leapt higher this process, all the power of the temple in South India, disagreed with this timing. all causes of fire should be arranged. In this Supreme God Siva on their mind and in their
and with more force. At their n.eight tHey Deities is temporarily transferred by the He sa~d, "Immediately pffi"forming it after case almost none were there to help." hearts at this most auspicious occasion, who
eq1J.alled one of the temple towers. We heard Sivacharyas into brass kumbhas (water ves- the fire was wrong. Since there were multi- Asked for a mystical explanation at this were taken up by His fire of grace are thrice
no screams from the other side; it was an selS). These are placed in the yagasala while ple deaths, it should have been postponed for event, H.H. Sri Sri Sri Trichy Mahaswamigal blessed. Some attained moksha, freedom
eerie sight. We were awestruck, in shock, to- the main sanctum is cleaned and renovated. at least a year. OF$ anizers should have' asked of KaM:asa Ashram, Bangalore, sald there from rebirth, others a place in the Brahma
tally helpless. We knew the yagasala was be- ~ These kumbhas became the main concern the Saiva Aadheenams' advice rather than were "drawbacks in the performance ofthe Loka at His feet and the ass~rance of an ex-
ing consumed and lives were being lost. We ~ after the fire was put out and victims had the Shankaracharya, because the temple is temple rituals." He discounted such expla- cellent birtli having, through His fire of grace,
had been there just minutes earlier. The tem- been cared for. We were that told the priests of the Saivite traditi<m, not the Smarta." nations as the removal for cleaning of the 12- cooked the seeds of past karmas." ~


~ * ~
GUests In tile Home
Hindu tradition lays great stress on the respect·due to guests. All guests are GoQ,
Who comes in many forms. The greatesrhurt is the thought that the host or
~ hostess does not enjoy one's presence in their home. Therefore, Hindus go out
of their way to malCe each guest feel welcome. It is propel' p;rotocol to drop w.hat-
eve11 one is doing, no matter how important, to entertain a visitor. One o£ the
!pri'7~leges of friendship in the East is being able to drop by any time without
advance nofice. V'i.siters may ruseleav.e in the same casual way, saying ''I'll be go-
Keys to Hindu protocol for novices and W@stern pilgrims to the holy lands ing now," without necessarily even saying g00dbye. .
• Refreshments: It is customary to always offer your visitor something to eat
and drink. Usually tea ili served, but at least a glass ef water should be offered
EARLY EVERY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE ON z the pristine embodiment of a profound (with a smile and apology). Likewise it is an insult for the guest to refuse short
Earth is reevaluating, rediscoy.ering and g philosophy. It is an Eastern culture that eats or drinks, or to not even sip a glass of water, even when time is short.
reappreciating its ancient ways, the tra- ~ gives freedom within the bounds of duty • Hosting: Children generally leave the room, with a smile, when guests enter.
o£ 1:he forefathers. Tradition is .., to elders, spouse and children. Western The mother remains close by to serve as needs arise. TIle father, if present, w ill
best of the past that has Deen car- culture gives freedom to the individual, speak-with the guest. If not present, the mother ana a son will fulfill this role,
ried fonyard for tne future. Among Hin- irrespective of the !1Urts he may inflict and if no son is present, the mother may act as hostess, but only with the ac-
dus, too-a peop~e of many nationalities com- on othe11s. The sense of duty is the foun- companiment of someone close to the family.
prlsing one sixth ef tthe huWan race-'tihe old, dation of HiIfd1!l culture, and in perform- • Wife Home Alone: If the lady of the house is home alone and a male visitQr
refined cultme o£ simple, wholesome living is ing duty one finds freedom within one- comes to see her husband, it is not proper for her to invite him in, nor for him
being recognized as a way Qf wisdom. As the age self through yoga. Culture arises out of to expect to enter. Rather, he will leave a mess-age and take his leave.
of infermation gathers speed at the dawn oflthe the attitudes, which are the outgrowth of • Punctuality: Eastern life is generally more relaxed than in the West. A good
milleniur;n, efforts are being made in every com- U L -_ _ _ _ _ __ _ ~_ _ _ _ ____I the belief structure, of an individual or guideline is do not be surprised or offended if your guest arrives late or eayly.
munity to preserve and pass this knowledge on to future genera- collective group. To be cultured !!leans to exemplify the highest But be punctual in your own engagements, as this is appreciated:
tions. This movement rides on a new pride, a renaissance of inspi- qualities of one's society, religion or philosophy. There are countless • Giving Gifts: Gifts are always given when one stays over night as a guest in
;ration, a r:ec.uperation £rom centuries of British domination of India ways the Hindu attitudes of compassion, respect and self-efface- someone's home. The value of the gift varies greatly, del'>ending upon circum-
in which mndu dignity was systematically undermined through the ment are expressed. The keys below were developed by travelers to stance. It is proper to give a separate gift for the wife and t he husband. The wife
Macaulay education system. 'ifoday, as well, there is a burgeoning in- India who learned the hard way how to get along in a different cul- ;receives the nicest item.
terest among Westerners Ito understand and adopt Hindu ways. ture. We summarize their cues and clues as a simple @ide for • DUl1atlon of Stay: It is quite imf,>0lite to ask a guest hQw long he intends to stay,
Those seeking to fully live the Hindu culture who have been raised novices and to assist Western seekers pilgrimaging in the holy lands but it is good protocol for guests to make their plans and itinerary known from
in non-Hindu environments face many challenges. Hindu culture is to fit in as smoothly and unobtrusively as possible. the outset.

Exchange Of Prana
Hindu culturre.is an-expres~ion 5flove, respe~t, honoring others and humbling Prana is the -ilife principle, the subtle energy that emanates from the psychic'
ones pwn ego so iliat the-inner nature, which is naturally pure and !podest, will ''force centers called chakras. Religious people, being sensitive to1:he various ex-
shipe forth. 11his is exemplifi.ed-in tne Hindu greeting in which we honor"the Di- pressions of prana, are careful;in how they manage their own energies and dis-
vinitry' within: eaCh person, knowing that God is everywhere and in all things. By ~ criminating about the pranas they receiv.e from the wo;rld 'around them. Pre-
this and ether gcts of mverence, such as the following, Sanatana Dharma's truths vailing pranas create a forcefield, positive or negative. The ideal Hindu home is
are brought to the forefrent.of tne mind many times each day. a positive forcefield, kept strong through right !hought, word and deed.
• RespecJ for Elders: Respectl or elders is a !keystone of Hindu culture. This ac- • .Homecomlng: Upon arriving home from work, it is customary to imrhediately
knowledgment of seniority ~~ dYJl}..onstrated -through endeaFing customs such as: bathe and enter the shrine mom for special blessings to disp-el worldly force~
_. sitting to the left of elders, bringing gifts on special occaSIons, :not sitt;ing while ,quiet the mind and regain a centered, spiFitual consciousness.
they are stan'Eling, net ,sgeaking exeessively, net yawning or stretching, not - • Giving and Receiving: Giving and accepting things, prese9ting offe11ings to the
putting ones opinions f9rward strongly, not Gontradicting or ru;guing, seeking Deity, etc., is pl'Operly done with both nands, to endow more energy to the ob-
their. advice anm blessings; giving them first choice of seats, inviting dIem to ject This exchange of energies is vital' for friendship and harmony through
take ,their .food first or serving them :first. wholehearted release by the giver and conscious acceptanG~ by the reGipient.
• Honoring Parents: CUltured Hindus serve b'heir parents and close relatives all • Throwing Things: Throwing an object to another person, even to a close friend,
through life, honoring them fhrough obedience and affection, and by proyiding is improper. Cultured Hindus conside~ this crude, even mildly violent.
support and c0mfort during old llge. · . ~ Greetings: Hindu men traditionally greet one another with hands in anjali
• Name Protocol: Youngers never use the proper name of their elders. A Tamil mudra (prayerful pose), then, witn palms still held together, extend their hands
yeuBger bFother, for example, refers to his elder brether a~ annai (brother), or to one ,another, in a two-handed handshake. This is a deliberate transfer of
periafJ-nai (elder brother). \fthe elder may IUse the name of the younger. Children prana. The hands of one man, usually tlie less senior, are .g~ntly clasped be-
tefer te acl.ults as auntie 0;r uncle. ;Adults .refer: to each other as, elder or younger tween the others. Each looks smilingly into the otner's face while bowing slight-
brother Qr'Simply brQther lli,kewise fer·women}. Only INyB the same age occa- 'ly in hUNlility.
sionally use the frrst;name. A Hindu 'wife speaking of heF husband, rathell than • Doorways: It is inauspieious to converse inside or thr0ugh doorways. Similar-
using his given name, uses terms such as "my husband: "him" or, for example, ly, to exchange or give or lend an objeot, one fi;rst steps inside the re0m, 0r the
"10thi's father." When addressing yogis, swamis or sadhakas, one uses the title, rEfcipient. steps out of the room, so that both parties are in the same space.
not personal pronounslhor the name alone). For example, one would not ask, • AuspiCiousness: To ensure optimum timing for imp0l;t ant events, Hindus
"What do you want[" Instead, ene ~oulcl. inq,uire, "What does swami want?" guide their life by the map of auspiciousness, deten;nined by astrology and in-
• Touching Feet:'One touches ilie feet of holy persons in recognition of their Di- dicated in the annual almanac, called panchanga. It provides vital information
\Cinity. and attainment. A dancer touches the teacher's feet before lessons. Chil- about the subtle but powerful affect of the planets and stars, indicating the pre-
dren prostrate on,the £loor and touch the feet of their mother and {ather at spe- vailing forces of each day, the best times for innovations, travel, planting crops,
cial times, such: as New Year's day, Pirthdays and before parting for a journE!y. routine work, personal retreat, seminars, marriages and othe11 sacraments.


rlodaaty -' _ ... Body Language
Hindus know that C;od is everywhere and in all things. This realization brings
Interactions in public oetv.,een lIIlen and women are geneFally more r.estrained"'" dynamic contentment ana appreciation for tne fact that life is to be lived joy-
in Asian culture than in Westel';Il oulture. For the most part, men socialize with _' ously. This understanding is expressed in Hindl!l pe:£!>Qrtment, or ''hedy: lan-
men and women with women. Men never touen women in gublic-such ,as guage." Every movement'of the body; the face, hands, eyes, mouth, head, etc.,
helping a wo~an 01:1t of-a- car, unless the lady is very elderly or infiFrn. .In the

has,!li meaning. Children and .r;tewcomers te the culture are taugnt ito aeept re-
temple (see art)', womert wQrsH'p on the left, andrp.en on th!}righJ:. ;fined 9@eylanguage and to be.Qome sensitive to the thoughts anciifeelings o~ oth-
, • Hlnllu Clothlng:.Traditional Hindu attire is modest and dignified, elegaL).t yet ers, who may Iie.<'ta'lking" even when not sf>eaking.
never enticing-; worn by staunch Hindus always at ,aome, ilil the teml"le arid at re- • Kindly Words and Co.untl!nance: Hindus strive to keep a :£!>leasant expressipn
ligiQUS or cultural evelilts. Women wear rieR cmstumes and jewelry for religious _ 'qn theiI:[ ace, a gentle smi1e and a kind word for everyone they meet through the
and cultural events. They never expose breasts, navel or thighs. ~:i:::1I:t'~;'r!L:; ~ .uay..;'I1hey J(now in their hem;t of nearts that everything iFl tile universe is in a
~ • ChastllY: £exuall"urity is a cardinal virtue, controlling lusj; by remaining celi- ;perfe,ct state of evolution at every point in time.
bate when single and faithful in marriage. Boys and girls are taught to value and • Car.e In Sitting: it is a grave l!J.sult to sit w ith one's legs outstretched toward a
protect their chastity as a sacred treasure, and to save the special gift mf inti- ~ temple, a shrine or altar, OF another person. Qne never sits higher tIlan elqers
macyfol;' their future spouse. or holy perSONS. Worshiping in the kneeling pose is not acceptable among iHln-
• Chaperoning: Parent~ chaperone and monitor friendships of sons and daugh- dus. Youths follow the example of traditional elders.
ters, closely guiding the private and social life of their children and teaching ~ '~ 'Gestures of Humility: As stated in scripture, humility is 'strength not a weak-
them the dmpor.tance of wh@lesome companionship. Dating is traditionally mot ::ness, pride is a weakness, not a strength. For example, orthodox Hindus will
f>ermitted, and marFiages are arranged to ensure the m@st auspicious match. ., place <the ir hand in front ef their meuth w.nen speaking to aNother, especially
• ~Idellty: Sexual/psychic enetgies are carefully directed and contained in the
close-knit family,. The wife's duty is to give her energy to her husoand and make
, an elder, in a gesture of respect. ' Humility is expFessed ways Qf standing, sit-
ting, listening, greeting others and more.
hIm strong. The hwband proteets and provide's fOF the family. Children give their I. Pl1ideful Postures: Prideful postures are to be avoided, sUl!:h as sit'ting with
- energy to their parents, ;their first gurus, obey and heed their good example. one foot placed on tlhe opposite thigh, or with arms [aIded or chin held ex-
• Displaying Affection: MiFried couples in Asia db not hug, hold hands or kiss in 8eerungly high, or with hands on the hips with head cocked to the side. 11hese
public. Even emoracihg at airports and train stations is out of the question. gestUres are signs of arrogance and a superiority complex.
• Propriety: It is improper to praise the beauty of another man's wife (or daugh- ~ POinting: Pointing with the forefinger of the right hand (or shaking tne fore-
ter) lest on.ejnadvertently suggest an improper interest in her. All older women finger in emphasis) is never done. This is because the right hand possesses a
are,viewed as one's mother and younger women as a sister. A!lso, one does not powerft!!, aggressive pranic force. PointiNg the index finger channels that force
praise the beauty of a child 01; infant, protecting young ones from jealousies. into a single stream. The harshness of this energy woule be felt in. the '\ilerve sys-
• Garlanding: Women do not garland men, and men do not garland women. ,tern of the recipient. To show direction or emphaSiS, the entire' hand is <used as
Such exchanges are restricted to the marriage ceremony. However, a woman can a :\?ointer, wjth the palm up and the tlhumb held alongside the forefinger.
garland her husbane or aer satguru.

Womanly Protocol ;" FuFitY 'and its opposite, pollution, are a fundamental paJ7t of Asian culture.
Women in !Hindu society. are hela in the highest regard, far more resp~cted and . While they ,imply a strong sense of physical cleanliness, their more U'nportant
}Dxotected, in truth, than in the West. This does not imply. the kind of equality er ~mEl.anings extend to 'social, cerem0I\ial, mental, emotional, pSYGHic and spinitual
participation in puOlic interactions that are common in the West. A woman will ~ ·contamination. Here are several ways purity is preserved.
often be given preferential treatment in India at such places as ticket counters. • Cleanliness: Hindus keep their' neme enyirenment clean and unclvtte(ea to
At meals, though, the men are usually expected to go first, Feminine refinements ~ ct eate a str.,ong spwitual vibra,tion and not attract negativ~ f0J7ces. They seek
are expressed and protected through numerous customs, including the following. . ~ fresh aiIi and sunshine ana surround themselves with beauty;
• Modesty: The qualities traditi@lilallymestradmiredion Eastern w@men.areshy-. ~ 'Personal Health: Hindus' keep strong and healthy through a baJancetl ayur-
ness, self-effacement and modesty of dress and deportment. Self-assertive @r vedic 'giet" mQdeJ;ate daily exyrcis~, hatha yqga and vigorous work. !"
bold tendencies are regafded willi circumspection. .:r . Well-b~lng: Mehtal anOl spjriJual purity is maintained tihrough daily mediotation
• Mixed Company: In mixee compamy, Hindu women wm keep in the back- .- and worship, scriptural study,.right living and right thinking.
ground and net participate freely in conversation. This, of course, differs among 1. ~' Pul1lty-and Food: In a ma'rKet, one does not touch food one doesn't interld to '
family and clese fFiends. When male guests are in the home, the women will ap- ~ ·buy. Qne cObkingJo.od for others would: never taste of a dish an,d then put_the
pear when it is proper. Visitors do not expect or ask to meet them. spoon back in the pot, nor touch the lips to a water vessel used by others, nor lick
• Walking with Husband: The wife walks a step or two behind her husband, or, ~ 120stage 2 tamps ,or offer to another food one lhas partaken '0£
if walking by his side, a step or two sack, always giving him the lead. (In the ~ ' Sanctified ~ood Leavings: The opposite is lirue jn the Gase of the satgum's fQod
West, the oppesite is often true'1 -' le~vings. Food that the gur1:1 has tasted of is revered as sacred. This, and the wa-
• Serving Meals: At mealtime, women traditionally follow the ancient custem of ter from the washing of the,holy feet,is sought after and imbibed fuy devotees for
serving the meni irst befQTe eating. tIle great spiritual blessings that it contains toware moksha.
• Chaperoning: It is customar¥ for a woman leaving the !home fa always 1he ac- :- • Offerings: One does"not sniff flowers picked for offerfng-even the smell is for
eefuJilanied, 'generally Eiy her husband, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, m0fher, .thr..e God,S, not for us. F)ow~rs that fail to the ground sllould not be offered. Of-
daug~ter, sister or another lady close to the family, or among a group of bmth - --ferings are carried with both hands on the lTigat side of the bo0.y, so as to not 1::>e
men and women. Women in traditional areas rarely eye,n walk across the street " "'breathed mi ..All items are wasnedin preparation, then wraFlp.ed or co\(er~d.
alolile, UNless they are QldeJ', Living alone, too, is unusual. - • The Left Hand: The left hand is considered impme because it is used for per-
• Moving In Public: Generally, it is Iconsidered iimproIJer for women to spea\< .j sonal hygiene by washing after answering the call of nature: Handing another
with strangers on the street much less strike up a casual cOnversation. Drinking ~ person anything with ,the left hand is considered a subtle insult.
or smoking in publiClis viewed as a sign of moral laxity. • Footwear: ShoesJ being impure, are not worn inside the temple or home. Car-
• Shelter and Care: w:lien away from home, hl:lSbands contact their wife each rying shoes is also avoided. One apoLogizes immediately if @nes footwear -touch-
day to express their love ana inq,uire about her day. e~ another. This is done by touching the right hand to where the foot touched the
• Monthly Retreat: D1:1ring their monthly period, Asian women do not pre12are oili.er'person, then touching the hand lightly to the left eye and tlhen the fight.
food, attend social gatherings or attend the temple or home shrine.

NEW FRONTIERS Fire ceremony: Visiting swamis joi"n Swami
Yoganandagiri for yagna in the Sri Chakra
temple at his Gitananda Ashram in Italy

Italy's Hindu not born in India. He was unanimously

countered by all the Hindu delegates, who
cited Indian Supreme Court decisions and
statements by Swam1 Vivekananda and Dr.

S. Radhakrishnan, former president of In-
dia. That might have b~en the end of the is-
sue, but the day after the conference ended,
a national Italian daily, L'Unita of Rome
published Piantelli's opinions in a major arti-
cle. Swami Yoganandagiri flew to Rome to
issue a rebuttal [see below]' and the debate
entered the national forum.
Swami YoganandagiJi seeks official status for Swami had many allies. Dr. R. Gopalakr-
Italian-born Hindus in the le-nd of the Vatican ishnan, Director, Radhakrishnan Institute
for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Universi-
ty of Madras said, "As an Indian and as C!
E HAVE TO OVERCOME A MISUN- TODAYaccepted the invitation and sent rep- Hindu, I find there is no truth in tliis state-
derstanding asserted by Italian resentatives Acharya Ceyonswami and ment that those who are born in India alone
scholars that one has to be born in Tyagi Skandanathaswami to the meeting. are eligible to become Hindus." Dr. At-
India to be a Hindu. Our Sangha Twelve years ago, Italian-born Swami ulchandra S. Thombare from Pune, India
also hopes to spread the authentic Yogananandagiri established the Gita- says, 'J\. man can change his nationality, and
Hindu culture among Italians who take yoga nanda Ashram in Savona, perched in the even his sex, why not religion?" Indian Am-
as just a sweet gymnastic," stated Swami hills a few miles from the sparkling blue bassador to Italy, Mr. Fabian, a Catholic, said:
Yoganandagiri. His December invitation to Mediterranean Ligurian Sea above Corsi- "Faith is a matter of the heart and personal
HINDUISM TODAY outlined plans for a June ca. He became a yogi in his teens and was choice. If someone practises Hinduism and
international conference in Milan on the trained in India by Swami Gitananda, is accepted by Hindus, then he is one."
controversial subject of conversion to Hin- among others. He learned Sanskrit, ab- of dedicated Italian Hindus have established The conference is the first organized by sented by leading Hindus. But the pivotal Swami is allying himself with the Bud-
duism, among other subjects. The problem sorbed the South Indian Agamic tradition, full traditional Hinduism at his ashram. Swami's newly created Unione Induista Ital- debate was taking place at meetings that pit- dhists, who are also pressing for official
is serious in Italy, for Hinduism is not offi- received sacraments making him a Hindu Stepping into his Sri Chakra temple was like iana, (Italian Hindu Union), an attempt to ted Italian professors of religion against Hin- recognition in Italy. They are, according. to
cially recognized by the government. An in- and was initiated as a renunciate monk. being in India. Other swamis teach yoga but unify under a Hindu banner those Italians du swamis and delegates on the issue of con- Swami, two years ahead of the Hindus in the
dividual's conversion and name change can- Skanaanathaswami reported later, "I could- often remain at distance from Hinduism. already immersed in Indian culture. The verting t(9 Hinduism. Chief adversary, decade-long process of changing the com-
not be legalized. Tax-deductable status is not n't believe my eyes when we"reached Savon- But YoganaIJdagiri boldly declares his Hin- three days included workshops on Indian Professor Mario Pianatelli, opin'ed that con- plex Italian law~ relating to conversion. _
gr.anted to Hindu organizations. HINDUISM na. Swami Yogananandagiri and a small band du heritage, and that-in Italy!" dance, yoga, ayurveda and astrology pre- version to Hinduism is impossible for those CHECK THE HT WEBSITE FOR F ULL UNEDITE D STATEMENTS

pIes were ~so suddenly raised ity and are tolerant and accept
Impossible for Non-Ind.ians to the rank of Hindus.
Non-Indian Hindus around PiantelJi, Hindus Do Exist• that truth can have many
facets, who believe in cosmic
, the world generally belong to cycles, rebirth and pre-exis-
~'L'Induismo, scelta impossihile pe,r chi non nato in India" groups, e experiences or schools
which are irrelevant compared
«PHmtelli, gli indu esistono!" tence and recognize that many-
paths lead to salvation." '
to the Indian experience. They Finally, referring to Piantelli's
live far from India, trying to statement "Does the phrase
ALL SCHOLARS AGREE THAT cult to place them in a unitary get in touch with its reality. CONTRARY TO PROFESSOR There are no decrees or SCIJip- 'Italian Hindu' have any mean-
the cate.,gory 'Hinduism' is phenomenon. Hinduism is a Buj; they suffer from identif}.ca- Piantelli's statements, the Ital- tures which say only those ing?" Italian Hindus, among
something created by Oriental- category born by adoptipg the tion problems. Indian are ques- ian Hindu Union comprises born in India can be Hindu. which there are also Indian cit-
ists. This obviously does not term Hindu , a Persian expres- tioning whether or not such people who not only love India, What about the children of the izens living in Italy, already ex-
exclude the existence of an sion used by Muslims to quali- so-called Western converts can but have received a religious Hindus born in America, ist and are recognized by IndJ-
Indian spiritual experience. fy all those that in India who be admitted to temples. While formation in India with all Africa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, an Hindus and Buddhists.
But at a certain point it was are p.ot Muslims, Jews or Chris- , so-called Hindu radicalism sacraments and who identify Mauritiul' and Europe? They Ma:6.y governments have legally
decided to use this label, tians; th~ is, "the others." finds its strength in [Hindlil $emselves deeply and serious- call themselv~s Hindu just like recognized Hinduism. Maybe
which during Colonialism be- There are legal pronounce- ethnic identity,. the more tradi- ly with the Hindu faith. The we Italian Hindus. So, how can in Italy, the missionary
came a flag for independence, ments that Hindus are Indian tionalist stratum of Indian soci./ statement that "Hinduism" is a it be an exclusive religion only Catholic heritage, which makes
and after that an attempt was citizens belonging to a religion ety identifies with universal neologism referring only to for those born in India? On the the possibility of conversion
made by the people of India to born in India. This means laws which indicate behavior • those born in India, is a wrong contrary, the Supreme Indian difficult, still predominates.
recognize themselves in a com- Buddhists, Sikhs or Pafsis, models and the specific varna interpretation. The word Hin- Court in 1966 codified the Clef- Someone has stated that it is
mon religion. In my opinion, even those who did not recog- dharma, or caste rules, which auhas evolved. Today in mod- inition of Hinduism and in possible to leave Hinduism and
Marlo Plantelll, Professor of this common religion is noth- nize themselves as Hindus, are apply only to Indians. Out- ern India Hindus are those fol- 1995 confirmed that: "Hindus become a Christian, a Bud-
Indian Religions and Phlloso- ing but a ghost. So many dif- to be considered Hindus. After siders are "barbarians." ... Hin- italian-born Swami lowing the principles of are those who accept the Vedas dhist, etc. There is nothing in
hlas, University of Torino, Italy ferent experiences sprouted on Independence, outcastes previ- duism is an impossible choice Yoganandaglrl, Italy's founder Sanatana Dharma. Its main (sacred text) as the highest reli- the universe which, if you can
In an Interview with l'Unlta: the Indian soil that it is ·diffi- ously not admitted into tem- for those not born in India. of 8ltananda Ashram, Italy: characteristic is its universality. gious and philosqphical author- abondon, you cannot adopt.

------------------------------------------------------------------~ ---------------------------------------------------------------------
..Deja Vu" Spiritual Adventure Tours Teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda Glimpses of a Mystical Affair Kumbha Mela Yatra-April 10-24, '98
A first step to spiri- The bliss of Spiritual experiences of Swami Join us on this rare Yatra and enjoy
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Stevia Rebaudiana: THE QUEEN BEE: is 13-year-old vegetari-

an Rebecca Sealfon of New York who,
besides setting an on-stage winners
jump record, correct-

How Sweet It Is!

ly spelled the word
eu.onym (a good
name for a person,
place or thing) to be-
come the first home-
A little-known South American medicInal schooled U.S. Na-
tional Spelling Bee
plant is 300 times sweeter than sugar winner. It wasn't
easy-after the 14th T-r-i-u-m-p-hl
round Rebecca was
BY DEVANANDA TANDAVAN, M.D. left with runner-up Prem Murthy
Trivedi of New Jersey, out of 245 en-
:rEVIA REBAUDIANA HAS mutagenic studies (to detect for. trants. Laboring through the words 8uf-

S has been growing wild in

\ upper South America for
centuries and is now culti-
vated in China, Jap~, South Ko-
rea, Israel, Malaysia, ,Brazil,
cancerous properties) done so
far were not based on valid or
proven assumptions; thus there
is slight question of a 'possible
mutagenicity, as is true of the
flamvnate, deliquesce, bourgade, an-
glophilia and coterie, she finally ousted
Prem after eight rounds when he
missed cortile. Remarkably, Prem and
four others of the final nine contestants
Paraguay, Mexico and USA. A artificial sweeteners Saccharine were Indian-Ameri-

member of the chrysanthemum and Aspartame. With many can students: Sud-
family, it has been used by the years of use and no evidence of heer Potru, Hirsh
Paraguay Guarani Indians since toxicity or side effects, scien- Sande sara, Shivani
ancient times, primarily as a tists do not seem to think it is R. Kadakia and
sweetener but also as a medicinal herb. It necesssrry to do further studies. ./ Nivedita Gunturi.
may seem too good to be true, but stevia is Machinations of the US Federal Drug Rebecca's victory
OR FAX INQUIRIES To: 310-837-0243 (USA)
a noncaloric, nontoxic, natural sweetener agency have not approved stevia for use brought to the fore a
that even has health benefits. The natural other than as a nutritional supplement. It growing trend to-
leaf is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar in cannot be labeled as a sweetening agent, Runner-up blues ward home school-
the concentrated white powder form. yet it is approved in most other countries ing. Because of
This plant's active ingredients are two as a safe, noncaloric sweetener. If labeled some American schools' poor quality-
glucosides, steviosides and rebaudiosides, as a food supplement, it can be purchased not to mention outright dangers-many
the latter being somewhat better tasting. As in many pharmacies and most health food parents have pondered home schooling
a whole leaf, or liquid extraction, stevia has stores in the US ($9/0z. in one shop) and is for their children, but feared they'd not
three major uses: flavor enhancer, herbal generally available in the Eastern coun~ries advance as well as their peers. Rebecca
tea and medicinal. The common use is as and Europe. For some years, importation of doesn't recommend home sohooling for
sweetener and flavor enhancer. In Japan, the plant to the US in any form was not al- everyone, but told HINDUISM TODAY it
where artificial sweeteners are banned by lowed. But this was changed recently. helped her succeed. "I had more flexi-
law, stevia has 41% of the sweetening mar- Stevia is also stable in heat, allowing its bility, academically
ket. Its use as an herbal tea, alone or with use in cooking to replace sugar (one Tsp of and to pursue my
other herbals, is popular. Medicinally it has stevia equals one cup of sugar). When used own interests, for ex-
a beautifying effect on the skin, and bene- in cookies and cakes, it lacks a browning ample spelling. You
fits glucose levels in diabetics' blood-;-a sta- effect that sugar has, so adjustment in de- ".. can go at your own
bilizing effect that can lower their blood termining doneness must be made. There is pace and level. In
sugar levels (but not in nondiabetic users). a slightly bitter aftertaste if refined leaves practically every sub-
It never elevates blood sugar, allowing a di- are used in excess-less true with less re- ject I'm grades ahead
abetic to have sweets without adverse ef- fined leaves-and a hint of a licorice flavor of my peers. My
fects on his condition. Stevia also has mild (also a natural sweetener) that many desire. mother stays home Jubilant family
antibacterial action, making it suitable for It seems that personal use of stevia will full-time and my dad
use in mouthwashes, tooth paste and cold be permitted in the USA; but generalized also helps. I think more people should
or flu remedies-common traditional us- use in the food industry to replace the less consider home schooling who are dis-
ages of the Guarini Indians. It is further than innocuous Aspartame and Saccharin satisfied with the public school envi-
used (in tea form) as an appetite stimulant, seems unlikely in the foreseeable future. ronment." As to being a vegetarian, Re-
digestive aid and in weight management.
Combined with ginseng and other herbs,
DR. TANDAVAN, 77, retired nuclea( physi-
becca said, "It's not absolutely required
in our Jewish faith, but I want to be, for
the tea is thought to prolong a good life. cian and hospital staff president! lives in ethical reasons. I don't like to think
Some reports say stevia could be used as a Chicago, where he specializes in alternative about animals getting killed." For more
contraceptive';' however, this has not been healing arts. Visit his home page at the Bee statistics and photos, visit their
proved. It is generally accept~d that the HINDUISM TODAY Website. web site at www:spellingbee.coml


CONTR~VERSY the inaccessible ashram since the news of "I did not receiv€1 his letter, but I could hear suicide, as a yogi can enter prayopavesha.
the death had spread, filed past and silently him calling me. I'd not seen him for nearly 3 His mind was alert."

A Saint~s Self-Willed Death >

offered their respects. Most touching was years. Feeling uneasy, I rushed here only to
the plight of the Soliga tribals of this hill re- learn that he was on his final journey"
gion for whom Swami was friend, teacher
Ramdas countered, "I respect one's right
to live, But there's no provision to kill oneself
Dissed by disbelievers: Unsympathetic in our constitution, whether its spiritual or
and protector. They sat huddled in' the cor- "rationalists" termed prayopavesha "an act religious. Why have we banned sati [burning
ner, confused, bursting into tears as I spoke of madness" and labeled Swami a "spiritual of a widow on her husbands funeral pyre]?
Rationalists call aged and afflicted swami's fast to death "puQlicity stunf' to them. They related to me their shock pervert." "A swami who had isolated himself It's nothing but suicide. It's the business of
when Swami's intentions had become clear from public life, all of a sudden announces the state to safeguard every citizen."
to them, even though he had con- The controversy raged right
By CHQODIE SHIVARAM, BAN GALORE soled each, distributed amongst up to Swami's last day The ra-
EAR FRIENDS," BEGAN SWAMI NIR- them clothes and all the money tiC(nalists charged the adminis-
malananda's short missive of Decem- he had and pleaded, "Do not cry ' tration of being soft on the is-
ber 23, 1996, "It is with tearful feel- when I die-it will be difficult for sue. The District Collector, Shri
ings that I bid you farewelL My me in the next world. If you peo- Ajith Seth, called on Swami on ...
so-called end is really endless, as there is no pie keep smiling at all times, it January 6 with his father. "He
end and beginning for life." Similar letters will help me reach God, and there tried to dissuade Swamiji, but in
sent worldwide to 8,000 friends-he called I can be here amidst you all." vain. Swami had stopped talk-
no o~e his "disciple"-calmly announced the Thirty-year-old Jayalaxmi, a ing by then and only gave me a
73-year-old swamis intent to undergo prayo- Soliga woman, was unconsolable. written reply in which he said,
pavesha, self-willed death by fasting. Also "I grew up in the ashram since I 'I've given enough to this world
called rnahaprasthana, "the great depar- was a. child of five. When I came and now my body cannot sus-
ture," scriptures allow the practice for a ter- here last week, Swami gave me tain anymore. The call has come
minally-ill ascetic. "My body has become clothes to last a whole yftar and a from God, and it's time for me to
weak," he explained to Swami Brahmadeva, thousand rupees. He advised me leave.'" Some of The foreign dis-
his designated successor -as head bf Viswa to take care of my home and chil- ciples of Swami had camped at
Shanti Nikethana ashram. "I do not want to dren, to keep smiling and be al- the ashram ahd stayed by his
be a burden and die in raga (disease), I ways happy," she sobbed to me. side day and night till the end
want to die in yoga. I have discharged all my Another said, "We don't under- came. Their implorations for
duties and liv€1d a fJdl life. Now time has stand all this. We loved and re- Swami to eat were in vain.
come for me to leave." He planned to ac- spected Swami. He was our doc- I visited several colleges in
complish this on January 15, 1997, the auspi- tor, our guru, our father. We ran Mysore to ascertain the general
cious first day of Uttarayana Punyakala in to him with any of our problems. reaction to Swami's actions.
the Hindu calendar. We feel orphaned. Bu.t we re- Many students and teachers
Swami's intent had been known for some spect his decision." knew Swami, and most objected
time, and the local authorities had even Six priests from the historic to his chosen means of death.
posted police at the ashram located in the Srirangapatna temple 100 km Among his defenders were Pro-
Bhlliligiri Rangana Hills ("BR Hills," 250 km away undertook rites for the in- fessor Immadi Shiva Basappa,
from Bangalore) to prevent what they re- ternment of yogis. The body was ~ head of the Sanskrit depart-
garded as an unlawful act of suicide. The bath~d in tumeric and sandal- ~ ment at the University of My-
police were withdrawn on December 18, wood paste, covered by vibliuti ~ sore who said, "Prayopavesha is
and from that day Swami gave up his normal (holy ash) and placed in yogic Z not suicide. Suicide is the result
austere diet of hand-pounded wheat bread posture. Then it was lowered into § of dejection or disappointment
and jungle greens to take only watet. By Jan- a small cavern which was then ~ in life. In prayopavesha one
mIry 1 he was taking one glass daily On the filled with 200 kilograms of salt, ~ gives up his life willi~gly and
7th, he stopped even that, intending to attain 15 kilos of camphor and 45 gal- ~ happily It arises out of life ful-
Mahasamadhi on the 15th. Ions of floly ash. Coincidentally, > fillment." Common was the
From mid-December a steady stream of the sky which was clear all along Entombment: The body was placed in a cavern which was ceremo- comment of Vinutha, a final de-
visitors came to dissuade Swami. In nearby suddenly clouded and drizzled at niously packed ~ith salt, holy ash and camp hOI; as is tradition gree student, who said, "Swami
Mysore and Bangalore, vociferous critics the time of final sealing l of the Nirmalananga should not have
called it all a publicity stunt. On January 10, sam.adhi (saint's tomb). One side of the his death, makes it an all-important event died. It was a kind of selfishness on hiS part.
amidst mounting pressure, the Additional marker over it had an inscription explaining and grabs media attention," accused acade- He should have lived longer. Society today
Commissioner of Police, Panduranga Rane, the meaning of prayopavesha, the other had mician Shri Ramdas. They appealed to the needs more people like him. He was doing
p omised action would be taken within two Swami's name, date of birth and month and government "to preempt a mentally de- so much to protect our forests."
days and Swami Nirmalananda's J;endezvous year of attaining Nirvana. The year read ranged person." On the other hand, Swami ChOOSing death: Swami Nirmalananda
with prayopavesha would be fotIed by hos- 1999. It dawned on me that Nirmalananda, Paramanan8a Bharati of Sringeri Mutt af- suffered severely from"chronic asthma, ac-
pitalizing and force-feeding him. But Swami who had decided to live till end of the cen- firmed to HINDUISM TODAY that such a death cording to Dr. Sudarshan, and was depen-
was not to be thwarted and breathed his last tury, had changed his mind. ". is allowed by scripture for aged ascetics. dent 'upon inhalers {ind medication-a de-
at 11:45 AM that same morning, departing A year earlier a Calcutta journalist wrote Dr. Sudarshan, of Vivekananda Girijana pendence Swami did not like. His asthma
five days earlier than intended. about- Swamiji's intent. That report did not Kendra, the Swami's n€1ighbor and personal was expected to worsen, but was not life-
arrived at BR Hills on January 11, in even cause a flutter. But when Nirmalanan- physician, took exception to the rationalists' threatening. But we don't know what other
time to witness the final stages of the sama- da's missive reached his disciples and they outburst, "One might dispute the way Swa- health problems Swami might have had.
dhi (burial) c~remony amidst sonorous Ve- thronged to his ashram, the seriousness of his mi ch@se to leave this world, but i't is cer- Prayopavesha, ending one's life by fasting,
dic hymns. I felt a strange stillness. The at- Hellos and.Goodbyes: Swami Nirmalananda (right) and Swami Brahmadeva, his designated resolve became clear. Many disciples tried tainly not an act of madness. He was an in- is mentioned in ancient scriptures including
mosphere was neither gloomy nor sad. successor as head of the ashram, greet visitors at remote Viswa Shanti Nikethana in BR dissuading him. Maria Zilioli from Ireland tensely spiritual person, and we have to the Gautama (verse 14.7.12) and Manu
Thousands of disciples who had rushed to Hills.Devotees (below ) place garlands upon the closed samadhi shrine in a final farewell. had arrived on a telepathic call from Swami. respect his decision. It cannot be termed a Dharma Shastras (verse 6.30). It has been


The fifth
cautiously allowed for ascetics, Sealed ~amadhi crlpt: This simple stone International
brahrnins and kings. The practice
was subject to debate even within ,
marks Swami's internment chamber
the Hindu tradition-Sri Adi the terminally ill. The same wisdom which
Shankara (788-820 eEl, for exam- allows an aged and infirm Hindu ascetic to l .....
BEPIN BEHARI, author, lecturer, from Deihl, India,
ple, opposed it-but it was out- fast to death is being applied to the removal is acknowleded as one of the foremost Vedic astrologers.
lawed only upon the institutiOl~ of of life support for a patient who will never NIRANJAN BABU, Vedic scholar from Bangalore, India, is an expert
Vedic Astrology was developed by the ancient FACULTY in the field of Vastu Shastra (similar to Feng Shu!).
the British Penal Code in-lndia in recover from an' incapacitating illness, as sages of India over 5,000 years ago. Called Jyotlsha,
the 19th century. well as to the issue of not force feeding an el- the Science of Light, It Is renowned for Its splrttual depth Jeffrey Armstrong Andrew Foss William Levacy
Histo~ical examples abound. derly patient who h1l:s stopped taking food. and accuracy In predicting future events. Keven Barrett Dr. David Frawley Ann Muldoon
The future of Viswa Shanthi Nikethana is Marc Boney Hank Friedman Alex Nagel
The Pandava brothers and their This Symposium will Introduce Vedic Astrology Kenneth Bowser Dennis M. Harness, PhD T.R. Raghunath, PhD
wife at the end of the Mahabha- ~ now in the hands of Swami Bramhadeva. He to the general public and provide a forum for: Kathleen Burt Edith Hathaway Barbara Roberts
rata turn over their kingdom to told me,. "I have given my word to SWamiji Jame.s Butler Richard Houck George Roman
their heirs and walk off to the Hi-
malayas, all except the eldest dying along progresses in stages."
that I shall continue the tradition of rishis
and munis and their message to the world.
* The education of the general public In the
prtnclples of VedIc Astrology
The free eXChange and discussion of Ideas
Rob Calef
Dr. K.S. Charak
Linda Johnsen
James Kelleher
Dr. Dlnesh Sharma
Prince Hlrlndra Singh
the way. Other kings have retired to the for- Western scholars, notably Professor Ka- While ordinary peopre are viewed with two
est and fasted to death after installing their therine Young of McGill University, Quebec, "<8yes, in today's situation, the saffron-clad
* and techniques in Vedic Astrology
The presentation of modern research findings
Christina Colllns~HIII
Hart de Fouw
Sat Sirl Kaur Khalsa
Robert Koch
Atreya Smith
Dr. B. Sureshwara
sons.on the throne. "In recent times, Vinod Canada, have extensively studied the Hindu swamis are viewed with 1,000 prying eyes * validating ancient astrological principles Ronnie Gale Dreyer
Dennis Feeley
R.G. Krishnan
Drew Lawrence
Dr. Robert Svoboda
Chakrapanl Ullal
Bha~e , Gandhi's close associate and one- practice of prayopavesha. They are search- from every angle. An ascetic's life is like
* The promotion of professional standards In the . _.J,.!.'..

time mentor of Swami Nirmalananda, so ing for useful ethical and legal guidelines to walking on the edge of a sword. We tread
training and practice of Vedic Astrology o Please register me for attendance at the International Symposium
on Vedic Astrology. October 2-7. 1997, at the Del Mar Hilton Hotel,
passed on. Finding himself in failing health, resolve the difficult modern issue of care for this path carefully." ' ''''; Del Mar. CA. [ndosed Is payment of $_ _ for _ _ Registration feels)
Substantial Savings for early registration!
he stopped taking both food o Send more Information on the Symposium and hotel accommodatIons
and water and died within a Registration fees
for main symposium: Pleas< man this registration form with
* Optional pre-conference Introductory classes and post-conference
Intensives will also be offered.
week in November, 1982. Even payment by check. money order or
$220 by Sept. 15, 1997
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi,
who came to his bedside~ was
unable to change his mind. The
Service, Silence, Salvation $245 after Sept. 15, 1997
($25 Discount for ACVA Members)
credit card to the Institute address
below. Roglstratlons paid by credit
card may also be faxed or phoned In.
City, State. Zip, _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ __
Maharastrian freedom fighter INsmun OF VEDIC ASTROLOGY
Savarkar similarly died in 1966 One Swami's'journey from World War II to ashram life P.O. BOX 2149' SEDONA, AZ 86339
Phone (520) 282-6595 • FAX (520) 282-6097
Telephone (day/ night) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Exp.Date~_
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at the age of 83. Bhagawan Nit-

yananda, the formidable siddha
guru of SWiillli Muktrulanda, WAMINIRMALANANDA whom he educated and en-
ceased eating in 1961 and en- hailed from the Malabar lightened on various subjects,
tered Mahasamadhi two. region in Kerala. Born on while they did whatever work
months later. December 2; 1924, he they could at the ashram.
The practice 'is found among
Jain ascetics, who consider it a
meritorious passing. In 1987,
discontinued his studies at 14
and left home to join the
postal service ih the British
\Yhenever there was a power
or water supply problem, delay
in postal or transport service
The 1teasure-Iivve
Jain ascetic Badri Prasad died
after fasting more than fifty
army. He traveled extensively
in Europe while serving in
to the remot~ region, Swami
set it right for the Soligas with
That Kept Growing Richer!
days. His death, too, was called
a suicide, but High'Court Jus-
World War II as a noncombat-
ant. Later he visited the USA,
the concerne~authQrities.
Swami observed mauna, si-
The New, 5 th Edition of Dancing with Siva
tice N.L. Jain told the press that I Europe, Russia and Japan and lence, for 11 years. He would
no laws were being broken. "It seriously pursued philosophy not use milk or milk pr oducts,
_ C tguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's masterful work, Dancing with Siva,
is in accordance with our reli-
gion. 'There is no pain involved,
as the body is in tune with God."
and religion. He came !lnder
the spell of Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa, Swami Viv~­
tea, coffee, fried or processed
food, vegetables and fruits. He
lived on the edible wild
U __ Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism, will soon be available in a new,
even richer, more inspired and informative edition! You are heartily en-
An aged Aparakarma priest kananda, Mahatma Gandhi, green~ of the forest and bread.
couraged to obtain it, even if you already own a current edition. It's a whole
at Nirmalananda's samadhi cer- Henry ~oreau , Leo Tolstoy Swami Nlrmalananda: "Give a He would pound and bake hi:;
emonies said, "There's a world and Albert Schweitzer. He vis- smile, take a smil~, " he adpised own whole wheat bread. He new experience. Here are some of the many innovations: :;:;;:'~:!=~:~'flrif..u.,.
-alDclico God ·-.... hono"n
of difference between prayopa- ited over 200 ashrams spread always personally cooked and • 165 all-new illustrations-paintings (including cover) by S. Rajam, 78, of Chennai, South -"""""Ia __
over India. He found, however, within, he will be able to see served food to his guests.
vesha and suicide. Suicide is a
violent form of voluntary suddep.
d~ath, inflicting pain to the
that his studies resulted only
in mental turmoil and not the
that a constant warfare is go-
ing Qn within his own mind
Swami Nirmalananda did
not believe in rituals. However,
India-a remarkable collection . countless refinements, data and clarifications suggested by

history) enriched and updated according to new evidence from archeology and ancient texts which is
SaI8UrtfSiI'llY. SubramuniJ>Uwami
sages and scholars worldwide . "Timeline" (a 40-page chronology of 200,000 years of human ~~• • • • • • •~• • iI
body. It's born out of dejection Realization he sought. The between QIlPosing ideas, urges he never came in the way of totally reshaping concepts of Indian history and pushing back the dates of its origins . an expanded bibliography . a new, spec-
and disorientation of mind. It's awakening which finally and desires. It is the sum t0tal his devotees' per-forming pujas
tacular, especially commissioned portrait of Satguru Siva Yogaswami.
escapist in nature. Prayopave- stilled his turbulent II1ind oc' - of all such conflicts that at the small temple in the
sha is a nonvio~ent , spiritual curred not in India, but in erupts as open war between premises of his Vishwa Shanti
form of voluntary, slow dissolu- Amsterdam, Holland. nations." Nikethana ashram. 1,008 p. • soft cover: US$249S • hardbound: US$51 *•
Shipping: to USA, add 10%, other countries, add 20%
tion of the bodJr. It's done in .
qllest of communion with Him
S,*ami had the misfortune
to be a mute witness to three
After taking sannyas: Swami
Nirmalananda settled in the
Once he said, "The universe
needs no correction. God's
* These collector smyth-sewn copies are available in limited quantities . ISBN 0-945497 -97-0

after fulfilling one's responsibil- major tragedies-World War serene forests of BR Hills, world is not mismanaged by
ities in full. The extinction of II, Partition and the Indo-Pak- where he had secured a piece Him. First change yourself, HIMALAYAN ACADEMY PUBLICATIONS
life progresses very slowly. To istan conflict. He observed, of land in 1964. He became then the world around would 107 Kaholalele Rd· Kapaa, Hawaii 96746-9304 USA
ensure slow, painless and con- "If a man turns his attention close to the Soliga tribals have already changed for you." Tel: 1-800-890-1008, ext. 238 or 808-822-3152, ext. 238 • Fax: 1-808-822-4351
scious dissolution, the fasting e-mail: books@HinduismToday.kauai.hi.us • Website: http//www.HinduismToday.kauai.hi.us/ashram/


"Goddess Mother of the World"
View of Mt. Everest from the South Face (ridge behind): Two
Tibetan side. The Malaysian team Malaysians and five Sherpas
summited from the Southern, reach summit on May 23 via
Nepalese side. Southern Route

HANK GOD! THANK GOD!' WAS THE sian team, who on May 5 fell into a 600-me- The Malaysian climbers' arrival in Kath- were chastised for taking completely inexpe- dom interspersed with moments of sheer climbers from other teams reached the sum-
first thing I said when I set my foot ter crevasse high on the South Face. One mandu fell auspiciously on the night of Ma- rienced climbers to the top-some of whom terror. The team sat at Everest Base Camp mit that day-auspiciously Vaikasi Visha-
on the top of the world," gushed M. German and two Kazak climbers were hasivaratri-one of Hinduism's holiest days. died there. There was nothing reckless for three months acclimatizing to the alti- kam, sacred to Hindus as the birthday 0f
Magendran. On May 23, he and N. blown off the North Face when 140-mph jet-Both Magendran and Mohandass observep. about the Malaysian strategy or ascent un- tude and waiting for the rare break in Lord Muruga and to Buddhists as the day of
J "V.,UU.ct.uUct:,~ became the first Malay- stream winds dipped down onto the moun- the festival at Kathmandu's Pasupathinath der the watchful eye of expedition leader weather which would allow an ascent. Nor Buddha's enlightenment.
sians (and likely the first Tamils) to tain as tkey descended from the top. More Temple. "Team member R.G Ramakrishna, Nor Ramlle Sulaiman and Captain M.S. Koh- Ramlle described it as depressirig. "You have The returniIJg Magendran was ecstatic
reach the summit of Mt. Everest, 8,848 me- than 710 climbers from 42 countries have who has vast experience in climbing," recalls li, leader of Indias first trek to the summit in to sleep on ice, barren rock and snow. There over their success. "For all Malaysians it
ters high. "Aum Narnasivaya was in my scaled Chomolungma, "Goddess Mother of Magendran, "tord me to treat Everest as a sa- 1965. Half of the 25 teams, most led by pro- is no life there, no birds, no trees. We had to snows racial unity, teamwork, that we could
mind all throughout my ascent," Magendran the Werld," as Everest is known in Tibetan,
cred mountain and to do my prayers and fessional guides, never made it to the summit. resort to playing scrabble and dominoes, do anything if we work ai a team and be-
told HINDUISM TODAY. "Once on mantras while climbing." The Malaysians had originally hoped to beat reading books and climbing nearby peaks." lieve in what we are doing. People are very
top, I prayed to all the Deities. I The devout Buddhist Sherpas the Indonesian team to b.e the first Southeast Four team members were selected for the proud. There have been so ~any calls day
thought of our Prime Minister, brought in a lama from a nearby Asian nation on the sutnmit. But under the final attempt: Magendran, Mohandass, Mohd. and night. Many temples still ring me up to
our Everest team, my. friends and monastery to ble'!;s everyone at legendary Russian Everest guide Anatoli Fauzan Hj Hassan, 29, and Gary Choong Kin ask me to come to their temple because they
the people of Malaysia who were ~ Base Camp. "Some climbers Boukreev, the Indonesians arrived earlier. Wah, 39. Their first chance was May 9~ but had prayed for my successful climb." A total
praying for our success." Magen- ~ just hung around.," narrated Ma- Back home in Malaysia, wives and moth- bad weather-and ''bad weather" on Everest ofUS$240,000 was awarded to the team; Ma-
dr~, Mohandass and their five :;:~ gendran, ''but I was sitting a few ers were taking no chances with the is really bad-fa"rced a return to base camp. gendran and Mohandass got $20,000 each.
ShertJa guides planted the z feet from the lama and praying." climbers' safety. In normal times, Mohan- Time was running out, since the govern- Malaysia had planned the climb for ten
Malaysian flag, "shouted into the ~ Mohandass said, "When I was dass' wife Manimegalai, does puja twice ment would close the route on May 24. The years. The team trained intensively for the
wind" and celebrated their vic- ~ staying at Base Camp, I had a weekly for her husband's health, safety and team left again on the 18th and after further last three. Telekom Malaysia and other
tory-for ten frozen-in-time min- ~ dream of Lord Ganesha who longevity. "Then I 'heard in May that they weather delays reached Camp Four at Malaysian corporations were the main spon-
utes. The news was radioed ~ told me to do a lot of prayers." • might have to abort the climb because of 1:30 PM on May 22. "There we rested," re- sors for the program, which is part of the
down to the Malaysian base camp z Prayer was definitely in order, bad weather. This was sad news to me. I ports Mohandass, "then left at llPM for the government's "Malaysia Boleh!"- "Malaysia
and relayed on live TV to a jubi- ~ for many expected a repeat of thought there is no glory in my hllsband re- summit. It was very cold, -30°C (-22°F) and Can!" campaign. The Everest 97 project was
lant country. But the climbers ~ last year's disaster. One-hun- turning home without conquering Mt. Ever- the wind was at 80 kmlhour (5Q mph). Has- a follow-up to' the "Malaysia Cergas" cam-
knew the task was not over yet. j dr1d-eighty climbers tn 13 est. So on Friday the 16th, I went to .the Kot- san and Choong Kin Wah succumb~ to al- paign launched in the 1980s with the aim of
Nearly everyone who perishes on ~ teams were gathered for the tamalai Ganesha Temple and prayed that titude sickness and turned back after reach- encouraging the general public to partici-
Everest dies on the way down, On top of the world: Malaysian climbers and team sherpas, llAM, dangerous Southern Route, and everything should be alright for my husband ing 8,400 meters. pate in recreational and noncompetitive '
not up. So they scrambled off the May 23, 1997 on the summit of Mount Everest. another 150 climb'ers in 12 to climb the mountain and return safely. The "It took thirteen hours to reach the sum- sports, with the hope of producing a healthy
mountain to safety and within teams were prepared for the next Friday I heard the news. Lord Siva was mit. The terrain was very steep, and the society. There are plans to scale Mt. Kili-
days were heros at a tumultuous welcome at since it was first climbed by Sir Edmund safer but more expensive-to-climb North up there and let him return safely." .Magen- path was littered with bodies. The Sherpa mailjaro in South Africa, Puncak Irian Jaya
Kuala Lumpur's International Airport. Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay on May Face. Eighteen countries were present. The dran I S unmarried, and his mother, uncle was showing me each of the corpses and ex- in Indonesia, Mt. McKinley in the US and
Mt. Everest has been in a deadly mood 29, 1953. One hundred and fifty others have Malaysian team was unjustly singled out by and friends similarly prayed for his success plaining to me how they died and who they Mt. Ei'ger in Europe. "Such expeditions are
th~ last few years. In 1996 eight died during lost their lives. The odds of dying are one in two professional guides for criticism as "in- and safety, arranging special Murugan wor- were. Flnally, I told him not to point out the to showcase the Malaysia Boleh spirit," said
summit attempts, the worst year ever. By six. At the highest elevations, the route is expenenced" and "under tremendous politi- ship on May 23, the day of the ascent. bodies to me, 'and that I just wanted to reach team leader Nor Ramlle. ~
May of this year seven more had perished, "littered" with bodies impossible to retrieve cal pressure to summit." It was strange crit- Reports of the climb sound like a soldier's the summit. We had to crawl the last section Interviews by R AMESH SIVANATHAN
including Nima Rinje Sherpa of the Malay- out of the ice or to carry down. icism coming from the group who last year descriptions of war: long periods of bore- to the top because of the wind." Twenty-five and RAJAKU MAR M AN ICKAM , Malaysia


------------~~- -

. MINISTER'S MESSAGE others, too. Man can, at best, be a faithful

and reverent channel for this omnipotent
divine power, or shakti, t6 work out its own I,
Perfection Is in Your
blessed purpose. One who has realized this

. . Divine in oneself may witness it in others,

too-nay in all creation. That results in
leading a god-like life and serving fellow

luminous 'Es's ence beings, as expressi ons of the same Divine,

lovingly and reverently. This only serves to NDIAN AShiRAr:v1S RVE ;rHE FINEST

The worlds within are immeasurably vaster,

purify and bless thew orld, never to pollute
Swami Vivekananda, the modern-era
spokesman of timeless Hinduism, disclosed,
"Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is
I cruelty-free m enj0y,e0 arw-
where, and Ka i's Hindu
monastery carries the 6,OOO-year-
superior and more blessed thaFl the outside
• I
to manifest this Divinity withjn bx' control-
ling nature, external and internal. Do this
by work or worship, or psychic control or •
philosophy-by one or more, or all of these
old tradit ion. T:h believe 8ood:food
rmedlcine, and
and be free. This is the whole of religion. their oljlinary I

(WOMAN INCLUDED) SEEKS AND STRIVES TO BE Doctrines or dogmas, or rituals or books, or 1I~0 J3>r.ana, that
have the best, the perfect, consciously or uncon- temples, or forms are but secondary details." , I
JSCllOUS!Y. each in one's own way. The quest is com- Thus, the most vital, holy duty of the true sol!J1 al~ ke Now
but the means adopted are innumerable. Man Hindu-nay, any worthy human-is to man-
to become better, to have more power, knowl- ifest this Divinity within in some way or red thek secret
edge, joy, peace and freedom. When he does succeed in his another. It is for this that it is essential to gath~red ov.e~
~est, he finds that the key to perfection is withi oneself, control his inner and outer nature, viz.,
and that the worlds "within" are immeasurably vaster, supe- propensities of body, mind and ego, which yo,..,r,,,,'.., in the Islands
rior and more blessed than the worlds "outside." Perfection is distract him from his blessed, divine IdnJt; yoliJ know,
found to be one's own true and abiding essence, luminous essence. The effort at self-control for a di-
and blissful Satchitananda, as Vedanta terms it. It is all-per- vine end is the Hindu's real self discipline,

vading and not different from "Divinity." It is this "Divine" or sadhana. It makes for real character- '/
which common people or various religions designate as building, man-making and making of true,
"God," yet which most people futilely seek for outside, until they noble and godly humans. The greatest service that we can renaer
are happily forced to turn within. to others thus becomes helping others, if possible, to manifest their
All noble or human quests for perfection have the same end, but own innate Divinity. The rest will take care of itself.
each seeks or sfrives for it in one's own limited and imperfect In'the wdrds of Swami Vivekana:qda, "First let us become gods
ways. But without realizing that each one's way is unique and.in- and then help others to become gods. 'Be and make.' Let this be
dispensable for that person, many unfortunately stress and even our motto." That is dliarma, morality or virtue, and whatever is
impose particular views and ways on all. That only makes for more
confusion and strife among humans. On the other hand, those who
opposed to it is adharma or vice. The virtues to be cultivated thus
become dama, dana and daya, self~control, generosity and com-
have been blessed enough to experience the Truth rejQice not only
in their own realization, but in the similar experiences of others,
passion-and satya, ahimsa, brahmacharya and f!:parigraha. Satya
is truthfulness and integrity, which follows from the Divine being,
too. They genuinely hold all such quests as worthy of respect, sup- Sat-the tr ue and good. Ahitnsa is nonharming of others, which
port and needed succor. That makes a real and solid contribution follows from looking upon others as oneself. Brahmachar;yq or rev-
for peace, harmony and progress. Such rare beings are the t.rue erence for tIle Divine in others-especially in the opposite sex-
sages, saints and gurus. Such an all-inclusive approach to the "Di- never looking at them as only objects of sensual enjoyment or
vine," its actual experience and the consequent spontaneous ex;- instruments for one's own pleasure. Aparigraha is a simple, nonex- II
pressing, constitute the true "religion." All limited denominational ploitive and nongrabbing life which enal;>les a man to be truly hon- I
religions are but imperfect facets of this one "religion," and can orable and.nondependent.
never arrogate to themselves any sole and superior status as the Crowning all this, whet! the inner Divinity manifests, all the

today and bring @

one representative of God. Dogmatism or arrogance in this regard
are hollow and ridiculous.
If, among the extant religion,s today, any approximates most to the
glory of Satchitananda, viz., strength and fearlessness, goodness,
luminous wisdom, joy anq love, radiates spontaneously. Such a
blessed Hindu reveals a life full of gentleness, generosity, purity,
ur family's taq\e I '
place of honor, it can only be genuine Hinduism. It has a word of calmpess, introspection and spirituality. To lead earnestly such a rope I
goodwill for all fellow seekers an.{! never seeks to convert others to life is a b~ssing to oneself and others, too.
its own views and ways, to impose itself on others, be it by force or That is the core message of Hinduism. .. €:a, Asia, Pacific Rim j\
propaganda. Its very foundation rests on the great principle of
unity In diversity, expressed in the millennia-old mantra, "Truth is "
one; wise people designate it variously," and its modern version as
voiced by Sri Ramakrishna, ''As many faiths, so many paths." Pr:iees
inaludie air
Yhus for the true Hindu the holy task and duty, his core dharma, Calls takenI b~twe n ~ DAM and 8PM Pacific
is somehow to experience the Divine Truth in oneself, and then I
a:llow it to function in its own way, even as the fragrance of a SWAMI SASTRANANDA, 80, a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Order, \ \' r
flower spreads beneficently in various directions. When fhis expe- 'has served and taught Vedantic Hinduism for half a century in vari- N l\G ~DEMY PUBLICATI<ONS
rience is very clear or powerful, it mayan its own attract many ous centers. He is now retired at Vivekananda Ashram, Bangalore. l)IPW''''FI"IRd· Kapaa, Hawaii 96746-9304 USA
, uvv-o!7v-1008, ext. 238 OIl 808-822-3152, ext. 238 1-808-822-4351 I

r:;.-~l)~ltYi!!~'9Q1~(I!PHlhdu:·lsEl1Today.kauai.hi.us . 'febsite: !www.HinduismToday.kauai.hi.us!ashram!


NewsYou Unleash Your Hinduness

N a Hindu!" opens a website founded by Jagan Mo-
han, a seriously enthused Moscow medical student
Ipublications flowing to from India. Exploration
of this site (www.geoci-
you virtually free of cost,
pre-selected and sorted ties.com!AthensIFo-
by subject. Welcome to rum!1432/new.htm)
the age of "push" tech- will leave you sharing
nology exemplified by Jagan's obvious pride in
PointCast Network his heritage. Rather
(download free at pio- than complaining about
neer. pointcast. com!) , other religions, conver-
which "pushes" news to sion, etc., he focuses on z
you, rather than your la- Hindu empowerment iii
boriously searching and with pages like "What The Vedas briefly explained
"pulling" it off the Web. Every' Hindu Ought to
To use it, just log onto Compassionate Amma at Amritapuri Ashram Do!," and advice for Hindus to acquire a more solid
the internet and run the identity of themselves. The site's special treasure is
PointCast program. PRECEPTOR 200-plus links (grouped by topics) to quality pages.
Those given five stars are "must see" sites. Links are
Follow Her Lead to scriptural texts, temples, institutes, student organi-
zations and more. Enjoy!

H for Hindu organizations: a supremely

professional combination of photos, spir-
itual songs, Sanskrit chants, video clips,
computer-generated art and discourses that takes
at least three hours to explore and leaves you

South Asia
living outside the sub-
continent. We found es-
pecially useful the lists
of domestic abuse agen-
with a broad overview of Mata Amritanan-
darnayis spiritual mission. The CD flashes first
Bonding cies (USA hotline: 1-800-
799-7233), children's
through pictures of Ma while the gum mantra is AvE YOUR CHILD books, current news and
Mac and Windows savvy chanted in the background. From the CD's main Htake a long nap
while perusing the South
directory of organiza-
tions. Bond with your
directory you view her arduous early years and
PointCast automatically subsequent enlightenment-accompanied by nar- Asia Women's
scans and selects materi- ration and Krishna bhajanas. You can navigate Network. It
al from its list of news, the Amritapuri ashram's several floors and see takes time to
web and database sites daily life (a cute scene is a video of Amma wak- tour articles
(such as the Wall Street ing a snoozing meditator). Your kids will love the such as "Liv-
Journal, CNN and stock ''lI.mma Comics" animated cartoons. This Win- ing Identities
reports), downloads it to dows CD (Mac soon) produced by her Kerala vs. Acquired ~<
your computer and sorts devotees is a delight (U5$39.00; 510-537-9417 or Ones" by z<
it into topics you select, e-mail: macenter@ammachi.org). Visit Amma on Madhu Kish- ~~~~ __~~~~~u.~~L- __ ~

such as health, lifestyle the Web (www.ammachi.orgl) to hear bhajana war or view the Sharing experiences electronically
and ihpustries. Religion while ordering a puja, shopping in the bookstore "Whos Who" of popu-
is not a topic yet, but is or following Amma's world tours, and occasionally lar female achievers. The "sisters" at umiacs.umd.
being considered at the even viewing a live image of her giving darshan. . site is aimed at South edu:80/userslsawweb/sa
request of many users. Asia women of all faiths wnetlindex.htrnl


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