The Apri/May/June edition of Hinduism's flagship spiritual magazine, Hinduism Today, has been released. The issue takes you to South America, Texas, Vermont, Nepal, Northeast India and more. Hold on to the adventure.
But first, our 16-page Insight Section, called 'The Sacred Earth.' It's a rich survey of the Hindu view of environment, its protection and degradation. World-class photographer Thomas Kelly traveled the world to capture stunning images of the growing human impact on nature and climate change, and writer Matthew McDermott interviews spiritual leaders for their insights and potential solutions for the human predicament. Their words are trenchant and their warnings dire. Thomas doubles teams the editors and also writes a piece on his sometimes frightening but always fascinating encounters with the sadhus of India and Nepal.
You may never have heard of the Bharat Sevashram Sangh, but they are among the leading institutions around the world protecting Hinduism and providing social service. The story of the 6-foot, 6-inch tall BSS founder, Swami Pranavananda, is a tale right out of India's heroic history, replete with struggles for independence from Britain and clashes with caste and untouchability. Today the 500 monks of the BSS guide thousands of volunteers in reaching deeply into the tribal communities to provide education, food, training and counsel.
Ever wonder how Hindus look at the issue of homosexuality? Our article bravely takes you to Guyana where the matter is stirring up controversy following a piece of legislation that almost passed, a bill that would have outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation. Hindus there are asking themselves which side of the debate they are on, and the discussion is fascinating. Our Point-Counterpoint shows the range of Hindu thinking on a touchy subject.
Our publisher, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, is always giving resources for parents who want to raise good Hindu kids. In this issue's Publisher's Desk, he writes about 'When Kids Embrace Hinduism,' advising adults to make the religion more about tools than rules. He helps us know how to cope with teens who don't want to go to the temple every week, and who ask their parents 'Why can't I listen to Hip-Hop music like my friends?' How do you present our faith to the next generation: as tools for their growth and success or rules they have to blindly follow?
We love opinions and this issue is chock full of them There is an Australian swami's view of the changing face of global Hinduism, a clash of East meeting West that may surprise you. A Texas high school student shares his reflections on the state of Hinduism in America, the increasing importance of temples there and the need for more youthful leadership. Anita Raina Thapan of Vermont tells of her unusual life as the daughter of an Indian Army officer and a French colonial civil servant. Her mother adopted Hinduism and inculcated its values into Anita, values she shares along with her discovery of the Chinmaya Mission. Swami Nilhilanand is adamant that people who claim all religions are one are just plain wrong. He defends Hinduism, arguing that it has insights and profundities that none can equal.
There's lots more, of course. Book reviews and humor, plus a look back at how a Russian ballet dancer rekindled India's love of the art and brought Indian dance onto the world stage. It's all there in the current issue of Hinduism Today, where you go to stay in touch with Sanatana Dharma.