Hinduism Today Oct-Nov-Dec 2013

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The October/November/December, 2013, edition of Hinduism's leading spiritual magazine, Hinduism Today, has been released in digital form and is now available for free on your desktop. You can read articles online or download the PDF, ePub or Kindle version and enjoy it on your iPad or other devices.

One of the major thrusts of our journalism is to find, explore and then report on groups all over the world who are serving in special ways, or represent authentic traditions. This month we take you to Andra Pradesh where you will meet the Srouta Saivites, dedicated followers of what they call "Vedic Saivism." This fellowship is exemplary in its preservation of the ancient rites and initiations, sadhanas and philosophical purity of the faith. We were allowed the rare privilege of attending their sacred dikshas, and we show you their Lingadharana initiation as well as their daily worship of the Sivalingam they carry on their body every hour of every day of their life.

When the young Nepalese learned that their beloved trees on Kathmandu's King Road were about to be chainsawed down for the road to be widened, they leaped into action to stop it the destruction. How? By visiting the trees each day in small groups, worshiping them, decorating them and burning incense at the base of the trunk. Basically, they made thousands of mature trees into shrines, and who wants to cut down a holy tree? So far, it's working, but the government is also determined. Read about the struggle in this issue.

Caring for aging parents is a hardship with few equals. But it is the highest dharma, and many Hindus are resisting the modern pressure to put their parents into homes where strangers care for them. For 19 years Damara Shanmugan has been looking after her mother, who just turned 94. Her experience can help us all to face this inevitable phase of life with wit, wisdom and acceptance.

Our publisher, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, knows that families struggle to keep a shared religious interest, and he directs us to empower the home shrine by consciously connecting it to the local temple. He tells us, step by step, just how that is done. A great resource for families who want to walk the path together and create a strong Hindu home.

In each issue we offer an educational Insight section which explains some aspect of our faith. This time we present two topics. First we discuss in detail the customs surrounding the culture of hospitality for which Hindus are rightfully renowned; then we take you on a journey--Mark Twain's 1896 journey to India. The article shares this literary genius's rare gift for humor, hyperbole and trenchant truth-telling. You will laugh aloud in reading of his stage talks to the Indian public, for which the entrance fee was one rupee!

Next we examine the historical impact Mahatma Gandhi has had on nations worldwide. His example not only drove the British back to their islands, it drew four modern exemplars to his feet and to his ashram, men and women who changed their own nations using Gandhi's profound principles of ahimsa and civil disobedience. Learn more about how Gandhi inspired Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez and Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma.

We seldom speak about ourselves in Hinduism Today, but in this issue we proudly record the short tale of our own Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's opening prayer given before the United States House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on June 4th of this year. Very rarely is a non-Christian given this honor. We present in full the brief message Bodhinatha gave to this noble assembly.

There's more, of course: a paradigm-shifting cartoon, a story of caste and gender struggles in Kerala, a Texas mayor's insightful description of Hindus in his community, a 17-year-old boy's reflections on the importance of preserving tradition and a handful of surprises found in our quotes and letters. It's all there in the current issue of Hinduism Today, where you go to stay in touch with Sanatana Dharma.