In this issue's Publisher's Desk editorial, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami addresses how we can enhance the peace and contentment in our life. He gives a number of effective techniques for the individual and for members of the household. Especially useful are his guidelines for a reduced-stressed existence achieved by living in the eternal now, and not bringing stress and contention into the home.
Our Insight section is titled "Gurudeva's Spiritual Toolbox." In 16 pages it address 21 of life's most challenging issues, and then offers Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's insights. If you ever asked yourself questions like "Why am I so burdened by my karma?" or "Where do I find the time for spiritual practices?" you will want to read the entire article.
Our feature story is all about health. Not medicine, but staying healthy using ayurveda. Our senior Indian correspondent and his wife take us along for their days at a topnotch ayurvedic clinic in Mumbai, where we meet Dr. Smiti Naram and her team. This is a first-person, day-by-day exploration that reveals exactly how ayurvedic healers work and how challenging changing our lifestyle can be. Challenging but effective.
At one of humanities largest annual pilgrimages, Thaipusam at Batu Caves in Malaysia. Alexandra Radu is enamored of this spiritual happening and she shares that love in her story. The voices of pilgrims are particularly moving, telling of their fasting, their prayers and sadhanas, their anticipation of the difficult kavadi sacrifice that is the hallmark of this festival.
Arvind Gopal lives in Kerala, the son of a retired Hinduism Today journalist. In the story "My Trek to Siva's Magical Abodes" he journeys throughout India to fifteen ancient temples. Again and again he is amazed, and amazes us, with the grandeur of these sacred homes to God Siva. They are massive, ornate beyond imagination, full of spiritual energy and a reminder of what is possible in building sacred spaces. Happily, Arvind is also a great photographer, so we are privy to his visual discoveries. When we realized that we could only include a couple dozen, we decided to have a giant slideshow in the online edition, so you can explore more images there.
Other stories include the amazing Bharatanatyam skills of Puruvian dancer Ananga Manjari Malatesta Gonzalez, our Hindu of the Year (Sivasri Thangam Bhattar) and a rousing call by Maria Wirth to be proud of Hindutva, our Hinduness.
This edition of Global Dharma reports on the massive youth conference held by the Swaminarayan devotees in Atlanta, Georgia, a creative group making biodegradable papers with elephant poop, a protest against Malaysia's proposal to turn Hindu temples over to a management board--and more.
As always, there are cartoons, Quotes and Quips and letters from our readers.