Guru's Wisdom

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Guru's Wisdom

Fifty-Two Essays From Hinduism Today Magazine

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami

Since 2002 when Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami assumed the role of publisher of the international magazine Hinduism Today, he has produced a treasury of editorials on all aspects of Sanatana Dharma. This anthology is the best of those works. The topics vary widely—from the practical to the esoteric—and address the challenges facing modern Hindus, including raising children, finding time for spiritual practice, the various yogas, living dharmically, managing stress, using the power of affirmation and more. All have one element in common. They are based on satguru’s observations of what is happening at the present time in the lives of individuals, families, temple groups and Hindu society as a whole.

One source is the private darshan meetings he has most weeks of the year with families visiting our Hawaii monastery. An interesting instance happened in 2003 when an amazingly high number of families asked him the exact same question: “We are so busy with our professional and family life that we have little or no time to devote to religion. What can we do?” HIs response provided the basis for the Publisher’s Desk entitled “Work Is Worship,” published in July 2004. It presented the Hindu perspective that career and family should not be viewed as separate from religious life; they are integral to fulfilling one’s dharma, and work can indeed be transformed into worship.

Another question that he hears year after year has to do with meditation: “Swami, when I sit down to meditate, my mind goes all over the place and I am unable to control it. What should I do?” The answers he gave over the years formed the Publisher’s Desk titled “Letting Go of Past and Future.” The article advises meditators to divide their thoughts into five categories and apply a different prescribed technique to quiet each category.

Over the years, his interactions with young Hindus attending university or recently graduated have provided opportunities to observe historic trends in modern Hindu society. Many college students of all faiths, not just Hinduism, end up questioning their religious beliefs to the extent of adopting an atheist point of view accompanied by a new-found commitment to secular humanism. In talking to parents about this trend, almost none had ever heard of secular humanism. To address this issue, he wrote the Publisher’s Desk “Hinduism: the Original Humanism” which reveals that Hinduism has a strong humanist tradition within it, suggesting there is no need to give up Hinduism to be a humanist.

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