Hinduism Today Jul-Aug-Sep 2019

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'Astonishing' just doesn’t say enough about the Kumbh Mela. It is the largest human gathering on the planet, and this year it exceeded all past numbers: fully 240 million pilgrims attended the festival. Imagine a temporary city built on a river bank capable of meeting the needs of so many—that’s 200 times the population of Paris. What an achievement!

Join our journalist and photographer on this 48-day celebration where karmas are washed away in the sacred waters where three rivers merge. We take special effort to capture the wisdom of the gurus, swamis and sadhus who were there, seeking their insights on the human condition, the next generation and more.

Eggs are vegetables, right? Wrong. Our writer explores the biochemical reasons as to why even unfertilized eggs cannot be thought of as proper for a vegetarian to eat. If you love mushroom omelets, you may want to skip this story.

Kerala is home to a dramatic spiritual dance form calledTheyyam. We take you there to browse through the elaborate costumes and music that tell divine stories. The performers are, above all, worshipers who regard their ritualistic dance as a way to honor and become close to the Divine.

Quick! what is a summary of Hinduism? How often have we wished that the answer to that was in the palm of our hand? Well, now it can be. Our 16-page Insight section, entitled “Hinduism in a Nutshell,” makes a complex religion simple and straightforward, without trivializing any part of it. The beliefs, customs, values and philosophy are all distilled to their essence. You can share this with others seeking knowledge of our faith, email it to that Rotary Club speaker struggling to articulate dharma or give it to the local interfaith group to study.

In his Publisher’s Desk, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami offers a mystical view on Hinduism, sharing the profound idea that every truth in the Vedas and Agamas is resident in each of us, waiting to be discovered and nurtured. Hinduism in a very real sense, he declares, is part of us as much as our DNA. If you were ever taught that Hinduism is rote ritual, this editorial will put that fallacy to rest once and for all.

Milk seems so pure and right, right? Well, one Hindu in Chicago thinks that if you knew more about the impact on cows in America your answer would be “wrong.” See how Hindus can help our bovine sisters by sourcing our milk from diaries that implement compassionate ways to care for Gomata.

Maria Wirth is an avid protector of Sanatana Dharma, a woman whose trenchant writing is piercing. In this issue, she mounts her word steed and charges forward against one of the enduring irresolvable problems we have. Her opinion piece is called “Let’s Talk about Christian Persecution,” and in it, she argues that no faith should be allowed to impose its will upon another.

A generation of teenage Hindus in Malaysia is discovering Hinduism at creative camps, crafted by the Divine Life Society at Batu Caves. The live-in experience is designed to be informative, but, in a way that is also fun and engaging. Our reporter goes there to detail the curriculum, describe the daily schedule and interview the kids to find out what they think of all this. You may be surprised by their responses.

There is more, of course, including our popular Quotes & Quips section with humor, cartoons and pithy sayings, Global Dharma with mini-stories from around the world and Digital Dharma. It’s a rich issue, with something for everyone.