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Hinduism Today Jan-Feb-Mar 2023

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At the top of our list of articles Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami’s Publisher’s Desk in which he explains the secret of lasting happiness: discovering the spiritual part of you, the atman, your “immortal presence.” Augmenting that goal is our Educational Insight this issue, “All About Meditation,” drawn from the teachings of Hinduism Today’s founder, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. “Generally,” it begins, “we become aware that there is such a thing as meditation after the material world has lost its attraction to us. We then seek through philosophy to answer the questions, Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going.” It goes on to explore all the aspects of gaining a meditative experience, including dealing with the subconscious mind, avoiding distractions, focusing on your goal and creating an appropriate sacred space.

The issue’s feature story continues the trek of photographer Devraj Agarwal down the Ganga, a pilgrimage he started in Haridwar in 2020 and cut short by Covid at Varanasi. Post-Covid, he renewed it, traveling highways large and rural roads small all the way to the Bay of Bengal, visiting dozens of temples and sacred places along the sacred river. His photos tell the visual tale.

The amazing sacred Thangka art of Nepal is explored in a visually rich article by French photographer and writer Anne Petry. The tradition is very much alive as she shares her visit with the community of artists busy creating new paintings. It’s striking how Thangka is closely tied to Tibet in appearance, and also to the Saivite imagery of South Indian tradition.

Speaking of South India, a second comprehensive article details the grass-roots efforts in Tamil Nadu of groups of villagers, townspeople, businesses and others to care for neglected temples in their areas. Their activities range from seeing temples have ample oil supplies for their lamps to complete reconstruction of once demolished treasures.

There’s an article on a new annual festival in Ladakh to honor the Indus River—which gave us the name of both Hinduism and India itself. Another is on a remarkable survey by the US-based Pew Foundation on the religious beliefs and practices of Indians. Its key conclusion: “People in all six major religious groups overwhelming said they are free to practice their faith.”

Our Young Writers have two stories in the issue, one by Krathu Sankaranarayanan on his family’s annual celebration of Thai Pongal, the other by Mugdha Shinde and Sanjeevani Dedge on religious and cultural insights gained during their summer vacations in India. And, of course, there’s all the usual sections: Global Dharma, In My Opinion, Letters, Scriptures and more to enjoy.

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At the top of our list of articles Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami’s Publisher’s Desk in which he explains the secret of lasting happiness: discovering the spiritual part of you, the atman, your “immortal presence.” Augmenting that goal is our Educational Insight this issue, “All About Meditation,” drawn from the teachings of Hinduism Today’s founder, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. “Generally,” it begins, “we become aware that there is such a thing as meditation after the material world has lost its attraction to us. We then seek through philosophy to answer the questions, Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going.” It goes on to explore all the aspects of gaining a meditative experience, including dealing with the subconscious mind, avoiding distractions, focusing on your goal and creating an appropriate sacred space.

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