This issue of Hinduismâs flagship spiritual magazine brings you an unusual mix of stories, from the latest and controversial animated film to coping with âcabin fever,â that real-life ailment faced by those living in the tropics who suddenly find themselves living in cold climates where people stay indoors all winter.
The 2010 Kumbha Mela in Haridwar was no less intense and is the subject of our 16-page, photographically stunning feature. Mark Twain wrote of his 1895 visit to the Kumbha Mela, âIt is beyond imagination, marvelous to our kind of people, the cold whites.â We follow humankindâs greatest festival to its source, focusing on the devotional trials and tribulations of ordinary pilgrimsâthere were some 50 million there this yearâand let our photographer, Dev Raj Agarwal, tell his story of trekking along the river Ganges from its source, and all of the changes it makes along the way.
The issue also contains articles on a US initiative to take yoga back from those who have abducted it from the Hindu cultural and spiritual repository, an online debate between two teenage friends, one an evangelizing Christian, the other an articulate Hindu who doesnât think she or other nonbelievers are destined to go to a very bad place for a very long time. There is Arvind Sharmaâs lofty defense of his choice to be a Hindu, a detailed story on the predictions of 2012 as the End of the World, and Ravi Groverâs take on why itâs not really right to put animals in captivity and use them as entertainment.
Our center section this time explores a new trend in matchmaking. The two models that once clashedâarranged marriage and do-as-you-please datingâare merging into something that can be called âarranged dating.â Parents meet and approve a daughterâs suitor, and then the couple embarks on the Western dating path, with all its implications and hazards. Plus we take a look at online resources for finding a life partner.
Our publisher, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, has a fresh take on the old adage âYou are what you eat.â He suggests âYou are whom you meet,â and guides us in our discovery of the importance of friends and companions, diving less into the ordinary reasons of business contacts into the mystical effect people have on our aura, our psychic energies and karmas.
In âSita Sings the Bluesâ New York correspondent Lavina Melwani interviews the amazing film-maker Nina Paley. Remember how long the credits roll on a Pixar or Dreamworks animated film? Into the hundreds. Well, Ms. Paley made a full-length film all by her lonesome, a feat that took seven grueling years and resulted in a charming retelling of Sitaâs story in the Ramayana, all from the womanâs point of view. Sure, a few Hindus called her take on Rama irreverent, while the tough critic Roger Ebert couldnât find enough adjectives for this film (âwonderful, enchanted, astonishingly original, alive with personalityâ). The story of Sitaâs story is itself quite a story and you can read it in the current issue.
Inside there is much more: humor, book reviews, scriptural excerpts from the Agamas that reveal meditationâs ultimate goal, digital resources and engrossing tidbits of Hindu experience around the globe. Hinduism Today is proud to be the place you go to learn about the entire Hindu family in the 21st century.