Hinduism Today, January/February/March 2007
|Categories||Special interest magazine|
|First issue||February 1979|
|Company||Himalayan Academy, nonprofit institution|
|Country||United States, international distribution|
Hinduism Today is a quarterly magazine published by the Himalayan Academy, a nonprofit educational institution, in Kapaʻa, Hawaiʻi, USA. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally, currently in 60 nations. Founded by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami in 1979, it is a public service of his monastic order to promote an understanding of the Hindu faith, culture, and traditions.
History and topics
Hinduism Today was launched in 1979 by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Gurudeva), published by his non-profit organization Himalayan Academy. Originally The New Saivite World, the magazine was a small black-and-white periodical without a fixed publication schedule. The first issue appeared February 1979, with the goal of giving a voice to Gurudeva's worldwide fellowship in a way that was easy to read, simple to produce, mail and handle. The newsletter was to be a people-oriented paper, not so much devoted to philosophy or teaching since the Himalayan Academy was publishing books on Hindu-related metaphysical topics as early as 1957.
Over the years, Hinduism Today has evolved to embrace everything of interest to a Hindu. In 1996, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami upgraded the newspaper Hinduism Today to a magazine. Recently, another milestonewas reached when the magazine became available online. The physical magazine now utilizes high-grade printing material, which is dipped in an attractive glaze. Photographs, drawings, and the magazine's aesthetically tuned interior design further add to the magazine's unique ability to convey the sensibilities of an entire culture through the print medium. Advertisements are designed and placed together at the end of each issue so as to avoid any hindrance to the reading experience. The over 275,000 readers of the magazine primarily reside in North America, Europe, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Africa and Mauritius.
The magazine presents through a Hindu perspective a wide range of topics, pressing both to society and the individual. These topics include, but are not limited to, the following: education, culture, cosmology, philosophy, ethics, sociology, film, music, spirituality, food, and travel. The profound, yet simple writings of the magazine's contributors offer a sensible and inspiring variety of topics encompassing the influence of every sphere of Hindu culture and religion. In addition to regular writers, contributors include the magazine’s readers as well as the collective wisdom of major thinkers of both the eastern and western traditions, as captured in the magazine's regularly included quotations section. Informative articles also offer profound insights into modern life, with topics such as yoga, vegetarianism, meditation, nonviolence, environmental ethics and family life.
Ram Swarup (1920-1998), founder of the Voice of India, explains: "Hinduism Today is international in thought and spiritual sensibility. It presents Hinduism's new global face. It takes a strategic lead in the effort to overcome the problem of self-alienation and growing illiteracy among the Hindus of their heritage. In the eyes of many Hindus who are concerned with the problems of Hindu renaissance, Hinduism Today is easily the best magazine Hindus have."
Service to Hindu spirituality
Observes Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Gurudeva): "Hinduism Today was created to strengthen all the many diverse expressions of Hindu spirituality, to give them a single, combined voice because everywhere else their voices were individualized. There was nothing that encompassed the whole Hindu experience around the world. Every religious order has a mission and instead of starting an eye-clinic or an orphanage, we created a global publication to advance the cause of Hindu Dharma." 
While Hindus living in India are surrounded by their culture and faith, Hinduism Today's mandate is to also reach the millions of Hindus who are trying to keep their faith alive in far-off places surrounded by different cultures. Specific goals of the magazine include:
- 1. To foster Hindu solidarity as a unity in diversity among all sects and lineages;
- 2. To inform and inspire Hindus worldwide and people interested in Hinduism;
- 3. To dispels myths, illusions and misinformation about Hinduism;
- 4. To protect, preserve and promote the sacred Vedas and the Hindu religion;
- 5. To nurture and monitor the ongoing spiritual Hindu renaissance;
- 6. To publish a resource for Hindu leaders and educators who promote Sanatana Dharma.
As a highly objective magazine with such a diverse presentation of thought, its appeal extends far beyond the Hindu community, especially to those interested in its portrayal of Hindu culture, as well as the thought processes and sentiment used to convey this content.
For Further Reading: Hinduism Today by R M Chopra, 2009, Kolkata.
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