Getting Sidetracked: A Cautionary Tale

Getting Sidetracked: A Cautionary Tale

by William Page

Devotees in the Ramakrishna tradition will be familiar with the rosary, or mala. This is a string of beads we use to keep track of how many times we chant the mantra when doing japa. Since the rosary has 108 beads, plus a head bead, one round of the rosary constitutes 108 repetitions. If you think about it, the rosary embodies some nice symbolism. The beads are like jivas,

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The Interfaith – Interspiritual Circle

The Interfaith – Interspiritual Circle

by Richard Simonelli

Some faith traditions or organized religions are inherently interfaith or interspiritual in their intention. Most, however, tend to be separating or “one way” approaches – “my way or the highway.” The interfaith-friendly ways don’t necessarily encourage people to take a-little from here and a-little-from-there as eclectics or even as dilettantes. Rather, they see that all ways of

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For Personal Liberation and the Welfare of the World

For Personal Liberation and the Welfare of the World

by Patrick Horn

Many people today are alarmed by the condition of the world. The bad news seems to get worse by the hour. Not only is there social disorder and political mayhem, war and rumors of war, famine, unprecedented numbers of refugees, and contagious epidemics, but it is impossible to deny the fact of climate change. Millions are affected by catastrophic drought, crop losses and

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An Avatar’s Dictionary

An Avatar’s Dictionary

by Dhruva

Dear Br. Shankara, I think the time has come to share the results of a project that has been on slow simmer in my mind for many years. As you know, I lived at the Belur Math for three years (1971 to 1974) and took advantage of the opportunity to learn Sanskrit.  This became a gift that kept on giving — especially when I realized that half of all Bengali words derive from Sanskrit. 

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The Easter Prayer of an American HinJew: More Sugar, Please

The Easter Prayer of an American HinJew: More Sugar, Please

Anna Monday with Jon Monday

Sri Ramakrishna observed that the scriptures are a mixture of sugar and sand and that it is, moreover, up to us to discriminate, to take the sugar and leave the sand. Often, identifying the sand is easy because it‘s just so boring, but sometimes it harbors unhelpful or even harmful notions—outmoded social mores, refuted pseudo-science, quack medicine. It can also

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Mahatma-to-be and the Mahatma-maker: 
Gandhi and Rajchandra – Part 2

Mahatma-to-be and the Mahatma-maker: 
Gandhi and Rajchandra – Part 2

by Uma Majmudar

In the previous issue (AV #71) we talked about a rare rapport between Mohandas Gandhi and Shrimad Rajchandra — a multi-talented young Jain businessman-cum-a precocious poet who was, above all, a “mumukshu” — an ardent seeker after truth with an irrepressible yearning for God, for self-realization and moksha or liberation from all worldly attachments.

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How Well Do You Know Yoga?

How Well Do You Know Yoga?

by Br. Shankara

Perhaps you have been practicing Hatha Yoga for some time, with a qualified teacher. You know a flexible routine of poses (asanas), and you have gained the physical poise and sense of inner balance that are two wonderful fruits of your practice. Yet, there is much more to learn about the great tradition of which Hatha Yoga is a part.

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New Material for the Swami Vidyatmananda Archive at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin

New Material for the Swami Vidyatmananda Archive at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin

by Anna Monday

The correspondence between Swami Vidyatmananda (John Yale, 1913-2000), and longtime American Vedantist contributor Bill Page will soon be housed in the Harry Ransom Center’s  Swami Vidaytmananda Archive. The Center describes the Archive as such: “The Swami Vidyatmananda Collection comprises correspondence to Vidyatmananda as well as

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Mahatma-to-be and the Mahatma-maker:  Gandhi and Rajchandra

Mahatma-to-be and the Mahatma-maker: Gandhi and Rajchandra

By Uma Majmudar

Mahatma Gandhi, a world revered spiritual-political leader, is known to have positively influenced countless men and women around the globe. Yet, not many people know the key figure who influenced Gandhi in the most profound ways before he became known as ‘’Mahatma,” or Great soul (Maha: great, and atma: soul). If Mohandas Gandhi metamorphosed into Mahatma, who was the Mahatma-maker?

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Pray, Let Us Play

Pray, Let Us Play

By Anna Monday

We seek God for many reasons, not all noble. We focus on God’s power to protect us, guard our health, give us the stuff on our cosmic gift registry, and also love us when nobody else will take our calls. When we’re reasonably comfortable, many of us want our curiosity about the nature of God/Life satisfied. But how many seek God because they want the wittiest, most subtle playmate in the entire Universe?

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