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,

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

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

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. 

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

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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