American Vedantist

Devi Mahatmyam (Chandi) Chapter 11 Verses 30 and 31

30. ‘This slaughter that you, O Devi, multiplying your won form into many, have now wrought on the great asuras who hate righteousness, O Ambika, which other goddess can do that work?

31. ‘Who is there except you in the sciences, in the scriptures, and in the Vedic sayings that light the lamp of discrimination? Still you cause this universe to whirl about again and again within the dense darkness of the depths of attachment.

In the spring of 2018, a friend who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico wrote to say, “This is beginning to look like the opening of a new chapter of the Chandi.” Dipak’s focus at the time was climate change, and it’s evident he was clear-sighted: Arctic permafrost is melting and collapsing, pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Pacific Coast woodlands and communities are being consumed by wildfires.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a 2020 hurricane season that will bring from 19 to 25 named storms. “We’ve never forecast up to 25 storms,” their lead forecaster said.

Dipak foresaw what is unfolding almost two years ago, well before Divine Mother added a deadly pandemic to our list of calamities. There can be little doubt our world is living through another major transformation, and that Mother has indeed “multiplied Her own form into many” as the virus itself. All of humanity is struggling with the effects of Her presence! Once again the “great asuras who hate righteousness” — men and women of arrogance and greed — have put everyone at risk.

A few months ago we invited our readers to contribute something that would offer “a soupçon of spiritual uplift, calming and sustaining,” during this dreadful time. American Vedantist #77 is the outcome of their efforts.

There’s humor and whimsy here; a serious meditation on spiritual practice and a light-hearted one on the application of karma; defiance in the face of the virus; a fresh appreciation of Sri Ramakrishna; new information about Swamis Vivekananda and Madhavananda; inspiring poems, a happy song, a provocative film, and more.

We sincerely hope your time with us is pleasant and rewarding. May you and yours be healthy and cheerful!

Br. Shankara
Coordinating Editor

Issue 77

Here’s what’s in this edition:

Sri Ramakrishna: The Supreme Life Changer
A reminder that the Master’s transformative touch is not limited to his lifetime.
by Sibatosh Bagchi

The Flower Garden
Memories of the Master’s life at Dakshineswar, from M.’s Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
by Russell Atkinson

Ramakrishna Reborn?
Nothing unusual about Anni, a two-year-old Finnish girl, until she spoke her first words—they were in Bengali.
by William Page

Work by an artist skilled in a variety of media
by Josephine Lazarus

Swami Vivekananda’s Views on the Religions of the World
In his first speech at the Parliament of Religions, Swamiji said, “… we accept all religions as true.” What did he mean?
by Asim Chaudhuri

Keep on the Sunny Side
Charmingly sung, this traditional song can surely brighten your day!
by Jay Traylor (Subrata)

Spiritual Approach to the Coronavirus Crisis
Can we heed medical experts and invoke the Almighty? — “Chidananda rupah Shivoham Shivoham! I am Shiva, I am Shiva!”
by Uma Majmudar

The Legend of Shiwido
Chapter One of a delightful story introduced in our last edition.
by Sofía Puerta Webber
Illustration by Olga Kolomydtseva

Swami Madhavananda in New York City
The Swami came to New York for brain surgery in 1961. He met with devotees at the Vedanta Society of New York.
by Swami Yogeshananda

by Katherine C., Samantha Evans, Peeyush Lala, and Br. Shankara

Creativity and Meditation
For many, self-discipline is an obstacle to spiritual practice. Perhaps our innate creativity is a solution.
by M. Ram Murty

This Yearning
A devotee’s plea to make her ready to receive the Beloved.
by Katherine C.

Variation on the Cow Killer Story
A playlet that contemplates how karma is applied, and why it can be a grace.
by Bill Davis

Aluna, A Journey to Save the World
This compelling documentary film may touch your heart deeply.
by Kogi elders with Alan Ereira

In Memoriam – Edith Tipple
Vedanta in America, the world of letters, and your editor in particular recently lost a dear friend and colleague.
Adapted from the e-newsletter of the Vedanta Society of Southern California

We look forward to hearing from you about this issue! Please let us know what you think via our Contact form, or post a comment below, after any article, or on our Facebook page.


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