KAUAI, HAWAII, December 2, 2014: The Editors of Hinduism Today and HPI announce our 2014 “Digital Dharma Drive” to raise funds to support our free websites, and this HPI service. The editors write:
From the first day of his life’s mission, in 1957, our Gurudeva, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, placed much emphasis on publications. What began with a mimeograph machine that he used to print his own books and literature evolved into the pioneering magazine, Hinduism Today, and a few dozen books in which he captured the essence of Hindu dharma and sadhana’s profound path within. He directed his monks to reach the world through these works, uplift the spirit and serve humanity. Publishing was to be Kauai’s Hindu Monastery’s singular service, just as other maths and ashrams serve through hospitals, orphanages, eye clinics or retreat centers.
Following his edict, we have spent a lifetime crafting the tools and books, art and literature that convey the profundity of the Sanatana Dharma. Our magazine has reached the leaders of the Hindu world. Just last month our Editor in Chief, Sadasivanathaswami, was called to New Delhi to give the opening keynote talk for the media panel of the World Hindu Congress. With the changes happening in India, the conveners felt this is the time to strengthen Hindu media throughout the world, and called on Hinduism Today to lead the charge.
The resources produced by the monks have touched hundreds of thousands of people, from school kids learning Hindu history, to Rotary Clubs seeking to understand their new neighbors, to doctors wanting a Hindu take on medical ethics.
This seems to be a special moment for Hinduism, in India and beyond, and we are poised to be a significant part of that historic renaissance. In a way, we have been preparing for this moment since Gurudeva founded the magazine in 1979.
In the last decade our resource-building efforts have shifted toward the web, following the fast-evolving world of communications and publishing. It takes a deft team to gather and sculpt the needed tools and stories. Creating and sharing an articulate and graphically elegant repository of Hinduism is neither easy nor without costs. Hindu youth are learning their spiritual ABCs online, and millions of seekers are discovering Hinduism digitally. What they encounter should be thoughtful, lucid, elegant and authentic. That’s what compels our annual fundraising campaign. It’s a chance for you to help us to help explain and share Hinduism globally.
In his appeal, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami speaks of the need to provide support for the monks, to draw on a greater expertise. Yes, we could charge for the online books and magazine, but we are determined not to do that. We ourselves are seldom motivated to pay for online information. We like that it is without cost. But free to the world is not free to us. We have significant costs in running our websites. The needs are modest, but they are real.
Among those needs has been a space conducive to creative thinking and collaboration. For four decades the publishing team worked in a dim space, not exactly a hovel, but not much to inspire either. The recent changes in the Media Studio are changing that dramatically, and this year’s contributions will help us complete a fresh and suitable facility, one worthy to be the headquarters of Hinduism Today and Himalayan Academy Publications.
In order to provide it all without charging for downloads, without showing advertisements on our sites, without commercializing our mission, we turn to you for help.
In 2010 we received $60,000, in 2011 we received $64,600 and in 2013 it was $55,600. Last year was $50,890. The goal for this year is $70,000. Our two-month-long Digital Dharma Drive ends on January 31. We hope you will join in helping us meet our goal. In the right hands, and leveraged by the unsalaried work of the monks, these funds will have a profound impact on the future of Hinduism around the world. Please make a donation today to keep our sites strong well into 2015.