Hinduism Today Production Fund

Featured Quarterly Article

All the Children Are Beautiful Souls

Help your magazine spread joy and happiness

When jennifer met ron burke (top in both pictures) in 1980, she was 16 and dreaming of becoming an actress. Two years later, they married and started a business. But her longing for the stage would not be denied. One day she was invited to participate in a clowning act, and it all suddenly clicked: clowning blended her love of the stage with her love of children. She had found her life’s calling. She became Tickles the Clown, took a university course in the fine art of clowning and has been performing ever since.

But she does not perform alone. Husband Ron soon caught the bug, left his young business and joined the clown act. When children came—Sunny, Spring and Aubrey (pictured, middle row)—each joined the family troupe as soon as they could walk. And the three brought a new magical element into the show: music.

des of a dozen different instruments, much to the delight of the youngsters. But music also has its serious side. Daughter Spring (on left in the photos), who has a Master of Arts in Violin Performance, teaches at several music schools in Vancouver, Canada, where they live.

Another magical element contributed by the second generation is two grandchildren. Luna, 8, and India, 6, who have now blended into the family tradition as naturally and enthusiastically as their forebears.

During all these years Ron was quietly nurturing another passion and sharing it with the family: spirituality. He met Satguru Sivaya Subra­mu­ni­ya­swami (Gurudeva), the founder of Hinduism Today, in 1973 and was instantly captured. “Everything Gurudeva said rang true and has grown within me­—and us—all these years. It’s helped our family stay happily together, it’s inspired us and infused our clowning with depth of meaning and purpose. How fortunate we feel to have an occupation where we can all join together to create laughter and joy, leaving only happy memories as residue. It’s a blessing.”

“It takes a lot of intuition to read each group of kids and know what to do in the moment. Hinduism and Hinduism Today have given us that ability. We see all the children as beautiful souls. We’ve learned to blend with their minds, see things as they do, become as they see us, and perform to their hearts’ content.”

Today Ganesha, Siva and Gurudeva preside in the family shrine room, where the gentle daily sadhanas include reading of scripture and Hinduism Today, japa and bhajan. “We are Hindus at heart,” declares Ron. “The magazine has been our constant companion. It keeps us reminded of the subtleties we could easily forget, and in touch with like-minded people all around the planet, which gives us a lot of strength.”

The Burkes make an automatic monthly donation to the Hinduism Today Production Fund, which is a part of Hindu Heritage Endowment. “The magazine has helped us so much,” explains Jennifer, “we wanted to help back, so it can forever continue doing what it does best, which is actually the same as what we strive to do. Each new issue is like a new performance and a new opportunity to spread joy and happiness.”

You, too, can help spread the joy that leaves no residue by lending your support to the Production Fund. You can make a single, one-time gift or arrange for a monthly donation, as the Burkes do, at hheonline.org/donate/fund.irev?id=20. Do it now, while you are thinking about it. You can also subscribe to our Production Fund newsletter at hheonline.org/subscribe_news.shtml to get updates of the magazine and its all-important Production Fund. Contact us at hhe@hindu.org or call 1-808-634-5407.

Please feel free to contact us at hheonline.org or call 1-808-634-5407.

The vision. The Hinduism Today Production Fund was created to enable the magazine to ever more effectively do what it does best:  uplift Hindus and Hinduism everywhere.

HINDUISM TODAY is a quarterly journal, with both print and digital editions, produced by the monks of Kauai's Hindu Monastery as a public service, not to tell their own story, but to cover the people, events, philosophy and traditions of the broader Hindu world. The monastic staff also direct by e-mail a skilled international cadre of journalists, artists and photographers who help create this renowned magazine.

Grants from the Hinduism Today Production Fund create and support Hinduism Today's continued dedication to world-class journalism through advancing editorial capabilities and endowing production expenses. Examples are providing extra funds to cover the travel expenses and professional fees of a journalist and photographer producing an in-depth feature article and funding sending the monastic staff to conferences to keep up with the most recent developments in digital publishing.

The financial goal of the Hinduism Today Production Fund is to build principal to $5 million which will provide a monthly grant of approximately $16,700.

Kauai, Hawaii, USA

Fund #20

Read the latest news about this endowment from the April-May-June issue of HINDUISM TODAY here.

The fund is the engine that will drive the magazine and its satellite productions forward in the near and far futures. As it grows, it will provide the means to develop diversified and international teams of the very best reporters, photographers, artists, writers, designers, researchers, translators, and filmmakers. And, in order to keep up with technology's fast pace, Hinduism Today will need the services of consultants in whatever new fields arise that enhance communications.

We want to always be prepared to seize any meaningful opportunity.

In addition to enhancing contents and presentation, the fund will provide the means to expand Hinduism Today's reach towards Hindus and like-minded souls everywhere--via various languages, for example.

As young as it is, the fund already provides powerful support for significant projects (see below), and we marvel thinking of future possibilities, when the fund has grown big and strong. Our publisher, editors and staff plan and visualize far into the coming years and even decades. And all the dreams will depend on the Production Fund to become realities.

We share some of these dreams below--and we will continue to do so via our Production Fund newsletter (sign up for the newsletter here).

No doubt, it is going to be a beautiful story that unfolds with time, and we invite you to be a part of it.

2007: we reach our first milestone. In 2007, for the first time, earnings from our fledgling   Production Fund had grown enough to finance a major project: an in-depth article on Hinduism in Malaysia (July-August-September 2008 issue) accompanied with a quality 3-part video .

2008: the fund supports vital projects. During 2008, the fund gradually grew more generous. It enabled editors and staff to expand into new and important territories such as:

  • Educating ourselves. Thanks to the fund, 2 of our editors were able to travel and hire teachers and consultants to gain critical proficiency in developing media of communication such as video and web design.

  • Educating the media. Responding to an appeal for help from various Hindu societies, Hinduism Today's editors created ready-for-press information sheets for 12 Hindu holidays, to be distributed to media outlets. The fund subsidizes part of the expenses.

  • Upgrading Hinduism Today's website. For over a year, our editors have worked closely with a world-class web designer to bring our site up to the highest standards so the numerous resources it offers are more easily and pleasantly available. Updates will be unveiled soon, and all costs are covered by the fund.

  • Many videos. With the help of accomplished professionals, the Hinduism Today staff has already produced about 80 quality videos as of September 1, 2009, now posted on YouTube. Many more are coming, and the fund is covering all the costs.

2009 and beyond. First, let's go back to 2006, when the editors seized a great opportunity: to publish an online digital edition of Hinduism Today. After several years of intense planning, help from the Production Fund, and some financial wizardry, they not only produced it, they were able to offer it to the world  free of charge! It has been a great success, bringing Hinduism's marvels to thousands of new readers in some 100 countries--each issue made even more brilliant with imbedded goodies such as multimedia, search features, access to back issues and more. And being free, it reaches souls who could not otherwise afford to acquire the precious knowledge. (You may download the digital edition from here--and so can your friends and relatives anywhere in the world.)

And today, the digital edition itself presents us with a number of new and enticing opportunities, notably that of  translations. Perhaps like nothing else, translated editions will expand Hinduism Today's reach dramatically. The demand is great; we receive requests every day. And, once we have a translation for a given issue, it can be instantaneously produced and distributed. You simply paste it into that issue's existing digital layout, post it onto the web and  zip, the whole world has access!

Even as you read this, a number of professional translators sit at their keyboards waiting for our signal. And we, of course, we are just waiting for the Production Fund to become strong enough to allow us to hire them.

Do we feel that your donation to the Production Fund will be meaningful? Yes, indeed, that is what we feel.

March, 2009: a question arises.

            How may we--within a short time--
            bring financial relief to our Hinduism Today staff
            so as to give them wings to soar even higher?

In response, the (monastic) managers of Hindu Heritage Endowment launched a special fund-raising project within the Production Fund. The objective is for the fund to augment by $1,000 the monies available to the editors for the production of each issue.

A modest but significant increase, that will enable our magazine to evolve much further.

In order to be able to grant $1000 quarterly, or $4000 per year, the fund needs to grow its principal by $100,000. By January 1, 2013, we had reached $90,000. Please help us reach our goal soon. Contact us.

Becoming a Benefactor of Hinduism Today. If you are keen to give an added moral boost to the Production Fund while giving financial support, please consider becoming a Benefactor of Hinduism Today.

One becomes a Benefactor simply by donating $1000 or more to the Fund as a gift outright or by making the fund a beneficiary in one's estate plan by the same amount.   Learn more about becoming a Benefactor.


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