Hindu Literature Fund


Endowment Provides Free Hindu Literature

Literature Booth
Vayudeva Varadan and Nigel Siva Subramaniam hand out free literature at a festival booth. Booklets for parents and children are most popular.

Since its inception in 1979 as a newspaper, every issue of Hinduism Today has featured an Educational Insight section, such as "Truth is One, Paths are Many." Recently, many of the magazine's Educational Insights have been reprinted as 8- or 16-page booklets. Because they are produced as part of the magazine print run, their production cost is a fraction of what it would cost to print them otherwise. These savings are passed on to readers and educators. The booklets are available at discounted prices at the Mini Mela Gift Shop at www.minimela.com.

Through the generous support of charitable contributions, Himalayan Academy, the publisher of Hinduism Today, has been able to offer these booklets to the public freely at India heritage festivals and temple events across the United States. For example, a group of devotees from the Murugan Temple of North America in Lanham, Maryland, volunteered to offer free Hindu literature at local events such as the Deepavali festival. One giveaway booths coordinator was Nigel Siva Subramaniam. He was deeply impressed and uplifted by his experience of talking with the parents, teachers and young people he met. He and his wife Inpah saw that there is a dire need to continue and expand this free distribution of Hindu literature, and were inspired to sponsor the creation of the Hindu Literature Fund, HHE endowment #58.

Nigel recalls, "Many young parents pushing their children in strollers were attracted to our booth. In one instance, a mother showed the Hindu Primer booklet to her son (about three years old) sitting in his stroller; he immediately grabbed the booklet and kissed the Lord Ganesha and Lord Murugan picture on its cover and then placed it on his chest close to his heart. Many interracial young couples (one of them a Hindu) came to us and went away with free literature; the non-Hindu partner showed genuine interest in learning about Hinduism, and often they were wearing traditional Hindu dress. Several teenagers were eager to ask questions and receive free literature. Quite a number of people said, "I'll subscribe to Hinduism Today; it is a great magazine, and I know Gurudeva." Many appreciated our efforts. I saw happiness and sparkle in their eyes when they talked to us. During the June 2004 Heritage of India Festival (our first one in Maryland), one man had a booth representing a different denomination of Hinduism right across from ours. When we were packing up at the end of the two-day festival, he came to me and said, "We have been enjoying your darshan from my booth for these two days. Thank you.'"

The purpose of this fund is to freely distribute and give away pamphlets and booklets created by Himalayan Academy, including those printed in hinduism today. The first special reprint booklet was "Ten Questions People Ask About Hinduism." It is popular among Hindus and non-Hindus alike, as it answers questions people commonly ask about Hinduism, such as "Why do Hindus worship cows?" and "Do Hindus worship idols?" Many thousands of copies have been purchased by teachers, temple managers, parents and others to share with their classes, friends and business associates. Subsequently, many more booklets have been printed, including "Visiting a Hindu Temple," "Raising Children as Good Hindus," "Hindu Primer" and "My Friend Lord Ganesha." Nigel and Inpah started the Hindu Literature Fund because they believe these vital messages should be made available to those who cannot afford to buy them, such as orphanages, schools, libraries, ashrams and children's classes.


Funds are used to print and distribute free Hindu pamphlets and booklets published by Himalayan Academy Publications and Hinduism Today magazine. Kauai, Hawaii, USA

Fund #58

 
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