Thank you for publishing “Hindus make imprint on Pittsburgh religious scene” (Nov. 15). It did more than evoke unforgettable memories of my nine-week stay in Pune, India, in 1988, before I co-founded Portland Yoga Studio the next spring.

Living at the Christa Prema Seva Ashram while studying at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, I also participated in the Diwali “festival of lights.”

I remember riding in a parade, seated on the rear seat of a motorcycle driven by one of my friends at the ashram. Lights hung above us, strung all over the streets. It sounded like the Fourth of July for five days.

Your article also gives me the opportunity to add this: Hinduism can enrich us in the West with its philosophy of “the five Kleshas,” also known as “the five causes of suffering.”

We learn that “avidya,” the first of the five, is at the root of the other four causes of suffering. Avidya could be translated “ignorance of our true nature.”

There would be fewer wars and less conflict if, in both East and West, we led our lives enlightened by this teaching. “Vidya” means “enlightenment.” Diwali, the festival of lights, marks “a god’s victory over darkness and ignorance.”

Elaine G. McGillicuddy

Portland