Richard Gere is a Buddhist. Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are initiated in Kabbalah. And Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are raising little Suri in the Church of Scientology. None were raised in the traditions which now inform their spirituality, along with the 44% of Americans who too have changed their religions. So why then should Julia Roberts’ revelation of her Hindu practice, that today inspires the spirituality of over two million Indian-origin Hindu Americans and an unaccounted number of non-Indian-origin Hindus — including those who may have converted or, for all intents and purposes, could be considered practicing Hindus — elicit the question of whether America is ready to embrace Hinduism? Read more

Nam – as – te. Three syllables and one simple word that has the potential to bring peace between peoples, peace between nations and most importantly, peace within ourselves. Literally translated, namaste means, “The Divine within me bows to the same Divine within you.” And despite it’s conciseness, this one word encompasses the essential teachings of Hinduism. But, in terms of its potential power, it transcends Hinduism and Hindus. Read more

Kurma Jayanthi, or Koorma Jayanti, is observed on the day when Lord Vishnu incarnated as Kurma or Tortoise. Kurma Avatar is the second of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The purpose of Kurma Avatar was to keep Mount Mandara intact and help in the process of Samudra Manthan or churning of ocean. In 2010, the date of Kurma Jayanti is May 27. Read more

The Hindu American Foundation recently announced its second annual NextGen Essay Contest. Topic: The beauty of Hinduism, and a key reason for its longevity as a world religion, is its ability to embrace modernity.  While the philosophy of Hinduism is ever-relevant, the manner in how it is applied to everyday life continues to change with each generation.  HAF wants to know the difference between your application of Hindu philosophy to daily life and your parents’ application. How do you live your… Read more

A fascinating debate unfolded recently at Washington Post’s On Faith: The medical professor and blogger Aseem Shukla wrote an essay on yoga’s American popularity and Hindu heritage. Decrying the “severance of yoga from Hinduism,” Shukla asked: Why is yoga severed in America’s collective consciousness from Hinduism? Yoga, meditation, ayurvedic natural healing, self-realization–they are today’s syntax for New Age, Eastern, mystical, even Buddhist, but nary an appreciation of their Hindu origins. It is not surprising, then, that Hindu schoolchildren complain that… Read more

Over at HuffPo, Ramnath Subramanian reflects on business education, ethics, and asks what modern lessons we might learn from ancient Indian epics: I heard a story in my early childhood that has only grown on me through my experience in corporate America. The story comes from the Mahabharata (literally translated as “The History of Greater India”), one of the classics from India’s ancient religious texts, the Vedas. The setting: the best school of martial arts and military training, headed by a veteran… Read more

As a wave, Seething and foaming, Is only water So all creation, Streaming out of the Self, Is only the Self. Consider a piece of cloth. It is only threads! So all creation, When you look closely, Is only the Self. (Ashtavakra Gita 2:4-5) (ht: Read more

Welcome to the new blog of the Patheos Hindu portal! If you’re interested in contributing to this blog, please email us at Here’s a short video to kick off this new blog — a video, fittingly enough, about  Namaste…. Read more

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