This year marks the fourth year that the International Day of Yoga will be celebrated, on June 21st. As someone who has practiced yoga in one way or another since the mid 1990s, it feels great to have an official day recognizing the tradition, teachings, and benefits of yoga. For those that have come in late: the International Day of Yoga was established by the United Nations after the Government of India proposed doing so. Each year the activities surround… Read more

Normally I have a good deal of respect for the folks at Pew Research. They do good work. But occasionally the best of us flub one. Such is the case with a recent article titled 5 facts about religion in India, published as part of Pew Research Center’s Fact Tank. Let’s deconstruct this piece, which is riddled with curious omissions, lacks important context, and has a good deal of false implications. I’m going to work backwards, as one of the… Read more

This is the second part of an interview I did with Christopher Fici — a former ISKCON monk finishing his doctorate at Union Theological Seminary and board member at Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus. Read part one here. Here, Chris talks about the connections between the Gaudiya Vaishnav tradition and ecology, ecological initiatives at the Bhakti Center in New York City, and more. Did you always have a strong connection with nature, growing up in Detroit? The best thing about… Read more

The phenomenon of non-Indians adopting Hinduism is not new. However, the stories of how individuals came to the religion have not been regularly recorded. I hope to rectify that by time to time publishing interviews with those people who weren’t raised Hindu but now publicly identify as such, in the hopes of shedding some light on what drew them to Sanatana Dharma. The following is an interview with Christopher Fici, a former ISKCON monk, currently working on his doctorate at Union… Read more

The phenomenon of non-Indians adopting Hinduism is not new. However, the stories of how individuals came to the religion have not been regularly recorded. I hope to rectify that by time to time publishing interviews with those people who weren’t raised Hindu but now publicly identify as such, in the hopes of shedding some light on what drew them to Sanatana Dharma. The following is an interview with Ram Goodman, a yoga teacher and student of Vedanta, who lives in… Read more

Yesterday, President Trump characterized gang members entering the United States illegally (by association all undocumented immigrants, and no doubt in the minds of the more xenophobically inclined all immigrants) as not being humans but “animals”. Such derogatory language has a well documented history over the past century of being applied to a range of ethnic groups as a way to dehumanize them and essentially pave the way for genocide or violence against them. This fact has been rightly pointed out… Read more

The phenomenon of non-Indians adopting Hinduism is not new. However, the stories of how individuals came to the religion have not been regularly recorded. I hope to rectify that by time to time publishing interviews with those people who weren’t raised Hindu but now publicly identify as such, in the hopes of shedding some light on what drew them to Sanatana Dharma. The following is an interview with Keshav Fulbrook (conducted via email), a man currently living in Missoula, Montana,… Read more

In the past week we passed an ominous way marker on our march towards a more dangerous, less hospitable climate: For the first time in millions of years atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are more than 410 parts per million. This may seem an abstract thing in that you can’t see increasing CO2 levels with the naked eye, but its effects are clearly visible all around us and will only get worse. The Hindu Declaration on Climate Change — a… Read more

After her latest public relations kerfuffle, stemming from her less-than-orthodox interpretation of passages of the Ramayana, Audrey Truschke, Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University, essentially characterized all those people offended by her tweets as right wing reactionary Hindus. Let’s leave aside the details of Truschke’s analysis and comments on the Ramayana. Plenty of other people rightly have already taken Truschke to task. All I’ll add on to that, is  I think her analysis of the text, as well as… Read more

“Would you trust an article on surfing, how it feels to ride a wave, from someone who’s only stood on the shore looking at the water?” This is the question I ask myself whenever I read an article about Hinduism from somewhat who doesn’t actually practice Hindu spirituality — or at least hasn’t in the past for a significant amount of time. It’s not that I denigrate academic study or look down on analysis. It’s not that I think intellectual… Read more

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