The Hindus of Kashmir: The Persecution of Kashmiri Pandits

On my biannual trips to India, I usually look forward to eating my mom’s cooking and acquiring saris - my favorite garment. I also acquire books; when my children were young, it was a throwback to my childhood, with my parents taking them to a local bookstore and letting them pick something they wanted - usually, it was a few Amar Chitra Katha to add to our collection at home in Troy. These comic-like picture books are a great way to learn the stories from the Hindu puranas such as the M … [Read more...]

Baby Shower And/Or Seemantham: Bundle of Hope and Joy

It is indeed special to celebrate the start of a new year, and the new beginnings associated with it, but it is even more special when the first few days of the year includes celebrating the arrival of a new baby. The Hindu life sacrament known in Sanskrit as Simantonnayana with the literal meaning “parting of the hair,” has evolved into a baby shower, to both welcome a new baby into the family and celebrate the expectant mother. Hindus, particularly those from southern India where my ancestors h … [Read more...]

Hindu Studies: An Education in Religious Studies and Bias

I was pleased to start the new year off with information about how, in pre-colonial India, Hindu temples were premier educational institutions. January also reminded me of my own pursuit of Hindu studies: several years ago, I wanted to enroll in a Hindu studies program at a local college, and found there are no such classes in our region - especially not one solely focused on Hinduism, and especially not taught by a practicing Hindu. I enrolled at Ecumenical Theological Seminary - but due to … [Read more...]

The Reality of Santa Claus: Imagine Joy this Holiday Season

Christmas is a time when those of us who are not Christian also get to participate in the festive season - especially because schools and businesses alike give time off.  Over the past several years, I have enjoyed how the automotive industry in my home of metro-Detroit has given me the opportunity to enjoy the season with its shut-down from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.  Many of us are able to take vacations, enjoy time with friends and family, and even celebrate Christmas, with all the glor … [Read more...]

Daanam (and Seva) in December and Around the Year

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Charitable Giving. Read other perspectives here.                                                                                                                              In years past, the December dilemma was usually delayed to January, when my children went back to school after the winter holiday break, because of the commercialization of the holiday and listening to their classmates enumerate the gifts they had go … [Read more...]

Diwali Proclamations in My Hometown

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Diwali is a time of love and laughter, family and friends, fun and foods that delight - it is the Festival of Lights, marking the return of an exiled prince, returning home to be King, with a path of clay diyas, that provide him the path to his kingdom and family of devoted subjects. At our local temple in Troy, MI, we mark the holiday with a cultural and social function on the weekend either before or after the holy day itself, which falls on Nov. 11 this year. At my various workplaces, I have … [Read more...]


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