Faith in Politics: Pluralism, Not Polarization

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Faith and the Election. Read other perspectives here.To respond to the idea of what is the proper role of faith in this election, it is worth examining a few things: what is faith, what is the relationship of faith in an election, and what exactly is a “proper role” of faith in the 2016 election.The Merriam Webster dictionary defines faith as: 1) strong belief or trust in someone or something; 2) belief in the existence o … [Read More...]

Classroom Subjected: Bullying and Bias against Hindu Students in American Schools

As a mother, I’ve drawn on my experiences growing up between cultures as an immigrant child to help my children live harmoniously between Indian and American culture—and rely on our faith foundation of Hinduism to help them find that balance.  One can imagine my dismay on seeing the results of the Hindu American Foundation’s recently released report, Classroom Subjected: Bullying and Bias against Hindu Students in American Schools. It highlights the results and conclusions from survey responses c … [Read More...]

Miracles in the Eastern Traditions: Buddhist, Daoist, Hindu Connections in the Story of God

In the last episode of National Geographic’s The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, Freeman travels the world trying to understand the power of miracles. This time, when he travels to India, he examines the Buddhist understanding of miracles by visiting Bodh Gaya, where Buddha attained enlightenment. Freeman says he’s come to India to understand miracles and the “religion that believes we all have the mental power to perform miracles.” The Dalai Lama has often referred to Hinduism and Buddhism as … [Read More...]

The Story of God & Evil: Dichotomy or Complexity?

My father, an English professor, always told me that the opposite of love was apathy - not hate. Similarly, we’ve discussed how the opposite of God and all that is good has less to do with evil and the devil, and more to do with all that is bad - and how Shakespeare had it right: there is no absolute, where one is good and the other is evil, but rather a perspective that shapes our understanding  The next National Geographic episode of The Story of God with Morgan Freeman attempts to understand t … [Read More...]

Shining a Light on Autism

As a Board member of a national Hindu advocacy organization, I have the opportunity to work closely with people whose advocacy efforts are rooted in the  first of the four-fold spiritual path a Hindu follows: dharma, or justice, fairness and equality.  One of HAF’s objectives is to “solve contemporary problems by applying Hindu philosophy,” with an emphasis on “promoting the Hindu teaching of every person’s inherent divinity regardless of race, religion, caste, gender, age, or sexual orientation, … [Read More...]

The Hindu Story of Creation: Which One?

Host Morgan Freeman searches for the stories of creation as part of his understanding of God and spiritual practices from various religions around the world, in the upcoming episode of “The Story of God,” airing Sunday, April 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, on the National Geographic Channel. His guide in India, scholar Binda Paranjpe, explains something that most people don’t realize: Hindus don’t have a single story of creation… There is no single scripture that starts with “In the Beginning,” that one … [Read More...]

Who is God? Pluralism is the Answer

In the upcoming episode of The Story of God, Morgan Freeman attempts to discover who God is - and how he/she or they have evolved over history,  Leading off with questions such as “What are all the ways that people connect to God?” And “Is god fundamentally different to different faiths?” - Freeman heads to my spiritual homeland, India, the cradle of not only Hinduism, but several other faiths as well. I headed to one of my first blog posts for Patheos, where I was part of a community of bloggers … [Read More...]

Apocalypse, Rebirth or Self Realization: What is the Story of God?

Hindus commonly refer to Hinduism as Sanatana Dharma, or the Eternal Truth, and believe in the concept of reincarnation. Hence, the concept of global destruction with an end to the physical and cosmic world, is a foreign one. The cycle of rebirth does not indicate an end, but a continuum of life and death. As explained by the monks at HinduismToday.com, “The purpose of rebirth is to progressively achieve spiritual maturity and God Realization. Eventually each soul learns to live by religious pr … [Read More...]

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...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X