Diwali Proclamations in My Hometown


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...]

The Future of Hinduism in America: Publicly Engaging Pluralism for Peace

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Future of Faith in America: Eastern Religions. Read other perspectives here. When I last wrote about the Future of Hinduism, I had become a voice for the Hindu community in interfaith relations, as co-founder of both the local interfaith group in Michigan’s most Asian American cities and the Outreach Committee of one of Michigan’s oldest and largest Hindu temples. Because of my interest in the way that Hinduism i … [Read more...]

Vijaya Dasami – Embracing the Divinity Within


The nine days/nights of Navaratri are over:  the celebration of the Goddess in her tamas, rajas and sattva forms  ends with a day marking the victory of good over evil, going beyond the limitations of these three gunas, finding that which we are seeking. The Goddess was first celebrated for three days in her fierce tamasic form, of Durga and Kali, followed by three days dedicated to Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth, representing the Goddess in her golden rajasic glory. And now, after the worship o … [Read more...]

Celebrating Shakti – Embracing Diversity of Belief

Today is the start of Navaratri, a nine-night festival that honors the Feminine Divine - Shakti, Devi, Goddess. Hinduism Today’s Festival one pager explains how it is celebrated, and more importantly, its significance. Hinduism is one of the few living religions where the Divine is She, Shakti. Shakti is the Divine Mother, the personification of primordial energy, that which is the source of all and controls all, the power behind divine and cosmic evolution, and exists in each of us. On these ni … [Read more...]

A Hindu Prayer for Everyone: Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah

Global Goals

The sad news about Swami Dayananda Saraswati - a Hindu leader whose loss will be mourned by millions around the world - came around the time I sat down to write about the Global Goals initiative at One. I was invited to join a circle of faith leaders at Patheos to champion the goals through the practices and teachings of my faith, Hinduism, with a Prayer for Everyone. I felt like it was a sign: Swamiji (“ji” is an honorific appended to a name or title, to convey respect) is well-known for his tea … [Read more...]

The Pope’s Caritas: Evocative of a Hindu’s Karuna

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Pope in America: Implications, Collaborations, Challenges. Read other perspectives here.A child of immigrants, I grew up with a Catholic “uncle” - a foreign student from Southern India like my parents. He and my father were colleagues in the English department at a university in New York.  “Uncle Ralph,” my father would always say, “is a ‘small c’ catholic” - and to this day, I have not seen otherwise: he is as the defini … [Read more...]

India’s Latest Census: Hindus, Christians & Confusion

John Dayal India Census

As most people of Indian origin know, “American Born Confused Desi” - an ABCD - is a special phrase used to refer to a rather “neither here nor there” mentality that we Indian Americans might have acquired while growing up in America, with parents who are immigrants from India trying to provide an “Indian” environment at home. My parents went a step farther - they moved the family back to India when I was in high school, so that I could have a first hand experience of what it means to be Indian. … [Read more...]