Grieving as Arjuna Did

How might a Hindu experience and share in the nation's grief in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown?For my last post of the year, I'd like to offer a guest's reflections on the Newtown tragedy. Vineet Chander is the Coordinator for Hindu Life at Princeton University, a Religious Life Leader at the Lawrenceville School, and Adjunct Professor at Farleigh Dickinson University.by Vineet ChanderI first learned of the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, … [Read more...]

Asymmetry of Power: Proselytization, Poverty, and Race

As long as evangelism is complicated by contexts of imbalance, we will continue to have concern, hostility, and even conflict.In the few weeks since I went to the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, I have been considering the topic of conversion from the "other side"—not of Hindus converting to other religions, but of other religionists, particularly Christians, converting to Hinduism. Obviously, since I am so concerned about conversion of Hindus to Christianity, I should also h … [Read more...]

Mimicry, Mockery, or Mumukshutva? Jeffery Long’s Response to Deepak Sarma

I do not apologize for opting for universalism over tribalism, and an affirmation of all our experiences.Note: I was recently at the American Academy of Religion's Annual meeting in Chicago and had a chance encounter with one friend and a deliberate engagement with another. Both are what I am not: Ph.D.s, scholars in academia, experts in Hinduism studies. Yet we are all three Hindu. When I ran into Deepak Sarma, he shared with me his recent essay on White Hindu converts. I wanted to … [Read more...]

Diwali’s Invitation to Transcend Differences

Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil, a victory of recognizing the divinity in each of us, being open to dialogue, listening, and trying to find compromise.The weekend before the election, I was at an interfaith conference in Omaha, Nebraska. As a member of the Hindu American Foundation, I was invited by Project Interfaith to be a panelist at The Stained Glass Ceiling: A Community Conference on the Successes and Challenges of Women's Religious Leadership. I was part of a group … [Read more...]

From Sacred Space to Hindu Community

Hindu temples sustain community while pushing the next generation into new appropriations of the dharma.In a recent essay on Beliefnet.com, Manhattan-based journalist Shoba Narayan says "Stop Building Hindu Temples." She does however offer an explanation for these rather strong words, suggesting, "In their zeal to erect temples, America's Hindus aren't asking who will maintain them years from now." She sums up in a single paragraph the difficult journey an American Hindu immigrant makes, … [Read more...]

Creating Goodness Out of Loss

We have a vision of a beloved community, and must strive toward it. We each have a contribution to make in achieving this vision.Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois convened a Senate hearing on hate crimes and the potential threat of domestic extremism this week as a response to the most recent attacks on those from the Dharmic community who are most easily identified as "the other." The Hindu American Foundation was one of over 150 religious and civil rights organizations that called for … [Read more...]


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