Archives for 2013

Faith in the Public Square: Inclusive or Exclusive?

In recent weeks, several high-profile religious leaders—including Pope Francis, Billy Graham, and Russell Moore—have expressed concern that churches can get so involved with controversial social and political causes that other important aspects of ministry are neglected, relationships suffer, and basic common teachings are overshadowed. Is it time for faith leaders to tone down the activism and pull back from engaging in contentious "culture wars"? As a Board member of the the Hindu American Fou … [Read more...]

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Gadadhara Pandit Dasa Shares His Journey in Urban Monk

Gadadhara Pandit Dasa shares his story in Urban Monk: Exploring Karma, Consciousness, and the Divine as he chronicles his experiences from young Hindu, Indian-immigrant child struggling to fit in to America, to a simple Hindu monk working to help people find spiritual meaning in life. At the suggestion of a friend, reluctant to write as he had never kept a regular diary, he realized the value of meditating on his life’s journey and the challenges that brought him to embrace the life of a mon … [Read more...]

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Avoiding Rock Bottom by Advocating for Peace

Faith in god has always been a part of my life, and particularly has sustained me during the most difficult periods. Having faith in something, being able to focus on a favored deity, an ishta devata, as many Hindus do, has helped me through times of emotional and physical distress. So I was really glad to see that Karen Beattie’s Rock-Bottom Blessings: Discovering God's Abundance When All Seems Lost, was featured in the Patheos Book Club this month. Thirteen years ago, I began a two-year j … [Read more...]

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Ending Violence with Guns

This week, I had a moment of near deja vu. It was more than 8 years ago that I first offered to participate in a prayer event in Troy, MI and was denied. It was the City's 2004 National Day of Prayer event. Fortunately, the mayor welcomed me during her opening remarks, and I was able to offer a prayer of well-being for our community. This year, a church in our community is organizing an ecumenical prayer vigil in memory of gun violence victims, and I am going to offer a prayer again - this time, … [Read more...]

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Ending Violence Against Women

Be it India or America, as the great Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda said, "The best thermometer to the progress of a nation is its treatment of its women."There are few events in history that can wake up an entire nation out of complacency. The horrific rape and resulting death of the 23-year-old woman in Delhi has been such an event. As frustrated and saddened as I am over the violence and violation so many women have faced, I am encouraged that both men and women have taken to the streets … [Read more...]

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