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...]

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...]

Vijaya Dasami – Embracing the Divinity Within

#Belief

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...]

Ethics of Vegetarianism: Evangelizing for the Environment

A recent NPR piece that someone shared with me reminded me why I no longer support them financially.  An Indian vegetarian diet and efforts to promote this are portrayed as a culture or caste issue, instead of one about the impact to environment, human health, animal welfare or religious freedom: the  “Egg War” seemed more of a war on Hinduism and Jainism. I have been raised on a traditional Indian, and to be even more specific, an Andhra vegetarian diet, while growing up in America - where being … [Read more...]

On International Day of Yoga, a Trip Down Memory Lane: The HAF Take Back Yoga Project

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Namaste. International Yoga Day is today, and to celebrate, Suhag & Aseem Shukla, and Sheetal Shah, of the Hindu American Foundation embarked on a trip down memory lane.  Over four days, they have shared the story of HAF’s Take Back Yoga Project (TBY).  What started as a simple letter to the editor expressing frustration over the hyper-fixation on the physical aspects of yoga and a delinking of yoga from its Hindu roots, ultimately spurred an unprecedented global conversation acknowledging th … [Read more...]


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