Rites of Passage: A Hindu American Experience

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Rites of Passage. Read other perspectives here.A few years ago, the temple in the metro-Detroit area that my family goes to most often started conducting a special puja to mark graduation. I was fascinated. A puja is a religious rite, where Hindus worship through devotion to God, offering prayers and food, often to a specific deity, performed daily or on special occasions, on holy days.  Pujas are done to mark rites of pa … [Read more...]

The Good of Hinduism: A Solid Foundation of Pluralism

Editors' Note: This post is part of a Patheos symposium —What Good Is Religion? Read more here.In trying to understand or discuss the “good of Hinduism” - how faith has, in big and small ways, theoretical and very concrete, served humanity and the world for good – one can simply state the obvious. A Hindu can do good by serving others, as indicated in the oft repeated “Manav seva, Madhav seva.”  A loose translation – Service to humanity is service to God  - doesn’t capture the selfless nature … [Read more...]

A Hindu Eulogy for Leonard Nimoy: I am not Spock, I am Spock.

Star Trek: The Next Generation became religious worship in my uncle’s home around when their oldest started high school and was unwilling to go to church. I had just moved back to the United States to go to graduate school in Long Island. Monthly, often fortnightly trips, to their house in Connecticut became my respite from the rigors of graduate school and relief from homesickness for family in India. It fit in with my needs – cuddled up next to two elementary-age girls who saw me as a big sis … [Read more...]

Five Years of Patheos and the Best of my Blog: A Hindu Path to Peace and Pluralism

As Patheos celebrates its 5th anniversary, I went down memory lane to pick a few to highlight. I started with my first piece for the site written in early 2010, and probably my briefest ever, about God in 100 words, followed by one in June where I was invited to write on the future of Hinduism. I was placed alongside my friend Suhag Shukla, Executive Director of the Hindu American Foundation, and academics and scholars I revere, such as Gavin Flood and David Frawley and some whom I am now … [Read more...]

Accepting an Inclusive Identity: On Being an Indian-American Hindu

I am a product of two republics: born in India, raised in America, I typically celebrate my American national identity through holidays such as the Fourth of July because I am a naturalized US citizen. So I didn’t think to get involved when a celebration of India’s Republic Day here in Michigan included Miss America - even though I share her cultural and linguistic identity as a Telugu-speaking Indian-American. But I wondered what my friends of Indian origin do, and did a quick survey. About a th … [Read more...]


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