Shining a Light on Autism

As a Board member of a national Hindu advocacy organization, I have the opportunity to work closely with people whose advocacy efforts are rooted in the  first of the four-fold spiritual path a Hindu follows: dharma, or justice, fairness and equality.  One of HAF’s objectives is to “solve contemporary problems by applying Hindu philosophy,” with an emphasis on “promoting the Hindu teaching of every person’s inherent divinity regardless of race, religion, caste, gender, age, or sexual orientation, … [Read more...]


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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...]


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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...]


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Books, Lies and Videotape: Wendy Doniger’s Misrepresentations about Hindu History

I am a big fan of public funding for various things - public education, public television, and public radio. And I am usually impressed with the way National Public Radio ((NPR) presents news, providing a multifaceted and balanced perspective on the news - the underlying dharma or justice of presenting more than one perspective is very much in line with the pluralism that is inherent in the way that I live my day to day life. No one way is necessarily "The Right Way." Yet I was horrified to find … [Read more...]


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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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