The Future of Hinduism in America: Publicly Engaging Pluralism for Peace

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Future of Faith in America: Eastern Religions. Read other perspectives here. When I last wrote about the Future of Hinduism, I had become a voice for the Hindu community in interfaith relations, as co-founder of both the local interfaith group in Michigan’s most Asian American cities and the Outreach Committee of one of Michigan’s oldest and largest Hindu temples. Because of my interest in the way that Hinduism i … [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...]

Farce or Dialogue: Who should be discussing Proselytism & Pluralism?

I  recently received an email about an event at Georgetown University’s Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, where Rick Warren and Ruth Messinger will be the keynote speakers on Sharing the Message? Proselytism and Development in Pluralistic Societies: A Public Dialogue. On perusing the site, it appears that no one from the Indian or Hindu community will be on a panel during the day-long dialogue. India is home to one of the most pluralistic societies I know, and in need of de … [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...]

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...]

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...]