Diwali Proclamations in My Hometown


Diwali is a time of love and laughter, family and friends, fun and foods that delight - it is the Festival of Lights, marking the return of an exiled prince, returning home to be King, with a path of clay diyas, that provide him the path to his kingdom and family of devoted subjects. At our local temple in Troy, MI, we mark the holiday with a cultural and social function on the weekend either before or after the holy day itself, which falls on Nov. 11 this year. At my various workplaces, I have … [Read more...]

The Pope’s Caritas: Evocative of a Hindu’s Karuna

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Pope in America: Implications, Collaborations, Challenges. Read other perspectives here.A child of immigrants, I grew up with a Catholic “uncle” - a foreign student from Southern India like my parents. He and my father were colleagues in the English department at a university in New York.  “Uncle Ralph,” my father would always say, “is a ‘small c’ catholic” - and to this day, I have not seen otherwise: he is as the defini … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]