Being a Hindu, Being an Ambassador for Hinduism

We live amid challenging times, where ignorance about your neighbor can lead to not just “otherizing” someone you don’t know, but also to violence -  violence that stems from fear and distrust of someone whose beliefs and practices seem alien and in opposition to your own. When I moved to Michigan nearly two decades ago, I was one of a handful of people “farmed out” to be a speaker when the meager office staff received a call asking for a Hindu representative, from schools, colleges and other gro … [Read more...]


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The Who, What and Why of WISDOM – Part 3

As explained in the prior two posts, three of us from WISDOM - a Catholic, a Hindu and a Muslim - came together with the NACCC organizers to present about this interfaith women's organization here in Metro-Detroit. I took the role of speaking to the reason why I continue to serve on WISDOM's Advisory Board, amidst my often over-extended civic commitments. A Board member of both the Hindu American Foundation, a national civil and human rights advocacy organization promoting pluralism and mutual … [Read more...]


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The Story of God & Evil: Dichotomy or Complexity?

My father, an English professor, always told me that the opposite of love was apathy - not hate. Similarly, we’ve discussed how the opposite of God and all that is good has less to do with evil and the devil, and more to do with all that is bad - and how Shakespeare had it right: there is no absolute, where one is good and the other is evil, but rather a perspective that shapes our understanding  The next National Geographic episode of The Story of God with Morgan Freeman attempts to understand t … [Read more...]


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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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The Hindu Story of Creation: Which One?

Host Morgan Freeman searches for the stories of creation as part of his understanding of God and spiritual practices from various religions around the world, in the upcoming episode of “The Story of God,” airing Sunday, April 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, on the National Geographic Channel. His guide in India, scholar Binda Paranjpe, explains something that most people don’t realize: Hindus don’t have a single story of creation… There is no single scripture that starts with “In the Beginning,” that one … [Read more...]


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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...]


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