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...]

On International Day of Yoga, a Trip Down Memory Lane: The HAF Take Back Yoga Project

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Namaste. International Yoga Day is today, and to celebrate, Suhag & Aseem Shukla, and Sheetal Shah, of the Hindu American Foundation embarked on a trip down memory lane.  Over four days, they have shared the story of HAF’s Take Back Yoga Project (TBY).  What started as a simple letter to the editor expressing frustration over the hyper-fixation on the physical aspects of yoga and a delinking of yoga from its Hindu roots, ultimately spurred an unprecedented global conversation acknowledging th … [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...]

Freedom to Choose: Conversion to Hinduism

At a recent HAF Awareness Event, a group of people came to learn about the work of the Foundation, and I was asked a seemingly simple question, with an underlying challenge to prove my point: Do you think that conversion to Hinduism is allowed?  Since I usually am vocal about the challenges caused by conversion away from Hinduism, answering the question was an ideal way to explain the difference between conversion to Hinduism and conversion to Christianity (or also to another faith which seeks … [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...]

Ending Violence Against Women

Be it India or America, as the great Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda said, "The best thermometer to the progress of a nation is its treatment of its women."There are few events in history that can wake up an entire nation out of complacency. The horrific rape and resulting death of the 23-year-old woman in Delhi has been such an event. As frustrated and saddened as I am over the violence and violation so many women have faced, I am encouraged that both men and women have taken to the streets … [Read more...]


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