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...]

Grieving as Arjuna Did

How might a Hindu experience and share in the nation's grief in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown?For my last post of the year, I'd like to offer a guest's reflections on the Newtown tragedy. Vineet Chander is the Coordinator for Hindu Life at Princeton University, a Religious Life Leader at the Lawrenceville School, and Adjunct Professor at Farleigh Dickinson University.by Vineet ChanderI first learned of the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, … [Read more...]

Asymmetry of Power: Proselytization, Poverty, and Race

As long as evangelism is complicated by contexts of imbalance, we will continue to have concern, hostility, and even conflict.In the few weeks since I went to the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, I have been considering the topic of conversion from the "other side"—not of Hindus converting to other religions, but of other religionists, particularly Christians, converting to Hinduism. Obviously, since I am so concerned about conversion of Hindus to Christianity, I should also h … [Read more...]


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