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...]

Another Rite of Passage: Celebrating a Decade of Interfaith Activism

A week ago the Troy-area Interfaith Group celebrated its 11th annual National Day of Prayer event. I helped start this community organization over a controversy - the contentious history is here, and also taught as a case study in pluralism by Harvard University's Pluralism Project - but it was a very peaceful, harmonious group that gathered to celebrate unity in diversity, with prayers from many people, from many traditions. I was honored that I was invited to share the reflection below on the … [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...]

Preserving Human Rights Through Article 26 of the UN Declaration

As a Board member of the Hindu American Foundation, I have had the opportunity to share what advocacy is with some stellar college students who join HAF's Congressional Internship program each summer. Current intern Tej Desai recently shared his experience after a month in DC where HAF's main offices are, but it is former intern Suneeta Israni's thoughts on the importance of the Hindu American Foundation's annual Human Rights Report and its relevance to Article 26 in the UN Declaration of Human R … [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...]

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...]