Can a bad person be saved? Interfaith Answers

I got a comment on Youtube asking me an old classic question that religious people wrestle with. I thought it would be fun and interesting to get answers from a bunch of my colleagues here at Patheos. Here is the question (I am paraphrasing. The original was a bit disturbing in its detail!): If a man behaves terribly his whole life, rapes, murders, etc. And then realizes the error of his ways. Does he get heaven/moksha/nirvana/reward? What does he have to do for forgiveness? Can he gain it at … [Read more...]


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Yet Another Opinion on CNN, Believers, and Reza Aslan

I have been uncertain what to say about this situation. If you aren't inundated with information about this like I am, CNN just came out with an episode of their show Believers in which Reza Aslan (an expert on Islam and Christianity) showcases various unusual beliefs around the world that featured a very unusual aspect of Hinduism.He visited Hindus called Aghori who practice some very strange things having to do with death including cannibalism.So of course this show is about … [Read more...]


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Roll Call

Priyanka, a friend from the Facebook page, said that she would like to connect with American Hindus and non-Indian Hindus. I thought for a few minutes about how I might help with that and I decided that I should do a post asking people to introduce themselves. So this is that post!Whether you are an Indian Hindu in India, an Indian Hindu in America, a non-Indian Hindu in India, a non-Indian Hindu in America or anything in between, please leave a comment and tell us a little about … [Read more...]


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The War on Christmas

Spoiler alert: there isn't a war on Christmas.Every December some people get very upset about those who wish them "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas." To them it looks like they aren't supposed to fully enjoy Christmas, that the "PC police" are out to get them, and/or that it's bad to be a Christian these days.And that is not the intention of those wishing you a happy holiday.Despite my mixed feelings about Christmas, I have no problem with you enjoying and celebrating your … [Read more...]


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Thank You, Anu

My friend Anu hosted a wonderful Navratri get-together for our mom's group. Her parents were there and her mother had set up a lovely gollu. It was so nice. I had a great time.Navratri is my favorite holiday and it's so wonderful when you get to participate in it with other people. … [Read more...]


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Is Happiness The Point?

We were visiting friends in Ohio last week when this question came up. We were talking about a relative who seemed to be going down a sad path, one in which she was encouraged not to think for herself or question anything. She expresses a desire to marry very young with a courtship and not kiss until her wedding day. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but one wonders if she truly desires those things or if it's something she's been told to want. It's hard not to worry that people … [Read more...]


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Reincarnating Aliens

I ran across this interesting article about the statistical likelihood of the existence of aliens. Usually I would dismiss such things, but this article showed a fascinating analysis of scientific data to suggest that it would be wildly unlikely that an "advanced" alien civilization has never existed (though none might exist at this current time). Definitely worth a read.One thing that I kept thinking about as I read is how that possibility impacts reincarnation.Do our souls sometimes i … [Read more...]


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He’s Here! Meet Garrick Ravi…

I am in a little bit of awe and it's hard to take the enormity of this experience and express it. It's hard to access my usual reflective thoughts in the midst of something so staggering and grand.Our son was born exactly one week before his due date, last Saturday May 21st. He is three days old today.The experience of labor and delivery was unlike anything I ever could have imagined. None of my plans or research meant anything. Even though it went well, it was still brutal. Childbirth … [Read more...]


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Hindi Lullabies

I've been trying to learn Hindi for a very long time now. I feel ashamed that I'm not further along but I guess part of it is that I compare myself to the end goal of fluency rather than looking back at how far I've come. I've made progress, slow though it has been. And right now all I can see is how much more I have to learn. It's tough but the fact is that I love Hindi and it may be my favorite in the world (sorry, Sanskrit!).I spoke with a good friend about my language learning … [Read more...]


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