Mahashivratri 2017 (Hindu Holiday)

This year Mahashivratri (Shiva's Great Night) will be Friday February 24th.For me this is the first big holiday of the year and Shiva is the God I am most connected to (my ishta devata, if you will), so it's very meaningful for me. I'm not totally sure how I'll be celebrating this year. The bhajan group I used to go to usually has an event at someone's home. I'm still on the mailing list, even though I haven't gone since Garrick Ravi was born, so I may try to do that. I will do a fast during … [Read More...]

Ishta Devata: A Personal God

The last time I spoke about the concept of an Ishta Devata was actually on my former blog and in 2010! I didn't realize it had been so long ago. Here is what I posted then and I will update with any new thoughts I have seven years later in italics...Dhurga recently mentioned Ishta-Devata in the comments. Simply put, this would be one's personal God.There are many, many, many Gods in Hinduism. Each has different qualities and different personalities. The idea is that out of all those, … [Read More...]

Islamic Terrorism: How I Plan To Counter It

Contrary to popular criticism, liberals are not fans of terrorism. No one wants terrorism! (Except the terrorists themselves, of course). It's not like liberals are going to forgive and forget the murder of innocent people. We're not saying to coddle terrorists, you know? We just try not to lump innocent people in with the terrorists.I can't imagine how frustrating and upsetting it would be if Hinduism, the religion that I love and the only thing that makes any sense to me, had famous groups … [Read More...]

Scripture Study: Bhagavad Gita (book three, verses 20-24)

We are doing a scripture study together: reading along through some scriptures and discussing the passages. Here are all of the posts on the previous verses for the Gita: Bhagavad Gita StudyFrom the Winthrop Sargeant translation of The Gita... 20. Perfection was attained by kings like Janaka With action alone. For the mere maintenance of the world, You should act.21.Whatever the greatest man does, Thus do the rest; Whatever standard he sets, The world follows that.22. For … [Read More...]

How Does Preventing Muslims Entering America Stop Terrorists?

Even if I were to go along with the assumption that there are terrorists sneaking into the U.S. with refugees, does refusing them entrance actually prevent terrorist acts?Denying entrance to a terrorist does not make him cease to exist, obviously. So that terrorist is still being dangerous and violent...somewhere else.That's the real key, isn't it? As long as it's not in America, we're not going to care. *** Or maybe it's that the terrorists only care about attacking Americans? Do we … [Read More...]

Worship of the Divine Mother

The world right now could use some feminine energy, I think. The comfort and safety of a mother's arms. The knowledge that she will protect you through any crisis. Here are a couple of ways that you can connect with the Divine Mother and the healing power of feminine energy... The Shakti Coloring Book I was sent this book to review. I've been kind of skeptical about the adult coloring book craze. I did love coloring as a kid but I wondered whether I would find it enough of a challenge for my … [Read More...]

Scripture Study: Bhagavad Gita, book three verses 16-19

We are doing a scripture study together: reading along through some scriptures and discussing the passages. Here are all of the posts on the previous verses for the Gita: Bhagavad Gita StudyFrom the Winthrop Sargeant translation of The Gita... 16. He who does, here on earth, Turn the wheel thus set in motion, Lives, Arjuna, Maliciously, full of sense delights, and in vain.17. He whose delight is only in the Self, Whose satisfaction is in the Self, And who is content only in the … [Read More...]

In-Between Not Alive and Alive (the abortion debate)

I am a feminist, a liberal, and pro-choice...and I also think that abortion is morally wrong.A fetus is not alive but it's also not not-alive. It is likely to become alive (although miscarriage is much more common than most people realize). I value this in-between state very highly. If all goes well that not-alive fetus will become a living human and that is a wonderful miracle. Pro-choice means exactly what it sounds like: choices. People seem to have the misconception that we … [Read More...]

What Is Manusmriti (Laws of Manu)?

When I was growing up I knew Manu as a book of weird sayings and rules supposedly written by the first man in existence. It was something I was aware of and we read it sometimes but I never got the impression it was something to put much stock in. I didn't realize until I began blogging how much Manusmriti is used to try to discredit Hinduism.Those who want to paint Hinduism as backward or strange create memes with quotes exclusively from Manu. Which is frustrating because many, I would even … [Read More...]

Do Moments of Happiness Matter?

Okay, this is a strange thought and not really applicable to real life but I started wondering about it while observing my baby. He is very present. Whatever he is feeling in one moment consumes him and then the next moment it's something else and whatever came before is gone.Most of the time he is happy and giggling and smiling. Then sometimes, of course, he is crying and upset. And when he's upset I start to wonder if those times of happiness matter at all. Are they stored somewhere in his … [Read More...]