We the Idol Worshipers

Idol worship is something Hindus get accused of a lot. And I use the word "accused" because saying someone worships idols is like some kind of short hand for saying that their religion is baseless and wrong and primitive. None of which is true.Hindus do have idols. We have statues that we pray to in our temples and in our homes.For some Hindus the statue represents a God symbolically and is not itself worshiped. For others the spirit of that God is called into the statue and becomes a … [Read more...]


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Karma Happens

Something that came up in our discussion group from a while back is that karma means only action and it is indifferent to good action v.s. bad action. All actions have karmic consequences, even the good ones.It is these natural results that keep us tied to this world because we must experience those results, whether good or bad.Karma attaches to us for both good actions and bad actions, but the goal is to have none of it attach.Sri Krishna's instructions in the Gita (which we will … [Read more...]


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The Three Gunas

(Note: I am on my honeymoon this week, so if your comment doesn’t show up right away, give me a day or two!)I promised you a post about the gunas!So the word "guna" (Goooona) is usually translated as "quality" as in the types of qualities that things are made of.It is said that everything in creation has some combination of the three qualities in differing amounts. RajasThis one is energy, passion, anger, movementTamasThis one is inertia, dullness, l … [Read more...]


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Reading the Upanishads: Katha part five

We are doing a scripture study together: reading along through some scriptures and discussing the passages. Today is the fifth post of my favorite Upanishad: The Katha. This is the story of a boy who chatted with the God of death.Chapter III  http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/awakening101/upani_katha.html 1 Two there are who dwell within the body, in the intellect, the supreme akasa of the heart, enjoying the sure rewards of their own actions. The knowers of Brahman describe them as l … [Read more...]


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Indian Hindu Voices: Abhimanyu

Today I have an interview with a friend from Twitter. What a great name Abhimanyu is! I cry every time at his story in Mahabharata. We both have Mahabharata names! :)Anyway, Abhimanyu was kind enough to answer some interview questions about Hinduism in his life. (My notes in italics).1) Can you tell us a little about yourself? Your religious background? Where you live?I am 21 and Hindu. I was born in Gaya (where Buddha got enlightenment)  but presently living in Chennai.2) … [Read more...]


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Identity Is A “First World Problem”?

As you can tell from the fact that I write here daily about identity, culture, religion, and what we mean by "I": questions of identity are very central to my life.I'm fascinated by exploring the classic philosophical questions that humanity has searched for answers to for thousands of years. Who am I? Why am I here? How does my "I" relate to other people's? I love these questions. I don't know if I'll ever have solid answers, but I think asking the questions and searching for answers is … [Read more...]


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Maha Shivratri: Shiva’s Big Night [Hindu Holiday]

This year Maha Shivratri is on the last day of February, Friday February 28th. (Take a look at the words themselves and the meaning will become easily clear. "Maha" means "great" and you may have heard it before in places like Gandhi's title Mahatma, meaning "Great Soul [Atman]. "Shiva" is clear. Attached to "Shiva" is "Ratri" which is the Hindi word for "night.")This is a day to seek Shiva's blessings and you know this year I will be joining the many other women who ask Shiva to bless them … [Read more...]


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Reading the Upanishads: Kena Chapter Four

We are doing a scripture study together: reading along through some scriptures and discussing the passages. Today is the fourth and final post on the Kena Upanishad. The previous scripture was the Isha Upanishad (find all Scripture posts here)Last time the reading ended on quite a cliff hanger. Read back to refresh your memory: Kena Upanishad Chapter ThreeHere are a couple different translations of the final section of the Kena Upanishad... Chapter IV 1 She replied: “It is, indeed, B … [Read more...]


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How Do Hindu Followers Get Redemption [Google Questions Answered]

The first question is: redemption from what?If you're so stuck in a Christian mindset that you think people need to be saved from something (from some person thousands of years ago, who may have been mythological, eating a fruit?) then you're unlikely to ever understand Hinduism.When a belief system is that different from your own, you really have to be able to step outside your understanding of how to world is structured or you'll never be able to see another religion's structure. I … [Read more...]


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