Hinduism 101: What do Hindus Believe?


I've been perusing through Yahoo answers and it seems like every page or so someone is asking "What do Hindus believe?" Quite an enormous question!I tried to find a post of mine to direct the questioners to, but found nothing. It seems I have not done a broad overview post for those entirely unfamiliar with Hinduism.So here it is: the big overview...  What is Hinduism and What Do Hindus Believe First of all, Hinduism is a word that is used to refer to a vast variety of people and … [Read more...]

Top Posts of July

I've seen some other Patheos writers do a summary post of their most popular posts of the past month and I thought that was a really good idea. Since I have Google Analytics on my page, I can look up and see which posts got the most attention and that should help me to learn what people are looking for so I can give you more good content.The most popular posts here for last month were:1) No Wedding Night Sex?Okay, I can see how this would draw some traffic, even though that wasn't … [Read more...]

What is the Purpose of Life?

Ever since human beings had conscious awareness of themselves, they have wondered what purpose brought them into being. Why does life exist? What is the meaning of our lives? What are we in existence to accomplish?There have been many potential answers ranging from 42 to it's all random and consciousness is just a development of nature.Perhaps our purpose is to procreate and pass on our genes/assure the survival of our species Perhaps our purpose is to praise and worship God Perhaps … [Read more...]

What is Our Duty in Injustice?


The comments on this post got way out of hand and seriously off topic! But it brought up an interesting question for me.  What should our response, as Hindus, be when we hear of injustices in the world?I have to preface this by saying that I have a very hard time trusting any report I hear through the media. There is no news source that doesn't have a bias and it is impossible to share information without putting some kind of slant on it. I grew up in the Internet age: I'm very cynical about … [Read more...]

Is Emotion Bad?

I was reading Leah Libresco's post about the differences between Christian monks and Jedi. I'm not sure why such comparisons were being drawn, since Star War's philosophy is very strongly based on Eastern theology. I guess it was something about some kids thinking that Dominican monks looked like Jedi because of the robes?The key difference being highlighted was the relationship with emotion. The Jedi are against emotions. Or so it seems on the surface, anyway.One famous quote of Yoda's … [Read more...]

Meet a Guru: Srila Prabhupada


Srila Prabhupada is the founder of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, also known as either ISKCON or Hare Krishnas.  Srila Prabhupada came to New York in 1965 to bring  Gaudiya Vaishnavism to America. Vaishnava is a branch of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma (the eternal truth) as many prefer to call Hinduism. It focuses on Vishnu (i.e., Rama and Krishna, who were avatars of Vishnu) as the supreme God. Apparently Gaudiya Vaishnavism was founded "around 1510 with an ascetic who too … [Read more...]

Reading the Upanishads: Part Nine


I thought it would be nice to read along through some scriptures and discuss the passages. I have a translation of the Upanishads done by Eknath Easwaran, a teacher whom I deeply trust and love. In this book there is an introduction before each translation with some insight from Easwaran.Here is a link to the Amazon page for the book I have:Verses 9 to 11 of the Easwaran translation of the Isha Upanishad are... In dark night live those for whomThe world without alone is real; in … [Read more...]

My Birthday

Today is my 31st birthday.So far life has taken me on quite a journey and not at all the one I was expecting. Isn't that usually how it is? The things I planned for myself are not what happened at all.As I've hit my thirties, I've struggled with the distance between where I am and where I want to be. I try to remember that life would be boring without the adventure and the striving for something we want. Striving and achieving makes us feel alive, right?Even though I have always had g … [Read more...]

Meet a Guru: Mr. MacLaren

I think my theme this week is honesty. Deep, confusing, contradictory truth. I am going to tell you about the group that I grew up in today.I find that I am at a loss as to what to say. My experiences and thoughts are confused and deeply ingrained. There are things that I did not appreciate about the time I spent here, but I'm not sure it's any worse than any other organized religion.BackgroundThe story goes that Mr. MacLaren, a man of Scottish heritage living in England, wanted to … [Read more...]