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...]


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Shiva Lingam Devotion How To

My mother brought me my own Shiva Lingam and so I decided to make a video to show you all how my friends and I do devotions every week at the temple for the Shiva Lingam there... … [Read more...]


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A Temple Buddy At Last!

Despite my decade of identifying as Hindu I still get very self conscious about showing up at a Hindu temple. I think many of you know what that's like. In theory I know everything to do but I'm still so scared of doing things wrong, of having all eyes on me, etc.I've been wanting for a while to find someone to go with me and I wrote before about my Hindu cousin moving closer to the area. But she's still about an hour's drive away without traffic so it hasn't worked out for her to be my … [Read more...]


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The Wrong Mantra

I've spoken before about how challenging meditation has been for me. Part of me wants to still my mind but the mind hates that! What a lot of meditation resources leave out is the fact that it is really hard work. Stilling the mind, ceasing thoughts for even a single moment, is enormously challenging.If you're trying meditation you should know that it isn't easy. But you should also know that there are things that could make it a little easier. Such as practicing a style of meditation that … [Read more...]


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My Mahashivaratri Prayer!

For your enjoyment I have created a video of me performing a short Shiva puja for Mahashivratri.For the rest of the day I will be fasting and then this evening singing bhajans until 11:00 pm at a friend's house. Hopefully the roads will be better by then. I was going to go to the temple this morning for a puja but there is a lot of snow and ice and our roads haven't been plowed!UPDATE: There has been a lot of snow here (though nothing like Boston to the north of us). Though I dug my … [Read more...]


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Happy Mahashivratri!

Lord Shiva's blessings to you all! Thank you for being part of this journey with me! If you missed it, here is my post with information on how to celebrate: Mahashivratri is Coming Up … [Read more...]


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Shiva, my old friend

A little while ago a commenter here on the blog summed me up. They said I was an Advaitan with Shivite leanings. I thought about that and wondered if that is what I am. There's no doubt that I'm an Advaita Vedantist. That is my branch of Hinduism for sure. And there is also no doubt that Lord Shiva is the focus of my practice.You may remember my stories about the Nataraja statue that I discovered when I was 18 and about to leave for college. I had grown up with a lot of Indian philosophy … [Read more...]


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Mahashivrathri is Coming Up!

This Tuesday (17/2/2015) is "Shiva's Great Night." This is one of the most important holidays of the year for me. Tomorrow I'll explain my relationship with Lord Shiva. Until then here's some information for you to help you celebrate the occasion!About Mahashivratri: my post from 2013More about Mahashivratri plus My Celebrations from 2014Again this year I will be fasting and attempting to keep a vigil. Again I will be joining my Sathya Sai Baba friends for bhajan singing. At home … [Read more...]


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Book Club: How To Become a Hindu (Chapter One)

The well respected Himalayan Academy and their guru Subramuniyaswami put out a book several years ago called How To Become a Hindu. Over the next few weeks I'll be reading the chapters and discussing each one individually. Today we're looking at the first chapter: Personal Encounters with Hinduism.I'm not sure why they chose to put this as the first chapter. It's a lot of personal stories from people who went through Subramuniyaswami's "ethical conversion" and how it helped them and … [Read more...]


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