August 12, 2011

Karma-yoga is the yoga of action. It is the main form of yoga advocated in the Bhagavad Gita. There is no such thing as inaction, as everything is in process. Even when we choose not to act, we are acting; even when we sit still and meditate our bodies are continuing to act by breathing, digesting, blood flowing, etc. Until recently I never had any interest in this form of yoga, but I’m finding this to be the key to… Read more

August 11, 2011

Pradosham is a day of devotion to Shiva and fasting for liberation and removal of samskara, accumulations of karmic debris. I decided to observe this today, because who couldn’t use a little extra help in removing the bonds of karma and attaining eternal freedom? The day usually involves lots of white (flowers and clothes), prayers, certain other rituals, and fasting. I’ve come to terms with fasting. Usually I’m a fan of fasting. Many years ago I used to go vegan… Read more

August 9, 2011

Mangala Gouri Puja is a day of fasting for wives in the first five years of marriage, where they dress up and perform puja on behalf of their husband, praying for his well-being, prosperity, and longevity. I think this is a good post to talk about some of the difficulties with observing Hinduism, particularly from a feminist point of view, and from a Western perspective. But before I go any further, let me tell you that I am observing Mangala… Read more

August 5, 2011

One of the things I love about yoga and Hinduism is that there is an ‘in’ for just about everyone. Are you a monotheist? There is point of entry. Are you a non-dualist? Try Advaita Vedanta. Do you see the God as male? Perhaps being a Vaishnava is for you. Do you see God as female? Say hello to Durga. Want to be less religious and more philosophical? Perhaps the dualist, non-divinity believing Samkhya path is for you. Love yoga… Read more

August 1, 2011

My baby girl is five and a half months old and is just itching to get her hands on things. She particularly likes to grab drinking glasses or bowls of food. She’s eying every morsel of food we put in our mouths. She’s really starting to engage with us, as a family and as individuals. How perfect that she’s ready to begin exploring solid food right at this time! The Hindu tradition has a ceremony called Annaprasana. It happens around… Read more

July 29, 2011

“A life of discipline is not an easy life, but it is a joyous one, with many soul-satisfying rewards.” — Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami The above quote I found at the blog, Yatra. I’ve been enjoying reading around in the small community of white Western Hindus. It seems to be a very communal and supportive group of people. Most people are drawn to all that is Indian; others find God in the Hindu tradition and find other aspects of the culture… Read more

July 28, 2011

I don’t know if it’s the time spent in the Christian world or the time spent in the pagan world that makes me think I need to have a Personal Relationship with the Divine. In the Evangelical Christian world it’s all about one’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As hard as I tried I never felt close to Jesus. I felt more connected to the abstract, supposedly more transcendent Great Big God than I did to the incarnated Son. Perhaps… Read more

July 25, 2011

Bonalu is a holiday celebrating Kali and the Dark Mother. My understanding is that it’s observed over the course of four Sundays, but as the Hindu calendar is lunar the months shift and I’m not clear on exactly what occurs when. Bonalu celebrations, from what I’ve read, involve a procession of decorated pots containing a sweet rice dish that are offered to Kali. Women carrying the pots often enter into a trance state from the drumming and chanting, and observers… Read more

July 21, 2011

Over the weekend my family went on a short vacation to visit friends in France. Traveling as a foursome is such an exhausting task. Before leaving I asked Ganesha for a safe journey to and from our destination; I left miniature roses on the altar plate. With me I took two small, easily portable items from my altar: the plastic tiger for Ma Durga and a bottle of oil for Kali Ma. When we arrived at the house we were… Read more

July 15, 2011

I love altars. I love iconography, statues, all the sacred arts. So of course I was excited about creating an altar for this quarter of my project. This is my altar before I started:   You can see on the left I have a few Christian items: a glow-in-the-dark plastic statue of the Virgin Mary (because it’s fab), an icon of the Theotokos, and a little match box icon of Jesus. Next, a hand decorated votive holder.A pretty wooden star… Read more

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