A personal intellectual journey away from the “All Religious are Equal” mentality prevalent amongst Hindus

As per my typical “modern-Hindu” upbringing – I was taught to see all other religions in the best possible light, on par with my own. “All religions are a path to the same God” was an often repeated phrase when talking about religion. I remember a member of my family speaking in praise of Prophet […]

Hindus in Saudia Arabia

Having had a friend of my family who went to Saudi Arabia to work as a medical doctor, I’ve heard first hand accounts of how difficult life is for the several thousand Hindus who live in Saudi Arabia. Not only were him and his family not allowed to openly practice Hinduism, they were not allowed […]

Arvind Kejriwal’s spectacular rise & fall: A Hindu psychoanalysis

When an individual sets out to do something for a worthwhile cause, there is usually at the beginning a genuine idealism. Most people do not set out with the aim of impressing others and attracting praise; but it is inevitable that over time sincere efforts start attracting attention, praise and adulation. Different people react to […]

Wave particle duality & Hinduism

In 1905 Einstein published a paper about the “Photoelectric Effect” which showed that electromagnetic radiation can behave as particles rather than waves in some experiments. It was for this work that he later won the Nobel prize for Physics even though he is more famous for his work on Relativity (with its famous equation E=mc2). […]

Hindu view of Alternative Sexuality

Unlike the Abrahamic faiths, Hindu tradition does not have a canon or canonical laws. It is an inclusive tradition. Nothing is banned outright, though some practice(s) are not approved and are sometimes even punished. Hindu tradition has recognised the wide range of human sexual diversity and banned none, though non-mainstream versions have always been relegated […]

Posthumous controversy on the religious identity of Sri Aurobindo

The religious culture which now goes by the name of Hinduism … gave itself no name, because it set itself no sectarian limits; it claimed no universal adhesion, asserted no sole infallible dogma, set up no single narrow path or gate of salvation; it was less a creed or cult than a continuously enlarging tradition […]

Book review: What every Hindu should know about Christianity

This book may appear to be controversial and confrontational to some, yet it is very well-written and scholarly and covers an important subject. In recent decades, Christianity has made significant (one could even say impressive) inroads into Indian society, mainly at the expense of Hinduism. Indians often associate Christianity with the prosperity, progress and liberal […]

Hindu view of “scriptures”

A man of true knowledge who has attained enlightenment, has the same use for all the scriptures as one has for a small reservoir of water in a place flooded on all sides (Bhagavad Gita 2:46) What does the Gita mean by this verse? This verse actually demonstrates some very important points about Hinduism with regards to […]

What it means to me to be a Hindu

Thousands of years ago, in ancient India and other neighbouring lands, a great civilisation arose. To me, being a Hindu makes me an heir of this civilisation and confers upon me the responsibility for its well being and continuity. Despite some errors and aberrations, Hindu civilisation has made a unique contribution to humanity’s collective knowledge and […]

De-stressing the Hindu way

There’s a set of Sanskrit shlokas (verses) which I try and recite every morning and evening, followed by a few minutes of meditation. I’ve been saying these prayers for many years. When I keep up with the discipline of doing this regularly, it feels like my days go much better; I feel positive and have […]

A Hindu view on the use of alcohol

The consumption of alcohol has existed in human society since time immemorial. Probably all societies, at least in historically-recorded times, have had members who have used alcohol, which has been a common source of relaxation, intoxication or inebriation. In the modern world, all types of alcoholic beverages are freely available in the world market. Most […]

Mantra: what it is & what it does

If we observe ourselves we can see that all day long there is background chatter in the mind. It may be the repetition of some song we have heard on the radio, it may be a rehashing of some experience we have just had, an insult or argument for example, or a consideration of what […]

Apu of “The Simpsons” … Positive Hindu character or degrading stereotype?

The most famous Hindu outside India! There’s been a lot of controversy about how Hindus are portrayed in the West in media and arts in general. Hindus have long protested about being stereotyped on TV as oppressed women awaiting liberation, and chauvinistic men. Whereas critics have argued that any Hindus who object are fundamentalist, extremist, […]

Be wary of some English translations of Hindu sacred texts

Most Hindus living in a predominantly English speaking environment have an urge at one point in their lives to learn about Hinduism. Sometimes the curiosity arises from a genuine desire for guidance in life. In other cases the urge to look into Hinduism comes from a particular incident – for example being asked questions that […]

Getting a high protein veggie diet

Many Hindus are vegetarian. This is often an expression of faith or outlook towards life. A vegetarian diet may offer several important health advantages. However there have been concerns about whether vegetarians get enough protein. This is even more so for individuals who weight train or participate in other kinds of intense training, because protein […]

Wishing you a happy & auspicious Diwali !

My first recollections of Diwali in distant childhood are of immense joy: fireworks, diwas, nice food, presents, time-off school, spending time with friends and relatives, and a general feeling of happiness. How can anyone not grow up loving such a festival? This greatest of festivals is a time when we take a step back from […]

The story behind Navratri

It is that time of the year where Hindus start preparations for celebrating Navaratri, the joyous festival of nine nights, which is dedicated to the Divine Mother Durga. Virtually every Hindu community in the world celebrates Navratri. The major story associated with Navratri is the battle between the great Goddess Durga and the demon Mahishasura, […]

The UnHindu Spirit of Caste Rigidity

Over a century ago, the great sage Sri Aurobindo wrote an article called “The UnHindu Spirit of Caste Rigidity” (available here). His ideas for striking at the very root of the caste problem are valid even today, and need to be taken up with more urgency that in the past. To secure its future, Hindu […]

A wayward Hindu’s tale (part 3)

In the last of this three-part series, Rajesh Vaghela recounts the challenge of trying to re-orient his life in a positive direction after a previous life of intoxication, violence and petty crime. To access part-one and part-two, click on the highlighted text. Having messed up big time on my A-levels, I wasn’t sure what to do next. My […]

Arjuna, Bhima and the disrobing of Draupadi

Reflections on the conduct of the Pandavas during the Gambling Match I’ve often felt that while Draupadi was being humiliated by Duryodhana and assaulted by Dushashana in the court of Hustinapur; why did her mighty warrior husbands not get up there and then and then and fight? Also, while Yuddhistira was gambling away recklessly, why […]