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 […]

A wayward Hindu’s tale (part 1)

In the first of this three-part series, Rajesh Vaghela recounts his experiences as a wayward young Hindu growing up in the UK. His account describes a social and intellectual phenomenon in the life of young Hindus, which is shared by many. As such, his is an important story to tell. Word had got around that […]

(Part 2) Suffering in Silence? The story of a Hindu girl victimised on a UK university campus

In the concluding portion of this two-part series, a Hindu girl shares her true-life experiences of victimisation on a university campus, at the hands of a guy she met during freshers. The first part can be accessed by clicking here. It wasn’t too long before the Summer Vacation, and I was relieved to be able to […]

(Part 1) Suffering in Silence? The story of a Hindu girl victimised on a UK university campus

In the first of a two part series, a young lady shares her true-life experiences of victimisation on a university campus, at the hands of a guy she met during freshers. It is believed that this sort of victimisation and targeting is quite common, and yet there are extremely few first hand accounts from the perspective of […]

The Bhagavad Gita & the Freedom of India

The post-World War II era saw the dramatic end of colonialism across the world. The first and most devastating blow to colonialism was the freedom of India. Overnight, the second most populous nation in the world, accounting for over 1/6th of the world’s population, achieved freedom. Despite the sad events that accompanied India’s Independence, the […]

Krishna: The fullness of life

Most of my early knowledge about Hinduism came through a movement called Swadhyaya. Although in the past few years I have ceased to be an active part of the movement, I am extremely grateful for having received an amazing and practical appreciation of my cultural and spiritual heritage. What I learnt at Swadhyaya was mostly […]

Making sense of Ganesh stories

In childhood years, many Hindu children nowadays are introduced to Hindu sacred stories through the medium of comic books, such as Amar Chitra Katha. These provide a colourful, entertaining and valuable rendering of ancient stories from texts called the Puranas, and most kids read them with great enthusiasm, forming many people’s introduction to the world […]

Hindu tolerance throughout history: fact or myth?

For a long time, ‘tolerance’ was spoken of as a characteristic feature of Hinduism. Even people who otherwise strongly disagreed with Hinduism still managed to praise the fact that Hinduism had a benign, harmless tolerance. But in recent years the image of Hinduism and of Hindu society has changed quite drastically. Media coverage of the […]

Confronting the boredom: pujas, ceremonies and rituals for the next generation

One of the most boring times I can recall from my childhood is when I had to sit through lengthy pujas, ceremonies and kathas. This is not at all to say that I had no faith in my religion. Far from it, I have always been a devout Hindu in my own way. The boredom […]

Durga & Me

The odds were always stacked against me ever knowing anything about my culture. Growing up, I was never sure what it meant to be a Hindu. I grew up in a quiet town where my family ran (surprise, surprise) a newsagent shop. There weren’t any other Hindus my age in the area. In fact I […]

Eating of Meat and Beef in the Hindu Tradition

 By David Frawley (Pt. Vamadeva Shastri) India’s Traditions of Non-violence and Vegetarianism The Buddha states in the Dhammapada 26.409, “Him I call a Brahmana who lays aside the rod, who neither kills nor causes the death of creatures, moving or non-moving (animals or plants).” The same type of statements are very common in Hindu literature […]

Looking back at YOUR life 500 years from now; how do you deserve to be judged?

Some from high action through base fear refrain; The path is difficult, the way not plain. Others more noble to begin, are stayed By a few failures. Great spirits undismayed Abandon never what once to do they swore. Baffled beaten back, they spring once more, Buffeted and borne down, rise up again (Nitishatakam of Bhartrihari, […]