[Hindu resistance] The “Satnami” revolt against Aurangzeb

The Satnami sect of Hinduism was founded in 1657 in Narnaul (a town in today’s Indian state of Haryana, situated about 100km south-west of Delhi), by a saint names Birbhan. They are considered to be an offshoot of the followers of the great saint Ravidas. The name Satnami reflects the major religious activity of the […]

Winston Churchill reconsidered

If there’s one man who’s remembered as a Western hero par-excellence, surely it’s Winston Churchill. He has been promoted not only in Britain but also throughout much of the world as the symbol of resistance against the most hideous war criminals in history, the Nazis. This reputation may be deserved. However there was another side […]

The Upanishads: The “distilled” essence of Hinduism

The Upanishads – what (or who!) are they?”This would be the response of many Hindus of today if asked about the Upanishads!The Upanishads are in fact Hindu scriptures. They can be thought of as portions of the Vedas, but are also separate texts in their own right. They form the basis of what is known […]

Remembering Swami Vivekananda – 150 years on

Many years ago a young penniless man with barely a possession in the world sailed out to the West, armed only with the intense desire that the spiritual wisdom of his motherland should be known and respected throughout the world. He was the first Hindu in the modern age to travel to the West and […]

Remembering Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950)

“The will of a single hero can breathe courage into the hearts of a million cowards “  (Sri Aurobindo, 1920) Sri Aurobindo was one of the greatest philosophers, mystics and visionaries of modern history. He was a major leader in India’s freedom movement. Later in life he became a sage and scholar. His teachings have […]

Why a Hindu temple is NOT like a Soho phone booth

(originally written September 2006) (17/03/2013 – image removed, as this page was being blocked from some search engines browsers for being “adult content”) Recently, an article in The Times (a supposedly quality newspaper), carried a story provocatively titled ‘Why is a Hindu temple like a Soho phone box? Must I draw you a picture?’ The article was […]

Hinduism: Aryans, Invasions & Myths

The ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ Pick up any textbook on Hinduism, and chances are that the beginning of Hinduism is identified with the ‘Aryan invasion of India’, dated around 1500 BCE, and their composition of the Rig Veda. According to this viewpoint, the ‘Aryans’ were a tall, fair skinned people who originated from outside India, and […]

Afghan Hindus: history being decimated before our eyes

An excellent and rare article on the Guardian website, by Afghan author Reza Mohammadi, gives a brief account of the present day state of the country’s Hindu minority. Says the author: “Hindus are clearly among the oldest inhabitants of Afghanistan. They are the native people, whom Islamic fundamentalism has turned into unprotected strangers. Strangers, who […]

Was the British Empire beneficial for India?

The idea that British rule over India was a force for good is not uncommon in Britain and even in certain sections of westernised Indian elite. Read right-of-centre British newspapers and you will regularly find articles and columns that glorify Britain’s colonial past, giving the impression that Britain was spreading the light of Western Civilisation […]

Hindus of the Caribbean

The winds of time have scattered Hindus to the most far-flung and unlikely places across the globe. One such place is the Caribbean. Unknown to most, the Caribbean region is home to a large Hindu community. Guyana, Trinidad and Surinam are the main centres of Hindu population in the Caribbean. Hindus make up 28%, 23% […]

Kalidas – “The Shakespeare of India”

Kalidas is widely acclaimed as the greatest poet and dramatist in classical Sanskrit literature. The biographical details of his life are shrouded in mystery, but popular legend as well as the odd clue from his poems hints to us that he lived in the Gupta Era, and may have enjoyed the patronage of Vikramaditya (Chandragupta […]

Remembering the Ugandan Indian exodus

It was on the 6th August 1972 that the government of Uganda, then headed by the infamous Idi Amin, announced that all of the 80,000 Indian origin people living in the country had 90 days to depart, after which their businesses and homes would be handed over to native Ugandans. If any Indians were seen […]

The Kama Sutra & Hinduism

(image removed, as this page was being blocked from some search engines browsers for being “adult content”) ‘I am the lust (or Kama) in human beings that is in harmony with Dharma’ (Gita 7:11) Classical Hindu thought recognises four basic aims of human life, called ‘purusharthas’. These are kama(sexual pleasure and other enjoyment), artha (material prosperity), dharma (duty and harmony) […]

Remembering Shivaji, our great hero & saviour

The present generation of Hindus owe much to Shivaji. Although he is famous throughout the length and breadth of India, in the West many Hindus, will not even have heard of him. This article is a tribute to the great King, whose life has had a profound impact on history, and who was an emblem […]

Women in Vedic Society

There are numerous hymns in the Vedas that deal with the social customs than prevalent and from them one can form a broad idea as to how girls and women were looked upon, treated, and the status were accorded upon them by society. We begin with the field of education. Several hymns in the Vedic […]

Are Hindu widows meant to burn themselves in husbands’ funeral pyre?

“Why is it that Hindu women have to burn themselves when their husbands die?” This question was relayed to the Hindu speaker at an event in Brighton University. The speaker smiled and asked the largely Hindu audience if they had actually heard of any woman amongst their family or friends who had burnt herself when […]