A more positive story

Some time back, I wrote about a few experiences where I got mocking reactions for expressing some visible signs of being a practising Hindu from a section of “modern Hindoos”, who are simply unaccustomed to see young Hindus actually striving to live out the Dharma, either because (a) they think that in the rat race of […]

The symbolism of the Churning of the Ocean

One of the most famous stories of Hinduism is that of the Great Churning of the Ocean by the Devas and Asuras (Gods and Demons) in the quest for the Nectar of Immortality. This tale has deeper dimensions, capturing insights into the nature of existence that the ancient Rishis (sages) discovered in deep meditation. All […]

Jnanadeva – (13th Century CE) – Biography of a great yogi

Jnanadeva (also written as Jnandev, Jnanesvar, Jñanadeva or Dnyāneshwar) was a Hindu saint of the Nath tradition, who lived in Maharasthra  in the 13th century during the rule of the Yadava King Ramadevarao, immediately prior to the Islamic invasions of that part of India which started in 1296. Ramadevarao provided a stable and secure government compared with […]

Remembering Sister Nivedita (1867-1911)

Sister Nivedita (1867 – 1911) was a famous and inspirational social worker and educationalist in pre-independence India. She is considered to have played an important role in raising national consciousness in India, becoming a relatively early advocate of complete Independence of India from British rule which included supporting the activities of freedom fighters. She is […]

Is it OK to “leave justice to Karma”?

When someone harms you or someone to whom you have a sense of responsibility, getting suitable justice, or ensuring that the perpetrator is punished is not always easy. In Hinduism we have the concept of karma, so if justice is not easy to come by there is a temptation to feel that even if we […]

“What’s this man, you turning into a priest or something?”

When I used to study for exams at university I sometimes kept a copy of the Gita on the table with me. I’d read a page or two now and again, for example during breaks. Straight away I would begin to feel more focused and positive. The Gita certainly was an important companion for me […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) message on NaMo victory

We hold Vamadeva in the very highest regards as a great thinker, writer and yogi. His books constitute the perhaps the finest literature on Hindu dharma in the English language. It was very heartening to read Vamadeva and Yogini Shambhavi’s message on Narendra Modi’s ascension to Prime Ministership of India, which is reproduced below from their […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dalits raising Hindu priests from within their own

It is very heartening to find Dalits becoming religiously self-sufficient within the Hindu fold, and developing learned priests within their own community.. But let us not be complacent. Let us destroy any vestige of birth based Varna, so that it is nothing more than a bad memory within 20 years. There is nowhere in the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

The debts of Dharma, have you paid yours?

No we’re not talking about credit cards, loans and mortgages here, but totally different kinds of debts, of an ethical and spiritual nature. Since ancient times, Hindu thought has recognised various debts (rins) that play an important part in dharmic values. It is said that each person is born with these debts and must repay […]