Raksha Bandhan: A wish of protection

Everybody loves Raksha Bandhan – the festival celebrating the relationship between brother and sister. When we are young, it is a fun day in the summer on which everybody gets dressed up; gifts are given and nice food eaten. Girls tie rakhis on the wrists of their brothers, cousins, and sometimes close friends. At the […]

Legends of Raksha Bandhan (brief)

Main Raksha Bandhan article: Raksha Bandhan – A wish of protection  There are records in Hindu sacred literature, the Puranas and the Mahabharata, of the practice of the tying of a rakhi by a sister on her brother, but there is no clear account of its origin. Several legends are thought to mark the origins […]

Hindus against censorship: please sign petition to support Gaurav Sawant

*** Click here to sign petition *** Gaurav Sawant (right), a deputy editor for Headlines Today (part of the India Today group) is being threatened with dismissal.The reason for this, is that he has dared to question (on Twitter)  the way that the mainstream media fails to highlight or report accurately incidents of violence or religious intolerance in […]

“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 […]

Rajiv Malhotra on Sita Ram Goel & Ram Swarup

If anybody had wondered, like I have done, about whether the works of Rajiv Malhotra (a highly influential Hindu thinker and writer of today) took inspiration or influence from the illustrious Sita Ram Goel (1921 – 2003) and Ram Swarup (1920 – 1998), I recently mailed him this question and the following was the response […]

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 […]

The dreaded “H-word”

Nitin Shah analyses the psychology behind the widespread tendency of many Hindu-inspired spiritual or yoga groups to vehemently deny any connections with Hinduism. When I was asked to write this article for Hindu Voice, I struggled to think of how I could start it off. So I’ll start with a conversation I had a couple of […]

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 […]

The Idea of India: the Mahabharata versus Nehruvian intelligentsia

One not uncommonly comes across the opinion today that India was never really a nation but that its nationhood was only recently invented by the British through their definition of the region as part of their empire. Similarly we are told that Hinduism was up to recently not a religion at all but merely various […]

Hindus in Pakistan: What history books won’t tell

– There is a lack of awareness across the world about the very existence of a significant yet dwindling Hindu community in Pakistan. Presently it is estimated that Hindus make up 2% of Pakistan’s population. This is at least five times the number of Hindus in Britain. – Before the end of colonial rule in […]

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 […]

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 […]

Some thoughts on the banning on Wendy Doniger’s “The Hindus”

It was earlier this month that Penguin India made the decision to stop publishing and recall copies of a book titled The Hindus: An Alternative History, by controversial American writer Wendy Doniger, in response to a petition lodged by a complainant in an Indian court. This is not a “banning” of the book in India […]