A Tale of Two Neighbours & the Mysteries of Karma

There once lived a great yogi named Gorakhnath, an enlightened soul, who had experienced all the great truths of life, death and the Divine. He lived a simple life, revelling in the unparalleled bliss that only enlightened soul’s experience, and had great compassion for all life forms. Although he did not seek a following, many […]

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 […]

The Somnath Temple

For sheer grandeur and exuberance – the Akshardham Swaminarayana Temple complex is the largest temple in the Indian state of Gujarat. However – for history, spiritual significance and emotional bonds that Hindus carry, Somnath is by far the most important temple in Gujarat, and indeed one of the most sacred sites in the whole of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Satsang: what it really means

“The company of the great is very difficult, even inaccessible, but it is infallible.” (Narada Bhakti Sutras. 39) Literally speaking, “sat” means truth, and “sang” means to be associated with. Satsang in Hinduism usually refers to a gathering of spiritual aspirants, and participating is such gatherings is meant to lead to tremendously greater progress than […]

Some comments on the “India’s Daughter” documentary

Unlike some Indian or Indian origin commentators (particularly in the social media), I feel that the BBC had the right to publish the documentary “India’s Daughter” and that the Indian government shouldn’t create a huff about it. Freedom in such matters is virtually absolute, no matter if the documentary reflects badly on India (and by […]

Debate outside of one’s comfort zone

Over time we tend to form social groups of people with similar views to ourselves. Those of us join organisation and associations will of course do so with people who we think are like-minded. As such, it is usually the case that the discussions we have on various subjects – both formal and informal – […]

Bringing up Hindu kids in the West – thinking about transmission of Culture, Ideas & Experiences

At a recent discussion group, attended by UK born Hindus in our 30s, some of whom have young children, a recurring theme was the way in which we would like our children to relate to their Indian cultural and religious heritage. We inevitably drew on, recounted and considered our own experiences and exposures to Indian […]

The Hindu Concept of “God”

Monotheism or Polytheism (One God or many Gods) Is Sanatan Dharma a Monotheist (believes in only one god) or a Polytheist (believes in many Gods) philosophy? This a common question/confusion regarding Sanatan Dharma, however the answer is: Sanatan Dharma is neither a monotheist philosophy nor a polytheist philosophy, it a is a MONIST Philosophy. Monism Monism […]

Understanding KARMA through GRAVITY !

Karma is a key Hindu concept not always easily explained. Comparing it with the gravity, however, helps to illustrate how it works. Obviously, the law of gravitation existed before Newton discovered it. Similarly, the law of karma was actively at work long before some ancient sage first consciously came to understand it. Both these laws […]

Why tradition ?

Religious tradition has often been a negative factor in the world. It sets up various authorities and conditioning patterns that stifle individual intelligence and creativity. It establishes vested interests who war with one other to control the minds of people. It appears that we would be better off without it. However, if we look deeply, […]

Daughters of the Goddess: The Female Saints of India (Book Review)

Linda Johnsen 128 pages Yes International Publishers (Minnesota, USA) “India has produced more saints per capita than any other culture in history, but why aren’t there any Indian women saints?” ‘Daughters of the Goddess’ begins with the author recounting this question, which she posed to a Pandit in India many years ago. The Pandit was […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]