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Gadadhara Pandit Dasa
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Gadadhara Pandit Dasa (also known as Pandit) is the author of Urban Monk: Exploring Karma, Consciousness, and the Divine.

Pandit currently serves as a lecturer and the first-ever Hindu chaplain of Columbia University, New York University, and Union Theological Seminary. He teaches courses on the the Bhagavad Gita and other Hindu texts combining their messages with popular Hollywood movies. He leads workshops on mantra meditation and delivers lectures at the nation's leading universities and yoga studios. Pandit spoke at a recent TEDx conference and was featured in the NPR piece “Long Days and Short Nights of a Hindu Monk.” He has also appeared in a PBS documentary on the Bhagavad Gita, as well as The New York Times. For more from Pandit, check out his website at nycpandit.com.

Entries by Gadadhara Pandit Dasa

Revenge or Forgiveness: Which Road Do You Walk?

(3) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 2:22 PM

For many, the first option might seem to be the most satisfying. After all, it provides immediate justice. It allows us a chance to see the other party suffer and that can bring us some level of pleasure. Seeing people suffer for the wrongs they have done makes us feel...

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi: The Liberating Power of Non-violence

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 2:40 PM

It's no big secret that Martin Luther King Jr. took great inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi in pushing forward his Civil Rights Movement. Although the two never met personally, Dr. King was introduced to Gandhi's teachings while at Crozer Theological Seminary. His first application of the non-violent campaign came in 1955...

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Ten Spiritual Resolutions for 2014

(2) Comments | Posted December 31, 2013 | 2:44 PM

New Year's resolutions are hard to maintain. We are very familiar with the routine where we feel Gung-ho about a change we want to make and a few weeks into the New Year, the resolution is already slipping away. Even having the desire to make a change, in my opinion,...

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Do We All Worship the Same God?

(89) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 10:47 AM

I would like to think so. Something tells me that heaven isn't divided up into a Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Jewish heaven. I would like to think that, up there, we are united regardless of our faith here on Earth.

Sure, while on Earth, we have been given...

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Hinduism's Suggestions for a Peaceful Coexistence

(35) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 2:42 PM

We all want to become free of stress and anxiety and live peaceful and happy lives. We try so hard to avoid anxieties, but somehow they find themselves into our lives. It is very natural for us to hanker for and work towards a perpetually happy existence. Rest assured, this...

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Urban Monk: Exploring Karma, Consciousness, and the Divine

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2013 | 12:45 PM

Most of the time, when people think of monks, they imagine someone living in a monastery on top of a mountain or in the forests practicing silence or sitting in meditation. My monastery is located in the East Village of New York City, surrounded by nightclubs, restaurants, tattoo shops and...

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Shri Chaitanya: The Golden Avatar of Love

(98) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 12:00 AM

The word "avatar" conjures up images of blue human-like beings with tails from James Cameron's popular science fiction movie. However, "avatar" is a Sanskrit word that describes the Supreme being or God when He descends to Earth. "Ava" means "down" and "tr" refers to "cross over." Thus it refers to...

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Bridging the Gap Between Hinduism and Christianity

(109) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 10:57 AM

Growing up in a Hindu family in Los Angeles while attending a Christian high school for four years, I was never able to make any connection between the two traditions. In fact, they seemed worlds apart. My Christian friends were monotheists, worshippers of one God, with no images other than...

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A Splinter in the Mind: The Matrix Through Hinduism

(183) Comments | Posted October 3, 2012 | 3:06 PM

"Something is wrong with this world, you've known it all your life, you don't know what it is. It's like a splinter in your mind ... driving you mad." -- Morpheus, the Matrix

I didn't hear about "The Matrix" until five years after it had come out in theatres. I...

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The 33 Million Gods of Hinduism

(108) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 9:54 AM

Why Hindus worship so many gods and goddesses is a real mystery for most people. In the West, where the mass majority of people are part of the Abrahamic faith tradition with one God, the concept of polytheism is nothing more than fantasy or mythology worthy of comic book material....

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Fast Food Spirituality

(29) Comments | Posted June 19, 2012 | 11:50 AM

Americans don't like to waste time. We've got so much going on all the time. Even children have incredibly busy lives. We live in a culture where we like to get things done fast! We don't like waiting around for anything.

On the freeways, we have "fast lanes" and...

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Is God a Person? A Gaudiya Vaishnav Perspective

(211) Comments | Posted May 24, 2012 | 9:23 PM

For many, the immediate response would be a resounding "no!" Within the theistic traditions of India and within the theistic traditions of the world, there are varying opinions on the subject. For some, it's not too difficult to understand the energy and presence of God in nature and even in...

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Bhagavad Gita: You Are Not The Body

(412) Comments | Posted March 20, 2012 | 5:07 PM

When I first came across this concept, in the Bhagavad Gita, about 20 years ago, I was immediately fascinated by it. Not being subjected to birth, old age, disease and death got my attention. It's safe to say that no one is looking forward to these aspects of life.

...
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Conscious Cooking (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted February 17, 2012 | 11:00 AM

It's true that simply by cooking and eating, in the right consciousness, one can make spiritual advancement. How does one go about cooking and eating in the right consciousness? First of all, we need to analyze the purpose behind our cooking. Are we cooking simply to fill our bellies or are we cooking to nourish our soul and the souls of others? This analysis will determine what our consciousness is and how the food we prepare will impact us and those who partake of our preparations.

Within many branches of the Hindu tradition, it is recommended that we remain mindful or consciousness of the physical and emotional suffering caused to others as a result of our food choices. A meat diet, which includes fish and eggs, is prohibited because the understanding is that any food that caused others to suffer will create a certain callousness in our minds toward the suffering of others. This callousness can restrict one's spiritual advancement.

In addition to being conscious of food types, the Vaisnava tradition suggests that we shift our consciousness in terms of who the food is being cooked for. Vaisnavism suggests that while one is cooking, they meditate on cooking for the pleasure of Krishna or Vishnu. Cooking for the pleasure of God is one way to purge our consciousness of selfishness. The food can then be offered to Krishna or Vishnu, in a mood of devotion and prayer.

Food that has been cooked in this consciousness and which has become sanctified by the simple offering process purifies the mind of anger, greed, pride and envy and helps us to connect our existence with the Divine. This connecting with the Divine through the process of cooking and eating is called Bhakti Yoga.

...

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My Religion Is Better Than Yours

(228) Comments | Posted January 11, 2012 | 10:23 AM

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely tired of encountering this attitude. Most people who make such statements don't have deep knowledge or set of experiences within their own tradition, what to speak of other people's traditions. I am confident that if we made even a little bit of...

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Why Suffering and Spirituality Go Hand-in-Hand

(216) Comments | Posted December 5, 2011 | 1:21 PM

It's quite natural for those of faith to turn towards God during difficult times. Even if one has a regular spiritual practice, their practice can increase and improve during times of difficulty. After the events of September 11 for example, churches in New York City had some of their largest...

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Karma: What Goes Around Comes Around

(391) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 8:57 PM

"What goes around comes around" or "as you sow, so shall you reap" is the basic understanding of how karma, the law of cause and effect, works. The word karma literally means "activity." Karma can be divided up into a few simple categories -- good, bad, individual and collective. Depending...

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A Hindu's Call To Vegetarianism

(64) Comments | Posted October 9, 2011 | 8:08 AM

No matter how much I try and explain the benefits of a vegetarian diet, there are always people who, while nodding their heads in agreement with everything I say -- will conclude our dialogue by saying, "but...I love my meat."

I know how difficult it is to give up...

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Hinduism: Where Science and Spirituality Intersect

(547) Comments | Posted September 20, 2011 | 4:21 PM

A couple of years ago, I was invited to a panel discussion at Columbia University on science and religion. Not having a background in science, I was a bit uncomfortable with participating, but the group organizing the event really wanted an Eastern/Hindu perspective on how science fits into the Hindu...

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Radha: The Feminine Nature of God

(330) Comments | Posted September 4, 2011 | 8:00 AM

Millions will gather today, in India and around the world, to offer prayers, worship, and devotional songs glorifying the appearance of the Divine mother, Radha (Radharani). Radha descended from the spiritual realm shortly after Krishna, approximately 5,000 years ago. She took birth in the small village...

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