With religious liberty under siege around the world, people of goodwill should stand for the rights of believers everywhere. Unpopular minority faiths are like the proverbial canary in the mine: When they die, further violations of human life and dignity inevitably are coming.
All of India may not have been vegetarian all the time. But the importance given to vegetarianism in Indian life for the simple reason we could live without taking an animal life, is an enormous leap in human civilization that the modern West has had a very tough time coming around to accept.
As I bake in the heat of the Indian summer, remembering the sage of Kanchi's life brings back a different kind of warmth. Belatedly, I am indebted to him for the impact he's had on my family, and the spiritual knowledge he left the world.
At the beginning of the great Hindu epic, The Ramayana, the sage Valmiki takes an early morning walk with a student in a beautiful forest, by a river. Valmiki is ecstatic about the beauty and peace of the place, and praises the pure water for being like a good man's heart.
The question answered by the South Carolina House of Representatives today is whether their state government, as a political and democratic institution representing constituents of all races, should maintain on its capitol grounds the very flag it placed there 50 years ago to protest the civil rights movement.
Hindu scriptures, like all religious texts, can be interpreted to support whatever worldview one chooses. We reject any Hindu teachings which teach prejudice and the superiority of some over others, in favor of teachings which are based on love, oneness and justice.
Why is this important to emphasize? Simply put, many Hindus -- regardless of their background -- are put in positions of trying to explain India, even if they have minimal connection to or interest in the country. They are also wrongly assumed to be the spokespeople for India, particularly its social and economic issues.
We are not flawless and the Hindu past is not unblemished. The future of our tradition, however, is not contingent on a perfect past or on immunity to criticism in the present. It depends on its ability to address human problems and to promote the flourishing of all human beings.
Gandharva vivah is a form of marriage that was practiced by third-gender or queer individuals in antiquity. It is especially beautiful because of the prayers that transcend the patriarchal structures of traditional marriage. Love is the giver, love is the receiver.
I've always wondered what Jesus would have said about acts perpetrated in His name. On the one hand, Christians called Jesus the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace, and the Embodiment of Love.
Perhaps one of the strongest arguments for why Hinduism needs to be understood as a truly global religion is its nearly 200-year presence in South Africa, and its survival in the country despite systemic discrimination against Hindus prior to the end of Apartheid.
I can't help but wonder if I really have to wait in hour-plus lines since no atheist--so far as I can discover--has ever been accused of bombing or highjacking a plane.
When I was eight years old, my parents used to take me to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. We would go every week of the summer, spread out a blanket on the grass, and enact a tradition central to our monotheistic branch of Hinduism: singing devotional songs to passersby, often accompanied by a harmonium and brass hand symbols.
If you think Pakistan is all about bombing churches, destroying temples, Talibanisation, slaughtering religious minorities and forced conversion, I would request you to visit Mithi, a small district town, at least once. Mithi gives interfaith harmony a new meaning.
The choice, as I see it for a new generation of Hindus in the U.S., is not between the Hindu tradition or another religion; it is between being Hindu or being non-religious.
What do those two events -- a poll of religious identification and the climax of an iconic period drama -- have in common? In a very real sense, that last glimpse of Don prefigures the rise of the SBNRs.