With close to a billion adherents around the world, Hinduism is a major religion concentrated predominantly in the Indian subcontinent, and among individuals of Indian origin.
The thugs who cut down a dozen Charlie Hebdo are the international descendants of those who murder alleged blasphemers and apostates in Muslim nations.
Aside from the rich cultural heritage, there are priceless pearls of wisdom that continue to be passed down through the generations, even today. These heirlooms have grown to be an important part of our lives.
It is hard to find a major religion or secular ideology that has not been used by some of its adherents to justify violence against others.
No matter how deeply Muslims and Catholics have been hurt, we should be reassured that most have the character to accept this as the cost of respecting individual rights.
Swami Vivekananda was known for his spell-binding talks, and as an orator, was consciously spontaneous and spoke with an eloquence that added luster to his teachings about the restoration of India as a spiritual leader.
As we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it's important to examine a deeper connection between both men: the idea that seva is a force for uplift and bringing communities in from the margins.
The central issue is that Hinduism is uncomfortably and awkwardly fit into a model that focuses on historical chronology, when most Hindus don't view their faith as something that can be pegged into specific eras.
By coincidence -- or astrological design, take your pick -- another vital figure in that East-West transmission was also born on that date, and he too deserves to be celebrated.
Six months into his post, India's Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi appears to be facing his worst nemesis, the resurgence of militant, chauvinistic and violent Hindu nationalism.
Hinduism has been grossly misconstrued and inaccurately portrayed in Texas textbooks and across the country for decades, often limited to the chapter on ancient India and disappearing from further mention in many textbooks after the introduction of Buddhism.
I am successful when my students and conversation partners begin enclosing and confining these colonial categories in quotation marks, recognizing their construction and significance, historicizing them, disrupting them, and depriving them of their power.
The scriptures in Hinduism are a multifarious collection representing the mundane and the esoteric, the everyday and the mystical.
Indians voice indignation over highly publicized incidents of rape, like the recent one in Delhi of a young woman by an Uber driver, but there is little public discussion of the socio-cultural context of the rape epidemic.
Astute diplomatic symbolism aside, the larger question is which Bhagavad Gita will prevail during the Modi Raj. The Prime Minister's personal background leads back to the Gita of RSS founder Hedgewar, who read the work as a conservative, exclusivist, Hindu work.
The significance of this mountain lies more in its religious significance. Brahmagiri is located only a few kilometers from Triambakeshwar, the source of the river Godavari, one of the major river systems of South India.