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.
The changes over time in the numbers claiming a religious affiliation should be seen as, first and foremost, a change in perception of what affiliation is socially acceptable and useful. Such a change, then, may be less about shifts in practice and belief than social perception and pressure.
While Americans are still much more religious than Europeans, the overarching trends, highlighted by Pew, suggest that American society is indeed secularizing.
Whether it's the Bible or the Constitution, every document written by human beings was written in a context, at a specific historic time, and is based on the level of consciousness of those who wrote them. Whether or not you think they are dictated by God, they are still fallible. How could that be?
When imagining a future for Hinduism, I believe that, true to form, it will continue to flow forth - negotiating new terrain as needed, at once distinct and the same, sustaining life as it goes.
Back on rubble mound, 16-year-old Mako Gali is smiling. Her smile, despite the loss of her entire family, is almost too much too take and she has to comfort a reporter 25 years her senior.
One of the most compelling vestiges of Hinduism's Transatlantic migration can be found in a tiny Dutch speaking country on the northeast tip of South America.