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.
Three stories, three continents, one message: when culture insists that men control women, the result is horrific wherever it occurs. When the police sit idly by, as they did in all three of these cases, you understand that patriarchy has very powerful allies and roots.
Awake: The Life of Yogananda is a stunning vision, statement, and experience all at once.
Counselors play an even more important role in helping to give students a venue to articulate their identities, share their fears, or just vent. While this is true for any student, Hindu and Sikh students often are reluctant to speak out.
We filed out the church doors to the memory garden where a small hole had been dug. The minister laid my parents' urn into the hole and invited family members to place a spadeful of dirt on it.
No doubt the Obama administration feels overwhelmed. Who has time for India? But make time President Obama must. India matters today. It will matter much more tomorrow, especially if Prime Minister Modi commits his political capital to eliminate barriers to entrepreneurship, investment and growth.
As Diwali becomes more of an American holiday, it's important to understand that it's easier now than ever before to incorporate a better sense of what Diwali and what it means into classrooms. That in itself is worth celebrating.
I always strongly urge teachers to avoid having parents (of any faith group) of their students come in and universalize a religion based purely on their experiences.
On the occasion of Diwali 2014, I want to share a reflection on one of the central narratives associated, in the Hindu tradition, with this festival. This is the narrative that connects Diwali with the celebration and rejoicing over the return of Rama to his home, after a lengthy exile.