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Vineet Chander
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Vineet Chander is the Coordinator for Hindu Life at Princeton University, a Religious Life Leader at the Lawrenceville School, and Adjunct Professor at Farleigh Dickinson University. He was also worked as an attorney and communications consultant. His areas of specialty include the Bhakti movement, models of pastoral counseling, and the Hindu-American diaspora community. His writing has appeared in publications ranging from the Journal of Vaishnava Studies to the George Washington University International Law Review, and he has also served as a regular columnist for Beliefnet.com. Vineet lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.

Entries by Vineet Chander

A Diwali Reflection: The Exchange of Lamps

(2) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 2:44 PM

Every year on Diwali, the lighting of lamps--the diya--plays a central role in the celebration. Whether traditional oil lamps made of earthen clay, elaborate and artistically adorned candles, or even safety conscious battery-operated tea lights, the lights are ubiquitous. Ask observant Hindus why they light the diya, and you are...

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A Hindu Halloween Lament

(10) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 12:23 PM

When I was growing up in the 1980s, every autumn Diwali waged a valiant but losing battle against Halloween. Like many religious holidays, Diwali (also known as the "festival of lights" or the Hindu New Year) is calculated according to the lunar calendar -- which means that the...

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A Hindu Mourns the Newtown Tragedy

(22) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 2:28 PM

I first learned of the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, while on my way to work. One of my fellow commuters shared whatever scant details were known at that time with the rest of the train car. There were gasps and exclamations, and...

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Tulsi Gabbard: Living The Gita, Beyond The Photo Op

(66) Comments | Posted December 3, 2012 | 2:11 PM

As a general rule, Hindu-Americans love milestones and photo opportunities. When photogenic Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to U.S. Congress, is sworn in to office with her right hand resting on a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, we will get both. But we will also get something...

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A Hindu Hurricane Reflection

(7) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 1:12 PM

By a cosmic scheduling quirk, Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey on Monday, coinciding with the first day of Kartik -- a sacred month on the Hindu calendar, packed full of religious observances and holy days.

Kartik is regarded as significant by all Hindus, but is...

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Is India's Independence Day a Hindu Holiday?

(47) Comments | Posted August 15, 2012 | 1:24 PM

Once upon a time, in a past that now seems like ages ago, a goddess named Bharat Mata battled a demon king. The demon, whose own kingdom lay in a faraway island, had enslaved the goddess and her children for many days and nights. Now, the goddess -- draped in...

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How Fatherhood Has Made Me a Better Hindu

(43) Comments | Posted June 17, 2012 | 10:57 AM

A popular narrative in the Bhagavata Purana, one of Hinduism's most beloved and venerated wisdom texts, involves a king who meets a forest-dwelling sage. The sage's peaceful demeanor and obvious contentment, even amidst apparent poverty, astound the king. "Who is your guru?" the king asks, eager to know where the...

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Choosing Light: A Diwali Reflection

(64) Comments | Posted October 26, 2011 | 7:52 AM

When I was a child, each year on the night of Diwali before going to bed, our family unlocked and slightly opened all the doors to our home. The reason, I was told, was that so on this night, Lakshmi Devi, the goddess of fortune, could freely enter...

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Ravana, al-Awlaki And The Hijacking Of Religion

(9) Comments | Posted October 7, 2011 | 1:30 PM

I woke up last week to my radio alarm clock blaring the big news: terrorist mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki, who topped the U.S. government's controversial kill list, had been assassinated in Yemen. For me, the news hit home in a more specific, if not disturbing, way. I knew the man, and...

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Running Away From Ganesh

(25) Comments | Posted September 1, 2011 | 11:13 AM

Sri Ganesh (also spelled Ganesa) is considered the lord of new beginnings. From the homemaker beginning her day, to the business owner commencing his account ledger, to the Bollywood director beginning the first scene of a movie shoot -- they all turn to Ganesh. Hindus of...

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