Advertisement

Om Sweet Om

Om Sweet Om

Bio

Vineet Chander is a legal and communications consultant, writer, and teacher, specializing in the Hindu diaspora community. He is a Hindu Chaplain and the Coordinator for Hindu Life at Princeton University, and serves as the North American Director of Communications for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), a worldwide organization representing the Vaishnava Hindu tradition. In previous incarnations, Vineet has been a New York City prosecutor, a cable TV show host, and a hospital chaplain. In his free time, he enjoys relaxing with his wife and his new baby, attending classes at The Bhakti Center, and teaching himself photography. As a second-generation, Indian-American, Vaishnava-Hindu, Vineet ponders new ways of further hyphenating his identity.

McChrystal’s Inner War

posted by Vineet Chander

Fifth graders can be unbelievably cruel with their words. Keenly aware of this, my fifth grade teacher devised a simple demonstration to get us to see the need to be more mindful of what we said and how we said […]

Advertisement

Get Him to the Hindu? On Russell Brand’s Sanskrit Brand

posted by Vineet Chander

With Russell Brand’s highly-anticipated (and raunchy) comedy “Get Him to the Greek” hitting theaters right about now, the controversial British comic is becoming quite the talk of the town this side of the pond. He even graces the cover of […]

Advertisement

Hey Hey We’re the Monks Now (and People Say We’re Monkin’ Around)

posted by Vineet Chander

Ever wondered what its like to be a monk? Hinduism celebrates both asceticism and pragmatism; enlightenment can be attained, the wise explain, both by renouncing the worldly and (properly) engaging with it. Hindus revere the monk — whether a student […]

Advertisement

Will Top Kill work? Only if it goes deep enough.

posted by Vineet Chander

The good news: BP’s  procedure to plug the oil leak — ominously named “top kill” — seems to be working. The not-so-good news: new estimates show that the spill has already surpassed the notorious Exxon Valdez disaster. It is, officially […]

The Yoga of “24”

posted by Vineet Chander

With “24″, “Lost”, and “Law and Order” all saying their goodbyes — and all rife with spiritual significance and religious symbolism — I wondered about a possible Hindu connection. Unfortunately, however, I wasn’t a devotee of any of the three […]

Tim Burton’s Ramayana in 3-D!

posted by Vineet Chander

Coming soon to a theater near you? Okay, so maybe not quite yet. But the Indian media is buzzing with rumors day-dreams of the award-winning filmmaker —  most famous for his use of magic realism to create dark-but-amazingly-beautiful cult classics — […]

Monkey Business

posted by Vineet Chander

Note to Self:  The next time you want to denigrate someone’s religion, make sure that you don’t accidentally denigrate someone else’s religion. Last week, Tea Party Express chairperson Mark Williams went on a tirade protesting a proposed mosque at Ground […]

Death and Love

posted by Vineet Chander

I found out yesterday that Kristin, a dear friend and spiritual colleague, departed from this world after battling cancer. She spent only twenty-five years in this lifetime; by anyone’s estimation, she left us too soon. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna […]

Death and Dying in Eastern Traditions

posted by Vineet Chander

This video, provides a succinct and thoughtful look into death and dying in the major eastern traditions, including Hinduism. It was originally shown at a Smithsonian Institute seminar on May22, 2010, given by Professor Graham Schweig, and titled “Comparative ReligiousBeliefs: […]

Draw Muhammad. Oh wait, no don’t.

posted by Vineet Chander

That old adage about a picture being worth a thousand words may need to be revised. Pictures of the prophet Muhammad have generated perhaps millions of words this week alone, without even being drawn. Today, May 20, has been designated […]

Elena Kagan, Religion, and the Supreme Court

posted by Vineet Chander

President Obama’s pick of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to become the newest Supreme Court Justice raises a number of questions and presents the media with a number of story angles. One of the earliest of these, back when the Kagan […]

LAX Grounds Hare Krishnas

posted by Vineet Chander

Is it the end of an era? After a 13-year battle with the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for the right to distribute Hindu religious literature, Hare Krishna (ISKCON) devotees may finally have to throw in the towel. A California […]

Sandra, Phoebe, and the Quest for Success

posted by Vineet Chander

Is Sandra Bullock a success? Well, that depends on a lot of things– and mostly on when you were to ask the question. Seeing her on Oscar night, as she gracefully stepped up to the podium to claim her prize, we […]

A Sari State of Affairs

posted by Vineet Chander

I remember attending a sort of “Hindu pride” class as a pre-teen tween, and being taught the glories of all things Indian (or “Vedic” as our teacher would say).  “Vedic clothes” — dhoti for the males and sari for the […]

Padma’s Krishna

posted by Vineet Chander

Padma Lakshmi’s pregnancy was anything but conventional. She posed nude for Page 6 Magazine. She still refuses to disclose the identity of the baby’s father. But when it came to naming the baby (a little girl born on February 20), […]

PHOTOS: Holi in Braj

posted by Vineet Chander

My post yesterday described attempted to hint at the magic that is Holi in Braj, Lord Krishna’s hometown. I realize, however, that there is no substitute for actually experiencing Holi in Braj. These photos by Delhi-based freelancer Siddharth Jain are […]

Holi!

posted by Vineet Chander

HAPPY HOLI! Holi ( ???? in Sanskrit; pronounced almost like the English word holy), sometimes called Hinduism’s “Festival of Colors,” is about as joyous as a religious holiday can be. Although other rituals mark the observance, the highlight is throwing […]

Video: Getting Hindu-ized… for the Olympics?

posted by Vineet Chander

I’ve been wanting to blog about the Olympics because, well, let’s face it, everyone is absorbed in Olympics Consciousness right now. Wouldn’t it be cool to find a Hindu connection? It hasn’t been easy. I thought I did a pretty […]

QUESTION: Hinduism and Religious Sightings

posted by Vineet Chander

Beliefnet’s latest gallery – Seeing Jesus (and Mary) in Food and Other Objects — features photos from religious sightings in nature or non-religious objects. The gallery, crafted by pop-culture experts Harry and Sandra Choron (who also wrote a book, Look! It’s […]

V-Day Madness

posted by Vineet Chander

“Roses are red, violets are blue,don’t even think about celebrating Valentine’s Day if you’re a Hindu…” There are few things that get right-wing Hindu fundamentalists quite as rabid as the twang of cupid’s bow every year. In fact, on the […]

Loving Surrender

posted by Vineet Chander

In honor of Valentine’s Day, a meditation on love: So, this is the idea people have, that surrender means to lose. Surrender is something that is very, very undesirable, by force. But in Sanskrit, the word sharanagati [surrender] is something […]

Calling on Avatar

posted by Vineet Chander

In a case of life imitating art imitating art, it appears that the blockbuster (and, as I’ve discussed, sort of Hindu-ish) film Avatar has a very real-world application. Reportedly, a British charity called Survival (which campaigns on behalf of tribal […]

In Praise of Shiva

posted by Vineet Chander

Today marks the day of Maha Shivaratri, a night of celebration in praise of Lord Shiva, the Hindu deity that is largely understood to be the aspect of the Divine that oversees the inevitable annihilation or destruction of all things. […]

Video: Govinda on Ice

posted by Vineet Chander

With Winter Olympics XXI kicking off, I’m wondering if there will be a Hindu connection to speak of. Lets face it — India, the seat of Hindu culture, is not exactly renowned for its excellence in sports that involve snow […]

The Complex Karma of Haiti

posted by Vineet Chander

It is natural, though never pleasant, to question the workings of the Divine when we see (and feel, and weep over) suffering on a grand scale. In the West, philosophers like Epicurus and David Hume lay it out for us. […]

Beck, Bath, and Bizarre

posted by Vineet Chander

Oops, he did it again. Conservative mega-mouth Glenn Beck went on a xenophobic rant against those who choose to journey to India for health-care. He analogized Indian doctors to counterfeit Gucci purses, and mocked India for (what he perceived to […]

Review: Avatar

posted by Vineet Chander

What does the new James Cameron film have to do with Hinduism? Quite a lot, hoped many Hindus, anticipating the next Matrix. But would the film denigrate Hinduism’s sacred teachings about the descent of the Divine? At least that was […]

Happy New Year

posted by Vineet Chander

I had been trying to figure out something to post about to mark the New Year. Resolutions? Celebrations? A post-game wrap up of the wonder that was 2009? Nothing seemed to fit. Or, more truthfully, I didn’t fit. You see, […]

When the Prince is the Pauper

posted by Vineet Chander

England’s Prince William spent a cold winter’s night  on the streets of central London last week. Along with others from the homelessness charity Centrepoint (which William is a patron and spokesperson of), the dashing young heir-to-the-throne slept in an old […]

The Fundamentals

posted by Vineet Chander

I fashion myself a pretty tolerant and accepting guy, but there is one “religion,” I must admit, that I simply can’t stand.  Its doctrines and practices make my blood boil. Its champions bug me, its devotees test my patience. So […]

Less Krupa, More Kripa

posted by Vineet Chander

Well, those wacky folks at PETA have done it again. In their new ad campaign, model Joanna Krupa bares it all (well, almost all) to raise awareness about adopting abandoned pets companion animals. The big deal? The object used to […]

Crashers, Wishers, and Assassins

posted by Vineet Chander

Here’s a free tip for anyone who is lucky enough to be a guest at the White House: if you return from the restroom to find an exuberant blond lady in a red sari in your seat, taking Facebook-bound pictures […]

Review: 5 Bhagavad Gitas

posted by Vineet Chander

Today, November 28, 2009, millions of Hindus around the world will celebrate Gita Jayanti, the “birthday” of the sacred wisdom text, Bhagavad Gita. (It is actually the anniversary of the day the Gita is believed to have been spoken – […]

In the Water, Not of It

posted by Vineet Chander

“Black Friday” — the day after Thanksgiving, which officially kicks-off the Christmas shopping season — doesn’t always bring out the best in humanbeings. Adults start to behave like unruly children, shoving and fighting one another over that last flat screen […]

Mumbai 26/11: “Where Was God?”

posted by Vineet Chander

At some point during the Mumbai terror attacks, somewhere between the first shot fired on  November 26, 2008 and the tragic end on November 29, 2008, the Mumbai police officially declared a state of emergency. In the heart of downtown […]

Mumbai 26/11: A Prayer for Peace

posted by Vineet Chander

Today, November 26, 2009, marks the one year anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks– beginning on November 26, 2008 and lasting until November 29, 2008, terrorists sent by an Islamic extremist group in Pakistan coordinated more than ten shooting and […]

Pilgrims and Hindus for Thanksgiving

posted by Vineet Chander

What do Diwali, Holi, Shiva Ratri, and Thanksgiving all have in common? Give up? They’re all originally Hindu holidays, of course! Really? Well, sort of. At least this is the hypothesis put forth by Richard Salva —  a minister, yoga […]

Video: Karma!

posted by Vineet Chander

Okay, so I know that Karma doesn’t exactly work this way. But still, if you are going to try to demonstrate one of the most complex and intricate aspects of Hindu philosophy in 38 hilarious seconds, this is probably not […]

Guest Review: Sita Sings the Blues

posted by Vineet Chander

After the interest generated in my last post about a Bhakti interpretation of Sita’s banishment, I thought it’d be fun to do a review of Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues. Before I could get to it, though, my friend […]

Sita’s Separation

posted by Vineet Chander

Many Hindus consider Lord Rama and his wife Sita Devi to be incarnations of the Divine in personal form, the God and Goddess that together constitute the Supreme. In my blog post yesterday — based  on a reflection that I […]

Reuniting Rama and Laksmi

posted by Vineet Chander

Reuniting Rama and Laksmi:What can two Diwali narratives tell us about living our lives today? When I was a child, every Diwali night before going to bed, our family did something which I thought was extraordinary. We unlocked and slightly […]

Diwali at the Chapel

posted by Vineet Chander

Apologies for my hiatus from blogging on OSO. I have spent the last week busily engaged in hosting a special Diwali celebration at Princeton University (where, as my day job, I direct the University’s newly created Hindu Life Program). The […]

Halloween Hare Krishnas, take two

posted by Vineet Chander

As a sort of post-script to my blog about Halloween-Hare-Krishnas, check out this video of a carnival in Croatia (yes, Croatia), where one of the groups participating dressed up as Hare Krishna devotees. Note: The selection above is hosted by […]

Namaste! (Now can I get an Amen?)

posted by Vineet Chander

I blogged the other day about the concept of holy envy, and the broader idea of learning from one another’s spiritual traditions. So you can imagine how pleased I was when I came across this little gem, in which Pastor […]

The Ocean

posted by Vineet Chander

“Imagine there is a puddle. When it rains, the puddle is filled with water. When it doesn’t, the puddle dries up. Now compare that to the ocean. The ocean is so deep, it doesn’t matter if it rains above or […]

Review: Karnamrita stirs the soul

posted by Vineet Chander

Ever wake up smiling? I went to see Dasi Karnamrita lead kirtan at the Ashtanga Yoga Studio and Ganesh Temple in New York City last night. In a word, the evening was magical. I can’t quite put my finger on […]

The Home Team

posted by Vineet Chander

The New York Yankees, World Series champions yet again, are preparing to have 50 tons of confetti dropped on them. Yes, Math Wizards, that would be 100,000 pounds of little, tiny bits of paper. On Friday, the champions will be […]

Ahimsa for the Earth? Pass the Veggies.

posted by Vineet Chander

Thanks to Chris at the Yoga of Ecology blog for the heads up on this fascinating Times Online piece about UK Climate Chief Lord Stern of Brentford proclaiming that “People will need to turn vegetarian if the world is to […]

3 Times a Day

posted by Vineet Chander

I like the idea that one should be able to look at another faith and think  There is something in this other religious tradition that I really value and I wish we had it. I can learn something here.  The […]

Celebrating the Paradoxes

posted by Vineet Chander

Today marks the last day of the lunar month of Kartika (???????), a sacred time of year chock full of holidays on the Hindu calendar. Some of these, like Diwali, are well-known and celebrated widely. Others — days like Karva […]

Halloween-Hare-Krishnas

posted by Vineet Chander

Halloween has come and gone, without incident. Heidi Klum played it safe this year dressing as a crow, none of the neighborhood kids donned Lil’ Ganesh costumes after all, and my daughter Shruti’s first Halloween costume (an adorable pumpkin) was […]

Trick or Treat? Not quite sure.

posted by Vineet Chander

Growing up, I always experienced Halloween as a clashing of cultures. More than any other American holiday, Halloween seemed to draw a line in the sand between the world that my Hindu immigrant parents resided in and the American suburban […]

Hindu Humor?

posted by Vineet Chander

Recently, a reader included this concern in his or her following comment to one of my earlier posts: Lastly, I do want to mention that I am not sure that the title of the blog refers to the sacred mantra […]

Like Pearls on a Thread

posted by Vineet Chander

Bhagavad-gita chapter 7, sloka 7 mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya mayi sarvam idam protam sutre mani-gana iva O Arjuna, great conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on […]

Obama on Rama

posted by Vineet Chander

My inbox was flooded today with emails from friends, co-workers, and family members, full of smiley face emoticons and an overuse of exclamation marks, excitedly directing me to YouTube to see President Obama deliver his Diwali Message. The two minute […]

Happy Diwali, Mr. President

posted by Vineet Chander

How’s this for an early Diwali gift for Hindu-Americans (and, perhaps, Hindus around the world): President Barack Obama lit a ceremonial diya (traditional candle) and delivered a characteristically smooth speech in which he declared that he was happy to join […]

Welcome Om…

posted by Vineet Chander

Jai Sri Ganesh 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 […]

Previous Posts

Is Asana Religious?
Last week, I received an inquiry from a Christian theologian interested in showing that “the postures of Yoga” (asana) are directly tied to Hinduism and thus, cannot be easily incorporated into daily life by Christians.  While the origin of yoga is undoubtedly tied to the Hindu sacred texts, th

posted 2:48:02pm Jul. 17, 2014 | read full post »

India's Holy Men by Joey L.
I just ran across these stunning images of Holy Men by photographer Joey L. The initial set of images are of Indian sadhus living in the holy city of Varanasi...and they are absolutely breathtaking. http://www.joeyl.com/personal-galleries/holy-men-2/

posted 11:54:40am Mar. 03, 2014 | read full post »

The Idea of a Constructed Hindu Identity
The following piece was written by my friend Raman Khanna, who is also a member of the Hindu American Foundation's Executive Council. “Hinduism was invented recently.” “The word Hindu is problematic.” “It’s not accurate to speak of Hinduism, only Hinduisms.” More than a decade has

posted 5:21:42pm Jan. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Coalition Against Reality: Deconstructing an Attack on the Hindu American Foundation
Principled opposition is expected when litigating issues in the public square, and the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) , for which I serve as the Senior Director, has at times faced stiff opposition from the right and left of the ideological spectrum in response to various positions, reports, and st

posted 5:38:10pm Jan. 06, 2014 | read full post »

Advice on kindness
My yoga teacher sent me the below link to George Saunders' convocation speech at Syracuse University for the class of 2013. It's worth a read: http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/george-saunderss-advice-to-graduates/?src=me&ref=general&_r=0

posted 10:24:26am Aug. 08, 2013 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.