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Om Sweet Om

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Holidays & Festivals Archives

Thoughts from Kumbha Mela

posted by sheetal

My good friend and colleague at the Hindu American Foundation, Swaminathan Venkataraman, recently had the amazing opportunity to attend the Hindu festival of Kumbha Mela.  Below are a few lovely thoughts he shared with the team: Today, Feb 10, 2013, a larger […]

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Happy Diwali: Being like the wick

posted by sheetal

Today, Hindus around the world celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, which symbolizes the light of knowledge over the darkness of ignorance.  It’s a day for children to light small firecrackers, family and friends to exchange mithai, and celebrants to […]

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The Vedic Woman: Who Was She and Why We Need Her Back

posted by sheetal

This past Saturday, my friend and colleague at HAF, Suhag Shukla, delivered an amazing talk at the Marg Foundation on women, their role in Hinduism, and their roles in society today.  The text of her awesome speech, “The Vedic woman: […]

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Hindus worldwide celebrate Shivaratri

posted by sheetal

Hindus around the world just celebrated Shivaratri, a night dedicated to the worship and celebration of Lord Shiva.  The festivities and worship go on all night, as this is the night – according to some – that Lord Shiva performed […]

Diwali and Dessert

posted by sheetal

Hindus around the world are in the midst of celebrating Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights.  I began receiving “Happy Diwali” emails and messages two days ago from friends and family members across the globe.  The message of […]

Impressive images of festivals, unimpressive use of “idol”

posted by sheetal

Just recently, the Atlantic published some amazing photographs of Hindu festivals that demonstrate the colorfulness, diversity, and inclusiveness of Hinduism.  The pictures are stunning and have been taken not only in India, but also in England, Nepal, and Bali – […]

Celebrating the life and many meanings of Krishna

posted by sheetal

Today, Hindus around the world celebrate Krishna Janmashtami, the birth of Krishna, avatar of Lord Vishnu.  Like so many, I have a particular fondness for Lord Krishna, which largely stems from my love of the great Hindu epic Mahabharata.  Krishna […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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