Author: Staff Reporter

Vivekmurtidas Swami, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha The COVID-19 Pandemic will forever be remembered as a period of isolation, distancing, and change. Along with our longing to get back to “normal,” we hoped for peace and normalcy around the world. Unfortunately, peace continues to evade many parts of the world. Daily headlines are peppered with numerous instances of interpersonal, community-related and mass-scale violence. The missing element in these stories is always compassion. Without compassion, society devolves into a state of chaos, as evidenced through multiple genocides and atrocities throughout human history. Compassion is a necessity, not a luxury. Without it, humanity cannot…

Read More

By Amrit Hallan According to a survey done by Professor Dheeraj Sharma of IIM Ahmedabad and his team, in more than 150 schools, 94% of students believe Bollywood’s stereotypical representation is authentic. Those 94% of young minds fall for the propaganda and believe whatever Bollywood depicts as true and part of our History. Bollywood is trying to create an alternate reality rather than showing it. In research done by Professor Dheeraj Sharma, where he included movies and shows from the 1950s to 2010s – in 74% of films, Sikhs are laughable – in 58% of films, corrupt politicians share Hindu…

Read More

Yogi Trivedi Columbia University Ivory-tower religiosity is often mistaken for spiritual excellence. In actuality, the guru is venerated in Indic traditions because she or he bridges social, economic, cultural, geographic, linguistic, and political archipelagos. The guru’s relevance can be gauged by the selflessness, consistency, and equality of his love, not just for the divine but for all its creation. In 2016, the loss of one such guru, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, gave me a chance to reflect on the spiritual relevance and excellence of gurus in the context of my own experiences as a scholar, journalist, and believer. My…

Read More

When I was in grade school, questions such as “Why does your religion have monkeys, elephants, and other animals?” were ubiquitous. I was always interested in our religion, but I could never defend it because I felt I wasn’t well-informed. My friends practicing other religions were able to speak eloquently about their faith, but they never had to defend it. It didn’t help that school textbooks contained incorrect details on Hinduism, probably because they were written by someone of a different faith. (A huge thank you to the Hindu American Foundation for changing that!) While other religions had similar prophets…

Read More

Happy May and Happy Spring! The season of spring brings qualities of prithvi (earth) and jal/aap (water) elements such as wet, heavy, dense, soft, cloudy, cool, stable, dense, and solid. Environmental changes can affect our bodies in different ways. Some of us enjoy the excess moisture in the air and feel more down to earth, whereas others may present with allergies, mucus buildup, congestion, lethargy, fluid buildup, and sluggish digestion. According to Ayurveda, our health is determined by the state of our digestive system. Our digestive system is not only affected by what we eat, but also the environment, our…

Read More

The ancient Vedic science of yoga is gaining more and more popularity each and every year. Even though the current practice of yoga is slowly moving towards mindfulness rather than just stretch-based fitness, many still fail to realize that yoga is so much more. Yoga and meditation are designed for self-realization and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali provide a step-by-step guide to reach enlightenment. To attain this, however, one must be able to quiet the mind and find a stillness between her thoughts. The first step of the Yoga Sutras is “Yama” which translates to self-restraint or moral discipline and…

Read More

A successful change of leadership starts with an able and accomplished individual who can assume new responsibilities with proficiency and ease. The Texas Tribune has found an ideal candidate for its new CEO in Sonal Shah, who is highly qualified and suitably experienced to excel in the post. The achievement of Indian-American Sonal Shah makes India proud and is certainly a big Diwali gift for the entire country. With exceptionally bright leadership qualities, Sonal Shah has a long and successful record in fundraising. A long-standing supporter of diversity, equity and inclusion, she is expected to bring a new dimension to…

Read More

“All Indian lead­ers will be of low cal­i­bre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts.” In 1931, Winston Churchill, late prime minister of Britain, said these words describing Indians and Indian leaders.  The evil empire of Britain ruled and looted India for decades. The tide has turned and now Britain Prime minister Rishi Sunak, India-origin and Hindu, will rule the same empire from the same leadership position once held by the merciless Churchill. It was perhaps predestined that in the year of India’s celebration of its 75th year of independence from British rule, an…

Read More

Distortion & Denigration of Hinduism & Indian History by British Colonialists & Missionaries    George Orwell has rightly said: “The most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” The British colonialists mastered that practice after the conquest of India so as to govern their crown jewel with minimum challenge! They funded the departments of Indology and Sanskrit to rewrite the Indian historical narrative primarily from a victor’s perspective by erasing the rich heritage, traditions, culture, and history of India and Hinduism. The East India Company went to the extent of hiring…

Read More

About 10 years back, Aruna and I started this tradition at Diwali time that we will do Diwali pooja at our home and invite parents with young children. It had multiple reasons — first and foremost, our kids and grandkids live in California. Obviously, we miss them. Inviting parents with young children who remind us of our own kids fills that void. The second reason was that I wanted our children to learn about Diwali on a firsthand basis, and the best way to teach anything to anybody is to get them involved. At this Diwali pooja, we made a…

Read More