I have come across a number of different blogs from Westerners who are following the path of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism). Together they cover all the major sects of Hinduism; the four traditional sects of Saiva, Shakti, Vaishnava, and Smarta together with Neo-Hinduism. I am sure that I will have more blogs to add to this list in future.
The descriptions of each sect are brief and general. There is a lot of difference between sampradayas (schools) within each sect, so I have tried to put what is common to them all.
If you do feel the called to Hinduism, don’t look at the sects and sampradayas within each sect to logically decide what most fits your world-view, your world-view and self-view will change on your journey. You don’t choose the path, the path chooses you – or rather God has a path mapped out for you. Go with your intuition and your heart. If you go with what your mind thinks rather than what your heart feels you may well end up coming back to what felt right later.
I would highly recommend the book “How to become a (better) Hindu” , which is available as a free online text as well as a physical book.
The worship of Lord Shiva as the ultimate God, together with the great devas Ganesha and Murugan (Kartikeya).
Blog: Western Hindu
This blog! There since you are already here you know about it, but for completeness I am following the Kailasa Parampara Of the Nandinatha Sampradaya.
BLOG: Also Hindu
A new blog, I’m not 100% sure it’s a Saiva blog yet but mentions the Himalayan Academy. There are some thoughtful and insightful posts.
A blog by a gay Latino Hindu living in Philadelphia. He is a follower of Shiva and writes about his spiritual journey.
Blog: Hilltop Anthology
This highly personal blog is the story of the spiritual journey of a woman in Kentucky. The blog conveys thoughts and ideas in a poetic style.
This is a blog by Joshua Michaell a Saiva Hindu who teaches Sanskrit, Yoga, Philosophy, and Meditation. He writes about his travels, tea and a wide variety of subjects with a spiritual connection
Jana.nanda is a blog by “jnana shiva”, who describes herself as “a 54 year old woman living in the little big town called Las Vegas Nevada“. She is a follower of Kashmiri Saivism. Her colourful blog illustrates as well as describes her spiritual journey. In addition to this blog she has a poetry blog, spanda.nanda, which shows her level of spiritual devotion to Lord Shiva.
Shaktis worship one of the divine feminine forms such as Parvati, Durga, Kali, Amman, or Rajarajeshvari.
Blog: Adorations to Amma
A blog by Stacy who is following the Shakti path. She follows Amritanandamayi Devi, known as “Amma, the hugging saint”. Her original “myspace” blog has now been removed but she continues to show a very colourful and personal web presence on this flickr page.
A blog describing the discovery, devotion and experiences of an American-born devotee of Devi. He describes how after years of intellectual searching an encounter with Maa Durga put him on the shakti path, realising that:
The Divine Feminine Reality Whose Cosmic Play Ever Reveals and Conceals Herself, stepped out of the web of maya made manifest by Herself, and was revealed to me within my heart of hearts, from where She had always existed.
This relatively new blog looks very interesting.
This blog is by Daniel, a Western follower of Amma. He used to practice Catholicism and in addition to his Hindu blog theyuha he has another blog Catholicism where he tries to correct wrong teachings about Hinduism within the Catholic church.
BLOG: A SOUL’S JOURNEY
An interesting blog from a follower of Lakshmi. She has some interesting posts with beautiful pictures. Though she describes herself as “new to Hinduism” she has an understanding – and more important a feel – for the meaning of Hinduism as a way of life.
Vaishnavas worship Vishnu, or one of his avatars. Worship of Shri Krishna and Shri Rama is particularly common.
This is a blog by Allegra, who is a student at Princeton University and a follower of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Gaudiya Vaishnavism is usually associated with ISKCON, and Allegra’s path has taken that direction so far, though there are other linages within this tradition. She writes about both about her studies and her personal spiritual journey. She also feels sympathy for Muslims in America and writes about Islam.
This blog, by written by Kodanda who is following the Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya. The posts are clear and insightful and show how he came to follow Sanatana Dharma.
Blog: Rolling With Vishnu
The Rolling With Vishnu blog is by treadmarkz, a paraplegic devotee of Vishnu. He writes “My Wheelchair is my chariot and Lord Vishnu is my charioteer as I fight the battles of life“. Treadmarkz is inspired by Swami Vidyadhishananda Giri and Paramahansa Yogananda.
Blog: The Anglo Hindu
Smartism is a traditional sect that follows the teachings of Adi Sankara. I hope that these will be useful to any westerners called to Hinduism. popularised the ancient Smarta five-Deity altar–Ganapati, Surya, Vishnu, Siva and Sakti–and added Kumara. From these, devotees may choose their “preferred Deity,” or Ishta Devata.
Blog: The White Hindu
Aamba considers this blog to be complete, though it is currently inactive it holds a wealth of articles. This is a blog by Aamba, who crossed spiritual paths with me by starting off by reading a Himalayan Academy publication and ended up following the Chinmaya Misson West. She is a truly prolific blogger who has written as many posts in six months as I wrote in two years!
BLOG: THE ACCIDENTAL HINDU
The author of this blog is a woman who was born in the West Indies, who describes herself as a black Hindu. She writes under the name T.A.H, and describes her spiritual path from a Catholic and Seven Day Adventist upbringing to Hinduism. Like me she has visited other faiths on the way! She mentions feeling at home with vedanta philosophy, so I think that her blog probably belongs in the smarta section, but I will leave it here until I have read more.
Blog: Rāja Haṃsaḥ
This blog by Ananda is an extended study and comentary on the Aparokshānubhuti , a short text by Ādi Śaṅkara. He says that he will be “presenting what, in my opinion, are the most relevant verses as an aid to self-inquiry.
Blog: Sons of Gods: The Mahabharata
Blog: Sādhanā Day by Day
These blogs are by Aruna Sharan, a black Hindu who grew up in Guyana, South America. The blog “Sons of Gods: The Mahabharata” is mainly about her monumental effort to produce an English version of the Mahābhārata story which is “a book the length of an average novel, a continuous story distilled down to its vital essence but dramatised so as to captivate the reader, with living, breathing characters, spiritually alive and written in an accessible style yet retaining the powerful spirit of the original“. It is an established, well written blog and well worth a visit.
The blog “Sādhanā Day by Day” covers spiritual practices, general philosophical questions.
The ardhanarishwar blog by Dhrishti clearly describes the concepts behind the non-dual Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism. He has an interesting style, not writing directly about himself but relvealing a lot indirectly by the way he describes things. He is clearly influenced by “The Seven Stars of Hinduism” by Dileep Thatte.
Neo-Hinduism, also known as Hindu Rerform, liberal Hinduism or Neo-Indian Spirituality is the most difficult to define. Any movement that denies the authority of the vedas or excludes core beliefs such as samscara, reincarnation, God, or the atman (soul) could be classed as Neo-Hinduism
What one person might consider to be a neo-Hindu movement another may consider to be one of the major sects; for example Veerashaivism is often considered a branch of Saivism, but could also be considered as Neo-Hinduism.
At the other extreme some people consider new-age religions that include worship of the Hindu Gods to be neo-Hinduism, whereas others believe that their beliefs are so different that they are essentially non-Hindu.
Blog: Bamboo Thoughts
This blog by is by Art who follows the Ramakrishna Vedanta tradition. He describes what this path means to him and always responds to comments thoughtfully.
Blogs Yet to be Classified
Sometimes blogs are hard to classify, usually because they are new. These blogs will be moved into other sections when the Hindu tradition they follow becomes clear or if the author requests it.
Blog: Western Sanātana Dharma
This is a blog by Alicia, a high-school student in New York State. Her blog is relatively new and she describes her first steps in Sanatana Dharma. She appears to have an affinity with Ma Durga and Shri Ganesha.
Blog: ridiculously reverent
This blog is by kāmya, an American woman living in Canada. I may need a new section to classify her blog, as she is a vedic Hindu, a devout devotee of Indra. She writes as a devotee to share her love of Indra and her ideas.
Blog: Rajanaka Sammelana
The Rajanaka Sammelana blog is an established blog by Douglas Brooks, am a professional scholar and a teacher of the traditions of Rajanaka Yoga. He explores the path of Tanric yoga, as taught by Rajanaka Gopalaiyar Sundaramoorthy. He discusses many subjects in depth, including Sanskrit, the Gita, Kashmiri Saivism.
Blog: Divya jñāna
Divya jñāna is a blog by an African American ex-Christian blogger Anna. She is very new to Sanatana Dharma, but judging from the list of books that she has either read or is reading she is learning fast.
Among other things she has written about how meditation has helped her with PTSD, and how she came to find the path of Sanatana Dharma – by googling Buddhism!
You can see the recent activity of these blogs on the page Western Hindu Blogs. A summary of this information is also available in the sidebar in the section Posts by Western Hindus.
I hope that this page will be useful to any westerners called to Hinduism. If you are a westerner following Sanatana Dharma and have a blog, please let me know via a comment or the contact page. I will include any suitable blogs on this page.