Westerners Following Hinduism


How to become a (better) Hindu

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.

Saivism

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

InactiveA 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.

Blog: Yatra

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.

Blog- Mahaprana: Sanskrit, Yoga Philosophy & Transpersonal Counseling

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

Blog: jnana.nanda

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.

Blog: Barefoot Justine

Barefoot Justine is a veteran illustrator  and author of graphic novels whose work has appeared in DC Comics, Dungeons & Dragons products and numerous other publications. She describes herself as a Hindu, and writes:

For years I had been lost to agnosticism and had sought relief in Taoism, Buddhism, revisited Christianity, and had eventually given up on spirituality altogether. I was no longer seeking, then, quite unexpectedly I was called by Lord Shiva. Here is where I will tell that story and share those thoughts. Om Namah Shivaya!

Her blog includes many of her illustrations, including Hindu-related images.

Shakti Shakti

Shaktis worship one of the divine feminine forms such as Parvati, Durga, Kali, Amman, or Rajarajeshvari.

Blog: Adorations to Amma

InactiveA 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.

Blog: Insights of an American Shakta 

InactiveA 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.

Blog: theyuha

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.

Vaishnavism

Vaishnavas worship Vishnu, or one of his avatars. Worship of Shri Krishna and Shri Rama is particularly common.

Blog: Volara

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.

Blog:A Western Sri Vaishnava

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: My Journey into Sanātana Dharma

InactiveThis blog by is by “Aashna Namaste” who is at the beginning of her spiritual journey, and is guided by Shri Krishna and Shri Ganesha. Unfortunately this blog does not seem to allow comments.

Blog: The Anglo Hindu

InactiveA blog from an English follower of Sanatana Dharma who now lives in Florida. He has an affinity with Krishna and other Avatars. His blog is aimed at people who are new to Hinduism.

Blog: Why I love Hinduism

This blog is by Jura Nanuk an American with Eutopean and Native American ancestry. He writes of seeing a picture of MahaVishnu:

I saw a picture of Mahā-Viṣṇu reclining on the Causal Ocean emanating universes from his pores, and for me it was the moment when all the Western science I studied came together with all the complex imagery I had seen.

He appears to have  a vedic philosophy with a vaishnava outlook. I have only just started reading his comprehensive blog.

Smartism

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

InactiveThis 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

PrivateThese 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 isa 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.

You need to request access to these private blogs.

Blog: ardhanarishwar

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.

Blog: brhaspati’s pilgrimage to India

InactiveThis blog by brhaspati, who is a follower of Advaita Vedanta philosophy. He has travelled extensively in India and this blog is about his pilgrimage  in 2010.

Neo-Hinduism

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.

BLOG: LIGHT CLUB

This is a blog by Philip Miner, an American who came to Hinduism through his encounter with Shre Shri Ravi Shankar at the Art of Living Foundation. Starting with meditation and yoga to help with depression, this proved to be the start of a spiritual journey. I can recommend the article “On (Not) Being a Beautiful and Unique Snowflake“, which explains the title of his blog and describes the start of his path to Hinduism.

Blogs Yet to be Classifiedt of

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

InactiveThis 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: English Wife, Indian Life

Lauren left a comment saying: “I am also a white British Hindu. I am married and living in India”. Her blog “English Wife, Indian Life” tells the story of personal journey of her and her husband’s path. This is a very romantic story. She writes

“India instantaneously felt like home, probably because home is where the heart is…

True love has no boundaries

Blog: mariawirthblog

This blog is by Maria Wirth, a German who learned about Hinduism on a holiday after finishing her psychology studies at Hamburg University. She continued to live in India and followed the Hindu tradition after meeting Sri Anandamayi Ma and Devaraha Baba.

She sees is concerned that the concerted efforts of missionaries to prevent the great spiritual and cultural traditions of Hinduism from being passed on to future generations.

Blog: Lakshya Yoga Blog

The lakshya yoga blog is by Lakshya, a yoga instructor, follower of vedanta, and advocate of natural and organic living. Her guru is Pujya Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati, founder of the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Coimbatore, India, where she is currently studying.

Se writes about Vedanta, well-being and natural living, and yoga and meditation practices. This is a fairly new blog but it has some interesting, clear, and straight to the point articles.

Blog: Writings from the Banks of Mother Ganga

This is a blog by Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, an American woman now living in Rishikesh. She is a devotee of Chidanand Saraswati, and spends most of her time in sewa and meditation. She writes comprehensively and informatively of her life in the ashram.

Bloggers Influenced by Hinduism

These are blogs by people who have incorporated significant aspects of Hinduism into their spiritual life. These are listed on  the page “Westerners Influenced by Hinduism“.

Blog Activity

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 of this blog under 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.

Images on this page are from wikimedia, and are permitted for non-commercial reuse.  The “inactive” logo was created by me using the Gimp  image editor, and can be used under the license terms of this blog.

81 responses to “Westerners Following Hinduism

  1. Wonderful. This is an excellent source for westerners who are pursuing Sanatana Dharma.

  2. Pingback: Another Western Hindu blog: Indian love story | Western Hindu

  3. Namaste Tandava,
    please keep updating the list of the westerner’s running hindu blogs. Wonderful job you are doing here. I have a feeling Maria , a German , runs her own blog and it may deserve a place in above list as well. The link is given below. Thanks in advance for the consideration. Surya.

    http://mariawirthblog.wordpress.com/page/2/

  4. Pingback: Another Western Hindu blog: Maria Wirth Blog | Western Hindu

  5. Pingback: Two more Blogs | Western Hindu

  6. Pingback: Western Hindu | THE LOS PERSPECTIVE

  7. Pingback: Other Hindu Blogs

  8. Your blog is such a wonderful resource! Thank for sharing this with all and making Hinduism more available for Westerners.
    If it fits in the list, please have a look at http://www.lakshyayoga.blogspot.com – a blog about Hindu Dharma and Vedanta.
    OM.

  9. Pingback: Another Western Hindu blog: the Lakshya Yoga Blog | Western Hindu

  10. “Writings from the Banks of Mother Ganga” a very good blog by an American women.
    http://www.sadhvibhagawati.blogspot.com/

  11. So Did you know that the theory proposed in Hinduism for creation of world is very silently and smartly put in the college mythology book along with other creation theories! No one dares to put the theory of creation from Quran or Bible in the mythology textbook. Because god forbid we call that a myth! If we did that, there will be an uproar all over the world. And also the whole holy book and the poem of Ramayana is also a part of the mythology book used as our course book for that class in my school and is presented as a myth. Lord Rama is one of the many Gods worshipped in Hinduism. To put him in the mythology book is an insult to Hindu religion and its followers. And as far as my knowledge Rama is not a mythical character! There is a picture taken from a satellite that shows the existence of the bridge built by lord Rama between India and Sri-Lanka today that is mentioned in Ramayana. And I also watched a documentary the other day that proves existence of Krishna and his whole kingdom on world thousands of years ago under the seawater of Dwarka by east Indian shore of the Indian Ocean. But apparently according to the mythology class taught in my college it is all a myth! So overall I feel like because hinduism and its followers don’t show so much passion openly like other religions and therefore are always taken for granted and laughed on for their “weird and strange” beliefs and rituals. I think its about time we start demanding some respect in a true meaning without being aggressive and coming off negatively and attacking to other religions about it.
    How would it work out if we put jesus and the theory of creation described in bible in the mythology book? How well do you think is going to go? So why no one is taking Hinduism seriously in the western countries?
    So dear brothers, sisters and followers of the Hindu religion please share your opinion on this matter with me. Am I over reacting or being passive aggressive by posting this here and giving out the wrong impression of the Hindu religion in the world?

  12. Pingback: Another Western Hindu blog: Writings from the Banks of Mother Ganga | Western Hindu

  13. I think Himalayan Academy link should be there at the top of this list. Sure they are not some individual blog writers, they are an ashram and much more, but then it will be a great loss to the browsers if they miss out on that website.

    • I can see what you mean but I am deliberately leaving this for private blogs. I don’t want to be partisan towards the Himalayan academy, and if I include them then I would have to include many more … ISKCON, Rama Krishna Mission, the Self realisation fellowship, Swaminarayan, and the Chinmaya mission West to name a few.

      I may consider creating another page giving links to Hindu organisations accepting of western converts – bit I think it would end up being a long list.

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