I am British and my life seems to be a path towards the Hindu religion. For a long time this about page said that I don’t know if I would call myself a Hindu. I have now decided to change it to say that as far as you can call anyone a Hindu then I am one. Some people say that because there is no official acceptance into Hinduism then you cannot be a Hindu, you either follow sanatana dharma or you don’t. By that definition I am a follower of sanatana dharma. For clarity I think it is easier to refer to myself as a Western Hindu or, because that would cover many ethnic Indians in the West,  as a White British Hindu.

65 responses to “About

  1. Jon Lennart Aasenden


    I just wanted to mention that most christians dont have a clue that they have hinduism in the bible. The word “abraham” means “father brahman”. Compare the lineage of brahman with abraham and you will see it. Abraham had two sons with his wife sara (sarasvati!) and begot one child with a free woman – who is the root for the lineage of jesus!

  2. Hi,
    I backtracked from your comment on my site this morning.
    It is interesting to read your thoughts on Hinduism.
    I shall be returning often to read your blogs.

    If I may, I would like to mention these websites:

    You may find some answers to your questions.

  3. Hi Chris,

    I came here via Littleindian’s blog. Will be visiting to read your thoughts. I fall under the label of Hindu but I would prefer being called Human Being. :).

  4. hi, Chris,

    you have a very intresting blog here!

  5. What is your name? Sorry, I could not find it on the site.

  6. Hi,
    My name is Chris Bro oking. Sorry for not answering your comment sooner, but I have not been on the computer for a couple of days!

  7. hey Chris I saw you post on Lord Shiva it is Great to hear that a Person from Britian took interest in writing about Lord Shiva Great.Visit my Weblog http://www.seshdotcom.wordpress.com I have a written a Lot about mythologies read it and give comments for good posts.Thanks

  8. I just read your comments about the swastika. I did not know until tonight that the symbol was A. older than the nazi’s and B. a positive symbol. How very interesting. I was reading a paper tonight dating back to the late 1800’s and he was explaining the swastika. Interesting to have a pre-nazi discussion.

    Also I want to thank Jon

    “they have hinduism in the bible. The word “abraham” means “father brahman”

    The bible mentions that abraham left his father’s religion. I wondered what religion he originated from.

    The world is much bigger (and deeper) than what they teach you in sunday school.

  9. Hi Chris,

    I deeply respect your beliefs and have profoundly enjoyed the insight in your posts, especially the ones where you write about your journey to Hinduism.

    Before I write further, I would like you to excuse me for giving you more information than you need.

    I couldn’t help noticing that you are a follower of Sanatan Dharma. In India, it is well known that the Sanatan organization is one that spews venom on Islam, and some of its members have been involved in a blast at a theatre where there was a so-called anti-Hindu stage performance (there was nothing anti-Hindu about it though, as it only talked about a certain social evil of India. However, their organization denounced the blast. But the police still maintain that their organization had knowledge of them). Sanatan Sanstha is known for its library of anti-Islam books (I am no supporter of Islam, and dislike their worldview, but I wouldn’t insult them none the less) and their hate speeches.

    They have managed to guise such activities under a veil of spirituality, Hindu values, charity and theology. You wouldn’t know of it as it’s not something they advertise in your country. If you ever have a chance to visit India with them, you probably won’t notice anything outrageous, as you will in all probability have a guided tour that will mask the reality.

    I was born and brought up in a conservative Hindu household, and learnt about Hinduism right since birth. Their theology is indeed very convincing. However, in practice, Hinduism is no different from Christianity, Islam or the likes. The equivalents of “Sunday Schools” of Hinduism in India give similar reasoning and talk in similar derogatory ways about other religions. Hindus support the practice of the caste system, where every year, thousands of the lowest castes -the Dalits- are killed every year for reasons as trivial as entering temples. (Dalits, being the lowest Hindu castes- determined by their birth, can’t enter temples). You have to take one good look at the Ganges to see what Hindus have done to it in the name of Hinduism. The plight of women is terrible. There are just a few aspects of Hinduism.

    Hindu theology is historically inaccurate, and has been shown to be fallacious at the theoretical level by many an author (Amartya Sen, a Nobel laureate, calls himself a Hindu atheist, and he has written a lot on the issue). Hinduism has had many movements that came out as a rebellion against it, and two of them have even become religions themselves – Buddhism and Jainism. In fact, the nastikas were probably the world’s first atheists, and they came out of Hinduism, while still practicing Hinduism as a way of life. Amartya Sen calls himself a modern day nastik.

    All I’m saying is that Hinduism is a religion like any other. You’ll only notice the similarities from within. I’m sure the Hindu philosophy looks very attractive from outside.

    I apologize if I have offended in any way.

    Love and peace,

    • He mentions Santhan Dharma and you talk about Santhan Sanstha. That clearly show you are not an ignorant Hindu but probably a Muslim.
      Refrain from pointing social evils when talking about any religion. Ever heard of witch burning if not then read about it.

    • i am a hindu from a very spiritual family…the views expressed here r misguiding…u can be a muslim but not et al a hindu as no sanatan literature shed any vonoum on islam as all vedas and upnishadas were written thousands of yrs before islam…caste system is not indeginous to hindus but it can be seen in every religion in one or other form.but now rss and vishva hindu parishad peoples r working for equality in the socity where no one would be dalit or sawarn..hindavah sodrah sarve ..na hindu patito bhavet….as hindu believes in vasudhaiva kutumbakam.

  10. Dear Chris,

    After posting my comment (above), I realised I didn’t live up to the standards I have set for myself while commenting. The Sanatan sanstha is involved in many activities that I spelt out, but they are only based on meda reports and a few personal accounts of a few people who know about it. The case regarding the blast is still on in court. I always believe one is innocent until proven otherwise, and clearly in this case, the courts haven’t announced their verdict. For this reason, I request you to either delete that comment, or at least that paragraph (para 3,4). I will only judge them if their activities are proven (which according to the media, they will be. But then, who trusts the media?).

    Love and peace,

  11. Dear Siddharth:

    In every religion there are many evil practices. But the point is how much the followers of that particular religion try to correct them. Take for example the ritual of Sati, prohibition of widow marriage, child marriage, and others. In hinduism, we try to eradicate these evils time to time and all the above mentioned practices are now illegal and banned. But in Islam they still stick to age old evils in the name of Sharia and any attempt to change or challenge the custom is met with fierce opposition and the proclamation that “Islam is in danger”.

  12. Siddharth, sorry, you seem really disillusioned. Maybe you need to get your head checked. Or maybe you are a Muslim in disguise. All religions are not equal. Hinduism never raged holy wars, Hindus never occupied other countries and forced conversions on anybody. And the plight of dalits is not as bad as what Africans had to go through in the USA and in the ancient Arab world when they were slaves. You mentioning that is like “the pot calling the kettle black” or even worse. Millions of Hindus are killed during Muslim invasions and many more millions are converted to Islam by force. And now India has the largest Muslim population in the world.

    The most important fact is Hinduism never had anything to do with the plight of Dalits. It is a social problem but historically since Hindus were the only people in that area, this problem gets associated with Hinduism. And Hindus are doing a lot to eradicate this problem. Probably Christianity has more to do with slavery than Hinduism has with the dalit problem.

    Another fact is Atheism is not born out of frustration in the Hindu world. Hinduism is the only religion that lets its followers be Atheists if they want to. So don’t tell us that some Hindus are frustrated with their religion and became Atheists. NO. Hinduism allows it unlike your Islam or Christianity. That is the kind of freedom you get by being a Hindu. Get some education and some insight, please. We cannot afford more and more people like you in this world.

    And the bottom line is Hindus have no hidden agenda, there are not spending billions trying to convert the whole world to Christianity (www.joshuaproject.net) and they are not calling anybody Kafirs(vermin)/infidels because they are not Hindus.

  13. I can totally see why Hinduism and the golden heritage of India has not gotten its rightful place in history. Thanks to people like Siddharth. When anyone wants to say anything good about this great civilization….there are people like Siddharth who dont have a clue about how India was a cradle of not only of civilization but art, culture, music, maths, philosophy and so much more, try to persuade people in a different direction with their half baked ideas.
    Shame on you Siddharth. I think you really need a lesson or two on what Hinduism really is and how you should consider yourself lucky to be a part of this culture.
    I could erase all your points with real proofs from history and what Hinduism meant. However this is not a place to do so. So if you are interested, drop me a line and then we can have our huge debate on the topic

  14. I came across your blog and I have to say, you have studied Hinduism in depth to be able to know the intricacies of it. I partially agree to what the anecdote states about taking a lifetime to learn Hinduism. The idea behind the story is that Hinduism is called a way of life and when its said it takes a lifetime to learn Hinduism, it refers to living your life. The answer is as cryptic as most of the Sanskrit texts of Hindus which have as many interpretations. I am reminded of the times when a lot of people Indians or otherwise find it tough to reconcile with the supposed differences and decide to pay attention one or two aspects of any religion and ignore the rest.

    Someone I knew once said that all religions have to accept change and if they try to hold onto a past then change will walk over it and the religion will be left to history. That applies to Hinduism today more than ever. A few people want to hold it back and drag it to the dark ages but this is the very act that will kill its growth as a way of life.

  15. Hi Chris,
    Great blog, much of it reflecting my own thoughts and questions. Like you I’m a white UK citizen who has been heavily drawn towards Hinduism. Having rejected Christian faith at an early age – too many rules, burning in hell, guilt, shame etc etc – I came across Buddhism for a short spell in my teens. It felt good but I took another path of being a wild teenager and lost my way!
    Over the last five years or so I’ve been seeking a closer contact with ‘God’ however you want to see him. Books ‘came my way’ and I was hooked.
    I was brought up in South London, so was always around Indian people. My first ever memory (9 months old!) was of an Indian lady friend of my mum in a saree serving dinner. On a work trip to Tamil Nadu several years ago I arrived jetlagged in Chennai. I met my Indian colleague and we set off, I had the overwhelming sensation that I had been there before. The chaos, the smell, the poverty etc that usually amazes us westerners just felt so familiar. All I wanted to do was get out on the streets and visit temples. My Hindu friends did take me to lots of incredible temples on my visits there but generally wouldn’t let me out the hotel! My interest in Hinduism and it’s teachings just deepened and deepened. It is a path that makes sense for me.
    As to whether I can call myself a Hindu, I really don’t know. It kind of doesn’t really matter I suppose. I read, I learn and I follow the path to the best of my ability. Does one really have to be born into a Hindu family to be a Hindu? Again, the path is there for all to take, should one choose it.
    Anyway, I could rattle on for ages but I won’t. I will keep an eye on your upcoming posts and read a few more that you have already written,

    Thanks, Andy

    • As long as you believe you;re a Hindu, you’re…There is no formal rites in Hinduism, though in India they perform it to attain legal status as a Hindu.. However, if you say or think yourself as a Hindu, thats it.. To believe in Sanatana Dharma, you dont have to label yourself… There are many stories in Hinduism where a nastik [atheist] who does his karma well attains moksha[salvation] while a ritualist who ignores his karma doesn’t… there are different Yogas, different streams in Hinduism- which it self shows how less it actually is about defining 1 single path, but instead is about following what you believe… And no, Hinduism was never meant to exclusive for India.. in fact, Hinduism embraces the principle of “Vasudhaika Kudumbakam” [All World is One Family]… you can be a Christian going to church – and still be a Hindu, if you believe you’re one and if you live according to Hindu principles… For a true Hindu, life is voyage of discovery – of self, of cosmos and of the Ultimate Secret that is Nirvana…

  16. is this a museum or just a website? I’m using it for a school project. The picture of Shiva Natarajah, Lord of Dance.

    • This site is my personal blog. The images used (unless they say otherwise) are on the Creative Commons license, and can be used for non-commercial uses such as a school project. Some of them have a condition that you mention the original website if you use them. These will say so underneath. I get most of my images from Wikimedia Commons which allows free use.

  17. HI Chris…
    Thank You very much for creating such a wonderfull blogsite…As by name you can easily imagine that i am a born hindu. i am a 19 year teenage living in india….but never understood the importance of my religion. It might surprise you that I started getting close to Hinduism..by reading blogs from westerners like you only ya sometime i was inspired by Swami Vivekanada. i Think the wester Hindus are bringing back the glory of sanatan Dharma and trying to sread its message through out the world. You People are Creating a better Hinduism in west, than what we are practicing it in india…as far as i know hinduism is a Sanatan dharma…it treats equally ..so how can it stop one from following this path…i would proudly say You all are hindu..and most welcome to my faith…infact you people showed me the way…its just beacause of little minded people who doesnt allow a outsider to accept hinduism.who cant think beyond some limit. everyone is most welcome to my religion irrespective of colour and destination.
    Thank You Vey much…
    I ll keep blogging here.

  18. Hello Chris,
    Thanks very much for your musings as a Westerner about Hinduism. I undestand *so well* what you describe as your relations with Lord Shiv or Ganesha, to name those. It is exactly how my path has come to be as well.
    Unfortunately, I live in a small city in the US and there are few Indians or Hindus living there. I am sure there are private mandirs but I haven’t not acquainted with Indian people to know about them.
    My joy and extacsy are found in practising any form of darshan or bhakti, though I still wonder if I should officially convert to Hinduism the religion (w/ its rites and superstitions) or just follow the Sanata Dharma.
    Anyhoo, I had heard of the Himalayan Academy you talk about, but not of the courses they offer. It could be the perfect base to start something durable, tangible in my Sanata practice, as till now I tend to go the empirical way.
    I don’t know if you read that blog, but I find it quite resourceful as well: hinduism.about.com

    All the best, as new reader of your blog,


  19. Namaskar Chris
    Nice to see ur blogs and study on Sanatan ie. Hinduism.
    u can post ur views and any latest information or news regarding Hinduism in Hinduism community or any other community on “orkut” as well..
    Dhanyawad, nice to see u here and on Orkut Hinduism community,keep on posting new materials..

  20. Hello chris:
    Nice to see about your blog. its very interesting to read. I am happy to see about your thoughts about Hinduism. i wish let the mercy of lord will always be with you.

  21. Your blog is inspiring. Kindly visit my blog http://agniveer.com which is dedicated to Vedas and scientific approach to life and living.

  22. im like a born-again Hindu, all thanks to you…being a born hindu, i feel ashamed that i’ve never made any effort to understand this religion. reading this blog has certainly opened my eyes..god bless you

  23. It’s pleasing to know that there are thinkers in my country keeping the great culture alive. Even I’m a published Hindi poet. To catch a glimpse of my work, visit- http://souravroy.com/poems/

    Keep Walking…

  24. I had never believed that a western guy could be interested in Hinduism today. But after reading your blog, I had to change my opinion. I have inherited Hinduism by birth, but you have earned it by your knowledge.

    You are lucky Chris…

  25. I am so excited to find your blog and I look forward to reading back through everything.

    I am a white woman, who identifies as a Hindu, and I also keep a blog to work through issues having to do with that.

    You are ahead of me on this path and I think I will have a lot to learn from you.

    Thank you for this blog.

  26. Namaskar Tandava,
    You are a pilgrim and an inspiration. Thank you. the little I have read so far of your blog shows how you are living your spiritual name. You are following Shiva’s dance as you learn his steps.
    I am an American Westerner of Irish or Celtic decent. I too am a spiritual seaker. I was raised Catholic and attended three years of seminary. For many years, even as a practicing Catholic, I admired Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma. I even consider myself a student if not a follower. You Tandava have inspired me to take the next step and become involved in the rituals and practice and to study as if a convert- if that makes sense.
    Thank you again.

  27. Hi Chris,

    Me thinks you are a Pagan. Three cheers.

    • Thanks Deepak,
      BTW you have a great website. I am not a pagan in the way that people who call themselves pagan are. These follow Celtic or Norse beliefs. I am a devotee of Shiva, recite sanskrit mantras, follow a guru, am vegetarian, and go to the mandir regularly.
      Aum Shivaya

  28. Also take time off to read my website. I came to know about you through Invesp Blog Rank. I am Deepak Kamat from the website greathindu.com

    FYI, Hinduism is the eastern branch of Paganism. And Paganism is the western branch of Hinduism. They are mutually exclusive.

  29. The media has badpressed Pagans.
    Pagan comes from the word Paganus. It means rural. Christianity was an urban phenomena. It was made derogatory by the Christians. Actually Paganism stands for freedom of faith unlike the Abrahamic cults of convert or kill.

  30. The fact that, over the millennia, various scholars/scientists/ thinkers have infiltrated the ranks of religionists and documented their concepts and findings in vedic texts (that in turn remained valid forever) had clearly convinced me that this faith is beyond blind belief and superstition. How on earth could thay declare that the creation is beginningless and endless some 5ooo yrs ago (RigVeda circa 3500BC) is beyond my comprehension. Additionally they offered an olive branch to all future faiths, saying ‘truth is one and wise call it by different names (RigVeda)’. In this setting it is not needed if one should doubt one is a hindu or not .White/other people make excellent hindus. They are actually studying the vedas and upanishads and hence are more knowledge based than most born ones….If I say welcome then Iam asserting Iam somehow there ahead of others, thats an example of ignorance on my part. Instead I say lets pray together. On a sidenote, any thoughts on why the sages claim that what all we see ‘out there’ is all maya (illusion)? Lets rev up the debate a bit dear pundits. Cheers. Surya, Chicago.

  31. Chris,
    Today I had an opprotunity to go through your blog around 4 AM and I found it nice going through. Thank you very much for nice articles.

    Yes, there is no official acceptance into Hinduism / Sanatana Dharma, and do you know why? Because, everyone is by birth Hindu / Sanatana. It is a parent (mother or father) religion and everyone is always free to come back to their parents house if incase they are away from it. You are welcomed.

    God bless you and your family!

  32. A very Happy New Year to you Tandava!! May what you seek bring you to a place of joy and peace.

    I enjoy reading your take on Hinduism. I have learned things I didnt know about my own faith, when I come here. It has piqued my interest in finding out more about the faith I was born into. Thank you! for sharing. 🙂

  33. Hi,
    Useful site to know shaivam.


  34. I am a 17 year old white person, and I have been raised Lutheran my entire life. Just recently I have discovered Hinduism, and feel drawn to it like nothing ever before. I feel that it is my religious calling. However, it is very difficult for me to learn more about Hinduism so that I can truly become part of the faith, seeing as I live in a very conservative Christian family, attend church every Sunday and if I told my parents that I wanted to convert, they would probably disown me, try to talk me out of it, forbid me from researching it anymore, etc. So I plan to fstart ully practicing the faith once I get to college, but I just wanted to know if there are any resources that could maybe help me in my newfound journey. Your blog has been very helpful so far, but I also want to be able to read some of the Hindu texts (are they the Vedas? I’m still very new to this and don’t know much at all yet…) and things like that.

    • Namashkar,
      17 is young to think about converting. Just read and find out about Hinduism for now. A good resource is the Hinduism site on about.com. The book “What is Hinduism” also very good. I don’t believe you are ready to follow it yet but “How to become a (better) Hindu” tells you about those who have converted and is available free online or to buy. The vedas are the holiest texts, but difficult to read, so I would start with these books that have relevant vedic quotes.

    • Namaste,
      I started looking into SD, when I was 19~20… something like that. I am now 22, and God has my life changed so dramatically! Everything changes, its not a simple thing. Be sure you are truly ready when you take these steps. What helped me a lot was learning the most you can of Sanskrit words, since they will be with you forever if you do take this step to become a devotee, and of course Bharatiya culture.

  35. White or black, British or no, you are a Hindu if u say so. Welcome!

  36. Welcome to hinduism, chris and others, unlike christening or sunnath , hinduism doesnt talk of any method of conversion as u see no where in hindu texts does it talk of another religion. Hindu talks of vasudaiva kudumbakam. Caste , creed etc had come later. You all knw its kali yuga and dharmik thought s lost n many people. Caste system was a product of such adharma. Welcome again dnt fall into words of ‘ disguisd hindus .

  37. @ Siddarths comments and whatever ensued. I think its odd, and kinda hilarious, how ppl prejudiced of Sanathana Dharma, or any other older religion/spiritual path always happen to peek there nose in these types of forums and what not, and go on slandering, complaining and giving their much unappreciated(and usually uneducated) opinions. I come across this sort of situation every time i go on YouTube to be enriched by my adopted culture. By now Ive learned that just as one wouldn’t bark back at the dog that’s barking at you when u pass someones home, one shouldn’t even acknowledge these peoples comments and opinions. We’re obviously not dogs, and we’re obviously thought to be better and know more than to even throw a rock at it. Yes, it boils our blood, yes its degrading to us as a species that these sort of people exist, but hey reference the great hymn that we know:
    पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पूर्णमुदच्यते ।
    पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥
    That is fullness/perfect; this is fullness/perfect. From fullness/perfection, fullness/perfection comes out. Taking fullness/ Perfection from fullness/perfection, what remains is fullness/perfect.
    Which i take it to mean- EVERYTHING is As it Should be.

    Great blog you have going here btw! Its inspiring, something us non-Deshi people need!

    Anbe Shivam, and Dhanyavd

  38. Chris,

    Keep up the good work and word in your blog.


  39. hi guyz,
    I am Na’sh from Malaysia..I’m a Malaysian-born Indian…its interesting to see such Hinduism Blog outside ASIA REGION…you can also join my blog: nashindudharma@blogspot.com ,however i just created it,so it take some time…thanks…
    my FB: Na’sh Sekhar.
    Prinz Na’sh Sekhar Raj.
    Om Swaha…
    -K.Na’sh Sekhar

  40. Hi, I am also a white British Hindu. I am married and living in India (back in the UK for some time because of work). So glad to have found your page!!

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

  42. thelosperspective

    Thank for the wonderful blog you have here! It’s always great to meet others Western Hindus like myself, although we might be across the pond. Cheers! 🙂

  43. I am delighted that you chose to spotlight my blog on your home page. I am further delighted that so many people come from here to my site. I have many stories of how active the Deities have been in my life, and am feeling inspired to share some of those. I have been feeling terribly lonely in my spiritual practices. In Ohio I had a fabulous temple less than an hour away, and a lovely community of Hindus. Here there is no temple within easy reach, which is the only regrettable aspect of my move to Gainesville. I am pleased to know that you are out here, and plan to make your site and community a part of my life. I would like to make a proposal: would you consider creating a space on your site for us to meet and talk? Hinduism is such an ancient religion, and there is so much to learn and understand, it would be lovely to have a place where those of us who are new to Hinduism to talk, ask, and resolve questions and inner conflicts? I am certain I am not the only Western Hindu who is overwhelmed by the immensity of Hinduism.

  44. Ammeya Prabhu

    I love your blog! I am a 23 year old girl, born Hindu, but I never really followed my religion. Then because of some mental and emotional problems, I visited a Guruji who has now provided me a good path to a fulfilling life. I am a painter. An artist :D. Guruji has asked me to paint pictures of Hindu gods, and to put in all of my heart and devotion in it. And earn a steady living through yoga. So that is what I am going to do :D. I feel happier now. I would love to make new acquaintances with people and open myself more. Open my heart more 🙂

    If you feel like getting in touch: http://www.facebook.com/amiya.prabhu
    Cheers!! 😀

  45. Quite appropriate, people must know about ancient History, so important part of Hindu Texts called PURAANS. For information they are all coded, though the code is simple.

    Maybe you will enjoy reading this:

    URL: http://awara32.blogspot.com/2008/09/start-of-new-kalp.html

  46. brother u r a hindu all religion are branches of. sanatan dharma it is said in gita every new born baby is a brahmin and afyerwards his karma decide what he becomes. and anyone who feels proud of taking birth in a higher varna make god feeling bad

  47. templeoftherisingsun

    Hi I have just created a blog on Vedic knowledge with similar topics. great content .. keep it up. My one is

    Temple of the Rising Sun

  48. Shrikant Shringarputale

    Hinduism is different from abrhamic religions.hhence it has no regular rituals for conversion. As a born and practising Hindu, I feel for someone to be a good Hindu, he should be seriously believing in – 1. Theory of Karma, which makes him a better and better human being in times ahead, 2. Equality of all religions, in taking you towards God, and 3. Reincarnation. Your creed or colour has nothing to do with your acceptance or non-acceptance by others as a Hindu. If yiu are sincere in your being a Hindu, yiu are a Hindu.du

  49. Pingback: About | Western Hindu - Global Hindus

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