Bbrhaspati's 4th pilgrimage to india blog
This blog by brhaspati, who is a follower of Advaita Vedanta philosophy. He wrote to me recently telling me of his blog. He has travelled extensively in India and this blog is about his pilgrimage in 2010.
I have added his blog to my page listing blogs by Western converts to Hinduism.
Other news in blogs by Westerners Following Hinduism
Rajanaka Sammelana blog
Thank you to Dhyan, who left a comment, telling me about this blog. 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.
I have added this blog to my list of blogs by Western converts to Hinduism.
Allegra contacted me and told me about her blog, volara. She 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. I know that this is likely to be controversial, but it seems to me that even if Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims victimise Hindus, it does not mean that it is right for Hindus in America not to be treated equally.
I have added her blog to my list of blogs by Western followers of Hinduism.
The Shatkona blog
I am very pleased to tell you about the return of “The Shatkona“, a blog from a fellow follower of the Kailasa Parampara of the Nandinatha Sampradaya. The blog was previously deleted by the author, and therefore removed from my list of blogs by Westerners following Hinduism. It is now back with a number of interesting articles.
The author had stopped blogging due to the illness and death of a close relative, which he writes about on the blog. I am happy that he is now able to move on and continue his blog.
I have added another blog to my Westerners Following Hinduism page.
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.
Insights of an American Shakta blog
Thanks to a commenter calling themselves ‘S’ for letting me know about this new blog.
The “Insights of an American Shakta” blog describes 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. I have added it to my page listing blogs by Westerners following Hinduism.
The "Also Hindu" blog
I have added the blog of another Western convert to Hinduism to my list page. This is a blog called Also Hindu by “HappyGoth“. There are some thoughtful posts, and I will be interested to see how the site develops.
Thanks to Aamba’s “The White Hindu” blog for letting us know about this blog.
There are Westerners following sampradayas in the Saiva, Shakti, Vaishnava, Smarta, and Neo-Hindu sects.
I have come across a number of blogs by other Western followers of Hinduism, and I thought that putting a page listing them by sect would be a useful resource. I chose a page rather than a post because I see this as something that will develop over time rather than a journal entry. The page can be accessed by the “Westerners Following Hinduism” tab below the header image.
I have copied this title from a post from The White Hindu blog. I have had a number of comments left here by Aamba, the blog’s owner, another Western convert to Hinduism. As she says in the linked post, it is interesting how we have taken different paths. She first found the Himalayn Academy’s “Dancing With Shiva”, but found the Saivite philosophy too devotional, and is now embarking on a study with the Chinmaya Mission.
I studied the Chinmaya Mission West’s e-vedanta course, but felt that its emphasis on meditation rather than devotion did not suite me, nor did Shiva being yet another layer of illusion, with God ultimately being impersonal brahman. I then started on the Himalayan Academy Master Course, which felt right at every level.
This illustrates how different people have different paths to God, and how Hinduism caters for everyone. How magnificent that we can all approach God in different directions, wherever we are at the moment Hinduism has a path for us.
Continued from How I became a Hindu – part two which follows How I became a Hindu – part one.
Nataraja, Shiva the cosmic dancer.
One day, when surfing the Internet I came across a Nataraja, the image of Shiva as the cosmic dancer on eBay. Almost on impulse I purchased it. I found myself impelled to read up on the symbolism. The symbolism of the dance of creation, preservation and destruction struck a chord with me and immediately felt right.
I found that whenever I passed the Nataraja I could see that this image represented God, and I felt compelled to thank God for all that exists.
I live near to a Hindu temple, and I decided to visit. At first I was very nervous about just turning up, but I was made very welcome and the Pandit explained many things to me. I also bought and studied many books on Hinduism, as I knew that I had been called to this path. One of the books I bought was “How to become a Hindu”, which is published by the Himalayan Academy and available online. Continue reading
Continued from How I became a Hindu – part one.
Having been brought up in a small town that was almost exclusively white and Christian, at University I met a number of people from all over the world and of all religions. In fact I have lived in ethnically diverse cities since then.
A mela in the UK
This in itself had a major impact on my understanding of Christianity as “the only way to salvation”. One of my closest friends at University was a Sikh, and whereas it is one thing to theoretically hear that people you don’t know will be destined for hell, it is quite different if you know this is talking about friends, fellow students, work colleagues, etc. It is obvious to anyone who meets people from many different religions and cultures that if God is loving, then it can’t be true that only those from one particular religion will be saved.
The strength of atheists’ arguments
I also met many articulate atheists. These were in general sincere, people of integrity and they had very logical arguments. Continue reading
Posted in hinduism, other religions, religion
Tagged agnosticism, atheism, caucasian hindu, christianity, hindu, unitarian, universalism, western hindu, white hindu
I have decided that I need to change my blog title from “Westerner interested in Hinduism”. I am more than just interested in Hinduism now, I am a follower of Sanatana Dharma. I have to say a follower at the beginning stages, and perhaps not a very good one. But what should I change it to? Well, it should reflect that I am ethnically Western, and that I am following Hinduism. The obvious title is “Western Hindu”, and that is actually the title that I have decided to use.
Why have I bothered to write this article then? Because there are very good arguments that the title “Western Hindu” is not accurate and some would argue incorrect. This article explores the alternative titles that I have considered, and why I have chosen a title that is not the most accurate. I will start by looking at why the term “Western” is could be misleading, and then look at why some people would claim that my use of the word “Hindu” is wrong.