Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hinduism: Polytheistic?

So said the learned priest: A common misconception about Hinduism is that the religion is polytheistic, meaning one that prays to many gods. Although on the surface it may seem that Hindus pray to hundreds of gods, that is not true. But here we are in the temple, and all around us we see idols of different gods; Ganesha - the remover of obstacles, Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth, Saraswati - the goddess of learning and arts, Vishnu - the creator and protector, and Shiva - the destroyer of evil, and on and on. Does that not make Hinduism a polytheistic religion?

Here's how he explained the deeper philosophy...
When you look around your home there are many appliances, a refrigerator for keeping things cold, a furnace to keep us warm, a computer to keep us connected, an oven and stove to cook our food, and on and on. Each has its purpose and we go to each one based on our needs. But inside, they all work on the same power, electricity. We can't see the electricity, but based on our knowledge we know that it is in there and powering the device that we are interacting with.

Similarly, there is a single power inside the various forms of god, the single God, the Para-Bramha. That is the only God in Hinduism, the various forms are just to simplify the process of prayer for the different things that we  interact with God for. And even though we cannot see God (like we can't see electricity) we know that God is there and always present.

Prologue to a Series on Hinduism

The priest at our local Hindu temple is a very learned man. He is younger than me, but has dedicated his life to God and has studied the Vedas for many years. However, in spite of being steeped in very deep religious philosophy, he has the knack for explaining complex religious concepts simply enough for our ABCD children to understand. This is very useful for parents like us who feel that having a connection to their roots is very important for kids to understand their identity and to be grounded in their adult life.

Last time we were at the temple he explained a couple of things about Hinduism to our kids and promised to explain more next time. I plan to blog about these in a series here for others that may be looking for similar information for their kids.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christopher Hitchens Died and Went to Heaven

Christopher Hitchens a die hard atheist, died last week. Much to his surprise (and of others, detail follow) he found himself, of all places, in Heaven! In fact, he was welcomed with a red carpet and a heavenly ticker tape parade.

Also surprised were all of the die hard right wing religious types who had been predicting for years, maybe even decades, that as soon as Mr. Hitchens dies he is going to find himself burning in the eternal fires of Hell. What was especially disconcerting to this group of people was that some of their own holiest of holy were not admitted; having forgotten the "Thou shalt not Judge" and "Love thy Neighbor", etc. commandments and being in denial about it.

The explanation provided to Mr. Hitchens for his admission on the other hand was his impressive use of the higher intelligence so graciously granted to him by the Almighty. Even though he had been wrong for many years, the fact that he had made such good use of critical thinking and reason, faculties only granted to humans, had been very fulfilling for the Almighty.

In other news, the die hard left wing atheist types are in shock that the pillar of their own philosophy was proved wrong, by none other than God.

DISCLAIMER: This is all 'jest' my personal opinion, I make no claims about hearing this from God or anything like that. I'm just opinionated, not crazy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Can't Dream for Others

Although I've suspected this, maybe even known this, it has been reaffirmed for me multiple times in the recent past. Even though the dream you have imagined for someone else may be perfect for them. It may be something that they really want but just are not ready for, or have not realized yet. Dreaming for someone else is a fool's errand; dreams by nature are a personal thing and unless the dreamer and dream are one, it cannot be fulfilled.

So how does this work when related to parenting? Don't all parents have dreams for their children? I believe that they do, but really what  parent can do is to help the child construct and clarify their own dream. From that point on, unless the child adopts the dream and makes it their own, it remains a dream that the parent has for their child as opposed to the child's dream that they will take to fruition.

Different scenarios, but same principle. So if you are involved in a dream for someone else, beware, all you can do is help articulate the dream. At that point you need to let go or you will be left with a sense of failure for something you never had any control over in the first place.

Monday, December 05, 2011

I Want To Read That...

So what do you do when your kid's friend recommends a book, but you are not sure that it is age appropriate?

"Her parents let her read it", she says. But what if their standards are more liberal than yours?

Movies have ratings, video games have ratings, even music has content warnings, then why not books?

Maybe I can crowd source this info. Let's see what twitter, facebook, and goodreads can get me some info.

The book is Fallen by Lauren Kate

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Give it to back the people...

Every time I walk past the Stars and Stripes blowing in the wind, I feel a sense of pride for my adopted home country. Adopted is a word I use reflexively, because not only have I adopted the country, the country has adopted me too. But I digress.

Walking, driving, commuting anywhere in America, you can see the flag being flown all over the place; in homes, malls, movie theaters, community halls, places of worship, and of course government buildings. It is a constant reminder that we are in America, and we are proud to be here. And maybe some are not proud of everything about their home country, but it is still a constant reminder that we are all part of this nation.

The flag in India unfortunately, does not belong to the people. You can only see it on government buildings other than on a select few days. Then for the few days after those days you see temporary paper flags strewn all over the streets being trampled by cars, bikes, people, and animals with no regard for it.

Why not give what belongs to the people, back to the people. Allow them to fly the flag anywhere they want as long as its dignity is preserved with a strict set of rules that are enforced, not just by the law, but also by citizens. Let the "तिरंगा" or the tricolor fly proud all over my other great country. Let it be a constant reminder to people that they are part of something bigger. Something they should be proud of, something that they are responsible for, something they have a stake in keeping great.

What are we afraid of?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jason Chaffetz the Shameless Opportunist

Here we are, facing an incredible tragedy (Tuscon Arizona Shooting) with 6 people, including a 9 year old dead, and 13 injured in a gun violence incident and the congressman from the third district of Utah uses the opportunity to push the gun rights buttons of the extreme right wing by stating that he will now be using his Second Amendment rights and carry his weapon with him more often.

What a Shameless Opportunist...

This isn't the Middle East I am talking about...

Isn't it sad when misguided youth are provoked to violence by poisonous and loaded rhetoric from power hungry people in leadership positions.

Tuscon Arizona Shooting