The White Hindu has moved

The White Hindu has moved! This blog is no longer updated, but Ambaa is still writing The White Hindu every weekday at

Friday, May 7, 2010

Having the Answer

Am I desperate to prove that I know what I'm talking about? Am I desperate to prove to the world that I am a real Hindu? Whose approval am I seeking?

I was reminded by a reader this morning that it is dangerous to fall into the trap of thinking I already "know it all." A wise man says that he knows nothing and is always open to a new experience and a new understanding. Once we believe that we have the answer, then what is the reason for life anymore? How can we grow or learn if we think we already have the answer?

The audience of this blog is an interesting mix, it seems, of born Hindus either in India or of Indian descent and westerners who are interested in knowing more about Hinduism. I don't know exactly what my message is to either one of these groups. I think this blog is an explanation for my life. So that if someone on the street asks me why I am the way I am, I can point to this for answer.

Sometimes I am exhausted from explaining myself. Some things I don't know. I don't know why I long so much for a label, a community, and a place to belong. But I do think those are very human urgings. Why have I turned to India to satisfy those urges instead of something closer to me? I don't know. I'm hanging onto the only thread of culture I was given.

As usual, the issue cycles back around to approval. Who am I trying to please? The following story was posted on Western Hindu's blog and really speaks to that problem:

"A young man, returning home from French school with many diplomas, thought he knew everything. His father said, “My son, come with me. I’ll teach you about life.”

So they bought a donkey and both got on to ride. As they approach a village, they saw a crowd gathering. “Those two heartless riders are going to crush that poor beast of burden.”

“Hear that, son?” asked the father. When they had left the village, he got off and pulled the donkey by the reins, with his son still on it.

At a second village, they heard murmurs. “What a rude little boy … why won’t he let his poor old father ride?” So the son climbed down and his father got on.

At a third village, a fat woman blocked their path, yelling, “Lazy old man! How dare you force a little boy to walk in the burning sun?” So the father got off, and he walked with his son alongside the donkey.

At the last village, they were met with whispers. “Are these two crazy or what? They’re walking alongside a perfectly strong animal!”

A little farther on, they stopped in the shade of a big tree. The father says, “Well, my son, have you been paying attention? People will always have something to say about what we do. But do what you must. That’s life.”

I have been posting every day lately. I think that might be too overwhelming for people to keep up with. I am considering having set days for my posts. Every Monday and Thursday, for example. I think that might make it easier for you all as readers to know when to show up here for new musings.

Also, later today I plan to add a picture to this post. I thought you all might like to see what I typically look like.

Okay, here is the promised picture:


  1. i remember as a kid reading stories about ancient india - some mythological , some historical of a tradition of arguments.
    so, they used to have fights of logic over various questions - nothing was sacrosanct, nothing was blasphemous. at the end of the verbal dual one was honored as a winner but it was more than question of a win. the arguments were meant to clear the doubts .

    something horribly missing in modern india.

    i take your blog as some modern version of that. it clears some of my doubts. may even clear some of yours by looking at various point of views. certainly you have better and deeper knowledge than me about hinduism and i enjoy reading your point of view.

    may be you are blogging to share your opinions and to invite questions. and not for seeking approval or proving something.

    - basu

  2. I agree with Basu. I don't think your blog is a quest for approval. There's a difference between a seeker of truth and a poser and you are not the latter.

    Thanks for posting your picture - the bindi looks good on you!

    I thought I saw Eckhart Tolle on your bookshelf behind you. His writing reminds me a lot of Jiddu Krishnamurthy...perhaps his spiritual predecessor in many ways. Did you like the book?

  3. That is an Eckhart Tolle book. My dad recommended it, but I haven't read it yet! I should get to that and post about it. :)

  4. Lovely photo! I'd really like to start wearing bindi every day but I feel sort of silly doing it... maybe I should start with the ones you have.

  5. I fight the fear of feeling silly almost every day! I'd love more people joining me in it :)

  6. as born american u can still wear american clothing theres no compulsion on wearing indian style dresses. india/hindu culture never asks u to become hindu first & american as second.
    remember karna's life in mahabharata.
    whichever country u r in, associate with that first, hindu aspect should be secondary.