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 This blog is no longer updated, but Ambaa is still writing The White Hindu every weekday at

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Future Changes

I have some exciting news!

I didn't want to say anything this morning, but now the paperwork is passed in and I think it is safe to say that my blog is going to be moving. Thanks to Niki at My Own Ashram, I was offered a great opportunity to be part of an interfaith website.

It has sections for a variety of religions and each section has bloggers and columnists. I have been asked to join the Hindu bloggers there. I'm thrilled by the opportunity to expand readership and widen the discussion!

This is going to take effect in the new year, so watch for a post in January 2013 showing you where I've moved to.

One of the great things about this is that it will mean I have to post more! I'll be obligated to keep the blog up and I think that will be a really good thing for all of us. I'm brainstorming ideas now for different types of posts. I'm thinking of doing some weekly and monthly themes and balancing my philosophical musing with posts about celebrating holidays and day to day life as a Hindu.

So where am I going?

To! Their tagline is: Hosting the Conversation on Faith. I love that.

Doing a happy dance right now!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ads Disabled on the Blog

To take an admin moment, you may have noticed that the few scattered ads are gone.

I was trying out the Google adwords program to see if I could bring in a little revenue from the discussions here. I was making around 30 cents a month or so! Probably not even worth having.

So I suppose that it's just as well that Google suspended my account and accused me of fraud.

I really dislike these websites that go the guilty-until-proven-innocent route. It's very hurtful. The other really annoying thing is that they refuse to tell you what you've done wrong. They accuse you of being a criminal and then say they are unable to say why they are making that accusation.

I appealed and said I had no idea what they thought I did wrong, but I'm just a simple hobby blogger and it's not like I'm raking in millions here.

They denied my appeal.

The only thing I can think is that I must have accidentally clicked on one of the ads once when I was trying to get the page to load (my work computer is very slow, and I get frustrated trying to force it to scroll on a page when it's taken two minutes to try to load it!) Of course clicking on your own ads is fraud and I would never do that intentionally. They will not confirm if this is what happened or not. I'm in the dark as far as what made them suspend my account.

So no more ads.

It seemed like a nice way to get something back from the time and energy that I devote here particularly since I'm struggling financially. But it's not like it was doing much good anyway. What I really get from this blog is the interesting discussion and perspectives that you all bring to these issues. It's great to sort through these things with friends instead of alone!

Friday, November 16, 2012

We Can Be Better Than That

In response to the article I posted about yesterday, one of my friends on facebook said...

 Do u remember I said abt Dr. Swamy, well he is a hindu nationalist & I agree wid him. Coz if such nations won't become secular then we Hindus must change our policies & it is a hindu who has to suffer alot wether he may b in a gulf country or in any other country.What do u think?

What I said there is that I think two wrongs don't make a right. We don't want to become like the others who hurt us, we want to be better than them.

But my response goes deeper than that. I think at the root of this reaction is a very powerful fear.

We fear that Hinduism will be destroyed by the more aggressive religions. And I can understand why we have that fear when we do still see forced conversions and people being conned into believing in another religion.

Still, the fear is not necessary and it holds us back from our full potential. Fear is an emotion that shrinks us, not one that grows us. As my father says, one should never do or not do something because of fear.

Hinduism is strong. It has survived for thousands of years and is one of the oldest (if not possibly the very oldest) religions in the world. It is woven into the core of what it is to be human. Like Krishna, there has never been a time that it has not existed. It is not going anywhere.

No matter what other people might try to do, no matter how individuals experience it, Hinduism cannot be destroyed.

You know what a forced conversion can never do? It can never change your heart. Hinduism will always live  in your heart. No one can take that from you.

Hinduism does have its faults. Not at its core. At its core it is perfect (as we are too). But society and culture over time has corrupted parts of it and we need to always be careful to remember that Hinduism is about love. It is not about discrimination or being hurtful to another human being. When those things happen, then some people think that's what Hinduism is. We can be the example to show that that is not true.

When we feel hurt by the policies and religions of others, the first instinct is to lash back and do the same thing back to them. I think we can be better than that and show the world that a Hindu does not hurt others.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Disturbing Story in the News

On Facebook today I discovered a post about this young Hindu woman who died in Ireland because the Catholic hospitals would not perform an abortion.

It certainly hits close to home for me as she was only 31, just about the same age as me.

The person who shared the article expresses the belief that the people involved should be punished for murder and that it was inappropriate that a Hindu woman be forced to accept rules based on Catholicism. However, it is a Catholic country (that part of it, anyway). To me this really showcases the need to keep religion separate from government.

She should have had the choice to go to a hospital that was not affiliated with Catholicism.

Being a religious minority is a terrifying thing. You cannot trust that your beliefs will be honored when they come into conflict with the majority.

Even for those who are opposed to abortion, it is difficult to see how you could make the choice to kill both the mother and the four month old fetus instead of saving the mother.

Be sure that where ever you live, you know what the laws about this sort of thing are. You cannot trust that your own religious convictions will be honored when they conflict with the religious convictions of the majority population where you live.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Diwali

We had a great time last night at the ISKON temple. It's about a forty minute drive away, so I don't go very often, but their events are always a great experience.

On our way out the door (+ I need a better camera!)

Though my practices are not terribly devotional, it is nice to do some devotional activity now and then. It's so much fun to get caught up in the energy: jumping, clapping, and shouting to the gods.

I tried to take a picture of the idols, but there was so much light that my camera couldn't deal with it!

Back home...
This is my fanciest sari, the same one I wore to the temple dedication in Sringeri 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Shubh Dipavali

Happy Diwali, everyone! Hope this week will be special for you and that you'll start fresh, challenging yourself to a great new year.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review: The Destiny of Shaitan

This is a book I've been waiting for.

Oh, I didn't know this author or that she was creating this book, but I have been wanting a fantasy novel set in an Indian-based world for years! I even tried to write one once, but I have no skill in the fantasy genre. I'm so glad that this book was created.

Now, unfortunately, the point of view is one of my least favorite possible. First person and present tense. Present tense is very difficult to do well and it feels much more contrived than the recent past that we're so used to reading in novels. (It's, in fact, easy to not realize one is reading past tense because it feels so natural, but if you pick up a book and look at the verb to be it will almost always be "was" rather than "is.") For me this makes it very difficult to get immersed in the story. I struggled with that a lot, however that is probably just a personal quirk!

I'm always impressed with the imagination it takes to make whole worlds and galaxies come to life. I have to congratulate the author on her creativity! The blend of ancient and future was very cool. I look forward to more books that bring Indian mythology and aesthetic into fantasy settings.

With this book, your enjoyment will depend a lot on taste, so I would suggest checking out the sample to see what you think. Also, as I am an official stop on the author's blog tour, I am participating in a giveaway!
It is tour wide and ends Nov. 25th. Click the link to enter... a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is the description from the author:

Background: The Destiny of Shaitan, the first novel in The Chronicle of The Three series is a coming of age story, about a girl who falls in love only to realise that to be truly happy, she has to first find herself. Set in 3000 AD, when the galaxy is populated by humans as well as a half human, half alien race called half lives, this novel, tracks the protagonists from five to seventeen years old. 

Synopsis: When Tiina accompanies her ex-boyfriend Yudi on a mission to save the universe from the ruthless Shaitan, she seeks more than the end of the tyrant; she seeks herself. Driven by greed and fear for his own survival, Shaitan bulldozes his way through the galaxy, destroying everything in his path. Tiina wants Yudi to eliminate Shaitan, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the powerful autocrat being killed by his son, but she finds that Yudi is hesitant to do so. The final showdown between Yudi and Shaitan has unexpected consequences, for Shaitan will do anything in his power to win the fight—including getting rid of Tiina. The stakes are high and the combatants determined. Will Shaitan's ultimate destiny be fulfilled?

Return to 7 Islands, (Chronicle of The Three, #2): The Destiny of Shaitan, ends with Tiina, leaving everything she knows—including Yudi and the world she helped save from Shaitan—in search of herself.  The second novel in the series, titled Return to 7 Islands, follows Tiina as she lands in a futuristic Bombay—now  reduced by a tsunami to its original seven islands—and helps Rai, in defending his childhood orphanage from the clutches of Sharmila, Shaitan's daughter. As she struggles to come to terms with her origins in an attempt to understand herself better, she discovers a surprise about her past.