Many Truths of the One Reality

There is a well-known, much celebrated Hindu adage. It is often engaged as a Hindu way of understanding the diversity of religious traditions in the world. This adage is often worded in the following way: “Truth is one. Paths are many.”[i] Another rendering of this adage goes like this: “Truth is one. Sages call it […]

Reflections on studying Hinduism and what India has to offer

It is said that during a service at an old synagogue in Eastern Europe, when the prayer was being said, half the congregants stood up and half remained sitting. The half that was seated started yelling at those standing to sit down, and the ones standing yelled at the ones sitting to stand up. The […]

Dharma in the Academia

Never before in history has Indian culture been studied by more students than it is today in the curricula of formal education systems in America. It is an integral part of the today’s World Civilization and World History courses at both K-12 and college levels. Through these courses millions of students acquire “authoritative”—but questionable—knowledge about […]

The Dharma Traditions of India

Among the religious and spiritual traditions of the world, the traditions born in the Indian sub-continent, belong to a family. They were all born from the great mother tradition called “Sanatana Dharma” that can be translated as “Eternal Dharma”. In fact the word “Religion” itself is a category of thought that is of Western origin […]

The Three Motivations for DCF’s work

There are fundamentally three motivations for funding the study of Dharma in general and Hindu Dharma in particular, in main-stream academic Universities that underlie the work of Dharma Civilization Foundation. I.     Engage the students of the diaspora.   We believe that an intellectual engagement with the authentic teachings of Hindu Dharma is often […]

The Why of DCF

One of the foundations of Indian Civilization (also called Indic or Bharatiya – to use a Sanskrit word) is the conception of the human potential for spiritual and transcendental realization. The primacy accorded this tendency towards the spiritual and transcendental, as well as the great plurality of perceptions of ultimate reality and the multiplicity of […]

Constitutional Confusion

Article 28-1 of the Indian constitution says that “No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds”. In other words, any State funded institution whether it is a Central University (like Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia or the Banaras Hindu University) or a State University like University […]

The Two Visions of India

There are two dominant ideas of India, at least, playing out as the great Secular–Communal divide in the theater of India’s political battleground – its own modern day Kurukshetra. On the one hand is the idea that the entire past civilizational heritage of India, its spirituality, its religion, culture and traditional wisdom is an unnecessary […]

The Future of Hinduism in America’s Changing Religious Landscape

The recent PEW Research Center findings on America’s religious landscape revealed that approximately 56 million Americans are religiously unaffiliated and belong to the category of religious “nones”. There are more ” nones” than Catholics or mainline Protestants and the “nones” are second only to evangelical Protestants. “Nones” are comparatively younger and more educated. In addition,the […]

The Lens of Suspicion

When approaching the systematic academic study of Religion in academic settings, there are two fundamental positions that a scholar may lean towards – the position of a believer of the faith tradition, or the position of a dis-believer. While these two positions – belief and dis-belief are two ends of a spectrum of possibilities, any […]

Studying Hinduism through the Lens of Suspicion

The phenomenon of how the secular orientation expressed through the hermeneutics of suspicion distorts the study of Hinduism is best illustrated through the use of some examples. Here is a Marxist view of the Caste system – Varna and Jati as it obtained in India. A Classification system like that of Varna is ultimately the […]

The Transmission of Dharma

Dharma Chintana Ultimately, a civilization rests on its ability to transmit its values, goals and aims, priorities, practices, rituals, art, science and knowledge systems, spirituality, festivals and food habits, and indeed all that may be deemed to constitute its culture, with as much fidelity as possible from one generation to another. A unique distinguishing characteristic […]

Silencing the Voice of the Indigenous: The Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory

This Roundtable discussion at the World History Association Conference, examines the ongoing problems associated with the Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory, and the controversies involving the late-18th and 19th-century origins of this theory and its explicit service to European national and colonialist interests and agendas. This historiographical controversy centers on academic arguments that still dominate the field, […]